J. Mark McWatters

J. Mark McWatters serves as Chairman of the NCUA Board, which provides, through regulation and supervision, a safe and sound credit union system that promotes confidence in the national system of cooperative credit.

McWatters has served on the NCUA Board since 2014. Previously, he served as the Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs and as a Professor of Practice at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law, and as an Adjunct Professor at the university’s Cox School of Business. He also served on the Governing Board of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs and the Advisory Committee of the Texas Emerging Technology Fund.

McWatters also has served as a member of the Troubled Asset Relief Program’s Congressional Oversight Panel and as counsel to Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas). He practiced law as a partner with three large cross-border law firms and as counsel to an international hedge and private equity firm where he specialized in taxation, corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions.

Licensed to practice law in Texas and New York, McWatters also is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in Texas. He earned a J.D. law degree from the University of Texas and LL.M. advanced law degrees at Columbia University and New York University.

Kristin Messerli

Kristin Messerli is the founder of Cultural Outreach, an organization focused on providing effective methods to connect today’s young and diverse population with mortgage and real estate companies.

Since 2013, Messerli has built a successful nationwide practice that includes training, digital marketing, analytics, and market education through numerous published articles and speeches. She has worked with more than 50 lenders and spoken at more than 100 conferences.

Messerli is the co-author of the Mortgage Banking Association’s “Section 342 Compliance Toolkit,” and she serves as the Managing Editor for Mortgage Women Magazine, a semi-monthly online publication (or thrice yearly print version) for women who work in the mortgage industry.

Passionate about advancing homeownership in multicultural and underserved segments, Messerli understands that homeownership is the best way to empower communities to generate wealth and upward mobility.

Messerli has more than 13 years of experience working in multicultural business and social work. Prior to founding Cultural Outreach, she was a social worker and community organizer in the Latino immigrant community.

Messerli later consulted for international social enterprises with former McKinsey consultants at the University of Oklahoma, where she earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. She can be reached at kristin@culturaloutreach.net.

Steve Williams

As a co-founder of Cornerstone Advisors, Steve Williams heads up the firm’s industry-leading Strategic Planning and Facilitation practice and is actively involved in many of Cornerstone’s Technology Planning and Performance Improvement engagements. Steve has assisted hundreds of banks and credit unions in their efforts to become highly efficient, top performing financial institutions.

An experienced private banker with a formal commercial and consumer credit background, Steve’s more than 25 years of experience in the financial services and consulting industries have provided him a deep working knowledge of bank operations and delivery systems, particularly in lending processes. He is an experienced facilitator for management retreats and board planning sessions and is in great demand as a speaker at industry conferences and seminars.

Steve teaches at the Stonier Graduate School of Banking, and the Credit Union Executives Society’s Management Institute, School of IT Leadership, and School of Product and Channel Management. He is among the authors of the Cornerstone Performance Report; is a regular contributing author for GonzoBanker, Cornerstone’s blog; and has been published in numerous industry periodicals, including American Banker, Bank Director, BAI Banking Strategies, RMA Journal, and CUES’ CU Management.

Prior to Cornerstone Advisors, Steve held a similar position with M ONE, Inc. He was an assistant managing director with Arthur Andersen & Co. and a commercial lender and operations officer with Chase Bank of Arizona. He served on the board of directors and chaired the compensation committee for a $300 million community bank in Southern California.

Steve holds a Master of Business Administration Degree in Finance summa cum laude from Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz., and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Journalism from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ariz.

Mark Sievewright

With more than 30 years of financial services experience, Mark is a highly respected industry thought-leader and a renowned public speaker who has held senior leadership positions at HSBC, MasterCard International, Payment Systems Inc. (where he served as CEO), TowerGroup (where he served as CEO), and Fiserv (where, until March 2017, he served as Vice Chairman and president of the company’s Credit Union Solutions division). At Fiserv, Mark and his team of 1,500 associates supported the technology needs of more than one-third of America’s credit unions.

In April, 2017, Mark launched a new research and consulting venture – Sievewright & Associates – focused on providing credit unions with strategic insights and trusted advice.

