National Lending Experts (NLE) was created in 2020 for the private lending community as a new platform to meet, exchange deal flow, collaborate, and provide an expert resource to collegues.
We offer folks something different from the usual “pitch-and-sell” event by allowing attendees to become the main focus at the event. NLE gives guests the opportunity to tell their stories and maximize face-to-face interactions with as many business contacts as possible.
What makes NLE different is that our speakers are by invitation only. This means only the very best and brightest are asked to share their insight and provide the most relevant, real-time content designed to help grow your business.
In addition, NLE called upon business leaders to offer their support and expertise to the NLE network as our official NLE Advisors. Each Advisor represents a unique piece of the private lending process to help support both lender and borrower.
Meet Our Official NLE Advisors
We are proud to have Retired Naval Special Warfare (SEAL) Master Chief Brian Alazzawi join our Advisory Board. Brian will serve as our Organizational Leadership Partner and consultant to our network.
Brian Alazzawi is currently a Mental Performance Coach with the St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Club. Brian recently retired from the U.S. Navy SEALs after 20 years of decorated service, having served in a variety of leadership roles throughout his career. He has deployed overseas eight times including most recently as a Troop Senior Enlisted Advisor, leading 150 Officer and Enlisted warfighters while forward deployed during the liberation of Mosul and Western Iraq from ISIS. Brian has been awarded three Bronze Stars (one with Valor), three Navy Commendation Medals, three Navy Achievement Medals, and a number of other awards throughout his career.
Brian holds Master of Science degrees in Sports Psychology and Strategic Leadership and a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. In his current role working with professional baseball players, he provides expert guidance on leadership development, team building, and mental skills training for managers, coaches, players, and staff for the entire organization.
Brian Mingham is the founder and chief executive officer of CFSI Loan Management, a Denver based company that works with lenders to mitigate the risks associated with construction loans. CFSI oversees the entire process, from contractor review, to project feasibility reviews, fund control, and draw inspections. Through this process, CSFI helps ensure that a construction project is completed on time, on budget, free of mechanic’s liens and ready for permanent financing.
CSFI works within a niche that is particularly valuable to lenders. While lenders that originate construction loans are practiced in evaluating borrower credit worthiness, they are often not expert in assessing construction risk. Such as assessing a General Contractor’s ability to complete a project, or proper costing for labor/materials in a construction budget, or mitigating the potential of subcontractors and suppliers filing mechanic’s liens on a property. Each one of these issues can cause a construction project to default.
CFSI lends its expertise to lenders in the form of portfolio audits as well. Some lenders rely on their partners to manage the construction process from start to finish. These lenders will engage CFSI to audit the documents obtained by their partners for contractor review, project feasibility and construction draws/inspections. CFSI provides a detailed analysis of the construction risk in the portfolio and offers suggestions on meeting industry best practices.
Equally attentive to personal development, Brian maintains an active role within the community as a member of MBA and The Ventura County Sheriff’s Foundation. In his spare time, he enjoys skiing, snowboarding, and travel, and as a tactical firearms instructor
Jason Harris is the Founder and President of 17th Street Capital, a trusted source of capital for investors, builders and brokers within the private lending industry. Jason brings with him over 25 years of expertise in all facets of the real estate business including finance, development, construction, brokerage and home flipping. He believes strongly in customer service and has made
that a hallmark of the company’s mission.
Prior to forming 17th Street Capital, Jason founded a commercial development firm where he was
the executive in charge of development, construction and brokering of over one million square feet of industrial properties comprising 75 buildings. He most recently held executive roles with firms within the private lending industry. His diverse experience provides value to his clients as he can find a solution for even the most challenging scenarios.
Jason attended the University of Southern California graduating with a degree in real estate development and finance. In his spare time he enjoys participating in any outdoor activity with his wife and two children.
Nicole Andrews brings more than 20 years of experience to her current position as President of Fastapp, a leading national AMC. She has a diverse range of experience working within the financial services industry and has become a prominent voice int eh filed. Nicole is one of the top sales producers in the industry.
Nicole’s most recent position was SVP National Account Executive for Nationwide Property and Appraisal Services. Nicole hit her first goal of 2 million in sales in her 2nd year at Nationwide. She continued to double her sales year after year until hitting 10 million in sales in 2017, when she was awarded the “Closer Award.”
Nicole has been a Licensed Appraiser for 23 years and received her Certified Residential Appraisal license in 2007. Nicole was the previous owner of Andrews Appraisal. She worked as a residential appraiser in California from 1998-2012, predominantly in the Orange County region with some specialty work in Los Angeles.
Raquel Pasala is a Chicago native who has had a wide ranging career in real estate sales, marketing and operations in the sectors of finance, real estate, law insurance and correspondent lending.
In addition to previously managing her own real estate firm selling well over 1,000 REO properties she has held executive leadership roles in the mortgage industry including her role as the SVP of Operations for a correspondent lender responsible for operational oversight along with her role as the senior default manager at Ameriquest Mortgage where she developed and ran the loss mitigation, bankruptcy and property preservation divisions. Presently she is theSVP of Business Relations for First Allegiance with one goal in mind: client needs and satisfaction. This credo builds trust and integrity – the very core principals of her organization.
