Meet the team
President & CEO | NMLS #245121
I’m a family man first and foremost. I am happily married to my wife Maureen, and a proud father of four. Originally from Dodge City, KS my parents moved my brother and me to Blue Springs Missouri in 1985 where I eventually graduated from Blue Springs High School in 1999. I attended Northwest Missouri State University, graduated in 2003 with dual Majors in Business Management and Marketing.
I started my career in the mortgage business in May of 2005. It was at that time I discovered my passion for building financial freedom and wealth of others through home ownership. In December of 2008 the plan of opening a mortgage company was started and by May of 2009 the doors were open for business!
COO | NMLS #335259
The mortgage process requires commitment, attention to detail, patience, and perhaps more than anything, customer service. Throughout my experience in the mortgage industry, I have become proficient in upholding these duties for my clients and referral partners, as well as coaching our staff to uphold these same standards. Ethical behavior and integrity are of great importance, and we take pride in embracing these values.
CAO | NMLS #816.778.7016
As the Vice President of Finance, my main responsibility here at First Mortgage Direct is handling the business side of our daily operations. This includes all human resources, accounting, payroll, and licensing initiatives. Previous to this position, I gained several years of experience in running small businesses, as well as in sales, and management.
Outside of work, I love spending time with my beautiful wife, Beth, our son Cade, and daughter Sierra. In my spare time, I enjoy watching my Kansas State Wildcats, KC Chiefs, and KC Royals, and my favorite activities include running, golf, softball, and working outside.
Thank you for your interest in First Mortgage Solutions!
CIO | NMLS #816.778.7035
As Chief Information Officer (CIO) at First Mortgage Direct, Cylee Steele uses her cross-functional expertise in information technology and business development to ensure effective process management throughout the company. Cylee oversees business technologies and data management to positively contribute to FMD’s strategic goals.
After receiving her Master of Business Administration (MBA), Cylee was a business partner of a small tax preparation service, where she streamlined processes and focused on building efficiencies. She then moved to the mortgage industry, where she could continue her career in IT. Cylee has worked at First Mortgage Direct since 2016 and has quickly grown in her role. She continues to successfully integrate new systems and has drastically increased efficiencies for the company’s departments.
Outside of work, Cylee enjoys spending time with family, going on long road trips, camping, and visiting national parks.
VP of Marketing | NMLS #816.778.7087
As VP of Marketing at First Mortgage Direct, Chloe Fischgrund’s primary responsibility is to build a marketing and communications strategy based off the company’s vision and mission.
Chloe attended the University of Kansas, where she was an active member of Sigma Kappa Sorority and a coxswain for the University of Kansas Rowing Team. She graduated in 2015 with a B.S. in Marketing and minor in Economics. After graduation, Chloe joined CBIZ Insurance Services, Inc., where she worked as a marketing coordinator. She then went on to work as the director of communications for Prime Capital Investment Advisors.
In her role today, Chloe manages the daily marketing communications and responsibilities, and works to integrate new systems to increase brand visibility. She additionally manages all public relations, design and branding, and vendor relationships. Her goal is to not only increase the customer experience, but also the experience employees have as part of the FMD team.
When Chloe isn’t working her creative side, she likes to cook, attempt to garden, and travel to the mountains. But her most favorite thing of all is her 11-years-young puppy, Olive.
National Sales Manager | NMLS #95809816.778.7031
As the National Sales Manager at First Mortgage Direct, Stephanie O’Farrell is responsible for the strategic direction, vision, and performance of First Mortgage Direct’s sales organization. Her quest is to build the best mortgage origination team through collaboration and teamwork while maintaining a core focus on the customer experience.
With over 16 years of experience in the mortgage industry, Stephanie has helped thousands of homebuyers purchase a new home or restructure their current mortgage to meet their financial goals. Born on a military base in Germany, her passion for working with veterans comes naturally. Stephanie is a multiple year President’s Club winner and is consistently ranked in the top 10% of all loan officers. In 2020, Stephanie was ranked in the top 10% of all loan officers nationwide on the Scotsman List for top loan originations.