Since 1999, Mark has worked directly with numerous credit unions in the successful formulation and execution of their strategic plans. He has spoken at more than 250 credit union events and is the recipient of a number of industry awards. In 2010, Mark was merited the Ambassador Award by the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) for helping credit unions better understand and capitalize on their market strengths; and, in 2015, he finished runner-up in Credit Union Times’ 25th anniversary contest to find the most influential leader in the credit union movement since 1990.

A native of Wales, U.K., Mark emigrated to the United States in 1997 and is a U.S. citizen.

Rob Chrisman

Rob Chrisman began his career in mortgage banking – primarily capital markets – 32 years ago in 1985 with First California Mortgage, assisting in Secondary Marketing until 1988, when he joined Tuttle & Co., a leading mortgage pipeline risk management firm. He was an account manager and partner at Tuttle & Co. until 1996, when he moved to Scotland with his family for 9 months.

He returned to the United States in mid-1997 and ran Secondary for Standard Financial, a sub-prime lender in northern California. In late 1997 Rob was hired by CrossLand Mortgage to start, and be the president of, a sub-prime company named OnCall Mortgage (a division of CrossLand). OnCall Mortgage was in existence until Wells Fargo purchased First Security Bank (the owner of CrossLand) at the end of 2000.

Rob then joined CMG Mortgage, a wholesale mortgage bank, as the Director of Secondary Marketing. In early 2003 and re-joined Tuttle Risk Management Services, Inc. TRMS (now Compass) provides mortgage pipeline risk management for mortgage companies and thrifts that seek to originate and sell loans into the secondary mortgage market. In November of 2006 Rob left TRMS to become the Director of Capital Markets for RPM Mortgage, a retail residential lender, leaving there in late 2008 to focus on not only publishing a widely read daily market commentary on current mortgage events but also on his family.

He is on the board of directors of Peoples Bank, a mid-sized depository in Kansas, of Inheritance Funding Corporation, a financial services company which advances capital to heirs, of International City Mortgage, and of the California MBA. He is also a member of the Secure Settlements Advisory Board, an associate of the STRATMOR Group, and of the Mortgage Bankers Association of the Carolinas and its membership committee. Rob has provided expert witness services for mortgage and real estate-related cases, has lectured to groups around the country.

Rob holds a BS from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and an MBA from UC Berkeley.

Jessica Lautz

In her research role, Jessica Lautz focuses on demographic trends for both NAR members and housing consumers. These include how housing preferences shift in an ever-changing marketplace; consistent trends of consumers for the desire to own a home; consumers’ search to find a real estate agent; and buyer psychology.

Lautz also manages the Research content and presence on the Realtor.org website and social networking sites. She reviews, schedules and coordinates posting on Research’s blog and social media websites to ensure there is a variety of content that engages members and consumers on topics of the day relevant to these audiences.

In addition, Lautz writes annual studies including the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers and the Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report. She discusses the results of these studies in blog articles, Twitter chats, webinars, as well as in major media outlets and keynote presentations.

In conjunction with the Market Research Department, Lautz also provides association-wide survey review and oversight in order to assist other departments with designing the best survey instruments and utilizing proper methodologies.

Lautz is a graduate of the American University Master’s of Public Policy Program and has undergraduate degrees in Political Science, and Law and Justice, from Central Washington University.

Tracy Ashfield

Tracy Ashfield is President of Ashfield & Associates, a consulting and training firm that assists credit unions with mortgage lending strategy, development, policies, product design, training and strategic planning. Ashfield also works with the NCUA and NASCUS to provide training and education on residential mortgage lending for examiners and regulators. She also works as a Consultant for ACUMA.

Since 2001, Ashfield’s consulting work has benefited credit unions and their members. She has worked with the largest mortgage-granting credit unions to enhance their programs, and she has helped credit unions that are new to mortgage lending establish programs.

Through customized training programs, Ashfield also delivers hands-on, results-driven curriculums to help credit unions find lending opportunities, manage their operations and develop strategies to become their members’ trusted advisor for real estate lending products and services.

Ashfield has more than 30 years of experience in Mortgage Banking management. Before forming Ashfield & Associates she held a variety of management positions in the credit union industry. She was the Senior Executive for Mortgage Development at CUNA Mutual; the Senior Vice President of Operations of CUNA Mortgage Corporation, and she also worked with CMG Mortgage Insurance Company.

