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Lodestar's Lending Leaders

Lodestar's Lending Leaders

By Lodestar Lending Leaders
Listen every week as Lodestar CEO Jim Paolino interviews people across the Mortgage Industry.
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Live from Digital Mortgage 2022!
LodeStar’s star Sales and Marketing Director, Alayna Gardner, interviews fellow attendees at the 2022 Digital Mortgage Conference.
September 29, 2022
Investing in Workflow
Season 3 is in full swing, and we’re excited to chat with Larry Bailey, CEO of Mortgage Workflow Partners. Larry is a big proponent of rolling up your sleeves, getting under the hood, and analyzing how a business really works. Not how the CEO thinks it works, but how it actually works. Investing in workflow is critical to ensure both that your business is working the way you think it is and that you’re embracing the best possible functionality. Larry is a true veteran, and we were excited to pick his brain and swap stories.
September 22, 2022
Business and Social Responsibility
For this week's Lending Leaders, Tim Nguyen, CEO and Co-Founder of BeSmartee, shares his thoughts on the importance of balancing good business practices with a sense of social responsibility. He delves into his family history, its impact on his business philosophy, and how that philosophy has grown with him and his company.
September 15, 2022
Our Biggest Mistakes
The LodeStar Lending Leaders podcast begins its third season with Jim, Dave, and Alayna discussing LodeStar's not-so-proudest moment in business. Here's to learning from your mistakes!
September 08, 2022
How A Mortgage Insider Buys A Home Pt 5: Reflecting on the Process
To conclude the LodeStar Lending Leaders Summer Session, we’re capping off our weeks-long discussion of how a mortgage insider buys a home. Alayna interviews Jim and his wife Sarah and invites them to reflect on their homebuying process.
September 01, 2022
How A Mortgage Insider Buys A Home Pt 3: Jim Gets A Mortgage
Welcome to part three of Jim's experience buying a home as a mortgage professional. Today we're picking his brain about the mortgage process and how being the CEO of a mortgage software company helped him navigate the ins and outs of the process.
June 30, 2022
How A Mortgage Insider Buys A Home Pt. 2: The Value of Realtors
We’re back to talking about Jim’s experience buying a home as a mortgage professional. On part two, we’re diving into his experience using a realtor, the value of realtors, and how his view of realtors changed during the homebuying process. As a mortgage industry pro, Jim was skeptical at first about the need for a realtor, but soon had his mind changed by the expertise and guidance of the realtors he wound up using.
June 23, 2022
What's In A Meme? Thoughts On Meme Marketing
Per the lighter tone of our Summer Session, Jim and Alayna discuss memes, meme marketing, and new formats.
June 16, 2022
How A Mortgage Insider Buys A Home
Ever wonder how a mortgage industry expert navigates the home buying experience? LodeStar's CEO Jim Paolino just bought his first home and is eager to share his thoughts on the experience.
June 09, 2022
Summer Session Kickoff
Welcome to the 2022 Summer Session of the LodeStar Lending Leaders Podcast. Per our lovely inflatable tropical office decorations, we've titled this brief season between seasons "Between Two Palms." Because why not? During the podcast season proper, we keep things fairly serious and hear from industry professionals and partners in the mortgage lending space. But during the summer, short of throwing all professionalism to the wind, we like to keep things pretty light. This week, we're focusing on getting some rest after conference season and before autumn busyness, enjoying the warm weather, and gauging the state of the industry as the spring housing market crops up. Thanks so much for being tuning in to LodeStar Lending Leaders! We can’t wait to resume our conversations about the mortgage industry and related topics when season 3 begins in September 2022. To listen to this and other episodes of the LodeStar Lending Leaders Podcast, check out our YouTube channel. Please consider subscribing! It helps us out a lot. You can also find us on Anchor.
June 02, 2022
Celebrating a Season of Growth with David Spektor and Jim Paolino
Per tradition, LLL wrapped up its season by sitting down with LodeStar Co-Founders, Jim Paolino and David Spektor to reflect on the company’s growth over the last several months. And of course, we checked in on Dave’s inextinguishable dream to purchase a t-shirt cannon.
