Speaker Bios

General Session Opening
8:05am - 8:45am
William Kooper, MPA, Vice President of State Government Affairs and Industry Relations
Mortgage Bankers Association

William Kooper is Vice President of State Government Affairs and Industry Relations at the Mortgage Bankers Association and in that capacity leads MBA's advocacy efforts at the state and local level as well as MBA's engagement with mortgage banking associations across the country. William is responsible for the MBA State Legislative and Regulatory Committee, staffs the State Association Relations Committee and leads the State Relations Initiative -- MBA's program to partner with state associations to align business development, communications and advocacy interests.

William joined MBA in January 2001 as Director of Government Affairs, and has had a variety of roles assisting MBA members. Before leading the state program, he was Associate Vice President of Legislative and Political Affairs where he directed MBA's nationwide grassroots advocacy program, the Mortgage Action Alliance, Inc. and the planning and execution of MBA's National Advocacy Conference. He also served as staff to MBA's political action committee, MORPAC.

Prior to joining MBA, William was appointed by President Bill Clinton as Special Assistant and Briefing Coordinator to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo. At HUD, William prepared the Secretary's daily event briefings, wrote the Secretary's weekly report to the President and also made contributions to Presidential and Vice Presidential briefing documents.  William's other positions in and out of government have included Manager of Government Relations at HIP Health Plans in New York City, Senior Legislative Associate to the New York State Assembly Committee on Health, Research Analyst for the New York State Assembly's Council on Health Care Financing, and Confidential Assistant to New York Governor Mario Cuomo. 

William was born in New York City and raised in Newtown, Connecticut. He received his MPA with a concentration in management from New York University in 1991 and his BA in International Affairs from Trinity University in 1986. William also studied at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom and attended the Chase Collegiate School in Waterbury, CT.

General Session 1
8:45am - 9:45am
Scott Happ, CEO
Optimal Blue

Scott Happ has thirty years of experience in financial services and mortgage lending technology. He founded Mortgagebot in 1997 and built the company into a nationally recognized SaaS solutions provider, selling the company to D+H in 2011. In 2016, Scott teamed with GTCR, a leading private equity firm, to acquire Optimal Blue, where he serves as CEO.

General Session 2
10:30am - 11:15am
Kirk G. Willison, VP, Government & Industry Relations
Arch Mortgage Insurance Company

Kirk Willison leads public policy analysis and advocacy for the nation’s leading mortgage insurance company, including outreach to legislators, regulators, industry trade groups, consumer organizations and think tanks. He created and produces both the Arch MI PolicyCast, a video podcast series featuring leading figures in housing, and the Capital Commentary, a biweekly housing policy newsletter. He is also a frequent speaker before industry groups.
Breakout Session 1A: Technology Breakout with Optimal Blue
11:15am - 12:15pm
Jeremy Moreno, Regional VP of Sales 
Optimal Blue

Jeremy Moreno is an experienced sales process and business development professional with a keen focus on building and managing sales teams to increase business-to-business revenues and profits. Jeremy has been with Optimal Blue for over 7 years having started with Optimal Blue building and managing the sales force for the Secondary Services division.  For the last two years, Jeremy has held the title of Regional VP of Sales - working with and creating mortgage technology solutions for Mortgage Banks, Independent Mortgage Bank and Credit Unions both small and large across the country. Jeremy holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Adams State University and a 2015 graduate of the MBA Future Leaders Program.

Breakout Session 1B: Affordable Housing Panel Discussion
11:15am - 12:15pm
Geoff Cooper, Vice President, Product Development

Geoffrey is Vice President ─ Product Development at Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (MGIC), where he oversees the Product Development and Business Insights (BI) teams.
Geoffrey rejoined MGIC in June 2014 after six years as the Director – Single Family at Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), Wisconsin’s state housing finance agency (HFA). In that capacity, Geoffrey oversaw all facets of WHEDA’s single family residential mortgage business including origination, servicing, quality control, and secondary marketing. Prior to joining WHEDA, Geoffrey worked 14 years at MGIC, including a stint as Director – Emerging Markets in which he oversaw all affordable lending products and programs in Risk Management. Prior to joining MGIC in 1993 he served as chief policy advisor to the commissioner at Wisconsin’s bank regulatory agency.

