Leadership Profile: Anthea Martin
Thursday, May 31, 2018
Posted by: Emily Nilsen
Each month Housing Colorado profiles a member volunteer who serves on a committee or another volunteer opportunity. This profile features members who have shown great commitment to the mission of Housing Colorado.
Anthea is a senior vice president and based in the Denver office of Bellwether Enterprise. She has 18 years of experience in multifamily finance specializes in loan origination for both market rate and affordable multifamily properties with an emphasis on FHA/HUD, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. Throughout her career, Anthea has been responsible for structuring, underwriting, and closing nearly 80 transactions with over $550 million in total volume. Prior to joining Bellwether, Anthea was vice president at Walker & Dunlop. Preceding Walker & Dunlop, she served as vice president and senior MAP underwriter at CBRE. In Anthea’s previous positions at Colorado Business Bank and Signet Partners, she gained experience with construction lending and the refinancing of several nationwide Section 8 contracts. She began her career working in the CMBS department of Lehman Brothers and as an investment analyst for NorthMarq Capital. Anthea has a Bachelor of Science degree from Stern School of Business at New York University in information systems and marketing and a Master’s degree from the Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management at the University of Denver.
How did you end up in affordable housing?
I grew up in NYC in the 80’s when there were +25k homeless living in the streets. This impacted me as a child. I wanted to be hands on as a social worker. After being gently pushed into business school at NYU, I landed a job at Lehman Brothers in the late 90’s which catapulted me into a Commercial Real Estate (CRE) Finance career. After several years as a financial analyst, I took a job as a HUD contractor restructuring section 8 housing across the nation via HUD’s M2M program. In this role I met with the residents to explain the program. It was this role that connected my CRE Finance experience with social justice. I’ve been hooked ever since.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I absolutely love my job. I am doing what I love, but also something that has a greater purpose. I have an incredible team with the best industry knowledge in the nation and work for a company that is doggedly pursuing our mission, raising and investing over $23.4 billion to finance more than 358,000 affordable homes and touching millions of lives across America.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Being in a sales role as a perm debt lender requires lots of patience and trust. On averages it takes months to years to get a prospective deal under application since that is the natural life cycle of development. Once under application, there is also a natural fallout rate since there are several factors that can kill a deal. It is not until the deal closes that I can count on it.
How did you get involved with Housing Colorado? What do you enjoy most about serving?
I started my involvement with Housing Colorado in 2008 when I was working as an Affordable Housing Consultant. I attended conferences and joined the conference committee. I was able to increase my involvement and served on the membership and conference committee once I transitioned form Underwriting to Originations in 2015. I joined the Board in 2016 and now serve on the Conference, Scholarship, and Young Professional committee. This is the most professional and sophisticated board that I have served on. I’ve enjoyed the friendships and professional networking opportunities I’ve gotten from volunteering.
What are some exciting progressions or projects currently going on in your work?
This is an exciting time for affordable and workforce housing. The agencies (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), HUD, and USDA/RD are working hard to come up with creative financing solutions to help fund the financing gap that continues to increase. At the same time, by having a full range of both public (LIHTC) and private financing programs under one roof, Enterprise and Bellwether Enterprise are able to find more creative and collaborative solutions. For example, we currently have a deal where ECLF has provided the pre-development loan, ECI is providing the tax credit equity and BWE is providing the HUD loan.
What project, program or undertaking are you most proud of and why?
Arroyo Village- First, it was the first homeless shelter to be built from the ground up since the 1980’s. Second, typically large tax credit deals end up with national banks with a back to back product. In the instance of Arroyo, the national bank that was originally picked for the perm debt was unable to execute based on a technicality with how they had to underwrite the homeless shelter service expense. Freddie Mac was able to bring the creativity to the table that this deal needed to eliminate the financing gap.
What is the best career advice you have ever been given?
Talk less – listen more.
Who has been an instrumental mentor through your career so far or who do you look up to?
I truly admire Robin Cupka, a banker that I worked with for several years before she moved back East. She is an authentic and kind business woman epitomizing the word integrity. This business can be cut throat. Thanks to Robin (and Mrs. Obama) I know that I can be successful by going high when they go low.
What website(s) do you find useful in your work?
www.timeanddate.com Everything is tied to some sort of deadline in this business and this site helps me accurately and quickly calculate dates.
If you were given the chance to go on a vacation to any place of your choosing, where would you go and what would you do?
If you asked me a year ago I would have said Bora Bora on a yoga retreat, but I am getting ready to go to Guatemala this summer with my family on our first mission trip to help complete a school in a small village on the lake. I have had so much fun planning for this trip and am thrilled at the prospect of serving and giving back to the country where my mother was born. I may have to change my normal Bora Bora response after this Guatemala trip.
What’s your favorite restaurant in Colorado?
Hands down True Food. I love to eat food that leaves me feeling good and everything on their menu does the trick.
What book are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it?
Your Money Your Life by Vicki Robins and Joe Dominguez. It’s a personal finance book based on happiness instead of money.