Governor Cuomo Signs Sweeping Legislation to Combat the Blight of Vacant and Abandoned Properties

Updated 12/14/17: The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) issued guidance pertaining to the Vacant and Abandoned Property Law (“Zombie Properties Law”).

Link to guidance

Additional Resources:

NYSDFS (Zombie Property Maintenance Home Page)

Updated 9/20/17: The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) issued a press release titled DFS Launches Education Initiative on Vacant and Abandoned Property Law and Reminds Banks and Mortgage Servicers of Their Obligation to Maintain “Zombie Properties”.

Link to press release

Updated 2/23/17: Time Warner Cable News posted an article titled ‘Zombie Property’ Task Force Gets Its House in Order.

Link to article

Updated 12/14/16: The office of New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a press release titled A.G. Schneiderman Announces Additional $20 Million For Homeowner Protection Program, Plus New Grant Program To Prevent Foreclosure Scams, Funded Through Bank Settlements.

Link to press release

Updated 12/7/16: The office of New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued a press release titled Governor Cuomo Announces New Actions to Assist Homeowners Facing Foreclosure and Hold Banks and Mortgage Servicers Accountable For Maintaining “Zombie Properties”.

Link to press release

Additional Resource:

DS News (New York Legislation May Expedite Foreclosure Proceedings)

Link to article 

Updated 10/11/16: The office of New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a press release titled A.G. Schneiderman Announces Nearly $13 million in Awards for Cities to Combat Vacant and Zombie Homes.

Link to press release

Updated 10/11/16: The Monroe County, NY Vacant and Abandoned Property Task Force released a report titled Zombies Among Us.

Link to report

Updated 10/3/16:  The Democrat & Chronicle published an article titled Zombie home task force issues advice to the state.

Link to article

Updated 9/28/16: The office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a press release titled Governor Cuomo Announces Proposed Regulation to Hold Banks and Mortgage Servicers Accountable for Maintaining “Zombie Properties”.

Link to article

Updated 6/21/16: The office of New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a press release titled A.G. Schneiderman Announces New Grant Program For Communities To Combat Zombie Homes.

Link to article

Updated 6/28/16: The office of New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a press release titled Governor Cuomo Announces Consumer Hotline to Accept Reports of “Zombie Properties” Across the State.

Link to article  

Legislation Update
June 23, 2016

Comprehensive Legislative Package Enhances Mandatory Settlement Conferences and Establishes a Consumer Bill of Rights to Help People Remain in Their Homes, Creates the Community Restoration Fund

Combats Blight Created By Zombie Properties By Imposing a Pre-Foreclosure Duty on Banks and Servicers to Maintain Zombie Homes, Creating an Electronic Registry of Abandoned Properties, and Expediting Foreclosure For Vacant and Abandoned Properties to Get Them Back on the Market

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation to prevent foreclosures and curb the threat posed to communities by “zombie properties.” The bill was passed as part of the 2016 Legislative Session and is a boon for the economic health and public safety of communities and homeowners who would otherwise be at risk of losing their residences. The legislation combats the blight of vacant and abandoned properties by expediting the rehabilitation, repair and improvement of these properties, and enabling the State to assist homeowners facing mortgage foreclosure. The Governor signed the legislation into law, touring the state and visiting affected communities, at events in Syracuse, Manhattan and Long Island.

“For many New Yorkers, homes are our single most important investment, but that investment can be undermined by the blight of neglected and abandoned properties,” Governor Cuomo said. “For each zombie home that we cure and for each that we prevent with this legislation, we are saving entire neighborhoods from the corrosive effect of blight and neglect. I thank my colleagues in the Assembly and Senate for seeing a crisis and helping to turn it into an opportunity for people to realize the great American Dream of homeownership.”

