Aaron VanTrojen is the CEO and founder of Geneva Financial, a national mortgage lender with branches spanning the United States. Featured in Business Insider Magazine as a Best Large Company CEO in America for 2021 among the likes of Microsoft, Apple, Google and Uber CEO’s, VanTrojen knows what it takes to build a vastly successful company.
Starting his career in a sales-driven fitness role, VanTrojen discovered his passion for a fast-paced sales career. He then found purpose for this very specific skill set in the mortgage space around 2001. When the mortgage company he was working for sold to a large bureaucratic mortgage bank, he knew what needed to be done; thus, Geneva Financial was born. VanTrojen immediately recognized the need to create a company that better aligned with his values, vision and goals for the future of mortgage lending.
Geneva Financial was founded in October of 2007, during the biggest financial crash of our lifetime. While many mortgage companies were failing, Geneva Financial pushed forward. Known for breaking the traditional molds of the industry Geneva has attracted a wide array of good humans from across the nation, and rightly so.
Featured on iHeart Radio’s CEO’s You Should Know, VanTrojen reflects on being taught from a young age, that being a kind person goes along way. When you are and work with good humans, success in all forms comes easier, and people are catching on. Geneva Financial has received numerous accolades including “Best Mortgage Companies to Work For” by National Mortgage News, “#1 Mortgage Lender” by Ranking Arizona, “Best Company for Diversity” by Comparably and multiple other industry awards. The company also holds a 5-star Google rating with thousands of customer reviews.
VanTrojen believes that success can be achieved by all if you are willing to put in the work. He created Geneva with the desire to offer a platform for originators and operations alike to be recognized for their worth and be compensated accordingly. Seeing and experiencing the greed that can often overtake large corporations, he channels all his energy in supporting the hardworking folks that believed in what he is doing here at Geneva. VanTrojen is impassioned by changing lives and has the opportunity to do so through the employment offering at Geneva and the financial services they provide.
An avid pilot and adventurer, Aaron spends his off time traveling with Telle VanTrojen, his wife and COO of Geneva, visiting and enjoying the world. Their travels take them on both personal jaunts and visits to branches and recruits as the vision and company alike continue to grow at a rapid pace.
Telle VanTrojen was born and raised in Bountiful, a small city outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She moved to Arizona shortly after graduating high school to pursue her education in Forensics and assist with her aging grandparents. A year into college she realized that she wasn’t compassionate about getting a Criminal Justice degree and decided to pursue other avenues. In the fall 2002, she purchased her first home and before the mortgage transaction was even complete she knew that the mortgage industry was where she wanted to end up. She worked in various roles throughout the industry for the next six years until Aaron reached out to help him create Geneva Financial. She wore almost every hat during the first year and was a pivotal figure in surviving the Housing Crisis of 2008. Although Aaron was the architect behind Geneva Financial, Telle was responsible for keeping the plan in place and creating a solid foundation on which to build.
In 2014 Telle was made a partner and was responsible for the creation of Geneva Financials Secondary Department and Disclosure Desk enabling the company to grow. In 2016 Telle was promoted to COO and spearheaded the transition from a banker/broker platform to a 100 percent banked product line which allowed the company to change from best efforts to mandatory delivery. This year Telle led the Encompass Development team in rolling out Geneva’s new mortgage platform to promote the use of the newest and best technology in the mortgage industry. In her free time Telle loves to spend time with her daughter and husband Aaron and she enjoys reading poetry.
James Polinori began his career in Advertising and Marketing in 1990 in the news room and graphics department of an Arizona newspaper at the age of 15. He then pursued a dual-education in marketing and graphic design.
After college, James worked his way up from entry level positions to running marketing divisions for multiple Fortune rated companies and was soon recruited by a consulting firm as a Senior Business Consultant.
In 2008 Polinori started a boutique advertising agency specializing in small business. Through guidance and well-developed campaigns, James and his team helped small business owners perform like big brands through polish and consistency – without big brand budget. James’ Agency took on several real estate clients through the crash and helped them with a plan to survive through advanced marketing programs.
Through digital, video, social, education, event and consumer-direct platforms, James has provided power behind numerous brand names in multiple industry spaces. The achieved brand power was utilized to attract talent, market partners and consumers – resulting in up to 600% growth, including helping to dominate the Arizona territory for a national mortgage company by outperforming the leading competitor, Quicken Loans.
