TUSTIN, Calif., December 9, 2009 — USFN honored several members for their distinguished service throughout 2009 at the USFN Member Education Retreat & Annual Meeting. USFN Executive Director & CEO Alberta Hultman made the announcement.
The awards were presented during USFN’s annual awards ceremony on Saturday, November 14, 2009 in Key Largo, Fla. by President Richard Rothfuss (Lerner, Sampson & Rothfuss, OH & KY).
The following individuals were recognized for their commitment and volunteerism to USFN and to the mortgage servicing industry at large:
USFN Member of the Year Recipient:
The USFN Member of the Year award represents the epitome of volunteerism and leadership among the members of USFN. The individual selected for this honor is recognized for going “above and beyond” the high standards of participation and service to the industry and to his/her member-peers. Especially in today’s atmosphere of high-volume, mortgage industry headlines and challenging work environment, the honoree exceeds the norm in service and commitment to USFN and the industry.
Cynthia Nierer, the directing partner of Closings and Evictions at Plainview, N.Y.-based Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates, could not better embody the spirit of a fully committed and devoted volunteer. In addition to authoring articles for many industry publications, Cynthia extensively participates on several industry panels and has readily devoted herself to the facilitation of virtually every USFN seminar since the firm has been a member.
Specifically, Cynthia was honored for her exceptional involvement with the REO/Eviction Committee, where she helped to expand and update USFN’s REO/Eviction Desk Guide following the passage of the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA). Taking initiative, she then spearheaded the PTFA portion of October’s USFN HAMP and PTFA workshop, with the goal of educating servicing professionals on the specifics of changing industry legislation.
USFN Committee Chair of the Year
Tom Dore (Membership Committee)
The Committee Chair of the Year award was established to recognize outstanding individual service to USFN as the chair of a standing or special committee or task force. The award is given to a Committee or Task Force Chair who has shown dedication, ability and high accomplishments in meeting the goals established by the Board and the Committee. This is a person who collaborates diligently with the USFN staff and the members of his or her committee to work on behalf of the members and the Board in a timely fashion, with creativity, professionalism and accuracy.
This year’s award was presented to Tom Dore, chair of the USFN Membership Committee, and longtime active volunteer on various task forces and subcommittees. Known for his dedication and willingness to lead objective review discussions on complex industry issues and considerations, Dore is a partner at his own Towson, Md.-based firm, Covahey, Boozer, Devan & Dore.
Associate Member of the Year
The Associate Member of the Year award was created to recognize outstanding service and support of the USFN by an Associate Member Firm. USFN’s Associate Members provide a valuable liaison and vendor resource to its Members and the industry. They supply needed expertise in their respective industry segments and bring this knowledge to USFN’s seminars and educational publications. This award honors an Associate Member firm that has gone beyond the norm in actively contributing to USFN and its activities on every level, including financial and program support.
Robert Klein is the chief executive officer of Safeguard Properties, a Cleveland, Ohio-based privately held field services firm. The company specializes in REO services, valuations, title services insurance loss inspection and hazard claims administration. Especially valuable to USFN, Robert and his staff have been instrumental in their contributions to seminars, committees and task forces. Specifically with regard to the area of Vacant Property Registration, Safeguard has been a unifier and innovator, working towards developing lasting industry solutions.
Aside from his professional contributions, Robert donates both his time and financial support to aid the Cleveland-area housing market. Most notably, he was responsible for organizing a community effort to restore Fir Street Cemetery and its surrounding neighborhood to the heights of its former urban affluence before the foreclosure crisis.
Michael C. Barrett Industry Innovator Award
Mike Echevarria (Florida Default Law Group)
The Michael C. Barrett Industry Innovator Award was developed this year to commemorate industry legend Michael C. Barrett. Barrett was an innovator in the default servicing industry, an attorney that was certified across two states and admitted by the both the U.S. Supreme Court, district courts and court of Appeals of Texas for his outstanding work as a lawyer and businessperson. Recipients of the Michael C. Barrett Industry Innovator Award must inhabit the characteristics Michael was known for throughout his career: innovative thinking and performance; client advocacy; leadership in the industry or organization; strategic thinking and accomplishments; and significance and impact on the industry.
The inaugural recipient, Mike Echevarria, is a managing partner at Florida Default Law Group, a Tampa, Fla.-based full-service real estate and mortgage banking law firm. An associate and longtime friend of the late Barrett and a persona that fully demonstrates the work ethic so highly regarded by Barrett, Echevarria was a fitting and deserving first awardee.
“It was an honor to be able to recognize the spectacular firms and individuals that steer the development and prosperity of USFN, its Members and Associate Members,” said Hultman. “The 2009 award recipients have been examples of extraordinary support, volunteering their time, knowledge and tireless efforts to the advancement and betterment of USFN and the mortgage banking industry at large.”
USFN is a national not-for-profit association of select attorneys, trustee companies and associates providing comprehensive default services to the mortgage banking industry.