Our Team

Board of Directors

Glenn Stearns


Named Ernst & Young's "Entrepreneur of the Year" in 2003, Glenn Stearns is known for his unrivaled track record of vision into reality. What makes him different from other banking leaders is his entrepreneurial approach.... See More
Glenn's decades of experience in financial services have enabled him to create a new standard in the mortgage world, raising the bar on service excellence, innovative technology, effective pricing and new levels of convenience. His sharp focus on customer satisfaction has brought e-based solutions to mortgage processes, and to identify and implement a best practices approach for his lending team’s relationships with borrowers.
Glenn takes pride in knowing Stearns is not only groundbreaking but also a responsible leader in this new mortgage world, committed to meeting the expectations of today’s homebuyers.   See Less

Katherine T. Le


Katherine Le's 28 years of experience in finance and operations has defined her role as a core contributor to the success of Stearns. Her leadership skills provide an exceptionally broad experiential base, which has... See More resulted in unprecedented growth in Stearns’ operations and performance.
Katherine joined Stearns in 1995 and has been instrumental in its phenomenal growth. Under her leadership, Stearns grew from an employee base of 30 employees to over 250 employees in under 10 years. Today, Stearns employs nearly 1,500 individuals, and is licensed to lend in 49 states plus Washington, D.C. Her vision and clarity of purpose contributed to transform the delivery systems at Stearns into one of the best in the industry.
Katherine's ability to attract and manage talent has provided Stearns with the ability to produce positive results for employees, customers and investors. Her organizational management style combines flexibility with the timely delivery systems required in today's competitive mortgage environment.
Katherine earned a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Business Management from California State University, Fullerton. In 2011, Katherine was honored as outstanding businesswoman/most prominent female executive in the Orange County Business Journal.   See Less

Brian Hale

Chief Executive Officer

Brian Hale is a 35-year veteran of the mortgage business and is one of the most recognized executives in the industry. Brian most recently served as President, National Production Executive at MetLife Home Loans, the residential mortgage... See More division of MetLife Bank, N. A.
Before joining Stearns in 2012, Brian held senior executive roles for several mortgage banking industry leaders. These have included Senior Retail Originations Executive at Bank of America, President and Senior Managing Director of Countrywide Home Loans’ Consumer Markets Division; and positions with Wells Fargo Home Loans and Fleet Mortgage. In 2011, American Banker magazine named Brian one of the Top 10 Most Interesting People in the Industry.
Today, he is a highly sought-after speaker, having delivered industry-based lectures at educational institutions such as The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
Brian received his Bachelor of Arts degree for Sociology / Business from State University of New York at Plattsburgh.   See Less

Charles D. Martin


Mr. Martin has served as a Director of Stearns Holdings since May 2013. He is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Mont Pelerin Capital, an investment management firm that he founded in 2005. He has... See More served as a Senior Advisor to ClearLight Partners, a private equity firm, since 2003.
Mr. Martin founded and served as the Managing Partner of Enterprise Partners, a venture capital firm, between 1984 and 1999. He also co-founded Westar Capital, a private leveraged buyout/recap investment firm, in 1987 and served as its general partner until 2000 when he retired as its partner emeritus. Mr. Martin was the co-owner and served on the board of Vedax Sciences Corporation, the parent company of TEC International (now known as Vistage), a proprietary membership organization for company presidents and chief executive officers from 1974 until its merger into Knowledge Universe in 1998. Mr. Martin operated a consulting practice in corporate strategy and mergers and acquisitions from 1975 to 1984. Prior to that time, he served in various senior executive roles with companies in the electronic systems and computer services industry, including Systems Engineering Lab, Systems, Science & Software and Systems Development Corporation, a spin-off of RAND Corporation. Mr. Martin has served as a Trustee for the University of California, Irvine since 2001 and Chapman University since 1987. He served as Chairman of the Board for the Graduate School of Management, the University of California, Irvine between 2000 and 2005 and was designated its first Chairman Emeritus. Mr. Martin served as the founding Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Orange County Museum of Art from 1996 to 2000 and continues as its Chairman Emeritus. Mr. Martin received a degree in engineering physics from Ohio State University.   See Less

