It’s no secret that knowledgeable and experienced leaders drive successful companies. However, combine top-notch leadership with a passion for helping customers achieve the American Dream of home ownership, and you have some of the main ingredients to the secret recipe of what has made The Federal Savings Bank exceptional. The other part of the recipe, of course, is our dedicated, skilled team of bankers.

Meet the leaders of The Federal Savings Bank.

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John Calk

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Calk has led the bank since April 2011. Mr. Calk, was awarded a full United States Congressional scholarship to attend Indiana University. Upon graduation with a BS in Finance, he was appointed as a second lieutenant and served as an armor platoon leader in the United States Army until recruited to join GE Capital Corporation. As a graduate of General Electric’s famed 2-year management program, Mr. Calk was quickly promoted and spent seven years in operations, marketing and senior financial management positions. In 1999 he joined Chicago Bancorp as a partner and eventually held the position of President. He is the father of six children, Founder and President of East Lake Academy and a resident of Chicago's North Shore. Additionally he serves as Chairman for the Chicagoland Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization. He is an active member of Conway Farms Golf Club and currently serves on their finance committee. He is also the Chairman of the Finance Committee of St. Patrick Church, Lake Forest, IL.
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Javier Ubarri


Javier Ubarri currently serves as the President of The Federal Savings Bank. He started working with the current ownership group in late 2010 in connection with its efforts to acquire control of what was then Generations Bank, a transaction that was consummated on April 4, 2011. In only its fourth month of operation under new ownership and a new business plan, Mr. Ubarri guided the Bank to its first month of profitable results in well over a year. In implementing its new business plan, the Bank is quickly building a pipeline of residential mortgage loans for sale in the secondary market.

Prior to his involvement with The Federal Savings Bank, Mr. Ubarri held a number of leadership positions at Banco Popular North America- a 116 year old super community bank. His last position was as Head of Commercial Banking. In that role, he led all of the Bank's national commercial lines of business which included Popular Small Business Capital (SBA Group), Popular Equipment Finance (small ticket leasing company), Money Servicing Division (banking currency exchanges), Popular Association Banking (banking condominium associations in NY, FL and CA), McDonald's Lending, Equity One Mixed Use Group and Popular Warehouse Lending. Total assets for the group were approximately $2 Billion and included 300 employees nationwide.

While at Banco Popular, Mr. Ubarri was the Regional President for the TL Region and was responsible for all of the retail and commercial lending in the region as well as a branch network that include 20 locations with $1.8 Billion in loans and deposits. He was also the Regional President for the TX Region which grew under his leadership from a single location with $40 Million in assets to one with 6 locations with $320 Million in assets in only four years.

Mr. Ubarri joined Banco Popular as part of the team that managed its expansion initiative in the United States. As part of the due diligence and integration team, he participated in eight acquisitions throughout the US until his move to Texas. Mr. Ubarri obtained his BBA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and his MBA from the University of Chicago. Earlier in his career, he worked for Price Waterhouse and passed the Certified Public Accountant examination.

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Dan Semenak

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Dan Semenak, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO), has been a part of The Federal Savings Bank leadership team since 2014. Dan brought over 20 years of experience in the finance industry with him when he first joined the bank as Chief Financial Officer. Dan has expanded his reach and currently presides over all departments as COO, ensuring each one is operating effectively and efficiently.

Dan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Michigan. While he still enjoys visiting his birthplace of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Dan loves living on Chicago’s north side. Dan enjoys spending time with his wife and son as well as volunteer coaching his son’s youth basketball and baseball teams. Dan has served on the Board of Directors for many years for both the Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club and the Wells Park Parents Association.
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Andrew Chojnowski

Chief Operating Officer, Home Lending

Andrew Chojnowski is the Chief Operating Officer of Home Lending at The Federal Savings Bank. Since 2012, Andrew has been overseeing all Operational Departments (processing, underwriting, closing, post-closing, compliance, condo/co-op review, and training) related to residential mortgage lending. Andrew has over 19 years of residential mortgage lending experience with a proven track record of effectively improving the loan manufacturing process by implementing transparency and accountability objectives. Prior to joining The Federal Savings Bank, Andrew held leadership positions at U.S. Bank and Guaranteed Rate. Andrew received his Bachelors of Business and Masters of Business of Administration from Cardinal Stritch University. 