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said: “This law is major victory for New Yorkers living in communities throughout the state, as it will give regulators and law enforcement the tools they need to revitalize neighborhoods that have been devastated by the proliferation of zombie homes. I applaud Assembly Member Weinstein and Senator Klein for their unwavering commitment to revitalizing communities plagued by zombie homes by working with Governor Cuomo to craft an impressive and meaningful legislative package. I also commend Governor Cuomo for making this issue a priority this session and by acting swiftly to sign this bill into law. As I have long said, zombie homes are an enduring legacy of the housing crisis, but thanks to the advocacy of determined elected officials and advocates, and thousands of motivated New Yorkers, we now have a law that will lift-up communities statewide.”

Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan said: “Working together, we have passed a responsible measure to address the abandoned and decaying homes in many of our communities known as ‘zombie properties. By doing so, we will reverse blight, protect property values and strengthen our economy for the future. I thank Governor Cuomo and our colleagues in the Legislature, especially Senator Jeff Klein, who as leader of the Independent Democratic Conference and our majority coalition partner, focused on this issue like a laser until we achieved a positive result for the people of New York.”

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said: “While our economy has taken strong and sure steps toward full recovery, high foreclosure rates continue to affect New Yorkers around the state. It is critical that we do all we can to help people remain in their homes and keep neighborhoods safe. This agreement will provide the assurance of stronger protections against predatory foreclosure practices, a more expedient process for transitioning these properties to help communities move past foreclosure, and toward opportunities for home ownership.”

Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeffrey Klein said: “Today is a victory for every community in New York State. From The Bronx to Buffalo, zombie properties impact every corner of our state resulting in blight and diminished property values for surrounding homeowners. I fought to make this law a reality and now banks will maintain abandoned properties stuck in the legal limbo of foreclosure. Broken windows, open doors and falling facades will no longer mar our communities, and if banks fail to comply, our law empowers the Department of Financial Services to take court action, issue violations and fines. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this into law, and protecting communities throughout the state.”

Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said: “Revitalizing and strengthening our communities is a longstanding priority of both the Senate Democrats and Governor Cuomo. For too long the fabric of our communities have been weakened by these zombie properties and today we can begin moving forward to make sure that our neighborhoods are protected. Stronger neighborhoods help build stronger communities”

The legislation includes several provisions that will help prevent people from losing their homes and addresses the scope of unoccupied and ill-maintained properties, which based on voluntary reporting, is estimated to be over 6,000. Under the new law, reporting is now mandatory, and the number of abandoned homes is anticipated to be even higher.

The legislation includes measures to assist homeowners facing mortgage foreclosure, improve the efficiency and integrity of the mandatory settlement conferences, establish a pre-foreclosure duty to maintain on mortgagees, create an expedited foreclosure process for vacant and abandoned properties, create an electronic vacant property registry, and establish a Consumer Bill of Rights. Specifically, the legislation will:


  • Enhance the Effectiveness of Mandatory Settlement Conferences: The mandatory settlement conferences became law in 2010 to slow foreclosure and give homeowners a better chance to fight the foreclosure. Since its creation, the number of foreclosure default judgments has declined from 80% to less than 20%. This legislation will enhance the effectiveness of settlement conferences even further for homeowners by prescribing the rights and duties of the parties and clarifying how the process should work to best protect homeowners contesting foreclosures and prevent them from losing their homes.
  • Establish a Consumer Bill of Rights informing property owners of their rights in foreclosure proceeds to prevent people from losing their homes: Some homeowners vacate their homes early in the foreclosure process because they are unclear about their rights or face pressure to vacate. The enhanced notice requirements established with this legislation will alleviate this confusion and reduce the resulting abandoned properties by explicitly informing homeowners of their rights
  • Create the Community Restoration Fund (CRF), a new tool for the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) to assist homeowners facing mortgage foreclosure. CRF will purchase defaulted mortgage notes from other lenders and offer favorable mortgage modifications to keep homeowners in their residences. CRF will have the ability to forgive a portion of a loan’s principal and make the loan affordable in areas where home values have declined or where a homeowner has experienced a decrease in income.


