FHM has brought on Steven Lagana as President, expanding its executive team to prepare for growth and expansion into new markets.


FAIRFAX, Va. – First Heritage Mortgage (FHM) announced today that it has hired Steven Lagana as President. As the company progresses with its growth strategy, the expansion of the executive leadership team has become essential. In 2024, FHM has hired over two dozen loan officers and is on track for continued growth thanks to our top-notch production team and strong builder and real estate agent partnerships.  

Lagana is well-known in the Washington–Baltimore metropolitan area, having led other mortgage lenders through periods of tremendous growth. He will bring this expertise and leadership skillset to his new role at FHM. 

“Steven Lagana has both a long and exceptional career in the mortgage industry,” said Alex Wish, CEO. “Steven started out as a loan officer before being promoted into management. He has a long and formidable resume that includes several leadership roles. In his last position, he grew a small mortgage company to become the largest in Maryland. We’re looking forward to him bringing that same energy to First Heritage Mortgage.” 

In addition to the announcement that Steven Lagana is now President, FHM is also sharing details about other members of the executive team and new roles they will assume. Banks Gatchel will transition to Chief Operating Officer (COO). Gatchel joined FHM in 2021 with nearly three decades of experience in the mortgage industry. Gatchel will lead the Operations division within FHM, along with oversight of Human Resources. 

Phil Denfeld is now the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO). This newly created position reflects how integral the growth trajectory is to FHM and its executive leadership team. The position will oversee key corporate strategic partnerships, testing and implementing new technology and artificial intelligence (AI), and the company’s marketing and corporate communications team. 

This exciting addition and the changes to FHM’s executive leadership team exemplify how the company continues to evolve and position itself as the leading correspondent mortgage lender in the Mid-Atlantic region, with a keen focus on new markets in the Southeast U.S.