The Insight Interviews - Powered by Rewire

40 Episodes

By: Rewire Inc, Steve Scanlon, Jason Abell

Here’s the deal. You have it in you to grow yourself and your business to even greater heights than you’ve already reached. We’re gathering a collection of some amazingly insightful people to help you do just that. Each week with The Insight Interviews, we’ll unpack the experiences of unique business leaders, high capacity sales professionals and standout thought leaders to explore what they have learned along their road to success in order to open the door to insights you can use to achieve your own. We want to help you see beneath the surface of whatever it is th...

Brandon Montemayor: Master the Fundamentals
Last Friday at 7:00 AM

About Brandon Montemayor: He was born and raised in Santa Clarita, CA (North Los Angeles). He played college baseball at Clemson and UL Lafayette and has coached baseball for over 20 years. He has an amazing wife and 2 kids (both boys 9 and 12 years old). He started in real estate at 19 when rehabbing a shoulder injury. He runs a top local team with 2 sales specialists and 2 full time admins. He spends a lot of off-work hours coaching his kids, learning (crypto and personal development), and trying to play golf from time to time. 


In this episode Steve an...

Joey Abdullah: Leave It Better Than You Found It

About Joey Abdullah: He is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and Johns Hopkins University with degrees in both Economics and Finance.

Joey’s goal is to offer advice that helps customers build wealth and prosperity with real estate quickly by helping them make smarter mortgage decisions. He will always help customers to manage their mortgages over time to ensure that they always have the best option to achieve their goals.

Joey loves playing golf and skiing. He lives in Denver, CO with his beautiful wife Lindsey and their awesome sons Danny and Nathan.


Tammi Knapp: Clear Is Kind

About Tammi Knapp: Tammi has owned several businesses ranging from a gym, a software development company and now a real estate firm.  She loves figuring things out and helping others blaze a trail.  In her current role, her passion is to take new real estate agents and turn them into highly trained and educated top producers. For her, watching that progress is pure joy - not easy, but satisfying.


In this episode Jason and Tammi discuss:

Taking on new peopleHow to be a successful leader The importance of clear communication Being respectful of others 


Jason and Steve: Growth Mindset in Scarcity

In this episode Steve and Jason discuss:

How humans respond to change Utilizing our ability to respond Asking growth-oriented questions Three practical ways to reduce stress 


Key Takeaways: 

We tend to evade and resist change when we can. It’s an instinct that we, as humans, all have. We all have the ability to respond to our current circumstances with stress and anxiety, the other side of that coin is that realizing that means we also have the ability to choose another response. When asking the question “why am I stressed?”, ask it with curiosity and...

Blair Humphreys: The Wisdom of Community

Blair Humphreys is Chief Executive Officer of Humphreys Capital and in this role oversees Investments, Accounting, and Operations, and serves on the Investment Committee. He brings 16 years of experience in real estate investing and development.

Blair is the developer of the Wheeler District, an infill urban neighborhood on the Oklahoma River near downtown Oklahoma City. He is also the founder and past chair of the Oklahoma District Council of the Urban Land Institute.

Prior to initiating the Wheeler District development, Blair served as the Executive Director of the Institute for Quality Communities at The University...

Emma Sarro: Fostering a Growth Mindset

Currently, Emma is one of the researchers at the NeuroLeadership Institute (NLI), focusing on translating cognitive/social neuroscience into actionable solutions for organizations and communicating relevant research in an accessible manner for the public. Before this, she was a  professor at Dominican College and New York University and a researcher at the Nathan Kline Institute. She received her bachelor's degree from Brown University and her PhD in neuroscience from New York University, and her research focused on the development of sensory processing, the plasticity of the brain and behavior, and the impact of early life trauma.

NLI’s f...

Curtis Wood: How Blockchain Is Disrupting Mortgage

Curtis Wood is from Jacksonville, Florida. He is CEO & Co-founder of Bee Mortgage App, a mobile app for the mobile generation, with an end-to-end mobile mortgage experience, from shopping through closing. Curtis considers himself a Purpose Driven Capitalist.


In this episode Jason and Curtis discuss:

The future of business through mobileProviding service with comfort Purpose driven capitalismThe output of blockchain 


Key Takeaways: 

Implementing a way to access a service through a mobile interface is the best way to make your product more convenient and accessible, therefore making it a better fit f...

Samantha Parga: The Safe Zone May Not Be the Growth Zone

Currently the HR and Payroll Manager at Flagsource, Samantha has focused on creating development sessions and training techniques for the leadership team she has worked with, aiming to improve internal growth. Having gone from a VIP Bartender to HR Manager, Samantha recognizes the importance of being able to identify talent and translatable skills on a deeper level rather than just what is written on a resume. 