  • Impose a pre-foreclosure duty on the banks and servicers to maintain vacant and abandoned properties: Previously, a bank or mortgagee had the responsibility of maintaining a vacant property once a judgment of foreclosure and sale was obtained, creating zombie properties and blight in communities. This legislation places the maintenance obligation on a mortgagee when the mortgagee becomes or should have become aware of the vacancy. Under this law, the bank has a duty to maintain and secure a residential real property where there is a reasonable basis to believe it is vacant and abandoned, and faces civil penalties up to $500 per violation, per property, per day for failing to do so.
  • Expedite foreclosure for vacant and abandoned properties: The legislation offers plaintiffs an option for an expedited foreclosure process on bonafide vacant and abandoned properties that homeowners no longer want. To initiate this process, plaintiffs would make an application for an order to show cause upon notice seeking entry of judgment of foreclosure and sale on the grounds that the property is vacant and abandoned.

The legislation requires a foreclosing party to move to auction within 90 days of obtaining a foreclosure judgment. In addition, a foreclosing party would be required to take action to ensure that the property is reoccupied within 180 days of taking title.

  • Establish electronic registry of vacant and abandoned properties. The legislation will promote communication between local governments and mortgagees responsible for property maintenance.
  • In cases where homes are vacant, CRF will offer a mechanism to expeditiously complete a foreclosure and work with land banks, Community Development Financial Institutions, and other local nonprofits to rehabilitate properties and resell them to new buyers.

State Senator Diane J. Savino said: “The subprime mortgage crisis hurts families and communities and I’m proud that today my legislation creating the Community Restoration Fund becomes law. This program, through the State of New York Mortgage Agency, working in conjunction with a council of housing experts, will use settlement funds to keep families facing foreclosure in their homes by refinancing their mortgages. The Community Restoration Fund will work hand-in-hand with localities, non-profits and land banks to identify and purchase properties from federally distressed pools. In addition, dilapidated, abandoned properties across this state, ones which drag down communities, will also be spruced up and turned into much-needed affordable housing. I thank Governor Cuomo for helping us uplift communities throughout the state and helping struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure while simultaneously reducing blight in our communities.”

State Senator David J. Valesky said: “New York has become flooded with zombie foreclosures over the past several years and thanks to Governor Cuomo and my colleagues in the legislature, we are taking a major step forward in putting a stop to these eyesores. Throughout this state, there are neighborhoods that are on the cusp of turning the corner and thriving once again yet they are being held back by these properties. With this law now on the books, we have the tools we need to help our communities reach their full potentials.”

Assemblywoman Helene E. Weinstein, Chair of the New York State Assembly Judiciary Committee, said: “It is critical that we pursue every avenue to hold banks accountable and to help New Yorkers remain in their homes. Unfortunately, so many properties that have been abandoned go on to become a burden and an eyesore to the surrounding community. The provisions of this legislation relating to foreclosure would strengthen the rights of homeowners in foreclosure proceedings, keep families in their homes longer, and require banks and their mortgage servicers to maintain abandoned properties in their portfolio to prevent any further neighborhood destabilization. I commend Governor Cuomo for joining with us to enact these homeowner protection and community preservation proposals. “

Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter said: “Zombie properties are a scourge on our communities and prevent emerging neighborhoods from truly flourishing. As these properties become dilapidated and forgotten, they not only discourage businesses from investing in that neighborhood, but they drive down the value of surrounding homes. Getting rid of these blights is an absolute necessity and I want to thank Governor Cuomo for his past efforts and his leadership in ensuring that this bill became law.”

Assemblyman Charles D. Lavine said: “Working together under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, the Assembly and Senate have passed highly comprehensive legislation that will protect our communities and our citizens from the blight of abandoned and deteriorating houses. Because the safety of our neighborhoods must continue to be government’s first priority, I am extraordinarily gratified that our Long Island community will now be protected by this most incisive and significant law.”

Assemblyman Michael Kearns said: “The Foreclosure Relief Act has been created to help fight the “Zombie Crisis” in our communities since 2008. Proactive engagement by neighbors, courts, municipalities and banks is required to increase the likelihood of success. To reverse the effects of zombies will require engagement, education, enforcement and execution by all stakeholders interested in removing bank created blight in our neighborhoods. All of us with zombie properties need to be active and informed concerning the new law’s protections, so we meet the challenges of this crisis. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing these bills into law today.”