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Alejandra Denda

Chief Marketing Officer

Alejandra Denda is a passionate, experienced, and commercial global leader with a strong track record of driving bottom line results. An executive with high energy, she has deep curiosity and a strategic mindset; she believes in constant improvement and leading from the heart. Alejandra graduated Magna Cum Laude from Buenos Aires University- School of Business Administration. She holds a 2-year specialization in Marketing from Buenos Aires University, as well as a Graduate Degree in International Marketing from Harvard University.

Alejandra has a proven track record of more than 25 years - driving results across geographies, channels, categories, and consumer segments. She has led functional and agency teams for companies such as Kimberly-Clark, Clorox, Colgate-Palmolive, Pinnacle Foods, Carrefour, and several WPP advertising and commerce agencies.

Alejandra’s leadership experience in retail, packaged goods manufacturers, and agency sides, combined with her deep understanding of omni-channel strategy, has driven growth for these brands across multiple markets.

Alejandra is fluent in English and Spanish, and proficient in Portuguese, French, and Italian. She is a loving wife and mother to her husband and two boys. In her sparse spare time, Alejandra enjoys visiting her longtime home of New York City, trying everything on Chicago’s food scene, and traveling with her family.
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Kelly Henry

Chief Risk Officer

Kelly Henry has 25 years of industry experience, most recently joining The Federal Savings Bank after leading all Mortgage Risk and Credit Functions at her previous company. Kelly has formerly held the roles of Chief Risk Officer and Senior Vice President, Director of Mortgage Underwriting Operations. Kelly has also served on Fannie Mae’s Risk Advisory Board. As Chief Risk Officer for The Federal Savings Bank, Kelly will lead and manage the company's risk functions. She will also provide executive direction for the implementation and execution of enterprise risk. Kelly is originally from Michigan, and she holds an executive MBA from Michigan State University.
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Bernie Miller

Executive Vice President

Bernie P. Miller II is an Executive Vice President at The Federal Savings Bank, and oversees retail mortgage sales in Chicago and the Midwest. Bernie entered into the residential mortgage business in 2003, and was a top producing Loan Originator for over 10 years at the bank. Bernie’s focus now is developing high-producing loan officers, teams, and branches. His coaching program and mentorship set his leadership style apart from other mortgage executives, and his experiences as a “street” loan officer keep him relevant.

Nothing is more fulfilling now for Bernie than growing a loan officer into a top producer. His division started the Mortgage Banker University program 5 years ago. This program starts junior bankers from day one, and graduates them to top producers. His passion also includes identifying and developing talented loan originators and teams who possess a similar passion for the business and are looking for proven leadership and an operational platform to help them break through and really grow. The combination of Bernie’s leadership and the stable, dynamic platform of The Federal Savings Bank is a powerful solution for our loan originators, realtor partners, and future homeowners. Bernie’s division has consistently grown and will aim to help over 3,600 families this year.

Bernie graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY in 1992. After being commissioned as an Army Officer, he graduated from the U.S. Army aviation flight school in 1993, and served as a Cav/Scout helicopter pilot, primarily flying the OH-58D “Kiowa Warrior”. Bernie served in several Cavalry units during his 9-year career, earning several distinctions, including 2 Meritorious Service Medals, the Order of St. Michael, and the Senior Aviator Badge.

Bernie lives on the north shore of Chicago but grew up in the Denver area. Bernie and his wife have 3 sons & 2 daughters, whom share a love of music & performing. Bernie currently supports several veteran related charitable organizations, including Bunker Labs, wear blue: run to remember, and the USO of Illinois. Bernie and his wife Tammy also volunteer with the Archdiocese of Chicago and teach Pre-Cana classes to Catholic couples. Bernie loves to work, but in his free time Bernie is very active with his kids, enjoys “date-nights” with his wife and is an avid golfer.
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Michael Crossett

Executive Vice President

Michael Crossett graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a degree in Systems Engineering and was a 4-year Varsity Lacrosse Letterman. After being commissioned as an Army Officer, Mike graduated from the U.S. Army Aviation Flight School, Airborne School, Pathfinder School, and served in numerous roles during his 9-year Army career. Mike finished his Army service as an Apache Helicopter Company Commander and was selected for early promotion to Major, an honor bestowed to only the top 3% of his peers.

