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We’d like to introduce you to the women leading CIMG who elevate and inspire us every day! We'll be spotlighting our women leaders regularly, so check back for future features

Michelle Cooper — Morehead City Branch Manager, Loan Officer

Meet Michelle Cooper, one of the women leading CIMG who elevates and inspires us every day! Michelle is the Morehead City Branch Manager and a Loan Officer on the Robby Oakes Mortgage Team. 

What do you do/what role does your department play in the mortgage process?

My role at CIMG is a Loan Officer. I’m the first step when someone is looking for financing to buy a house. I guide customers through the mortgage process by helping them find how much they qualify to borrow and pre-approving them for a loan before house shopping. I discuss what purchasing a home will look like for their scenario from a financial standpoint starting with how much money they will need to bring to closing and what estimated monthly payments will be after that. Once they have that information they can shop for a house with confidence! I continue as their main contact for the remainder of the mortgage process and I will likely even attend the closing! That’s the fun part!

How long have you worked at CIMG?

I have been with CIMG since Summer of 2020.

What do you love most about what you do?

The best part of my job is that I am constantly learning new things and I am interested in what I do each day. When I wake up, I immediately start thinking about the day before and pick right back up where I left off. There is very little about my job that is repetitive. I get to meet new people and help them with what is very likely one of the largest financial decisions of their life.

Any advice to young women who want to succeed in the workplace/mortgage industry?

Advice I have for young women that want to succeed in the mortgage industry, or any career, is to find good mentors. Find people that are successful, that you respect, and that want to see you succeed. Put together your own personal board of directors and talk with these people frequently. When one of them gives you advice that sounds difficult to do or outside of your comfort zone, lean in and do it. Do the hard things.

What do you think is the key for success in a role like yours?

One of the keys to success in a role like mine is having knowledgeable, accountable, and reliable people working with you. It takes a lot of people and departments to get a loan ready for closing from referral partners and closing attorneys to my coworkers. I work with some of the best in the industry.

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Ashley Weaver — Closing Manager, Raleigh Branch Manager

Meet Closing Manager/Raleigh Branch Manager Ashley Weaver. Ashley has been an integral part of our team for 13 years, check out the full interview below. 

What do you do/what role does your department play in the mortgage process?

The closing department brings everyone’s hard work together. We send the closing documents to the attorney for the borrowers to sign so they can move into their new home, or obtain that lower rate on their existing home. I help to make the closing process run as smoothly as possible.

How long have you worked at CIMG?

I have been with CIMG for 13 years

What do you love most about what you do?

I work with a great team! We are always asking each other questions and working together toward the same goal. I also love knowing that I’m part of the process to help people obtain their dream home.

Any advice to young women who want to succeed in the workplace/mortgage industry?

Learn EVERYTHING! Ask all the questions. When an opportunity presents itself for you to learn another aspect of the job/industry, take it!

How do you achieve work/life balance?

In an industry like ours it can be hard at times, but I try to disconnect when I get home and be present with those around me.

What do you think is the key for success in a role like yours?

Listening to others, attention to detail, and patience.

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Veronica "Taffy" Clark — VP of Qualify Control, Manager of Post-Closing

We’re thrilled to introduce you to the next of the women leaders at CIMG: Veronica “Taffy” Clark. As VP of Quality Control and Manager of Post Closing, Taffy has been inspiring us throughout all of her 10 years at CIMG. Check out our interview with Taffy below to hear about her 26 year career in the mortgage industry.

What do you do/what role does your position play in the mortgage process? 

I’m Vice President of Quality Control as well as manager of the Post Closing Department. I’m responsible for all QC audits from our external auditors, all Investors, and all PMI companies we do business with.

What do you love most about what you do?

As VP of QC, I love making sure our audit reports reflect the quality of work that our company strives for. As Post Closing Manager, I love my team the most. The group runs like a well-oiled machine and each person is cross trained to do different tasks as well as being able to back each other up if someone is out.

Do you have any advice for women who want to succeed in the workplace/mortgage industry?

There are so many levels of employment within the mortgage industry that I would advise anyone interested to just get their foot in the door, don’t be afraid of trying new things, and always look for opportunities to increase your knowledge in the industry.

