80th Anniversary of East Bay Regional Park District

2014 marks the 80th anniversary of the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD), which includes 65 parks, 15 regional trails and more than 113,000 acres.  Did you know that the residential developer and realtor Duncan McDuffie was a conservationist, pioneer, and original proponent and founder of the California park system?  He was a major player in the development of the environmental movement of the SF Bay Area.

McDuffie loved the Sierra Nevadas and spent a month in 1908 hiking and mapping a 230-mile route across the High Sierra from Yosemite to Kings Canyon with Little Joe LeConte, the UC professor who had cofounded the Sierra Club. McDuffie made the first ascents of Mount Abbot (13,736 ft) and Black Kaweah (13,754ft).

McDuffie served as president of the Save the Redwoods League and president of the Sierra Club from 1928-1931 and 1943-1946 and was chair of the California State Parks Committee, which began lobbying to create a California park system in 1927 when 10,000 acres of the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) became available for sale.  McDuffie chaired the $6 million bond campaign for that cause.

When McDuffie’s former employee Clement Calhoun Young became governor of California in 1927, McDuffie urged the Governor to use Frederick Law Olmsted Jr (who had previously designed some of his residential developments) to draw up the state park.

Olmsted traveled from Los Angeles to Berkeley to meet with McDuffie (a UC Berkeley alumus), Robert Sibley, and UC political science professor Samuel May, who, as director of the UC Bureau of Public Administration, had obtained a $5,200 grant to pay for the report and Ansel Hall of the National Park Service.

Olmsted’s plan was followed by the East Bay Regional Park plan.  The park study was approved in 1930 and the new park system was launched.  As Earth Day approaches on April 22, we recognize the visionary work and passion of founder Duncan McDuffie, who had the foresight to envision the goal to preserve the California Regional Park District lands.

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Duncan McDuffie

New Maui and Hilo Branches Open

“We are excited to expand our mortgage operations in Hawaii with the addition of new branches in Maui and Hilo.  But more importantly, we are fortunate to have four professional mortgage bankers open these new locations.  Sharon Robinson, branch manager, along with loan originators Patricia Ward and Tera Paleka will be our production team in Maui and Dennis Santiago will manage the Hilo branch.  MMCD has a long history of doing business in HI and we are thrilled to have these highly competent and experienced HI loan originators on our team.”

-Marilyn J. Richardson, President and CEO of Mason-McDuffie Mortgage.

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Patricia Ward, Christie Craig (Regional Manager), Sharon Robinson, and Dennis Santiago.
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Kim Bristow (Transition Coordinator/Corporate Loan Officer San Ramon Office) and Tera Paleka
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Tera Paleka, Patricia Ward, Sharon Robinson, and Christie Craig

Sharon Robinson joins MMCD as Maui Branch Manager

Sharon Robinson has joined the Mason-McDuffie team as Branch Manager to lead the Maui team.  Sharon works hard to help borrowers move through the loan process as quickly as possible. “I make myself available in the evenings and even on the weekends- I understand the need in getting a contract in as soon as possible.  My goals are to help realtors obtain financing for their clients in the quickest way possible.” Sharon works hard to help her customers understand the process of their loan and to help them obtain the best loan for their situation. “I have helped hundreds of borrowers work on their credit so they become eligible to buy a home sooner than later.  I pride myself in knowing what I am doing and will research all day and evening if it is necessary to help my realtors or my borrowers,” she said.  Her specialities include Purchase & Refinance – VA, FHA, USDA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HomePath, Super Conforming, Jumbo, construction, and Condo-tels (and more). Sharon has been in the mortgage business in Hawaii since 1980.  Sharon can be contacted at srobinson@mmcdcorp.com or (808) 633-6696.

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Patricia Ward joins MMCD as Maui Branch Loan Originator

Patricia Ward, a seasoned professional Loan Originator (her first loan in the business 16 years ago was for a Las Vegas mogul for 4 million dollars), has joined the Mason-McDuffie Maui Branch office.  “I am ecstatic about working with Mason-McDuffie,” she said.  “In my 16 years as a loan officer, the people with this company are the friendliest, most helpful people I have ever worked with.  I have worked in the broker arena and with companies like Mason-McDuffie that are Lenders.  I love working with people, so this career is the most conducive to the best of both worlds- numbers and people.  My heart is to put people in homes that never thought they would be able to buy a home.  It is the most rewarding thing I do and the reason I got into the business originally.   I am proficient in all types of loans but I prefer USDA.  I work with Na Hale O Maui which is a Land Trust Company and builders such as DR Horton and Spencer Homes.” Prior to joining Mason-McDuffie, Patricia worked in Hotel Management and Accounting. Patricia can be contacted at pward@mmcdcorp.com or (808) 264-8014.

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Dennis Santiago joins MMCD as Hilo Branch Loan Originator

Dennis Santiago has joined the Hilo branch as a loan originator.  He is looking forward to the chance to grow the company on the island and to create an opportunity for quality loan officers to grow and thrive and to continue to provide the best possible service to trusted friends and realtors.  “Mason-McDuffie is a company that really cares about our success!  The company is nimble yet very rich in heritage and prestigious,” he said.  Dennis really appreciates the processing and customer-first focus of the company.  Dennis has been in the industry since 1993.  His background prior to becoming a loan officer is 13 years of retail sales and management. Dennis can be contacted at dsantiago@mmcdcorp.com or (855) 373-9239.

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Encompass Outage Examined and Explained By MMCD CIO Jason Frazier

I have received quite a few emails from the field in regards to the Encompass outage that we experienced on Monday and Tuesday of this week. There are a lot of theories and articles flying around in regards to what actually happened, most of them calling it a “hack”. So I thought it would be good to share with all of you what we were told by EllieMae. The information below will be a tad bit on the “geeky” side but I will try to do my best to make it non-geeky.

The “Hack” in question was actually a DDoS Attack.  DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service. What a DDoS attack consists of is hundreds, thousands, or hundreds of thousands infected computers (Called bots) sending thousands of requests per second to an internet site.  The purpose is to saturate the site with traffic so that it is slow, crashes, or just simply becomes unavailable.  In a real world scenario just imagine trying to get to Disneyland if everyone in California tried to go to Disneyland at the same time.  Chances are you aren’t going to see Mickey anytime soon in that scenario.

The term “Hack” is being misused in these articles simply because the purpose of a Hack is to gain unauthorized access to a victims network. Now, sometimes a DDoS attack can be used in conjunction with a Hack, but EllieMae has stated that they have no evidence that anyone was able to penetrated their network. In short, all of our borrowers information was kept safe.

EllieMae’s explanation of a DDoS attack fits the facts of what happened over those two days for us. EllieMae has employed an external forensic team to help with their investigation. It is possible that this external team may uncover further information and I will relay that information to you as we get it. The number one concern we have as a company is and always shall be to make sure we protect the integrity of our customers private information.  If you or any of your borrowers/Realtors are concerned, you can point them to EllieMae’s press release.

http://www.elliemae.com/investor-relations/corporate-profile/news-releases/

Jason C. Frazier
o: 925.242.4476
c: 925.389.4456
f:  866.802.2733
e: Jfrazier@mmcdcorp.com

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