Dwayne George recently joined Merchants Capital as executive vice president and head of production and underwriting, a role that continues his more than 15 years in affordable housing.
He is responsible for managing the firm’s sales force, including growing its Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac production and network that consists of 30 originators and support staff. George also is expanding Merchants’ footprint by establishing a fifth regional office in the Washington, D.C., region.
Prior to joining the company in March, George was senior director of Targeted Affordable Housing (TAH) production for Freddie Mac, where his responsibilities included managing the Optigo network of 19 lenders that generate about $6 billion in annual affordable housing production. Previously, he was the senior relationships manager for the group, generating about $1.5 billion of annual TAH production.
While growing up in D.C., George, 39, became aware of the social-economic challenges of communities that he lived around. “I was fascinated in urban development, and that’s what probably pushed me down the path I took, knowing that quality affordable housing was the best indicator of a thriving and diverse community,” he says. “Being part of the developments, meeting some of the people, made it personal for me.”
As a student studying business management at Goucher College in Maryland, George thought he might pursue a career in sales or marketing. However, he was soon working in real estate finance when he became an analyst at Greystone. That first job led him to affordable housing and a steady rise through the ranks at several companies.
“What we do in affording housing is life changing for a lot of families and, in many instances, brings people to tears” he says. “Myself and many others have dedicated their lives to this cause, and I’m grateful to have worked alongside several industry juggernauts throughout this journey.”
Outside of work, he’s a “girl dad,” a single father to a 17-year-old daughter. George has a master’s degree in real estate and finance from Georgetown University.