What's The Diff?

The things Quicken Loans team members care about and want to share with the world

About Quicken Loans & THE DIFF Blog

THE DIFF blog is all about the things that make the difference in business and in life. Most of the time, it’s the little things. But every so often it’s something really big. At Quicken Loans, our team members cite “the ability to make a difference” as the biggest key to their job satisfaction. We consider this one of the most important facets of our company and corporate culture. So, we decided to search the planet for things that make a difference. Everyday, we want to celebrate those that make a difference and call out those that don’t. It’s that simple.

All stories and examples on this blog are real, not fiction, and if any mistakes or errors are found, we will acknowledge them and correct them promptly. We will never delete or refuse comments unless they are off-topic of an entry, spam, or contain offensive/abusive language. We link directly to other sites and references and never claim information owned by others to be ours. Links to and from this site are not an endorsement.

For information about THE DIFF, email info@whatsthediff.com. To add comments to any entry, simply post your comments through the site. All relevant, appropriate comments will be posted after being reviewed by our editors.

If you have a specific customer service issue or question regarding Quicken Loans or would like information about a mortgage, please call Quicken Loans Client Relations at 1.800.863.4332, email help@quickenloans.com, or visit our Web site, www.quickenloans.com.

Meet THE DIFF Team

Kelly LaVaute


Kelly LaVaute“THE DIFF Wordsmith”

With a photographic memory which is creepily equivalent to Raymond Babbit in Rainman, Kelly takes strange pride in being a spelling freak as well as remembering useless phone numbers and addresses.

Kelly can be found frequenting Detroit Tigers games, tailgating whenever possible and supporting the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team. Voted Best Dancer by her high school senior class, she feels most at ease behind the wheel of a car with the radio blaring.

An amateur cook, Kelly enjoys watching full length kitchen appliance infomercials on Saturday mornings and seasonal candy like holiday M&M´s or spring colored Oreos. She also totes her digital camera everywhere so as not to miss a moment of humiliation at others’ expense.

Formerly a QL banker, Kelly can now be heard spouting off product & real estate knowledge as the newest web marketing copy writer. She spends much of her time being the Home Loan Guru, blogging, writing mortgage news and talking Clayton off the ledge.

Read Kelly’s posts >>

Clayton Closson


Clayton Closson“THE DIFF M.C.”

Clayton Closson is a frequent contributor to THE DIFF. That is when he isn’t doing more important things like rocking the mic as M.C. Clay C of the defunct rap band DUN. DUN had a local favorite in the hit “livin in the 313″, which countless people of really low intellect really loved.

Clayton is also an experienced amateur actor and long ago was even in a few operas with Michigan Opera Theatre. His biggest acting claim to fame is bumping into Martin Sheen on a NYC street a few years ago.

Clayton is one Detroit city bad boy. He studies kung fu, though he is currently in couch potato status until his broken ankle fully heals. He is truly a one-man gang, feared and respected by “people who can’t fight very well” everywhere. Oh yeah, and he is the king of all web content for Quicken Loans. It’s all about the content, man. The words baby. They all come together and it’s, like, beautiful.

And he really doesn’t look much like Elvis. Only in this picture taken at the Palms Restaurant in Vegas. The Palms actually has an Elvis impersonator working as a bathroom attendant and Clayton put his glasses on and the rest is history.

Read Clayton’s posts >>

Jordan Fylonenko

“THE DIFF Freshman”

Still celebrating graduation, Jordan came to the cold realization that he has to start his life at some point. So with only the clothes on his back and a dream, Jordan ventured to Quicken Loans to start his web marketing career. As an intern, Jordan will be jumping head-first into any project that comes his way and posting as much video as possible to the blog.

When Jordan’s not working on the web he enjoys playing soccer and doing cartwheels after scoring. On weekends you can probably find him at the club in the middle of a break dancing circle. He also enjoys Spanish soap-operas, even though he can’t understand what they’re saying.

Jordan believes that social media is connecting us more than ever before, but still prefers you come up and say hi to him! But just in case you can’t, you can follow him on Twitter (http://twitter.com/jfylo) or find out more about him at www.jordanfylonenko.com

A few more fun facts about Jordan:

He speaks Ukrainian fluently.
He has a vast knowledge of everything Star Wars.
His favorite band is O.A.R.
Biggest pet peeve: Texting on a date.

Read Jordan’s posts >>

Abby Pougnet


Abby Pougnet“THE DIFF Hippie”

The free-spirited, social butterfly, who dreams of being famous. She frequently gets detached from reality reminiscing about the good old days when she was homecoming queen. You could probably find her frolicking around Europe, tasting fine wines on the Italian countryside or basking in the sun on the coast of Greece. Her friends are probably sick of hearing about her travels, but she has to keep it fresh for the book that she’s going to write one day.

Abby is extremely down to earth. Nothing makes her more happy than smiling and laughing so loud, she snorts. She’s so indecisive it drives people crazy, but at least she admits it. She has no sense of direction and will get lost wherever she goes, but she blames it on the fact that she’s the middle child stuck between five kids.

