AwardsIn The NewsMost Powerful Women in Fintech Award

The 2024 Most Powerful Women In Fintech Award Winners Are …

In today’s hyper-connected world, organizations must constantly evolve to offer quick, convenient, and reliable service. The financial services industry is no exception. The rise of Innovative FinTech is a perfect example of how this new reality is reshaping the way we think. And women are playing a pivotal role. These women are not just influencers, they are leading the way. As such for the 6th year, PROGRESS in Lending is honoring The Most Powerful Women in FinTech today. Here are the top women that are reshaping Financial Services FinTech today listed in alphabetical order:

Tammi Alexander


Lender Toolkit

Tammi Alexander’s remarkable 25-year career in the mortgage and financial services industries, combined with her visionary leadership in fintech, establishes her as a leading force in the mortgage industry. In September 2023, Tammi was promoted to the role of chief operating officer (COO) at Lender Toolkit, a leading provider of automated mortgage technology solutions powered by artificial intelligence (AI).

At that time, Lender Toolkit CEO Brett Brumley said, “Tammi’s promotion is well-deserved, as her leadership and technical expertise have been crucial in making Lender Toolkit the go-to platform for innovative mortgage solutions, she has been a key figure in the development of several technologies that are revolutionizing the lending process. We couldn’t feel more fortunate to have her on our team.”

Previously, Tammi served as senior director of mortgage technology for the company. Prior to Lender Toolkit, Tammi held leadership roles at GMFS Mortgage, Guardian Mortgage and BB&T Bank, where she built a reputation for her FinTech expertise. And her recent achievements at Lender Toolkit are nothing short of remarkable. With Tammi as COO, Lender Toolkit has solidified its status as a pioneer in AI-powered mortgage automation solutions, creating significant advancements in the field. Tammi has helped spearhead Lender Toolkit’s mortgage automation-as-a-service (MaaS™) solution, which have made the mortgage origination process more efficient for lenders. She was instrumental in developing and implementing Lender Toolkit’s AI Underwriter™, the only automated system in the mortgage industry that can underwrite a loan in 90 seconds or less, and a key contributor in the development of Prism™, which simplifies the income calculation process for lenders.

Tammi’s contributions extend beyond individual projects. Her proficiency in fintech and strategic initiatives have helped propel Lender Toolkit’s growth. The company has doubled in size since Brumley founded Lender Toolkit seven years ago, and it now works with hundreds of lenders of all sizes—including many of the top 50 lenders in the country—representing more than $45 billion in loan volume. CEO Brett Brumley praises Tammi’s leadership and technological prowess as vital to Lender Toolkit’s success, emphasizing her pivotal role in making the platform a go-to-choice for cutting-edge mortgage technology solutions.

Tammi’s passion for fintech innovation is matched by her commitment to fostering an inclusive and supportive industry. She mentors women in the field and champions the removal of barriers, actively promoting diversity and inclusion in the mortgage technology sector. In addition to her professional achievements, Tammi’s focus on positive change extends to promoting employee well-being through mindfulness-based initiatives. Her dedication to creating a nurturing work environment further solidifies her as a leader in the fintech realm.

Lisa Binkley


National Credit-reporting System, Inc. (dba NCS)

Lisa Binkley is a seasoned leader in the third-party verification and risk management industry, achieving significant milestones throughout her career. Currently, she serves as the Chief Operating Officer at NCS, a full-service consumer reporting agency that specializes in third-party verification solutions and credit intelligence. Lisa is known for her tenacity towards fintech modernization within the loan manufacturing community, spearheading various initiatives for greater access to innovative and automated processes. Her focus is on advocating for working standards that address 100% of a borrower’s employment, income, and asset attributes.

In her previous role as SVP of Business Development, Lisa led NCS’ solution development team and support staff in establishing best practice procedures that supplement the digital lending footprint for borrowers who did not receive W2 income, were unwilling to allow lenders to access their bank accounts, and/or had employers who did not report to a third-party repository.

