Blend Forum
Forum 2018

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October 28 - 30, 2018 | Carmel, CA
Agenda  |  Speakers  |  Golf  |  FAQ

Building the future of lending, together

We’re bringing together a select group of Blend customers and partners for a three-day executive retreat in Carmel Valley, California. We’re calling it Forum, and we want to see you there. Let’s explore technology’s role in navigating our industry’s most pressing challenges and greatest opportunities. You’ll leave feeling refreshed and motivated to strengthen your organization.

Why Forum?


Get future ready

Lenders everywhere face the challenge of doing business better, faster, and cheaper than ever before — all in the face of rising customer expectations. Join us in intimate breakouts to discuss fresh, tech-forward approaches to big problems.


Be inspired, get motivated

Engage with thought leaders who have led their organizations through times of dizzying change. Connect with fellow Blend customers and learn how to deploy technology today to reach your goals. 


Grow your community

Unscripted moments will be just as powerful as organized breakouts and panels. Whether hiking, wine tasting, or sitting around an evening fire, you will build deep relationships that will last beyond Forum.


Picture of George Blankenship

George Blankenship

Former Tesla and Apple executive 

picture of Nima Ghamsari

Nima Ghamsari

CEO and co-founder of Blend

Picture of Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper

22nd Prime Minister of Canada


David Kwong 

Magician, author and NYT crossword constructor


Dale Vermillion

President and CEO, Vermillion Consulting, Inc.


Julian Hebron

Founder, The Basis Point


9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Golf
Golf is optional. Click here to register.
1:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Arrival & registraion
6:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Welcome reception
6:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Welcome remarks & George Blankenship keynote
Former Apple and Tesla executive George Blankenship discusses innovation in the areas of customer engagement and experience — and what this means for the mortgage industry.
7:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Fireside chat
Nima Ghamsari and George Blankenship in conversation.
7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Dinner
7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 a.m. - 9:50 a.m. Keynote: Nima Ghamsari
Blend's CEO Nima Ghamsari discusses the future of the mortgage industry and sets the stage for the morning breakout discussions.
9:50 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Break
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Breakout sessions (Round One)

Intimate breakout discussions surrounding internal and external challenges facing our industry. Each guest will participate in one of the four breakouts with a chance to participate in a second during Round Two.

  1. How we get to near-instant mortgage approval  
    Income, asset, and employment data is quickly becoming ubiquitous. The GSEs are working towards real-time verification that can be applied at the point of sale. What do we need to do to truly simplify and give consumers the "Uber" experience they desire? 
  2. Loan officers’ changing priorities and needs
    We've built tools to better enable loan officers at the point of sale, but are they quickly becoming a mobile-first worker with changing priorities? How do we balance mobile's limitations around data entry and the need for consumer authorization of data with this growing trend to deliver a frictionless workforce? 
  3. The future of loan processing
    Digital mortgage technology is changing process and how teams work together. Thanks to automation, verification, machine learning, and other technologies, everything from app to closing has gotten faster. How will these technologies continue to affect the structure and functions within lender organizations? Where else should we apply these technologies in the process to make lenders as efficient as possible? 
  4. Transforming real estate agent collaboration
    The average real estate agent only closes 12 deals a year, or one a month on average, and is bombarded with new technologies. How can we work together to create something that will drive widespread adoption for better collaboration with the agents?
  5. Building a frictionless ecosystem
    Before a mortgage can close, there are a significant set of requirements that need to be fulfilled, ranging from appraisal to title, insurance, closing, and many others. What are the most compelling opportunities in the ecosystem that technology can uniquely impact to provide better customer experiences and lower origination costs?
11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Break
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Breakout sessions (Round Two)
Same breakouts as Round One, but attendees will attend a different session.
12:15 p.m. - 12:30 p.m. Break
12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Lunch
Organic Garden
1:00 p.m. - 1:40 p.m. Lunch and keynote with Stephen Harper
22nd Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper talks about politics and technology disruption.
2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Break
2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Panel: Internal Challenges
Customer Voice Representatives for each of the internal breakouts will report back on the findings and recommendations reached during their session.
3:30 p.m. - 3:40 p.m. Break
3:40 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Innovation Valley
Meet the product managers, designers, and engineers building our product and see firsthand how Blend is supporting key customer objectives with six demos.