Prior to joining The Federal Savings Bank, Mike served as a Director at GE Healthcare. Since joining The Federal Savings Bank as a Mortgage Banker, Mike was promoted to Senior Mortgage Banker, then Sales Manager, and eventually to Division Director. In 2007, Mike became one of the two youngest partners in the history of the firm and is responsible for all business activities in the western half of the United States. In 2012, Mike joined The Federal Savings Bank as Executive Vice President. 

Mike is a resident of the western suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two children and is active in sports and real estate investment.

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Mordy Husarsky

Executive Vice President

Mordy has been in the real estate and finance industry since 1995, with over 20 years directly related to the Residential Finance industry. Through the years Mordy has managed over 300 people and helped to grow the team he was with into a multi-billion dollar lender. Mordy’s vast experience in product and secondary markets created opportunities for him to serve on various National Advisory councils that furthered his growth in the business. 

Mordy was born in Brooklyn, NY and after high school spent 3 years touring the Middle East while attending college there. Mordy received his Rabbinical degree in Israel in 1993. Mordy spent 12 years in the mortgage industry and upon leaving his prior position, he had the opportunity to choose from a multitude of positions in the residential lending industry. His choice to join The Federal Savings Bank to create and develop a company presence in the Northeast fit right in line with his personality strengths and his career goals.

In his spare time, Mordy enjoys long distance cycling and works to promote awareness for kidney disease and living organ donation.

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Robert Jones

Regional Senior Vice President

Robert Jones graduated from Rowan University with a degree in Political Science. As a student athlete, Robert had a very successful career playing on the Rowan University football team. He was elected to the New Jersey All Conference team in each of his three years playing at Rowan. Upon graduation Robert decided to coach football at the college ranks and did so successfully for six years. Robert was introduced to the mortgage industry in 2000 and has been a successful originator and manager ever since.

Robert currently serves in the role of Regional Senior Vice President for The Federal Savings Bank. In this role, his primary mission is to identify mortgage bankers who can thrive in a most unique business model. To be a banker here means you have really earned your stripes. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the right candidate. We offer everything a Bank must offer to its originators in order to fulfill them both financially and professionally. As originators we have all dreamed of the perfect Bank scenario to originate for. Robert has been with the The Federal Savings Bank family for six years now and he can proudly say that HE HAS FOUND THAT BANK!

Robert and his family reside on the Jersey shore in a section known as the Irish Riviera. When Robert is not spending his time managing the business or looking for new opportunities for the Bank, you may find him spending time with his family and enjoying many of the spoils of living at the shore.
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Eric Katz

Regional Senior Vice President

Eric Katz has been one of the Nation's largest premier residential mortgage influencers for the past 13 years. He has always been part of all his Banks Elite Presidents Clubs. He specializes In Residential Refinancing and Purchases. What separates Eric from all others is his promise to see your entire Refinance or Purchase Transaction to the end, helping you every single step of the way. His Personalized Service has made him second to none in the Mortgage Industry and therefore he continuously is one of the Nation's top Producing Loan Originators. Eric currently is a Regional Senior Vice President at The Federal Savings Bank, and he runs the Consumer Direct lending divisions in; Scottsdale, Irvine CA and Frisco TX.

Prior to Eric Joining the Federal Savings Bank he worked for one of the Nation's Largest Mortgage Servicing Portfolios. Eric decided to leave to work at more of a community bank instead of a global one. He loves the one on one attention he can give all his customers, compared to rarely ever speaking to them. He has been an integral part in helping The Federal Savings Bank grow to one of the largest VA home lending institutions in The United States. His Region attributes for over 35% of the total loan volume at The Federal Savings Bank.

