OUR TEAM

The Team at Forte Financial prides itself on extraordinary service and always delivering on promises made. Each team member is dedicated to providing the highest levels of service to every Forte Financial customer. With a team of nine and rapidly growing Forte Financial continues to meet the needs of all current and future customers.

Forte Financial James Forte
President / CEO

James M. Forte is the President and CEO of Forte Financial. James founded his namesake firm in 2019 in Ridgefield, CT, following over two decades of success in the industry.  As a mortgage professional, James has earned a highly respected reputation in the real estate circles of Fairfield County, CT. James has overseen many thousands of mortgage closings, helping countless individuals and families realize the dream of homeownership and save money through refinancing. With a passion for numbers, James delivers results through exceptional service to the individuals and families he proudly represents.

James understands the importance of hard work, focus, and discipline. His work ethic surpasses most in the industry as he religiously begins his workday long before the sun rises and well after it sets. His passion for success began at a very young age, as he often juggled multiple jobs successfully and held several management positions even before his early 20’s. 

As an experienced Loan Officer, James prides himself on extraordinary service and always delivering on promises made. In his role, James excels at leading, teaching, and mentoring other mortgage professionals to elevate their careers. Founding Forte Financial allowed James to achieve his dream of curating a team of highly motivated professionals, each dedicated to delivering the highest levels of service to every Forte Financial customer. Currently, with a team of near ten under his wing, his customers continuously praise the swift, efficient, and thorough job done.

Through his 23 years of service, James has expanded his expertise from Conventional, FHA, VA, Reverse, and all of the Non-traditional Mortgage products available. Countless first-time home buyers are referred to James as he has the ability to walk them through the process with confidence and ease.

Originally from Harrison, NY, James’s family relocated to Brookfield, CT where he attended high school and met his wife, Ashley. James and his family currently live in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and is the proud father of four, including boy/girl twins. Their most recent addition, Bentley is a 90 pound Labrador Retriever full of energy and love. James feels that the greatest gift he can provide for his family is a loving home in Ridgefield, a town rich in history, incredible families, outstanding academics, athletics, and a downtown made for the Hallmark channel. In his free time, he enjoys spending as much time as possible with his family, working out, rebuilding old muscle cars, and cooking incredible meals to bring his family and closest friends together.

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Ashley Forte
VICE PRESIDENT | Director of business development

For nearly 20 years, Ashley has been actively involved in the Ridgefield community. With a passion for connecting people and fostering relationships, she has made a significant impact with countless families and businesses in town. Before entering motherhood and founding Forte Financial she worked as a 5th Grade educator at Farmingville Elementary School for nearly 14 years while also coaching basketball, soccer and volleyball at Ridgefield High School. These years serving the community were the foundation for her extensive network in town, hence laying the groundwork for the business development of their family company.

Ashley understands the importance of hard work, kindness and giving. While simultaneously expanding Forte Financial’s reach she is also a founding partner of the Ridgefield Moms social platform. Their chapter of The Local Moms Network is one of 100 locations across the country providing a hyper-local, integrated online platform with curated information and resources. 

Originally from Sherman, Connecticut, Ashley attended high school in Brookfield, where she and husband, James met on the first day of high school with neighboring lockers. She later earned her Bachelor of Arts from Virginia Tech where she was also a member of their women’s soccer team.  Ashley also earned a Master of Education at The University of Bridgeport. Ashley and her husband, James, live in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and are the proud parents of twins James and Hayden, their youngest Savannah and newest member, Bentley a Labrador Retriever. She is heavily involved in coaching her children’s various sporting activities and serves as a member of the Board of Directors for SCOR. In her free time, she enjoys spending as much time as possible with her family, decorating her home for every season, gardening, and connecting with wonderful families all over town.

Forte Financial_Anthony
Sales Manager | Senior Loan Officer

Anthony has nearly 20 years as a Mortgage Loan Officer. His extensive knowledge and experience give him the expertise to identify the best possible solution. One of Anthony’s strongest skills is analyzing the wants and needs of his customers. He creates each loan as one piece of an overall financial planning strategy to maximize the greatest package offered. 

Anthony believes that customer service is the most critical component in the mortgage process. He works diligently for his customers to provide them with the most positive overall experience. He understands that buying a home is one of the most significant purchases many people make in their lifetime and is there to guide them through each step. His clients benefit from his depth of experience and his commitment to providing a seamless, worry-free transaction. While other loan officers may offer comparable rates and programs, what differentiates Anthony is that he always goes the extra mile for his clients and surely brings a smile to their faces. 

Anthony lives in Brookfield, CT with his wife, Melissa, and three energetic young boys. He is an avid chef in his home kitchen and can often be found with family enjoying the beach.

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Senior Loan Officer

With more than 10 years of experience in mortgage banking, Steve is familiar with all aspects of consumer lending.  He has held multiple roles within the industry which makes him a well-rounded resource to his clients.   He takes time to get to know his clients and understand their mortgage needs and financial goals so he can find the best solution for each situation.

Steve prides himself in providing the highest level of customer service.  His recipe for success has been simple—always do what is right by the client. That is how he has excelled in this industry and why he is a true professional at what he does. Every client deserves fairness, honesty, courtesy, respect, and friendly customer service.

Through years of experience working with all types of mortgage lending institutions, Steve has become an expert in nearly every mortgage product available. However, his experience with other banks also revealed that the typical mortgage bank operates with limited product offerings and inflexible approval process. He saw a huge gap in the market with qualifiable borrowers being turned down. He realized that as a broker he had the ability to help so many potential homeowners who were unable to qualify with traditional banks. 

