Leadership

Scott_Akerley1-150x150 Scott Akerley CEO
Scott Akerley is Co-founder and CEO of American Trust Escrow. His vision and unique management skills has grown American Trust Escrow from a staff of 3 to nearly 75. Scott Akerley credits the high-energy level of his exceptional staff for the company’s success.Throughout his career, Scott has been active in his community, working on behalf of Christmas Can Tree, Special Olympics, New Horizons and United Way. He also is the President of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, and proudly serves on the board of the Glendale College Foundation. Between commitments, Scott devotes his time to his wife Cari and their three children Amanda, Ryan, and Tyler.
Jeff_Russell1-150x150 Jeff Russell President
“People person.” This simple expression describes President, Jeff Russell, to a tee. His greatest joy, besides getting to know his employees and their families, is helping each to realize his or her full potential. Jeff’s management style was shaped by an early career in international sales that exposed him to best business practices, fiduciary responsibility and managing people from a wide array of countries and cultures. A third generation Los Angeles native, Jeff makes his home in the Los Angeles area with his wife and daughter.
Susan_Opalk1-150x150 Sue Opalk Senior Vice President
Susan Opalk is the founder and co-owner of American Trust Escrow Los Feliz. She has earned the title Certified Senior Escrow Officer and Certified Escrow Instructor from the California Escrow Association. Having been in the California Escrow Industry for over 30 years, Susan has recently expanded our operations into Nevada and Arizona. She has created and manages a successful Escrow Processing Center with a 99% accuracy rating for REOs, Short Sales, Refinances, and Sales. Susan’s current passion is “paperless escrow” and she is responsible for converting our escrow software to accommodate the paperless process which has been used successfully in Los Feliz since 2008.
Jackii Backstrom Joe Curtis Chief Operating Officer
As Chief Operating Officer for the Pango Group, Joe Curtis is the point man for facilitating the organization’s strategic initiatives and ensuring its vision is realized. Formerly the President of southern California’s third largest escrow firm, Joe joined the forward-thinking Pango Group to do something groundbreaking in the escrow industry—create a formalized sales management system. In less than a year, Joe not only implemented the new sales infrastructure, he also opened and staffed two new sales offices. Today, Joe is an integral member of the executive management team, committed to taking the company’s family of escrow companies into a future that not only paves the wave in escrow, but also fosters a culture enabling employees to live in a meaningful and purposeful way.
Jackii Backstrom Jackii Backstrom Operations Manager
Jackii Backstrom joined American Trust Escrow in 2001 as manager of our corporate office on Sunset Blvd. Two years later, she assumed the role of auditor/consultant manager for the complete network of American Trust Escrow offices. Jackii gained most of her escrow expertise as an escrow officer and manager with Bank of America both in Southern and Northern California offices. After more than 20 years with Bank of America, Jackii left her Vice President position to co-found Glen Oaks Escrow in Glendale, California for several more years. The sale of Glen Oaks Escrow brought Jackii a short retirement, however, the escrow business pulled her back and American Trust Escrow is most grateful to have her experience and expertise to rely on.
Milly Miller Milly Miller Vice President of Escrow Operations
Escrow Operations is managed by one of the industry’s most experienced escrow professionals, Milly Miller. A 35-year real estate veteran, Milly’s illustrious career began on the sales side as a Realtor, took a turn as a loan officer with one of the nation’s largest lending institutions, and then landed in escrow where she found her true calling. Of her 25-years as an escrow officer, she is proud to have spent nearly half of it with Glen Oaks Escrow and American Trust Escrow, both companies of the Pango Group. As Vice President of Escrow Operations, Milly is actively involved in strategic initiatives, screening and hiring of escrow officers, training, compliance and just about anything related to escrow.
Katie Milette Katie Milette Director of Escrow Operations
Katie Milette, Director of Escrow Operations, has been working in escrow and real estate for many years. She brings 20 years of escrow operations experience to American Trust Escrow and has managed many business functions including sales, marketing, and operations. She managed offices throughout Southern California and is great at developing people and teams. Katie’s responsibilities include recruiting, coaching and managing offices stretching from Los Angeles to San Diego. An advocate of continuing education, she has honed her coaching abilities via programs at the Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and the Center for Right Relationships (CRR).
Bryan Le Bryan Le Vice President of Information Technology
Vice President of Information Technology, Bryan Le, has a knack for helping companies grow, regardless of their business sector. Straight out of college he joined an action sports company, helping to build it from 55 employees to 500 over a seven-year period. His desire to transform a company’s IT infrastructure to accommodate growth potential drew him to Pango Group. His responsibilities include: day-to-day operations, infrastructure, applications, compliance and security.
Russell Jensen Russell Jensen Vice President of Finance
Vice President of Finance, Russell Jensen, brings a worldview to the Pango Group. He spent his formative years overseas including attendance at American University in Dubai where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Management. Russell will be helping to support a sustainable business practice for the organization, identifying and facilitating accounting efficiencies, and managing the needs of various accounting departments falling beneath the Pango Group corporate umbrella.

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