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Our Leadership Team

A place where relationships thrive

We believe it’s possible to build a successful company without sacrificing integrity, transparency, or expertise – and we haven’t been wrong yet. Integrity requires transparency and accessibility while expertise is what we obtained as veterans and students of the mortgage industry evidenced by our 30+ years of navigating and thriving in a variety of market conditions. Humility undergirds it all ensuring all other cultural attributes are prioritized.

Summit Mortgage leadership welcomes you to the top.

Senior Leadership

Steve Brown

Steven Brown

CEO/President

“I’m proud of the work our team does every single day and I’m excited to see where we take Summit Mortgage from here.”

Get to Know Steven  

Steven Brown

CEO/President

It all starts with leadership, and a civil engineer leading a mortgage company might seem a little misplaced, but I’ve found it to be the perfect fit.

Like most industries, construction came to a halt following the financial crisis in the late 2000s, so after nine and a half years of managing commercial construction projects, I found myself without a job and was faced with redefining myself and my career path. Fortunately, my in-laws were Bob and Diana Carter – the founders of Summit Mortgage – and I had a front-row seat to watch how their work impacted families and homeowners, so I took a leap of faith and started a new career as a loan officer in December of 2009.

When the opportunity to start a secondary department arose, my spreadsheet skills became invaluable for analyzing Summit Mortgage’s production and pipeline value to the secondary markets. Since then, my responsibilities have grown, and I now oversee all of Summit Mortgage’s operations.

I always thought that I would one day coach a team of industry leaders to competitive greatness, I just didn’t think it would be in the mortgage industry. I’m proud of the work our team does every single day and I’m excited to see where we take Summit Mortgage from here.

Mark Schlukebier

Chief Operating Officer

“My experience has allowed me to work in both retail and wholesale channels, providing superior customer service and keeping my clients’ best interests in mind.”

Get to Know Mark  

Mark Schlukebier

Chief Operating Officer

I joined Summit Mortgage in 2008 and have worked in a variety of roles over my 15 years in the mortgage industry. My role as COO allows me to work in both retail and wholesale channels overseeing closing, post-closing, secondary, and investor relations. Our shared mission is to keep our clients’ best interests in mind while providing a superior customer experience which is accomplished through fostering a culture of trust and open communication with all stakeholders.

When I’m not selling loans to investors and overseeing operations, I enjoy traveling while trying to manage the schedules of four kids who play football, soccer, baseball, and hockey.

Bill McDonald

Chief Financial Officer

Get to Know Bill  

Bill McDonald

Chief Financial Officer

Meet the team that makes Summit Mortgage one of the top-rated mortgage lenders.

Justin Neal

Justin Neal

Vice President of Talent Acquisition

Justin Neal

Vice President of Talent Acquisition

I believe that marketing drives sales, sales drive growth, and growth hinges on solid and careful recruiting. As an experienced recruiter, I keep my finger on the pulse of the industry to identify consumer needs and pain points. I then create and execute creative campaigns to increase sales by ensuring that my team is always in lockstep with the consumer and outperforming our competitors.

I’ve always been an innovator, and I love creating content that moves people. My MBA and background in Project Management have taught me the value of strong problem-solving, teamwork, and completing projects ahead of schedule. “On time is late, early is on time” – I live by this quote.
In addition to my professional pursuits, I cherish my family, have a passion for soccer, enjoy hiking, and adore dogs and cats. I’m also a videographer and a stand-up comedian.

My management style is best described as straightforward and honest. I believe in treating my team with respect and as part of the same mission. Throughout my career, I’ve hired, fired, coached, reprimanded, led, and cheered on my employees. I’m comfortable having tough conversations regarding performance and congratulatory conversations regarding success. I’m naturally competitive and love to bring a sense of healthy competition into the workplace whenever possible. I am comfortable taking charge when needed.

So, feel free to reach out if you want to discuss marketing, sales coaching, project management, soccer, or comedy.