Eric lives in Scottsdale AZ but also frequents his offices in Irvine, CA as well as Frisco TX. He tries spending his summers in Chicago with his beautiful wife and two children. While visiting Chicago he always participates in the Buddy Baseball Program which allows handicapped youths the opportunity to play baseball on a real team. His father Michael who is a retired-disabled Marine veteran, started this program over 20 years ago, and in doing so he received the Illinois State Governors Hometown award.
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Ryan Farhat

Regional Senior Vice President

Ryan Farhat is a Regional Senior Vice President at The Federal Savings Bank, and oversees consumer direct mortgage sales loan production offices in Oakbrook, IL, Cleveland OH, Columbus OH, Columbia MD, Nashville TN, Tampa Bay FL, and Detroit MI. After graduating from Western Michigan University in 2001 with a Finance/Economics degree, Ryan entered the residential mortgage business. Throughout his eighteen-year career as a Mortgage Banker, AVP, Sales Manager and now a Regional SVP, he has overseen roughly $6.5 billion of total loan production to date.

Ryan's main focus is to create a fun, competitive, and opportunistic work environment for his employees. He works tirelessly to stay ahead of the competition by constantly improving efficiencies on both the sales and operations sides of the business. His commitment to the bank and his employees has shown over the past seven years as his regional closed loan volume has increased 483% from $240mm in 2012 to over $1.4B in 2019. Ryan's region works diligently and passionately to create an exceptional experience for their customers that is enjoyable, valuable, and memorable. Working with his team can assure you that you are entrusting the largest financial commitment of your life to one of the most highly qualified and ethical loan officers in the nation. His team recruits, trains and develops individuals with the upmost honesty, integrity and character to ensure the highest level of customer service in the lending community. With this level of experience and commitment to excellence, his group is currently one of the top consumer direct regions in the nation.

Ryan grew up in a small town called Okemos, Michigan, which borders East Lansing, home of the Michigan State Spartans. He is a huge fan of Spartan country. He, his wife Carrie and two boys Gavin and Gage currently live in a small western suburb of Chicago called Sugar Grove. They all enjoy the water and spending time outdoors. When Ryan isn't at work supporting his employees and clients, he enjoys nights out with his wife, spending time with his kids, and is an avid golfer.
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Neil Bader

Regional Senior Vice President

Neil Bader is a nationally recognized mortgage executive with almost 35 years of experience in the industry. Neil has appeared as a mortgage expert on a wide variety of shows including CNBC, Bloomberg, the Today Show, ABC World News Tonight, and CNN, and has been cited in hundreds of articles and publications. As the former Chief Executive Officer of the nation’s largest mortgage brokerage company, Crain's NY Business named him one of New York "rising stars" in their special 40 under 40 publication.

After building some of the most successful mortgage platforms in the country, Neil leads the sales team in the Northeast which includes the bankers in New York, New Jersey and all of New England. Neil also oversees the banks Corporate Affinity program.

A Manhattan native, Neil grew up on the Upper East Side where he continues to live with his family. He attended the Allen Stevenson School and Riverdale Country School before matriculating at The American College of Switzerland and graduating from the University of Rochester. Neil is a former board member and Vice Chairman of Habitat for Humanity NY, where he was actively involved in supporting the mission of affordable housing in this country and abroad. He is proficient in Spanish, and Portuguese, with a working knowledge of French and Italian.

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Jason Smartt

Senior Vice President

Jason Smartt graduated from the United States Military Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Leadership and Management with a concentration in Systems Engineering. Upon graduation, he was commissioned in the United States Army as a 2nd Lieutenant. After commissioning, Jason served on Active Duty as a Field Artillery Officer successfully completing a tour of duty in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Upon leaving active duty, his passion to deliver useful and relevant products to consumers led him to a career in brand management. Subsequently, Jason earned his Master of Business Administration concentrating in Finance, Strategy, and Entrepreneurship from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

As a part of the esteemed University of Chicago Booth School of Business New Venture Challenge, Jason led a team of his classmates and a professor, to form an online lending company for the sole purpose of providing more favorable personal loan interest rates and terms to our active duty Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen. He believed our servicemen and woman were valuable customers beyond their credit score, and designed a credit modeling procedure to incorporate military records into the credit underwriting process. Jason was presented with the opportunity to scale these concepts with The Federal Savings Bank. He took helm as the head of the Consumer Lending Division.

