- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 15, 2007

Whether they are lending a mortgage loan to clients or lending each other a hand, Fontaine and Lee Williams are certainly partners on the job.

As the recently hired senior loan officer team at the Fairfax office of Mason Dixon Funding, a residential and commercial mortgage lender, the duo enjoy working together as father and son.

“It’s a unique situation that really presented itself as the perfect fit,” Lee Williams said. “They were open to having us as a team.”

The 37-year-old businessman joined his father in the mortgage-lending business four years ago.

“It’s great to be put in a situation where you can put talent first,” he said. “You know who’s the best to perform what duty.”

The two often divvy up responsibilities, Fontaine Williams said.

“We both originate loans. I’m developing the marketing side of the business with Realtors for potential loans.”

His son, on the other hand, performs process and analysis for specific loan programs.

After seven years working in account management and marketing for several information-technology government contractor clients in the Mid-Atlantic region, Lee Williams says, he is glad he switched to mortgage lending.

“The mortgage business is exciting. It’s never the same any given day. You’re dealing with people’s lives,” he said, noting the gratification that comes from seeing someone buy a home for the first time. “There is more reward in being one-on-one than with a large corporation.”

Mason Dixon Funding, with headquarters in Rockville and Virginia offices in Chantilly, Old Town Alexandria, Culpeper and Fairfax, is also licensed in the District and 10 states. The company employs about 45 loan officers.

“We’re delighted to have two such talented individuals join our growing groups,” said branch manager Hal Johnson. “They share a work ethic and a commitment to client service that is sure to be appreciated by their client and colleagues.”

Their jobs don’t come without obstacles.

“The biggest challenge is to make sure we’re performing at a high level,” Fontaine Williams said. That requires coordination, being on track and going out in the market to talk with clients consistently.

He was vice president at FISI Madison Financial for 12 years. He is also a former military officer and Army aviator. The Vietnam veteran and paratrooper spent 17 years as a financial adviser and corporate officer before joining Mason Dixon Funding.

He graduated from East Tennessee State University in 1964 with an undergraduate degree in business administration. He lives in McLean with his wife, Barbara.

Lee Williams earned an undergraduate degree in environmental science from the University of Virginia in 1992. He lives with his wife, Angie, and son, Tate, in Ashburn, Va.

— Rachel Buller

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