Residential Magazine

2023 Featured State Champions

Meet six of the top producers from across the nation

By Hannah Darden

This December, Scotsman Guide published our annual State Champions rankings, crowning the top originator by volume from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. From those rankings, we handpicked six and asked them how they’ve grown so successful. To learn more about the State Champions rankings, click here. To view the rankings, click here.


Brent Nardecchia

High Place Mortgage Inc.

2022 Production Numbers

Closed Loans: 199

Total Dollar Volume: $204 million

“I do what I say I’m going to do, I always show up, I communicate and I do what is best for my clients. Instead of just chasing commissions, I forge long-term relationships. And I’m in a luxury market, which keeps me on my toes with all different types of clients. Although we average loan amounts in the jumbo market, we service every client, including first-time homebuyers, veterans and more.”


Julee Felsman

Guaranteed Rate

2022 Production Numbers

Closed Loans: 405

Total Dollar Volume: $180.5 million

“We get to do a little bit of everything — from jumbo to USDA, from condos to new construction, from vintage properties to manufactured homes. Urban, suburban and rural, we really run the gamut. And Oregonians are a creative and entrepreneurial lot, so many of our clients are self-employed or freelance. I love the challenge of keeping up on everything and never knowing what puzzle we’ll have the opportunity to solve next.”


Amber Ernst

New American Funding

2022 Production Numbers

Closed Loans: 352

Total Dollar Volume: $72.1 million

“Our market is saturated with portfolio lenders, so it is a challenge sometimes to help the customer understand the difference between fixed-rate financing and combo ARMs. I really try to break it down and show pros and cons, so they understand. In a stable market, things are easy — everything stays the same. But when things change like they have, man, it is a blessing to have a fixed-rate loan.”


Kim Moon

FirstBank Mortgage

2022 Production Numbers

Closed Loans: 229

Total Dollar Volume: $77.8 million

“I have been in the industry for 40 years and know a lot of people in my market (Huntsville). That is one of the benefits of working in the market where I live. Our market has been named one of the top cities in the U.S. to live for affordability, and we are growing at 3%-plus per year. A challenge is that our market is very rate- and cost-conscious. You must be very competitive on every deal.”


Jesse Cronen

Northpointe Bank

2022 Production Numbers

Closed Loans: 546

Total Dollar Volume: $146.7 million

“Kentucky is a very affordable market, thus allowing more clients to achieve the dream of homeownership. With that said, I’m also armed with many products to help meet clients’ needs and ultimately close more loans. If you take care of your clients and put their needs first, your referral base will grow. And with a strong referral base and a strong work ethic, you can grow to whatever heights you put your mind to.”


Chris Cox

First Savings Mortgage

2022 Production Numbers

Closed Loans: 279

Total Dollar Volume: $200 million

“I have been in this business for over 25 years, and I have built long-lasting relationships with agents and real estate offices in the D.C. metro area. I have a talented team and back room. I am beyond lucky to work in Washington, D.C. I set up an office on Capitol Hill in the early 2000s and it was the best decision of my career. I immediately became easy to reach, meet with and drop in on, and this changed everything for me.”


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