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Vol. 9/Issue 1

$20 USD


Quality of Life Volume 9, Issue 1

As we tackle new challenges everyday due to an ongoing global health pandemic and several state-ordered social distancing and stay-at-home orders, Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB) presents a special edition of NAWRB Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 1, “Quality of Life.” For the first time in NAWRB history, our sheCENTER(FOLD), titled “Essential Women Preserving the Quality of Life,” features not just one woman but a collage of dynamic “Essential Women” who are impacting the wellbeing of society through these difficult times. After asking our community for submissions, we are incredibly humbled to give centerstage to a few of these women leaders, representing a variety of positions and backgrounds, who are helping to ensure the quality of life of countless Americans as we tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) as a united front. These women are having a positive impact on the world, even if their actions are unseen and unheard. NAWRB gives voice to their selfless actions and sheds light on their efforts to show these women that they are being noticed and appreciated. COVID-19 has changed the way we live, work, interact with people and do business. This issue looks at how the pandemic has affected different industries that each impact the Quality of Life and anything that touches land, or the housing and real estate ecosystem. In doing so, we cover a plethora of topics, from tips on how to be an effective leader through turbulent times and financial resources available to small businesses, to the impact technology has on the healthcare’s industry fight against COVID-19 and the efforts being made to ethically conserve our oceans and marine ecosystems. This issue is just the beginning, and only scratches the dust of the surface of how this global health pandemic has changed our lives and ways we will have to acclimate to this new way of life. NAWRB will continue to help inform and educate our community on how we can not only survive but thrive through these challenges, together. Stay Home, Stay Safe and Keep Smiling!

Desirée Patno, CEO & President NAWRB


COVID-19

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

for Small Businesses, Independent Contractors and the Self-Employed

Over 30 million U.S. small businesses who make up the backbone

of our economy, and they have all been affected by the recent global pandemic as many businesses have had to close shop, shorten hours and lay off workers. If you are a small business that has suffered economic injury due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), it is important to know that there are many financial resources at your disposal, such as disaster loan assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Renters and homeowners, as well as businesses, are eligible to apply for the SBA’s no cost, low-interest rate disaster loans even if they do not own a business. (*Disclaimer: Due to daily changes to the economy and an increasing rate of updates, please note that this information is subject to change since time of writing.*) In response to the recent effects of COVID-19, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced that the agency will be granting automatic disaster

loan deferments through December 31, 2020, to help borrowers who are still paying back SBA loans from previous disasters. “The SBA is looking at every option and taking every action to cut red tape to make it easier for small businesses to stay in business. Automatically deferring existing SBA disaster loans through the end of the year will help borrowers during this unprecedented time,” said Administrator Carranza in the SBA’s official press release. “Today’s announcement adds a list of growing actions the SBA is taking to support small businesses. These actions include making it easier for states and territories to request a declaration so small businesses statewide can now apply for economic injury disaster loans, and changing the terms of new economic injury loans to allow for oneyear deferments.”

SBA Disaster Loans

The SBA offers low-interest disaster loans for businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters who need assistance with uninsured costs. Even those insured for natural disaster damage are encouraged to apply for a SBA Disaster Loan The SBA can lend you the amount of your total loss, even if you are unsure about how much your insurance will cover. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Securities (CARES) Act, which was signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, provides $349 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses. The CARES Act also established several new temporary SBA programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak: SBA Economic Injury Disaster (EIDL) Loans & PPP (Paycheck Protection Program). At time of writing, the SBA has run out of these funds within two weeks of providing financial aid to small businesses, and the federal government is working on funneling more money to the SBA to carry on their funding programs. However, U.S. Congress reached a deal on a roughly $480 coronavirus relief funding package to continue helping small business and hospitals, and expand COVID-19 testing. This new funding package comes after the initial funds set aside for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) were exhausted in just two weeks — due to over 1.66 million loans for more than $342 billion. The Senate has approved the deal, and now it goes to the House. A few reasons why the funds were exhausted in such a short amount of time is that $6 million was used to cover lender fees and 71 publicly-traded companies, especially restaurant chains, received aid from the Paycheck Protection Program, equating to $300 million, before the money ran out for small businesses. The reason for this is that foreign businesses, large restaurant chains and hospitality businesses successfully lobbied for an exemption to a rule restricting the small business loan program to businesses with 500 or fewer employees. For example, Forbes notes that Shake Shack obtained a $10 million loan and was eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program because it does not employ more than 500 people at a single location. However, the restaurant chain said it would be returning their loan as they had $112 million of cash on hand before selling another $150 million of stock at the time.