In this episode Steve and Samantha discuss:

Finding courage within Basing stability on work ethicReflecting on what you wantChoosing the scarier option


Key Takeaways: 


Andrzej Cetnarski: Resilient Mindsets

Forbes Contributor on Cyber Defense National Security and Board Strategy, named CEO of the Year 2020 by CEO Monthly Magazine, Mr. Cetnarski is a national & cybersecurity strategist and Founder & CEO of Cyber Nation Central®, a global cyber defense ecosystem bringing:

(1) breach-prevention-focused cultural transformation training from the Board-down, 

(2) incident response capabilities to even the most complex cyberbreaches, and 

(3) investment capital into cybertechnologies. 

Through the ecosystem’s breach prevention training, Mr. Cetnarski has helped strengthen the cybersecurity of hundreds of teams globally from those of UN officials and heads of state to global CEOs, Board...

John Seib: Learn to Earn

John Seib is the co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer of Electus Global Education. After 20 years in the financial services world watching firsthand the effects of financial illiteracy on our society, he started researching to find a solution. The results of his research revealed a few basics about what a solution would have to look like. 


In this episode Steve and John Seib discuss:

How to solve financial illiteracy The limits of teaching Waking up without an alarm Formation rather than modification 


Key Takeaways: 

The best solution to address people’s financial...

Mike Loftin: This is Doable

Mike Loftin is the CEO of Homewise, a New Mexico-based social enterprise that has been closing the racial wealth gap through homeownership for nearly 30 years, and a Nonresident Fellow at the Urban Institute.


In this episode Steve and Mike discuss:

Finding meaning and purpose Not selling anyone short Helping people escape poverty Telling people that it’s doable 


Key Takeaways: 

Everybody wants to find work that’s meaningful and purposeful whether they know it or not. People care about their self-interest but we have to be careful not to short-sell anyone. Peop...

Jeffrey Walker: Doing Well AND Doing Good

Jeffrey Walker is the Co-Founder and CEO of CredEvolv, a fin-tech platform that revolutionizes the way consumers achieve and maintain good credit. CredEvolv’s mission is to turn “no” into “not yet” by breaking down the barriers to credit equity and guiding consumers seeking improved credit on a journey to sustainable, lifelong credit well-being.

Prior to founding CredEvolv, Mr. Walker held a number of mortgage industry leadership positions, most recently with Fannie Mae. Mr. Walker’s responsibilities with Fannie Mae included SVP/Co-Chief Customer Officer and SVP for Strategy, Insights, and Business Enablement. In these capacities Mr. Walker lever...

Adam Smith: See a Need Fill a Need

Adam P. Smith is the President and founder of The Colorado Real Estate Finance Group, Inc., a commercial and residential real estate firm, and owner of Just The Tips Coaching. During his lending career he has helped thousands of clients, both individuals and corporations, in their goals regarding real estate finance as well as both personal and corporate finance. He has written billions of dollars in mortgage and finance deals. Adam has also coached hundreds of sales professionals on lead generation, client retention, repeat and referral sales prospecting, and zero cost marketing. 


In this episode Ja...

Rich Swerbinsky: Networking with Intent

In his role as President of The Mortgage Collaborative (TMC), Rich's primary responsibility is to be fully engaged and to develop the framework to plan, direct, and coordinate all financial, operational, and cultural objectives of TMC's national network of lender members and preferred partners. And to provide effective and satisfactory leadership, ensuring impactful benefits and services to its members and partners, while meeting financial and operational goals and objectives


In this episode Jason and Rich discuss:

Pouring yourself into something newRecognizing your team members Gatekeeping new members to ensure alignmentUtilizing technology to serve clients be...

Susan Villanova: Servant Leadership

Sue Villanova is the Vice President of Operations for Republic State Mortgage based out of Houston, Texas. Over the past 25+ years, her Servant Leadership philosophy along with her vast knowledge in multiple areas in the mortgage industry allow Sue to create a cohesive, intelligent, efficient team of experts across organizations. When she is not "making it happen," Sue enjoys creating various pieces of art, reading, hiking in the Arizona desert and spending time with her husband and kids.  


In this episode Jason and Susan discuss:

Leaning into communication Getting everybody to work together Pushing peopl...

