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Robert Meyer is a retired Command Master Chief of the United States Navy. He served 30 years with 12 of those years overseas. Now, in the mortgage industry, Robert is honored to be able to help his fellow veterans achieve the American Dream of homeownership. He believes in building lasting relationships with his customers and can offer a true understanding of the things veterans go through. When he’s not at work, Robert enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids, golfing and sharpening his history knowledge.
Mariano relocated to San Diego from his longtime home in Santa Cruz, CA in July of 2012 to join the Veterans United Home Loans of San Diego branch. After 4 years as a Processor, and 2 more as a Processing Supervisor, Mariano transitioned into his current role as Loan Officer. When away from the office, Mariano enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 sons, playing disc golf and reading about economics and politics.
Josh is originally from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii and has lived in San Diego for the past 4 years. Previously he worked in a phone sales role for over two years and has transitioned to Veterans United to help establish better relationships with the initial contact of our areas veterans. Josh is dedicated to helping veterans achieve their dream of homeownership by providing outstanding customer service and ensuring the home buying process in easy from start to finish. During his free time, he enjoys playing volleyball, basketball, going to the beach, and spending time with his friends and family. He is a passionate sports fan of the Missouri Tigers and enjoys watching football and basketball.
Jason transitioned from active duty in the United States Marine Corps to Loan Officer at Veterans United Home Loans in April 2015. He wanted to use his mortgage processing and business background to serve those that served alongside him. He enjoys educating Veterans about their benefit, and unlocking the door to home ownership. Jason has been married to his wife Madie since 2012. He enjoys running, going to the beach, watching football, and going to concerts.
Merry is a dedicated Loan Officer at Veterans United Home Loans of San Diego and a graduate of the University of California San Diego. With an extensive background in finance and nonprofit work, Merry is uniquely positioned to make sure each of her clients feel comfortable and confident during the entire homebuying process. Merry serves on the Board of Trustees at the Museum of Photographic Arts and is the Chair of the Development Committee. In her free time, she enjoys going on hikes with husband Carlos and their dog Kodiak, cooking and gardening.
Johnny Hempstead, originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, has lived in San Diego for the past five years. His work is fueled by the special opportunity to provide Veterans and service members with what they have rightfully earned. A home is one of the biggest investments one will ever make, and if he can guide them to their dream of homeownership, their fulfillment is the ultimate reward. Outside of work, Johnny spends most of his time with his wife. They both enjoy traveling, seeing live music and dining out. His experience and motivation is equipped with the proper knowledge and skills to assist borrowers throughout their homebuying journey with comfort and an ease-of-mind.
Justin Badum has lived in San Diego his entire life. What pulls him to work in mortgage is the chance to make a direct impact in someone else's. Whether it's their first or fifth home, it will always remain a big milestone. Justin is passionate about serving his clients and helping them achieve their dreams of homeownership, and is equipped with the knowledge, skills and experience to assist them throughout their home buying journey. In his spare time, he loves to be with his family and play sports with his kids. For Justin, the most important thing is to always make memories, both at his job and in his life outside of it.
Mark Manos is a loan officer at Veterans United Home Loans in San Diego. Mark previously worked in sales with two Major League Baseball teams, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Oakland Athletics. In addition to having a wealth of financial knowledge, Mark was born and raised in Thousand Oaks, but has lived in the Bay Area before moving to San Diego. With his knowledge of California and the San Diego community, he’s a valuable asset in the homebuying process. He believes the personal relationship he is able to build with his clients goes beyond the home loan process. Mark enjoys spending time with family and his girlfriend, watching and playing baseball and pretty much anything outdoors from the beach to bike riding.
Shaun Diaz is a dedicated loan officer and has been working in the mortgage industry for the past two years. Being born and raised in San Diego, California, Shaun is a die-hard fan of The San Diego Padres, a professional American baseball team based in Shaun’s hometown. Although his grandfather served in the military, Shaun took the home-buying route and takes pride in assisting people with their home-buying process. Shaun is a seasoned loan officer, which means that he is responsible for helping his clients have their dream homes and assist them according to their financial budget. For Shaun, nothing means more than being of service to others, which is exactly what motivated him to enter the home-buying market. Like many of his hobbies, Shaun holds great passion for keeping himself fit and healthy by going for a jog and golfing quite regularly. Shaun keeps himself entertained by going to music concerts of his favorite artists. He is a big believer in spending quality time with loved ones, which is why he spends as much time possible with his family and friends. He is also a dog lover and always takes his beagle to the beach for some frolicking in the sand.
