Paul Akinmade joined CMG Financial in 2016 to lead the expansion of the company’s marketing department ahead of a major staffing initiative. Within four years, Akinmade and his team have built a robust, automated marketing platform, which is driven by investment in technology, to give retail loan officers a competitive edge. In the past year, Akinmade moved from chief marketing officer to chief strategy officer as he launched a new business intelligence department and assumed responsibility for the existing IT department to continue leading the organization’s digital transformation. In his role, Akinmade is intimately involved with many of CMG Financial’s technical and consumer initiatives with hands-on involvement in designing the experience, managing development, training, marketing and ensuring a successful deployment. During Akinmade’s tenure, CMG launched HomeFundIt, a digital down payment gifting platform, and enhanced the service with iterations like UpIt. HomeFundIt enables family and friends to give the prospective homebuyers gifts online. UpIt, the cash-back shopping feature, allows homebuyers to earn pledges toward their down payment savings account when they or anyone in their network shops online at affiliate stores. This year, UpIt surpassed 1,000 affiliate partners including big brands like Home Depot, Target and Walmart with contributions averaging 5% to 9% per purchase.