Rhonda Porter Receives the Jim Fitzgerald Service Award from WAMP

Today, during the Washington Association of Mortgage Professional’s State “Connect” Convention, Raincityguide author Rhonda Porter was presented with the Jim Fitzgerald Distinguished Service Award for her outstanding contribution to the mortgage broker and lender community.  Presenting the award was Rhonda’s brother-in-law John Porter who received the same award from his father, Bob Porter, who ALSO received the award.  Yes, mortgage lending does have a way of running in the family.

Jim Fitzgerald passed away in April of 1999 at the young age of 48.  He was President of the Washington Association of Mortgage Brokers in 1994 and an active member of WAMB,* working tirelessly on behalf of the membership. “Jim worked hard to bring the Association up to a new level.”  John Porter said, “People knew Jim all over the country even before social networking started. This is the most honorable award I ever received and I am so proud to present this to my sister-in-law.”

This year Rhonda volunteered to be the WAMP Social Media Chairman. She created a facebook page for the Association and helped organize two Social Media RE Bar camps during these last few months and has volunteered her time to help mortgage professionals here in Washington State and in other states learn how to effectively and professionally participate in social media.

Rhonda, we are all proud to know you.

*WAMB is now WAMP
Wash Assoc of Mortgage Brokers changed their name in 2008 to the Wash Association of Mortgage Professionals

Below, WAMP President Jason Bloom with Rhonda Porter.


It’s September 17, 2009 and I still originate mortgage loans…

For those of us to whom this statement applies there are a few obvious questions that immediately come to mind:  Why am I still working in this God-forsaken wasteland of an industry?

  • A) Nobody else is hiring in this booming economy,
  • B) I wanted to move to Nome Alaska but I couldn’t trade my upside down mortgage for a thatched roof yurt and a dog sled, or
  • C) The positive image of my career as portrayed by CNN makes me feel like a rock star.

Seriously, for the love of God Why!?

2009wampconnectIn all seriousness those of us that remain are not that different than survivors of a natural disaster. The clouds dissipate; the water level recedes and her we are – the survivors of the storm.  Not unlike the analogy the first thing that a ‘survivor’ must do is identify the resources that one needs to rebuild and restore one’s life. It is with this in mind that I invite you to WAMP’s Connect event coming up in Bellevue on October 5th and 6th

The Connect event offers each of us the opportunity to come together and meet all of the other survivors face to face. We’ll be able to reflect on what ‘once was’ and still more importantly the ‘what is’. As is the case in any disaster, the landscape we live in professionally is dramatically different than where we’ve been. The resources are certainly more limited – remember the days of quoting ‘hundreds of lenders and programs’? Now it’s more like ‘five lenders and programs’ – and we’re all using the same five!

Fewer programs and tougher guidelines are the realities of the aftershock and yet another reason to learn what others are doing to be more efficient and succeed in this new landscape. The Connect Event also offers the knowledge of how to seed your landscape for tomorrow. New technologies and lead sources like the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, social network marketing (can you tweet for dough?), and the brace of brave new lenders that have sprung up alongside the resilient and steady familiar faces; they’ll all be represented at the Connect Event. The Connect Event will be nothing short of a meeting of survivors learning how to forge their professional landscapes for tomorrow – so don’t miss out!

There are very few lifeboats in this economy. There have been far more casualties than survivors. Come and be counted among the living. Come to Connect and learn how to forge a better tomorrow for yourself and for the industry you work in. Face it – If we don’t see you at Connect we’re going to suspect that you traded the house for the dog sled and the yurt – Don’t be ‘gone missing’