Leadership


Meet the FirstClose leadership team that is blazing the trail for home lending technology.

  • Tedd Smith Tedd Smith

    Tedd Smith

    co-founder and chief executive officer

    Tedd Smith began his database career helping mortgage refinance lenders through Flood Zones, Inc., which automated flood zone determination to financial institutions using geocoded FEMA flood maps. He served as vice president of marketing, helping propel the company to $10M before it was acquired in 1996 by TransUnion.

    From there, Tedd served as chief executive officer of Home Equity Loan Corporation until 2000, when he co-founded FirstClose with his brother Tim.

    FirstClose was established with the idea to automate, improve efficiencies and accelerate processes through utilizing innovative technology.

    Tedd graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Marketing.

  • Patrick McClain

    Patrick McClain

    chief financial officer
    chief operating officer

    Patrick McClain is CFO and COO of FirstClose. In this joint role, he is responsible for overseeing and leading strategic growth, as well as financial matters.

    Patrick has more than three decades guiding high growth global technology companies, both public and private, with companies such as Xplore Technologies, Falconstor Software and Aurea Software, all of which he led as CFO. His areas of expertise include financial accounting, strategic business planning, mergers and acquisitions, MIS management, insurance and risk management and credit and collections.

    Patrick holds a BBA in accounting from Ohio University.

  • Tim Smith Tim Smith

    Tim Smith

    co-founder and chief revenue officer

    Tim Smith began his database career helping mortgage refinance lenders through Flood Zones, Inc., which automated flood zone determination to financial institutions using geocoded FEMA flood maps. He served as vice president, helping propel the company to $10M before it was acquired in 1996 by TransUnion.

    From there, Tim co-founded FirstClose with his brother Tedd, with the idea to automate, improve efficiencies and accelerate processes through utilizing innovative technology. With over 18 years of executive level management and experience in the mortgage origination and settlement services space, as CRO Tim is responsible for managing the sales and marketing group.

    Tim attended Texas Lutheran University before joining and serving in the United States Marine Corps for four years.

  • Pat Downing Pat Downing

    Pat Downing

    chief technology officer

    Pat Downing is CTO of FirstClose. As CTO, he is responsible for overseeing the development of all technical efforts at FirstClose.

    Pat has more than 20 years of experience in technology operations, infrastructure, development and customer support. Most recently, he held a position as CTO at the Texas-based company Mozido, a global mobile financial services company.

    Pat holds a degree in Computer Science from North Carolina State University as well as a degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Northeastern University.

  • Corey Smith Corey Smith

    Corey Smith

    chief product officer

    Corey Smith is CPO of FirstClose. As CPO, he is responsible for overseeing user experience, as well as product and vendor management.

    Corey has more than 25 years of experience in business. His focus is on operations and technology, however, the scope of his experience spans sales, marketing, finance, strategic planning and risk assessment and management. He has worked with companies such as Snapwire, NextGen Solutions, Mall.com and Flood Zones, Inc.

    Corey holds a degree in Business Administration, Management and Operations from Austin Community College.

  • Joe Dahleen

    SVP of Strategy and Sales

    Joe is a 25-year veteran of the mortgage industry who specializes in executive management, FinTech and strategic marketing. He is known for being a strong advocate of technology and an expert in leveraging the latest tech stack and automation to ensure the success of his endeavors.

    Mr. Dahleen has developed his skills in every aspect of modern strategic business management, including sales, software and project management, business process analysis, system design and system implementation. In regard to the mortgage lending space, he has strong in-depth knowledge of secondary marketing, loan production, and quality control procedures, including automated origination and compliance, e-signatures and e-vendor management, pre-emptive quality control and post-closing secondary fulfillment. He also has experience in appraisal management portals, digital vaulting and private label, cloud-based business models. He is uniquely qualified to lead financial services companies in efforts to radically revamp their business strategies.

  • Sara Nakae

    Director of Marketing | Enterprise Sales

    Sara has over 15 years of experience in FinTech serving the financial services sector in realtor and agency marketing for banks and credit unions, and extensive experience in the mortgage industry working with banks, credit unions and mortgage companies to deliver award winning technology solutions and services. She has been a keynote presenter at leading industry events and conferences discussing FinTech and its impact on lenders businesses. Recently named one of 2019's Most Powerful Women in FinTech and Marketing Trailblazer, Sara has deep industry knowledge in the financial digital space. Sara is responsible for marketing execution, driving sales strategy and enterprise sales relationships.

  • Jorge Ponce

    Director of Product and Vendor Management

    Jorge Ponce brings more than 15 years of experience in bank operations, mortgage and risk-based consumer lending to FirstClose, giving him valuable knowledge of the refinance and home equity industry. Jorge played a major role in helping to produce the first version of the FirstClose Report, a comprehensive refinance and home equity loan solution with capabilities to deliver title, flood, valuation and other important data elements in one report. In his role as director of product and vendor management, Jorge is responsible for driving adoption, client communication and product development.

Client | We have been extremely pleased with the services we have been receiving from FirstClose, and are looking forward to a continued partnership in which we are able to utilize even more loan report amenities.

Khanh Dang, Senior Retail Credit Operations Manager, Fulton Financial