Pat Barney

Regional Manager

Pat Barney

Regional Manager

As a Regional Manager, Loan Officer, and 35+ year veteran of the mortgage industry, I enjoy the opportunity afforded me to come alongside a team of talented Branch Managers and Loan Officers to assist with their business and career aspirations. 28 of my 35+ years in the industry have been with Summit Mortgage Corporation; a tenure that speaks to the quality of this company. We are proud of our low loan originator turnover as a result of treating team members right and helping them find new levels of success. In my free time, I like to spend time with family and friends, golfing, fishing, and hunting.

Bill Zimmerman

Bill Zimmerman

Regional Manager

Bill Zimmerman

Regional Manager

In my 27+ years in the mortgage business (15 years with Summit), I’ve had the privilege of assisting many loan officers to achieve higher levels of success. At Summit, our branch managers and originators have room and freedom to grow and receive some of the highest compensation in the industry because of our minimal layers of upper-management structure and financial strength. As an experienced, top-producing loan originator myself, I’ve learned that it’s incredibly important to have control over the direction I want to take my business and that requires access to a leadership team who listens and works closely with branch managers. This is why I love Summit Mortgage. Outside of work, I love spending time with Stephanie and my 10 children. My main hobbies are doing whatever my kids are interested or involved in with them. It’s great being a dad!

Kevin Kappler

Regional Manager

Kevin Kappler

Regional Manager

I’ve spent 38+ years in the Lending industry and held positions ranging from entry-level to Senior Management positions. I joined Summit Mortgage in April of 2007 as a Branch Manager after stepping back from a senior management position at Countrywide Home Loans which allowed me to reengage the joy of working directly with consumers and help them realize the benefits of home ownership. My second joy is training and coaching those new to our industry and supporting those looking to grow their skills to achieve more. Reflecting on my 38 years in the Industry and given my background in both Operations and Origination, I can say with confidence that Summit provides the operational support, underwriting consistency, and competitive pricing necessary to enable long lasting success in our industry. That consistency is due in part from the stability found in a privately owned, family run company that opened its doors in 1992 and navigated a myriad of market changes while prospering through it all. To be successful in our industry, it helps to surround yourself with like-minded people and that’s been the culture at Summit during my tenure.  In my free time, I enjoy racing, boating, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, and motorcycles. Anything outdoors!

Todd Gunderson

Regional Manager

Todd Gunderson

Regional Manager

I have been in the mortgage business as a loan originator and leader for over 30 years and have helped thousands achieve homeownership in a variety of real estate markets. I ran my own mortgage company for nearly 20 of those years and have overseen the development and growth of some of Minnesota’s top loan officers. But the big question is not how long I have been doing this, but how I can best serve clients and loan officers alike – the magic formula is listening; a simple step that is too often ignored.

Together with my Summit Mortgage team, you can look forward to working with some of the top professionals in the industry, dedicated to providing fast approvals and consistent on-time stress-free closings, all delivered with the highest level of personal service and communication that is second to none.

When I’m not helping people with their home financing, I enjoy golf, spending time with my family, traveling, and helping out with my church.

Matt Redding

Matt Redding

Area Manager

Matt Redding

Area Manager

I have been in the financial industry for over 25 years and have had the pleasure of working in many different roles. In that time, I have experienced many changes and challenges in the mortgage world but despite that, observed that successful people surround themselves with other great individuals. The people and culture are what attracted me to Summit Mortgage; it’s truly second to none. Regardless of the position you are seeking, if culture and people matter to you, check out Summit Mortgage; I think you will find your new home.

Personally, I have lived in Arizona for over 30 years, having graduated from ASU in the early ’90s. My soccer dad duties have filled up a lot of my spare time for many years but now that my children are getting older, I have been able to dedicate more of my time to my other passion of reading and writing.

Alecia Lininger, AMP

Vice President of Operations

Alecia Lininger, AMP

Vice President of Operations

Searching for a career path that would be both challenging and rewarding, I discovered the mortgage industry in 2001. My first role was in the Closing Department at Summit Mortgage where I started as a Closing Assistant before moving to Closer a year later. Since that time, I’ve served and supported a variety of operational roles at Summit ultimately leading to my current position as VP of Operations. Leveraging the extensive experience gained over the years, my mission is to provide my team members with the knowledge, tools, and resources to ensure they achieve their goals and provide our clients with outstanding customer service.

