CMA winners defy rough market

The 8th-annual CMP Canadian Mortgage Awards went off with a bang at Toronto’s Liberty Grand Friday with over 600 attendees recognizing industry players who’ve soared above a turbulent real estate market

The 8th-annual CMP Canadian Mortgage Awards went off with a bang at Toronto’s Liberty Grand Friday with over 600 attendees celebrating industry players who’ve soared above a turbulent real estate market.

The awards cut a wide swath across the industry, with winners in 21 categories drawn from Vancouver and Toronto, but also Halifax and smaller markets across the country. Produced by KMI Media and officially audited by PWC, the awards are the industry’s answer to a tougher mortgage environment. They also speak to the industry’s perseverance, say sponsors such as First National, but also the winners themselves.

“I’m still shaking,” said Jeff Cody of MCC Mortgage Brokers Ottawa after claiming the trophy for Mortgage Broker of the Year (25 Employees or More). “I’ve been in the business 27 years, and I hope to be in the business 27 more! I just love it.

“I wouldn’t be here without the great team I have in Ottawa. This business is based on relationships – what goes around comes around.”

Cody’s counterpart in the Mortgage Broker of the Year (Under 25 Employees) category, Greg Nowik, of Mortgage Architects – Universal, was one of several Westerners to claim trophies.

The Broadway-themed gala is known for bringing together an increasingly diverse industry as brokers focus on niche markets and employ new business strategies to make up for a falling number of home sales and refinances. Both are the result of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s move to tighten mortgage rules last July.

This year marked the first-ever tie in the D+H National Broker Network of the Year category, with Dominion Lending Centres and Verico Financial Group sharing that honour. Each network received an equal number of votes from the panel of expert judges, with those results holding after a second round of deliberations.

Alberta claimed rights to the CMA’s coveted lifetime achievement award, sponsored by National Bank of Canada and handed to Douglas Farmer, Calgary branch manager for another mortgage lender.

“First National was tenth in market share when I started in 2000, now we are No. 2,” said FNF's Farmer. “I would not take any recognition for that, but I know that the Prairies have been a big part of that.”

While the night of awards focuses on acknowledging excellence, it also served to provide a pat on the back to the industry as a whole, said KMI Publishing and Events president Tim Duce.

“This is our eighth awards, and it continues to attract the brokers, the lenders and the insurers that are driving this industry and setting the course for its growth,” he said. “Still, for all the festivities, the entertainment and the laughs, the event is first and foremost a celebration of the best and brightest in the industry.”

The event began with a pre-show cocktail party sponsored by First National where the Broadway theme was in full effect. Manhattans were the drink of the night served up by the Radio City Rockettes!  Under the spotlights, comedian host, Jessica Holmes opened the show, with her Broadway skits appearing throughout the evening. The night continued into the early morning with live music by Canadian group “God Made Me Funky” and dancing in the historic ballroom on the CNE grounds. Lucky prize winners walked away with $1,000s in prize giveaways, including a shopping spree from Moores® Clothing for Men.

2013 Canadian Mortgage Awards Winners

Alternative Lending Broker of the Year:  Adam Hale, MCC The Mortgage Centre-Hale/ Grifa & Associates

Best Advertising: VERICO Financial Group Inc.

Best Branding:  Equitable Trust Company

Best Community Service Effort:  Angels In The Night - Invis Mortgage Intelligence

Best Customer Service from an Individual Office: VERICO Dreyer Group

Best Industry Service Provider:    The Mortgage Marketing Coach / Power of Choice Coaching Inc.    

Best Internet Presence:  Canadian Mortgage Trends

Best Lender BDM of the Year: Jody Comeau, First National Financial

Best Lender Underwriter of the Year: Melissa Coburn, Paradigm Quest

Best Newcomer - Individual Agent / Broker:  Steven Levine, True North Mortgage

Best Newcomer - Lender BDM:    Camillo Delli-Pizzi, Pillar Financial

Best Newcomer - Lender Underwriter:    Giselle Miranda, Street Capital Financial Corporation

Best Newcomer - Mortgage Broker Firm:  Mortgage Intelligence - Concierge Mortgage Group

Commercial Mortgage Broker of the Year: Sandy Harrington, IC Funding Financial

Employer of Choice: TMG-The Mortgage Group

Mortgage Broker of the Year- 25 Employees or More: Jeff Cody, MCC - Mortgage Brokers City/Ottawa

Mortgage Broker of the Year - Fewer Than 25 Employees: Greg Nowik, Mortgage Architects - Universal

Mortgage Brokerage of the Year - 25 Employees or More: VERICO Premiere Mortgage Centre    

Mortgage Brokerage of the Year - Fewer Than 25 Employees: Get Er Done Girls - Mortgage Intelligence

National Broker Network of the Year: Dominion Lending Centres

National Broker Network of the Year: VERICO Financial Group Inc.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Doug Farmer, First National