Leadership

Buzz Howard

Senior Vice President

Buzz Howard emulates leadership consistently everyday…and with a smile on his face! As Senior Vice President, Buzz is responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations as well as managing the strategic direction of BVM. He brings his passion for leadership, industry knowledge, customer service, and production systems to Big Valley Mortgage daily with his coaching, mentoring, and training! He is quick to explain the word that most closely describes his leadership philosophy which is “servitude”. He truly believes that attitude is the secret to success.

With more than 30 years in the mortgage industry, he has worked in all phases of the business, from top producing loan officer, to trainer, to senior corporate management.
Buzz worked as an Owner/Partner and the Director of Training for Mortgage Training Services, one of the nation’s largest and oldest training organizations dedicated to the mortgage industry. He then went on to found Buzz Howard Seminars and provide consulting and training for leading companies such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, and Countrywide. He provided the training for tens of thousands of loan officers, processors, and underwriters in almost all of the 50 states! Much of his work involved HUD/FHA and many other government agencies.

Buzz was awarded the American Red Cross Award of Merit by President Ronald Reagan, the highest honor given by the Red Cross. Born and raised in Texas, Buzz received his finance degree from the Texas A&M system.

If Buzz isn’t working, he can be found somewhere boating.

Vivian Lawrence

Vice President of Operations

Vivian’s role as Big Valley Mortgage’s Vice President of Operations is to positively impact and manage all areas of our operational workflow and staff which includes, but not limited to; hire, support, and mentor all Operational Support Staff;  develop branch-wide operational policies and procedures driving production growth and efficiency; and work alongside branch management in the development and implementation of strategic goals and  initiatives aligned with the direction of the organization and culture.

With more than 25 years of experience in the Lending and Real Estate industry, Vivian brings a breath of knowledge to BVM. She has served as a Loan Origination Systems Manager where she supervised, developed and conducted on-site training for the national integration of three separate mortgage divisions for all of the regional offices nationwide. She then moved on to become the Western Regional trainer for Automated Underwriting, Underwriter, Account Executive and then a Broker & Partner of a Mortgage and Real Estate company in mid-2000’s.
Prior to joining Big Valley Mortgage, Vivian worked as the Underwriting Manager with a Lender in Sacramento where she was responsible for overseeing and supporting the underwriting departments for two regional offices.

Vivian was born and raised in Fair Oaks and has one daughter who is a nurse at Mercy General in Sacramento.

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Jennifer Remedios

Area Sales Manager – Northern California Division 

Licensed to do business since 2005, Jennifer’s career in real estate began in the 1970’s as the daughter of a general contractor building custom homes right here in Sacramento County! Despite the obvious joys of pouring concrete in the winter and hanging drywall in the summer, Jennifer ultimately found that residential finance was what she enjoyed most. In 2006, she began originating loans and quickly grew her business doing both purchase transactions and refinances. She has been a President’s Club member or Top Producer for four years and has earned various other awards from her peers and leadership. A love of people and her profession along with hard work and raving fan clients have led to her success and expertise in lending.

In January 2014, Jennifer took on a leadership role with Big Valley Mortgage as Branch Lead. Helping to grow the Sierra Oaks location from seven loan officers and a few support staff to a current bustling branch of over 20 loan officers and six support employees, she has found that leading her colleagues is the most rewarding part of her experience here at BVM. Jennifer greatly enjoys the daily interactions of guiding, coaching and mentoring other loan officers and is passionate about setting higher standards of professionalism for her entire branch. Due to her success at Sierra Oaks, Jennifer was promoted to Sales Manager.  As our new Sales Manager, Jennifer is  responsible for working with all loan officers on their business plans and ensuring loan officers have the resources they need to succeed at BVM.

Jennifer is a California Native, born in Southern California and raised in Northern California. She currently resides in Sacramento, where she has lived for many years, with her three children and their boxer. When not working you will find her in Las Vegas visiting her UNLV student or on our local high school football fields watching her son play football and daughter cheer. “Spare time” is spent with valued friends and family boating, enjoying local breweries and taking in a good baseball game whenever possible.

Cindy Penrose

Director of Marketing and Strategic Initiatives

With more than 20 years of marketing experience working in financial services, technology & consumer media, and trade show development, Cindy brings a strong business and marketing acumen to Big Valley Mortgage. Her experience includes marketing, sales, advertising, strategic planning, P&L accountability, contract negotiations, trade show management and team building. At BVM, Cindy is responsible for the development of BVM’s annual strategic plan for the marketing department which includes developing strategic initiatives for sustaining corporate culture during rapid growth and supporting all other departmental corporate objectives.

Prior to joining Big Valley Mortgage, Cindy worked in marketing at Paramount Equity Mortgage and consulted for a variety of corporate mortgage companies and individual loan originators. Before working in the mortgage industry, Cindy worked for Infotainment World, a division of International Data Group where she gained marketing knowledge in magazine publishing, market research, and event management.

Cindy graduated from Chico State and earned her M.B.A. from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.