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said: “From Smithtown to Sag Harbor, unoccupied and ill-maintained homes have directly contributed to the degradation of neighborhoods and communities. These zombie properties have had especially devastating consequences on towns that have already been ravaged by foreclosure and economic instability. I commend Governor Cuomo, and our leaders in the Senate and Assembly, for taking decisive action to end the scourge of zombie properties and making our communities stronger and safer for generations to come.”

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said: “Abandoned and dilapidated properties are not just a problem on Onondaga County or in Central New York—they plague communities across the state and country. Governor Cuomo is leading the nation to tackle the issue of “zombie” properties on multiple fronts, and this new law will result in better neighborhoods and a better quality of life throughout New York.”??

Commissioner of NYS Homes and Community Renewal, Jamie S. Rubin said: “This is a great day for New Yorkers living in communities that have endured the blight of “zombie” properties and for homeowners on the brink of foreclosure. Governor Cuomo has given New York powerful tools to tackle the problem of vacant properties that plague too many communities and to reduce the risk of more homes becoming abandoned and empty. Together these bills will help families stay in their homes and remove abandoned properties from neighborhoods. These are real investments in improving lives and communities across New York State.”

Superintendent of Financial Services Maria T. Vullo said: “This groundbreaking legislation provides relief to cities and towns throughout New York State that are suffering the consequences of unmaintained vacant and abandoned properties. It improves and expands upon the best practices that DFS established, by now legally requiring the obligation to maintain for all banks and mortgage servicers in New York and also establishing an expedited foreclosure process. I applaud Governor Cuomo and the Legislature for taking decisive action and stand ready to enforce the law to combat this growing epidemic.”


The FY 2017 Budget invests nearly $20 billion for comprehensive statewide housing and homelessness action plans. Over the next five years, the $10 billion housing initiative will create and preserve 100,000 affordable housing units across the State, and the $10 billion homelessness action plan will create 6,000 new supportive housing beds, 1,000 emergency beds, and a variety of expanded homelessness services.

As part of the Governor’s ongoing efforts to assist future homebuyers and existing homeowners, this investment includes more than $100 million in available funds to help new homebuyers purchase and renovate “Zombie” properties and support existing low- and middle-income homeowners with major repairs and renovations. Funding is available through the New York State Homes and Community Renewal to establish the new Neighborhood Revitalization Program and provide grants for not-for-profit organizations and municipalities throughout the state to rehabilitate, repair and improve homes.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Long Island Partnership, Inc. Peter J. Elkowitz, Jr. said: “We thank Governor Cuomo for making it a priority to address this widespread problem. If we could customize a program to mitigate the effects of these vacant properties on Long Island, this is the way it would look. This is how state and local governments work together for the people of New York. The DFS bill, combined with HCR’s Community Restoration Fund will go a long way to improving the quality of life for many Long Islanders and revitalizing communities in Nassau and Suffolk counties.”

Executive Director of the Center for NYC Neighborhoods, Christie Peale said: “We commend the Governor and leaders in the state Legislature for brokering a deal that will help communities statewide to recover from the foreclosure crisis. With the Community Restoration Fund, policymakers will have a new tool to help homeowners at risk of foreclosure. And the reforms for tackling ‘zombie’ properties will also help to stabilize neighborhoods where derelict properties have proliferated in recent years. These are major victories for homeowners in New York.”

Executive Director of Home HeadQuarters, Kerry Quaglia said: “One abandoned property in disrepair can affect an entire block and they frustrate residents and visitors alike. These bills give us the tools we need to correct the problem of vacant homes and buildings that negatively impact our neighborhoods. I am grateful to Governor Cuomo for addressing the problem of zombie properties in Upstate New York.

Source: Office of New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo

Additional Resources:
S8159 (full text)

YouTube (full press conference video)

DS News (New York Takes Aim at Zombie Properties)

Albany Times-Union (Zombie Property Bill become Law!)



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.