This year’s Course III of the School of Mortgage Banking took place at the Lodge at McDonald’s Office Campus in Oak Brook, IL, on July 14-19. All 37 participants successfully completed the course and graduated on July 19th.

SOMB Course III is the third of three 4 1/2-day in residence courses in the School of Mortgage Banking program. To attend Course III, participants must have successfully completed Courses I and II, including the final exams and homestudy assignments.

Course I provides an overview of the mortgage banking industry. Course II focuses on managing profitability and risk in mortgage banking. Course III takes a look at strategic planning in mortgage banking.

Show Me the Money…

An essential component of Course III is a computer-based strategic planning case study and team presentation. The case study is facilitated by instructors Jim Jones of First Wellesley Consulting Group and Jeff Lefebvre, PhD, of Prisim Business War Games.

This year, six teams were tasked with rescuing a failing mortgage lending firm, and then creating a strategic plan to present to a board of directors. All course participants then vote for the winning presentation and strategic plan.

Congratulations to the winners – “Show Me the Money” Team 6 (pictured here), hosted by Robert “Jerry McGuire” Stofferson and fellow teammates – good work!

Click here to see the winning presentation (in PowerPoint format).

Willis Bryant Award

Congratulations to Rock Planck, Vice President-Retail Production at Irwin Mortgage Corporation in Indianapolis, Indiana. Rock is this year’s recipient of the Willis Bryant Award, presented to the top student of the School of Mortgage Banking.

The award represents outstanding academic achievement at the three courses of School of Mortgage Banking, as well as exceptional leadership qualities demonstrated through class participation and interaction with other students. To be eligible for the award, students must achieve a grade of “excellent” on all School of Mortgage Banking homestudy assignments and exams.

The Willis Bryant Award is named after Willis R. Bryant, a pioneer in the field of mortgage banking in the 1950s. Bryant lectured at the schools and authored a textbook once used in the schools entitled Mortgage Lending Fundamentals and Practices. The award was established in his name in 1965, the year of his death.

Congratulations are also due to runners-up Keith Anderson, Regional Vice President of Principal Residential Mortgage, and Diane DeHeer, Regional Operations Director of Principal Residential Mortgage.


The course ended in a formal graduation ceremony on Friday, July 19. This year’s graduation guest speaker was Rob Couch, Vice Chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. (Rob Couch will become MBA Chairman, the highest elected position in the MBA, in 2004.)

Congratulations to all 37 participants of SOMB Course III this year! Their achievement demonstrates their dedication to professional excellence in the field of mortgage banking.

What’s Next for the Graduates?

A number of this year’s graduates of the SOMB are working toward their Certified Mortgage Banker designation. This designation is awarded to mortgage banking professionals who have both experience and demonstrated knowledge in the field of real estate finance.

Best of luck to all our School of Mortgage Banking attendees and graduates!

To read more about the School of Mortgage Banking, click here.