May 26, 2022
Live from the 2022 MARC Conference with Gary Martinek
This weeks' LLL feature's our second-ever live recording at a conference, where we had the pleasure of talking with Gary Martinek, Senior Account Executive at Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions.
May 19, 2022
Live from the MerdianLink LIVE! 2022 User Forum with Jemila Stewart
For this week's Lending Leaders, LodeStar's Sales and Marketing Director, Alayna Gardner, took a moment to chat with Jemila Stewart, Partner Business Development Director at MeridianLink.
May 12, 2022
No, Seriously, Title Insurance Is Important with Alex Dunton
LLL was excited to chat with Alex Dunton, Executive Vice President of Sales at Priority Title and Escrow. We talked all things title insurance in today's tech-driven market and how title insurance is one of the most important parts of the lending process.
May 05, 2022
Gauging the State of the Mortgage Industry Amid Conference Season with Jim & Alayna
We're trying something new this week at LLL. Every month, Jim and Alayna will put their heads together to talk about the state of the mortgage industry and discuss relevant topics, headlines, and current events. This time they talk about conferences, meeting clients, and responding to changes in volume. Also, they judge vendors' snack offerings and booth setups at this spring's industry conferences.
April 28, 2022
Human to Human Marketing with Shana Steigerwalt
LLL visited recently with Shana Steigerwalt, the dynamic owner and founder of Modern Driven Media in Philadelphia, a content marketing and CRM implementation firm.
March 04, 2022
How Technology Helps Meet Community Needs with Windy Lafond
LLL recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Windy Lafond, CEO and Founder of Genie Notary Inc. During the pre-podcast prep conversation, Jim and Windy were delighted to discover they have a ton in common. We were eager to hear Windy’s incredible story and pick her brain about all things notarization.
March 04, 2022
Fostering Collaboration Throughout the Mortgage Process with Roy George
LLL recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Roy George, Managing Partner at MOR Lending. Roy was eager to share some recent changes and what he’s learned along the way.
March 04, 2022
The Virtues of Slow, Controlled Growth with Kevin Peranio
LLL recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Kevin Peranio, CEO of PRMG. Kevin has been in the industry for a long time and is no stranger to rises in falls in volume. He shared some of his wisdom about how to endure in changing markets, and how to build a business designed for the long haul.
February 10, 2022
How Tech Empowers Client Services with Jason Doshi
LLL sat down with Jason Doshi, CEO and co-founder of Jason talked about how tech empowers client service.
February 03, 2022
How Technology Has Changed the Mortgage Industry with Jeffrey Loyd
LLL recently had the pleasure of sitting down with the Jeffrey Loyd, principal of Mortgage Acuity. Jeffrey is a veteran of the industry who's worn a lot of different hats. We were eager to hear his take on how technology has changed the industry and the homebuyer experience
January 27, 2022
Becoming an Encompass Admin With Kelsey Wright
This week we dive into Kelsey's experience in the Encompass Admin Course
January 20, 2022
The Unexpected Benefits of Content Marketing
This week we dive into the lack of sleep a business owner gets, the benefits of content marketing and more! 
January 13, 2022
Bringing Tech Together in 2022 with Ty Cieloha
Today we talk about the lending and title technology industries and how they can come together.
January 06, 2022
Goodbye 2021, What will LodeStar Do in 2022?
This week we sit down and talk about Fatherhood, 2022 plans and more!
December 16, 2021
The Need for Homebuyer Education with Stacie Rihl
Stacie's Instagram: @iamstacierihl
December 09, 2021
How Technology Drives the Future with Chuck Cain
LLL recently had the pleasure of visiting with Chuck Cain, SVP, National Agency Division with the FNF Family of Companies. Chuck is also the host of the popular FNF Unplugged podcast.
