The Mortgage Bankers Association’s director of industry standards is leaving the trade group, less than six months after the MBA resumed running the day-to-day operations of the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization.

Cindy Bojokles, who joined the MBA in November, will end her tenure this summer. Bojokles previously spent 14 years in mortgage-related IT at Fannie Mae, most recently as a senior IT manager. She is said to have accepted a position at a consulting firm, where she will be working with a large mortgage industry institution.

Bojokles started one month before the MBA took back running MISMO from Merscorp. The industry trade group never relinquished ownership of MISMO, but began outsourcing the operation of the group to Merscorp in February 2009.

Rumors of Bojokles’ departure began to surface during the MBA’s technology conference this week in Phoenix and were confirmed in a letter that MBA associate vice president of industry technology Rick Hill sent to MISMO leadership Thursday.

“Cindy has been an outstanding advocate for MISMO and we will miss her and the unique talents she brought to MBA,” Hill’s letter reads. “Please be aware that we have posted the position and are interviewing candidates, and that this change will not impact MISMO operations or progress towards broader adoption of the MISMO standards.”

The continued push for industrywide data standards was an ever-present theme during the conference. MBA President and CEO David Stevens called MISMO the MBA’s top priority in his opening address and many other speakers praised the efforts of the volunteer group that develops data standards for the mortgage industry.

“Any company operating in the mortgage industry today needs to be concerned about the quality and consistency of their data. The MISMO standards provide a voluntary, consensus, industry standard to facilitate the exchange of data that is consistent and of high quality,” said Stevens in a transcript of his remarks.

Other departments within the MBA, including the conference, education and administrative support staffs, also contribute to the MISMO operation, but Bojokles was hired to work exclusively on MISMO-related projects. “I see my role as not just the operational day-to-day, but strategically looking forward to where we can take the MISMO program for the industry and consumers,” she said in an interview for the December issue of Mortgage Technology.

The MBA was considering hiring an additional dedicated MISMO staff member later this year, but will now likely have to replace Bojokles first. Members of MISMO’s Residential Governance Committee and its board of directors quietly expressed concern about who the MBA can hire to fill the highly-specialized role. Given her extensive subject-matter expertise, Bojokles was considered by many to be an ideal candidate for the position, and some MISMO volunteers believe it will be a challenge finding a replacement with suitable domain experience.

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