Geoffrey has served on 18 housing and housing-related boards and commissions over his career including the Fannie Mae National Lender Advisory Board; the Wisconsin Mortgage Bankers Association Board of Directors; the Freddie Mac Affordable Housing Advisory Council; the City of Milwaukee Foreclosure Task Force; the National Industry Standards Committee of the NeighborWorks Center for Homebuyer Education and Counseling (NCHEC); and the boards of several Milwaukee housing initiatives and non-profit organizations. He currently serves on the Board of Northwest Side Community Development Corporation (NWSCDC), a Milwaukee-based community development financial institution (CDFI); and is a member of the National Mortgage Bankers Association’s Advisory Council on Affordable Homeownership.
Breakout Session 1B: Affordable Housing Panel Discussion
11:15am - 12:15pm
Steve O'Connor, Senior Vice President of Affordable Housing Initiatives

Steve O'Connor is Senior Vice President for Affordable Housing Initiatives at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).  He manages MBA's efforts to support the affordable housing policy and business objectives of our members. He is also responsible for outreach to industry groups, consumer organizations, and other key stakeholders. O'Connor is a regular guest speaker on industry issues. 

O'Connor leads MBA's Consumer Affairs Advisory Council.  He also serves on a number of industry boards, including the National Housing Conference, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, Freddie Mac's Affordable Housing Advisory Council, the National Urban League's Business Solutions Council, the Homeownership Council of America, and Quick Loans Consumer Advisory Council.

O'Connor joined MBA in 1996.  Previously, he worked in government affairs for the National Association of Realtors and Freddie Mac.  He also worked for Skyline Financial Services Corporation. O'Connor holds a Bachelor's degree in political science from Marquette University and a Master's degree in political science from American University.

Breakout Session 1B: Affordable Housing Panel Discussion
11:15am - 12:15pm
Dave Rouse, Director, Single Family Housing

David Rouse began work as WHEDA’s Director of Single Family Housing September, 2014. Prior to becoming Director of Single Family Housing, Mr. Rouse served for more than 11 years as Vice President / Director of Residential Loan Production at Bank Mutual, Regional Loan Manager at Anchor Bank and Vice President / Reginal Director and Lending Division Manager at West Allis Savings Bank. He has loan origination, sales management and underwriting experience from his work at Firstar Bank, City Mortgage Corp., M&I Wauwatosa State Bank, M&I Mortgage Corp., WestAmerica Mortgage, and Grootemaat Corporation. Mr. Rouse served for over two decades on the Wisconsin Mortgage Bankers Association Board of Directors and served two terms as President. Mr. Rouse served as the WMBA Foundation President working with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation to provide annual scholarships to Wisconsin college students. He was also a past member of the WHEDA Lender Advisory Board.  In August of 2017, Mr. Rouse was appointed by Governor Scott Walker to the Governor’s Council of Financial Literacy extended by Governor Tony Evers, chairing the Financial Literacy Awards Committee .Rouse also serves as a member of the Wisconsin Interagency Financial Literacy Committee. At the WMBA 2019 Best in Business Awards David was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award. David has three children Ryan and twins Natalie and Emily, lives with his wife of 30 years, Jane in Brookfield.

Lunch and Keynote
12:30pm - 1:30pm
David Belman, President
Belman Homes

David Belman is a 2nd Generation Builder, Developer, and REALTOR® and Past President of the Metropolitan Builders Association (MBA) 2016, and Past President of the Wisconsin Builders Association (WBA) 2017 as well as a Director at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).  David is the Wisconsin Trustee for the National Association PAC fundraiser and current Board of directors for the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association (WRA).  David hosts a podcast called the Home Building Hero which has been downloaded 200,000 times.   He is proud to build homes for Operation Finally Home which provides a mortgage-free home to a wounded war hero.  David had completed 6 projects so far.
David has won numerous awards including 2017 Waukesha Freeman Citizen of the Year, Top Choice Award for Best Builder in Milwaukee six times in a row, and 2020 Emerging Leader award for Waukesha County.
David’s vision for Belman Homes is to give back to the community and industry.  David builds homes for Operation Finally Home (OFH).   Operation Finally Home provides a mortgage-free home to a wounded war hero in order for them to transition back to a civilian life.  His team recently completed their  6th mortgage free home in 2020 for Army Sergeant Daniel Cappo and are planning the 7th home in Wisconsin.  Working with the building trades and the community David helps oversee the project and several annual fundraisers to support the cause.
David is an Amazon Best Selling Author of “Leadership Growth Hacks” a business and personal development book to help current and future leaders find their true purpose.
Breakout Session 2A: Managing Remote Staff Effectively
2:15pm - 3:15pm
Phil Roever, Underwriting Production Manager

