About Our Team



Raymond Desmond
President | Founder

About Raymond Desmond

Ray opened the doors of NOVA Financial & Investment Corporation, dba NOVA Home Loans in 1980. He had a vision in the late 70's about providing the consumer with options. After many years of hard work and dedication his vision became reality. Ray is known in the industry as the pioneer of mortgage brokering, although NOVA is now a full service mortgage bank. Ray is currently President and Founder of NOVA. Ray is extremely proud of the NOVA family he has created. In Ray's own words "It's the NOVA people and their dedication that make NOVA what it is today". NOVA has consistently ranked as the #1 lender in Southern Arizona and is the largest privately held mortgage bank in Arizona. NOVA is currently licensed to do business in 18 states and has 19 offices nationwide. Ray is originally from Detroit, Michigan. He is a U of A alumnus, a retired Pac-10 baseball umpire, retired ice-hockey player and a sports enthusiast. Ray's personal loan team at NOVA is the Presidential Team. The Presidential Team is comprised of a select few of the top mortgage professionals in the industry. They deliver VIP treatment to Ray's circle of friends, family, clients and all of their referrals.

Robyn Thwaits
Executive to President | Senior Loan Officer

About Robyn Thwaits

Robyn began her career as a Loan Officer with NOVA Home Loans in 1998. She is currently Executive to President and Senior Loan Officer on the Presidential Team. Robyn is skilled at structuring all types of loans including commercial, international, private, construction, conventional, investment, FHA and VA. Robyn consistently maintained a ranking in the top 50 originators nationwide during her active loan officer years, with gross annual volume between 60 and 75 million and 200 to 250 loans. She currently focuses on executive responsibility, commercial lending and mentoring the residential lending team. Robyn is a U of A alumna, speaks Spanish fluently and is a health consultant and green advocate. She is actively involved in educating the community on improving quality of life through lifestyle changes. She is passionate about health and is dedicated to helping others learn how to feel and look their best. Robyn believes in providing her partners and clients with the utmost in personal attention. She forms lasting relationships built on trust, education and performance. She consistently under-promises and over-delivers. Her efficiency, attention to detail and experience during some of the most dynamic times in the industry gives her great insight and a cutting edge above the rest.

Ricky Abud
Lead Loan Officer | Presidential Team

About Ricky Abud

Ricky is the Lead Loan Officer of the Presidential Team at NOVA Home Loans, working in conjunction with NOVA’s President and Founder, Ray Desmond. He is a savvy mortgage consultant with programs to fit almost every client’s needs. Whether his clients are purchasing, building, refinancing or renovating a home, he guides them in the right direction based on their unique situation. Ricky is committed to being a partner and consultant to his clients and referring partners before, during and after the loan process and is dedicated to providing stellar service and advice. He is also committed to promoting stronger families, closer communities and healthier economies through homeownership, community events and charities.

Ricky is certified by the Arizona Department of Real Estate to teach continuing education to real estate agents and teaches his upbeat classes on a regular basis. He is committed to keeping his Realtor partners up-to-date on market conditions, interest rates, loan programs and industry changes.

Ricky is a Southern Arizona native and a U of A Eller College of Business alumnus. He was Captain of the U of A Cheerleading Team and continues to actively promote and support U of A Athletics. He is an El Rio board member and an active supporter of Habitat for Humanity, Tucson Young Professionals and other community outreach initiatives. He is bilingual and equally fluent in Spanish and English. He enjoys all types of physical activity and is a certified yoga instructor. He is dedicated to a healthy body, mind and spirit to be the best that he can be.

Ricky also enjoys sharing his knowledge of the mortgage industry and educating those that can benefit from his knowledge and experience. Your business and the referral of your family, friends and colleagues is the best compliment you can give Ricky.


Jena Zambrello
Loan Officer Associate

About Jena Zambrello