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Meet Shaun Westlake, Vice President of Sales at Guiding Star Mortgage Group. Shaun has been in the finance industry for over thirty years working for Canada’s largest lenders and supporting organizations. Now as our Vice President of Sales, Shaun is excited to build a network of independent mortgage originators that will support the Coldwell Banker network and create a fully integrated real estate purchase experience. Working for some of Canada’s largest monoline mortgage lenders, Shaun has extensive experience in business development, as well as regional and national sales leadership roles. Shaun has led national sales teams within the mortgage, title insurance industry and mortgage document processing sectors, and gained invaluable data, risk and fraud management experience when working as a National Account Executive with Canada’s largest credit bureau. In his spare time, Shaun enjoys a good long trail run, cycling on Ontario’s extensive gravel network, fat biking winter trails, and most recently, enjoying a good competitive game of Pickleball.
Mo was born and raised in Ottawa and has made it his passion and mission in life to give back to his community. Growing up, Mo was a boy scout and was taught that volunteering and charity work were an important measurement of success in life. After completing his studies, Mo had the privilege of working closely with vulnerable and marginalized families in Ottawa as well as refugees from abroad. This experience has been crucial to his success as a mortgage broker over the last 3 years, while allowing him to pursue his passion. His experience working with a large variety of lenders has enabled him to provide superior quality mortgage products to his clients. He ensures each client receives only the best suited products based on their financial situation and lifestyle, while being fully transparent about the process from start to finish. Mo is excited and grateful to be working within the Guiding Star Mortgage team and is looking forward to the growth of the brand. In his free time, you’ll find Mo travelling the world, cooking with his wife and most of all, being a father. He lives his life by this quote: 'Don't count the days; make the days count” – Muhammad Ali
Matt brings nearly 15 years of experience working in Emergency Services and personal real estate. He has been faced with challenges that often required critical and creative thinking to provide solutions. He believes these skills will translate well with mortgage brokering. He is confident in providing high quality, personal servicing while finding the best available financing. Based on his own experience, Matt sees what a great vehicle home ownership is for personal wealth creation. He hopes to pass along what he has learned to help others generate wealth for themselves and their families while achieving their financial goals. Matt hopes to help enhance the growth and customer experience here at Guiding Star Mortgage Group and is excited to be part of what will be an industry leading group! In his spare time, Matt enjoys spending time outdoors with his growing family and golden retriever, Maverick. He loves watching sports with friends and also has a passion for real estate, whether it be renovating fixer uppers or managing short term rentals.
Jeff brings over 10 years of experience to Guiding Star and his background including roles in banking, financial planning and mortgage financing. After exploring the finance industry, Jeff discovered where his passion truly lay, resulting in a focus back to mortgages and helping clients with their home purchases. Jeff is now on his sixth year as a mortgage agent and looking to get a broker's license and build a team of like-minded professionals that provide exceptional service and help streamline the home buying process for clients across Southwestern Ontario. Jeff is passionate about assisting clients with their overall financial picture and tailoring solutions to their individual needs and goals. He views mortgages as an important part of financial planning and a vehicle for wealth creation! Outside of work, Jeff enjoys spending time with family & friends, golfing, exercising either at the gym or boxing! He loves to travel and is always excited to meet new people.
Amanda is a seasoned residential and commercial mortgage broker with over 15 years of experience in the financial industry. With a passion for helping her clients achieve their project and homeownership dreams, Amanda has built a reputation for providing creative financial and structuring solutions for everything from home mortgages to multi-million dollar development projects. Being a real estate investor and development partner on various projects as well, she clearly understands both sides of the lending paradigm. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, looking to refinance, a developer or a seasoned investor, Amanda is committed to helping you secure the best financing for your needs. With her extensive knowledge of the mortgage industry and an ongoing understanding of market trends, Amanda is able to provide clients with valuable insights and personalized guidance throughout the entire mortgage process. From initial consultation to closing, she’ll be there to ensure a smooth and stress-free experience and stand behind her clients through any and all challenges. When she isn’t crunching numbers and saving people money, Amanda enjoys spending time with her large family, being at her Peachland home, investing in real estate, travelling, and trying to keep plants alive. She also finds fulfillment staying active (working out, yoga, skiing and golfing) and exploring her local community.
Meet Safina Hussein! She is hoping for the opportunity to exhibit her mortgage skills by contributing and providing information to Real Estate agents with seminars once a month and highlights throughout the month. The goal is to help agents when conversing with their clients. Along with growing professionally, she is excited to be a part of this new collaboration and hopes to create opportunities that will help the brokerage grow. Safina brings her experience in commercial financing with RBC, along with the knowledge she has acquired during her years as a residential Mortgage Agent. Within her first year with DLC, she went from having no book of business to earning the Sales Achievement and Executive Award!
Julia has been self-employed in the service industry for over 25 years, so she understands the challenges and pivots one needs to make in their career and life. What began as an interest in real estate investment became something more when she started a career in one of the largest banks in Canada. This developed with her venturing into the world of lending, as a mortgage agent. Julia wants to ensure that her clients feel completely confident and comfortable in her ability to give them advice in one of the biggest decisions in their life, the financing of their home. Her goal is to always ensure that she is approachable and gains the confidence of her clients with honesty, integrity while always putting their needs first. Joining Guiding Star and utilizing strong leadership will allow Julia to continue to grow and foster relationships with her clients, lenders, and real estate professionals across Ontario and even nationwide. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family and furry pets, playing soccer with her ladies' team (the Sugar Pants) and staying active. If she’s not running, she’s working out at the gym!