Bio coming soon.
Breakout Session 2A: Managing Remote Staff Effectively
2:15pm - 3:15pm
Julie Fry, CHRO
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation

Bio coming soon.
Breakout Session 2C: Sales Trainer Presentation - 2021 Branding Trends You Need to Use
Breakout Session 3A: Sales Workshop - How to Create Compelling Video Using Your Mobile Device

2:15pm - 3:15pm
Ginger Bell, Founder

Prior to beginning her mortgage training career, Ginger Bell was a Training Consultant for Dale Carnegie Training.  She is a 3-time Best-Selling Author, Speaker and Education and Marketing Specialist with Edumarketing, a full-service content development and marketing agency focused on utilizing the power of education, new technologies, media, and personality-driven marketing to position individuals and companies as experts in their field.
Ginger helps companies and entrepreneurs create educational marketing campaigns and strategies to increase their customer base and grow their business.  Her clients hire her to develop training and marketing programs, design online education programs and create educational marketing and branding strategies.
Her client list includes Re/Max, Motto Mortgage, Finance of America, First American Title, FirstFunding, Tovuti, Fidelity National Title, Arch MI, Windermere and countless entrepreneurs and small-business owners across the US.

A sought-after speaker and published author to audiences nationwide, Ginger has been named as one of Mortgage Banking’s Most Powerful Women, 50 Most Connected Professionals, and Elite Women of Lending.  Ginger has also been awarded the “Professional Woman of the Year” award by the National Association of Professional Women for her commitment to training and education.
Breakout Session 3B: Conomist Presentation
3:15pm - 4:00pm
Tian Liu, Chief Economist
Genworth Mortgage Insurance

Tian Liu is the Chief Economist at Genworth Mortgage Insurance, responsible for economic, housing, and mortgage origination forecasts. He also authors the company’s First-Time Homebuyer Market Report and Weekly Economic Report, and provides regular updates on U.S. and regional economies, as well as the housing and mortgage market. Mr. Liu’s commentary has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, CNBC, Reuters, Inside Mortgage Finance, and other media.  
Mr. Liu began his economics career in the Australian Treasury Department in 1997.  He started covering the U.S. housing market with Cemex in 2007, where he was the Director of Economics responsible for economics and housing market analysis. He was later hired by Owens Corning to lead its economics team in 2011.  Mr. Liu joined Genworth Mortgage Insurance as its Chief Economist in 2014.
Mr. Liu has a Masters in Economics from the University of Chicago and an undergraduate degree in Economics from the Australian National University.  He resides in Raleigh, North Carolina, with his wife and two children.

General Session Closing
4:00pm - 4:15pm
Mike Theo, President & CEO
Wisconsin Realtors Association

Mr. Theo joined the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association (WRA) staff in 1985, managing the association’s legal, legislative, political, research and public relations operations. He was named President and CEO of the WRA in 2011. Previously, he attended the UW-Madison and holds a Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from the American Society of Association Executives and the REALTORS Certified Executive (RCE) designation from the National Association of REALTORS®. 

Other activities Mike is involved in include leadership roles include the following:
  • Board of Advisors, Graaskamp Center for Real Estate, UW-Madison School of Business
  • Executive Committee, Competitive Wisconsin Inc.
  • 2020 President, The Madison Club
  • Past Chairman of the Board, Wisconsin Society of Association Executives
  • Past Chairman, Association Executives Committee – National Association of REALTORS®
 Mr. Theo is also a life-long resident of Madison. He has been married to his wife Sheryl for 38 years and they have two adult children.

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