Outside of work, Jason keeps busy mentoring current active duty servicemen and women seeking transition advice from active duty military to civilian careers. Jason also enjoys Crossfit, playing in an adult basketball league, hip hop music, and lounging with his two large dogs who think they’re still puppies.
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Howard Korey

Director of Strategic Marketing and Customer Experience

Howard joined The Federal Savings Bank in 2014 as the Director of Business Strategy. He has over 25 years of strategic marketing and relationship management experience at companies such as GE, AT&T and most recently HSBC where he was in charge of the Department Store Credit Card business. In his current role Howard oversees the marketing, lead management, data analytics and strategic planning for the Consumer Direct Mortgage division.
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Chuck Smith

Director of Capital Markets

Chuck Smith has 27 years of experience in financial markets, including 18 years of experience in fixed income trading with an emphasis on the Treasury yield curve. Mr. Smith actively traded across the duration spectrum from three months to 30 years focusing on relative value and mean reversion trading. Mr. Smith was a member of the Chicago Board of Trade from 1994 to 2005.

As the Director of Capital Markets, Chuck has helped introduce and implement a full service Secondary Marketing Department, including a centralized Lock Desk, and multiple loan commitment strategies to limit risk while increasing revenue. Mr. Smith also manages all of the investor relationships for The Federal Savings Bank.

Mr. Smith is a 1987 graduate of the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana. Along with his professional experience Mr. Smith was the President of the Wilmette Hockey Association from 2005 to 2012 and the President of the North Shore Ice Arena LLC from 2008 to 2012. Mr. Smith is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois. Mr. Smith has also sat on the Advisory Board for Catholic Charities of Chicago since 2002.

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Laura Watson

Senior Vice President, Underwriting & Government Insuring

Laura Watson, National Underwriting Manager, is a founding member of The Federal Savings Bank and its predecessor Chicago Bancorp where she started as an entry level employee in 1995. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Illinois State University with a minor in Business Administration.

With more than 24 years in the ever-changing Banking and Mortgage industry, Laura has become a role model and mentor to hundreds of aspiring banking and mortgage professionals. She is a nationally recognized expert in process improvement, management, quality control, personnel development, and change management. Her expertise and superb leadership skills have enabled her to develop a team of underwriters nationwide who are dedicated to helping qualified borrowers achieve the dream of home ownership and "Power the American Dream."
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Stephanie Hickman

Senior Vice President, Processing Operations

Stephanie Hickman is the National Processing Operations Manager. She is a founding member of the bank's management team, and serves as a mentor and role model to many other young aspiring executives both within and outside of the Federal Savings Bank family. She leads all processing team members, nationally.

Stephanie holds a Bachelors Degree in Journalism and Marketing with a minor in Women’s Studies from Northern Illinois University. She received the Martha Cooper Scholarship for Women in Journalism. She received this prestigious recognition for authoring impactful news stories related to women’s issues and community service. Stephanie has leveraged this incredible attention to detail and personal integrity into creating and supporting the best and highest quality loan manufacturing process in modern banking today.

Stephanie knows that integrity in the loan manufacturing process is paramount to the success of not only The Federal Savings Bank, but the entire home lending industry. She understands and is passionate about the impact the lending process can make on customer experience and satisfaction.

Stephanie is proud about "Powering the American Dream" and the difference home ownership can make in the lives of the bank’s customers.
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Desiree Kirkland

Senior Vice President, Closing

Desiree Kirkland brought over 20 years of Closing and Training experience with her when she joined The Federal Savings Bank. Throughout her career, Desiree has driven conversion of antiquated paper loans to full automation, and reviewed and assessed the manufacturing process to drive maximum efficiency and production from origination through closing. At Fairway Independent Mortgage, she built the closing team from 9 to over 280 closing team personnel to handle production from about 800 units a month to upwards of 15,000 units a month, with a streamlined process that ensures loans close early or on time, every time. She has also built and led Closing Development and Training departments, converting manual training processes to fully automated eLearning, and was previously coaching mid-level managers on leadership.

