43rd Annual WMBA Real Estate Finance


April 6-7, 2017

Speaker Bios

General Session 1
Secretary Jay Risch
Department of Financial Institutions Secretary
9:15 - 10:00 am

Jay Risch was born and raised in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, and is a graduate of Oconomowoc High School. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was a policy advisor to Governor Scott McCallum, and served on the staffs of State Senators Cathy Stepp and Alberta Darling. Risch was the Director of Government Relations for the Wisconsin Bankers Association from 2010 until February 2015, when he was named Deputy Secretary at the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. Risch was appointed Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) in July 2015 and Secretary of DFI in March 2017.  Risch and his wife live in Sun Prairie with their two sons.

General Session 2
Chicago Fed Economist
10:45 - 11:30 am

William Testa

Bill Testa is a vice president and director of regional research in the economic research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Testa has written widely in the areas of economic growth and development, the Midwest economy and state–local public finance.

Testa currently serves as economics editor of the Chicago Fed Letter and on the editorial board of Economic Development Quarterly. His Midwest Economy web column, which can be found on the Federal Reserve Bank’s website, has become a widely read and nationally quoted feature.

Testa also serves in an advisory or director’s capacity to a variety of professional journals, nonprofit organizations, advisory boards and economic development initiatives in the Midwest.

Prior to joining the Chicago Fed in 1982, Testa was a visiting faculty member in the economics department at Tulane University in New Orleans and a graduate research fellow at the Academy for Contemporary Problems in Columbus, Ohio. He currently lectures at DePaul University’s College of Commerce. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Testa received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University in 1975 and a Ph.D. in economics from the Ohio State University in 1981.

Lunch / Keynote Speaker
Jay Hughes

Executive Vice President of Sales and Business Development
12:00 - 1:15 pm

Homeownership rates will rise in 2017. Are you poised to participate?
It would be an understatement to suggest that planning for the 2017 Mortgage Market has been a challenge. A new administration, rising interest rates, and disappearing refi's have had everyone more than a bit uncertain about what to expect. The one certainty however, is that by all accounts, homeownership rates will rise in 2017 and the real question is whether you will be one of those  in position to ride this historic wave. Jay Hughes, MGIC's Executive Vice President - Sales and Business Development will share insights into some of the more unusual factors that are driving this nontraditional rise in homeownership rate and how you can position your company and sales force to take advantage of those factors.

Jay Hughes is MGIC’s Executive Vice President of Sales and Business Development.
He began his career with MGIC in 1987 as an Account Executive in the Washington D.C. market. After moving to California in 1998 to assume the role of Sales Manager, Jay was promoted to Vice President-Managing Director in 2001 covering MGIC’s Pacific Region. In 2014, Jay accepted the position of Senior Vice President - Sales and Business Development and relocated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In his current role as Executive Vice President of Sales and Business Development, Jay is responsible for MGIC’s five regions and all national account relationships.
Jay holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the Villanova School of Business. He and his wife currently reside in Mequon, Wisconsin.

Breakout Session #1 
Sue Woodward
1:45 - 2:45 am

In this engaging and interactive presentation, Sue Woodard examines the challenges facing MLOs today and more importantly, challenges the audience to honestly evaluate their current habits, beliefs and practices – and consider practical changes and easy shifts that can be made in order to win in today’s market. 
Whether you are competing to win referral partner relationships, ensuring you remain the lender of choice for past clients, or evaluating how to win in an increasingly digital environment – you’ll take away practical tools and ideas that can be put into place immediately.
Sue Woodard is president & CEO of Vantage Production, the nation's premier provider of content, technology and services supporting the sales and marketing of mortgage products.  At Vantage Production, we are here to make good things happen for other people!
Breakout Session #1 
Tina Hallis, PHD
Positivity in the Workplace
1:45 - 2:45 pm

Studies show that increasing positivity in our workplaces improves engagement, resilience, and overall performance.  This program shows you how to do just that, including how the company, the manager, and the employee all play a role. Creating the right environment helps everyone to bring their best each day.
In this interactive program, we will explore:
•           Research showing the many benefits of increasing positivity in our workplaces, including improved morale, productivity, and retention.
•           The five elements for creating a work environment that promotes a positive culture.
•           The concept of teaching employees how to be more positive with easy-to-use tools and practices
•           Simple, science based strategies we can use to improve our own positive mindset and how that impacts others

Tina is passionate about helping individuals and organizations be more positive!



Our Sponsors

Title Sponsors





President's Club




Event Sponsors

CBC Innovis
PlainsCapitol Bank
Kohner, Mann & Kailas, S.C.