Being Hispanic-American, she is also fluent in Spanish and is the mother 2 daughters and a son. Raquel is an avid runner and competed in her first full marathon in June of 2013 and has since competed in 10 half marathons , 3 Ragnar overnight running relays , 1 Spartan Obstacle Race and many 5k/10k races. When she is not traveling for work she enjoys cycling with her husband , reading, and traveling.
She attended the University of Illinois at Chicago studying Political Science/ Criminal Justice and completed the marketing certification program from DePaul University’s Kellstadt Marketing Center.
Jeff Spiegel’s dynamic career as a Certified Public Accountant began to escalate when he established his own boutique firm in 1990. Spiegel Accountancy Corp is a full-service CPA firm with a particular focus in the mortgage banking, private equity lending and real estate industries.
Jeff developed a team of seasoned lenders who are dedicated to providing exceptional service, while actively partnering with clients to develop forward-thinking solutions for their businesses. Relationships are key, and clients trust Spiegel to be detailed and thorough in their approach in providing informed business decisions.
Due to his vast experience, Jeff is often sought out for speaking engagements, industry webinars, and contributing content for national publications. While he stays actively involved in the private lending and mortgage banking industries, outside the work arena you will likely find Jeff in the crowd at a Golden State Warriors game or traveling the globe.
Mr. Kaddah is the President and CEO of Liquid Logics, a FinTech company with over 150 national private equity lending clients generating over $1.1 billion in monthly loan origination. Sam’s prior experience ranged from running Microsoft sales and marketing systems globally to Global GE division productivity, six sigma and technology for 13 sites across 4 continents. Prior to that, Mr. Kaddah ran Ernst & Young’s upper midwest practice national eSecurity ethical hacking and compliance practice.
Sam started Liquid Logics to build an online lending platform in 2004.
From the start, the system supported 12,000+ brokers, correspondents, loan officers and account executives generating 1,200 to 1,600 closed loans a month for First Horizon Bank, a national specialty home lending institution, online before the cloud was called a “cloud” , with annual volume of $2+ billion. Sam has an MBA with an Information Systems Management focus, B.S. Electrical Engineering and Computer Science majors. Mr. Kaddah owned multiple operations and software platforms ranging from appraisal management system to loan origination.
Alex currently serves as Managing Director of the Wholesale and Correspondent Divisions of Constructive Loans. Constructive Loans originates, services, and securitizes Single Asset Rental Loans as well originate and service Fix and Flip Loans. Prior to Constructive, Alex served as a Vice President at Goldman Sachs, where he was responsible for loss mitigation servicing oversight for over $20 billion in non-performing residential mortgages. Prior to Goldman Sachs, Alex was Vice President for Portfolio Strategy at PennyMac Loan Services where he oversaw their entire $3 billion of Non-Performing and Re-performing Whole Loans. Alex has a proven track-record across the full spectrum of mortgage specific investment activities, including: originations, portfolio and loan-level pricing, default servicing, servicer surveillance, investor reporting, trading, and investment management. Alex attended Georgetown University where he played baseball for the Hoyas. He currently resides with his family outside Dallas, Texas.
Melissa Martorella is a Partner and Department Head of Geraci LLP’s Banking and Finance practice group. Ms. Martorella manages a large team of attorneys and loan processors in the preparation of loan documents and related transactional documents. Her practice primarily revolves around the representation of nationwide mortgage professionals and providing for their transactional documentation needs. She also provides the compliance advice necessary to navigate mortgage lending transactions in all fifty states. Ms. Martorella also leads the firm’s non-judicial foreclosure practice and advises clients on all default related matters.
Ms. Martorella has been recognized by her peers in the legal community as a Super Lawyers® Rising Star from 2018-2020. Only 2.5% of attorneys receive this distinction.
Melissa is an avid fan of New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox , and when she’s not in the office, she can be found spending time with her two Chihuahua pups, Kimchi and Rome.
Eddie graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Broadcast Sales and Marketing. He also studied marketing at Georgia Tech and business management at Emory University. He is most known for taking a talk radio station in Atlanta to the level of “Most Listened to Station in the World” (Radio and Records Magazine, 2002). He has owned his own advertising agency and worked with clients including Pepsi, Procter & Gamble Co., Buffalo Wild Wings and Mail America.
Eddie is now owner and CEO of American Association of Private Lenders and Think Realty and speaks across the country including well-known universities on the topics of Branding, Marketing and Innovation in Business
Rory Cambra is the Vice President – of National Accounts for Total Lender Solutions. He has 20 years of experience in the real estate finance and foreclosure industries.
He spent 12 years as the Vice President of Marketing for S.B.S. Trust Deed Network where he aggressively marketed and grew company profits and market share. In 12 years, he built and developed new clients by 60% while creating new relationships and friendships while maintaining their specific needs.
Before that, he Co-Founded Prime Time Mortgage, leading a sales and marketing team of 15 loan officers, improving product sales by 200% over five years. Our sales and marketing team used advanced marketing analytics, big-data sales techniques, and analytical tools to create and maintain consistent, predictable onboarding and closing achievements.
Rory is a 2nd-Degree Jiu-Jitsu black belt with over 20 years of training – and an avid lover of Golf. He loves playing music with his custom Kanilea Ukulele. He is also a photographer and often shoots events for NLE and Geraci Conferences.
In his spare time, he loves to Camp in his RV Van and lovely wife, Sherie and his Maltese, Bella Pua. Life is short and precious, so you must keep evolving to improve in all areas of life.