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Spotlight Feature – James R. Huber

Chapter President for the MBA of Knoxville

James R. Huber our featured “Spotlight Member” this month, currently serves as the President for the Mortgage Bankers Association of Knoxville.

J.R. Huber has been in the mortgage industry for 24 years, starting as a loan officer and working his way up to President of Victory Mortgage, LLC in Cincinnati, OH. In 2016, he became the SVP of Sales and Production for Mortgage Investors Group. By relocating to Knoxville, J.R. was able to work where he has always vacationed. He is grateful to part of an industry that provides the dream of home ownership. He is so proud of his personal accomplishments, he lives vicariously through himself. Had it not been for a knee injury at age 14, he would probably still be playing professional soccer. He has made a full recovery, and If there was an all-star team for the “Men’s >40 soccer league in Knoxville” , J.R. would be first team. His Bachelor’s Degree in Child Psychology at Denison University has prepared him well to handle consumer’s emotions when buying or building a home, but is absolutely useless when it comes to handling twin teenage daughters. J.R. has had 7+ years with Mortgage Bankers Associations, including the dubious honor of President following the greatest financial crisis in history. Therefore, the prosperous recovery of the Mortgage Industry may or may not be a result of his leadership as Greater Cincinnati MBA President.

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Please read the following to learn more about J.R. Huber: 

  1. On the weekends, where would we most likely find you?
    Boating, golfing, playing soccer, training for a marathon, watching my twin daughters playing soccer, or taking a weekend road trip.
  2. How did you get into the Mortgage business?
    I was on a management training program coming out of college with Fifth Third Bank for one year. Typically, trainees find something in 2-3 rotations and I was on my 5th area of the Bank. They basically told me I had to get off the program and figure out what I wanted to do with my career…. So, I decided I had nothing to lose and took a job that was 100% commission. I realized I could provide people with the American Dream and it was the most fulfilling career I could imagine.
  3. Name three people (or one person if that is easier) that you view as mentors?
    George Schaefer – President and CEO of Fifth Third Bank I mentioned Mr. Schaefer’s name in my interview at 5/3 as a college senior. The recruiter shared my resume, story, and background to Mr. Schaefer. Against the recruiter’s recommendation, he personally decided to take a chance on me. 18 years later, I was a Vice President of one of the top 10 Banks in the country, a 10 time President’s Club award winning Loan Officer, the top producing Area Sales Manager, and the epitome of a loyal employee that just needed someone to recognize potential. Mr. Schaefer is the most impressive person I have ever met. He was a West Point graduate and worked his way up from the mail room to the CEO. He recognized what it took to become successful and saw it in me. We spoke periodically over my career and he knew details about me and remembered production numbers that only my family and my direct boss might remember. I remember one time, as President/CEO, he cleared his desk and his calendar for an hour just to discuss career paths for me and what he thought my strengths and weaknesses were. I will never forget how he vouched for me, and wonder where I would be had he not…
  4. What keeps you up at night?
    My anxiety at night centers around keeping a healthy balance between working all the necessary hours it takes to not just do my job, but to excel; while maintaining a close connection and positive influence to my impressionable 14 year old twin daughters, and keeping a healthy lifestyle of exercise and fun.
  5. What has the Mortgage Bankers Association meant to your career?
    I have spent many years associated with the MBA. As President of the Greater Cincinnati MBA just after the financial crisis, I worked through the challenges such as growing membership when companies scrutinized every penny, bringing young professionals into an industry in which only “survivors” remained, and convincing the membership that recognizing the top producers was good for the overall advancement of the negative image of Mortgage Banking and not a recruiting opportunity for the companies in need a production revenue. Upon moving to Tennessee after 42 years in Ohio, Mortgage Bankers was my network for friends, companions, information, and local industry awareness. It is the conduit for industry professionals to obtain direction and focus, while sharing and commiserating war stories.