Steve lives in Mountain Lakes, NJ with his wife Alison and their 3 boys.  They enjoy the outdoor activities as a family whether it be hiking, biking, water sports, or taking their dog for a walk.  Steve and Alison consider themselves blessed to have happy and healthy children and to live in such a great community to raise them.

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Loan Officer
George is another longtime Forte family friend and has joined the team with a passion for helping people achieve their dreams. He brings more than 30 years of finance and executive leadership experience in both public and private corporations and he is eager to put his skills and expertise to help our clients achieve their goals of homeownership.
 

His experience in key executive positions spans a variety of industries with proven success in building, strengthening, and leading the corporate finance function for companies in various start-up, stable, and growth situations. For example, George has held several key executive positions in the industries of healthcare, retail and franchise finance, and contract food and beverage.

George is truly a man of many talents and uses his financial acumen to benefit our clients at Forte Financial. He joins the team as a Mortgage Loan Officer offering a lifelong experience of helping others grow and succeed and is uniquely positioned to help homeowners understand the best loan programs for their individual needs.

George a longtime Danbury resident and is married to his wife, Susan, and has three grown boys.

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Loan Officer

A longtime friend of the Forte family, Matt made it official by becoming a Forte Financial Loan Officer, joining the team in 2020.

Matt has a unique background, bringing an exciting mix of experience in real estate investment, finance, and aviation. Having been involved in many real estate transactions of his own, becoming a loan officer was a natural and easy transition.

Now, when Matt isn’t flying the friendly skies as a professional pilot, he is applying his real estate knowledge and finance background to get you the best possible terms on your purchase or refinance.

Matt lives in Ridgefield with his wife Sarah and two young daughters.

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Loan Officer

Peter is your trusted advocate for any mortgage financing need. Pairing an unmatched attention to detail with an unrelenting desire to provide his customers with the best possible rates, service, and care, Peter is regarded as an attentive, dedicated, and reliable resource to his clients and realtor partners.

Peter’s friendly and loyal nature will give you confidence throughout your entire financing process. Whether a first-time homebuyer or experienced investor, you can rest assured that Peter is always looking out for your best interests, making the process as seamless as possible.

Before joining Forte Financial, Peter spent a decade as a successful commercial real estate broker in New York City. This experience combined with a business degree from Baruch College – Zicklin School of Business, give Peter an edge when navigating any mortgage transaction.

Peter lives in Ridgefield, CT with his wife Julia, their two zestful children, and a Labrador pup. When not sending out pre-qualification letters, Peter loves spending time with his family, cooking, traveling, reading, and catching up on soccer games and favorite Netflix shows. Peter speaks fluent Swedish and conversational German. He is licensed in Connecticut and New York.

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Loan Officer

Richard is very excited to bring his 10 years of executive management and problem-solving approach to the team at Forte Financial. Richard is driven by accountability and a genuine approach to providing a product that best suits the individual needs of each borrower and compliments their current financial goals. This approach and maintaining consistent communication shows borrowers that they can rely on Richard’s support right through the closing.

Born and raised in Westchester, Richard relocated to Ridgefield, CT in 2014 and lives here with his wife KC, their three young children and two dogs.

Richard has volunteered for the Bedford Police, American Red Cross and most recently volunteers at the local school his kids attend. Contributing to the community has always been a passion of his. He thrives on unparalleled customer service and client success; we encourage you to put him to the test!

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Loan Officer

Steve joined the team in 2022 as a Mortgage Loan Originator bringing a hard-working and results driven demeanor that embodies the true spirit of Forte Financial.

After having spent almost a decade in the fast-paced world of corporate aviation as a pilot and instructor, Steve now brings his professionalism and skill from the flight deck to the mortgage industry. Steve’s goal is to provide the absolute best possible service from start to finish, while fostering a long-term relationship you can feel for years to come.

In addition to his Mortgage Loan Originator licenses, he holds a Bachelor’s of Science from Arizona State University as well numerous corporate jet type ratings. When Steve is not working on providing you the very best financing, or flying his jet around the world, you can find him skiing in Vermont and Colorado. Steve currently resides in Stamford, Connecticut after spending many years in New Jersey.

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Loan Officer

A longtime friend of the Forte family, Will has a number of years in the financial, nonprofit and real estate sectors.

After graduating from Virginia Tech, Will served several years in the financial services industry, as a financial planner, insurance agent, and financial educator.  He worked as a financial planner for high net-worth individuals. Then embarked upon a journey to share his expertise as a coordinator of financial education resource centers in underserved communities.

Will currently serves as an Operations Director for his church and manages his own personal real estate investment portfolio. An avid student of the finance and real estate industries, Will aims to stay ahead of trends in the market. With a knack for details, he will successfully guide you through your home purchase or refinance.

Will is an avid reader of all things faith, finance, and leadership. He currently resides in New Jersey.

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Forte Financial Jennifer Berberian
Processor

Lori has over 20 years of experience in mortgage work. She has spent the past 16 years as a Mortgage Processor and the five before that marketing home loans. Lori’s longevity in the industry gives her an advantage over most as she has seen the most complicated files to completion as well the simplified. With her extensive knowledge she is able to present complete files swiftly and efficiently for each customer. Lori and James have crossed paths in the mortgage world before and were a dynamite duo then and now.

Lori is a true team player and welcomed the offer with open arms to join Forte Financial in 2020. Her work ethic and appreciation for her team are two of the many reasons why she is an invaluable employee here in Ridgefield.

Lori has been married to her wonderful husband, Don for almost 30 years. They have four grown children, plus one baby granddaughter they welcomed in 2020, the brightest gift of that year. She is an avid animal lover and spends much of her time spoiling her Labrador pup and 2 cats.

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