December 02, 2021
The Difference Kindness Makes with Big Dave
This week we had the pleasure of chatting with Big Dave about his journey and his new book!  Check out the giveaway here:
November 18, 2021
The Importance of Specialized Tech with Briana Ings
LLL had the pleasure of visiting with Briana Ings, Head of Product and Design and Snapdocs.
November 11, 2021
Getting Started with Online Notarization with Melissa Johnson Eldridge
LLL had the pleasure of visiting with Melissa Johnson Eldridge recently. Melissa is the President of NEMA Online Signing Solutions & Consultants as well as the creator of NEMA’s Online Notary Training. At a time when topics like Remote Online Notary (RON) closings are taking center stage, Melissa is certainly in the center of the action!
November 04, 2021
Sorry Blockchain, Title isn't Going Anywhere
We recently visited with cryptocurrency and blockchain expert, Wes Williams, attorney at RELAW, APC. Wes also has roots in the title and real estate industry, so we talked a bit about where, if and how blockchain could eventually fit in our space. We think you’ll agree that the conversation was educational as well as very interesting!
October 28, 2021
The Importance of a Personal Brand with Josh Pitts
We recently had a return visit with the dynamic Josh Pitts, CEO or S.H.R.E.D. (Show up. Hustle. Repeat. Every Day!) The next 30 minutes were, as always, a great combination of high energy and compelling conversation—as is always the case when it comes to Josh! Our own Joe….er, Jim Paolino hosted the podcast.
October 21, 2021
Facilitating the American Dream with Dan Smith
We recently visited with Dan Smith, VP of Sales for one of LodeStar’s partners, Lending Pad. An accidental start to a fruitful journey Like many, Dan joined the mortgage industry almost by accident. However, he has thrived—especially in mortgage technology, in the 20+ years (including stints with Fiserv and ComplianceEase) since. Dan told us that it was the complex, heavily nuanced nature of the industry, as well as the opportunity to solve problems and build relationships, that have kept him coming back every day! The slow, steady progress of tech in the mortgage industry Dan shared that he sees a slow, but progressive, evolution in our industry from a time when tech was viewed as a necessary evil to a point where it’s viewed as a great tool to do business facilitating the American Dream. He believes that we’ve been a bit slow to adopt new technology because of the complexities of the industry itself, the heavy regulatory/compliance burdens we face and the fact that the business model is sales driven. While both Dan and Jim commiserated about their early experiences in the space assembling boxes to contain paper-based data, they marveled at how far we’ve come. Dan specifically referenced the growing ability to transition to a process based increasingly on API and verified data, all of which will continue to improve customer relationships. Even back-office or other production technologies which are directly invisible to the consumer are improving the experience by increasing confidence in the process and improving speed as well. Dan believes that the industry can additionally improve CX by “getting organized,” by means of things like MISMO or URLA (Uniform Residential Lending Application) to increase the standardization of data and, eventually, improved integration and collaboration among entities in the process. On lender-service provider relationships and “future-proofing” Asked about the lender-service provider/vendor relationship, Dan observed that there’s “more right than wrong” happening there these days. The process can suffer hiccups, however, if a lender’s due diligence process—no matter how much earnest effort is put into it—is not executed properly. He noted occurrences of lenders not asking the right questions of potential vendors or not seeking out more “future proof” partners as two great examples. Dan does believe lenders are finally, by and large, getting the message about improving their tech stacks in all aspects, not just sales. He mentioned an industry blog which stuidied FinTech lenders as compared to traditional lenders, noting that the FinTech lenders, by and large, were closing loans faster with lower delinquency rates. Preparing for the Unexpected Asked about the cyclical nature of the industry, especially in light of the recent disruptive events such as the pandemic, and how lenders can be prepared, Dan told us that the best prepared lenders stay true to their values, focus on their missions and lean on the relationships they’ve built along the way. The reason we come to work every day While Dan did jokingly pine for the go-go days of the early 2000’s when unlimited budget corporate events were a reality, he quickly admitted that those days are long gone. Asked about what gets him excited to come to work in the morning, Dan unhesitatingly responded that the members of one’s team and the people one works with every day make all the difference.