Unlocking data with Blend Vision
Blend Vision is different from other optical character recognition (OCR) solutions because it is native to the point-of-sale system. Learn more about the future of Blend Vision and how we plan to use it to identify document correctness, document readability, and validate values between self-reported data and documents.

From app to pre-approval in minutes with Blend POS
Blend's loan officer point of sale will help you be more productive. See the streamlined process in action to help loan officers drive pre-approvals with features like pulling credit, accessing product and pricing, loan structuring, hitting AUS, and sharing pre-approvals with referral partners - all within Blend.

More to come
5:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Break
6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Taste of Carmel Valley Ranch
Enjoy local wine, cheese, honey, and more while connecting with the people who make Carmel Valley Ranch a place foodies love.
7:00 p.m. Dinner followed by performance from David Kwong
Magician and Cruciverbalist David Kwong gives a lively talk on "Creating Magical Experiences."
7:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Morning hikes
Hikes are optional. More details to come.
8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Breakfast
9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Panel Report: External Challenges
Customer Voice Representatives for each of the external breakouts will report back on the findings and recommendations reached during their session.
10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Fireside chat
Nima Ghamsari in conversation with Marie Gayo, President, Trident Mortgage Company.

About Carmel Valley Ranch


Book your room now
Secluded between rolling hills near the sea, Carmel Valley Ranch inspires people to pull over, take in the view, and appreciate what’s possible. It’s the perfect setting in which to unwind, have fun, and reset.

RSVP for Forum


Why attend?

Drive new possibilities
Join your peers in breakout sessions and explore actionable strategies around branding, combating margin compression, and recruiting the next generation of LOs.

Engage with thought leaders
Hear from leaders who’ve reimagined their organizations, gain access to insights from your peers, and learn about emerging technologies relevant to mortgage lending.

Build your network
Get to know your peers over amazing food, activities, and moments. We’ll have fun and establish connections that lay the foundation for discussions that live beyond Forum.

Golf at Forum

RSVP to save your spot

Interested in playing some golf before we kick things off at Forum? We're covering your time on the greens, as well as golf club rentals, for the morning of Sunday, October 28. The course at Carmel Valley Ranch is something special, cutting through the resort itself, past vineyards, ponds, and old-growth oak groves. 

Space is limited to 56 players, and we're closing registration on September 28.   


Forum is a three-day executive event in Carmel, CA. We’re bringing together friends and partners for a chance to build connections, hear from thought-provoking speakers, and help move the lending industry into the future.
Arrival is Sunday afternoon, Oct. 28. Checkout takes place Tuesday, Oct. 30 after the morning sessions. More details coming soon.
Carmel Valley Ranch, One Old Ranch Rd., Carmel, CA 93923. Tel. 1-855-421-2186.
Blend has a discounted room block at Carmel Valley Ranch. However, this hold is limited. Please book your room by August 31. Rooms will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here to book your room. You can also book your room by calling the resort directly at 1-855-687-7262. Make sure to mention group code BLEND.
You will be Blend’s guest at Forum. There is no registration fee. Your meals and activities will be taken care of. You are responsible for covering your own airfare to and from Monterey Regional Airport (MRY), should you choose to fly, as well as your accommodations at Carmel Valley Ranch. Since our discounted room block at Carmel Valley is limited, we ask you to book your reservations immediately upon registering for the event.
This invite is non-transferable. However, if you can't make it, please contact your Blend account manager to nominate another executive from your organization. We definitely want somebody from your company at Forum.
Blend will provide transportation from Monterey Regional Airport (MRY) to Carmel Valley Ranch (20 minutes). More details to come via email. If you plan on driving to Forum, Carmel Valley Ranch is roughly 2 hours and 20 minutes from San Francisco and an hour and 20 minutes from San Jose.
Think business casual. Please leave any suits and ties at home. We recommend you to pack in layers as it can get to the 40s in the evening time.
We want to hear from each executive at Forum. That is why each guest will be assigned to two different breakouts on the morning of Monday, Oct. 29. These intimate breakout discussions, each lasting an hour, will tackle various internal and external challenges facing lending organizations. Later in the program, a representative from each group will report back to the rest of Forum with recommendations and insights from their breakout discussions.
Please email us at [email protected]. We will get back to you within 24 hours, or by Monday if it's a weekend.