FHFA: Statement of Director Mark Calabria

Investor Update
September 16, 2020

Source: FHFA

“Prioritizing Fannie’s and Freddie’s Capital Over America’s Homeowners and Renters? A Review of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic”

Chairwoman Waters, Ranking Member McHenry, and distinguished members of the Committee, thank you for the invitation to appear at today’s hearing.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has acted swiftly and prudently to respond to COVID-19. Thanks in part to our efforts, the housing market has largely been a bright spot in the pandemic economic data. We continue to update our policies as the challenges facing renters, borrowers, and market participants evolve.

FHFA’s Actions to Protect Agency Workforce and Maintain Mission Focus

FHFA’s hard-working employees are the Agency’s greatest asset, and their well-being is my top priority. Our teleworking flexibilities have enabled our staff to remain safe and manage at-home obligations, while continuing to fulfill the Agency’s vital mission.

The FHFA team has gone above and beyond in carrying out FHFA’s statutory responsibilities while also rising to meet the challenges presented by COVID-19. In March, our telework test transitioned the very next day into a full-time mandatory telework period for the Agency that is still ongoing. With critical support from the Office of the Chief Operating Officer, FHFA employees quickly adapted to the new environment, allowing the Agency to maintain continuity of operations during this crisis.

The Office of Technology and Information Management has kept the FHFA workforce productive and connected by rapidly deploying remote tools and staff training, meeting employees’ IT equipment needs, and safeguarding the Agency’s network capacity, connectivity, and security. The Office of Facilities Operations Management has established and continually updated protocols and procedures for keeping our employees and headquarters safe and healthy, working tirelessly to provide employees with the equipment and office supplies needed to set up and sustain their remote workstations. The Office of Human Resources Management has been instrumental in ensuring employees have the support they need to remain engaged and productive, including by developing new work schedule and leave flexibilities, expanding the Agency’s Employee Assistance Program, and meeting special accommodation requests resulting from our remote-work posture.

Across the board, the FHFA team has seamlessly transitioned to a virtual environment. This includes the hiring, on-boarding, and training processes that are essential for FHFA to continue developing and retaining a highly talented and effective workforce. The Office of Budget and Financial Management and the Enterprise Program Management Office, working with FHFA’s COVID-19 Task Force, have helped the Agency stay coordinated on the updated guidance provided by various government entities, health officials, and local authorities. I am proud of the flexibility, cooperation, and hard work of every member of the FHFA team during this pandemic.

The Office of Congressional Affairs and Communication has remained engaged with and accessible to members of Congress and their staff. Since March, FHFA’s legislative affairs team has held dozens of remote congressional meetings and briefings to discuss Agency policies and provide technical assistance with legislation. This is a testament to FHFA’s dedicated staff and our ongoing commitment to responding to congressional inquiries in a timely manner, maintaining transparency, and connecting the Agency’s many subject matter experts to legislative staff.

FHFA has also worked closely with our peer financial regulators and other federal agencies to respond to the COVID-19 national emergency. Through regular communication channels, FHFA and these agencies continue to share, in real-time, challenges, ideas, and solutions to help each other develop best practices based on the latest guidance available. Timely information sharing has enabled FHFA to respond to evolving COVID-19 related challenges in a rapid, nimble, and effective manner.

We have continued to prioritize our work to foster an environment where everyone feels safe, respected, and valued for our differences. The senseless violence and loss of innocent life that have roiled our nation in recent months – and that have torn apart too many communities across the country for too long – highlight the importance of this work both in the workplace and beyond. They also have strengthened our resolve to uphold the Agency’s core values of fairness, diversity, and inclusion. At the beginning of this year, we established the Office of Equal Opportunity and Fairness in order to elevate equal employment opportunity practices and conflict resolution resources to the division level. As the Agency announced earlier this week, FHFA has hired Debra Chew as the first permanent Director for the office.

I commend FHFA’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) for its steadfast support of the Agency’s workforce during this time. This includes OMWI’s work, with my support, to launch FHFA’s Diversity Advisory Council, which aims to ensure diversity in all aspects of the Agency’s employment and contracting practices and to create regular programs that engage employees on professional and personal diversity and inclusion issues. OMWI is playing an essential role in helping FHFA employees affected by the recent events and tensions across the country, offering training, listening sessions, and other resources. And tomorrow OMWI is partnering with our Office of Human Resources Management to continue recruiting the next generation of FHFA personnel from Historically Black Colleges and Universities at the Atlanta University Center Consortium virtual career fair. This kind of recruitment is only one of the examples of how the Agency continues to build a diverse pipeline of talent for its future workforce. FHFA already has one of the most diverse workforces amongst federal regulatory agencies. Our diversity is – and will remain – a key source of FHFA’s success.

Across all divisions and offices, FHFA’s employees have remained united in our efforts to enable American families to stay safe in their homes during this public health emergency. We have worked closely with our regulated entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) and the Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBanks), to support borrowers and renters, while ensuring the proper functioning of the mortgage market both during and after this crisis. Our actions have been – and continue to be – data driven.

