Our leadership team is unrivaled in the mortgage industry, known for exceptional expertise, integrity and producing outstanding results year after year. Relentlessly dedicated to perfecting the mortgage process, these leaders set high expectations centered around serving our customers and delivering a superior home loan experience. Under their direction, PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital Company has fostered a rich, people-centric culture, attracting dedicated employees with a shared commitment to making a difference in the lives of our customers.
A 30-year veteran of the mortgage and financial services industry, Steve Thompson leads the company’s 1,300-plus loan originators nationwide, as well as the National Operations, Capital Markets, Joint Ventures and Marketing organizations. Thompson joined PrimeLending in 2011 as the Western Division Manager, quickly earning promotions to EVP, National Sales Leader in 2013 and President in 2017.
Prior to joining PrimeLending, Thompson held numerous leadership and production positions within the Mortgage and Financial Services industry, including key roles at several prominent nation-wide mortgage lenders. He was recognized as one of the "2013 Most Influential Mortgage Executives" by Mortgage Executive Magazine.
A native of California, Thompson received a BA in Economics from University of California, Los Angeles and a MBA from the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine.
Tim Elkins joined PrimeLending in November of 2008 as chief information officer. In October 2019, he was promoted to the role of chief production officer, assuming responsibility for national retail production, marketing, multicultural lending and technology.
Tim has more than 25 years of experience in the mortgage industry. Prior to joining PrimeLending, he served as chief information officer at AmericaHomeKey and BSM Financial.
Tim is the former chair of the Residential Technology Forum (RESTECH) for the Mortgage Bankers Association. Additionally, working with fellow CIOs from other industry-leading brands as well as senior staff from CIO.com and the Harvard Business Review, Tim has been a member of the Enterprisers Editorial Board.
In 2019, he was recognized on "Constellation's Business Transformation 150", an elite global list of the top executives leading business transformation efforts at their organizations. In 2012 and 2013, Tim was honored as one of the Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leaders and led his team to being selected as a CIO 100 recipient for their innovation in the mortgage industry.
Tim has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance from Texas Tech University.
Karen Blakeslee joined PrimeLending in August 2008 as area manager, and was promoted to senior vice president, regional manager, Southeast in February 2011, and to executive vice president – Eastern division in 2017. She is responsible for branch production and operations for PrimeLending’s branch offices located in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Karen has more than 15 years of experience in the mortgage industry. Before joining PrimeLending, she held positions at CTX Mortgage Company as a regional director of marketing and a division vice president. Karen supports PrimeLending's partnership with the Raleigh Area Habitat for Humanity initiative by serving as a volunteer, and is active in the North Carolina Food Bank organization. She has also received the Housingwire 2017 Women of Influence award.
With a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Oregon State University, she performed her graduate work in the field of instructional technology at Brigham Young University.
Al Velasco joined PrimeLending in August 2009 as area manager. He was promoted to senior vice president, regional manager, Midwest, in December 2011, and to executive vice president — Western division. In this role, Al oversees branch production and operations for Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Al has more than 20 years of experience in the mortgage industry. Before joining PrimeLending, he served as the senior vice president, retail production for TCF Bank Corporation. He was also the regional area managers for CTX Mortgage Company and chief operating officer for Hometown Mortgage, a division of Klein Bank.
He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communication and political science from Bethel University.
Eric Pretzlaff joined PrimeLending in August 2011 as senior vice president, chief financial officer. He is responsible for all aspects of financial management and reporting for the company.
Before joining PrimeLending, Eric served as internal audit director for Centex Corporation until transferring to Centex's wholly owned mortgage company, CTX Mortgage Company, where he later served as controller. Following Pulte Homes' acquisition of Centex in 2009, he assumed the role of controller for Pulte's wholly owned title company, PGP Title.
Eric spent the first 10 years of his career in the Dallas audit practice of Price Waterhouse.
Eric graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Central Michigan University and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant.
