Meet the team
EVP, Consumer Direct Lending | NMLS #66234816-778-7027
Joseph Watts works as the Executive Vice President of Consumer Direct Lending. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, and mastering several roles throughout his career, his objective has and continues to remain the same; establish a foundation of trust, communication, and servant leadership to ensure an exceptional experience for both his customers and employees. Creating an inspirational and supportive environment is essential in sustaining solid, life-long relationships, while providing an enjoyable journey for everyone involved. When Joseph is away from work, he enjoys spending time with his amazing wife, Diana and his three children, Ethan, Sofia and James.
Director of Training and Development | NMLS #97855816-778-7029
As the Director of Training and Development at First Mortgage Direct, Emily Sappingfield trains and develops new loan officers, and helps facilitate the knowledge and growth of the existing loan officers. Emily’s goal is to extend her training capabilities to other departments as time and needs allow.
Emily built her foundation as an educator. She was a classroom teacher for 8 years before moving to the mortgage industry, and during her tenure, she was also a middle school, high school, and college basketball coach. Prior to kicking off her career, Emily received her associates degree from Fort Scott Community College, where she also played basketball. She then graduated with her Bachelor of Science in education from Pittsburg State University. After receiving her master’s degree in technology education from Lesley University, Emily then joined the mortgage industry as a loan officer. She later moved to Mortgage Lenders of America where she served as a loan officer, sales manager, HR manager, recruiter, and trainer. Through her diverse professional background, Emily has extensive experience building and developing new programs.
When Emily isn’t working, she loves sports. She has two sons, Drew and Blake, and enjoys any chance she gets to play basketball or foosball with them. They also love to spend time with their newly adopted Pitbull, Luna! Emily likes to travel, spend time with friends and family, and has made it her goal to help her sons go to college and travel to Fiji.
Loan Originator | 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 Originator | NMLS #201527816-778-7032
Anthony Hicks works as a Mortgage Loan Originator with 13 years of experience in the industry. Specializing in Conventional, FHA and VA loan types, Anthony has a vast knowledge of guidelines for all client scenarios. Ranking among the nation’s top originators by Scotsman Guide and consistently finishing in the top 3 of his peers, are accomplishments only topped by the continued success of his ultimate goal – Cultivate long-standing relationships built on trust and reliability by providing the knowledge and support his borrowers need to obtain financial freedom.
Anthony credits his family as the inspiration needed to raise the bar higher every day. He and his family are big pet lovers with 2 St. Bernard’s, 1 Siberian Husky, 1 French Bulldog, and 2 Axolotls (a high maintenance, yet very beautiful species of Salamander). Some of Anthony’s favorite pastimes are gardening with his wife, spending time at the gym and pool, and watching his favorite team, the New York Mets, every chance he gets.
Loan Originator | NMLS #1277999816-778-7033
As a senior loan originator 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 First Mortgage Direct, 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 Originator | 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 Originator | 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.