NexBank Hires Wonder Twins of Warehouse Lending

NexBank has hired a dynamic duo to expand its mortgage warehouse division.

Tamara Hambright and Paula Vardell have joined the Dallas company after working together for years at Southwest Securities. They met in 2007 when Hambright hired Vardell as an operations manager for warehouse lending at Southwest.

"Paula was my first interview and after I got done, I was like, 'She's it," says Hambright, who started Southwest's warehouse division in 1992. "We have the same management styles and the same philosophies. It's rare to find two people that work so well together."

Hambright and Vardell had previously worked with John Holt, NexBank's president and CEO, and Matt Siekielski, the company's chief operating officer, while at Southwest. They jumped at the chance to be reunited with Holt and Siekielski while still continuing to work together.

Hambright and Vardell are friends outside of the office as well but manage to keep their personal and professional lives separate, they say.

"We even look alike so people mistake us for each other," Vardell says.

As the senior vice president and head of the warehouse lending at the $785-million-asset NexBank, Hambright is responsible for bringing in new business to the division. Vardell, as senior vice president of warehouse operations, will be responsible for building up the operations side of the business as the unit expands.

Their plan is focused on organic growth, with occasional hires to bolster their staff. Warehouse lenders temporarily hold mortgages until the loans are sold to investors, financing them with short-term credit lines. Low interest rates are stimulating business and make it a "great time to grow the division," Hambright says.

Hambright and Vardell have worked together successfully because they "have similar personalities," Vardell says. This translates into an office culture of teamwork, they say.

They also try to sympathize with the daily challenges that their coworkers face in their professional and personal lives.

"You have to put yourself in your employees' place," Hambright says. "We treat our employees as we would want to be treated. That's really the key."