They can do what we do; they can even copy how we do it. However, they can never replicate our why. It is why we exist that makes us who we are.
-Mike and Tobi Roberts
Our culture is a reflection of our people. There is no other mortgage company in Utah like City Creek Mortgage. Many try to copy us.
As one of the most established mortgage companies in Salt Lake City, City Creek Mortgage is unique because of the individual gifts and talents that are brought together to create one large team. We do not have any independent or commission based mortgage loan officers. When you work with one of us, you get all of us.
There is something to be said about working with a team of individuals who are willing to sacrifice themselves for the sake of something bigger. A piece of our vision explains it best:
As a team, we have each other’s backs and protect the feelings, heart and soul of each member. There is a love and a bond we share. We are truly a tribe with common beliefs, values, and purpose, who stand together in good times and in bad. We are like family within our team and truly love and respect each member and value their uniqueness, gifts and personalities.
As you read the descriptions of each team member it is important to know that I personally wrote each one. I try to explain from my perspective their gifts, history, or the value they bring to the team. I hope you enjoy getting to know each of us better. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with you.
CEO & Founder
Certified Mortgage Advisor
I remember as a young child knowing that I wanted to be a part of the financial service industry. As the son of a retired stock broker, I used to visit my dad’s office and was fascinated by the business. I had a dream that someday I would be a part of the financial world as well.
Working in all aspects of the construction industry through college, I eventually became a general contractor. Realizing that I was not following the direction that I had pre-set as a child, I decided it was time to get back to my original dream. So in December of 1996, I left the construction industry. With a newborn baby, no money and no plan, I set out in pursuit of my childhood dream.
With the support of a wife who believed in me, I scheduled meetings with the top financial planning firms in the valley. The first one I met with scheduled me a series of aptitude tests to see if I was cut out for the ups and downs of the financial industry. I passed with ease (thankfully…) and was offered a job. They were willing to pay me a salary, health insurance, and fantastic benefits. Although excited to have the opportunity I had dreamed of for most my life, something wasn’t right.
The day after I was offered the job, I made a list of all the industries I would consider devoting my career to. One of these turned out to be mortgage. Since I had never considered mortgage lending as a career option, I decided that I needed to research the industry. I actually took a college course while at Westminster College called ‘Real Estate Finance,’ in which I learned about all aspects of the business. This proved to be helpful later in life.
Since I had only a short time to make a decision on accepting the job I was offered, there was no time to waste. I jumped in my car and drove to an area in the Salt Lake Valley called Union Park, where many mortgage companies were located. The first company I walked into was First City Financial, a national mortgage company based out of Colorado. Sitting behind the receptionist desk was someone who later became an important person in my life, Jennifer Racine. As I walked in the office, I remember how nervous I was. I asked if the manager was in the office. He wasn’t, so I handed Jennifer my resume and asked if her manager would call me when he returned.
A couple hours later, I received a call from the manager, Jim Lyman. He graciously met with me that afternoon and gave me an introduction to how the mortgage business worked, and ultimately offered me a job.
I remember going home after the meeting and telling my wife about my experience that day and how I think this was the direction I wanted to take. She looked at me and reminded me that I would be giving up a stable salary for a 100% commission job. She told me that she believed in me either way and that she would support whatever I decided. I immediately called the financial planning company that was waiting for me to accept their job offer and told them thank you, but I’m going to pursue another path. They reminded me how many people were begging for the opportunity I was passing on. However, I had faith that I was making the right decision.
I worked for First City Mortgage from January of 1997 until I left in July of 1998 to start City Creek Mortgage. At the time, it was simple to start a mortgage company. With only a small investment, I opened the doors and hired our first employee. Our second employee turned out to be Jennifer Racine, who to this day is still a great friend and supporter of City Creek Mortgage.
When I look back on how things played out, I realize how amazingly protected I have been. As many small business owners can attest, there are times when running a business is absolutely terrifying, and other times when it is like standing on a cliff in a windstorm without a parachute. However, when you have a purpose that drives you, and a vision of how things can be, you just keep going.
Running this company is an honor and privilege that I am tremendously grateful for. I get to come to work every day with a group of committed people who not only believe in me, but also believe in our vision. Some of my greatest friendships are with those I work with. I wouldn’t trade this for anything.
