Theresa Ecker isn't one to sit still. In 11 years in mortgage banking, she has worked at no fewer than six different companies across the country.

"My willingness to relocate has afforded me greater and greater opportunities," says Ms. Ecker, 34.

Her latest stop is Meridian Mortgage Corp., Wayne, Pa., as senior vice president in charge of secondary market operations.

The move not only puts her in a key post at a major company-Meridian originated $3 billion of loans last year -- but it brings her full circle to her home state.

Seeking to Recoup Losses

Ms. Ecker, who most recently worked at Maryland National Mortgage Corp., will clearly face some challenges at Meridian Mortgage. The unit of Meridian Bancorp is trying to regain its balance following losses caused by high prepayments in its servicing portfolio.

Ms. Ecker is quiet about any plans afoot at the company, but she does allow that she's been reviewing "an extensive wish list" from the production side of the business for product enhancements.

Fellow secondary-market pros say that Ms. Ecker should be a clear plus for Meridian. They call her both savvy and energetic.

From Seattle to Buffalo

Ms. Ecker's first mortgage job was with Continental Inc., a small company in the Seattle area. She moved on to San Diego-based ICA Mortgage (now American Residential) and then headed east to trade mortgages in Citicorp's investment banking group.

The next stop was Goldome Realty Credit, Buffalo, followed by Maryland National Mortgage.

First Tennessee Bank recently agreed to acquire Maryland National, but Ms. Ecker says her move was unrelated to the deal.

Rather, she says, she joined Meridian because it offered broader responsibilities. She will be overseeing both secondary market sales and risk management for new loans; at Maryland National, she handled only the sales function.

In addition, she said, the move brings her closer to friends and relatives in her hometown of Pottstown, Pa.

As Ms. Ecker continues her ascent in mortgage banking, she is one of the few women in senior management posts at top companies.

"People get ahead in this business on their merits, by knowing their craft," she said.

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