Ashfield received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of New Hampshire, and she has completed the Graduate School of Mortgage Banking. She is also a frequent speaker at mortgage industry events.

Tracy Ashfield

Craig Martin is a Senior Director and the Mortgage Practice Lead at J.D. Power. He is responsible for the company’s research studies in the mortgage sector, as well as proprietary tracking, consulting and performance improvement initiatives.

Martin is a frequent speaker at mortgage-related conferences and events. In 2016, he was named by HousingWire magazine as one of their Rising Stars, which recognizes 50 young leaders energizing the housing economy. He has spoken at various Mortgage Bankers Association events and other industry-related gatherings, including the National Mortgage News Annual Mortgage Servicing Conference. Additionally, he has been quoted as an industry expert in major publications, including USA Today, BloombergBusiness, New York Times, American Banker, HousingWire, Chicago Tribune and National Mortgage News.

Before joining J.D. Power in 2012, Martin was vice president, Consumer Deposit Products at BBVA Compass. There, he was responsible for ongoing competitive evaluations of product sets, new product development and development of tools to aid in product sales, including product packages.

Prior to BBVA Compass, he was a vice president at Regions Financial Corporation, where he served in various roles in both consumer and commercial lines of business, with a focus on customer experience, research, analytics and strategy. Previously, he was with Infosurv Inc. and Aspect Communications.

Martin received a Bachelor’s Degree in economics from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia.

Tracy Ashfield

Kris Kully is a law partner in Mayer Brown’s Washington, D.C. office and a member of the Consumer Financial Services group. She concentrates her practice on federal and state regulatory compliance matters affecting providers of consumer financial products and services.

Kully is a former lawyer for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In that role, she provided legal counsel to the department on the mission oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the interpretation of the RESPA and the implementation of the department’s various housing assistance and community development programs.

In her law practice, Kully advises clients on compliance with licensing, consumer protection and other practice requirements facing mortgage and consumer lenders/brokers, servicers and investors, as well as other participants in the real estate finance and consumer credit industries.

Kully helps clients understand their obligations under all the authorities of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), including the federal Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (SAFE), the Consumer Leasing Act, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), as well as similar state laws.

In addition, Kully advises clients on originating, purchasing and servicing all types of consumer finance products, including residential mortgage loans, consumer loans, credit cards, lease agreements and deposits. She also participates in regulatory compliance due diligence activities.

Kully is a former lawyer for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In that role, she provided legal counsel to the department on the mission oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the interpretation of the RESPA and the implementation of the department’s various housing assistance and community development programs. She also worked in the financial services industry for a number of years.

Tracy Ashfield

Christopher Thornberg is Founding Partner of Beacon Economics LLC and widely considered to be one of the nation’s leading economists. Thornberg is an expert in economic forecasting, regional economics, employment and labor markets, economic policy, and industry and real estate analysis. He was one of the earliest and most accurate predictors of the subprime mortgage market crash that began in 2007, and of the global economic recession that followed.

Since 2006, Thornberg has served on the advisory board of Wall Street hedge fund Paulson & Co. Inc. In 2015, he was named to California’s Council of Economic Advisors, the body that advises the Treasurer on emerging strengths and vulnerabilities in the state’s economy. Between 2008 and 2012, he was a chief economic advisor to the California State Controller’s Office.

Widely quoted in the media, he has appeared on NBC’s The Today Show, ABC’s Nightline, CNN, FOX News Channel, NPR, and is regularly quoted in major national and California dailies, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune.

A highly sought after speaker, Thornberg regularly presents to leading business, government, and nonprofit organizations across the globe. These groups include Chevron, The New Yorker, City National Bank, Colliers International, State Farm Insurance, the City of Los Angeles, and the California and Nevada Credit Union League.

Thornberg has been involved in a number of special studies measuring the effect of important events on the economy. These include the NAFTA treaty, the California electricity crisis, port security, California’s water transfer programs, and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Thornberg holds a Ph.D in Business Economics from The Anderson School at UCLA, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo.