President, Benjamin Pettit, Esq.
As I begin my term as President, I am profoundly grateful, not only for the honor, but also for all the past presidents for being such faithful stewards of this great organization. Most recently Al Grant, who did a tremendous job in leading this organization forward, and through a pandemic no less. I am humbled to be next in line and hope to live up to the lasting legacy each of you have left behind.
RIMBA has been and continues to be a legislative watchdog and advocate for the mortgage lending community. Each year, the legislative committee reviews and considers hundreds of bills, and that’s no exaggeration, just ask Jim, Terry and Lenette. For those bills flagged as carrying great significance, members of the committee submitted written testimony or when called upon went to the state house to offer up their verbal testimony to advocate for our industry. I have personally testified on a number of bills over the years and can attest to the hard work that is done by all who serve on the committee each and every year. Quite simply, the impact of these efforts cannot be overstated.
RIMBA has also become an educational leader, sponsoring a number of loan originator continuing education courses, hosting panel discussions, and launching the first ever MBA-led accredited education program designed for un-employed or under-employed Rhode Islanders. The ultimate aim of the program was to provide an opportunity for a career in our industry. The program was held at CCRI and ran for six cohorts consisting of 15 students per each and posted an amazing 91% graduation rate. At least 2/3rds of those landed jobs in the industry. When doing the math, think about the number of lives that were positively impacted by this. It was a truly remarkable feat and one that’s unlikely to be duplicated by other state MBAs, setting RIMBA apart from the rest.
But I think RIMBA’s greatest contribution is its philanthropic heart. Over the years, RIMBA has donated close to $90K to various non-profit organizations, including Toys for Tots, the American Cancer Society, Homes for our Troops, the RI Community Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, and the RI Coalition for the Homeless. Speaking on behalf of the board, what we have been able to give back to our communities is what we are most proud of, as it speaks to who we are.
With all that said, my job is to simply carry forward and build upon the good work of all who have preceded me; to draw upon the strength of the organization through all of us who dedicate our time to the carrying out of our mission. And that’s exactly what I plan to do.
Before I close, I want to thank my family, friends and colleagues for all their love and support over the years. I want to especially thank my wife, Lianne. You are not only my biggest supporter, but also my greatest inspiration.
If you are working in the mortgage industry in Rhode Island it is because the Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association has been working for you.