Lisa also contributed to the fintech ideation and ongoing deployments of a new VOE/I cascade platform at NCS. She helped earmark NCS as one of the leaders in fulfilling a waterfall automation-to-manual verification of income that interfaces directly with employers and allows consumer-based access to employer records.

Additionally, Binkley was instrumental in implementing a cascade tool (Income+) that allows all consumers’ employment and income to be serviced in today’s digital mortgage marketplace, allowing for fast document upload while eliminating data input by end-users. This cascade solution suite leverages the trusted data from employers and tax transcripts to instantly perform various income calculations and deliver a one-page summary report to end users.

Lisa continues to be an industry advocate for secure and real-time access to consumer-permission IRS tax transcript data. She is one of the lead ambassadors at her company to voice the increased availability of fintech verification solutions to other commercial and non-private financial sectors including healthcare, auto, and education.

She also leads the collaboration with NCS’ CIO to integrate with the IRS Application-to-Application (A2A) in automating 4506-C forms using a one-time consumer-permissioned authorization process that will improve end-user experience and transcript turn times from days to hours.

Michele Bodda


Experian Mortgage, Employer Services and Verification Solutions

Michele Bodda is an absolute powerhouse in the financial services sector, with an impressive career that spans the breadth of Experian’s varied offerings and demonstrates the critical ways in which data and analytics can be used to guide and inform consumers and the businesses that serve them.

Bodda began her career at Experian more than 26 years ago, first as a Customer Service Rep in the Consumer Credit department and then as Head of Wealth Insight Services. Bodda then rose to Senior VP of Strategic Alliances and Partnerships, moved on to become the General Manager of Experian Mortgage and Credit Solutions, and then finally ascended to the role of President of Experian Housing, Verification Solutions and Employer Services, where she has made massive headway leading these three teams for the last three years.

In this role, Bodda oversees three high-growth, new markets for Experian, focusing on leveraging data and analytics to revolutionize old practices. At Experian Housing, Bodda and her team work to empower consumers with the data they need to purchase the homes they deserve. At Experian Verification Services, Bodda oversees the development of technology-fueled, user-friendly solutions that verifiers can rely on to operate a safe and secure business. And at Experian Employer Services, Bodda promotes a full suite of services that provide employers powerful data and flexible technology.

Bodda is a well-respected leader throughout the industry, serving as a member of the Board of Directors for VantageScore Solutions, where she advises on best practices in the development of highly consistent, more predictive credit scoring models. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of MISMO, the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization, where works alongside notable mortgage industry thought leaders to generate solutions to issues in housing finance, like the need to reduce costs and increase transparency for consumers.

Bodda is also a committed champion of diversity, inclusion and belonging within the workplace. She is an executive member of Experian’s Power of You Council and the Executive Sponsor for the Experian North America Pride Network.

Mallory Griffin


York Public Relations

Mallory Griffin is an experienced B2B content marketing and public relations strategist with a background in technology, specifically fintech and healthcare payments IT. Having worked for several companies ranging from early to late-stage startups to more established enterprises, Mallory has developed and executed strong thought leadership content, multi-channel marketing and PR programs throughout her career.

Mallory’s proven ability to increase brand awareness and engage target audiences gives her a unique perspective on both the internal and external communication strategies for fintech companies of all sizes. With nearly a decade of PR and marketing experience, Mallory boasts unique expertise on the latest trends in fintech and how PR is changing in this fast-moving, ultra-competitive market.

Currently, Mallory serves as Vice President for York Public Relations, where she oversees client relationships and provides strategic counsel while managing one of the firm’s growing teams. Prior to joining York Public Relations, Mallory oversaw marketing and communications for Atlanta-based Patientco (now part of Waystar), a payment technology company founded specifically to re-think the healthcare payment experience.

