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The Industry Pulse: Women’s History Month Edition

In honor of International Women's Day and Women's History Month,
American Mortgage Diversity Council Director Eileen Kornmeyer shares a selection
of recent stories focused on some of the industry's top female professionals

Karen-BuckKaren Buck has joined Flagstar Bank as EVP and Head of Operations. In this role, she is responsible for the Customer Engagement Center, retail and commercial operations, banking operations, and business risk and internal controls.

Buck has over 30 years' experience in the financial services industry, most recently as EVP of Commercial, Retail, and Payment operations at TD Bank in New Jersey, where she led a team of more than 2,200 employees across the bank's commercial and retail segments.

"With Karen on board, we look forward to driving operational excellence at Flagstar to a new level and giving our customers another reason to bank with us," said Alessandro DiNello, President and CEO of Flagstar. "She is a true professional and a standout in her field. We're fortunate to have her in this important position to support the future growth of our retail and commercial businesses."


The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs recently voted 17-7 in favor of Marcia Fudge's nomination as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Committee Chair Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said Fudge will help lead the department to "a brighter future." From his new elevated post, he used the hearing as an opportunity to say the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs has too long been almost solely about banking and too little about housing. "The days of this committee doing the bidding of Wall Street are over," he said.

Opponents of Fudge's confirmation included Pat Toomey (R-PA) who said she was one of the least bipartisan members of congress and that she has too little experience in housing policy.

Fudge now awaits a vote of the full Senate to complete her confirmation.


Dana WadeDana Wade, former Commissioner of the FHA, has joined Bethesda, Maryland-based commercial real estate finance firm Walker & Dunlop Inc. In her new role, Wade will serve as Chief Production Officer for all FHA-backed loan originations with HUD. Wade will also lead the company's affordable housing financing activities.

As Commissioner of the FHA, Wade was responsible for carrying out the agency's mission of providing affordable housing for moderate and low-income households, implementing enhanced risk management for the FHA's $1.4 trillion portfolio, leading more than 2,400 employees.

"I am thrilled to have Dana join us,” said Walker & Dunlop Chairman and CEO Willy Walker. “Her skills and expertise will immediately add value to Walker & Dunlop's FHA production team. Having a leader with Dana's skills augmenting our focus on affordable housing, which has accounted for $17 billion of Walker & Dunlop's lending over the past three years, will be extremely valuable to our clients and team members."


YellenWith her successful confirmation, Janet Yellen became the first female Treasury Secretary in U.S. History.

We reported in November that President Joe Biden had the former Federal Reserve Chair (2014-18) in mind for the job, which now includes overseeing Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan as it works its way through Congress and into practice.

Yellen has expressed support for Biden's economic plan.

“Without further action, we risk a longer, more painful recession now and longer-term scarring of the economy later,” Yellen said in a video statement related to Biden's stimulus proposal.

"It is hard to imagine a better-prepared nominee to meet this great moment of need than Dr. Yellen," her Treasury secretary predecessors reportedly wrote in a letter backing her nomination.


Would you like to learn more about how you can advance the conversation about diversity and inclusion within the mortgage industry? The American Mortgage Diversity Council (AMDC) provides a platform for the collaboration of mortgage industry leaders for the advancement of D&I dialogue. The organization develops and provides tools and strategies to create an understanding and appreciation of individual differences in thought, experience, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, style, sexual orientation, and gender identity. To learn more about the AMDC, and how to join, click here or on the banner below.


About Author: Eileen Kornmeyer

Eileen Kornmeyer
Eileen Kornmeyer is the Director of the American Mortgage Diversity Council and the Property Preservation Executive Forum, both of which are part of the Five Star Institute. Her most recent tenure with the Dallas Business Journal allowed her to grow the paper’s readership while connecting and partnering with some of the top companies and organizations in DFW. She has notable tenure as sales manager for “The World of Concrete,” one of the Top 20 largest events annually. A native New Yorker, she cites the Adirondack Park as her place to recharge her batteries hiking, kayaking, and spending time with her family.

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