Stephanie earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas, and her MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and spending as much time as possible with her toes in the sand.
Vice President, Bison State Bank / Sales Associate Team Lead | NMLS #816.778.7063
Loan Consultant | NMLS #1277999816.778.7033
As a senior loan consultant with First Mortgage Direct, Basil Benyo’s primary objectives are to listen to customer needs, match them with the best mortgage product for their scenario and provide exemplary customer service throughout the transaction.
With over 10 years of experience in the mortgage industry, Basil is committed to getting the job done right. Prior to working at FMD, he worked for Mortgage Lenders of America, where he earned multiple Gold Club and Customer Service awards.
When not being kept busy by their son, Basil and his wife, Heidi, enjoy working out, dining out and of course the Kansas City Chiefs.
Loan Consultant | NMLS #95809816.778.7037
As a loan originator at First Mortgage Direct, Shelley Cox helps clients with one of the most important financial investments they will make. She has a passion for all aspects of the home loan process, but her favorite part is getting to know each client and being readily available to answer any questions they may have.
Shelley has been in the mortgage industry for over 17 years and has consistently been a top producer at FMD. She has earned numerous awards along the way, with the most recent one being a Scotsman Guide 2020 top producer. This is a prestigious honor, as it is a nationwide ranking of all top originators.
When she isn’t working, Shelley loves traveling and sports. She is a huge Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Chiefs fan.
Loan Consultant | NMLS #1957252816.778.7070
As a loan originator at First Mortgage Direct, Tyler Epley walks borrowers through the mortgage process to help them achieve their financial goals as they relate to mortgage options. Tyler is also responsible for facilitating any requests to the proper internal team member, organizing clean files, and provide any assistance to team members as needed.
Tyler has a history of corporate communications and marketing experience – moving from corporate marketing to client relations as a corporate account executive. From there, Tyler then moved into a sales position for more of a consumer direct approach. Through his previous opportunities, Tyler has built up strong communication skills, is self-driven, and is an encouraging team member through his friendly and professional attitude.
Tyler received his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Illinois State Business School, where he specifically studied integrated marketing communication. He has extensive knowledge of multiple media types and how they all come together, as well as the full creation of a marketing campaign from start to finish.
Tyler has a large, blended family. He is the proud sibling to one brother, two step brothers, and two step sisters. Tyler is also engaged to his fiancé, and is a loving pet parent to their cat, Aphrodite. When he is not visiting family in Illinois, Tyler is down in Florida seeing his mom or out in Colorado with his brother-in-law.
Beyond traveling, Tyler and his fiancé love going out to eat out at any time of the day, cooking, and spending time with their friends. If they aren’t eating out or with friends, you can find them watching Netflix with a glass of wine in hand. Tyler spends any chance he gets watching Lakers games, Lakers highlights, or listening to the Lakers podcast!
Loan Consultant | NMLS #202648816.778.7006
Vincent Mark Gennusa is a Kansas City native and first born in the states from his family. His parents left Sicily in 1960 and immigrated to the United States. He was also the first to attend and graduate college for his generation. He started his career in Mortgage Finance in August of 2000 working for a small mortgage broker. In 2003 he ventured off to open his own mortgage brokerage. As CEO, his firm focused on online consumer direct financing in both Kansas and Missouri. Like many other mortgage companies hit hard during the recession, his company closed their doors in 2010. Mark was able to take his book of business and join US Bank Home Mortgage as a Sr. Mortgage Loan Officer. During his time spent at US Bank he steadily maintained ranking within the top 10% of his peers nationwide. In 2014 US Bank realigned their retail division to a self-generated business model. Mark’s focus and passion had always been in consumer direct lending and made a decision to sign on with Mortgage Lenders of America (MLOA). MLOA was Kansas City’s fastest growing online lender and was the best fit for Mark given his tenure in the industry. As a Sr. Mortgage Loan Officer, Mark quickly moved up in sales ranking. Achieving Gold Club production, just barely shy of President’s Club, in his first full 12 months of hire. Moving forward Mark was able to remain always in the top 10% and was consecutively named President Club Producer from 2016-2018. His overall ranking in 2018 was #2 out of 140+ loan officers. Zillow Group purchased Mortgage Lenders of America in October of 2018 and due to their vast changes and corporate restructure, Mark made a decision again to leave on top. Mark couldn’t stay away from his passion for long and found a receptive platform for his talents at First Mortgage Direct. Mark is once again able to help clients make the most important financial decision of their lives by offering a diverse product mix to meet their specific needs.