Jodi Hall

Founder & CEO


Prior to her C-Suite roles, Jodi amassed 15 years of mortgage experience in both wholesale and retail banking. Though most of her background has been in leading the operations divisions of mortgage companies, Jodi has always chosen to work for companies that she could direct in a tech-forward, innovative fashion. The mortgage divisions that she has led, including most recently as President & COO of Nationwide Mortgage Bankers and COO of CrossCountry Mortgage (CCM), have been early adopters of technology, where her willingness to partner and work with many technology companies helped her solve the operational challenges she encountered.

When serving as Chief Operating Officers, Jodi oversaw the day-to-day operations, focusing on strategic planning, operational efficiency, project management, and her passion, reporting and analytics. At CCM specifically, Jodi facilitated operational efficiencies and reduced cycle time to support the sales growth of $0.8B – $5.4B (2013-2017). Under her direction, CCM implemented an industry leading reporting and analytics solution, providing leadership and sales with transparency across all facets of the business. She also developed a sustainable change management platform, including the creation of an employee engagement solution encouraging all 1,800+ employees to contribute to the success of the company.

As a current member of the Strategic Advisory Board for Rice Park Capital Management (RPCM), Jodi has been able to capitalize on her passion for research and delve into mortgage technology solutions that are candidates for VC investment in an effort to help RPCM better understand what lenders require to conduct their jobs more efficiently.

Jodi also works as a strategic advisor with Wilqo, a technology start-up company that was focused on building and implementing a point of sale (POS) platform that aligned with her vision with how software and the mortgage process should work – one that was revolutionary, offering both seamless borrower engagement and enhanced loan officer experiences as quality and efficient loans were fulfilled. Jodi and Wilqo’s vision of focusing squarely on what lenders want and need has guided the company from its inception.

In addition to Wilqo, Jodi also advises Candor Technology, and other technology companies and start-ups – where her focus has been on revolutionizing the decades old, paper intensive, redundant process of mortgage origination through mortgage technology and servicing by consulting with mortgage vendors and lenders. Her company, DandaRoad, offers several specialties including strategic management and execution, product and vendor management, process automation, technology stack review and strategic discovery, and actionable data and report creation.

Jodi is also using her experience and leadership skills to grow the next generation of leaders by serving as a Lender Advisory Panel Member for The Mortgage Collaborative where she provides strategic advice on learning and development needs and opportunities.

Chris Harrington

CEO & Co-Founder


Chris Harrington has more than 30 years of experience in high-tech real estate and mortgage relationship management SaaS solutions and developing state-of-the-art CRM platforms combined with automated content marketing services. She is the CEO and co-founder of Usherpa – the industry’s most sophisticated SaaS, cloud-based Smart CRM FinTech company providing technology and marketing solutions for thousands of real estate and mortgage professionals. These Realtors and Loan Officers have helped hundreds of thousands of borrowers fulfill their dreams of homeownership. Chris also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business/Information Technology.

She started in the mortgage industry in 1991 and stepped into the role of Vice President of Marketing for CTX Mortgage in 2004. It quickly became apparent to her that the company’s loan officers were facing challenges building and maintaining relationships with prospects, past customers, and business partners. At the same time, one of the company’s top loan officers, Dan Harrington, was working on a new FinTech tool that would solve all these problems through automated marketing and building a CRM. She and Dan created the Media Center CRM that helped thousands of loan officers double their production through increased repeat and referral business. In 2008, she joined Dan in taking the Media Center private, rebranding it as Usherpa, and has helped build Usherpa into the premier Smart CRM and Relationship Engagement Platform for loan officers and real estate agents dedicated to referral-based selling. Usherpa is the largest privately held mortgage and real estate CRM in the industry.

Shannon Johnson

Product Manager


Growth-focused and a dynamic problem solver, Shannon is a dominant force, driving product development strategy and execution as Product Manager for Tavant’s Touchless Lending platform. Her proven history of creating solutions that boost productivity, increase efficiency, and solidify Tavant’s competitive position is evident in her work. With 35 years of mortgage, real estate, and fintech industry experience, Shannon is seeking automated solutions to mortgage lending challenges and pushes the boundaries of her Tavant responsibilities daily.

