The Executive Women’s Conference was established in 2018 by Arch Mortgage Insurance Company (Arch MI) to bring together leaders from across the lending field to discuss emerging trends and issues, collaborate on strategies and build a more cohesive and powerful network of peers.
Phenomenal hosts, standout speakers, an inspiring workshop and fantastic excursions — all in an exclusive getaway setting, removed from our typical workday routine. This year’s conference will be held in picturesque Sonoma, California, at the Fairmont Mission Inn & Spa.
10 a.m–4 p.m.
Arch MI Registration, Wine Room
Upon arrival, please visit the Arch MI registration desk for your EWC attendee packet.
Wine Tasting, Fairmont Lobby
Welcome on the South Lawn
Custom hats presented by San Francisco Hat Company, wine and cheese.
Welcome to Sonoma Reception, Sonoma Valley Room
Conversation, wine, cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres.
OPENING REMARKS AND SEATED DINNER, SONOMA VALLEY ROOM
Valerie Ausband, Arch MI SVP of National Field Sales and Strategic Accounts
Carl Tyree, Arch MI EVP and Chief Sales Officer — “An Arch MI Update”
During dinner, wine from Russian River Valley’s Domaine de la Riviere vineyards will be served and wine pairing details presented by Marla Bedrosian, Proprietor.
Breakfast, Sonoma Valley Room Patio
CONFERENCE MEETINGS, SONOMA VALLEY ROOM
8:30–9:50 a.m. Lender Roundtable — Discussion Leaders
Sue Metzger, SVP, Operations, Supreme Lending
Joyce Middendorf, Director of Sales and Marketing, Heritage Bank
Kimberly Palmer, EVP/Chief Operations Officer, LeaderOne Financial Corporation
Christine C. Rhea, President/CEO, Mortgage Investors Group
Anne Wolper, VP, Investor Relations and Product Development, Academy Mortgage
9:50–10 a.m. Break
10 a.m.–Noon The Takeover Workshop
Dethra Giles, Consultant, Author and Keynote Speaker.
Everyone will pick up a boxed lunch to enjoy before their individual afternoon activity.
INDIVIDUAL OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:
If you signed up for either of the individual afternoon activities below, a confirmation card will be in your welcome packet. Reminder: You can only attend one of the afternoon activities, either a spa treatment or the Pangloss tasting.
Please refer to your confirmation card for your specific spa appointment time.
Enjoy a menu of spa treatments at the Fairmont Spa.
Pangloss Cellars Wine Tasting
Please refer to your confirmation card for this activity.
Departure: Meet in the Fairmont lobby at 1:45 p.m. to catch the bus for the winery visit.
At 2:15 p.m., enjoy a 90-minute tasting experience.
Immediately following this tasting, you will walk from Pangloss Cellars to Three Sticks (a five-minute walk) for our group tasting.
THREE STICKS WINE TASTING
Departure: For those not attending the Pangloss Cellars tasting, meet in the Fairmont lobby at 3:45 p.m. to catch the bus for the group winery visit.
At 4 p.m., enjoy the event, featuring an exclusive wine tasting and appetizers from El Dorado Kitchen.
departure for The Girl & The Fig
After the Three Sticks tasting, gather for a short 10-minute drive to The Girl & The Fig.
dinner at the girl & the fig
Join us for a gourmet dining experience at the acclaimed Sonoma-based Girl & the Fig.
s’mores at fairmont fire pit
Breakfast, Sonoma Valley Room Patio
Conference Meetings, Sonoma Valley Room:
8:30–9:30 a.m. Fireside Chat with Industry Leaders
Valerie Ausband, Arch MI Executive Host and SVP of National Field Sales and Strategic Accounts, Moderator
Cheryl Feltgen, EVP and Chief Risk Officer, Arch MI
Chrissi Johnson, Founder and CEO, Alinement Advisors
Deborah Sturges, Founder and CEO, Hallmark Home Mortgage
9:30–10 a.m. Lender Advisory
EWC attendees will participate in a wrap-up conversation led by Carl Tyree, Arch MI EVP and Chief Sales Officer, sharing personal perspectives on mortgage insurance products and services and recommended priorities or areas of focus for the company.
Executive Women’s Conference Adjourned
The Executive Women’s Conference is a destination event in Sonoma’s Wine Country, designed to provide a unique setting for us to share the latest industry news and trends while relaxing over delicious food and wine. Removed from our normal routines and in the company of impressive colleagues from around the country, we can embrace new perspectives for facing challenging issues and forging new pathways for success. We will take with us memories of important roundtables with leaders and cheerful chats with new and old friends. Our purpose is to be intensely engaged and at the same time completely relaxed … and to come away enlightened.