For full statement, please click the source link above.



Alan Jaffa

Alan Jaffa is the chief executive officer for Safeguard, steering the company as the mortgage field services industry leader. He also serves on the board of advisors for SCG Partners, a middle-market private equity fund focused on diversifying and expanding Safeguard Properties’ business model into complimentary markets.

Alan joined Safeguard in 1995, learning the business from the ground up. He was promoted to chief operating officer in 2002, and was named CEO in May 2010. His hands-on experience has given him unique insights as a leader to innovate, improve and strengthen Safeguard’s processes to assure that the company adheres to the highest standards of quality and customer service.

Under Alan’s leadership, Safeguard has grown significantly with strategies that have included new and expanded services, technology investments that deliver higher quality and greater efficiency to clients, and strategic acquisitions. He takes a team approach to process improvement, involving staff at all levels of the organization to address issues, brainstorm solutions, and identify new and better ways to serve clients.

In 2008, Alan was recognized by Crain’s Cleveland Business in its annual “40-Under-40” profile of young leaders. He also was named a NEO Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® finalist in 2013.


Chief Operating Officer

Michael Greenbaum

Michael Greenbaum is the chief operating officer for Safeguard. Mike has been instrumental in aligning operations to become more efficient, effective, and compliant with our ever-changing industry requirements. Mike has a proven track record of excellence, partnership and collaboration at Safeguard. Under Mike’s leadership, all operational departments of Safeguard have reviewed, updated and enhanced their business processes to maximize efficiency and improve quality control.

Mike joined Safeguard in July 2010 as vice president of REO and has continued to take on additional duties and responsibilities within the organization, including the role of vice president of operations in 2013 and then COO in 2015.

Mike built his business career in supply-chain management, operations, finance and marketing. He has held senior management and executive positions with Erico, a manufacturing company in Solon, Ohio; Accel, Inc., a packaging company in Lewis Center, Ohio; and McMaster-Carr, an industrial supply company in Aurora, Ohio.

Before entering the business world, Mike served in the U.S. Army, Ordinance Branch, and specialized in supply chain management. He is a distinguished graduate of West Point (U.S. Military Academy), where he majored in quantitative economics.



Sean Reddington

Sean Reddington is the new Chief Information Officer for Safeguard Properties LLC. Sean has over 15+ years of experience in Information Services Management with a strong focus on Product and Application Management. Sean is responsible for Safeguard’s technological direction, including planning, implementation and maintaining all operational systems

Sean has a proven record of accomplishment for increasing operational efficiencies, improving customer service levels, and implementing and maintaining IT initiatives to support successful business processes.  He has provided the vision and dedicated leadership for key technologies for Fortune 100 companies, and nationally recognized consulting firms including enterprise system architecture, security, desktop and database management systems. Sean possesses strong functional and system knowledge of information security, systems and software, contracts management, budgeting, human resources and legal and related regulatory compliance.

Sean joined Safeguard Properties LLC from RenPSG Inc. which is a nationally leading Philintropic Software Platform in the Fintech space. He oversaw the organization’s technological direction including planning, implementing and maintaining the best practices that align with all corporate functions. He also provided day-to-day technology operations, enterprise security, information risk and vulnerability management, audit and compliance, security awareness and training.

Prior to RenPSG, Sean worked for DMI Consulting as a Client Success Director where he guided the delivery in a multibillion-dollar Fortune 500 enterprise client account. He was responsible for all project deliveries in terms of quality, budget and timeliness and led the team to coordinate development and definition of project scope and limitations. Sean also worked for KPMG Consulting in their Microsoft Practice and Technicolor’s Ebusiness Division where he had responsibility for application development, maintenance, and support.

Sean is a graduate of Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts and received his Masters in International Business from Central Michigan University. He was also a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force prior to his career in the business world.


General Counsel and Executive Vice President

Linda Erkkila, Esq.

Linda Erkkila is the general counsel and executive vice president for Safeguard and oversees the legal, human resources, training, and compliance departments. Linda’s responsibilities cover regulatory issues that impact Safeguard’s operations, risk mitigation, enterprise strategic planning, human resources and training initiatives, compliance, litigation and claims management, and mergers, acquisition and joint ventures.

Linda assures that Safeguard’s strategic initiatives align with its resources, leverage opportunities across the company, and contemplate compliance mandates. Her practice spans over 20 years, and Linda’s experience covers regulatory disclosure, corporate governance compliance, risk assessment, executive compensation, litigation management, and merger and acquisition activity. Her experience at a former Fortune 500 financial institution during the subprime crisis helped develop Linda’s pro-active approach to change management during periods of heightened regulatory scrutiny.

Linda previously served as vice president and attorney for National City Corporation, as securities and corporate governance counsel for Agilysys Inc., and as an associate at Thompson Hine LLP. She earned her JD at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Linda holds a degree in economics from Miami University and an MBA. In 2017, Linda was named as both a “Woman of Influence” by HousingWire and as a “Leading Lady” by MReport.