The first two decades of Shannon’s career were in Operations, and the following 15 years have been dedicated to product development, where her efforts have redefined and validated the concept of technological innovation within this industry. Today, her focus is on leveraging her domain expertise to help build Tavant products. She is responsible for spearheading Touchless Lending, the latest and most advanced edition of its AI-based lending platform. For Shannon, Touchless Lending capabilities are critical in her overarching efforts to remove friction from the antiquated lending process. This evolution has been slow compared to other industries but is now finally taking hold.

Shannon has been pivotal in curating custom solutions as well as advancing Tavant’s Touchless Lending solution. She focuses on product development strategy and communication practices for herself and her team. Her proficiency in mortgage lending data platforms enables her to be a master of her product, and her intent is to change the mortgage industry using AI and Machine Learning. Her vision of AI, what it could be, and what it could bring to the industry is cemented in knowing this technology is something that hasn’t been largely available in the past.

She is intentional and thoughtful when it comes to the end user. With AI and natural language processing prevalent, Shannon strives to take her ideas and translate them into working modules in lending. At the forefront of Tavant advancements, influencing critical business development initiatives with its products and services, Shannon is leading the way in operational and technology efficiency and effectiveness. Her accomplishments can be quantified by Tavant’s overwhelming success last year. She adapts to ever-changing industry trends and overcomes new obstacles, which is an asset to her team and company. While the mortgage industry has traditionally been male-dominated, Shannon, combining her vast experience and broad knowledge, is uniquely qualified as a Lending and Mortgage expert and has blazed a trail in this industry while earning the respect of her esteemed colleagues and associates. With steady grit and polite perseverance, Shannon has cultivated a work environment where diversity, gender equality, and inclusion are not only the standard but also non-negotiable. Shannon mentors many young female associates at Tavant.

Shelley Leonard



Shelley’s impressive 25+ year career afforded her the opportunity to gain a wealth of executive experience where she improved performance, increased market share, drove growth, expanded into new markets, launched innovative products, and managed M&A initiatives for leading mortgage companies. Many across the industry consider Shelley an outstanding performer and contributor – both at Xactus where she is serving as president, steering the firm’s ongoing evolution as it emerges from three years of multiple mergers and moves forward as a true FinTech leader – and when she was at Black Knight and its previous businesses, where Shelley held various executive-level positions and excelled in her responsibilities. She is making her mark on mortgage banking by driving a movement aimed at transforming the industry by reimagining the ways things have always been done and spearheading further investments in new technologies and innovative workflows that better align with a more consumer-focused experience. Simply put, Shelley is redefining the way mortgage verification services are delivered and her work is having a significant and positive impact. Despite the current market and the hurdles it presents, Shelley and her team are advancing the modern mortgage – by abandoning stagnant processes and developing digital solutions and verification services that improve efficiency, enhance profitability, and elevate the consumer experience. Her primary objective is to ensure that Xactus’ technology is naturally intuitive so that lenders utilize it wherever and whenever it can improve outcomes.

Shelley responded to the market’s abrupt turn in 2022 in three distinct ways. First, she challenged the Xactus team to collaborate with lenders by reexamining workflows to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. Next, she allocated money and resources to nurture innovation in technology development to ensuring the company’s ongoing growth. Her third step was to foster employee development and dedication by cultivating a positive corporate culture. These three initiatives have allowed Xactus to thrive at a time when many mortgage companies have struggled. In fact, Xactus’ growth trajectory in 2023 outpaced the industry’s.

She views the slow adoption of technology as the primary driver behind the high costs and slow processes that have plagued the industry for decades. That is precisely why Shelley and her team are focused on creating a roadmap for Xactus’ products, services, and technologies that invests in the firm’s own data capabilities – such as its proprietary platform, Xactus360, fraud tools, flood solutions, batch update products for servicing, and data mining.