Steve & Jason: Getting to 100

In this episode Steve and Jason discuss:

Beginning and continuing on your whyInvolving other people Motivation through the possibility of mastery What coaching is and is not 

Key Takeaways: 

Begin with the end in mind. Start with your why and continue on it. If you really want to get something done, involve other people in it. Let somebody know or let somebody in. You’ll be motivated to continue provided that you believe that you can improve on something or get better - this is called mastery. Coaching is not teaching, consulting or counseling - it’s helping p...

Steve Sussman: Run to the Fire

Steve is an experienced strategic leader, team builder, and relationship manager, with over 20 years professional experience in sales, marketing, and management. Drawing from his extensive experience leading teams at small, high-growth organizations, all the way up to Fortune 500 companies, Steve brings a unique approach to leadership that blends the passion of a startup mentality with the discipline that is required of a mature company. In addition to his corporate work, Steve has served in leadership capacities on several boards of directors, including as president of a 20+member board on behalf of a large national non-profit organization.


Fobby Naghmi: Finding Meaning in Falling Down

Starting in sales in 1987 as an insurance agent for New York Life, Fobby moved into the mortgage industry in 1994. In 2000 he co-founded Horizon Mortgage Corp. Since 2013, Fobby has helped multiple lenders create winning teams of mortgage professionals. Fobby's goal has always been on profitable loan volume rather than just loan volume.  Fobby is the national sales manager for First Option Mortgage while hosting Laugh, Lend & Eat the podcast. In 2021, Fobby was awarded Housingwires's Insider's Award, as well as being a two-time recipient of "The 40 Greatest Names in the Mortgage Industry" issued by The Mortgage Collaborative. 



Melissa Perrin: Spend Life Wisely

Melissa Perrin serves as EVP, Chief Culture and Communications Officer at First United Bank. Melissa began her career with First United in 2004 and in her role, she oversees culture, communications, and marketing. Her focus is on purpose, values and vision work, employee and customer engagement, workplace and customer space environments, branding and messaging, and First United’s Spend Life Wisely mission.  

Melissa is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Human Resource Management course, the Stagen Integral Leadership Program, and a graduate of the Stagen Advanced Leadership Program. In 2019, she was recognized as one of Conscious Company’s 35 W...

Cash Nickerson: The One Thing You Bring To Every Negotiation

Cash Nickerson is chairman of AKKA North America’s Business Unit. He was President, CFO, General Counsel, and the second largest shareholder of PDS Tech prior to its purchase by AKKA Technologies. Previous roles include attorney and marketing executive for Union Pacific Railroad, associate and then partner at Jenner & Block in Chicago, and chairman and CEO of an internet company. He teaches Negotiation as a Professor of Practice at Washington University in St. Louis, School of Law. Nickerson has authored several books, with his latest book, Negotiation as a Martial Art: Techniques to Master the Art of Human Exchange (Ma...

Steven Cooley: Failure Is Where the Magic Happens

Steven Cooley is the Founder and CEO of Art Vs. Math LLC. and Mortgage Advisor Tools. Art Vs. Math is a hyper-creative marketing technology company and consultancy focused on the mortgage industry.


In this episode Steve and Steven discuss:

Why should we be grateful? The stories this world needs Failing quickly without fear Responding to criticism 


Key Takeaways: 

Gratitude has to be practiced daily because our own brain, in a lot of ways, works against us. If you don’t practice gratitude, you will likely just be negative. The world needs more...

Rick Seehausen: The Silver Lining in Adversity

Rick is a distinguished financial executive who has brought vision and innovation to the mortgage banking industry. He began his career at Citicorp in loan servicing before becoming an originator, branch manager and regional manager for an independent mortgage bank in the early 90’s. He was a founding partner of Preserve Financial, Inc. in 1996, which was an IMB originating loans in thirteen states, and LenderLive Holdings, Inc. in 1999. Rick led LenderLive to a successful exit in 2014 and retired from the company in 2017, at which time the company had grown to employ more than 1,000 on-shore and offshore associates and generated we...

Craig Ungaro: Guy in the Blue Shirt

Craig Ungaro is the Chief Operating Officer for AnnieMac Home Mortgage. As COO, Craig serves as an advisor to all business channels and facets of the organization, serving as Executive Sponsor for Operations, Credit Policy, Quality Control, Compliance, Legal, Enterprise Project Management and Technology. 

Craig’s tenure in the real estate finance industry is slightly over 17 years and has included roles in Title, Closing, Production and Compliance. He started his industry experience as a traveling Closing Agent while attending Temple University, and upon graduation, he was hired by current AnnieMac CEO, Joe Panebianco as a Loan Officer. Fro...