Loan Consultant | NMLS #1486507816.778.7028
As a mortgage loan originator, Mike Grier educates, advises, and guides borrowers through the loan application process. Mike has a passion for helping people and possesses the ability to understand and navigate clients through the mortgage loan process. He oversees the loan process from origination to closing and will provide ongoing customer support after the closing while staying readily available for any questions.
Mike is a seasoned professional in customer lending. He has spent the last 25 years originating loans for customers. His driving force is to exceed his borrowers’ expectations by providing a consultative and professional experience. Mike strives for overall customer satisfaction by making this process as easy as possible.
Mike attended The Wichita State University where he pursued his finance degree. He went into the automotive industry where he served many roles from selling autos to finance management. This is where he found his passion for consumer lending and customer service. Mike has logged hundreds of hours to achieve finance certificates and his NMLS classification, and enjoys continuing education for the mortgage industry.
Mike’s time away from work is spent with his wife, Nicole, and their two children. They love to travel and visit as many beaches as they can! Most of their time though is spent watching the many activities that their kids play.
Loan Consultant | NMLS #1957247
As a seasoned loan consultant at First Mortgage Direct, Alex Hodson’s duties are to negotiate loan programs and rate options for all borrowers who are interested in purchasing a new home and refinancing their existing mortgages. Alex knows that each customer has their own unique financial scenario, so it is important to guide them in right direction when choosing the best loan program/rate option given their current circumstances. Alex prides himself on providing customers with great customer service and constant communication as these serve a great importance when seeking lenders within the mortgage industry. Alex has worked in the sales industry for over five years now. His skills include great communication, developing solutions to any problem that arises, and proactive guidance throughout the entire loan process.
Alex graduated from Illinois State University in 2017, where he received his Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Management. During his time at Illinois State, he emphasized his studies towards Entrepreneurship and Small Business, where he learned the ins-and-outs of small business development. This is what sparked Alex’s interest in financing.
Today, Alex enjoys hanging with friends and family in his spare time. He loves the great outdoors and activities such as camping, hiking, fishing, and boating. On Sunday’s, you’ll find him in the comfort of his own home with his two Boston Terriers, Nash and Bonnie, and his beautiful wife, watching their favorite sports team – the Kansas City Chiefs.
Loan Consultant | NMLS #1529640816.778.7029
As a senior loan originator at First Mortgage Direct, Brandon Hoge is responsible for collecting financial information, evaluating creditworthiness and eligibility for obtaining a mortgage loan, and guiding clients through mortgage loan options. Along with preparing and submitting mortgage loan applications, Brandon also ensures data are in line with national and local financial rules, and monitors and reports on the application processes.
Knowing that communication is important in his role, Brandon has learned how to effectively inform clients about loan approval or rejection, and helps resolve problems with applications.
Receiving high accolades, Brandon has been able to build a strong and supportive referral network of clients, lenders, and real estate agents. While working with him, you will receive around-the-clock access during the loan application and approval process. To ensure a seamless and efficient loan approval, Brandon utilizes his expertise and experience on a wide array of loan products to prepare files upfront as thoroughly as possible. This meticulous file preparation results in the most rapid loan review and approval process available.