Mirella is originally from Chicago, Illinois and has lived in San Diego for two years after being stationed there from 2004 to 2008. Having spent nine years in the mortgage industry as a title assistant, technology support to loan officers and as a home loan processor, she is honored to serve San Diego's military community with her experience. Mirella has served as a university program advisor helping active service members and veterans with enrollment and educating them on VA benefits. As a Navy spouse, she had her home loan processed through VU and understands how relieving it is to have someone there every step of the way. Mirella is passionate about giving back and cares about cultivating trusting relationships and bringing her knowledge and experience to help those who serve our country. When Mirella is not helping clients in their home ownership journey, she loves being a mom to her two daughters and spending time with family at the beach. She also enjoys cooking healthy meals and working out.
Growing up in the Midwest, Axel moved to San Diego from Chicago 4 years ago. In his time here, he’s already gotten a great feel for the city and the people in it. Having grown close with Veterans in the area, he feels confident that he understands their needs and worries during the homebuying process. Axel knows that homeownership is a key pillar to success and is excited to help as many Veterans as he can attain this goal. The ability to help others brought him to the home loan industry in the first place and is what drives him to keep working hard for new clients each day.
Jessica Zulauf is a Loan Officer with Veterans United of San Diego and is a lifelong resident of the city. Being able to serve Veterans in her hometown is an incredible honor for her and something she takes great pride in when she can get buyers into their dream homes. She is also very grateful to have a brother-in-law in the Navy who has given her great insight into military life and the struggles Veterans face back home. Besides helping homebuyers, she also loves to take care of her two dogs and do anything outdoors such as hiking, camping or going out on the beach. Most weeknights she’s either playing Volleyball or volunteering with a local dog rescue.
Melody is a San Diego native with a homegrown personality. She is the daughter of an Air Force veteran as well as a granddaughter of a decorated Army veteran. Melody has more than 20 years of experience in corporate management and customer service. She is a firm believer in making everyone around her feel like family and strives to create a relaxed setting for her clients. Melody works meticulously to ensure a smooth process from start to homeownership and beyond. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her two beautiful daughters, baking and relaxing at the beach.
Kristine is a Senior Transaction Coordinator with over 10 years of mortgage experience, with the last 4 years here at Veterans United San Diego. Kristine’s father, father in law and brother all have proudly served in the U.S Navy, allowing her to understand our veteran’s needs. She is honored to serve those who have served our country and their families. Outside of work, she enjoys her time with her husband and three children.
Nicole is an Account Manager at Veterans United Home Loans of San Diego. She is a Kansas native and worked at Veterans United Home Loans, in our home office, as an Account Manager and member of the Veterans United Foundation committee before joining the San Diego Branch in 2015. She is passionate about using her skills and knowledge in her role to help active members of the military community and veterans achieve home ownership. In her time away from the office, Cole enjoys spending time with her husband and kids, beach walks, or relaxing with a good book.
Mike was born and raised in mid-Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Personal Finance. In July of 2016 he moved from Columbia Missouri to San Diego to join the VUSD Branch Team. He enjoys mountain biking, disc golf, camping and falling off of his surf board.
Director of Education
Luke Turner is a Virginia native transplanted to California by his service in the United States Marine Corps. He spent twelve years in the Marine Corps. He loves being around military members and educating them on all things that will have a positive impact on their lives. Luke is passionate about getting his fellow service members into the American Dream of homeownership. When he is not at work, Luke enjoys spending time with his wife, Abby, who he has been married to since 2012 and riding his motorcycle with fellow veterans.
Lara was born and raised in San Diego. Her father served in the United States Navy for 20 years and her mother has been a nurse at the VA Hospital in La Jolla for 30 years. Lara was working as a hairstylist for nine years until an opportunity opened up at Veterans United for a Receptionist position. She has since transitioned into the role as our VUSD Office Manager. Lara believes in our mission of “enhancing lives everyday not only for her co-workers but for veterans and their families, not just in the office but in the community. Outside of work, Lara enjoys spending time with her husband, volunteering at Church, reading, and watching HGTV shows.