Our team

Our team

Our team.

APPROVED’s licensing professionals champion a solution-oriented culture that encourages innovative thinking and implements the best ideas in service of our clients. Our team has decades of legal and licensing experience and has successfully represented the full spectrum of financial services and fintech companies.

We value relationships and build on the experience, reputation, and trust our team has earned to guide our clients through the regulatory approval process and deliver work that is accurate, organized, and thorough.

Our team.

APPROVED’s licensing professionals champion a solution-oriented culture that encourages innovative thinking and implements the best ideas in service of our clients.

Our team has decades of legal and licensing experience and has successfully represented the full spectrum of financial services and fintech companies.

We value relationships and build on the experience, reputation, and trust our team has earned to guide our clients through the regulatory approval process and deliver work that is accurate, organized, and thorough.

  • Paul Amann

    Paul Amann

    Applications Programmer

  • Angela Amic

    Angela Amic

    Licensing Manager

  • Tanya Anthony

    Tanya Anthony

    Director

  • Jean Burr

    Jean Burr

    Licensing Analyst

  • Annie Coffman

    Annie Coffman

    Client Success Manager

  • Valentina Cordova

    Valentina Cordova

    Licensing Analyst

  • John Kromer

    John Kromer

    Founder

  • Dan Ladd

    Dan Ladd

    Director

  • Tim Lange

    Tim Lange

    Founder & Chief Operating Officer

  • Lanz Lipana

    Lanz Lipana

    Licensing Analyst

  • Sam Mendoza-Ferguson

    Sam Mendoza-Ferguson

    Licensing Analyst

  • Erika Nakaue

    Erika Nakaue

    Program Manager

  • Clint Rockwell

    Clint Rockwell

    Founder

  • Marty Romo

    Marty Romo

    Licensing Analyst

  • Katy Ryan

    Katy Ryan

    Founder

  • Derek Schultz

    Derek Schultz

    Director

  • Debbie Stopeck

    Debbie Stopeck

    Senior Program Manager

  • Twilla Wojciechowski

    Twilla Wojciechowski

    Senior Program Manager

Paul Amann

Paul Amann

Applications Programmer

Companies benefit from Paul’s ability to bridge the gap between users and software, as well as from business experience in all aspects of licensing compliance.

He combines technical expertise and experience in the mortgage and financial industries to design software that efficiently manages state-required licensing.

Prior to joining Approved, Paul spent 17 years working with in-house licensing departments of mortgage and finance companies to develop license-tracking software and form automation. He also helped design and build interfaces for intercompany and external third-party processes.

Angela Amic

Angela Amic

Licensing Manager

Angela is an experienced licensing professional with over four years’ of financial services experience, including in-depth knowledge of insurance and collection agency licensing, NMLS, and Secretary of State filings in a corporate setting.

Clients benefit from Angela’s project management expertise in combination with her wide-ranging knowledge of licensing processes in every state as well as many American territories. Her familiarity with NMLS, state-based systems, and licensing procedures and requirements enables her to provide the highest quality of service to APPROVED clients.

Prior to joining APPROVED, Angela held a senior role at a large mortgage company, where she managed multiple entities with a diverse range of business activities. She assisted in launching the company’s insurance agency and contributed to the maintenance of all company and affiliate licenses. In addition, Angela was the lead trainer for a team of licensing analysts handling company, branch, and individual licensing.

Tanya Anthony

Tanya Anthony

Director

Financial services clients benefit from Tanya’s experience with multistate licensing processes and procedures and from her state regulatory and industry relationships.

She draws upon deep experience in licensing and state exam operations as well as as director. She takes a leadership role in various client projects and in APPROVED’s technology-enabled, fixed-fee service that assists companies obtaining and maintaining state-required licenses.

Prior to joining APPROVED, Tanya held senior roles at financial services companies, where she led licensing teams and focused on numerous compliance-related matters, including licensing, examinations, and regulatory relations. In addition, Tanya worked forthe NMLS Industry Working Group from 2005-2018, helping launch the original paper MU forms and assisting with the development of the NMLS itself. Tanya has spoken at many industry conferences, and was a HousingWire Insider Award winner in 2017.

Jean Burr

Jean Burr

Licensing Analyst

Clients benefit from Jean’s project management experience, extensive customer service background, and knowledge of state regulators, requirements, and industry participants.