Chief Marketing Officer
If there is a ‘Women of Influence’ award for the mortgage industry, the title should be owned by Tobi. Not only does she own half of City Creek Mortgage, she is also the one who has had the greatest influence on the vision and values of this company.
From the beginning, Tobi has shed more blood, sweat and tears (this one for sure) than anyone. When our kids were young, she would bring them into the office while she met with our partners and helped run the business. She is truly an icon in this industry, and someone who is highly valued and respected.
One of my favorite stories about Tobi was when she and I were sitting around a table being interviewed on camera. She was asked a question about our mission and values. I remember her looking into the camera and saying:
“At the end of the day, we just want to be the most trusted, respected and loved mortgage company in Utah.”
I sat there in astonishment. The second the camera stopped rolling, I looked at her and said, “Write that down. You just nailed our mission statement.” By the next day, on the wall as you enter our office, those words were posted to remind us each day what we are fighting for. Today, those are more than just words to every member of our team. They are rules we live by.
I remember the first time I met Desire’e. It was February of 2004, and she pulled up for her initial interview with City Creek Mortgage driving a lifted Jeep wearing high heel shoes. I remember Tobi looked at her and said, “One thing doesn’t match the other, and I like it!” She couldn’t believe that this tiny girl could drive such a big Jeep. From that moment on, we knew she was meant to be a part of our long-term vision.
Desire’e is one of the most important people in my life. Not only does she run our sales team, but she is also the one I lean on to share in the responsibility of running City Creek along with me and Tobi. Her influence runs so deep that it is difficult to know where City Creek ends and Desire’e begins.
Some people come into your life to be a part of something great. Alexis is one of those people to me.
I first met Alexis in 2004 when she was a rep for a mortgage lender we worked closely with. Over the years, we built a strong relationship. One summer day in 2011 she came to me and said she wanted to come along with us and be a part of our team. She is now a rock star on the sales team, and a heavily influential voice in the direction and vision of City Creek Mortgage.
Alexis recently sent Tobi a text message in which she stated that City Creek Mortgage is written on her heart. If she could only have seen the tears that welled up in Tobi’s eyes as she read that message, and the smile she created. Alexis is tattooed on City Creek’s heart. She means more to this company than we can ever verbally explain.
Jackie is like a unicorn; you never know they exist until you meet one.
I first met Jackie in early 2012 when she came in to meet with us. She was happily employed at a national bank where she held the honor of having the highest customer service awards in the state of Utah. Although not looking for a job, she was told by her cousin that she “Must” meet us and get to know who we are. The next day, I called and left her a message saying that I don’t know whether it is now, six months from now, or in 10 years, but I want her on our team. A number of months later, she joined our sales team.
In my years of working with Jackie, I have never once heard a complaint from her or about her. Everyone and I mean everyone, who works with Jackie adores her. She is one of the best things to ever happen to City Creek, and someone that means more to me than she will ever know.
There are a select number of competitors in this industry that I follow. If someone makes my list, there is something special about them. Before I ever met Kristi, and long before any conversation of her being a part of our team, she was one that I followed.
When Kristi came in to meet with me the first time, I knew immediately that she was meant to be on our sales team. When I bring people onto the team, I look for those who have distinguished gifts, and I already knew she was gifted. There is something about Kristi that is unexplainable, but completely endearing. Upon meeting her, you quickly realize what I’m talking about.
Kristi quickly won over the heart of our team. Her drive and desire to be excellent shows in her hard work and commitment to the role she plays here. She has a genuine care for people and for City Creek Mortgage. I am honored to have her on the team, and look forward to working with her to the end.
I first met Michelle back in high school when I was at the awkward age of 15. She was friends with some of my friends, so I actually had the privilege of hanging out with her a couple times. I remember how nice she was and how she had a gift that made everyone around her feel comfortable. At an age when many kids were only friendly to a select few, it was refreshing to meet someone who treated everyone kindly.
Michelle is a Mortgage Planner on our team. Before joining City Creek, she spent many years working as a loan officer for a large national bank where she excelled and achieved many customer service rewards. Over the years I heard great things about her from other real estate professionals, so I always had in my mind that someday she would be a great fit on our team.
