Total Expert 2020 Awards Roundup: The Customer Wins Big

Here’s a closer look at the awards and what they signal for the space.

Company Growth

Locally, regionally, and nationally, Total Expert earned recognition for its growth in 2020.

In addition to earning a No. 10 spot on the Twin Cities Tech 20 list, No. 17 on the 250 Most Successful Companies in the Midwest roundup (part of the Inc. 5,000) and a No. 3 spot on the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal’s 2020 Fast 50 list, the company also clocked in at No. 82 on the Deloitte Tech Fast 500 list.

What’s more, Total Expert was named Startup of the Year in Minne Inno’s 50 on Fire list.

“Recognition for growth is always welcome,” said Total Expert Founder and CEO Joe Welu. “But what motivates us to keep at it day after day is the impact that growth has on our customers and their customers – the people using financial services products.”

To that end, Total Expert also earned recognition for the ways its products impact people’s lives.

Industry Innovation

Most notable among its innovation awards was recognition in HousingWire’s Tech 100 mortgage category. This award recognizes companies that are “revolutionizing the mortgage process” and “changing the home sales process forever.”

The award nods to the game-changing nature of Total Expert’s Experience Platform, which empowers mortgage lenders, banks, and credit unions to operationalize empathy by delivering personalized communications to customers via the channels they prefer, at the right time in their financial journey.

“This win validates our belief that the future of this industry is all about finding ways to deliver better, more human experiences to customers at scale,” said Welu.


In addition to awards for growth and innovation, Total Expert also earned recognition for its people – and not just Welu, though he was recognized as a tech leader by HousingWire’s Vanguard Award and named a finalist for EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Midwest category.

Chief Customer Officer Sue Woodard was named to National Mortgage Professional’s 2020 Mortgage Lending’s Women of Inspiration list and highlighted in PROGRESS in Lending’s Women in Fintech list. Chief People Officer Anna Klombies also got a nod in PROGRESS in Lending, and Josh Lehr, Director of Strategy, Customer Direct, earned a spot on National Mortgage Professional’s 40 under 40 list.

“We have incredible leaders at Total Expert, and these awards illustrate that,” said Welu. “We couldn’t maintain our laser focus on improving the customer experience in financial services without innovative leadership at every level.”


Welu also noted that continuing to attract the best and the brightest will be essential to a similarly strong performance in 2021 and beyond.

“Fostering a positive work culture is a matter of survival for any company in the fintech space. Innovation is crucial to relevance,” he said. “We have to be able to attract the best in the business to continue innovating as we’ve done in the past.”

To that end, Total Expert actively cultivates a culture that high-caliber employees are eager to join. Those efforts earned the company a spot on Forbes’ America’s Best Startup Employers list. 

Collectively, these awards show that the financial services space is ready for a more human way of engaging the people it serves. Total Expert is delighted to be at the forefront of powering that transformation.

Complete List of Total Expert’s 2020 Awards

Here is a full list of awards Total Expert won in 2020: