Leadership

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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Steve Calk

Chief Executive Officer

Stephen M. Calk is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of National Bancorp Holdings, A Bank Holding Company; The Federal Savings Bank, a Federally Chartered Savings Bank with annual asset turnover of more than US $4.2 Billion, and the former Chicago Bancorp.

Mr. Calk was nominated by Congressman Phillip Crane and subsequently appointed to the Unites States Military Academy Preparatory School at West Point Prep.  He was commissioned as an Army Officer on May 25th, 1985. He is a graduate of the United States Army Aviation School and served in both active and reserve status as a combat tactical helicopter pilot and commander for over 16 years.  Mr. Calk received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana and holds a Master of Business Administration Degree from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a PPL from Harvard Business School.

Mr. Calk is a nationally recognized expert in the fields of finance, economics and real estate finance as well as National Security and Military issues.  In the 2016/2017 election Mr. Calk served as a Senior Economic Advisor to the President Elect of the United States. In 2017 Mr. Calk was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, Midwest division.

 He is regularly featured in print and on air national news programs including CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, Fox Business News, CNBC Squawk Box, CBS evening news, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Reuters, Money, Crain’s Chicago Business, the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun Times.  He has served on the Board of Directors, Advisory Board of Directors or Customer Advisory Board of Directors for various public and private companies including JP Morgan Chase’s Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corp., Ohio Savings Bank, Citimortgage, Bank of America and the former General Electric Mortgage Insurance Company.  Mr. Calk has served as an advisor to the Governor of the State of Illinois, the Commissioner of Banks and Real Estate and the Office of Professional Regulation for the State of Illinois on matters of Mortgage Banking and Real Estate finance. He has served his community on many civic and philanthropic boards including serving as the Chairman of the United States 10th Congressional District’s Service Academy Selection Committee and as a Certified Leader in the Boy Scouts of America.  He has served as a Trustee for the University of Illinois’ St. John’s Catholic Newman Center and on the Board of The USO of Illinois. He has been a member of the Chicago Chapter of the World Presidents Organization and Young Presidents Organization since 2002 where he has served as the Forum Chairman, Membership Chairman and Education Chairman. He is an outspoken proponent and advocate of Veteran housing needs. Mr. Calk is a veracious trainer and mentor of junior military officers and Senior NCO’s prior to taking command positions or returning to civilian life after service to their country.  He has also served on numerous civic and philanthropic boards and is a member of The Economic Club of Chicago, Halter Wildlife Preserve and The Chicago Club where he served on the Membership Commission.

Under Mr. Calk’s leadership, The Federal Savings Bank became profitable within its first 3 months of operations and by the end of its first year of operation was named by the American Bankers Association Journal as the most profitable community bank in America with assets its size; an honor it has held the last five years in a row.  His experience and accomplishments have combined to build both The Federal Savings Bank and the former Chicago Bancorp into a dynamic team of professionals who adhere to the highest standards of excellence while funding tens of billions of dollars in loans in the last two decades.

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John Calk

Vice Chairman

Mr. Calk has served as vice chairman of The Federal Savings 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 also serves on the Finance Committee of St. Patrick Church, Lake Forest, IL.

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Javier Ubarri

President

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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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, Ohio & the Carolinas. Bernie entered into the residential mortgage business in 2002, and still has a passion for helping Americans realize the dream of homeownership. At the onset of his career, he was a top producing originator helping well over 1,000 homeowners align the right home loan to their financial goals. Although Bernie’s focus now is developing high-producing loan officers, teams and branches, he continues to maintain strong relationships with numerous realtors, builders, developers and other affiliated professionals to ensure the needs of an ever-changing market are still met.

Bernie leads teams of mortgage bankers across the country, dedicated to helping rebuild America, one home loan at a time. His passion now 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 continue serving the homeowner and the real estate community as a whole. 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 home owners.