Chief Financial Officer

Joe Iafigliola

Joe Iafigliola is the Chief Financial Officer for Safeguard. Joe is responsible for the Control, Quality Assurance, Business Development, Accounting & Information Security departments, and is a Managing Director of SCG Partners, a middle-market private equity fund focused on diversifying and expanding Safeguard Properties’ business model into complimentary markets.

Joe has been in a wide variety of roles in finance, supply chain management, information systems development, and sales and marketing. His career includes senior positions with McMaster-Carr Supply Company, Newell/Rubbermaid, and Procter and Gamble.

Joe has an MBA from The Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and holds a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University’s Honors Accounting program.


AVP, High Risk and Investor Compliance

Steve Meyer

Steve Meyer is the assistant vice president of high risk and investor compliance for Safeguard. In this role, Steve is responsible for managing our clients’ conveyance processes, Safeguard’s investor compliance team and developing our working relationships with cities and municipalities around the country. He also works directly with our clients in our many outreach efforts and he represents Safeguard at a number of industry conferences each year.

Steve joined Safeguard in 1998 as manager over the hazard claims team. He was instrumental in the development and creation of policies, procedures and operating protocol. Under Steve’s leadership, the department became one of the largest within Safeguard. In 2002, he assumed responsibility for the newly-formed high risk department, once again building its success. Steve was promoted to director over these two areas in 2007, and he was promoted to assistant vice president in 2012.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Steve spent 10 years within the insurance industry, holding a number of positions including multi-line property adjuster, branch claims supervisor, and multi-line and subrogation/litigation supervisor. Steve is a graduate of Grove City College.


AVP, Operations

Jennifer Jozity

Jennifer Jozity is the assistant vice president of operations, overseeing inspections, REO and property preservation for Safeguard. Jen ensures quality work is performed in the field and internally, to meet and exceed our clients’ expectations. Jen has demonstrated the ability to deliver consistent results in order audit and order management.  She will build upon these strengths in order to deliver this level of excellence in both REO and property preservation operations.

Jen joined Safeguard in 1997 and was promoted to director of inspections operations in 2009 and assistant vice president of inspections operations in 2012.

She graduated from Cleveland State University with a degree in business.


AVP, Finance

Jennifer Anspach

Jennifer Anspach is the assistant vice president of finance for Safeguard. She is responsible for the company’s national workforce of approximately 1,000 employees. She manages recruitment strategies, employee relations, training, personnel policies, retention, payroll and benefits programs. Additionally, Jennifer has oversight of the accounts receivable and loss functions formerly within the accounting department.

Jennifer joined the company in April 2009 as a manager of accounting and finance and a year later was promoted to director. She was named AVP of human capital in 2014. Prior to joining Safeguard, she held several management positions at OfficeMax and InkStop in both operations and finance.

Jennifer is a graduate of Youngstown State University. She was named a Crain’s Cleveland Business Archer Award finalist for HR Executive of the Year in 2017.


AVP, Application Architecture

Rick Moran

Rick Moran is the assistant vice president of application architecture for Safeguard. Rick is responsible for evolving the Safeguard IT systems. He leads the design of Safeguard’s enterprise application architecture. This includes Safeguard’s real-time integration with other systems, vendors and clients; the future upgrade roadmap for systems; and standards designed to meet availability, security, performance and goals.

Rick has been with Safeguard since 2011. During that time, he has led the system upgrades necessary to support Safeguard’s growth. In addition, Rick’s team has designed and implemented several innovative systems.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Rick was director of enterprise architecture at Revol Wireless, a privately held CDMA Wireless provider in Ohio and Indiana, and operated his own consulting firm providing services to the manufacturing, telecommunications, and energy sectors.


AVP, Technology Infrastructure and Cloud Services

Steve Machovina

Steve Machovina is the assistant vice president of technology infrastructure and cloud services for Safeguard. He is responsible for the overall management and design of Safeguard’s hybrid cloud infrastructure. He manages all technology engineering staff who support data centers, telecommunications, network, servers, storage, service monitoring, and disaster recovery.

Steve joined Safeguard in November 2013 as director of information technology operations.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Steve was vice president of information technology at Revol Wireless, a privately held wireless provider in Ohio and Indiana. He also held management positions with Northcoast PCS and Corecomm Communications, and spent nine years as a Coast Guard officer and pilot.

Steve holds a BBA in management information systems from Kent State University in Ohio and an MBA from Wayne State University in Michigan.


Assistant Vice president of Application Development

Steve Goberish

Steve Goberish, is the assistant vice president of application development for Safeguard. He is responsible for the maintenance and evolution of Safeguard’s vendor systems ensuring high-availability, security and scalability while advancing the vendor products’ capabilities and enhancing the vendor experience.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Steve was a senior technical architect and development manager at First American Title Insurance, a publicly held title insurance provider based in southern California, in addition to managing and developing applications in multiple sectors from insurance to VOIP.

Steve has a bachelor’s degree from Kent State University in Ohio.