One day I reached out to Michelle and asked if she would be interested in learning about City Creek Mortgage. She came in and right from the beginning blended beautifully with our team. At that moment, I knew she was meant to be a part of our City Creek Family.
Of all the City Creek employees, my history dates back the furthest with Chris. In fact, we have been friends since I was in the sixth grade. Over all these decades, I know more about this guy than most people do. I’ve learned that he is someone I can trust and someone who will always do what is right for each client he serves. He cares about people and has a gift of connection. People love working with Chris and many end up calling him friend at the end of their transaction.
Chris has a brilliant mind and can create systems that make a small business work better than most large companies. In fact, he learned much of his skillset working in the finance departments of large companies like Kennecott Copper. Having a degree from Utah State in Accounting and an MBA from Westminster College, he is a perfect combination of book smart combined with real life experience.
Having a team member who has known me for most of my life is an added benefit of having Chris at City Creek. He knows how important this company is to me and he shares in my passion for the culture and what we stand for. Knowing that he has my back means a lot to me and I am grateful for his support and contribution to our long term vision.
Having a strong understanding of numbers is a critical skill for a Mortgage Planner. That’s why Troy’s day job of being a high school math teacher makes him the perfect candidate for our After Hours Sales Team.
Having two careers is something Troy has maintained for the past 18 years. When I learned of his skills and work schedule, I knew he would be the perfect fit to serve our clients and partners after hours and weekends. That is a time slot very few local lenders staff, but one that is in high demand for borrowers who are unable to make phone calls or meet during the day.
Upon meeting Troy, I immediately realized that he has a strong competitive side. Typically wearing something representing the University of Utah, he is clearly a loyal fan. He was raised in a competitive sports driven family and carried that passion into adulthood. He also coaches Jr. High baseball as well as basketball and follows many high school sports programs. If you ever need to speak with a Mortgage Planner after hours, or just want to chat about “The game”, Troy is your guy!
Of all the stories of how we came to hire each employee, this is one of my favorites.
In thinking through how each employee was hired, I realize that most of our team is made up of friends or family of other team members. This is part of the reason we have such a close nit culture.
Mary and Michelle spent many years working together at a national bank in their mortgage department. Shortly after hiring Michelle, I started receiving phone calls and e-mails from Mary. She wanted me to know that she had done a lot of research on us and would love to someday join our team. Since we aren’t the traditional mortgage company that hires commission based loan officers, it took a while before a position was available. During this waiting period, she stayed in touch with me, reminding me of her goal to be a part of our team.
Now that she is finally with us, Mary frequently reminds me of her goal to finish her career with City Creek Mortgage. That’s what I look for in people to hire. Her loyalty and commitment perfectly match our Core Values.
Bio Coming Soon.
Executive Assistant to Mike
Taiya is unique soul. The two words that best describe Taiya are Loyalty and Family. In addition to having a wonderful family, she has been adopted into a couple of the families here at City Creek; mine included. Not only is she my assistant and a big part of both our sales and marketing teams, she is like a daughter to me.
Sometimes the greatest lessons and experiences happen when times are the hardest. I will never forget the day when our team was dealing with how to respond to a major slowdown that happened in our industry. The topic came up of how at least 75% of mortgage companies were laying off employees in reaction to the decrease in business. After the meeting, Taiya came up to me and said, “Please don’t ever lay me off. I promise, I will work for you for free. You don’t need to pay me if you can’t afford to.” I’m not sure that she will ever understand how powerful those words were to me. To hear someone so committed to a vision that they want to be a part of it regardless of personal reward is special gift.
In my first conversation with K.C., I couldn’t help but notice the similarity in her drive and desire to grow with that of Tobi’s drive when she was her age. K.C.’s thirst for knowledge and experience matched well with our core value of Continuous Improvement of Self & Others. In addition, she works very well with me and the rest of our sales team. You can’t help but love and adore her. I knew from the moment I first met her that she would be a great fit on this team.
K.C. manages our lead flow and makes sure that each client is handled quickly and efficiently. She also is the one who prepares all of our loan strategies for our clients. Between K.C. and Taiya, they provide me with all the reports I need each day in order to ensure that City Creek is running well and operating efficiently. That gives me the confidence to make decisions and to make the changes needed when we get off track.
