Alex Ilich, Senior Vice President of Mortgage Banking
Matt Roder, Vice President of Mortgage Banking
Jeff Baker, Senior Vice President of Mortgage Banking
Erik Johansson, Senior Vice President of Mortgage Banking
James Foeller, Senior Vice President of Mortgage Banking

The bemortgage team is made up of a group of veteran industry leaders who aim to offer a personal and effective model for both clients and loan officers. The group unveiled its new brand and message less than a year ago, but more than 50 employees have already decided to join the team. Now, bemortgage is a trailblazer in the mortgage industry aimed at administering a new truth in lending.

For Jeff Baker, senior vice president of mortgage banking and founding lender at bemortgage, deft analytical skills help him look closely at a client’s bigger picture before coaching them on their options. Baker got his bachelor’s degree at the University of Notre Dame before earning an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He has continually been named in Mortgage Executive’s Top 1% Loan Originators in the Country, as well as Scotsman Guide’s Best Mortgage Lenders in Illinois. “My clients know I have their best interest at heart and will do everything to make sure they close on-time and stress-free,” Baker says. “Without their satisfaction, we wouldn’t be here today.”

Alex Ilich, senior vice president of mortgage banking, began a career in real estate immediately after graduating college. Originally inspired by his father’s career as a loan officer, Ilich has now worked in lending for 22 years. For 10 of these years, he found success as the president and owner of Compass Home Finance. A member of the University of Wisconsin 1994 Rose Bowl team, his career in sports has helped him garner an unparalleled sense of discipline in the workplace. “Playing football has taught me to never give up,” Ilich says. “If there’s a solution, I will find it and I will do everything in my power to help my clients close their deal.”

Erik Johansson, senior vice president of mortgage banking, owes much of his integrity to time served in the U.S. Air Force and Illinois Air National Guard, and his attention to detail originates from time spent in the hospitality industry. Now, Johansson’s clients come from around the globe, and he utilizes his skills to make the mortgage process as simple as possible. “They know that I have their best interests in mind and that I will always take their calls no matter the time of day,” he says.

James Foeller, senior vice president of mortgage banking, has been in the mortgage industry for 18 years, and his vast experience has helped him succeed as a top-producing loan officer. Foeller has been able to help families with complicated financial histories get a mortgage for their home, and he always aims to be transparent during each step of the way. “I enjoy the variety in my job as I get to learn about each person’s individual circumstances and then help match them with the right loan product,” he says.

For Matt Roder, vice president of mortgage banking, the business is all about letting clients know he’s available any day of the week. Though his business is primarily in the Chicagoland area, Roder lends to clients across the United States. In 2015 and 2016, the Scotsman Guide recognized Roder in the top 1 percent of loan officers. Roder had previously attended school for an architecture degree and has applied many of these lessons to his current business. “Mortgage guidelines are very similar to building codes — you have to know all of the fine print,” he says. “My education as an architect has helped me understand that understanding even the smallest rule can make the difference between success and failure.”

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