Valerie Ausband, Executive Host and SVP, National Field Sales and Strategic Accounts, Arch MI
Dethra is a four-time TEDx speaker, named one of HR Gazette’s Top 22 Most Influential Experts in HR and host of the Happily Ever Employed podcast. She is called the “CEO Maker,” and her unique blend of education and industry experience has earned her the title “University tested and Industry approved.” She leads ExecuPrep, an international Performance Optimization firm that works with companies to improve performance, productivity and profit. Dethra appears weekly on a nationally syndicated radio show where she helps navigate personal and professional success. As a faculty member for Goldman Sachs’ 10KSB, she has helped CEOs navigate business growth. She has worked with companies like Louis Vuitton, Moët, Hennessy, Kaiser Permanente, the NBA, The CDC, the Army Corp of Engineers and Thrive Market.
But none of these accomplishments matter, Dethra says, if she can’t impact a life; she does that by developing actionable strategies, optimizing performance and eliminating distractions.
Senior Vice President of National Field Sales
and Strategic Accounts
Executive Vice President and Chief Sales Officer
Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer
Vice President, National Accounts
Divisional Vice President, Midwest
Vice President, National Accounts
Arch MI SVP of National Field Sales and Strategic Accounts
As Arch MI’s SVP-National Field Sales & Strategic Accounts, Valerie Ausband is responsible for managing sales, profitability and budget, client relationships, and hiring and developing sales talent.
With 25 years of mortgage insurance experience, Valerie has led both Arch MI’s and United Guaranty’s sales organizations to achieve extraordinary sales results, year over year. She has spent her career in mortgage lending and mortgage insurance industries, starting her career with a leading market share retail mortgage lender in Atlanta, moving to the title services business and then joining United Guaranty in 1998.
Valerie’s dedication to the industry is evidenced by her leadership and creation of the Executive Women’s Conference and the Women’s Leadership Group. She also serves on the Board of Advisors for XINNIX®, the Mortgage Academy.
HousingWire recognized Valerie in its 2017 and 2018 “Women of Influence” programs. In 2019, she received the Mortgage Women Magazine’s Women with Vision Award. Valerie and her son are active members of YMSL (Young Men’s Service League), serving the community through philanthropic work. She holds an Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) designation, a Property & Casualty license and a Georgia Real Estate license. Valerie earned her bachelor’s degree in history at the University of Georgia.
Arch MI EVP and Chief Sales Officer
Carl oversees Arch MI’s sales teams and manages customer relationship strategies. He was promoted to his current position in 2018. Carl joined the company in 2013 as Vice President for National Accounts, where he managed the company’s relationships with the top 50 lenders and became Senior Vice President for National Accounts in 2016.
Before joining Arch MI, he held senior sales and sales leadership roles with Republic Mortgage Insurance Company, Nomura Credit & Capital Inc. and Ocwen Financial Corporation.
He holds a B.A. in economics from Salisbury University.
Arch MI Executive Vice President and Chief Risk OfficerAs Chief Risk Officer, Cheryl Feltgen has responsibility for risk management oversight of all domestic mortgage insurance businesses. She leads a team dedicated to advancing the risk culture, articulating a risk appetite and supporting the business in identifying, measuring, monitoring, controlling and reporting all risk types.
Her responsibilities include the Enterprise Risk Management Program, portfolio risk management, credit policy, client risk management, model risk management, operational risk management, and quality control and loss investigations.
She has decades of experience in financial services and real estate investments, including eight years in risk management and operating unit leadership positions at GE Capital. She received her B.A. in economics and political science from Northwestern University and her MBA in accounting and finance from the University of Michigan.
Proprietor, Domaine de la Riviere
Marla will be speaking and sharing her wines at the Monday night (November 6) reception and dinner. Her family business in the Russian River Valley focuses on making craft, limited-production (1,200 cases annually), age-worthy wines using unique grapes from their estate, Vineyard eleven, and neighboring vineyards. The first harvest was in August 2017, and the first wines by variety were released in 2018 and 2019. Ever since, the accolades have been rolling in on their Rosé, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. With her background in the hospitality industry, Marla has a knack for melding her stories of creating wine, explaining the unique tastes and mood-enhancing benefits, with socializing over a bottle of fine wine.
Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Alinement Advisors
With over 15 years of experience driving policy change as a regulator and a practitioner, Chrissi is uniquely positioned to identify opportunities for Alinement on key issues across a wide range of industry and consumer groups, coordinating housing policy efforts at the intersection of commerce and social change. Her diverse background in government, housing finance, and coalition-building make her a highly creative and tenacious problem solver. With deep experience in politics and policymaking, she knows that durable change requires breaking down barriers between stakeholders to find authentic relationships with shared purpose. Alinement is committed precisely to that end.
Prior to founding Alinement, Chrissi served in leadership roles with Rocket Companies, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Al Franken and President Obama’s 2008 campaign. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her partner and son, where they own and operate a successful hospitality group.
Senior Vice President of Operations, Supreme Lending
Sue has more than 30 years of industry experience, working to improve lending quality through her various positions, beginning as Regional Underwriting Manager and then Director of National Underwriting and Chief Compliance Officer. At Supreme, Sue serves as SVP of Operations and has facilitated a significant improvement in loan quality and implemented her vision for a strong company culture. She puts company and team first, and her philosophies include servant leadership and results-oriented guidance.
Sue oversaw the launch of Supreme Lending’s new artificial intelligence underwriting platform, respectively named the Supreme Underwriting Engine (S.U.E.). It connects loan data and service providers in one place and uses an automated condition builder to communicate any discrepancies to ensure loans are compliant, enabling Sue’s underwriting team to improve efficiency by at least 50%. The platform doesn’t replace people but frees them up to focus more on other critical issues.
Director of Sales and Marketing, Heritage Bank
Joyce Middendorf is a seasoned entrepreneur with a proven track record of success. Her career began in mortgage, where she founded, owned, and operated her own brokerage. She spent a decade growing her brokerage from a small operation to a thriving enterprise with 16 locations throughout Minnesota.
This experience paved the way for her to become the Director of Sales and Marketing at Heritage Bank NA for the past 7 years, where she has continued to share her extensive knowledge and drive the bank’s growth to greater heights.
Joyce’s vision is centered on finding solutions and enabling consumers and businesses to succeed. She loves the challenge of solving problems, finding unique ways to win, and her vast experience has always been about driving growth and identifying new opportunities.
Outside of work, Joyce is a devoted wife and mother of two boys who are equally passionate about education. She enjoys the outdoors and loves fishing, golfing, and watching sports.
Chief Operations Officer, LeaderOne Financial
Kimberly has worked in the mortgage industry for 19 years, following in her parents’ footsteps. In her role as COO of LeaderOne Financial, a national mortgage lender headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, Kimberly is responsible for the overall processes and procedures as they relate to the company’s operations. She oversees all four regional operations centers and the operational departments at corporate headquarters, including appraisal desk, shipping/post-closing, funding and insuring. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three children and traveling.
President and CEO, Mortgage Investors Group of Tennessee
Christine (“Chrissi”) co-founded Mortgage Investors Group of Tennessee (MIG) in 1989 with a clear focus on serving the customer and the community. Under her leadership, it has expanded from seven employees to over 400. As a leading independent mortgage lender in the southeast, MIG is an approved seller/servicer with both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, an approved lender with USDA, a direct endorsement FHA lender and a VA LAPP lender. At its core, MIG focuses on purchase business and developing relationships with Realtors, builders, borrowers and other industry partners. MIG has been ranked in the top three lenders in Tennessee since 2012, #1 Lender for Tennessee Housing Development Agency for the last 17 years and USDA #1 lender in the state of Tennessee since 2016.
Chrissi is Chairman of the MBA Residential Board of Governors in 2023 and serves on the MBA Board of Directors. MIG has been a member of MBA since 1996. Chrissi is also on THDA Board of Directors where she serves on the Audit Committee of that Board and as Chair of the Lending Committee.
President and CEO, Hallmark Home Mortgage
Deborah began her career in the mortgage industry in 1970 at Waterfield Group in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Over time, with determination and hard work, she assumed increasingly challenging roles in operations, sales and ultimately leadership, last serving as Senior Vice President and Executive Director.
After Waterfield closed its doors in 2006, she set her resources to play and took the leap, starting her own company, Hallmark Home Mortgage, now a trusted name in the market, in 2007. She realized her vision to build a business that excelled in the industry and empowered colleagues to grow and succeed. Everyone feels valued and motivated by her positive and inclusive culture.
Her story exemplifies how no matter where you begin your career you can attain or exceed your goals. What started as one office in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is now a much larger enterprise with 25 locations throughout the Midwest, Texas, the Carolinas and Florida, currently seeking additional expansion opportunities throughout the U.S.