Bio Coming Soon
I didn’t meet Rail until a week or two after he started working at City Creek Mortgage. I saw a young guy sitting with Taiya at her desk. However, I didn’t put together that he was a new employee. I assumed he was a client using her computer. As I walked by, he politely stood up to shake my hand. He said, “Hi, I’m Rail. Like in rail road tracks.” Since he was the first person with the name of Rail that I have ever met, I was intrigued. The next few minutes were spent getting to know him, with much of the conversation based around his name.
Rail is a solid guy. Fast learner, incredibly bright and just an overall good person. As another friend of Taiya, we know that she would not have brought him in to work with us if he didn’t live up to her professional standards. He quickly earned our trust with his speed of learning and his insatiable desire to grow and advance. As a young man who is early in his career, he certainly has a great future ahead of him.
Celeste is sharp, witty and talented. She is one of the youngest leaders we have on our team and is highly respected by her peers. She actually started working for City Creek right out of high school and then left to attend school at Colorado Mesa University. Each summer she would come back and resume her position on our team. When she decided to attend school at UVCC, we were able to get her back as a fulltime year round employee.
There is never a dull moment when Celeste is around. She has the ability to make everyone laugh, most of the time making herself the center of her jokes. I admire her ability to find humor in most every situation and appreciate her professional gifts and talents.
As a Transaction Coordinator, she ensures that files are progressing as planned and looks for opportunities to improve the process from initial underwrite through closing. Having Celeste oversee our loans in process gives me the confidence to trust that each file will close as scheduled.
When Desireé and I first interviewed Heather, our conversation about working together quickly turned to one about music, musicians and the things we like about each artist. It was as if we were already friends who were destined to work together. Since I rely heavily on Desireé and fully trust her judgment, I was excited when the first words out of her mouth at the end of the interview were, “I’m going to hire her.” That’s all I needed to hear. She had my full support.
Heather’s experience and background made her transition into City Creek seamless. There was very little learning curve and a great deal of talent that she added to our team. More importantly, she fits in perfectly with everyone and is sincerely wonderful to work alongside.
There is something about the young generation that makes many of them unique. From my experience, many of them have strong work ethics, a sense of loyalty and a love for people that shines through in their personalities. Tory fits this mold perfectly.
Tory and Taiya have been close friends since they were in Jr. High School. Knowing how challenging it is to live up to Taiya’s professional expectations, when she suggested we hire Tory the decision was immediately made. Looking back, I can’t think of any other employee who has learned the industry and excelled in their position more quickly than she has. Tory is truly one of a kind and someone I’m grateful every day to have on the team.
Bio Coming Soon.
Loan Processing Specialist
Although we share the same last name, Lorie is another Roberts to whom I am not related. However, she happens to be the person on the team that I have known the longest. My mom and Lorie’s mom have been friends since Jr. High School. They were close then and remain good friends today. I remember having dinner at her house or stopping by for visits when I was very young. I remember hanging out with her while my mom and her mom talked. In fact, some of my earliest memories include Lorie and her family. She comes from a wonderful home and is herself an extraordinary person.
Having started City Creek Mortgage in 1998, I’ve been in this industry a long time. My family would often tell me about Lorie and how she works in the mortgage industry. I listened to people tell me how wonderful she is. However, I never assumed we would have the opportunity to have her on our team.
One day I received a call from my mom, reaching out to see if we had any openings on our processing team. When I learned it was Lorie, I quickly replied, “Yes!” Lorie came in and met with Desire’e. After many years of working for the same mortgage company, Lorie quickly made the decision to join our team.
I value the history we have in knowing each other for so many years. It’s cool to think back on what each of us were like as children and how ironic it is that we are now working together.
Loan Processing Specialist
Some people have a fiercely competitive side to them. This is the case with Jasmine. A desire to win, combined with an eagerness to always do what is right is one of the many gifts I see in her. She also happens to have a wildly funny sense of humor, which makes her exceptionally fun to work with. However, when she is working on a file, she is all in. Head down, earphones on and mind 100% focused on the task at hand. She is one of our greatest examples of strong work ethic on the team.
When Desireè and I first interviewed Jasmine, we had one of the most interesting conversations we have had with a prospective employee. She looked at us and with a straight face said something like, “The company I worked with was constantly trying to mimic City Creek, so I had to ask myself – Why would I work for the imitation? I need to go work for the real thing.” Des and I looked at each other, nearly speechless. However, we didn’t have to say a thing. We knew she was already hired.
