Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Hello Friends and Colleagues

Although post-Labour Day symbolizes an end to summer and the start of a new school year for millions of Canadian students and their families, there is also a sense of renewal and excitement as a new year settles in.

As my wife and I helped prepare our three kids for school last week, I was reminded of just how quickly time passes, as well as the sense of anxiousness with what lies ahead.

For me, this “new year” is even more significant than the one we typically welcome in the cold of winter on January 1st. 

New beginnings allow us to review and reaffirm our current path while, at the same time, they encourage us to adapt and adjust our habits as we add and pursue new goals.

During the past few weeks I have spent some time thinking and reminiscing about the state of our industry – and more specifically – the state of our national association. I have always felt very much connected to the mortgage brokerage industry in Canada, working as an executive with our lenders and as president of a national mortgage brokerage. I now feel compelled to seek your support to become a Director (ONTARIO) of CAAMP.

I remember the first CIMBL (predecessor of CAAMP) conference I attended nearly 15 years ago. As a newly-minted mortgage executive I recall the excitement, the enthusiasm and that sense that we were all learning and growing as an industry. I knew at that moment that this was a very special industry and it was an association I would admire.  It was a place where seasoned mortgage professionals would come together, share best practices and chart a course for the future.

It seems there has been considerable chatter lately about the role of CAAMP, the regional associations, and the overlap between them. Questions around the need for a national association coupled with discussions about a broker’s only association have also been on the table. This is healthy dialogue and I am pleased to see the level of engagement about our representation in our industry.

I would like to take this opportunity to tell you the three key reasons why I continue to advocate for CAAMP:

  1. I welcome the fact that our association is inclusive of brokers, lenders and suppliers alike. I feel that mix actually makes our voice stronger with the folks we are lobbying in Ottawa.
  2. The fact that we share a board of directors to oversee this national association helps unify our day-to-day business interests. 
  3. The majority of members are aligned in seeking a very strong and growing broker channel in Canada. 

CAAMP has been very effective in many respects but is not perfect.  A few areas where I see that CAAMP must improve are:

Co-ordination with all industry associations:events, sponsorship opportunities, research, government relations, etc. Doing so will benefit not just members of the various associations, but the strength and voice of our industry as a whole

In addition, CAAMP has to be more responsive and approachable. It has to advocate the broker channel while improving its events and symposiums. CAAMP has to remain the best source for government and the media with respect to all-things-mortgages.

Over the years I have asked my teams, “What is the solution? Don’t just tell me your challenges; tell me the recommendations to fix them.”

At this point in my career, I feel I must get more involved. I want to be part of the solution.

I have been a member of our national association since 2001 and an AMP since 2007. On a personal level, I feel that CAAMP has provided me with an opportunity to connect with a large number of people across our industry over the years. The way I see it, ours is a very small, close industry and the opportunities to interact with our colleagues, suppliers, and competitors have proved priceless.

I appreciate your support and welcome your feedback, comments and questions.

Cheers to a “new year” and a new perspective.

Mark

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