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Warren Lasko, Longtime MBA Executive Vice President, Passes Away

February 21, 2003

Warren Lasko, who served as Executive Vice President of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America from 1985 to 1997 and is largely credited with building MBA into the pre-eminent trade association in real estate finance during that period, died yesterday at his home in Maryland. He was 62 years old. According to his family, Mr. Lasko had cancer of the esophagus.

Mr. Lasko was described by former co-workers and friends as an innovator, an excellent administrator and a strong promoter of affordable housing. "Housing and the mortgage finance industry has lost a stalwart," said longtime MBA employee Burton Wood, who served with Mr. Lasko during his entire tenure at MBA. "Through the years, he played a major role in furnishing housing opportunities for all American families. He will be missed."

MBA Chairman John Courson described Mr. Lasko as a "tireless advocate" for the real estate finance industry. And MBA COO Jonathan Kempner said that Mr. Lasko "had in innate sense of what MBA's membership needed and responded to those needs."

During his career, Mr. Lasko served as executive vice president of the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae); vice president for strategic planning at Fannie Mae; acting deputy assistant secretary for insured lending at HUD, as well as HUD's San Diego, Calif., field office.

But it was during his tenure at MBA that Mr. Lasko assumed his highest profile. Mr. Lasko frequently appeared on Capitol Hill in an advocacy mode for MBA member-driven initiatives, and established a number of programs and policies during his 13 years at MBA, many of which still exist today.

"Warren was a man very focused on serviced to the membership," said Warren Dunn, who served as MBA's vice president of communications from 1980 to 1989. "He knew exactly what the membership wanted and managed the association's resources to deliver that. He really believed very much that the organization served the membership so that they could serve their clients better."

Most recently, Mr. Lasko was appointed as a commissioner of the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County (Md.) in 1999 and named Chair of the commission in 2002.

Mr. Lasko received his BA in Economics from Columbia College in New York City and advanced degrees in Economics from Columbia University. During his career he taught economics courses at the University of Virginia School of Continuing Education and was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland Graduate Program in urban studies and planning.

He is survived by his wife, Lorraine, two daughters, Karen and Erika, and three grandchildren. A memorial service is being planned.

Source: Mortgage Bankers Association



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