Notable mortgage industry hires and promotions, Oct. 3-7

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced two personnel updates: Karen Chang will serve as FHFA’s chief of staff and Samuel Frumkin has been named as the agency’s executive secretary, effective immediately. Chang has been with FHFA since April 2021, serving as supervisory financial analyst in the Division of Enterprise Regulation (DER) Office of Financial Analysis. She previously worked for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the White House, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and other public and private sector organizations. Frumkin joined FHFA in 2014 after working for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the CFPB.

Rocket Companies announced the appointment of Brian Brown as incoming chief financial officer and treasurer. Brown, who currently serves as Rocket Companies’ chief accounting officer, will replace Julie Booth, who will retire effective Nov. 15. Brown, who joined Rocket in 2014, currently leads the company’s accounting, finance, treasury and procurement teams. Prior to joining Rocket, Brown served eight years with EY where he consulted with publicly traded financial-services companies. Also being elevated is Tina V. John, who assumed the role of general counsel and secretary upon the retirement of Angelo Vitale on Oct. 3. John, the company’s previous deputy general counsel and assistant secretary, joined Rocket Companies in 2020 following its initial public offering. She began her 15-year legal career specializing in capital markets and public company guidance at Shearman & Sterling LLP, and she most recently led the corporate governance and securities practice at an Ohio-based American lifestyle retailer.

PennyMac Financial Services announced the appointment of Jerry Halbrook as the organization’s chief mortgage innovation officer. With decades of fintech experience, Halbrook will develop and launch new technology solutions, preparing the company for future innovations while enhancing PennyMac’s business model. Most recently, Halbrook was the CEO of mortgage fintech Volly.

CBRE announced that industry veteran Sung Lee has joined its valuation and advisory services team as head of fund valuations for the Americas. Lee joins CBRE from Altus Group, a provider of software and advisory services to the global commercial real estate industry, where he was most recently co-head of global advisory and mergers and acquisitions. He had been with Altus Group since 2010, holding senior roles that included head of global accounts and global head of business development. Prior to that, he was at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Intercontinental Investments.

FirstClose added Carol Crawford as chief marketing officer. In this role, Crawford will lead strategy and manage execution for brand development, integrated marketing and multichannel communications planning to enhance awareness of FirstClose and increase demand for its fintech offerings. Most recently, the 20-year marketing veteran served as senior director at ICE Mortgage Technology, where she was responsible for business strategy and product marketing for ICE’s AIQ and TPO Connect solutions. Prior to ICE, Crawford was the chief marketing officer of ClosingCorp. Earlier in her career, Crawford held senior marketing roles at both CoreLogic and First American.

MonitorBase promoted Lilly Staniforth to vice president of business relations. In her new position, Staniforth will focus on improving the company’s brand awareness and value proposition while building stronger client relationships. She joined MonitorBase in 2019 as client success manager.


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