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"Those who qualify will be able to collect unemployment benefits for 13 more weeks than the usually allotted time & receive an additional $600 a week on top of state unemployment benefits for up to four months."

Access to Capital

EIDL Loans

Small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. As stated on the SBA’s website, “This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available following a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.” Please note that “successful application” does not mean you have to be approved for the loan. Moreover, loan approval is not necessary to receive the loan advance. This program is for any small business with less than 500 employees (which includes sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by COVID-19. In certain industries, businesses may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA’s size standards for respective industries. The U.S. Small Business Administration has updated their application for Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Interested businesses as well as previous applicants are being asked to apply or reapply here. On the application, make sure to check the $10,000 box to access the emergency grant. For businesses who applied prior to Monday, March 30th, you will need to reapply with the SBA (even if you were rejected or pending approval). To apply for a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan, go to https://lnkd.in/gkjJVFE. For more info, visit https://www.sba.gov/page/disaster-loan-applications.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The Paycheck Protection Program provides loan forgiveness for retaining employees by temporarily expanding the traditional SBA 7(a) loan program. Just like the aforementioned EIDL Loan Advances, the SBA will forgive loans received through this program if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. As stipulated by the SBA, small businesses can apply for PPP through “any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program.” Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3, 2020, and the PPP will be available through June 30, 2020. To find a lender or learn more about the PPP, click here! Read the Interim Final Rule, as of April 4th, 2020, announcing PPP here: https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/2020-04/PPP– IFRN%20FINAL_0.pdf. Three Rules for Know the Rules of the Game ® Podcast for SBA Economic Injury Disaster (EIDL) Loans & PPP (Paycheck Protection Program)

Rule: 1 Eligibility:

SBA is listening to the feedback and providing clarity where necessary. An example of this is the recent clarification on the SBA Faith-Based Business Eligibility.

Rule: 2

Forgiveness: The loan can be 100 percent forgiven as long borrowers dedicate 75 percent of the forgiven funds to pay-roll expenses

Rule: 3 EIDL Loan and PPP Compatibility: If you received an EIDL loan for payroll, that loan will be rolled into your PPP loan and would be eligible for forgiveness under the PPP loan program. You can also take out an EIDL loan for non-payroll expenses and a PPP loan for payroll expenses.

Resources for Small Businesses

Small business owners have additional resources at their disposal during the recovery process. If you have a loan from the SBA, you may be eligible for deferred loan payments. For instance, if your loan postdates August 25, 2017 and you are located in a federal disaster area, your principal and interest payments will be deferred for 12 months. If your business is located near a disaster area, you may be eligible for a 9-month payment deferral. Small business owners can apply for federal assistance— in the form of cash grants— through the FEMA, online or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA. Local Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are available to help small businesses complete forms for disaster relief, recover records and relaunch their businesses. Businesses can be proactive in protecting themselves against damages from potential natural disasters by being insured for Business Interruption. Many commercial insurance policies provide coverage via endorsement for business income loss due to a direct loss, damage or destruction to the insured property by a natural disaster.

Resources for Independent Contractors and Self-Employed

The self-employed make up an astounding 57 million people countrywide, and they are also vulnerable to the recent changes to the economy due to the nation’s COVID-19 response and its effect on the economy. If you’re an event photographer, for instance, your business has probably NAWRB MAGAZINE |

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"NAWRB is honored to be a women's entrepreneurship partner for the SBA" Whether you are a renter, homeowner, business, or nonprofit, know that there is always support available to you in times of need. NAWRB is dedicated to help those affected by these recent natural disasters find resources that can help them rebuild their homes, restart their businesses and regain a sense of stability in their lives.