Greg has a passion for applying unique solutions to complex problems which naturally led him to the world of personal finance and specifically mortgage financing. He has built a reputation for being honest, transparent, and has the tenacity to get things done. Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs has fueled his determination for helping individuals achieve their goals, whether this is a first home, next home, or forever home. Greg's goal with his clients has always been to communicate, educate and assist with selection when it comes to the right mortgage for their unique situation. Outside of helping his clients, Greg can be found hiking and camping with his wife and kids or out by the water fishing!
Maria has been a real estate agent for the past 14 years and has now become a licensed mortgage agent. During her real estate career, she was often asked to provide mortgage and other financing advice, but she was unable to help as she was not qualified. Now as a licensed mortgage agent, she hopes to help her clients by taking the time to advise them on these issues. She hopes to help clients that have more difficulty qualifying for mortgages by providing more options and offer a more complete service to her clients now that she is dually licensed. Maria has lived in Guelph for over 35 years where her and her husband have enjoyed raising their family. In her spare time, Maria enjoys travelling, painting and just quietly sitting with a book. During the summers her family has lots of fun riding their motorbikes in the countryside and enjoying family gatherings in the backyard.
Matt Barakonski is a financial planner that specializes in mortgages. With an advanced diploma in civil engineering and a degree in finance & accounting, he brings a unique blend of technical and financial expertise to his work. Matt is passionate about helping his clients achieve their financial goals, and his expertise and attention to detail have earned him a reputation as a trusted broker in the industry. In his free time, Matt enjoys exploring new culinary experiences and experimenting with different recipes on the barbecue. His curiosity about different cultures and cuisines has taken him on culinary adventures around the world, and he enjoys sharing his discoveries with friends and family. Matt's dedication to his clients, combined with his passion for food and culture, makes him a well-rounded and engaging individual both personally and professionally.
Omar has a background in telecommunications, having worked at both Bell and Telus where he was a project manager and business analyst. Omar has now been in the mortgage business since 2018 and prides himself in finding the best solutions for his clients. Omar values providing his clients with knowledge and transparency and doesn’t believe in pressuring them to make a decision. He refuses to say no to his clients as he believes there is something for everyone who needs financing. Omar loves a challenge and has experience working with bankruptcies, private lenders and most major lenders. He also really enjoys the marketing side of the business, from creating brochures to managing a successful Facebook group. Omar is married with three children- twin 8 year olds and a 9 year old! In his spare time, you will find him swimming, mountain biking or at the park with his children.
Christina Steplock is a seasoned mortgage professional who has over 20 years of industry experience. She has dedicated herself to serving her clients, which has earned her several awards and professional recognition within the industry. Her leadership experience will prove beneficial to the Guiding Star team as she will be integral to the growth and success of the internal sales team. Christina’s passion is helping people achieve their home ownership and personal financial goals. To be able to make a positive difference in people's lives is an honour and testament to Christina as her integrity and value proposition she offers to her clients, lending partners, and other key industry professionals is highly trusted and praised. In Christina’s spare time you will find her spending time with her family and friends, on a ball diamond coaching kids' softball, at the gym, or by the water relaxing.
Luis is an unwavering mortgage professional who prioritizes client satisfaction and operates his business with a strong foundation of core values: respect, value, integrity, and honesty. As a testament to his exceptional service, he received the Platinum Award for Most Voted Mortgage Agent at the Community Votes 2023 in Niagara Region. Fluent in both English and Spanish, Luis effectively communicates and connects with a diverse clientele. His commitment to clients and dedication to his values makes him an invaluable partner in achieving and exceeding clients' mortgage aspirations. Luis was born in Mexico, where he found a passion for taco-making. Whether it's the street-side taquerías or the cherished family recipes passed down through generations, Luis embraces the art of taco-making. Outside of his love for tacos and connecting with people, Luis embraces life with a sense of adventure. Exploring new places, meeting different faces, and experiencing the beauty of our diverse planet are just a few of the passions that drive him forward.
After over 40 years of working in the automobile industry, Gary has had a fulfilling and rewarding career. He built his career on helping his clients with all aspects of their transportation needs, from purchase to finance to service. Gary, with the help of his wife, has passed down this passion for service to their two children who are now also working in the field of helping people. Now Gary wants to take all that experience from his past career and help many more people with the purchase and finance of the new home so that they can start to build their life story. In his spare time, you’ll find Gary making a variety of bath and beauty products such as bath bombs, lip balm and shower steamers. He also makes and decorates his own soy-based candles!
Susan is a dedicated professional, a loving wife, and a proud mother of three beautiful children. While her personal life keeps her grounded, Susan’s passion for financial empowerment and helping people achieve their homeownership dreams drives her career in the mortgage industry. Her journey into the financial world began in 2014 when she embarked on an exciting career with CIBC. This experience would eventually lead her to her true calling as a mortgage agent. After Susan’s husband Stephen, decided to venture into the real estate industry by acquiring Coldwell Banker Momentum, she aspired to carve her own unique path within the real estate realm, so she joined TMG as a lead generator. With a strong commitment to continuous improvement, she made a strategic move to DLC, where she underwent extensive training in the intricacies of the mortgage process and refined her skills to guide her clients through their mortgage journey. As a dedicated mortgage agent, Susan’s goal is not only to secure the best mortgage solutions but also, to ensure that her clients fully understand the documents they are committing to. Through clear communication and personalized guidance, Susan empowers her clients to make informed decisions that align with their financial goals and aspirations. Susan’s mission as a mortgage agent is to simplify the complex world of mortgages, making them accessible to everyone. Whether she’s working with a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned investor, Susan will provide expert guidance, support, and a seamless mortgage experience, while helping her clients achieve their homeownership dreams.
Bio Coming Soon!
For mortgage enquiries, please contact us here!