Honoring someone I admire and respect on Mortgage Operations Day.


There is still so much to celebrate and much gratitude to spread. Rather than focusing on what we don’t have, let’s take a moment to recognize what we do have. Today, it’s the people in the mortgage industry – those who work so very hard each day to support homeownership. 

National Mortgage Operations Day celebrates the unsung heroes of the mortgage industry—mortgage operations professionals. These individuals handle the behind-the-scenes tasks, coordinating and facilitating loan processing, underwriting, and closing. Recognizing this day honors their hard work, attention to detail, and efficiency, ensuring seamless transactions and the realization of homeownership dreams. 

Today, I want to give the biggest shoutout to someone whom I consider to be the best in the business and, after years of working together, I am honored to call a friend. Here’s where I’m going to get a little sappy and corny, because why not?! 

There is a very special Operations Leader that I’d like to personally recognize – Donna Freeland. Donna is an exemplary Mortgage Operations Leader, or can I say a Mortgage Operations Rockstar that should be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Sorry, not sorry – but it’s true. I’m an adoring fan, similar to a Swiftie. Here’s why…  

I met Donna in 2012 when I was just dipping my toe in mortgage, and she quickly became an incredible business partner. You could just tell that there was something special about her. She cares about her job, the people, and the process. She took great pride in building loyalty and trust among her team and those around her. 

As we all know, in mortgage, there is Sales and then there is Operations – but with Donna at the helm of the Ops Team, it was always a collaborative environment. What I learned over the years in mortgage as a marketing leader is the importance of collaboration and partnership across all the support departments. We could not work in a silo; sales, operations, marketing, compliance, finance, and so on all needed to be rowing in the same direction. And at the end of the day, it’s not possible without people like Donna. 

She is always willing to roll up her sleeves. She is approachable, confident, and solution-oriented. She has been involved in several mergers and acquisitions, long days of system integrations, and extended travel. She made transitions so that they were undetectable to customers and protected against any disruption to their loans in progress. She deployed countless technologies that create a more efficient loan process, improve turnaround times, and contributed to decreasing the cost per loan. She’s invaluable. She’s a bright light that has been through all industry ups and downs. 

Most recently, in 2022, she was recognized by Housing Wire as a Woman of Influence. With over 30 years of experience, you better believe I wanted to give her another high five! Gold Star and the biggest shout out from the highest mountain. I think she is an incredible human, and the industry has greatly benefited from her expertise. At the end of the day, Donna has helped make homeownership possible for thousands.  

Check out more Mortgage Industry Holidays to recognize and celebrate the best in the business.

Written by: Blake Boyer, CMO at Mortgage Advisor Tools