Brandon received his Bachelor of Science degree in business from the University of Kansas, and his J.D. from KU Law. With his paternal grandfather graduating from West Point and his maternal grandfather serving in the Korean War, Brandon’s history within the military has helped him find a passion in VA loans. When friends and family that served in the military started asking him to review their purchase contracts and loan documents, Brandon decided to research the lender fees on VA loans. He found that many lenders targeting veterans do not necessarily provide the most veteran-friendly loan options. Since then, Brandon has made it his mission to ensure that military families are making informed decisions when it comes to their mortgage.
Loan Consultant | NMLS #1759410816.778.7073
As a mortgage loan officer at First Mortgage Direct, Luciana Hooper’s goal is to make a deeper impact for her clients. Whether witnessing a first-time home buyer seeing their dreams realized or being able to save a family thousands of dollars by refinancing their current loan, helping people is her passion.
Luciana has worked in sales and customer service since she was 13 years old. Her first registered job was at a mall for a London Fog store as a sales associate. From that moment, she realized her love for working with people, and giving and treating people with respect. These traits combined with her engineering skill set makes her strongly focus in on the specifics of every client’s loan, while providing the world class customer service we all want and deserve.
Prior to becoming a loan officer, Luciana was an application engineer for 15 years in the oil & gas industry, working offshore, underwater and in the design of downhole tools pressure relief devices.
In her spare time, Luciana loves traveling internationally. She has been to 14 countries and plans to grow her list. At home, when she isn’t busy playing with her two fur babies, she enjoys spending time at the pool, reading a good book or binge-watching Netflix with a glass of wine by the fireplace.
Loan Consultant | NMLS #1632390816.778.7051
As a senior loan officer with First Mortgage Direct, Douglas Kuehn provides unparalleled service. His primary goal is to exceed the needs and goals of his clients. Doug’s responsibilities include educating clients with the best options available specific to their needs and keeping close tabs on all aspects of the mortgage process. His candor and availability have earned the respect of not only his clients, but his fellow team members as well.
With a diverse background in finance, Doug has vast experience and knowledge in the financial markets and related areas. He consistently ranks among the top performers among his peers. Doug’s passion to help active duty and retired members of the military comes from his father, a retired Senior Chief Petty Officer with the United States Navy after serving 26 years.
Doug received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri – Kansas City with a major in marketing and a double minor in economics and finance. While not working, Doug enjoys experiencing all the unique venues and restaurants in the Kansas City area.
Loan Consultant | NMLS #1161640816.702.7735
As a loan originator at First Mortgage Direct, Devin McCall helps clients learn more about the mortgage process and the best situation for them through meaningful discussions and helpful emails. This includes saving money through a refinance, finding the perfect home, and getting the best rate at a great deal.
Devin’s experience in the mortgage industry spans over 12 years, where he has worked through a recession, recovery, a pandemic, and “normal” conditions. Devin spent five years specializing specifically in VA loans, and seven years doing all loan types (Conventional, FHA, VA, and USDA). During his time in the industry, he has been a part of numerous president’s clubs, origination awards, and has learned the best practices to finding the right loan for his borrowers.
Devin attended Northwest Missouri State University on a full ride track and cross county scholarship. He eventually transferred to the University of Missouri, where he earned an undergraduate and master’s degree in education. Today, Devin and his wife love staying active with their three kids. They enjoy hiking, playing games, and a lot of road trips – in just one year, they visited and hiked in 10 national parks!
Loan Consultant | NMLS #2059342816-778-7082
As a loan originator at First Mortgage Direct, Andrew McKay walks borrowers through the mortgage process to help achieve their financial goals as they relate to mortgage options. Andrew is responsible for managing his team to monitor timely files, provide any assistance, and ensure customer satisfaction.
Andrew graduated from Benedictine College in 2015, where he received his bachelor’s degree in history. Today, with over 10 years of experience in sales and customer service, Andrew enjoys working with customers throughout the entire loan process and is licensed in 13 states.
