Mason-McDuffie Executives Accept the Ice Bucket Challenge

The Ice Bucket Challenge was created by the ALS Association in order to raise awareness and support for ALS, which stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

As of today, $100 million dollars has been raised by the ALS Association, this is 3,500% more than they raised this time last year according to Forbes.

These funds will go towards assisting people and their families who have been affected by this disease. Additionally, the ALS Association works to create public policy that responds to helping people with ALS.

We at Mason-McDuffie Mortgage raised almost $1,200 for ALS, and members of the executive staff agreed to take part in the challenge.



If you would like to donate to the ALS association, please visit their donation page, here.


Mason-McDuffie Mortgage ranks No. 24 in Best Workplaces of 2014.


Best Workplaces full topper





For the third year in a row, Mason-McDuffie Mortgage was among the Top 100 Workplaces in the Bay Area.  MMCD ranked No. 24 in the category for small companies with fewer than 149 employees. The Bay Area News Group sponsored the afternoon event and a small group of MMCD employees attended the lunch and presentation.

MMCD received this award based on positive feedback from employees like the examples below:

Best Workplaces quotes








For more information on the Top 100 Workplaces companies:


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.

Patricia Ward, Christie Craig (Regional Manager), Sharon Robinson, and Dennis Santiago.
Kim Bristow (Transition Coordinator/Corporate Loan Officer San Ramon Office) and Tera Paleka
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 or (808) 633-6696.


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 or (808) 264-8014.


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 or (855) 373-9239.


1st MMCD Volunteer Day at the Oakland Zoo – Anne-Marie Hsieh

(Special thanks goes to Anne-Marie Hsieh for organizing and managing this whole process)

There was a small, but VERY MIGHTY group of us, blazing the trail for our 1st MMCD Volunteer Day at the Oakland Zoo on Saturday!!!!

A gigantic thank you to Danielle Danson (and her friend Amanda!), Brittany Christensen (who drove ONE HOUR to get there!) and Jim Black for putting on the red shirt and carving out some time to help out at the Zoo.

We met in the lower lot (free parking!), and divided up into groups based on the needs of the Zoo that day.

One group split off to rake leaves and general clean up around the Education Center – while we, the mighty MMCD Team hiked over to the Sun Bear habitat. We were provided with gloves, lopping shears – and started removing blackberry bushes!!! We learned that the Zoo uses no pesticides, therefore – all edible plants are fed to the animals. Apparently giraffes LOVE blackberries! Thorns and All. Whoa!

We had a break mid- morning and could go to the café for a free drink (2nd perk..lots to follow! ). We finished up around 1130 – and around 1145, the bear keeper led us “back stage” to see the bears up close in the enclosure where they sleep at night. The oldest of the 3 bears came from a sanctuary in Malaysia (where the bears are poached for their livers…or maybe it’s kidneys…) The younger girls were born at the San Diego Zoo to a mother who had also been rescued from Malaysia. They have caramel colored “bibs” on their chest which are unique to each bear, allowing them to be identified by people who can read bear spots!

After we saw the bears up close and personal, we walked up to the viewing area where we saw the bears run out and climb onto their perches where some tasty treats were set out for them – they started with corn on the cob!

They girls sleep in hammocks, get along fairly well, have a sense of smell at or better than a dog’s. They know their “routine”, and move easily into their enclosure when it’s bed time (I think the little biscuits they get helps!).  One of the challenges the Zoo keepers have is finding daily enrichment activities which doesn’t involve food.

Last month, the volunteer group was tasked with clearing stick from the elephant habitat. Nobody knows what next month will bring – it depends on the needs of the Zoo that day, and how many people show up.

We received discounts for our food – a free sky ride – AND when the ticket taker saw my Volunteer shirt – free train ride as well!

I couldn’t have imagined a better way to spend my Saturday morning…as you can see from the pics – Daddy and the kiddos DID join – and had a ton of fun.

There was a lot of people who had expressed interest, but had scheduling conflicts etc…If you think you’d like to volunteer at another Oakland Zoo day – please let me know. Hands On Bay Area (HOBA) couldn’t have made it any easier – and I believe they lead a group at the Oakland Zoo once a month.

Removing blackberry bushes has never been so fun!!!!

Thank you again to our small but might MMCD Volunteer Team.

That morning will stay in my heart as a great day.

– Anne-Marie

photo photo1 photo2 photo3 photo4 photo5 photo6

Production Employee of the Month – Jim Black, February 2013

Jim BlackCongratulations to Jim Black for being selected as the Production Employee of the Month. Jim is currently a VP Area Sales Manager for the Lafayette, Oakland and Berkeley branches. He was one of our top 3 producers for February in volume with $5,570,973 and in units with 10. Jim has been a loan officer with Mason-McDuffie Mortgage since August of 2012.

The Jim Black team is fortunate to have teamed up with Mason-McDuffie Mortgage to continue to enhance the knowledge, programs and service they offer to the community for residential lending needs. Jim’s Bay Area clients, business associates, and co-workers respect his financial business background and drive for excellence, as he delivers the best customized short and long term construction and residential lending solutions with exceptional customer service. Jim and his team are focused on helping make a difference in their community and look forward to having the opportunity to show clients what Team Jim Black can do for them. Please click HERE for more information on Jim Black.

Food & Gift Drive for HomeAid

In honor of National Homelessness Awareness Week, the Professional Women in Building of the Building Industry Association gathered up four truckloads of food and gifts to benefit HomeAid Northern California shelters.  The shelters included Mission Solano of Fairfield, Shepherd’s Gate of Livermore and Shelter, Inc. of Martinez.

HomeAid was created and is supported by the building industry to address and solve the problem of homelessness.  They are the largest provider of housing for this cause in the Country.  The mission is to build and maintain dignified housing where homeless families and individuals can rebuild their lives.   HomeAid is the only organization of its type that utilizes professional management and construction personnel to build the projects and the only one able to generate significant leverage as a result of the donations of the homebuilding industry and contractors.

Cyndi Fazzio of Mason-McDuffie Mortgage is not only on the Board of the PWB, but was also the co-chair of this year’s food and gift drive, along with Nadia Costa from Miller Starr Regalia.  Margie Carino and Amy Stephens, also from Mason-McDuffie Mortgage joined Cyndi as volunteers in the last few weeks to gather, sort and distribute all the collected goods.

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