VP, Investor Relations and Product Development, Academy Mortgage Corporation
Anne has more than 20 years’ experience in bringing new products to market and has specialized in mortgage financing for the past 15 years. Her background in product development leadership and ability to build strong investor relationships enable her to direct a successful product strategy that delivers the most valuable products to loan officers at the right time.
Since joining Academy Mortgage in 2021, Anne has been instrumental in expanding the company’s product menu. She has simultaneously positioned Academy as a product leader while increasing the efficiency and impact of Academy’s product release process. Anne is passionate about her work of developing new product initiatives that provide more opportunities for homeownership.
The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa is a luxury resort a couple of hours’ drive north of San Francisco with well-appointed guest rooms and all the amenities to make your stay comfortable and memorable. Minutes from downtown Sonoma and surrounded by the area’s world-renowned wineries, the resort is situated atop an ancient mineral hot spring, enabling its Fairmont Spa to offer special holistic and rejuvenating treatments for your health and well-being. Enjoy a relaxing soak in a geothermal mineral spring followed by a glass of delicious California wine.
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
100 Boyes Blvd. | Sonoma, CA | 707-938-9000
FOR THE ENTIRE GROUP:
WELCOME WITH THE SF HAT COMPANY
Representatives of the famous hat company will be at our welcome event on Monday with a variety of hats for your appreciation and selection. The beautiful and functional hats are made of felt, straw, raffia, techstraw, ribbon and fleece. Try one on and take it home.
Domaine de La Riviere
Vineyard Proprietor Marla Bedrosian will lead a wine tasting at our opening reception and dinner on Monday night. She will share her family’s interesting business story and explain the unique flavors of their delicious small batch Russian River Valley wines: Rosé, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Wine Tasting with Food by El Dorado Kitchen: Enjoy a guided, educational tasting flight of estate chardonnays and pinot noirs. Learn about our historic Vallejo-Casteñada Adobe home built in 1842, a Sonoma landmark, and our portfolio of Sonoma County vineyards sites. El Dorado Kitchen will provide delicious seasonal canapés to accompany the wine tasting.
The Girl & The Fig
Our restaurant choice for our group dinner in downtown Sonoma has a distinctive French flair. It describes its own menu as “country food with a French passion.” The many popular locally sourced seasonal specialties presented as bistro plats and entrees include steak tartare, fig and arugula, crispy duck confit and wild flounder meunière, each with a wine pairing recommendation. And the cocktails are superb.
OPTIONAL INDIVIDUAL ACTIVITIES, TUESDAY AFTERNOON ONLY:
Relax and rewind. Choose a soak in the thermal mineral pool, a massage, a facial or a mani/pedi at the luxurious world-renowned Fairmont Spa. Lounge afterwards with a beverage from the Spa Café on the outdoor terrace reserved for spa guests.
Wine Tasting: Our visit to Pangloss in Sonoma includes a curated 90-minute tasting in the impressive tasting room. You will learn more about the business of vineyards and the delicacies of certain wine types. The tasting is enhanced by wonderful locally sourced food choices that complement the wine.
Where is Sonoma?
Attendees are responsible for all travel arrangements and associated travel expenditures, inclusive of flights and ground transportation to and from the airport and hotel. Once you arrive at the Fairmont Sonoma on November 6 for the EWC, Arch MI will be responsible for the expense associated with each guest’s two-night individual reservations. While attending the EWC, Arch MI’s host responsibilities will be inclusive of group activities and meals.
The closest airports are:
- Sonoma County Airport (STS): 27 miles.
- Oakland International Airport (OAK): 59 miles.
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO): 68 miles.
- Sacramento International Airport (SMF): 74 miles.
Traffic in the Bay Area can be busy and unpredictable, so investigate best options for your day and time of travel.
If you don’t plan on renting a car when you arrive in northern California, you should easily be able to use Uber, other ride-share or cab service from any of the various airports to travel to the Fairmont Sonoma.
However, for travel around Sonoma or back to the airport, the Fairmont Hotel recommends Pure Luxury Transportation.
What to Wear
The travel experts say comfort is key. Prepare for varying temps and lots of walking.
Wine Country casual, when temps can vary 30 degrees from morning until night, calls for layers, layers, layers. Jeans, sweaters and boots work well as Wine Country casual.
Fall is harvest time in Sonoma and the weather is idyllic.
Expect sunny skies (average rainfall for November is 2 inches) and average temps between 45⁰ and 64⁰.