Kristi Harris joined PrimeLending in 1996. As executive vice president of national operations, she is responsible for underwriting, closing, post closing, investor delivery and product development. She and her team support a national branch network with a physical presence in 42 states.
Kristi has more than 25 years of mortgage industry experience and has held numerous roles during her tenure within the mortgage industry, including leadership roles in processing and underwriting. Kristi is a member of the PrimeLending executive management team.
Chris Cordry joined PrimeLending in July 2006 as vice president of secondary marketing and was promoted to Senior Vice President in November 2012 and to executive vice president, director capital markets in January 2019. In his current position as Executive Vice President of capital markets, Chris is responsible for secondary marketing functions, risk management, mortgage loan programs, pricing and investor relations.
With more than 23 years of mortgage banking experience, Chris has served in a variety of positions, including those in both secondary marketing and servicing analytics. Prior to joining PrimeLending, Chris ran the secondary marketing groups for both retail and wholesale mortgage companies. He has also managed mortgage servicing portfolios as well provided third-party valuations of mortgage servicing rights.
Chris earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Real Estate Finance from Missouri State University.
Cindy Buhr joined PrimeLending in July 2010. As executive vice president and general counsel, Cindy oversees the legal department.
From April 2009 to June 2010, Cindy was the vice president and assistant general counsel for PlainsCapital Corporation. Prior to that, she spent 11 years with Southwest Airlines Co., serving as associate general counsel.
Before going in-house, Cindy was a litigation associate in Dallas with the law firms of Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal (1993 – 1998) and Johnson & Gibbs (1990 – 1993).
Cindy is a 1990 honors graduate from Southern Methodist University School of Law, where she served on Law Review (Journal of Air Law and Commerce). She earned a BBA in accounting with high honors from the University of Texas at Austin. Cindy is licensed in Texas and is a member of a number of local and national industry and bar associations. She is also active in various civic and community organizations.
Susie plays a pivotal role in ensuring PrimeLending will continue to be a powerhouse lender and leader in the mortgage industry. Under her leadership, the company opened up a path for home builders to begin a rewarding joint venture partnership with PrimeLending that will help them generate endless value. Under her leadership, PrimeLending has been excelling at the homebuilder joint venture model, strengthening the joint ventures segment of our business considerably over the past couple years.
As someone who is truly passionate about the mortgage industry, she understands and promotes the concept that helping people achieve homeownership is more than simply providing four walls and a roof; she believes that homeownership can be a catalyst for the growth and transformation of our communities, and has the power to strengthen neighborhoods while positively impacting families by providing stability for generations.
Susie has more than 20 years of experience in the mortgage and joint venture space. Before joining PrimeLending, she served as assistant vice president of regional operations and vice president of joint venture relationships at CTX Mortgage Company.
Susie is active in the Dallas Mortgage Bankers Association. She also supports PrimeLending's partnership with the Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity initiative by serving as a volunteer.
Gene M. Lugat joined PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company as Senior Vice President, Regional Production Manager for the Mid-Atlantic Region in 2009. In October 2012, he was promoted to Executive Vice President of the Eastern Division/National Industry and Political Relations with responsibility for production for all 28 states east of the Mississippi. In 2017, he took on additional executive leadership responsibilities representing PrimeLendings’ government affairs and industry policies in Washington, DC.
As a respected and distinguished professional, Gene is a highly sought after keynote speaker. He recently served on the National MBA’s MORPAC Committee as a board member for the 2015/2016 election cycles. In January 2017, he was appointed Chairman of the National MBA’s Mortgage Action Alliance Committee for the 2017/2018 cycles.
A veteran with over thirty years of experience in the mortgage industry, Gene brings a wealth of business acumen and proven leadership expertise to his role. He served the Maryland Mortgage Bankers Association as its 52nd President in 2001, and has been a board member for the past 22 years. In 2006, he was named “Maryland Mortgage Banker of the Year” by the MDMBA. Gene is a MBA’s Future Leaders Program graduate class of 2000.
Gene is a graduate of Shepherd University and a member of its Athletic Hall of Fame. He is happily married and the proud father of three young men.