Andrew and his wife, Hannah, currently reside in the Kansas City metro area with their son, Lochlan. Andrew’s interests involve anything outdoors, whether that be backpacking/camping, fishing, boating, rock climbing, or taking his family to the park or zoo.
Loan Consultant | NMLS #294732816.778.7009
Scott Peterson is a mortgage loan officer with a demonstrated history of success in the financial services industry. He is a finance professional skilled in residential real estate finance, real estate agent relationship building, mortgage marketing, credit analysis, and well versed in conventional, government, as well as non-conventional jumbo financing. Scott provides effective communication throughout the loan process. His number one priority is facilitating loan closing in 25 business days or less while developing a relationship for life. Scott specializes in purchase lending and offering in-house processing & underwriting for a more efficient stress-free home buying experience.
Loan Officer | NMLS #2099016816.778.7086
In his current role as a Loan Originator at First Mortgage Direct, Anthony Newton is responsible for advising borrowers via phone, email, or text throughout their entire loan process to ensure a good experience. Anthony originates and evaluates mortgage loans according to guidelines and standards, while helping clients by keeping them informed. He readily interacts with realtors, appraisers, and other third-party services to further smooth out the process for borrowers.
Anthony is very tech savvy and absorbs knowledge like a sponge. He is a huge proponent for constant learning and does everything he can to make sure he is prepared to meet the borrower’s needs. His attention to detail allows him to thoroughly review applications and efficiently close loans for clients. His interpersonal and communication skills lead him to treat people how he would like to be treated, and he always goes the extra mile to complete what he has started. Anthony’s maturity, ambition, and drive have allowed him to succeed and seek opportunity as he continues to grow in his role.
Anthony is a proud first-generation college graduate, receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Northwest Missouri State University. During his time in Maryville, he played football before finishing his degree at Northwest’s Kansas City location.
In his free time, Anthony enjoys learning more about the stock market and trading stock options. Being active is a big part of his life, whether it is working out, riding bikes with his girlfriend, or going on hikes with his pups. He also loves eating and trying new food, being outdoors, and watching football!
Loan Consultant | NMLS #1446941
As a loan originator at First Mortgage Direct, April Richmond is responsible for helping customers achieve their dreams of home ownership through the loan process.
April has 18 years of administrative experience, including seven years in the financial lending and banking industry, 10 years as a private and personal assistant, 15 years in the securities and alternative investment industry, and two years as a legal administrator and process server for a small law firm. In 1998, April started her career in the mortgage industry as a receptionist. She worked her way to loan processing, became a division trainer, and eventually moved to a loan processing manager position. During her time at Bank of America, she implemented “standard mortgage loan processing” for a division of the bank. Then in 2000, she joined the Securities (FINRA) industry and held the Series 63, 22 and 24 licenses. April re-joined the mortgage industry in 2016, and since then has been a top producer.
As a loan officer, April has consistently ranked in the top 10% of loan originators, including her achievements as a member of the Presidents Club in 2017 and 2018. She additionally received Manager of the Year in 2018. April’s extensive knowledge of credit repair and various loan products has helped her to be recognized as the “first time home buyer” guru.
When April isn’t working, she enjoys traveling anywhere and everywhere with her best friend and husband. She also loves spoiling her English Cream Golden Retriever, Gunner.
Loan Officer | NMLS #2099705816.778.7095
As a loan originator at First Mortgage Direct, Jarrett Pfeiffer strives to offer the best customer service by consistently keeping in touch with borrowers and giving them a fun and stress-free experience. Jarrett has a passion for helping customers save money and aiding them in home ownership. He believes that his strong communication skills come from the mortgage industry’s fast-paced environment.
Born and raised in Kansas City, Jarrett graduated from the University of Missouri – Kansas City with his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and minors in biology and psychology. He spent most of his childhood hanging out with friends at the lake, playing football or out by the pool. Jarrett still values family time today, and enjoys traveling with family and friends.