Loan Processing Specialist
When you put out there that your mission is to be the most Trusted, Respected and Loved mortgage company in Utah, the universe seems to put people in your path that perfectly fit into the vision. Jessica fits this mold perfectly. Having her on our team makes us stronger. Her gift of connection brings our clients into our tribe and makes them Raving Fans. She cares deeply for others and fights to ensure that our clients have an exceptional mortgage experience.
Although before working for City Creek Mortgage I had never met Jessica, we found that we have many common connections. In fact, her closest friend was once my assistant many years back. Given how much I love and adore her best friend, the connection helped me to know the type of person Jessica is. Now that I know her better, my initial assumption was spot on. She’s an amazing girl!
Loan Processing Specialist
Bio Coming Soon.
Client Care Associate
I’m not sure there is anyone who could say a bad thing about Shay. She makes me smile every time I see her. As one of the most joyful people I know, she has the gift of ‘authentic connection,’ which is one of the core traits we look for at City Creek Mortgage. This gift helps make her an amazing Office Administrator and lover of our clients. She can connect with any personality and brings out the best in people. She has up-leveled our commitment to customer service and has made a huge impact on those who get to work with her each day.
As a friend of Jasmine, we invited Shay to help us on a day our team was feeling overwhelmed. I remember walking into the office and she politely greeted me. Not sure she knew who I was, I remember how impressed I was with her kind demeanor. At that moment, I went back and told Desireè that she needed to hire Shay immediately. The rest, as they say, is history.
When we say that City Creek Mortgage is a family business, we mean it. Austin is my son, and the older of my two kids. Most people say he is the perfect combination of me and his mom, Tobi. He has similar features to both of us (mainly me), Tobi’s social skills, and my personality.
Being the son of two small business owners, Austin’s work history dates back to when he was about 5. He would help stuff envelopes and cut out marketing pieces, and even help with our client events. As an extremely poised communicator, Austin has no problem building relationships. He is a man of high integrity and about the best son a father could ask for.
Mikaela is my daughter, and of course, she has me completely wrapped. Like her brother, she started working for City Creek Mortgage at about 5 years old. She is the perfect combination of me and Tobi. She looks like the female replica of me, but she has her mom’s personality.
Just like her mom, Mikaela is a natural driver. Her ability to take charge and get things done is something that was clear from the time she was a baby. I always knew that she could take care of herself if needed. As her father, that brings me much comfort. I trust Mikaela completely, and know that she will always do what is right.
Moki is by far the naughtiest member of our team. After losing a dog back in 2003, I found Moki on an available pet website from a pet store in Denver. It was sort of like on-line dating, where you are choosing someone based on a picture and a short bio. However, with this being a pet, once you said yes, it was more than just a date; it was a long-term commitment.
Mortgage Moki, as we have affectionately branded her, has been a part of this team since the summer of 2003. Even with all of our client’s young kids chasing her around the office, and some even pulling her hair, she has never been anything other than the sweetest dog you will ever meet. I never thought I would own a small dog, and after her I likely never will again. However, outside of her sneaky habit of peeing when no one is watching her, she is as perfect a pet as anyone could ask for. She is loved and adored at City Creek, and truly lives a very charmed life.
When I hear my wife say that someone makes her heart happy, my love for that person is immediate. As the one who supports Tobi, Alisa plays a vital role at City Creek Mortgage as well as one within my family. Her patience, understanding and sympathy for the challenges of owning a business make her someone we fully trust to handle the things that matter most to us.
Alisa is another team member who came to City Creek Mortgage as a referral from an existing employee. Being close friends with Heather, we knew before we hired her that she was an exceptional person. Her gifts and talents make us better and raise the bar for City Creek Mortgage. As the one who also runs City Creek Studios, she has a full plate and lots to juggle!
Weston was initially referred to us by a local homebuilder who hired him to create his company website. I could tell immediately that he has immense talents with videography, photography and website creation. When he came in to interview, he showed us some of his work. We knew right then that we were dealing with a true professional artist.