Julie Stevenson

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Julie’s role with Big Valley Mortgage is to secure, maintain, and grow the existing strategic partnerships within the BVM footprint. Her relationships with key decision makers within the real estate community will help her solidify and grow business for the internal strategic partners as well the entire BVM lending team. Julie has spent over 20 years in the real estate industry. She has worked for the two largest title insurers in the country and has managed operations throughout Northern California. Her sphere of influence stretches from Bakersfield to Tahoe City and encompasses over 22 counties within the region. She has managed over 50 sales professionals in the Residential, Commercial, and Builder Divisions. She was responsible for leading one of the most profitable Division’s in the nation and assisted in creating and building the #1 branch in the Country for a National Lender.

She is a graduate of Sacramento State University and resides in El Dorado Hills. She enjoys snow and water skiing, high school football and baseball, attending country concerts, and wine tasting in the foothills. Her children inspire her and have given her much to be proud of. Her son was a MaxPreps All American wide receiver for Folsom High School and at 16 was part of the first Jr. Cyclist team to finish the Race Across America (a 3,000+ mile cycling race from San Diego to Annapolis Maryland). Her daughter was a Colligate National Champion representing Arizona State University in women’s wakeboarding.

She is committed to success and growing a business based on integrity, loyalty, and commitment to excellence. Creating a team environment and adding value for both her loan officers and customers has been her key to success. Her favorite quote; “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can achieve what other can’t.” –Jerry Rice

Renee Bautista

Human Resources Manager

Renee joined Big Valley Mortgage in 2009 as part of the operations team. She moved into a leadership role as the human resource manager in addition to overseeing facilities and payroll departments.

Renee began her career in the mortgage industry in 1997. She brings over 17 years in the field of mortgage banking operations as well as eight years of human resources experience. Her expertise includes employee relations management, hiring, policies and organizational development. She is passionate about our culture that makes Big Valley Mortgage so unique.

Renee resides in Sacramento, California and enjoys spending time with her family. While pursuing her hobbies in baking and reading historical novels, she is an avid Disney fan.

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Kent Smith

Recruiting Manager

Kent Smith is a Recruiter with Big Valley Mortgage.  Kent joined the BVM team in September 2013 where he focuses on recruiting career minded mortgage professionals.  He started in the mortgage industry in 2005 as a Wholesale Account Executive with Sierra Pacific Mortgage and eventually moved into mortgage banking in October 2010.  During his time in the industry, Kent has earned the respect and confidence of peers and market leaders.  Kent’s focus is on setting the stage for a professional recruiting process combined with a “Ritz Carlton” experience. Prior to his tenure ship in the mortgage industry, Kent spent 16 years in the Food and Beverage industry consistently living by the mantra, “everything we do matters.”

Born and raised in the bay area, Kent attended Bellarmine College Prep.  After high school, Kent attended West Valley College prior to moving to Las Vegas to further his career in the Food and Beverage industry.  He has two daughters who are the light of his life and he is heavily involved in their school and activities.  Kent’s passions are cooking, golf, discovering new areas to hike and explore as well as spending quality time with family and friends. Kent can be contacted by phone at 916.844.4259 or via e-mail at kent.smith@apmortgage.com.

Al Gonzalez

Area Sales Manager – Central Valley Division

Albert Gonzalez joins BVM as an experienced, skilled professional specializing in sales management and focusing on the implementation of sales strategies. Over the last fifteen years, he has also spent extensive time in a number of high-profile roles including management, operations, asset management, income analysis, business development and consumer marketing.

Albert was born and raised in Fresno, CA, and after graduating from high school, he served in the US Army, as a Communications Specialist and M1 Armor crewman. Once his stint was up, he went on to college, earning a degree in Criminology. Immediately after that, he challenged himself once again in the mortgage banking industry by taking a position as a Loan Officer. After creating immediate success he has had the privilege to work throughout the financial world – developing his skills and becoming more and more effective in the workplace over time.

When Albert is not busy in the office, he enjoys watching sports, traveling with his family and spending time with his children.  He takes pride in everything he does and believes in always doing the right thing.

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Albert Gonzales

Recruiter – Central Valley Division

Albert Gonzales joined Big Valley Mortgage as a recruiter who specials in discovering mortgage industry rock stars for our Central Valley Division. Prior to coming to BVM, Albert successfully worked for a staffing firm where he passionately focused on recruiting operational staff for his mortgage clients.

Born and raised in Fresno, Albert attended McLane High School and then went on to Fresno State, finishing his degree at the University of Phoenix. Upon graduation, he became a Fire Fighter for Cal Fire station 89 in Fresno and enjoyed a fulfilling career for five years. After a knee injury, Albert discovered his passion for sales and his talent for connecting people – his recruiting career soon took off!

Albert has four amazing sons who keep him very busy with school and sports, but he wouldn’t have it any other way! Albert’s passions include the gym, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, golf and spending time with family and friends. Albert is big on quotes and tries to find at least two new quotes every morning to incorporate into his life.  His favorite quote and life motto is always evolve, always improve and never quit. Albert can be contacted by phone at 559.259.6204 or via e-mail at albert.gonzales@apmortgage.com