Prior to joining The Federal Savings Bank, Desiree served as the Vice President of Closing Development & Training, and Vice President - National Closing at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. for 7 years. She later served as Vice President of Closing at Texas Lending, and National Closing Manager at PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Bank. Desiree believes in being a kind, non-judgmental person. She is empathetic, compassionate, and passionate in taking care of herself, which in return allows her to help others to the best of her ability. Her passion for helping others grow and achieve more out of their professional careers and personal lives is what drives her.

Desiree grew up in Sanford, Florida. She currently resides in Daytona Beach with her husband, and son. She has three adult daughters and, a precious grandson. Outside of work, Desiree enjoys learning new things, improving herself, and giving back through coaching and mentoring. Her favorite past-time is spending time at the beach and being in and around water, riding motorcycles with her husband and son, and staying active through sports.
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Bill Mrowczynski

Senior Vice President of Training & Bond DPA

Bill Mrowczynski graduated from Benedictine University with a BA in Finance. He went on to obtain his Master’s in Organizational Leadership from Lewis University.

Bill has over 24 years of banking industry experience, with a focus on residential lending, compliance, and training. He has led operations, sales, and compliance teams and has structured mortgage lending divisions for several community banks, from the ground up. Bill brings a passion for coaching, training, and leadership development to The Federal Savings Bank, with a special emphasis on strategic planning and project execution. During his tenure at The Federal Savings Bank, Bill has successfully built an entire training division to support all areas of the Bank. One of his favorite quotes is from Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, “Seek first to understand, then be understood.”

Bill joined The Federal Savings Bank because of their organizational ethics, professionalism, and outstanding reputation in the Banking industry.

When not at work, Bill fills his time by teaching organizational communication, corporate change, and strategic planning as an adjunct instructor at Roosevelt University and Lewis University. Bill enjoys his time with his family. He loves working out and riding his Harley.
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Renee Tucker

Senior Vice President of HECM Operations, Appraisal Management, & SEE Strategy

Renee Tucker is a native of Charlotte, NC, where she's spent more than 20 years honing her skills and experience in the mortgage and banking industry. She began her mortgage career as a Loan Processor at a company later acquired by SunTrust Mortgage. Renee rose through the ranks over the course of her 11-year tenure to become a Mortgage Loan Officer, Mortgage Production Manager, Branch and Regional manager, and Assistant Vice President of Mortgage Production, which included oversight of origination and operations. Renee also served as Vice President of National Fulfillment Operations at Reverse Mortgage Solutions (RMS), managing a high-traffic loan pipeline from start to finish. During her 3-year occupancy at RMS, Renee’s position encompassed oversight of National Wholesale and Retail fulfillment operations, which contained intake, processing, underwriting, closing, funding, and post-closing departments. With Renee’s extensive knowledge of both forward and HECM mortgage guidelines, as well as her experience in both originations and operations, Renee continues to be a valuable member of The Federal Savings Bank team.

Over the course of Renee’s career, she has been recognized in Mortgage Originator Magazine as one of the Top 200 Loan Officers in the US for both conventional and government loans, and featured in various builder articles, as well as a piece on Successful Women in the Industry. Outside of the office, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Michael, and her four daughters: Jordan, Lauren, Erin, and Katelyn.
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Nora Degnan

Senior Vice President, Quality Control & Risk

Nora Degnan serves as the National Quality Control Manager for The Federal Savings Bank. This critically important senior leadership role ensures that loans produced at the bank represent the highest quality and most trustworthy assets produced in their class nationwide. Nora started at The Federal Savings Bank and its predecessor, Chicago Bancorp in an entry level position and was quickly promoted into management. Over her 22 years, she has a grown to become a nationally recognized mentor and leader to hundreds of aspiring finance professionals, and has been especially effective mentoring young women looking to grow personally and professionally.

Nora wrote and developed the Bank’s Quality Control Plan for improved efficiency and “Zero Defect” loans. She is an innovator in leveraging technology to improve both the quality and efficiency of the loan manufacturing process. Nora’s efforts have significantly increased both the Bank's and her own department’s productivity while dramatically reducing loan defects. Her efforts have helped reduce loan closing times; minimized the Bank’s risk profile; and led to improved and enhanced procedures in other Operational Departments.
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