About Alpen

Born Out of Collaboration,
Serving Northern Nevada

Who We Are

Alpen Mortgage serves builders, developers and borrowers

Our Story began out of necessity. Max Haynes acquired his first property in the 1990’s through a creative financing structure amidst a very weak economy. He realized the tremendous need for a reliable alternative to traditional bank lending. As he scrambled for answers, he discovered what is today known as Private Money. As Max continued to acquire real estate with private loans; a light-bulb went off: If Private Money helped rapidly grow my real estate investments…how many others could it help?

With that idea, Max partnered with Marilyn Spencer. In the ensuing years, they built a team enabling Alpen Mortgage to grow into the largest Private Money Lender in Northern Nevada – funding over $200,000,000 in loans in the last year.

Alpen Mortgage serves residential builders, commercial developers as well as individual borrowers with loans ranging from $500,000 to $20,000,000. Alpen Mortgage is excited to be a part of our community as it experiences record growth. We are rapidly expanding our offerings of creative financial solutions.

Meet The Team

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Meet The Team

With over 30 Years of experience, we are glad to serve northern Nevada.
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Max Haynes

Director of Private Lending / Principal

Max has spent more than two decades disrupting traditional finance models to accelerate opportunities in the lending, real estate, banking, and private finance sectors. He consults several large family offices on real estate lending strategy. Max has invested years in the private mortgage arena, while also consulting for numerous national and regional players in the U.S. banking industry, including Citibank MasterCard & Visa.

Max serves with the Reno Nevada Mayor on her Housing and Development Task Force and has served on a number of regional and national advisory boards including The U.S. Small Business Administration and The U.S. Department of Commerce.

Max was an early member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and has been a speaker at numerous national conferences including the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). He is the past Chairman of the Board of the largest public charter Montessori School in Nevada.

Max enjoys hiking, skiing, traveling, boating on Lake Tahoe, and spending time with his 2 children.

Jeffrey Peterson

Senior Loan Officer

Jeff brings a broad range of experience in both B2B and B2C environments to the Alpen Mortgage team. He is well-versed in both production and operational processes that deliver extraordinary results. Jeff’s 13 years of industry experience include being among the nation’s top loan originators in 2005/2006. He served on a team of Hedge Fund Directors that brought innovative financial engineering to the banking crisis of the mid 2000’s. His Executive-level leadership experience has sharpened his unique ability to execute growth-strategies that address both sales revenue generation and operational process efficiency.

Jeff is a life-long musician who enjoys golf and snowboarding. He and his wife of 24 years have raised 4 children. Jeff holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nevada.

Marilyn Spencer

Director of Compliance / Principal

Marilyn has devoted almost 30 years to her career in lending and real estate. She was the founding principal of Alpen Mortgage in 2002 and currently serves as Director of Compliance for Alpen in both Nevada and California.

Marilyn began her mortgage career in 1994 as the preferred lender for many builders in Southern California. During her time in conventional lending, she was a member of the president’s club at both Home Savings of America and Ryland Homes where she was a top producer. Marilyn is also a successful real estate investor and has survived all 3 major downturns in the last 30 years, both as an investor and a lender.

Marilyn considers lending an art and not an exact science. She likes finding options that open doors, “Make the box fit the people, instead of the people fitting the box.”
Before her career in finance Marilyn was a professional ski instructor and taught ESL for 5 years at an intercity school. 

In her free time, Marilyn enjoys spending time at Lake Tahoe, skiing, riding dirt bikes and driving race cars. Previously, she managed an amateur race program that supports youths interested in a career in motocross.

Tonya Russell

Senior Loan Coordinator

Tonya began her lending career in 1990 as a receptionist and quickly became one of the most respected processors in our area. She has processed, originated and at times, closed more loans than the loan officers she processed for, all while managing the operations of the office. She has worked for local mortgage brokers as well as bankers. Her experience in all phases of lending and her ability to work with borrowers, investors, construction managers and closing agents makes her a valued member of the Alpen Mortgage team.

Tonya is a Nevada native who enjoys anything outdoors; four wheeling, camping, boating at Pyramid Lake and spending time with her family.

Jeremiah Estes

Loan Analyst

Jeremiah is the newest addition to the Alpen Mortgage team. He joined in August 2021 and has helped Alpen in all facets of their business. Jeremiah assists in analyzing loans, setting up the loan profile, processing the loan, and keeping close track of the post loan accounting. Jeremiah also works to market Alpen and our programs to the Northern Nevada community and beyond, through the Alpen website, newsletters, and community outreach.

Before joining Alpen, Jeremiah worked in finance for a local charter school and helped get their new school funded, built, and operational. Jeremiah holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Nevada.

Jeremiah is a lifelong Reno, NV resident and enjoys the local outdoor activities of skiing, boating, and gardening.