Mat Ishbia, Chairman and CEO
Portrait

Mat Ishbia is Chairman and CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage. He has served as UWM’s President and Chief Executive Officer since 2013. Mat joined the company in 2003 and has held multiple positions leading up to his current role, including Account Executive, National Sales Manager and Executive Vice President, Wholesale. Under Mat’s leadership, UWM has soared to new heights, becoming one of the most innovative lenders in the industry while growing from a 12-person mortgage company to an 8,100-person team. Mat is known as a prominent advocate for mortgage brokers nationwide and regularly promotes the wholesale channel on national platforms such as CNBC, Fox Business and Bloomberg TV. He has been named one of the “Most Influential Mortgage Professionals Under 40” and one of the “25 Most Connected Mortgage Professionals” by National Mortgage Professional magazine. Additional accolades include being named a “Rising Star” and Vanguard Award winner by HousingWire. In 2019, Mat wrote the book Running the Corporate Offense, applying lessons he learned playing basketball for Michigan State University coach Tom Izzo to running a highly successful business. Mat earned his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University.

Tim Forrester, Chief Financial Officer
Portrait

Tim Forrester is UWM’s Chief Financial Officer, a position that makes ample use of his ability to prepare for divergent outcomes in a highly variable business. He oversees all financial aspects of the organization, from financial reporting to liquidity management, and even though his depth with numbers is expected, Tim brings a relationship-first service philosophy to the table in all aspects of his work. Tim has 30+ years of experience including client service, auditing, accounting, financial reporting, hedging, capital markets, consulting, mergers & acquisitions, compliance, risk management, litigation support, as well as leading teams of varied sizes and depth of technical focus. Tim’s prior experiences extend beyond mortgage companies, including finance/leasing companies, merchant credit card processors and depository institutions which helps to draw on greater potential solutions. Prior to joining UWM in 2012, Tim was a partner in the Capital Markets Group at Deloitte & Touche USA LLP as well as an audit partner where he led the firm’s national mortgage banking practice as well as the development and leadership of an office. Tim was also a member of Mortgage Bankers’ Association of America’s Finance Committee for many years and was elected as a member of the MBA’s Commercial Mortgage Board of Governors, where he was the only Big 4 representative. He was named a 2021 HousingWire Finance Leader, and received a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University.

Melinda Wilner, Chief Operating Officer
Portrait

Melinda Wilner is UWM’s Chief Operating Officer, a position she has held since 2015. In this role, she leads over 5,000 team members in underwriting and operations, where she sets a new standard for excellence by focusing on efficiency, accessibility and service. Melinda works in lockstep with IT and oversees the largest collective group of teams at UWM, where she constantly strives to streamline the lending process for mortgage brokers and borrowers nationwide. Melinda originally joined UWM in 2011 as Underwriting Manager and has held positions such as Head of Underwriting and Chief Risk Officer. Melinda is a 2017 HousingWire Vanguard award winner and received a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University.

Laura Lawson, Chief People Officer
Portrait

Laura Lawson is UWM’s Chief People Officer. She is the company’s team builder and culture creator who focuses on maximizing the potential of team members. In her role, she works to develop an environment with team members as the sole focus and has an unwavering commitment to maintaining UWM’s prized workplace culture. Laura has been with the company since 2011 and served as SVP of Marketing before becoming UWM’s Chief People Officer in 2014. Prior to joining the company, Laura was the Director of Marketing and Communications for the American Lung Association, Associate Producer on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Associate Producer for Fox Television and Project Manager for Carlson Marketing Group. She was named one of the “Top 40 under 40” by Crain’s Detroit Business in 2013. Laura received her bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University.

Alex Elezaj, Chief Strategy Officer
Portrait

Alex Elezaj is UWM’s Chief Strategy Officer, a role in which he is laser focused on growing the mortgage broker channel as a whole. Prior to joining the company in 2018, Alex served as Chief Executive Officer of Class Appraisal, Inc, which he led to become one of the nation’s largest and most successful appraisal management companies. In 2018, Alex led the sale of the company to private equity, which has continued to be a great success. He is a 2017 HousingWire Vanguard award winner, a member of the YPO (Young Presidents Organization) and has been recognized as one of National Mortgage Professional magazine’s “40 Under 40.” Alex received a bachelor’s degree from Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration, and an MBA from Michigan State University.

Matt Roslin, EVP, Investor Relations & Legal Affairs
Portrait

Matt Roslin is UWM’s Executive Vice President, Investor Relations and Legal Affairs. Prior to joining the company in 2013, he spent eight years at Flagstar Bancorp, Inc., where he served as Chief Legal Officer and Chief Administrative Officer and more recently has served as a board member or senior advisor to several other companies in the residential mortgage through RMS Group, LLC, a consulting firm that he founded. In addition to his executive role at UWM, Matt is a partner in Alidade Capital, a Registered Investment Advisor that sponsors pooled investment vehicles that invest in Commercial Real Estate. He received a bachelor’s degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from the University of California Los Angeles, School of Law.