New Relaxed Criteria

been hit by the recent closures of businesses, centers and events for which you might have been hired. There are many examples like this, but the good news is that there are resources to help self-employed individuals recover their losses and sustain their business through this challenging time. Previously, self-employed people and independent contractors have

not been eligible to collect unemployment except if their business is an S-corp. However, since the government has recently passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Securities Act (CARES), a $2 trillion stimulus package, unemployment insurance has been extended to self-employed workers and independent contractors. Those who qualify will be able to collect unemployment benefits for 13 more weeks than the usually allotted time and receive an additional $600 a week on top of state unemployment benefits for up to four months. Note that the rate of state pay might be lower for self-employed, freelance workers and independent contractors in your state. To apply, visit your state’s unemployment website and be ready to provide your Social Security number (and those of your dependents), and driver’s license or state ID. The recent CARES Act will also grant the SBA to give out a total of $349 billion for guaranteed loans through its loan programs. With the developing changes, you might also be eligible for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans for qualifying small businesses, as indicated by an article from Forbes. As mentioned above, these are low-interest loans with terms that might last as long as 30 years for small businesses and nonprofits.

Resources for Renters and Homeowners

Renters and homeowners are eligible to apply for the SBA’s no cost, low-interest rate disaster loans even if they do not own a business. According to the SBA website, renters and homeowners may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace clothing, furniture, cars or appliances. Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence to pre-disaster condition. Moreover, loans may be increased up to 20 percent of the total amount of physical loss to make improvements that lessen the risk of future property damage. Renters and homeowners can apply for both FEMA assistance and SBA disaster loans simultaneously with zero cost, so do not wait until you get a response from FEMA. You do not have to accept an SBA low-interest rate loan even if you are qualified.

The relaxed criteria for small businesses seeking an economic injury declaration has two immediate impacts:

(1) “Faster, Easier Qualification Process for States Seeking SBA Disaster Assistance. Under the just-released, revised criteria, states or territories are only required to certify that at least five small businesses within the state/territory have suffered substantial economic injury, regardless of where those businesses are located.”

(2) “Expanded, Statewide Access to SBA Disaster Assistance Loans

for Small Businesses. SBA disaster assistance loans are typically only available to small businesses within counties identified as disaster areas by a Governor. Under the revised criteria issued today, disaster assistance loans will be available statewide following an economic injury declaration. This will apply to current and future disaster assistance declarations related to Coronavirus.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a small business impacted by the coronavirus and in need of an SBA disaster loan? Learn the steps to apply here! If you are interested in applying for this loan, SBA has answered some FAQ's below: We do offer low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) due to the COVID-19 Pandemic declarations in virtually all states. Information for the loan program for SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance can be found at: www.sba.gov/disaster Interest rates are 3.75% fixed for small businesses, 2.75% fixed for nonprofits, 30 year terms, 1st payment deferred until the 12th month from the note date. No cost to apply, amount needed not required upon application, no obligation to take any money if approved, take only the amount needed to survive the recovery period. If you get approved, and find that you still need more or a longer recovery period than expected, you can request an increase. No prepayment penalty. If you get stuck while trying to apply online, you can call for help at the Customer Service Center at 1 (800) 659-2955, Wait times may be long, but the agency is hiring as fast as possible! Completed Applications with supporting documents requested are processed on a first come, first served basis. For more information on SBA disaster loans, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter for updates, and subscribe to our newsletter by visiting www.nawrb.com! NAWRB MAGAZINE |

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Leading a group in any capacity is a big responsibility; more importantly it is one that was generally sought by the person in the role. During my 42 year career with UPS, I had the opportunity to lead many different size groups through many crises. It started in my first assignment with leading nine employees and ultimately ended as Vice President of U.S Operations leading over 200,000. Being in the logistics industry, these crises included earthquakes, hurricanes and attacks such as Sept. 9/11. However, this COVID-19 pandemic is like nothing we have seen as Americans.