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 combat 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 serves on the board of “The Bunker Labs”, a non-profit organization attached to 1871 in Chicago, which is committed to veteran entrepreneurship. He is also very active in initiatives and events put on by the USO (United Service Organization). 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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Nanette Dambly

National Senior Vice President - Builder and Retail Division

Nanette Dambly brings more than 25 years of senior leadership, banking and lending experience to the leadership team at The Federal Savings Bank. This proud self-funded, double major graduate of Arizona State University and mother of four is a role model not only to other women, but the entire banking industry. Her track record of success in building and managing complex organizations in several of the most effective organizations in the industry is second to none. Nanette is an intelligent, results-focused, mentor and leader. She comes from a family of working class entrepreneurs that live by a philosophy that things don’t come easy without hard work. Her superior communication, leadership and technical skills combined with her endless desire to learn, grow and help others has catapulted her to become one of the nation’s leaders of single and double close construction loans.

Nanette’s is a great patriot. She has a deep love and desire to support our military and the challenges that military families face as they progress through their careers. In addition to leading the bank’s builder division, Nanette also leads the Spousal Patriot Division of The Federal Savings Bank. A division with a mission! This division of the bank recruits, hires and trains spouses of Active Duty Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen/women and gives them the opportunity to build and maintain a career throughout their time of service to our great nation. Regardless of where the service member is stationed, their spouse can build a professional, lucrative and stable career while helping to “Power the American Dream.”

Nanette has a unique ability to convey both warmth and competence from the moment you meet her. She is eager to see more women envision themselves in senior leadership roles and to help them get there. She says that she would tell any young woman, “You might go into a job interview and meet only men in senior executive positions, but there is no reason that you cannot earn one of those positions in the future.” It is clear Nanette believes that the future is very bright and she’s exactly where she’s supposed to be.
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Andrew Chojnowski

Chief Operating Officer

Andrew Chojnowski is the Chief Operating Officer of Home Lending at The Federal Savings Bank since 2012, overseeing all Operational Departments (processing, underwriting, closing, post-closing, compliance, condo/co-op review, and training) related to residential mortgage lending. Andrew has over 16 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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Chuck Smith

Director of Secondary Marketing

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 Secondary Marketing 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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Howard Korey

Director of Business Strategy

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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Renee Tucker

Senior Vice President of HECM Operations

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, where she rose through the ranks to become a Mortgage Loan Officer, Mortgage Production Manager, Branch manager, and Assistant Vice President of Mortgage Production including oversight of origination and operations over the course of her 11-year tenure. Most recently, Renee served as Vice President of National Fulfillment Operations at Reverse Mortgage Solutions, managing a high-traffic loan pipeline from start to finish. While at RMS, Renee’s position encompassed oversight of National Wholesale and Retail fulfillment operations including intake, processing, underwriting, closing, funding, and post-closing departments. With Renee’s extensive knowledge of both forward and reverse mortgage guidelines as well as her experience in both originations and operations, Renee looks forward to joining The Federal Savings Bank.

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 four daughters: Jordan, Lauren, Erin, and Katelyn.
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Laura Watson

National Underwriting Manager

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

National Processing Operations Manager

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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Nora Degnan

National Quality Control Manager

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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Angela Schmittel

National Compliance Department Manager

Angela Schmittel is a founding member of The Federal Savings Bank management team and serves as the National Compliance Department Manager. Angela's leadership skills have been honed over twenty five plus years of experience in banking and mortgage innovation and leadership.

Angela began her tenure at the Bank as a Senior Closer, and was soon promoted to the critically important leadership role of Co-Manager of the Closing Department. Her national reputation was earned when she conquered the monumental task of leading the banks' Compliance Department in the wake of the passage of the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act and the CFPB’s new TRID regulations and guidelines. Angela’s impressive rise within the ranks of The Federal Savings Bank is an inspiration to all young aspiring executives, both within her own department and throughout both the bank and the industry.

Angela holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Northern Illinois University. She leads by example. Her extraordinary precision combined with her uncompromising integrity ensure the best and highest quality loan compliance processes in modern banking today.

Angela 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 both the customer's experience and satisfaction. Angela is proud about "Powering the American Dream," and the difference that home ownership can make in the lives of those calling America home.
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