CMBA Market ConferenceGarlic Media Group’s VP of Business Development, Krystal Thompson, recently had the opportunity to attend the 43rd Annual Western Secondary Market Conference in San Francisco. The conference, which spanned July 8 – 10, is put on by the California Mortgage Bankers Association . For over 50 years, the CMBA has been the leading statewide advocate for the residential and commercial real estate finance industry, representing its members before all government and regulatory agencies. The organization promotes fair and ethical lending practices through educational programs, services, and industry publications. CMBA provides its members with a competitive edge by effectively aggregating political, economic, and political power. Below is a brief re-cap from this year’s conference.

San Francisco is a breathtaking architectural city that for my entire life has been “the place you have to see,” therefore making it a no-brainer to attend the 43rd Annual Western Secondary Conference that was recently held at the Westin St. Francis Hotel, July 8-10, 2015.

CMBA Market Conference LobbyIf you have never been, it’s a conference like no other. It’s a bit like walking into a mini Wall Street. The suits, the executives, meetings, CMBA events, and I can’t forget to mention the lobby. The lobby? Yes, the lobby. The Westin St. Francis’ lobby is where the business takes place at this conference. It’s a tad overwhelming to walk into a hotel lobby and see 30-40 meetings happening, but it’s the most productive place to be!

I’ve been here before, and between my mother’s business stories and my own experience two years ago, the memories came flooding back. It was time to take on the mortgage industry in my own way, the way she once did. I wasn’t alone though, as I had brought my vibrant, endearing, and valuable Digital Campaign Consultant, Allison Baker… and we dove right in!

From the Capital Market’s session, to the CMG Financial Wine Tasting on Wednesday, there was non-stop productivity and networking. They manage to host amazing events and have topics worth taking some time away from meetings to attend.  Thursday was full of meetings and speakers, while Friday was reserved for follow-up and final client meetings. In recent years, they have managed to create new meeting spaces, more entertaining night events–and even better–relevant speaker topics that have enabled a higher level of member interaction.

CMBA Market Conference Dinner

Working for a digital marketing company, we pleasantly found we were a minority industry in a room full of mortgage bankers and executives. Amazingly enough, they all needed a fresh perspective on the new nuances of digital marketing in 2015! With a life-long background in the mortgage industry, the event felt comfortable and exciting. Our favorite CMBA events were the wine tasting that was sponsored by CMG Financial and  the MCT-hosted happy hour at Neiman Marcus.  Allison and I saw the city from our hike up Nob Hill, and our afternoon lunch on the Cheesecake Factory rooftop. The Spiegel Accountancy Corp was very welcoming and, as always, fun to see at the event (Happy Birthday Henry!).

San Francisco Nobb Hill






Overall, It was fascinating to be able to interact with everyone on a level of business growth that wasn’t directly mortgage-related. I’m even more excited to be able to showcase the work Garlic Media Group will be doing for our newest clients that we gained from attending this conference. We will be able to assist with video production, SEO, social campaigns, web development, and re-branding and design.

We look forward to seeing all our new connections next year!

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