Desmond P. Smith, Chief Growth Officer
Portrait
Desmond P. Smith is UWM’s Chief Growth Officer. In this position, he focuses on innovative ways to advance the independent mortgage broker channel. Desmond brings three decades of knowledge and experience to the table from his time spent at FHA, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citi, Capital One Home Loans and Fannie Mae. He has been recognized for creating high-performance cultures, empowering teams and transforming businesses. Prior to joining UWM in 2021, Desmond was the Chief Customer Officer at Fannie Mae, where he was responsible for everything from origination to servicing. He also worked to reorganize the Customer Teams, where he created business units that experienced record volume, great returns, high quality, exceptional employee engagement scores, and top tier NPS scores for customers. Desmond received his bachelor’s degree in finance from the Boston University Questrom School of Business.
Sarah DeCiantis, Chief Marketing Officer
Portrait

Sarah DeCiantis has been UWM’s Chief Marketing Officer since 2017. In this position, she leads all marketing, advertising, and external and internal communications efforts. She joined UWM in 2014 as Vice President, Marketing; prior to that, she was the Director of Partnership Marketing for Palace Sports and Entertainment and the Detroit Pistons. She also worked for 10 years at nationally recognized advertising agencies including Doner, Campbell-Ewald and McCann Worldgroup. Sarah was recognized as one of the mortgage industry’s “Hot 100” by Mortgage Professional America in 2019 and was named one of the “Top 40 under 40” by National Mortgage Professional magazine in 2017. She was also awarded the 2019 Vanguard award by HousingWire, and the Crain’s Detroit Business “40 under 40” award in 2020. Most recently, Sarah was named a HousingWire Marketing Leader for 2021. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University.

Lee Jelenic, Chief Innovation Officer
Portrait

Lee Jelenic is UWM’s Chief Innovation Officer. In this role, he leads Client Experience, Digital Innovation, Government Affairs, and Investor Relations. He is responsible for ensuring that UWM’s products and service remain best in class. Prior to joining the company in 2019, Lee spent 11 years at Ford Motor Company, most recently as Chief Executive Officer of Ford Commercial Solutions, a global business unit within Ford Smart Mobility that delivered vehicle data, analytics and fleet management services to commercial customers. He also served as Vice President of Marketing at The Ford Motor Credit Company where he led global marketing, fintech, data services and new business development. Prior to that, he led marketing for the Lincoln Brand and was named to Automotive News’ “40 Under 40” in 2014. He also played two seasons of professional hockey and spent four years at JP Morgan in their Capital Markets group in New York City. Lee earned his bachelor’s degree from Yale University and earned an MBA with honors from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Jason Bressler, Chief Technology Officer
Portrait

Jason Bressler is UWM’s Chief Technology Officer. He has been with the company since 2016 and is responsible for leading a team of over almost 1200 IT professionals. With more than two and a half decades of IT experience in the mortgage banking industry, Jason excels in application development and enterprise implementation and scaling. He is constantly developing intuitive technology platforms that help both UWM team members and applications, and independent mortgage brokers grow their businesses. Under Jason’s leadership, UWM has developed the tools and platforms clients need to grow quickly, efficiently and with scale. Prior to joining UWM, Jason served on multiple mortgage and CIO advisory boards and held positions as Chief Technology Officer for The Federal Savings Bank and Chief Information Officer for Guaranteed Rate. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University.

Kirstin Hammond, EVP, Head of Capital Markets
Portrait

Kirstin Hammond is UWM’s Head of Capital Markets. She is a mortgage industry veteran with more than 25 years in the business. In her position, she leads UWM’s Capital Markets and product innovation teams, where she is responsible for tapping information and technology with an eye on spearheading industry advances. Prior to joining the company in 2012, she was an Executive Vice President at Flagstar Bank. Kirstin is also the founder of Share A Smile, a charitable organization created in 1999, where she currently serves as board member and treasurer. She received a bachelor’s degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in finance and real estate from the University of Michigan.

Blake Kolo, Chief Business Officer
Portrait

Blake Kolo is the Chief Business Officer for UWM in which he brings an unparalleled combination of accounting, finance and sales to the executive team. His primary focus is the management of UWM’s mortgage funding operation. His team drives maximum efficiency in the utilization of warehouse lines of credit in order to wire and fund mortgages. He also leads many special initiatives aimed at accelerating business development. Prior to joining UWM in 2019, he was Managing Director at The Siegfried Group, an accounting and finance advisory firm. Blake is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Valuation Examiner, a Certified Fraud Examiner and is Certified in Financial Forensics. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University.

Katie Foster, Chief Risk Officer
Portrait

Katie Foster is UWM’s Chief Risk Officer. In this position, she oversees all facets of Risk, including Quality Control, Legal, Compliance, Credit Policy, Servicing and more. Katie has held various roles within UWM, including Credit Policy Manager and SVP, Head of Underwriting. Katie has been in the mortgage industry since 1996. She was a loan originator and Branch Manager for several years and has also run her own third-party processing company. Her prior experience includes Underwriting Manager at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and VP of Operations and Birmingham Bancorp. Katie was recently recognized as one of mortgage banking’s most powerful women by National Mortgage Professional magazine.