How do you balance your work with your life?

My balance comes from taking care of myself physically and emotionally, by working out at the gym, running, traveling, and spending quality time with my family.

What challenges have you faced in your career?

I have faced many challenges during my 26 years in the industry, from trying to figure out how to get that work/life balance while having to work long hours, learning how to train people when I had no experience in training, how to manage people when I had never been a manager, how to develop new processes when there was no process to start with.

What do you think is the key for success in a role like yours?

The key for success is to always be willing to take on new challenges; have good organizational skills; and always keep a positive attitude.

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Mara Bergholz — AVP Quality Control, Giving Back Co-Chair

Meet Mara Bergholz, Mara has worked at CIMG Residential Mortgage for over ten years. Before being promoted to her current position as AVP of Quality Control, Mara worked in the Sales and Post-Closing departments and is actively involved in CIMG's Giving-Back initiative with Carla Johnson. While not at work she enjoys running, seeing live music and finding new adventures with her five year-old daughter, Isla and husband, Trevor. She also loves taking trips to the Durham Museum of Life and Science and going to the beach to see family.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love interacting with people and problem solving!

Do you have any advice for women who want to succeed in the workplace/mortgage industry?

Find or create your passion in what you do and don’t be afraid to speak up.

How do you balance your work with your life?

It’s a constant juggle to balance work and life. Both sides are ever changing, and the plan seems to need constant updating. At this point in our lives being home for dinner and being able to shut down for those few hours when we are all together in the same place is a priority.

What do you think is the key for success in a role like yours?

Learning when to speak up and when not to, it is something I am still working on.

 

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Jennifer Salemson — President, CIMG

Meet Jennifer Salemson, President of CIMG Residential Mortgage. Jennifer wears many hats from handling all of our financial responsibilities, to HR duties, as well as overseeing CIMG’s Raleigh branch.

What do you love most about what you do?

What I love most about what I do is getting to work with the people I do. We have an amazing group of people that have all come together to make the CIMG Family.

Any advice to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?

My advice to women who want to succeed is to never give up, put your head down and keep pushing forward, keep a good sense of humor about yourself, and think before you speak.

How do you balance your work with your life?

Balancing work and home life is a tough one these days.  With kids ranging in age from 4- 18 there is always a lot to be done and not always enough time to get it all done.  I am fortunate that I have such a great team at CIMG that makes sure we stay on top of it all.

What challenges have you faced in your career?

Challenges I have faced in my career would definitely circle back to the home/work balance.  Trying to figure out how to maintain a successful career and a successful home life is a work in progress every day.

What do you think is the key for success in a role like yours?

I feel the key for success in a role like mine is to surround yourself with a group of talented, loyal, hard working people.  Other than that, adding in a little bit of luck never hurts.

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Tracey Anthony — Senior Vice President of Operations, Executive Management Team

Meet Tracey Anthony, SVP of our Operations/Executive Management Team. Tracey has been with us since our founding and recently gave us some insight into her work here at CIMG.

What do you love most about what you do?

Working with an amazing group of people who give 150% every day to make the mortgage process as easy as possible for our borrowers. The family atmosphere/environment we have at work is the real deal!

Any advice to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?

Join a female led company like our own. Mentors are so important.

How do you achieve work/life balance?

I have an amazing husband and two sons (21 and 17) who have always supported me no matter how busy we are. They also feel appreciated and supported by CIMG for “sharing me”! I love that at our gatherings one of the thank yous that is always shared is the acknowledgment of the families/spouses/significant others who support our employees.

What challenges have you faced in your career?

Time management/balance earlier in my career. Maturity, confidence and 100% support by our owners has been key.

What do you think is the key for success in a role like yours?

I like to think I have a “little bit of Switzerland” in me. The ability to be the middleman between different roles to help strengthen communication in every aspect of our process and figuring out the best combination of personalities to work together to maximize our success.

 

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Our Team

Robby Oakes, Managing Director

Robby Oakes

Managing  Director
NMLS# 91606

Nate Haines

Sr. Loan Officer
NMLS# 512242

Will Scroggs

Loan Officer
NMLS# 1807923

Michelle Cooper

Loan Officer
NMLS# 2016459