Chris Mitchell


Mr. Mitchell has over thirty-five years of experience advising investors, federal regulatory agencies, senior management and corporate boards of directors on financial reporting, risk management, valuation, governance... See More, regulation, capital markets and mergers and acquisitions. He is a seasoned and recognized corporate boardroom leader and strategic advisor.
Currently, Chris is a director of Western Asset Mortgage Capital Corporation (NYSE:WMC), a mortgage REIT managed by Western Asset Management Company, Pasadena, CA; Grandpoint Capital, a multi-billion dollar Los Angeles-based bank holding company; Reis, Inc. (NASDAQ: REIS), a New York-based real estate information company; and Special Value Opportunities Fund LLC, a registered investment fund managed by Tennenbaum Capital Partners, LLC, Santa Monica.
Earlier in his career, he served as a professional accounting fellow with the Federal Home Loan Bank Board. Chris was involved with policy, regulation, legislation, accounting standard-setting, enforcement, and litigation for the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and System, the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation and Freddie Mac.
In 2011 and 2012, Mr. Mitchell was named "one of the 100 most influential people in corporate governance" by Directorship magazine. He is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Alabama. Sharing other Stearns executives’ belief in giving back to local communities, Chris actively supports local and district Little League teams as President and Auditor, and has served as a Board Member for the California Chamber of Commerce.  See Less

Executive Team

Gary B. Fabian

Chief Financial Officer

Gary Fabian, CPA has over 30 years of experience in financial services and public accounting, with over 18 years in the mortgage banking industry. Gary specializes in the development of financial management systems and models... See More that improve communication of business results, and enhance the analysis and understanding of financial opportunities and operational issues.
Gary earned his Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.   See Less

Karen Crawford

Chief Legal Officer

Karen Crawford serves as Chief Legal Officer for Stearns Lending, where she leads the legal, compliance, and internal audit strategy and functions for the Company’s multi-channel mortgage origination, sales and servicing... See More operations. She has more than 25 years of experience as a mortgage banking legal executive, bringing in-depth industry knowledge and keen business aptitude to the Stearns executive leadership team.
Prior to joining Stearns, Karen served as Chief Risk Officer at MetLife Bank, N.A., where she was responsible for monitoring and mitigation of credit, operational, legal and regulatory risks of the bank’s operations. She held legal positions with the MetLife Home Loans mortgage division of MetLife Bank, N.A., as well as with Fannie Mae and Countrywide Home Loans. Karen’s experience also includes representation of clients in a variety of real estate and mortgage lending transactions during her tenure in private law practice.
She received her Juris Doctorate from Baylor University School of Law and Bachelor of Arts degree from Stephen F. Austin State University.  See Less

Uday Devalla

Chief Information Officer

Uday Devalla brings more than 17 years of mortgage banking technology industry expertise, having previously held executive-level technology positions with two of the largest mortgage banking companies in the nation. Currently, he... See More oversees all aspects of information technology supporting Stearns business channels, in addition to enterprise applications and systems for all corporate processes.
Uday has a proven ability and track record for delivering cost-effective, high-performing and highly-scalable technology solutions. Before joining Stearns, he was responsible for Bank of America’s core mortgage origination systems platform, managing a $100 MM technology project portfolio. Other responsibilities included the design, development and implementation of technology initiatives in support of strategic business goals. Uday launched his career in mortgage systems at Countrywide Home Loans, rising to the position of Executive Vice President – Technology Executive.   See Less

Blythe Boyd Hughes

Chief Administrative Officer

A top-performing Human Resources executive, Blythe Boyd Hughes brings over 20 years of experience to her current position as Chief Administrative Officer with Stearns.
Her knowledge and expertise covers all areas of... See More Human Resources and Administration, including compensation and benefits, training, recruiting and talent development. Currently Hughes advises Stearns’ Executive leaders while developing a variety of dynamic recruiting, compensation, benefits and training programs. In addition, she oversees various corporate administrative support functions including travel and facilities.
Before joining Stearns, Blythe spent several years as Vice President, Human Resources at MetLife Bank. During this time, she was responsible for Human Resources strategy, execution and administration. Blythe’s previous executive positions included Managing Director, CMD Human Resources for Countrywide Financial, and Vice President of Global Compensation at Nortel Networks.
Blythe holds a BA degree in International Studies from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. A supporter of Equest, a therapeutic riding program for children and adults with disabilities, and Network of Community Ministries, she is also past president of her local chapter of the National Charity League.  See Less

