President’s Column: First Half of 2019 Highlights

The end of the calendar year provides an opportunity to reflect on what TNMBA has accomplished since my year began in April. It has certainly been an active year with progress in many areas. Here is an update on what has been happening:

Communications: TNMBA has taken several important steps to communicate better with our members, with our local chapters, and with our communities.  We retained the services of a media and communications expert, Don Klein.  Don has been a force from the outset.  He’s published several stories in local media, posted scores of brief and informative pieces on social media (LinkedIn and FB), assisted in important ways with revising and updating the TNMBA website, and published three newsletters.  The result is that members are better able to stay informed with happenings important at the state and local chapter levels.  Take a minute to go to the TNMBA website and explore the new pages and features, especially the Events page and the In the News page.

Advocacy: TNMBA’s advocacy efforts will continue to be more effective as we gain visibility as a professional trade group.  Our lobbyist, Tony Thompson, has consistently informed and advised TNMBA leaders about the legislative agenda of our state legislators.  When the legislature is in session, Tony provided weekly summaries of bills that have been proposed and that might have an impact on mortgage banking in our state.  Tony also helps coordinate our meetings with legislators during our Day on the Hill.  The quality of our grassroots advocacy has improved noticeably.  Thanks to the fundraising efforts of MBAM, NMBA, and especially KMBA, we now have a respectable balance in our PAC account ($25,000+) so that Tony can get TNMBA representatives more quality facetime with the legislators that matter.  Just since October, Tony has arranged for board members to attend three functions that resulted in brief conversations with more than 40 senators and representatives.  When you attend Day on the Hill (February 5, 2020), you will readily see that TNMBA is better recognized and receives more attention.

At the national level, TNMBA signed on the MBA comment letter to the CFPB regarding their announced intention to allow the QM patch to expire.

Related to our joint advocacy effort with MBA, the Nashville and Memphis chapters’ leadership were hosted by MBA leaders as part of the Advocacy Roadshow Initiative “to discuss the vital role that MBA advocacy plays in promoting and advancing key industry issues in Congress, with federal regulators, and with the leaders in each state” (from the MBA statement of purpose).  You can be proud to know that the national MBA leaders chose Tennessee as the pilot state for this unprecedented initiative.

Education: The second class of Future Leaders has completed two of the four required sessions.  The Future Leaders will also participate in Day on the Hill, and then receive their certificate of completion at the Great River Conference in April.

TNMBA’s Education Trust Fund promoted an affordable housing program for loan officers and Realtors in four chapters.  The affordability of housing is a nationwide problem, and it’s our duty to be well informed of the solutions we might offer our clients.  Representatives from Freddie Mac, THDA, and down payment assistance organizations highlighted programs that are available in each of our markets.  A very special thank you to Lisa Lanik, Senior Account Manager with MGIC, for designing and producing an exceptional program in support of TNMBA’s ETF.

Diversity and Inclusion: TNMBA is pursuing an initiative to open a window of opportunity to connect with mortgage banking professionals who represent underserved populations in our communities.  Tiffany Searcy Wright is the committee chair, and out of her first meeting with members of several other mortgage professional organizations in Nashville came the idea to host a mixer with an open invitation to meet and socialize while enjoying food and drink and each other’s company.  Over 50 people attended, and Tiffany has received numerous calls and inquiries from others who want to be part of the next meeting.  KMBA and MBAM have also formed diversity and inclusion committees in their chapters.

Membership: Did you know that there’s now a way for member banks and companies to join TNMBA and all five local chapters?  Or two chapters?  Or one chapter?  Check out the new corporate sponsor section of the TNMBA website.  Be one of the first TNMBA sponsors in our 60-year history.Make plans to join us in Nashville on February 5, 2020 for Day on the Hill and then again in Memphis on April 22-24 for Great River Conference 2020.

Jeff Tucker, President

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