Robyn LaVassaur: Curiosity Is the Secret Sauce

Robyn has been a leader in the Mortgage industry for over 20 years and she is ranked nationally in the Top 50 Women Loan Originators and the #1 Originator in Oregon for back to back years. Being a top loan originator and running the largest branch in volume and units for Summit Funding has been an incredible journey. Whether it is with clients, referral partners, team members or industry peers, Robyn’s passion is impacting and developing people. That passion has recently driven Robyn to take on the position Executive Vice President of National Sales for Summit Funding, though she continues to ru...

Steve Conwell: The Exit Journey

In this episode Steve and Steve discuss:

What’s required of parents The buyer’s perspectiveGetting your people readyThe key to maturity


Key Takeaways: 

If you’re a parent, know that your children will have a lot of influences so you have to do everything you can to stay connected and engaged in building a relationship with them.Chances are that you didn’t build a business so that you can sell, therefore your perspective would be different from someone who can see it from a buyer’s perspective. Hire an expert even 10 years or more befor...

Jesse Lopez: Be a Good Human

Jesse Lopez has over 20 years of mortgage experience. With deep roots in sales and branch management, Jesse has a proven history of success in growing branches by training and communicating the company culture. He served as VP of Retail and VP of Wholesale for Mortgage Solutions Financial. Under his leadership the training division of Mortgage Solutions was created and has grown expansively.


In this episode Steve and Jesse discuss:

Why leaders should train their peopleDrawing out passion and drive Giving your time to what mattersStaying consistent with your purpose


Key Takeaways: 


Jason & Steve - Learning From the Past

In this episode Steve and Jason discuss:

Getting better at learning from the pastStarting over with humilityReflecting intentionally What you learned about you


Key Takeaways: 

Learning from the past is something that we must do and get better at doing. Ask yourself what’s something you want to continue to learn. It takes humility - and sometimes humiliation - to start over in these areas. Schedule your downtime, intentionally set a time to reflect on your life. As you ask yourself about all the things that you learned about this year, ask also about what you...

Wayne Patterson: The Gift of Stopping

Wayne has devoted his life helping others build vibrant working relationships and life-giving environments, being convinced that healthy things grow regardless of the person, enterprise or activity.  Wayne recently retired after 45 years in both for-profit and nonprofit business. His diverse experiences include organizational leadership, resource development, business management, and culture transformation.Growing up in Indiana, Wayne loves college basketball and football, hunting, fishing, and everything golf. A growing passion for Wayne and his wife, Laura, is to create hospitable spaces for others that usually involve great food, beverages, and meaningful conversation. Wayne earned a Bachelor of Science degree from I...

Joel Schwartzberg: Get To The Point

Currently Senior Director of Strategic and Executive Communications for a major U.S. nonprofit, Joel Schwartzberg also teaches communication and presentation skills to clients including American Express, State Farm Insurance, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Comedy Central, and the Brennan Center for Justice. Joel’s books include The Language of Leadership and Get to the Point! and his articles appear in Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and CNBC. A frequent conference presenter and workshop leader, Joel is also a former national champion public speaker and collegiate speech coach.


In this episode Jason and Joel discuss:


Lindsay Helm: Sit in the Suck

Lindsay Helm is a professional coach and successful entrepreneur driven by a passion for helping others pursue their unknowable potential and face life’s challenges with confidence. After a catastrophic injury left her husband paralyzed, their road through rehab inspired them to create Stand Strong Training Center, a fitness and athletic facility in their hometown, where they train able-bodied adults, student athletes, and adaptive athletes. Success is more than just physical training: Lindsay also runs Stand Strong STRIVE, her online coaching program where she helps you master your mindset and emotions to get unstuck, overcome challenges, and achieve your go...

Stanley Middleman: Success is Cumulative

Stanley C. Middleman is the founder and CEO of Freedom Mortgage Corporation, one of the largest and fastest growing full-service mortgage companies in the country. He is a nationally recognized business strategist, investor and philanthropist with over 30 years of experience in the mortgage banking industry. Since founding Freedom Mortgage in 1990, he has grown the company into one of the nation’s largest originators and servicers and a top VA and FHA lender.

He is an active member of the Mortgage Bankers Association and has served on numerous advisory boards. Freedom Mortgage was honored with the 2021 Top Workplaces US...

Jason, Steve, and Guests: Thanksgiving 2021

In this episode Steve, Jason, and previous guests discuss:

Bringing up gratitudeGratitude for life and familyCareer, education and technologyMentors and leaders


Key Takeaways: 

People often aren’t prepared to be asked what they’re grateful for and that’s what makes their responses interesting, because it’s genuine. Bringing up gratitude sets up an environment of beauty, joy and peace.Family is often the first thing that comes to mind when people think of gratitude. Some remember how thankful they are for their parents’ influence and love, and some as parents are thankful to be able to c...