October 14, 2021
The Competitive Advantage of Translation with George Baker
This week we sit down with George Baker from Talkuments to discuss the importance of translation in the mortgage industry. 
October 07, 2021
Mental Health Warning Signs at Work with Dr. Shira Kafker
As you may already know, we at LodeStar are passionate about promoting mental health awareness. September was National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month, so there was no question we would be getting out, spreading the word and doing our part toward raising awareness. As part of that effort, we were honored by a visit with Dr. Shira Kafker to discuss this critical topic.
September 30, 2021
Employee Retention and Attracting Talent with Marcia O'Conner
Marcia Zaruba O’Connor visited with us at LLL recently. She’s a fellow Philadelphia 100 honoree and the CEO and founder of the O’Connor Group, a talent acquisition and human resources provider.
September 23, 2021
The Fight Against Wire Fraud with Regina Lowrie, CMB
We had the honor of visiting again with Regina Lowrie, CMB, the President and CEO of Dytrix, and one of the industry’s true thought leaders. Here’s what she discussed with our own Jim Paolino.
September 16, 2021
What's Happening at LodeStar? With Brian Rieger
Our own Jim Paolino had the tables turned on him, as he was interviewed by Content Beacon’s Brian Rieger about the great year LodeStar’s had so far in 2021. He also discussed some very big news about the brand’s future. Check out the new site at
September 09, 2021
Goodbye #HotGirlSummer, Hello #BasicBitchFall
This week we dive into what we did this summer and tease our fall plans.
September 02, 2021
Pandemic Cooking: What Do We Still Cook?
This week we discuss nothing at all about mortgage! We discuss what we learned how to cook during quarantine and what we still do today.
August 26, 2021
Millennials in Management
Jim and Alayna dive into their experience in the workplace and as managers over the years. Memes, management styles and the need for respect.
August 19, 2021
Summer Olympic Favorites and Mental Health
This week we jump into our favorite Olympic Sports and why mental health matters in the arena and in the workplace.
August 19, 2021
AirBnb or Hotels: Conference Season
We discuss the economic impact that AirBnb has on both the Hospitality and Mortgage industries. Plus our personal preferences while traveling on where we like to stay.
August 05, 2021
Summer Jobs and Lessons Learned
This week Jim and Alayna dive into their first jobs and what they learned while scooping ice cream and flipping burgers.
July 29, 2021
Marvel and Mortgage: TVA or Fannie Mae
Spoilers Ahead! This week Jim and Alayna react to the end of Loki and relate the TVA to the mortgage process. It might be a bit out of the normal but its a fun episode so give it a listen!
July 22, 2021
Millennial Women in Mortgage
This week Alayna Gardner and Kelsey Wright sit down and talk about our experience as Millennial Women in the industry and as working professionals.
July 15, 2021
Why Do We Love Zillow? Zillow Gone Wild
This week Jim and Alayna react to some Zillow Gone Wild homes and chat about why we love window shopping real estate.
July 15, 2021
Explaining Millennials to Mortgage Professionals | LodeStar Summer Sessions
In the kickoff of the Summer Session of Lending Leaders we jump into Hot Girl Summer, Sitting at a counter again, and if scrapple is actually good.   Contact us:
July 15, 2021
What's Next? Looking into the Past and Future of LodeStar with David and Jim.
This week we dive into the start of LodeStar, David's dream of a t-shirt cannon, and how we can impact the mortgage industry.    Find our Team! 