As an APPROVED licensing analyst, Jean draws from her administrative and organizational skills in working to meet licensing requirements and deadlines. She communicates with clients to ensure satisfaction from the beginning of each project to its resolution.

Annie Coffman

Annie Coffman

Client Success Manager

Annie is the primary point of contact at APPROVED and works to ensure seamless engagement between our clients and our project teams.

Annie joined APPROVED from Buckley LLP and brings significant experience working with financial services clients on a wide range of legal and licensing matters. As client success manager, she works closely with the APPROVED leadership team to tailor each engagement to the client’s specific needs. She helps track and staff each project, and is always available to answer any questions that arise throughout the licensing process.

Valentina Cordova

Valentina Cordova

Licensing Analyst

Financial services and fintech clients benefit from Valentina’s firsthand experience with the licensing procedures in virtually every state, along with extensive knowledge of state regulators, requirements, and industry participants.

As an APPROVED licensing analyst, Valentina is engaged in the preparation and execution of licensing projects from first meeting to application approval. She draws upon organizational and communication skills to ensure client satisfaction in helping companies obtain and maintain state-required licenses.

John Kromer

John Kromer

Founder

John is a Partner at Buckley LLP and one of the nation’s leading consumer financial services lawyers, providing clients with proactive and practical counsel that helps them meet business objectives and manage risk in a rapidly changing business, legal, and regulatory environment.

He helps clients navigate the complex maze of federal and state laws and regulations, regularly counseling clients on licensing and chartering, advertising, disclosures, privacy, lending and servicing practices, and laws prohibiting unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices.

John advises financial services firms on new product and business-line development, including structuring and negotiating commercial relationships, joint ventures, and outsourcing arrangements. He also assists financial and strategic purchasers of financial services firms and assets on regulatory matters, including due diligence of companies, assets and portfolios, and transactional structuring in light of federal and state licensing and regulatory requirements.

Dan Ladd

Dan Ladd

Director

Dan’s legal background and 10+ years of experience handling licensing and compliance matters serve financial institution and fintech clients in need of precise, skillful, and prompt guidance and assistance.

Dan manages APPROVED’s West Coast team and national training program from APPROVED’s Santa Monica office.

Dan is a California-licensed attorney and joined APPROVED from Buckley LLP, where he worked as an associate with a variety of financial services clients — including banks, private equity firms, mortgage lenders, mortgage servicers, and securities broker-dealers — on licensing, regulatory, compliance, and transactional matters. His practice focused primarily on state law issues relating to licensing, fees, loss mitigation, advertising, recordkeeping, and disclosures.

Tim Lange

Tim Lange

Founder & Chief Operating Officer

Financial services and fintech clients benefit from Tim’s firsthand experience with the licensing procedures in virtually every state, along with extensive knowledge of state regulators, requirements, and industry participants.

Tim was instrumental in the development and launch of APPROVED. He draws on a wealth of operational and strategic leadership in his position as COO, overseeing APPROVED’s technology-enabled, fixed-fee service that assists companies obtaining and maintaining state-required licenses.

Prior to joining APPROVED, Tim spent nine years working at the Conference of State Bank Supervisors as its Senior Director of Policy, where he focused his efforts on policy and system development for state regulatory agencies. While at CSBS, Tim led external stakeholder engagement for NMLS 2.0, an overhaul designed to make NMLS more intuitive and efficient for industry users and regulators. He also managed and worked on the SAFE Act implementation in NMLS, the expanded use of NMLS for money transmitter, debt collector, consumer lender, and other non-mortgage licenses, as well as the development of the first nationwide electronic surety-bond platform. In addition, he worked nationally with state regulators and industry participants to facilitate corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions.

Lanz Lipana

Lanz Lipana

Licensing Analyst

Financial services and fintech clients benefit from Lanz’s legal background, practical experience in federal and state administrative law, and commitment to compliance.

In his role as an APPROVED licensing analyst, Lanz is responsible for managing the licensing process and communicating project status to stakeholders. From resolving licensing issues to liaising with industry vendors and state regulators, Lanz is dedicated to providing transparency and guidance in achieving client goals.

Sam Mendoza-Ferguson

Sam Mendoza-Ferguson

Licensing Analyst

Erika Nakaue

Erika Nakaue

Program Manager

Erika is an experienced licensing professional with nearly two decades of financial services experience in law firm and corporate settings.

Her experience with NMLS, licensing procedures, and requirements enables her to provide the highest quality of service to APPROVED clients.