Robert Kohlhepp: Dogged Determination

Robert J. Kohlhepp joined Cintas Corporation in July 1967 as controller. Over a span of 50 years with Cintas, he was promoted to positions of general manager, vice president and treasurer, executive vice president, president, and CEO, then served as Vice Chair and Board Chair until retiring in 2016. Additionally, Kohlhepp has served on several association, corporation, nonprofit and university boards. His new book is Building a Better Organization. Visit


In this episode Steve and Robert discuss:

One key trait for successful peopleCultivating a culture in your teamGetting people on board with company cultureDirectness for t...

Tim Franz: A Culture of Partnership

Timothy M. Franz, Ph.D., is an Organizational Psychologist, Professor of Psychology, and Chair at St. John Fisher College. In addition to his academic role, he also works as an organizational consultant through his firm, Franz Consulting. His new book, with coathor Seth R. Silver, Ed.D., is Meaningful Partnership at Work: How the Workplace Covenant Ensures Mutual Accountability and Success between Leaders and Teams (Productivity Press, Aug. 27, 2021).


In this episode Steve and Tim Franz discuss:

Introducing thoughtful changes in the workplaceAn ongoing dialogue between leader and teamThe resistance to a culture of p...

Erica McCurdy: You Can't Fix Not Doing

About Erica McCurdy: She is absolutely passionate about the potential of people. While she started her career as an executive in the telecom industry, she found her passion in entrepreneurism and in helping others explore their passion. As an ICF Certified Coach, Erica is an expert at helping high-performing people achieve their goals and find their best next step. She has built several companies across multiple industries including her favorite, Georgia Sanitation. After taking time to work on staff at North Point Church, she opened her own practice helping others in career and life transition, including our senior Navy...

Tony Julianelle - Revisited

Tony has over 20 years of executive leadership experience in the real estate industry. Before joining Atlas, he was responsible for seven states in the Mountain West for the largest mortgage company in the U.S. Today, Tony leads the overall strategy and direction of Atlas while maintaining a relentless commitment to the firm’s values and culture.


In this episode Steve and Tony discuss:

Developing leaders and advancing the mission of the company. Setting aside distractions and being present to make the moment memorable.Taking the time to realize your calling in the world.Embr...

Steve Richman: Leadership with Emotion and Logic

Steve is a nationally recognized speaker, motivator, consultant, and coach. He has spoken to over 350,000 professionals at over 750 lending institutions across the US. He has taught accredited continuing education classes for real estate professionals, been adjunct faculty at the Sellinger Business School at Loyola University Maryland and Towson University, spoke as a guest lecturer at the Business School at Columbia University, and presented on Capitol Hill.


In this episode Steve and Steve Richman discuss:

The Three P’s of NegotiationOpenness to other outcomesEmotion and logic Concepts for success 


Key Takeaways: 


Todd Duncan: The Art of Surrender

Todd is a Sales Entrepreneur with over 5,000,000 students around the globe that he has mentored and taught in real estate, mortgage, banking and financial services.

He started as a Real Estate Broker and Licensed Loan Originator, successfully negotiating and financing over 5,000 Real Estate transactions in 12 years. He then took that success and launched The High Trust Company with a vision of transforming how sales professionals build high performing real estate and mortgage practices.

Todd has spent his life teaching and equipping professionals with the power of HIGH TRUST as the key catalyst in achieving their person...

Jason & Steve: The Orthopraxy of Leadership

In this episode Steve and Jason discuss:

The gaps in leadershipGetting through hardshipsWhat togetherness looks likeWholeness and integrity


Key Takeaways: 

Humans and humanity in general are just messy. It’s what makes life interesting, finding the gaps and filling them. Challenges, hardships and tragedies are not anomalies, they’re a part of life and they will happen. Good leadership is necessary for getting people through challenges wherever they are, whether in an organization, a country, or a family.Focus on wholeness and integrity in the individual, so that when we come together as a group...

Jeffrey Foot: Always Be Tinkering

“Footy” is the enneagram 7, type B personality, along-for-the-adventure kinda guy. One of the best opportunities he’s had is leading all the magicians & technicians at Trick & Mortar, the creative studio that tricks all the right boxes. His creative journey started while crafting promos, trailers, and brand anthems for broadcast networks. Personally, Footy loves building production teams and elevating their process. Now, he encourages their growth and cheerleads them to reach their own potential. He believes that their success is measured by the unique culture and lifestyle they create together.


In this episode Jason and Footy dis...