A true hippie at heart, she wanted to grow up in the 70’s. She loves writing, art and going to concerts and film festivals with friends. She will always sing karaoke and will persuade whoever she’s with to do it too. She gets overly excited about road trips, Halloween and Mexican restaurants. Someday she will sail the world on a yatch (not as captain, obviously)

Read Abby’s posts >>

Amanda Pallay


Amanda Pallay“DIFF Tannen”

About as funny as a screen door on a battleship, Amanda is always the first to laugh at her own (admittedly) strange and often bad jokes. She likes to blame them on her 4-year-old son, Jude, but as the old adage goes – the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Amanda is a compulsive list maker and often has to make lists to keep track of her lists. She has lists of her favorite and least favorite words, the worst songs to hear in succession while trapped in a place from which you cannot escape, favorite first lines for things she’s started to write but have never finished, and on and on.

When not quoting her favorite movies ad nauseam, she can be found writing, reading about writing, trying to figure out the next fun thing to challenge Jude’s mind grapes, and sometimes all of the above. Amanda will talk your ear off about Star Trek, movies, the band Clutch, Clive Barker and her kid. The sky is the limit for Amanda – because where she’s going, she doesn’t need….roads.

Read Amanda’s posts >>

Amber Hunt


Amber Hunt“THE DIFF Rover”

A love for all things bacon is one of the many passions of Amber Hunt. Additional obsessions include: her two dogs, Betty Bacon (told you!) and Murdoch, her wonderful husband, riding around on vintage Vespas (when they’re running – which is rare) and most recently yoga. Her next scheduled passion is going to be improv comedy. This is scheduled to be of interest to her this summer.

A few things Amber is not: easily intimidated, soft-spoken or overly serious. Life is too short to be serious all the time. However, Amber is extremely driven and ambitious, and is ready to sink her teeth into THE DIFF and all things Quicken Loans! And some pizza.

Amber’s favorite karaoke song used to be anything Journey, but now she likes to change it up a bit. One thing that has not changed is her karaoke nickname – Miss Jean. Miss Jean knows all the words to Snoop Dogg’s “Gin & Juice” by heart but also can serenade you with a slow jam if you are so inclined. Jams are her business and cousin, business is a-boomin’.

Read Amber’s posts >>

Katie Emig


Katie Emig“THE DIFF Baller”

Katie, a recent graduate from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, joined the Quicken Loans web marketing team as an intern. She was a former division I college basketball player at Valparaiso University, but is as far from a “baller” as you could possibly think. Her bedroom is completely covered in hot pink, glitter and sparkles, and she likes to bejewel almost every possession she has. She has a sick obsession to shop and absolutely loves to be in the sun every second that she possibly can. Her biggest excitement is spending time with her diva-licious niece and an adorable 11 month year old nephew because you never know what they are going to do next.

In her spare time you will find Katie working out, frolicking outside, watching Weeds, One Tree Hill, The Bachelorette/Bachelor or creepily stalking people on Facebook. She likes to spend a lot of time with her family and friends because that is the most important thing to her in life.

Her favorite musician is Corey Smith and she dreams of meeting Miley Cyrus aka Hannah Montana one day or being on the Disney Channel.

Read Katie’s posts >>

Chris Kaufman


Chris Kaufman“THE DIFF Design Doctor”

Creative wizard and resident rabble-rouser, Chris is a professional Internet-tube-clogger and designer of THE DIFF blog. When a project suffers from a creative ailment, Dr. Kauf (as he´s been aptly nicknamed), examines the symptoms and devises a cure.

Chris has an uncanny ability to identify TV theme songs, often from just a few notes. Some of his co-workers find his ability to be nothing short of creepy, but fail to realize Chris is a well-studied (self-taught) scholar in the American sitcom. Just don´t put any money on the table while playing TV Scene-It with him, or you’re guaranteed to go home empty-handed.

If Chris had to eat just one kind of food the rest of his life, it would be Chinese, hands down. His favorite store is Costco, as he obsessively visits there several times a week to get his bulk food fix. A former collector of antique cameras and nutcrackers, Chris now collects and clutters his home with fine art posters and ceramics.

His appetite for reading ranges from junk mail, to cereal boxes, to presidential biographies. In his spare time, you´ll find Chris creating and enjoying art, playing chef, taking photographs, wandering around museums, and untangling the deep-rooted semiotics in “Leave it to Beaver”. Check out Chris’ website and blog ® it’s doctor’s orders.

Read Chris’ posts >>

Rebecca Carter


Rebecca Carter“DIFF Daredevil”

A Diff contributor with a complicated past, Rebecca Carter´s history reads like an amateur spy´s on-the-fly alibi. In an effort to shake her small-town, Southern Girl roots, she´s lived in nine cities on three continents. In an equally fruitless effort to do dang near EVERYTHING in no particular order, she´s held a variety of unrelated jobs from editor to social worker to plumber to librarian. The unintended consequence: Rebecca brings a wide perspective to the QL Web Marketing Team´s already diverse outlook.

