Contact: Rafael Morales, Communications Officer
212-809-1850 ext. 206
“We were looking for a unique candidate to run our CDCU Mortgage CenterTM,” said Cliff Rosenthal, Executive Director. “We wanted someone with practical experience of every phase of the mortgage lending operation, an understanding of secondary markets, and what’s more, a commitment to the Federation’s mission of serving low-income communities.”
It was a tall order, but one which the Federation was able to fill with the hiring of Ms. Terri J. Fowlkes. Ms. Fowlkes hit the ground running after joining the Federation in October 2005. By December, she had executed the first loan purchases for the CDCU Mortgage CenterTM – loans made by Self-Help Credit Union in North Carolina to immigrant first-time homeowners.
A seasoned mortgage professional and community lender, Ms. Fowlkes came to the Federation from Carver Federal Savings Bank, the nation’s largest minority thrift, where she was Vice President and Residential Lending Manager responsible for managing all aspects of the Bank’s one-to-four family residential lending activities. Recruited to expand Carver’s Residential Lending Department, she did just that, establishing the bank as a recognized player in the New York mortgage industry. Within a year of joining the bank, her unit grew mortgage originations by more than 400% and increased profitability by 600%. “We were also impressed by her team-building and organizational development skills,” Rosenthal commented. Ms. Fowlkes recruited a mortgage team, developed systems, expanded mortgage product offerings, and developed mortgage-related partnerships and resources for the bank.
Although Ms. Fowlkes’ lending background was “more than sufficient for the Federation’s purposes, her range of other skills and interests are a huge plus for us,” Rosenthal said. Ms. Fowlkes is an Adjunct Professor at York College in Queens, NY, where she teaches “Introduction to Mortgage Banking” and “Fair Lending and Fair Housing.” She will serve as an instructor at the Federation’s CDCU Institute™ (Madison, WI, August 14-19). She has spent many years as a Junior Achievement volunteer, conducting a class in economics and personal finance for junior-high school students in Harlem, and as a Sunday School Teacher at her church. She also currently mentors “at-risk” teenage girls and acts as a “big sister” to them.
Ms. Fowlkes and her achievements have been highlighted in a number of national and local publications over the years. Notably, in 2000, Ms. Fowlkes was recognized for the “40 under Forty Achievement Award” by the “The Network Journal,” a magazine for black professionals and small businesses.
Ms. Fowlkes holds both a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Masters in Business Administration from New York University’s Stern School of Business, and holds professional memberships with the National Black MBA Association, the Urban Financial Services Network, and the African-American Real Estate Professionals of New York. She also sits on the Board of Project Enterprise, a micro loan fund whose mission is to help strengthen low-income communities by supporting entrepreneurship among some of New York's most under-served residents.
Notwithstanding her professional accomplishments, it is her volunteering and personal achievements that Ms. Fowlkes holds most dear. As a young girl, she recalls, her grandmother sang a song that always stuck with her. The words were “If I can help somebody with a word or song, if I can show somebody that he is traveling wrong, then my living will not be in vain.” Professionally and as a volunteer, she fulfills her life mission by helping individuals in low-income communities to become homeowners, through guiding young women in the right direction, and by strengthening entrepreneurship.
For more information about the Mortgage CenterTM, Ms. Fowlkes can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at ext. 203.