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Our Leadership

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Jim Yankee


In 2005, Jim Yankee laid the foundation for Flat Branch Mortgage Inc., which has since transformed into the renowned Flat Branch Home Loans. Taking a significant step towards empowering his employees, Jim made a pivotal move in 2021 by selling a majority stake in Flat Branch, establishing an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Jim served as President of Flat Branch Home Loans until 2023. Now, Jim serves as Founder and Chairman of the Board for Flat Branch Home Loans. With a wealth of experience spanning over two decades in the mortgage industry, Jim remains a driving force behind the company's continued growth and success.

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Karen Kreutziger

Chief Executive Officer

Karen Kreutziger is the Chief Executive Officer and current President of the Flat Branch Mortgage Board of Directors. With over 20 years of experience in the mortgage industry and 12 years at Flat Branch Mortgage, she has grown into a key industry leader in the Midwest. Flat Branch has grown into a leading presence in the Midwest across divisions including retail, wholesale, servicing and insurance. She serves on multiple advisory boards in the industry, including co-chairing the MBA Executive Council. Recognized as one of MPA’s 2018 Elite Women in Mortgage and Housing Wire Magazines Rising Stars for 2020 for industry growth and competitive edge, Karen is passionate about giving back to the communities we serve. Karen is most proud of being a part of The Giving Branch, an employee funded non-profit organization that supports our local communities.

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Jamie Pandolfo


Jamie Pandolfo is a seasoned mortgage executive with an expertise in sales and leadership. Her passion is cultivating strong relationships and nurturing high-preforming sales teams. Jamie’s commitment to excellence and innovative sales approach has earned her numerous accolades and recognition within the industry. Recruited by Jim Yankee, founder and Chairman of Flat Branch Home Loans to be the Area Sales Manager for the St. Louis region in 2013 before assuming the role of President of Sales. As of 2023, Jamie is President of Flat Branch Home Loans.

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Emily Harvey

Human Resources Director

For over 10 years, Emily Harvey has been the Human Resources Director at Flat Branch Home Loans, a leading mortgage lender in the Midwest. She graduated from Columbia College with a degree in Human Resource Management and later attained her Professional in Human Resources certification (PHR). Emily administers the rich benefits offered to Flat Branch employees including the new Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Her favorite aspect of Flat Branch is the company culture and she sits as the President on the board for The Giving Branch foundation.

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Gina Fitzmaurice

Vice President of Growth and Development

Gina Fitzmaurice is the Vice President of Growth and Development at Flat Branch Home Loans. Flat Branch continues to serve clients and referral partners with a great balance of competitive rates, products, marketing, and compensation. Gina has been in the mortgage industry since 2003 and has enjoyed originating at a high level and serving high producing teams with growth and support. Gina’s team focuses on strategic growth and development throughout existing and new markets and training and retention of existing Flat Branch loan Officers.

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Sarah Craig

Chief Financial Officer

Sarah Craig is Flat Branch Home Loan’s Chief Financial Officer, overseeing all financial aspects of the company including accounting, financial reporting, audit, payroll, tax, treasury and liquidity management, budgeting and forecasting, servicing and ESOP administration. Sarah has been a big part of the success story at Flat Branch with supporting the company’s growth and development over the last 10 years. She helped to launch the The Giving Branch Foundation, a 501(c)(3), in 2018 and currently sits on the board of that organization. She is a licensed CPA of 16 years and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a master’s degree in accountancy. Away from the office, Sarah spends her time with her husband, three kids and two energetic golden retrievers.

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Kristi Estrada

Chief Legal & Compliance Officer

An industry leader in real estate and financial practice, Kristi Estrada has made a career out of providing expert advice on issues relevant to mortgage lending. She is passionate about providing thoughtful, strategic leadership, and believes legal and regulatory compliance involves more than just checking a box. With an acute understanding of business needs and objectives, Kristi’s team focuses on solutions that partner a compliant culture with creating and maintaining a competitive advantage.

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Matt Brand

Director of Capital Markets

Matt Brand is the Director of Capital Markets for Flat Branch Home Loans. Starting in the mortgage industry in 2008, Matt has spent time across many areas of the industry, including sales, operations management, and capital markets. He currently oversees all secondary marketing functions and market risk mitigation efforts, and is responsible for functions such as investor & GSE relationships, pricing, and hedging. When he’s not in the office, Matt and his family loving spending time on various Missouri rivers and lakes, along with their family farm.

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Michael Eckley

Chief Technology Officer

Michael Eckley is a seasoned technology professional with 18 years of experience in Information Technology. Currently serving as the Chief Technology Officer at Flat Branch Home Loans, Michael brings a wealth of expertise in driving technological innovation and optimizing business operations. His strategic vision and technical acumen have played a pivotal role in enhancing operational efficiency and delivering cutting-edge solutions in the financial industry. With a strong track record of successfully leading cross-functional teams, Michael is committed to leveraging technology to drive sustainable growth and provide exceptional customer experiences.

Our Beliefs

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Family Atmosphere

We produce successful work for our clients by cultivating a family atmosphere through our teams in the office. Flat Branch Home Loans seeks to maintain a strong, positive relationship between operations and sales in an effort to further improve the customer experience.

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Live, Work, Play & Serve

At Flat Branch Home Loans, we live, work, and play in the communities that we serve. Our involvement in our communities drives our passion for equipping you and your family with the best possible homebuying experience.

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World Class Support

We believe in hiring the best in our trade. We make sure to provide them with the best resources, tools, and genuine support that they need to better serve you through the homebuying process. We also offer in-house underwriting and processing for our loan origination operations, so you can take your loan from start to finish with us.

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Industry Knowledge

Our team of professionals possess the expertise and well-rounded experience within the mortgage industry to serve you with a loan product that is cost-effective and best fit for you.