Polinori has been in the mortgage and real estate space since 2008 and took on the role of Chief Marketing Officer for Geneva Financial in late 2018. James is an avid chef, interior designer and music enthusiast and is most proud of his life with his Partner and their “kids” – 2 Siberian Huskies and 2 Chiweenies.
As the Chief Secondary Officer for Geneva Financial Home Loans, Joey Waters recognizes the payoff of hard work. In his role, Joey is responsible for Geneva’s presence in the secondary mortgage markets as well as overseeing the company’s lock desk and pricing engine.
Joey joined the mortgage industry in 2011, honing his talents from the ground up on the lock desk. He then moved to Geneva Financial in 2016 and has made huge strides in creating the company’s Secondary Market department, transitioning from outsourcing to in-house, and developing the operation from the ground up. Joey also managed several company-wide platform transitions and under his leadership, his team manages all the Optimal Blue platform and users.
Joey’s favorite part about working for Geneva is the people. Whether it’s his fellow employees, those under his leadership, or the people in his community, Joey is passionate about helping those around him and Being A Good Human.
When he is not leading the charge in the secondary markets, Joey can be found spending time with his family and his dogs or being active, rather it’s hiking, golf or pickleball. Joey enjoys being outdoors.
Excited to join the Geneva Financial Family, Jen Wardrop started her journey into residential mortgage lending in 1998 in processing and underwriting roles. Her quick mastery of those roles would elevate her into operations management creating structure and success for multiple mortgage companies.
Jen strives to be a working leader assisting the teams making the human-loan decisions that protect and brand the company, support the operations staff, facilitate the success of loan originators, and promote the dream of homeownership for all Americans.
Jen believes in the perfect blend of sales and operations working together to provide a reliable and predictable process for our loan originators and their referral partners. Her focus is consistently on executing processes for a smooth, consistent experience for our customers in the biggest transaction of their lives.
Jen lives with her husband (a Mortgage Loan Originator himself) in Maryland with their dogs. Outside of the mortgage world, Jen is an amateur standup comic and local comedy show producer in the Maryland/DC/Virginia area since 2008 and is proud to hold the title of the greatest Aunt in the world – sharing love and laughs with family and friends is a priority.
Side gigs include binge watching, cooking, entertaining, crafty upcycling and of course making people laugh at life!
Rachel Lee began working in the mortgage industry in 1999, gaining experience in closing, funding, and post-closing loans as well as developing her talents in leadership as the Closing Manager at Geneva Financial. She was even named Top Operations Employee for her exceptional dedication, knowledge, and attitude.
In her current position, Rachel is passionate about advancing inclusivity and empowerment for her fellow employees and community alike. One of her top focuses has been to overcome the “Boys Club” mentality prevalent in the mortgage industry to show that she and others like her are just as good, if not better at their roles.
Through her passion for people, Rachel is committed to creating a positive experience for borrowers while helping them with one of the biggest decisions of their lives. Alongside her work with Geneva, Rachel is also a member of the Advisory Board for the UC Irvine Customer Experience Certification Program and an avid advocate for mental health awareness.
Outside of the office, Rachel enjoys spending time with her friends and family and traveling to new places. For Rachel, every day is a new day, a new challenge, but always with the same goal – to help people.
Since 2003, Ashley Bogart has led an impressive career as a financial sector specialist within the mortgage industry. Starting out as a Loan Officer, she soon realized her passion for the challenges of working outside of origination and instead focused on key projects that had a real impact on Geneva Financial’s goals and objectives. She was named Employee of the Year by the company for her outstanding contributions to Geneva’s growth, a difficult accomplishment for someone in her position.
Serving as the Director of Corporate Initiatives at Geneva, Ashley plays a major role in cross-company communication, planning, and implementation to promote long-term change. Ashley relies on her ability to relate with others and create an environment of cooperation to achieve success. Through her dedication and commitment to her role, she has helped Geneva leverage strengths and penetrate the heart of the mortgage industry.
A born and raised Coloradan, Ashley loves taking part in anything outdoors, from skiing to hiking to paddle boarding and biking. And despite her land-locked locale, to her there is nothing better than a beautiful day on the beach.
Throughout her career, Ashley has learned several life lessons and is always looking for ways to pass on that wisdom. When it comes to professional advice for future generations, Ashley believes in always being an advocate for yourself, in pushing your personal limits, and striving to be better than you were yesterday.