June 24, 2021
The Benefits of Marketing and Giving Back | The Home Loan Expert
This week we dive into giving back as a mortgage organization and the value of marketing in the mortgage space with April and Bob from The Home Loan Expert.   Find Bob and April Here:  Prefer to listen to audio only?  Episode ideas? Email us at
June 17, 2021
Making Life Simpler with Eric Foster
This week we talk insurance, the value of technology and more!    Find Eric Here:  Want to listen to us on Audio only?  Email us:
June 10, 2021
How Secret Shopping Can Help The Mortgage Industry with Richard Douglass | Mortgage Sentinel
This week we chat all all thing secret shopping with Richard Douglass!    Find Richard Here:   Contact us:
June 03, 2021
Mental Health in the Workplace | Allie Linn
This week we sit down to discuss therapy, how employers can support their employees mental health, and the impact of work from home.    Find Allie here:   Want to listen to Audio Only?   Email us:
May 27, 2021
A Flight Around the World | Anh-Thu Nguyen
This week we jump a little off course to discuss the importance of representation, Anh-Thu's planned Solo Flight around the world, and how to inspire others.    Find Anh-Thu Here:   Contact Us:
May 20, 2021
Who Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up? | Laura Brandao, AFR, Inc.
This week we dive in with Laura on how AFR got started, her career, and Saying Yes Everyday.   Find Laura Here:
May 13, 2021
The Real ROI of Social Media with Josh Pitts | SHRED Media
This week we dive into podcasts, should your team be on Tik Tok and the fear of low views.    Find Josh:  Email Us Here:
May 06, 2021
The Right Time to Adopt New Tech with Michael Marino | Corelogic
This week we talk with Michael Marino from Corelogic about how to get your teams to adopt new tech and where the mortgage industry can go from here.    Find Michael here:   Email Us Here:
April 29, 2021
The American Dream with Kevin Peranio | PRMG, Inc.
On this week's podcast with chat with Chief Lending Officer Kevin Peranio from PRMG, Inc. We dive into riding in an uber again, The American Dream, and doing right by consumers.    Find Kevin Here:  Have an idea or questions you would like Jim to ask?  Email us:
April 22, 2021
What Makes a Risky Vendor with Adam Chaudhary | FundingShield
This week we sit down to chat with Adam Chaudhary about how he met Jim, what makes a risky vendor, and why he chose to start FundingShield.    Find Him:  Email us:
April 15, 2021
Real Home Buyer | Justin Dowlatshahi, MD
This week we sit down to chat with Justin Dowlatshahi, MD about his First Time Home Buyer Experience.    Email us:   Want to listen to us without the video?
April 08, 2021
Lending Leader | Roy K. George
This week we sit down to chat with Roy K. George from Taylor Morrison Home Funding   Find Roy here:  ​​  Email us:
April 01, 2021
Tammy Butler, CMB | Fair Lending Diversity
This week we sit down to chat with Tammy Butler, CMB from Fair Lending Diversity   Find Tammy here:   ​ ​   Email us:  
March 25, 2021
Regina Lowrie, CMB | Dytrix
This week we sit down to chat with Regina Lowrie, CMB from Dytrix   Find Regina here:  Email us:  
March 18, 2021
Candace Russell | Carrington Holding Company
This week we sit down to chat with Candace Russell from Carrington Holding Company   Find Candace here:​  Email us:
March 11, 2021
Kosta Ligris | Stavvy
This week we sit down to chat with Kosta Ligris from Stavvy   Find Kosta here:  Email us: 
March 04, 2021
Krystal Thomas | Mortgage Bankers Association
This week we sit down with Krystal Thomas from MBA to get her insight on the industry.   Find Krystal Here:  Contact Us:
February 25, 2021
Matthew Patterson | Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp
This week we sit down to chat with Matthew Patterson from Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp.    Find Matthew here:  Email us:
February 18, 2021
Sarah Quin | Homebuyer
This week we sit down with Sarah Quin to get her viewpoint on the homebuying process.    Contact Us:
February 11, 2021
Matt Einheber | Title Box
This week we sit down with Matt Einheber from Titlebox to get his Insight on the industry.    Find Matt Here:  Contact Us:
February 11, 2021
Lodestar's Lending Leaders Launching February 11th
We can't wait for you to hear season one of Lodestar's Lending Leaders! 
February 08, 2021