Kathleen Vaughan

Executive Vice President – National Third-Party Production

Bringing more than two decades of leadership experience to the Company’s management team, Kathleen L. Vaughan serves as Executive Vice President – National Third-Party... See More Production at Stearns Lending. Her responsibilities encompass leadership of the Company’s highly successful, technology-driven, third-party origination (TPO) platform which includes Wholesale and Correspondent lending channels, as well as Stearns’ rapidly growing mortgage servicing rights (MSR) acquisition unit.
Prior to joining Stearns, Kathleen was Executive Vice President at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, where she led the wholesale business channel to a #1 market share position. During her 19-year tenure at Wells Fargo, she also served as Executive Vice President, Home Equity, and Senior Vice President, Correspondent Lending. In the 1990s, Kathleen was chief operating officer at two mortgage banking firms: Citizen’s National Mortgage Company, and Bowest, a privately held arm of The Bowery Bank of New York.
Kathleen holds a Juris Doctor degree from Stanford Law School. She is a founding member of the FORTUNE / U.S. State Department International Mentorship program, and she has been recognized by the FORTUNE Most Powerful Women Summit since 2006.  See Less

Laurie Mandir

Executive Vice President – Secondary Marketing

Laurie Mandir's thirty years of mortgage experience in risk management and secondary marketing have given her the opportunity to transform several small lending companies into dynamic enterprises with billion-dollar loan volumes.... See More
In her current role, Laurie oversees the monitoring of loan inventory and production levels, directing transactions to control interest rate risk and coverage. In addition, Laurie leads the Steams team responsible for setting daily rates, managing rate locks, and ensuring competitive pricing and customer satisfaction.   See Less

James Hecht

Executive Vice President – Strategic Development

James brings more than 20 years of mortgage banking sales, operations and strategic partnership expertise to his current position with Stearns. As a member of the Executive Management Team, James is responsible for leading and... See More growing strategic production channels such as Consumer Direct, Builder, Credit Union Partners, and our Marketing and Recruitment teams.
James received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree for Marketing from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, School of Business Administration.   See Less

Suzy Lindblom

Executive Vice President – National Fulfillment

Suzy Lindblom has 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Stearns, Suzy served as Vice President, National Fulfillment for MetLife Home Loans Forward and Reverse Retail and Wholesale Divisions.... See More Here, she was responsible for all processing, closing, underwriting and funding for MetLife Home Loans’ fulfillment locations.
Before joining MetLife, Suzy was Executive Vice President of National Wholesale Operations and Underwriting with Nationstar Mortgage. Earlier in her career, Suzy spent eight years as a Managing Director with Countrywide Home Loans – Retail Division. In this role, she managed the Compliance Department (both Federal and State), National Operations Support (including Policies and Procedures), a Project Management Team, and other departments.   See Less

Tom Hunt

Executive Vice President – National Retail Production

Tom Hunt brings 28 years of mortgage banking experience to his position as Executive Vice President – National Retail Production.
Prior to joining Stearns, he oversaw successful production divisions for several top mortgage companies,... See More including the retail lending business channel at Countrywide Home Loans. During his tenure as divisional executive vice president, he led the most profitable, highest producing and largest market share division in the company’s retail division. As Countrywide’s Managing Director–Retail Division West, Tom managed production, operations and P&L for the Western half of the U.S. – a region with more than 400 production locations and 7,000-plus employees.
Tom holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Marketing Management from Cal Poly, Pomona and a Masters of Business Administration degree in Finance and Strategy from University of California, Irvine. While pursuing his graduate degree, he worked as a Mergers and Acquisitions associate for Meridian Ventures.   See Less