Loan Consultant | NMLS #958515816.778.7047
My personal work ethic and accountability drive me to provide the quality service that everyone deserves. I am dedicated to helping accomplish the goals of all my clients in a way that leaves a lasting impression and raises the bar of expectation. I am a consistent top producer with over a decade of experience in all aspects of the real estate finance industry. This experience enables me to educate and counsel in a way that helps my clients make informed financial decisions. My experience and close attention to detail leads to customer satisfaction that is second to none. My success is my reputation…..Your satisfaction is my goal!
Loan Consultant | NMLS #2059262816.778.7026
It all begins with having a clear understanding of the borrower’s situation, needs and goals. From there, asking the right questions is key to being able to offer the best possible options. As a loan officer at First Mortgage Direct, Michael Schrader helps borrowers navigate the refinance/purchase process with realtors, appraisers and lenders to ensure a seamless process from the beginning all the way through closing.
A veteran in the industry, Michael has over 20 years of sales management and finance experience. This has taught him the benefits of a customer-centric approach, providing each client with empathy and professionalism. Michael is also very detail-orientated, allowing for him to be efficient and concise throughout the purchase process.
Michael is a dedicated husband and father to his 7-year-old and 4-year-old boys. He is also a proud Doodle-dad to his two Goldendoodles, Ace and Arya. Michael is mega-fan of his hometown Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Chiefs! On the weekends, you can find him spending time with the family or hosting tailgate parties. Growing up in an airline family, Michael easily has the travel bug. He and his family love traveling to any place with a beach and crystal blue waters.
Loan Consultant | NMLS #410338816.778.7027
As a loan originator at First Mortgage Direct, Kim Shuey evaluates borrower’s loan eligibility and pairs them with the loan that meets their needs. Kim is also responsible for issuing pre-approval letters and facilitating refinance loans.
With over 21 years of experience, Kim has consistently ranked in the top 10% of her company. She has extensive knowledge of the market and excellent customer service skills, which provide her with repeat customers and realtor referral partners.
Kim is a proud wife and mother to two teenage girls. When she is not helping people save money or find their dream homes, she enjoys yard work and taking care of the family’s 30 acres. She loves traveling and says that her happy place is on a beach with a fruity cocktail in hand.
Loan Consultant | NMLS #386109816.778.7094
As a senior loan originator at First Mortgage Direct, David Vaughan is responsible for providing customers with solutions for their mortgage needs. David works to deliver a seamless mortgage process for all parties involved in the transaction.
David has over 10 years of experience in the mortgage industry. He received President’s Club member distinction in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018, and was a Gold Club member in 2011 and 2017.
David received his BSBA in finance from Avila University and his MBA in finance from Rockhurst University. Today, David and his wife enjoy spending time with their two little ones; a 4-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter.
Loan Consultant | NMLS #1957250816.778.7036
As a mortgage loan originator at First Mortgage Direct, Trevor Weinrich coaches clients throughout the mortgage loan process, and tailors their loan to fit their needs. Knowing the importance of being an effective and confident communicator, Trevor strives to educate clients about different loan products and makes their mortgage experience as stress-free as possible.
As a seasoned mortgage veteran, Trevor is very solution-oriented and loves finding the answer to complex problems. He thrives while working under pressure and uses his skills and the resources around him to effectively find a solution. As his career continues to grow, he hopes to become an even stronger team member, find variety in each day, build strong relationships with clients and peers, and challenge himself in opportunities of personal growth. Trevor also believes that leadership is not restricted to the individual elected to do so, but it is rather demonstrated by taking action. This has led to many personal successes and just as many failures, yet every experience has allowed him to grow and learn.
Growing up in the Kansas City area, Trevor went on to attend the University of Oklahoma – Price College of Business where he graduated with a BBA in Finance. Today, he enjoys watching, playing, and breathing all things sports.