Prior to joining APPROVED, Erika held a senior role at a large mortgage company, where she assisted in launching of the company’s multiple joint venture subsidiaries and contributed to the maintenance of all company licenses. She supervised and was the lead trainer of a team of licensing analysts handling branch and individual licensing.

Clint Rockwell

Clint Rockwell

Founder

Clint is the Managing Partner of Buckley LLP’s Los Angeles and San Francisco offices and advises clients nationally on consumer financial services matters, including private equity firms, banks, mortgage companies, fintech lenders, auto lenders, commercial lenders, secondary market loan purchasers, and securities broker-dealers, regarding regulatory, licensing, compliance, and transactional matters.

His work includes licensing and regulatory compliance in connection with state and commercial loan laws, including those related to mortgage banking and brokerage; 50-state consumer lending compliance; Federal Housing Administration lending and servicing; Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act compliance, including affiliated business arrangements and joint ventures; acquisitions of mortgage and consumer lending platforms by private equity companies; bank partnership models and true-lender implications; issues unique to fintech companies, both in the consumer and commercial lending context; and federal preemption of state consumer and commercial credit laws, including rate exportation/most favored lender issues.

Marty Romo

Marty Romo

Licensing Analyst

Clients benefit from Marty’s experience with project management in the legal sector, which, combined with her goal-oriented nature, ensures that client expectations and deadlines are met with great care and efficiency.

As an APPROVED licensing analyst, Marty draws from operational and administrative skills to give thorough attention to each license requirement and deadline.

Katy Ryan

Katy Ryan

Founder

Katy is a Partner at Buckley LLP and advises financial services companies on a variety of regulatory, licensing, compliance, and transactional matters, including federal and state compliance requirements, SAFE Act compliance, Federal Housing Administration compliance, and the risks associated with the False Claims Act and Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act.

She represents banks, first and second mortgage originators and servicers, reverse mortgage originators and servicers, fulfillment service providers, commercial lenders and servicers, bank holding companies, private equity firms, finance companies, debt collection companies, financial institutions and technology companies, payment processors, money transmitters, and various related service providers.

Katy assists clients with matters before state regulatory agencies, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Department of Justice, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, federal banking agencies, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. She also provides strategic and tactical advice to help clients identify and secure the nationwide federal and state approvals necessary to achieve operational goals.

Derek Schultz

Derek Schultz

Director

Derek is a proven problem solver with experience creating new efficiencies in the delivery of various services and products. He pushes the team to meet new challenges, identify solutions, and deliver the highest quality services to APPROVED’s clients.

As a director at APPROVED, Derek leads strategic and system-development initiatives. He manages APPROVED’s East Coast team and specializes in money services businesses licensing, scrum product development, and criminal background check logistics.

Prior to joining APPROVED, Derek worked at the Conference of State Bank Supervisors on policy and system development for state agencies on the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System. At CSBS, Derek’s focus areas included engagement and development related to money services businesses licensing, the NMLS Federal Registry, and criminal background check processing. Major initiatives he led while at CSBS included the design, development, and launch of the NMLS Money Services Businesses Call Report and expansion of criminal background check functionality for owners, executive officers, and branch managers in NMLS.

Debbie Stopeck

Debbie Stopeck

Senior Program Manager

Our clients benefit from Debbie’s three decades of state licensing experience.

Debbie is leading APPROVED’s comprehensive licensing consulting practice for California Financing Law (CFL)-eligible clients, where she provides oversight of CFL and other state financial services applications, and serves as an escalated level of review for more complex state license applications and client projects.

Before joining APPROVED, she spent 30 years at the California Department of Business Oversight, overseeing the licensing regime that allows various entities to conduct business under the CFL and the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act (CRMLA). She also worked with the DBO legal department in drafting the laws and regulations — and the design of the application process — prior to implementation of the CRMLA in 1996.

Twilla Wojciechowski

Twilla Wojciechowski

Senior Program Manager

Twilla is an experienced licensing professional with over 20 years of experience in law firm and corporate settings.

Twilla serves as the lead quality control expert and trainer at APPROVED. Her vast expertise in licensing, together with her commitment to excellence, ensures that APPROVED is able to provide the highest quality of service to its clients.

Prior to joining APPROVED, Twilla served as licensing manager at several large mortgage companies, where she was responsible for managing their nationwide licensing portfolios, as well as training and mentoring numerous licensing analysts.