Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Community Connections presents USDA award

Posted: Friday, June 19, 2015

Pathfinder Services, Inc. and the Indiana State Office of USDA Rural Development received a prestigious national award from NeighborWorks America’s Rural Initiative on May 7. In celebration of National Homeowner Month, John Niederman, president of Pathfinder Services, was asked by NeighborWorks America’s officials to recognize the sustaining 18 year partnership with USDA Rural Housing Services.

The joint effort resulted in Northeast Indiana continuously leading the nation in the number of families receiving home buyer education and qualifying for and successfully receiving mortgage financing through the USDA 502 Direct mortgage loan program that serves rural families with income below 80% of area median income (AMI).

Pathfinder Services presented the Indiana Office of USDA Rural Development with their award. The award presentation took place at the residence of Erik & Nicole Russell in Woodburn, Indiana, one of  more than 2000 families since 1998 that received a USDA 502 Direct loan packaged by Pathfinder Community Connections, the community development division of Pathfinder Services. The house was built by Granite Ridge Builders, a critical partner in the success of the program over the years.  In attendance were Vincent Maloney, single family housing director, and Phyllis Crumrin, the chief single family housing specialist for the USDA Indiana Office of Rural Development. Allison McSherry, U.S. Representative Marlin Stutzman’s regional director; Paul Lagemann, Northeast Indiana regional director for the Office of U.S. Senator Dan Coats and Jorge Ortiz, regional director for the Office of U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly.

Other participant included Homeowners Erik and Nicole Russell and their three children, Lonnie Norris, vice president of sales for Granite Ridge Builders, and Pathfinder Services staff  including John Niederman and key Pathfinder Community Connections staff members, Rose Decker, senior mortgage specialist, and Justin Barker, HomeOwnership Center coordinator.

From 2009 to 2013, Pathfinder Services has generated in Northeast Indiana $446,000,000 in total economic impact contributing to 3,400 jobs, and $46,600,000 in total tax impact based on a study commissioned by NeighborWorks America.

“Much of the economic impact has come from enabling families like the Russell’s, who dreamed of homeownership and needed the partnership of Pathfinder Services, USDA Rural Development and Granite Ridge Builders to make that dream a reality, stated Niederman. “With the help of area realtors and other local building partners, Pathfinder Services has partnered with the Indiana Office of Rural Development to make significant, long term impact in Northeast Indiana. Together, we are working towards our goal of strengthening communities by enabling people to achieve independence, inclusion and stability.”

Pathfinder Community Connections is a certified NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Center with offices in Huntington and Fort Wayne.  The division guides potential home buyers through the entire process of pre-purchase education, financial fitness, homebuyer education, loan packaging and closing, free tax preparation, individual development accounts, community building/organization and owner-occupied home repair.

Shown in the photo from left to right are Izzy Rodriguez, Granite Ridge Builders; Jorge Ortiz, Regional Director for the Office of U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly; John Niederman, president, Pathfinder Services; Teresa Hueber, Granite Ridge Builders; Nicole Russell, Erik Russell, Elaina Russell, Nicholas Russell, Allison McSherry, U.S. Representative Marlin Stutzman’s Regional Director; Seth Russell, Lonnie Norris vice president of sales for Granite Ridge Builders; Rose Decker, senior mortgage specialist, Community Connection; Justin Barker, HomeOwnership Center coordinator, Community Connection; Tony Doepker, Granite Ridge Builders; Phyllis Crumrin, chief single family housing specialist, USDA Indiana Office of Rural Development and Vincent Maloney, single family housing director, USDA Indiana Office of Rural Development.