I’m Minnesota born and raised, currently living in Watertown. I love spending time with my husband and our two sons, whether it’s out on a camping trip, a cozy movie night, or an outdoor adventure with our crazy dog.

Kendra Holmes

Underwriting Manager

Kendra Holmes

Underwriting Manager

As the Underwriting Manager at Summit, I collaborate closely with my dedicated team to craft tailored underwriting solutions that pave the way for clients on their journey to homeownership. We take immense pride in our ability to deliver swift turnarounds while upholding unwavering consistency in our decision-making process. We collaborate daily with our mortgage loan originators to ensure our solution-based approach is most effective.

My vision for our Underwriting Team is centered around assessing borrower creditworthiness and ensuring our team consistently makes decisions that align with industry guidelines. Leveraging my extensive experience, effective communication skills, and a solution-oriented mindset – I provide the necessary support to help us reach successful closings.

Outside of work, I cherish moments spent with my family and tending to our hobby farm, which is home to a delightful assortment of animals.

TyNeice Nix

Quality Control Manager

TyNeice Nix

Quality Control Manager

I’ve been with Summit Mortgage since 2013 and in the mortgage industry for over 20 years in underwriting and quality control (QC).

My primary responsibilities are to establish and maintain an effective quality control program that meets the requirements of investors, agencies, and state and federal regulators. I manage the QC team that examines the existence and accuracy of legal and credit documents, quality of property valuations, underwriting decisions, and compliance with agency, investor, regulatory, and program policies. I also assist the management team in leading Summit to high-quality assurance standards.

I enjoy working in a friendly team environment that is so family-oriented! Summit Mortgage genuinely cares about people – from those who use our services, to the staff who work so hard to help every homebuyer. Working in the mortgage industry is incredible because it gives me the opportunity to impact a large number of people and provides me with new and exciting challenges. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my family and traveling the world.

Linda Linz

Vice President of Technology

Linda Linz

Vice President of Technology

With over 30 years dedicated to advancing businesses as a technology professional, my career has been primarily anchored in the Financial Services sector. In 2021, I embarked on a new chapter as the VP of Technology at Summit Mortgage leading an experienced and talented team that vigilantly monitors industry trends and technological advancements.

Navigating the ever-evolving technology landscape, my team and I maintain a forward-looking approach, adapting to rapid changes. This proactive approach ensures we grasp the possibilities and understand how technological innovations can be leveraged to serve Summit Mortgage, and, more importantly, our valued customers.

When not working, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, golfing, bowling, playing cards, and attending a variety of music-related shows and events. And as a Minnesotan, living in the land of 10,000 lakes, I spend time on the pontoon in the summer and ice fishing in the winter.

Robert and Diana Carter

Our Founders

Robert and Diana Carter

My wife Diana and I started Summit Mortgage in 1992. We had both been originating mortgage loans and wanted to build our own business that was run from a loan originator’s point-of-view and focused on providing an unparalleled homebuying experience – an endeavor that I’m proud to say remains a hallmark of the company.

I’m active in the mortgage community – having been the president of the Minnesota Mortgage Association, a board member of Lenders One, and a long-time participant in MBA and CMLA.

Before getting started in the mortgage industry, I graduated from Bethany College in West Virginia and received my MBA from the University of Minnesota.

When not involved in the mortgage industry, you can find me on a golf course, on a biking holiday in Europe, or on a ski slope. Philanthropy is also very important to Diana and me, which is why we started a foundation that primarily supports college endowment scholarships and clinical trials that improve healthcare.

Become a Loan Officer with Summit Mortgage.

Summit Mortgage gives loan officers access to the support and resources of a national lender, while allowing you the freedom and flexibility to manage client relationships your way.

We work with multiple investors, hedge funds, and warehouse lines to deliver the buying power you need, while our in-house operations and marketing teams provide the support you deserve.

Become an LO

Discover why life is better at the summit.

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