Terms and Conditions

We have all purchased something in our lives where a warranty was offered. When you purchased the warranty, the idea that the item needed some additional protection popped into your mind. The warranty had specifications and they were identified in the “Terms and Conditions” of the contract. Employees come with their own “Terms and Conditions” as well. Think for a moment about your job or profession. What do you expect from your employer? Sound communication, respect and a supportive environment are some natural expectations. Are these things “less” important during a

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crisis? If anything, they become even more important in difficult times. When you purchase an item, the “Terms and Conditions” of the contract become invalid if you misuse or abuse the item. People are the same way. They will not support the leader if the “Terms and Conditions” of their employment have been abused. Leaders must consciously consider how their daily interactions impact the psychological “Terms and Conditions” that their people have with them. If they do not consider this, they will be ineffective leaders at some point.


Leadership I remember walking with managers to talk with their employees during times of crises. Many times, the employees were upset due to the hours they were working, or that the job was different than what they expected. This was due to the fact that the “Terms and Conditions” with these employees were unclear or were being changed without explanation. In these instances, the level of commitment and dedication of these employees was less than desired. This is always a problem when the psychological “Terms and Conditions” of employment are broken.

Clear Digestible Messaging

Think back on the times you have attended a meeting and after it was done, you still had unanswered questions. Or how about a meeting when, after the leader had left, there were comments like these: Are you kidding me? Seriously! What are they thinking? When reactions like those mentioned above are exhibited, the employees just experienced “mental indigestion.” Like a cook who served a meal that gave everyone indigestion, it becomes visible. The same thing happens when a poor message is given. It’s visible on your people’s faces. You can choose to see it or not. Words are the meal you feed your people. When your words come out of your mouth, they decide (not you) how they are digested. It is one thing to gather a group together and read the memo. It is another to inspire them with your words and clearly give direction. Just like a chef must prepare and take care when making a meal, the leader owns the clarity and openness involved in the message. Preparation and care must precede the giving of the message. Too often leaders will serve a bad message and later say, “Well, he or she didn’t listen!” Leaders need to consider that when they delivered their message indigestion was delivered as well. Clarity checks are important and it is necessary to ask a few questions of the audience to ensure understanding. This will validate the message and

determine whether it tasted good, or if it gave your people indigestion. During my time as UPS President of Virginia, we experienced one of the most destructive hurricanes (Isabel) to hit the state. This required our employees to give discretionary effort to do their jobs to ensure people could receive essential items. I found that clear and direct communication, from the leader, calmed my employees and allowed them to focus on the mission. Being able to clearly understand the needs of the team and to serve others, assisted in keeping a positive mental outlook.

Setting Direction for the Team

The single most important reason to set up a structure of leadership in any organization is because it is needed! Without leaders, people would come to work, read memos, and look at messaging boards to get direction. If this method worked effectively, it would be in use everywhere. Organizations just simply would not make this investment. It is too expensive! Leaders are expected to set direction and guide teams towards goals and objectives. The organization's strategy is the game plan. Like players on a professional sports team, your players expect you to coach them daily. The minute they come to work, the whistle is blown, and they are playing the game. As a leader, you are expected to participate in it visibly. You do so by setting direction and calling plays that align with the organization's strategy. So the question you have to ask, is what type of leader are you? Are you the command and control leader who simply passes the orders down? Or are you truly setting direction and coaching your people supportively every day? How does it look, taste and feel? When they don’t execute the right plays, do you blame them or yourself ? How many times have you heard a professional coach blame the players when a professional sports team loses? When they won, how many times did the coach say, “Yes, we won, but it was my excellent coaching that did it!” NAWRB MAGAZINE |