Taylor Potter


Ardley Technologies

As Ardley’s COO, Taylor Potter has been instrumental in the company’s success at providing actionable data and intelligence for mortgage services. In just three years at Ardley, her efforts helped the company land several of the largest U.S. servicers as clients and generate more than $1 billion in loan origination volume. Today, Adley is automating thousands of mortgage applications a month.

Taylor also played a central role in helping Ardley navigate multiple strategic pivots. The first of these pivots was in October 2021, when Ardley shifted from an originations-focused point of sale platform to a data and analytics servicing recapture platform. This critical move transformed Ardley from the homogenous commodity of a loan application-taking platform to a platform that enables servicers and lenders to mine their existing data for new deal opportunities in their portfolios and became the cornerstone of Ardley’s success.

The second pivot was equally crucial. Interest rate hikes that began in March 2022 affected the entire mortgage industry. However, they were doubly impactful to Ardley because the initial release of the company’s analytics and data mining platform for recapture focused on FHA Streamline & VA IRRRL loan products. With higher rates, these products were no longer viable for the foreseeable future. Through Taylor’s leadership and strategic insights, Ardley introduced additional loan products, such as cashout refinance, home equity loans and purchase loan support to the platform.

Thanks to Taylor, both pivots set the stage for Ardley’s future growth and sustainability in any interest rate environment. They also created a framework for significant platform enhancements. The first was Autopilot, which was launched at the 2024 MBA Servicing Conference. Autopilot is an automatic underwriting engine that enables qualified borrowers to receive an instant conditional approval after completing a loan application. The second enhancement was Navigator, launched in April 2024. Navigator enables borrowers to understand and evaluate all loan program opportunities available to them based on the lender’s eligibility guidelines, and leverages Autopilot to provide instant conditional approvals to qualified borrowers. This gives consumers peace of mind that they can make a fully informed decision about all loan options available to them and receive conditional approval without ever speaking to a loan officer. Both platform enhancements are groundbreaking for the mortgage industry and could not have been achieved without Taylor’s guidance.

Eloise Schmitz

CEO & Co-Founder


Eloise Schmitz plays a pivotal role in shifting the paradigms of mortgage capital markets through her leadership at LoanNEX. Under her guidance, the company stands as a beacon of innovation, redefining the boundaries of what’s possible in mortgage lending. LoanNEX has been transformed into a cradle of advanced technological solutions, setting new benchmarks for liquidity, efficiency, and access within the market.

The platform that Eloise helped cultivate is at the forefront of next-generation financial tools, including a robust pricing and decisioning engine. This comprehensive suite ensures diverse product access and unparalleled operational excellence. Each step forward under her leadership brings the mortgage industry closer to a future where strategic agility and accessible financial solutions are commonplace.

Eloise envisions a transformative future for the financial services industry with a special focus on capital markets. Her strategy involves utilizing LoanNEX to break down the conventional barriers in mortgage lending by facilitating access to a wide array of mortgage products through a dynamic and intuitive platform.

LoanNEX, under Eloise’s leadership, distinguishes itself by offering a seamless integration of capabilities such as lock management and comprehensive APIs that cater to a spectrum of mortgage types. The platform is tailored to adapt to unique market needs, providing customized solutions that enhance transactional efficiency and open up new avenues for product access.

Lisa Schreiber

SVP, Correspondent Lending

eRESI Mortgage

Lisa has a history of building out mortgage platforms/channels for companies such as American Brokers Conduit, NetMore America and Sprout. Additionally, Total Quality Loan for Ellie Mae and many flows/portals/integrations for Wholesale and Correspondent and PPE’s for her consulting clients.

Lisa believes that there is so much more to do in terms of adopting current technologies, but also thinking through how to better support borrowers, educating them through new mediums, while ensuring the quality of the assets we are producing. More conversation, more sharing of ideas and solutions is very much needed in our industry, she says.