As a former grad student in Human-Computer Interaction, Rebecca is fascinated by technology´s impact on society. Among her passions is discovering Web trends with promise to connect people to services, ideas, and other people. (Or at least that´s what she says she´s doing when we find her surfing the Net at work.)

Known for her intrepid globe-trotting escapades, impromptu dinner parties, and elaborate cupcake recipes, Rebecca strives to be The Diff as well as uncover it.

Read Rebecca’s posts >>

Betsy Rawson


Betsy Rawson“DIFF Fashionista”

With an incredible knack for knowing the latest celebrity gossip and being obsessed with the fashion industry, Betsy consistently consumes her spare time with reading magazines or twitter sites like Vogue, Elle, US Weekly, People, Lucky, Glamour, and InStyle.

When she is not immersed with reading, she can be found at her local mall using her paycheck to purchase items she probably doesn’t need. Betsy recently graduated from Central Michigan University with an Apparel Merchandise and Design major and Marketing minor. She’s especially excited to have an exam free future.

Voted Most Gullible in her high school class, Betsy can be convinced that almost anything is true, so please do not lie to her, because she will probably believe you. In addition to reading magazines and shopping, her favorite past times are reading trashy romance novels (that you could probably catch your mom or grandma reading), working out, going to the movies, and hanging out with her friends, family, loving boyfriend, and golden retriever (Kenze).

Read Betsy’s posts >>

Cora Bledsoe


Cora Bledsoe“DIFF Dancer”

When not dancing, Cora Bledsoe can be found running around giving her two cents to everyone on the Quicken Loans Marketing Team. She´s the one who tells everyone how to think like clients.

Cora´s loud sneeze exists in stark contrast to her stature. That means that loud sound you heard that you thought was a hyena getting it´s toe stepped on yeah that was her sneezing. No need for alarm.

Her desk is a place of wonder. It´s more a self-sustained living space than a regular run-of-the-mill desk. She is surrounded by plants, making her area look like the Amazon from down the hall. The Word of the Day list lives at Cora´s desk too. On top of all that, somehow she´s managed to stockpile pounds of granola bars which she eats often, while professing to not care for them.

In her spare time, you can find Cora eating (a lot and often) and dancing to the tune in her own head.

Read Cora’s posts >>

Jen Romanowski


Jen Romanowski“DIFF Digger”

Um, about me, hrm. I’m a slightly odd girl, born and raised in Detroit, who has a DIFFerent personal philosophy — I strongly believe in the power of positive thinking. Everything I’ve wanted in life, I’ve gotten. All you have to do is believe. ItâÃôs worked for me and for $4.99 I will tell you how it can also work for you. (Just drop me an email with your name and contact info.)

Still want to know more? Well I’m sarcastic, have a twisted sense of humor and believe that lying is the death of a soul. If you’d like to be on my bad side, just lie. That’s right folks, honesty is always the best policy.

As for what I do at Quicken Loans, I have two words for you online ads. I live in the online ad world and conduct top secret experiments in order to eventually take over the entire world one online ad at a time. Soon, you too will be subject to the incredibly powerful draw of our online ad campaigns. And you will have an uncontrollable urge to refinance your mortgage today!

For a better look at what I do day-to-day check out my Twitter: http://twitter.com/JenWebMkt.

Read Jen’s posts >>

Tricia Cervenan


Tricia Cervenan“DIFF Task Master”

As our resident coffee snob, on any given morning you’ll find Tricia with her French press of fair-trade Starbucks. But don’t try to get her to use any of that crazy cream and sugar either; she takes her coffee plain and black all the way.

She’s an addict of the internet news and can usually be heard piping in conversations with “I was reading an article about that and…” And because every article is not necessarily news worthy, her head is filled with a plethora of useless knowledge. Did you know that there are 25 calories in a Hershey’s Kiss, 96% of all people put the peanut butter on first when making a PB&J and that a dime has 118 ridges around the edges?

Tricia won’t go anywhere without her iPhone and is a firm believer that there really is “an app for just about anything”. When she’s not contributing to the Quicken Loans family of websites, Tricia can be found watching her beloved Detroit Red Wings, reading the latest book by David Sedaris or trekking through Europe with a map and a foreign language dictionary.

Read Tricia’s posts >>

Guest Blogger


Guess Blogger“DIFF Guest of Honor”

Guest M. Blogger hails from Livonia, Michigan. He drives a Porsche and enjoys movies, romantic dinners and long walks on the beach.

Ok, not really. Guest bloggers are really just people other than those on the main WHAT’S THE DIFF team.

Right now, they include people who work for Quicken Loans like Mark “The Former Intern” Messing, Matt “Let’s Have a Bakeoff” Cardwell, or Kathy “Who’s Got Chocolate?” Fawcett.

But we’d also like to hear from you. Yes, YOU! If you’d like to submit your story to THE DIFF, just e-mail us your story!

Read Guest Blogger posts >>


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Today's Date:
Friday, October 24, 2014