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"As the UPS Vice President of U.S. Operations from 2016-2019, I was privileged to lead large groups of people during many different crises.. " Here are the facts of leadership. As a leader, you will have losses and wins. The leader gets all the credit for the losses and none of the credit for the wins. It's called taking ownership for what you lead! When the position was open, you raised your hand and said, “Pick me! Pick me!” If you weren’t selected, you were disappointed, upset, and even angry. Well, you were selected, so taking ownership for what you asked for means setting direction daily for your team and actively coaching them. During a crisis, it means that on steroids. As the UPS Vice President of U.S. Operations from 20162019, I was privileged to lead large groups of people during many different crises, but none challenged me more than the holiday season of 2018: E-commerce demand more than doubled. Consumers demanded fast, on-time delivery. This required flawless execution to ensure our customer commitments were met. The team did an excellent job and had the best service in our history. The challenge was ensuring that I was setting a strong direction reflective of the UPS CEO and his team, and that the direction was understood down to the front line, encompassing over 200,000 employees at multiple levels.

Leaders must make certain their messaging is clear and digestible: When communicating with your people, make certain your messaging is clear, supported and digestible. If it is not, you will see it clearly in their reactions. If it is not “digestible,” then it will create "indigestion.” When that happens, it is obvious. Leaders must set direction for the team: The team on their own decides if something makes sense to them. If it doesn't make sense to them, then it is the opposite of making sense, which to them is nonsense! People generally won't support nonsense. Do you?

Those in leadership positions, no matter how big or small, should realize you are needed now more than ever. In a crisis, everything moves faster. Information, physical goods and the days run into each other. Slow down and let the People run towards leaders during a crisis and its impera- game come to you. When it does, be the calming force that tive the direction is well thought out and includes the input your teams need. You can’t be human with your emotions of many advisors. I had a staff of experts I consulted with and decisions right now; you need to be superhuman. That to ensure we all agreed on the direction to move forward. means blocking out the noise of distraction and staying foThen I communicated to my teams repeatedly to ensure cused on your people's needs. Do this, and when the crisis understanding. I’ve never felt prouder of my teams and ends, your team's support of you won’t. their leaders as I did during this time. The amount of "Times" your people will support a lack of clarity, poor communication and you leading from a distance? NONE TIMES!

In summary, the following three principles are critical during turbulent times:

Leaders must understand the "Terms and Conditions" of their relationships: The leader who doesn't understand these will be unable to gain the support of their people. If you don't fulfill these expectations, your people won't fulfill their agreements.

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by Noel Massie

Author, Speaker and Retired UPS Vice President of U.S. Operations


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Vol 9 / Issue 1 Quality of Life

TABLE

of

CONTENTS

Diversity & Inclusion

28

30

World Health Day 2020: Honoring Nurses & Midwives on the Front Lives of COVID-19 Suggested Solutions How COVID-19 is Exacerbating the Gender Pay Gap & Suggested Solutions

Access to Capital 4 33 36 Leadership sheCenter(fold) 8 38 Covid-19 Financial Assistance for Small Businesses, Independent Contractors and the Self-Employed

NDILC In the News

NDILC’s Ten Women Leadership Principles

Leading through Turbulent Times by Noel Massie

14 16 18 22

Essential Women Preserving the Quality of Life

Real Estate

How the Coronavirus is Affecting Short-Term Rental Business Owners and Travelers Planet Ocean By Erin O'Toole & Kellie Aamodt Three Ways to Increase Your Longevity in Real Estate By Desirée Patno

Profile

The Invisible Female Veterans: Interview with U.S. Army MAJ By Erica Courtney

48 54

Technology

Different Ways Technology is Helping to Combat COVID-19 & Keep Humanity Connected

Government

What to Know about the US $2.3 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus Package

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) News RoundUp Quarantine and Chill Quarantine Jokes Cozy Fashion

Aging Population

68 70

Aging Population and COVID-19 By Dr. Chitra Dorai Benefits of Popular Yoga Poses

Quality of Life

71 Business Ownership 73 58 75 Former WWII USS Iowa Redeploys to Assist USNS MERCY By Mike Shatynski

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61 65 66 67

Media

Your Child Has Cancer By Christine Farwell

Overcoming Corona By Monda Webb


Put family time first.

Laura Marske REALTOR®

Your success is our focus. Our team of dedicated Agent Relationship Managers provides updates every step of the way, giving you more time to spend with the ones you love.

