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MBA Opens Doors Foundation Announces 2018 Award Winners

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 16, 2018) – (RealEstateRama) — The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today announced the recipients of the MBA Opens Doors Foundation (Opens Doors) annual awards, which recognize those who have made lasting contributions to advance the Foundation’s mission of providing mortgage and rental assistance grants to parents and guardians caring for a critically ill or injured child.

The Foundation presented its annual Community Champion Award and two inaugural awards: the Founder’s Award and the Spirit Award during MBA’s 2018 Annual Convention and Expo in Washington, DC. The 2018 Opens Doors Foundation award winners are:

  • Community Champion Award: Susan and Van Stewart, CEO and President, respectively, of SWBC Mortgage.
  • Founder’s Award: David and Mary Stevens, who along with Dan Arrigoni, founded the MBA Opens Doors Foundation.
  • Spirit Award: Sharyn Torrisi-Cartwright, VP of human resources, Pulte Mortgage; Cheryl Paul, CMB SVP, director of mortgage at Settlers Bank; and Susan Brown, CMB SVP, construction and renovation production manager, Umpqua Bank.

“We are thrilled to honor seven outstanding individuals whose commitment to the Opens Doors mission encompasses years of unwavering support and leadership,” said Debra W. Still, CMB, president and CEO of Pulte Mortgage and Chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. “Their selfless efforts and personal contributions have significantly boosted the Foundation’s visibility and impact, in turn positively affecting the lives of countless families with injured or critically ill children.”

The Community Champion Award, created in 2013, recognizes an individual, group or company that has dedicated significant time and effort to advance the Foundation’s mission. Susan and Van Stewart were chosen as this year’s winners for their longstanding personal and professional commitment. As an Opens Doors Board member, Susan has willingly stepped up to champion the Foundation at MBA and state MBA events. Together, Susan and Van’s personal and corporate commitment to the Foundation exceeds $750,000 since 2013.

Celebrating the prominent role they played in creating the Foundation in 2011, David and Mary Stevens were presented with the first-ever Founder’s Award. The inaugural award was established to recognize one or more individuals whose demonstrated action has occurred over a sustained period of time. Honorees exemplify the core values, spirit and essence on which the Foundation was founded.
Since the Foundation’s inception in 2011, David and Mary Stevens have made personal and professional commitments that have allowed Opens Doors to thrive. Under David’s leadership, MBA’s support of Opens Doors has grown exponentially, covering all the Foundation’s administrative costs so that every dollar raised can be passed on to families in need. During this same period, Mary Stevens has spearheaded the grants process and served on the grant review committee, reading hundreds of applications from families across the country each month. Her leadership helped to formalize the Foundation’s relationships with nine participating hospitals.

Torris-Cartwright, Paul and Brown were jointly presented with this year’s inaugural Spirit Award, which recognizes a group of individuals, from one or more organizations, whose enthusiasm and support for the Foundation brought new people and organizations to its roster, while also amplifying the impact it has had on vulnerable families in America.
Torrisi-Cartwright has organized dozens of company-wide events at Pulte Mortgage in support of the Foundation, engaging teams in games, picnics, auctions, and farmer’s markets to raise awareness and funds for the Foundation.

Paul and Brown launched a fundraising campaign to rally all Certified Mortgage Bankers (CMBs) to band together and adopt the Foundation as their charity of choice.
“The efforts of our 2018 award winners cements our ability to serve more families across the country for many years to come,” said Deborah E. Dubois, president of the MBA Opens Doors Foundation.  “We are immensely grateful for their support and honored to celebrate them.”

The generosity of the MBA allows the Foundation to pass on 100% of donations to families in need of assistance. Potential grant recipients are identified through the Foundation’s ongoing relationship with children’s hospitals in Akron, Ohio; Boston, Massachusetts; Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Houston, Texas; northern and southern California, and Washington, D.C.

MBA Opens Doors is a 501(c) (3) organization, and all contributions are tax deductible. For more information about the Foundation or to make a donation, please visit

Adam De Sanctis

(202) 557- 2727