Having Weston has greatly elevated our team. For example, he has the ability to capture the right moment when it happens. You see this gift when you watch him take photographs. Rather than let his finger quickly snap one photo after another, he patiently waits for the perfect moment, snaps the picture and tells you that’s all he needs. That is a skill that truly separates him from an average photographer. In addition, he is one of the most knowledgeable technical people I know. Although I understand very little about his area of expertise, I have great trust in his knowledge and abilities to perform.
Chief Heart Officer
Jamie is close friends with a couple of my long term employees. In conversation, I would hear of a girl named Jamie who is a gifted Relationship Manager. When City Creek Mortgage had an open house she stopped by. Although I didn’t get to meet her, after the event her name started coming up again. This time, my team felt that Jamie and I should meet.
Meeting Jamie is a very comfortable experience. She is clearly as gifted as she was described to be. Without hesitation, she confidently and openly communicates in a way that builds trust, respect and love; which are three values we live by at City Creek Mortgage. As our Relationship Manager, her gifts and talents help us to build and maintain relationships with the professionals we work with.
“If you are looking for a company you can trust for your first or next mortgage, you could turn to a company I trust: City Creek Mortgage.”
– Bill Gephardt
I trust them because I have investigated the background of this company, and the way they treat their customers. In fact, I can find absolutely no complaints whatsoever, official or unofficial. As a result, I am proud to endorse City Creek Mortgage, and declare the company Gephardt Approved.
This is a company that I find truly unique when it comes to their claim that they want to form lifetime relationships with their clients: They have client parties and get-togethers up to 4 times a year just to stay in touch. “We really are friends,” says partner and co-owner Mike Roberts. “This is our opportunity to stay connected with our clients. We can also monitor their financial situation, as life changes happen, and make suggestions to help them along the way.”
“Yes, we close mortgages, but we do so much more,” adds partner and co-owner Tobi Roberts. “If there is some small way that we can help our clients have a better life, make better financial decisions, have less stress, that’s what we hope to do. And our client events are just plain FUN!”
I have found that mortgage rates are competitive no matter where a customer turns. But at City Creek Mortgage, Mike and Tobi stress that a closing is just the beginning of the value they provide. They promise to review each mortgage at least once a year to see if the balance or payment can be improved. “And when we find something better, for those who qualify, we structure it so that there are NO CLOSING COSTS and the mortgage balance will not increase,” says Mike.
“City Creek Mortgage got started in 1998 after we were in the construction business,” says Tobi. “We found people were getting little financial direction and terrible advice. We saw a need, and wanted to be part of the solution. We decided then to be the most trusted, respected, and loved mortgage company in Utah.”
I went to one of City Creek Mortgage’s parties. Roughly 700 of their 2500 clients showed up. Clients worked hard to out-do each other’s praise of City Creek Mortgage.
“The party tells you the whole story, that they’ve got a bunch of fans out there,” says client of 3 years, Emily Ayre.
“That’s what makes us so different,” says Tobi. “Others provide a commodity, a mortgage. We learn about our clients’ needs so that we can provide personal advice and then build a trusted relationship for life.”
“I can’t guarantee that there won’t be turbulence in financing,” Mike told me. “But we can guide our clients through it. It’s not always an easy process any more, but you will close and we will always do what we promise. Money comes and goes. But, our reputation is more important than making money. That’s why we have never had an unresolved complaint. Never. We will ALWAYS step up to solve a problem,” he says.
Mike says sometimes he recommends that a person not get a mortgage right now. He says that once he analyzes a person’s total financial picture and finds that a hardship might develop, he shares that information with them. He will then recommend steps to be taken to improve their situation so they might get a mortgage in the near future.
“We are always there for our customers,” Mike says. “Sometimes it’s a loss of a job, an unexpected illness or even a death. In those situations, a mortgage is not even being considered. Sometimes they just need advice and options. We are honored to help!”
The lifetime relationship seems all important to Mike and Tobi. “We financially empower people and families year after year so that one day they can look back and be truly grateful for the relationship.”
So, there you go: City Creek Mortgage in Draper. Now you know what I know about the company. You know that the many clients I’ve talked to trust City Creek Mortgage. And you know that my independent investigation into the company found no problems, and no complaints.
Now you know why I trust the company, and why I am proud to endorse City Creek Mortgage and declare them Gephardt Approved.