RealEstate.QuickenLoans.com

Quicken Loans Inc.; NMLS #3030; www.NMLSConsumerAccess.org. Equal Housing Lender. Licensed in 50 states. AL License No. MC 20979, Control No. 100152352. AR, TX: 1050 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226-1906, (888) 474-0404; AZ: 1 N. Central Ave., Ste. 2000, Phoenix, AZ 85004, Mortgage Banker License #BK-0902939; CA: Licensed by Dept. of Business Oversight, under the CA Residential Mortgage Lending Act and Finance Lenders Law; CO: Regulated by the Division of Real Estate; GA: Residential Mortgage Licensee #11704; IL: Residential Mortgage Licensee #4127 – Dept. of Financial and Professional Regulation; KS: Licensed Mortgage Company MC.0025309; MA: Mortgage Lender License #ML 3030; ME: Supervised Lender License; MN: Not an offer for a rate lock agreement; MS: Licensed by the MS Dept. of Banking and Consumer Finance; NH: Licensed by the NH Banking Dept., #6743MB; NV: License #626; NJ: New Jersey – Quicken Loans Inc., 1050 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226, (888) 474-0404, Licensed by the N.J. Department of Banking and Insurance.; NY: Licensed Mortgage Banker – NYS Banking Dept.; OH: MB 850076; OR: License #ML-1387; PA: Licensed by the Dept. of Banking – License #21430; RI: Licensed Lender; WA: Consumer Loan Company License CL-3030. Conditions may apply. Quicken Loans, 1050 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226-1906 NAWRB MAGAZINE | ©2000 – 2020 Quicken Loans Inc. All rights reserved. Lending services provided by Quicken Loans Inc., a subsidiary of Rock Holdings Inc. “Quicken Loans” is a registered service mark of Intuit Inc., used under license.

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How the Coronavirus is Affecting Short-Term Rental Business Owners l Travelers

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is now a global pandemic that has altered many facets of human life in the past few months, especially in the past couple of weeks, as countries are taking measures to contain the outbreak and protect the safety of their citizens. The travel industry has especially been affected as people are being forced to cancel or change their preexisting travel plans, whether international or domestic, as more countries are being labeled as high risk areas for contracting the virus. This has taken a toll on the short-term rental business, such a Airbnb and VRBO, as short-term renters and hosts are working through solutions in response to the coronavirus-related cancellations. Individuals who have created a small business out of offering their properties as shortterm renters for travelers are faced with the financial burden offering a full refund for travelers who wish to cancel their stay due to the coronavirus. Business owners and travelers can purchase insurance policies for unforeseen cancellations, yet very few, if any, have clauses about pandemic coverage as this situation is unprecedented. It is resulting in a substantial revenue loss for businesses who depend on the funds from renting out their properties to pay their mortgage and make other necessary payments, or as a source of passive income. In addition, many short-

term rental businesses are seeing loss in potential revenue as less people are booking stays for peak seasonal travel times, including holidays, both domestically and internationally, when hosts make most of their revenue.

"Many popular airlines such as Delta, United Airlines and JetBlue are waiving change fees to help accommodate travelers as they reassess and change their travel plans." On the other hand, travelers who have already booked their short-term rentals in advance for an impending trip are in the unfortunate predicament of having to cancel their plans in order to limit their chance of contracting the coronavirus or spreading it to others. Social distancing is one of the new best practices. In addition, many countries, states, and counties have limited traveling to essential travel only. Many popular airlines such as Delta, United Airlines and JetBlue are waiving change fees to help accommodate travelers as they reassess and change their travel plans. However, those who have booked flights have most likely booked their accommodations, as well. Using Airbnb or VRBO for booking accommodation is typically a budget-friendly option for travelers on a tight budget, but these companies have their own unique cancellation policies that might differ from hotels or other mainstream options. The following are the up-to-date cancella-

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Real Estate tion policies for Airbnb and VRBO, some of the most popular short-term rental third-party websites. As of March 15, 2020, Airbnb provides the following coverage for COVID-19 under their extenuating circumstances policy: “Reservations made on or before March 14, 2020 for stays and Airbnb Experiences, with a check-in date between March 14, 2020 and April 14, 2020, are covered by the policy and may be cancelled before check-in. Guests who cancel will receive a full refund, and hosts can cancel without charge or impact to their Superhost status. Airbnb will refund all service fees for covered cancellations. The host’s cancellation policy will apply as usual to reservations made after March 14, 2020, and to reservations made on or before March 14, 2020 with check-in dates after April 14, 2020.” Note that reservations for stays or Airbnb Experiences that are made on or before March 14, 2020, with a check-in date after April 14, 2020, will not be covered under their extenuating circumstances policy, except if the guest or host has contracted COVID-19. Therefore, the host’s cancellation policy applies as usual. Because each host has a different cancellation policy, Airbnb recommends that travelers read the fine print before booking their stay and choosing the most flexible option. In the event that Airbnb hosts cancel a covered reservation, the company ensures that they will not be charged, there will be no impact on their Superhost status, if they have it, and they will refund all service fees.

for vacation home rentals are based on the homeowner’s cancellation policy. If a homeowner or property manager refunds a booking due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) concerns, Vrbo will automatically refund the traveler service fee. Travelers who have purchased travel insurance should contact the insurance company for any claims processing.” In a direct letter to homeowners, VRBO recommends that they review their cancellation policy and “consider adopting a flexible or moderate policy for the time being,” and they encourage them to offer a full refund to travelers who cancel or delay their travel plans due to the coronavirus, although neither is required. Thus, short-term renters are at the mercy of homeowners, who are also understandably worried about the costs to their business, regarding the content of their cancellation policy. VRBO is also offering to waive cancellations so that they do not affect the ranking metrics for hosts worried that the cancellation will negatively impact their business. To waive a cancellation, hosts are required to cancel and refund their reservation in full and call customer support at their earliest convenience. Whether you’re a short-term rental guest or a homeowner, it’s important to keep updated on the current cancellation policies of the organization through which you book a rental or rent out your space. In this time of uncertainty, the best thing we can do is be prepared for any possible scenario and make the best decision we can for the safety of ourselves and others.

In response to coverage for COVID-19, VRBO makes the following comment on their website: “Vrbo® advises travelers to follow travel advice from the World Health Organization and local authorities. Refunds of payments made

".. rental businesses are seeing loss in potential revenue as less people are booking stays for peak seasonal travel times.. "

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Covering over 70% of the earth’s surface, the ocean impacts every human being on the planet, but she means something different to everyone. The ocean fills the spirit of many, bringing peace and wonder with its meditative waves and unending mystery below the surface. She is life sustaining, providing oxygen for every other breath we take. She drives an economy, employing thousands through the fishing, transportation, hospitality, and restaurant industries. She shields us against climate change, absorbing 30% of carbon dioxide and regulating global weather patterns. And she offers promise to health and medical fields with compounds found in corals and sponges for treatments in cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and other diseases. There are scores of books written about the human-water connection, or as Walter J Nichols calls it, the “Blue Mind”. Take a moment to consider what the ocean means to you. When you have an opportunity to take a good, long look at the ocean along the California coast, you will very likely see surfers and dolphins riding waves, whale spouts or breaches, and ships on the horizon. What you do not see are the fish and deep sea corals that are the very foundation of a healthy ocean, and feeding ground for the whales, dolphins and sea birds. Nor do you see the towering kelp forests off the coast that are home to over 1,000 species of animals and plants,

