About Us

Our Team

Personal and business money matters often feel complex, confusing, and worrisome. Our goal is to provide instant peace of mind, regardless of your situation. More than that, we aim to leverage personal banking, personal mortgage, private investment, and commercial real estate opportunities to build or rebuild your finances into a prosperous future.

Laura Sawatzky

Mortgage Professional

First Avenue Financial is owned by Laura Sawatzky, in addition to mortgage expertise, Laura also has over 20 years’ experience as a paralegal and is therefore fluent in all aspects of mortgage and real estate transactions.

 

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This extra insight helps Laura navigate transactions, find opportunities, and resolve challenges with greater efficiency and creativity than your average mortgage broker.

Laura personally has investments in residential and commercial real estate both in Canada and the US and is currently director of six privately held companies. She also enjoys helping her clients invest in their future by leveraging banking and real estate options beyond their personal mortgage.

She is a known leader in the financial industry, speaker, and wealth creator for her clients as well as a multi-awarded mortgage broker, claiming a rank as Top 5% in Canada “Summit Club” – the last 5 years running.

Colby Sawatzky

Mortgage Broker

Colby has over 6 years of experience as a mortgage broker. After spending several years in the oil and gas industry Colby made the choice to break out of the industry and became a mortgage broker and he hasn’t looked back ever since.

 

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From his degree in Business and entrepreneurship, Colby has made a foothold in the industry. His goal with every client is to treat them and their situation as if it was his own personal home purchase. His experience and expertise have allowed him to help many clients find creative solutions to becoming a homeowner.

Joshua Doiron

Mortgage Broker

Joshua is new to the mortgage division and working closely with experienced members of the First Avenue team to further his education and cultivate excellent working habits. Joshua has 5 years of experience in the Oil and Gas industry working as a Wellsite Geology Contractor.

 

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He graduated from Mount Royal University with a B.Sc. Geology and began his entrepreneurial journey at this time with his own landscaping business in the summers. His goal is to ensure all of a client’s needs are attentively met while providing creative solutions for every situation.

Jim Campbell

Realtor & Mortgage Broker

Born and raised in Calgary, Jim has over 20 years as both a Licensed Realtor® and a Licensed Mortgage Broker. These years have allowed Jim to hone his skills while working at the top-producing real estate teams, three major banks and two of Canada’s top mortgage brokers.

 

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His dual licenses have allowed Jim to see both sides of the transaction which has given him the ability to create processes that give clients the best buying and selling experience. His strong processes that are set up at the beginning of the client experience leads to a high degree of satisfaction.

Caden Sawatzky

Insurance, Investment Advisor

Caden is First Avenue Financial’s insurance and investment professional, joining the team in 2018. He comes from an extensive background in business and entrepreneurship. You have worked hard for your wealth and it is his goal to help you protect that, educate you on solutions to grow your wealth, and implement strategies to bring you an avenue to financial freedom.

 

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Connie Hewitt

Mortgage Broker

Connie comes to us with a diverse portfolio of education and experience, including entrepreneurial ventures, operating family owned businesses, and raising her 3 children, her diverse background & education has taught her how to create comfort for her clients and seek out the best opportunities.

 

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 In her drive to create significance in her career and for her clients, she focuses her energy on serving & educating her clients. She is known for her patience, innovative solutions, and creative thinking in overcoming challenging scenarios.

Connie’s reputation is grounded in trust, effort, detailed attention, and always going the extra mile.

If anyone understands the dynamics of a busy family seeking the right financial solution for their ideal home, it’s Connie, and because your time is important and the experience of buying a home should be full of excitement and joy, she offers her clients a flexible schedule and service with a personal touch of simplicity and thoughtfulness.

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Faruk Piner

Mortgage Broker

Faruk is new to the mortgage lending world. Before starting his new career, Faruk has 5 years of experience in the automotive industry with various roles. He completed his master’s degree in political science at the University of British Columbia.

 

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He also speaks Turkish and English fluently. With his exceptional customer service mentality, he always puts client’s needs first and Faruk is ready to provide solutions for his clients’ needs with the experience and supervision provided by First Avenue Financial team members.

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Audrey MacDougall

Realtor & Mortgage Broker

Throughout her career, Audrey’s passion has always been to guide her clients as they make important life decisions. She had a very successful career in the staffing services industry working with clients as they made challenging career decisions.

 

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With experience in all levels of employment and many different industries, Audrey advanced to Western Canada Area Manager of a large international recruiting company when she decided it was time to make a lifestyle change.

She has been a Realtor since 2001 and became a Mortgage Broker in 2019 in order to enhance the expertise she provides to her clients. Being licensed as a Realtor and Mortgage Broker uniquely qualifies her to guide her clients in the significant life and financial decision of purchasing a home and selecting a mortgage, both which are so integral to financial success. Audrey believes in educating her clients so that they are able to make informed decisions that will support their future goals and dreams!

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Mercedes (Miren) Savard

Realtor & Mortgage Broker

Mercedes, or Miren to her close friends has 15 years of experience in the real estate market as a real estate investor.  Miren is both a Licensed Realtor® & Licensed Mortgage Broker.  

 

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She also has a Masters Degree in Real Estate Development from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  She specializes in suited single-family homes and multiple property portfolios.

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Danny Nielsen

Mortgage Broker
Danny joined the First Avenue Financial team as a licensed mortgage broker in 2021. He comes into the industry with a strong technical skillset and client-orientated personality.
 

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After obtaining an engineering degree from the U of A, he worked in the field before coming back home to Calgary to undertake various technical sales roles that spanned oil and gas and fabrication industries. Over the years, Danny has learned how to develop relationships and merge his technical knowledge and attention to detail with the needs/desires of his clients. He strives to be the go-to broker for both industry knowledge and successfully helping his clients achieve their mortgage goals – whether that be securing financing to purchase a home, tapping into existing home equity or consolidating debt, he’s here to help!

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First Avenue Financial – Okotoks
205 – 15 McRae Street, PO Box 1483
Okotoks, Alberta T1S 1B4

Office: 403-938-6888
Toll Free Fax: 1-877-758-1206

First Avenue Financial – Calgary
208 – 40 Sunpark Plaza SE
Calgary, Alberta T2X 3X7

Office: 403-938-6888
Toll Free Fax: 1-877-758-1206