Lending Leaders
One Fee Expert to Rule Them All with Ron Carvalho

It’s always a pleasure when we get to talk with LodeStar’s own Director of Data Operations, Ron Carvalho. Ron’s team manages LodeStar’s fee database with a rare, contagious passion. Ron loves math, and we love picking his brain about closing fees, database management, and the joys of making the perfect spreadsheet.

What do you do and how did you end up at LodeStar?

Ron’s Data Operations team manages the backend of LodeStar’s fee database. He jokes, “If we’ve done our job right, you don’t know we exist.” Which is a shame, really, because Ron is a truly lovely person.

In 2016, Ron started working at title settlement company in their Escrow dept. He transitioned from there to a position in software management. Then, a little over a year ago, LodeStar asked Ron to come aboard.

What Ron does is detail-oriented in the extreme—and he likes it that way. Managing a nationwide closing fee database is not everyone’s cup of tea, but Ron, like the A-Team’s Hannibal, loves it when a plan comes together. He likes making sure all the numbers come through perfectly. When the numbers don’t come out correct, Ron takes it personally. If you have to think about fees, Ron isn’t sleeping at night.

Technical skills

Ron laughs that he no experience 6 years ago when he got into this field. He certainly has learned a lot. One of the most helpful things to focus on for anyone interested in a career in data management is industry-specific knowledge. He credits his experience in the title settlement and escrow spaces as immensely valuable to his daily work. Also, being able to operate a database is crucial to problem solving, finding issues.

In addition to publishing nationwide fee changes in our monthly client email, Data Operations has contributed their technical knowledge to a new series of articles LodeStar is currently publishing, our LE Challenges series.

Fun Fees

When asked what fees fascinate him most, Ron is quick to bring up Texas’s R-8 Credit. Calculating it is a monster, and when the state modifies the rate, they change a lot at once. Also, New York is a fun challenge. The recording side is complex, to say the least. Reverse engineering the fee structure is a lot of fun.

New York is a point of pride for LodeStar. Its our company’s birth state, but it’s also a complex fee structure we pay special attention to getting just right—thanks to the Data Operations team.

What’s something that excites you outside of work?

“Math,” says Ron. No seriously. “Math is fun to me. I like when things line up.” Ron has a monster spreadsheet to track his expenses, which is he is very, very proud of. Crunching the numbers is a matter of genuine personal enjoyment and curiosity.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Ron likes when things make sense. If something doesn’t make sense, Ron will figure it out. He loves that LodeStar supports ongoing education, so he can keep learning, and make sure all the numbers are perfect.