Melissa Sike

VP of Enterprise Sales


Melissa Sike is a seasoned mortgage industry veteran with significant expertise in FinTech. In her nearly three years with MMI, Sike has significantly expanded the firm’s enterprise customer base, which comprises more than 450 enterprise customers and half of the top 100 lenders in the country. During the down market the industry has been experiencing over the past several years, Sike has overseen a sales department that has been able to grow enterprise accounts despite industry-wide contraction and downsizing.

Unlike many others in the mortgage tech industry, MMI has outpaced account churn with a consistent addition of new enterprise accounts, in no small part due to Sike’s superior industry knowledge and sales and team management skills. This impressive new account growth run she has spearheaded during a down market was also a key factor in MMI receiving a recent growth investment from a private equity partner. Her deep connections inside lending organizations have given her unique insight into the pain points lenders experience from a data perspective, which MMI has utilized to enhance and expand the dashboards and data points available through its data intelligence platform.

These additions include: • Visual Intelligence Dashboards: expands the BI tools available on the platform, increasing users’ ability and ease in developing strategy, recruiting, nurturing talent and discovering new opportunities. • LO Highlight Reels: an easy-to-use video creation tool for LOs looking for an eye-catching way to share their success and increase their visibility. • LO Quick Profile: provides a summary view of an LO’s production and top referral partners, enabling lenders to evaluate LOs based on real-time, accurate transaction history v. self-reported numbers. • CRA dashboard: provide increased granularity and insights related to CRA and LMI lending initiatives.

By helping MMI solve lenders’ real-world needs, Sike has contributed directly to the success of MMI’s customer base. In 2023, LOs using MMI produced 1.9X the volume of their peers, a 5-million-dollar difference. This year, LOs using MMI had an average production volume of $10.7M, compared to $5.6M in volume from LOs not leveraging the platform. This same comparison found that LOs using MMI have nearly twice the number of buy-side agents compared to those not. Prior to MMI, Sike spent nearly seven years with Surefire/Top of Mind, helping lenders improve and automate outreach to clients and prospects through its award-winning CRM platform.

Kelsey Wright

Director of Customer Success

LodeStar Software Solutions

Other than LodeStar’s co-founders Jim and Dave, Kelsey Wright is the most senior member of the LodeStar team. When she started, LodeStar was three people, including her. Even now that LodeStar has grown, and has almost twenty employees spread across the United States, Kelsey has only increased how integral she is both to the company’s operations and to the technology at its core.

At LodeStar, Kelsey oversees all client onboarding, customer support, and Knowledge Base article creation, among other things. She’s a certified Encompass® admin, and her name is all but synonymous with the impeccable quality of customer service LodeStar provides its clients. Under her watch, LodeStar has grown to offer new fees to lenders and title agents via its nationwide fee database. Property taxes, appraisal fees, pest, septic—just to name a few additions to our offerings.

Also, LodeStar has been able to make its calculator adaptable to different scenarios for disclosing, bundling, and itemizing fees. If a lender has a question about some obscure fee scenario, chances are, someone on LodeStar’s team has seen it before and can address the question quickly, if not on the spot. Under Kelsey’s direction, LodeStar has more than earned its slogan: “Trust the Fee Experts.”

Mary York

Founder & CEO

York Public Relations

With 20 years of experience, Mary has led the strategic direction for numerous fintechs to increase brand awareness. As a result of her work, Mary has supported several companies through successful acquisitions, totaling over $1 billion. She also supports fintechs and financial services firms increase profitability, taking one company from $1 million to $15 million in equity in just five years.

Mary’s work spans beyond fintech media relations. She has secured over 100 speaking engagements for fintech clients, including seven demos at FinovateFall. Several of those speakers were “Best of Show” winner recipients.

Additionally, Mary has secured several celebrity endorsements for clients and organizations she advises, as well as major mainstream media opportunities, including The New York Times cover stories, Wall Street Journal exclusives and Good Morning America segments.

Mary is regularly featured and quoted by industry media including American Banker, CU Management, The Financial Brand and others on PR and marketing strategies. She also frequently speaks at banking and fintech events.