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and rocky reefs that explode with marine critters from elusive sharks to the endangered black sea bass. These deep sea ecosystems have been battling many threats over the past fifty years, including irresponsible and destructive fishing practices, invasive species, and climate change. Such threats have taken a toll on the parts of the ocean you cannot see. The great news is that with California’s Marine Protected Area program, we have the policy, technology and the tools to help her recover. When you can see a problem you can solve a problem. You may not be able to dive to 300 meters, but Marine Research & Exploration (MARE) can! With our specialized robotic submarines, MARE brings that deep sea to you, as well as to those responsible for making the rules about how we use our ocean through MPAs, our blue parks. Marine Protected Areas are similar to national parks and forests; they are designated areas in the ocean that are monitored and managed to protect fish and invertebrates like octopus and lobster, and restore valuable habitats, like corals. With minimal human disruption through limited or restricted activity, such as fishing, marine life and habitat living in the MPAs


are expected to revive and thrive. We know they are successful when we see a rebound in fish abundance and other marine critters both inside the MPA boundaries, and especially beyond the invisible boundary lines. Many recent scientific studies show that MPAs are working, and we are increasingly seeing more, and bigger, fish. For instance, a 2012 study off the coast of Santa Barbara found that lobsters were more abundant and larger within the designated refuge. In another study, MARE was able to show a 270% increase in fish inside the reserve over a decade of protection; this increase was seen outside of the MPA, as well, which made the fishing community very happy. “People protect what they love, they love what they understand and they understand what they are taught.” – JacquesYves Cousteau California’s blue parks are a powerful solution to bring our ocean back to her previous health. A recent study in the journal, Nature, indicates “MPAs represent a necessary and powerful recovery wedge across multiple components of the ocean ecosystem.” This idea is catching on: in 2000, only 0.9% of the ocean was protected, but MPAs now cover 7.4%. Scientists recommend that 30% protected by 2030 are the magic numbers to aim for in order to sustain our ocean’s health. With the current rate of protections like MPAs year over year, this is an achievable goal. MPAs are just one tool in the toolbox to protect our ocean. Anyone and everyone can help ocean conservation. A dump truck’s worth of plastic enters the ocean each minute, 8 million tons annually. Researchers have predicted there will be more plastic than fish on the ocean by 2050. On the consumer side, we can all bring more intention to eliminating the need for single use plastics that end up in the ocean. There is an opportunity on the innovation side to develop more sustainable alternatives, too. Purchasing power extends to food choices. With over 3 billion people depending on the ocean for their primary source of protein, the ocean's food security is neither infinite nor invincible. The global "we" can and are depleting it: 90 percent of the largest ocean fish, like Atlantic salmon, tuna, halibut, and swordfish are gone. Apps and sites like www.seafoodwatch.org help all of us make more informed seafood choices. No matter how you personally use the ocean – to swim, to fish, to dive, to deliver your favorite seafood dish – a healthy ocean benefits everyone. So breathe deeply. Close your eyes and let the sound of the waves wash over you. And know that you have a vital role to play in her renaissance.

About MARE As an earlier adopter of the MPA strategy, California has been a leader in ocean health solutions and is decades ahead of many coastal governments. Marine Research & Exploration (MARE) has been working with the state for over 16 years to monitor and document ocean health. Using proprietary marine technology, MARE brings critical information and imagery to those who govern our state waters, so that they know what to protect and why. We also show, with pictures, video and data, that MPAs have been effective in California, which benefits everyone in the state. During these unprecedented times, we appreciate all donations of time, treasure and talent to assist in the intelligent management of our oceans. To learn more, tune into our discussion on Know the Rules of the Game podcast. Thank you in advance!

ERIN O'Toole

Director of Development at Marine Applied Research & Exploration (MARE)

Kellie Aamodt

Kellie Aamodt, Board Member of Marine Applied Research & Exploration (MARE), and Former UPS, VP of Corporate Inside Sales

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Three Ways to Increase Your Longevity in Real Estate The real estate industry can be difficult to navigate for new agents. The success rate is not very high with about 90 percent of agents failing in their first five years. That means nine out of every 10 new agents can expect to fail in the industry. A part of being a successful real estate agent simply comes down to luck, and no one can control for that, but there are some strategies newcomers can use to increase their chances of making a long-lasting career in this exciting and ever-changing industry. With three decades of experience leaving my mark in diverse real estate sectors, selling over 6,000 properties, providing relocation services for major Fortune 100 companies, and connecting entrepreneurs to billions of dollars in business resources, Desirée Patno, CEO & President of NAWRB, shares a few pieces of advice she would give her younger self about thriving in the real estate and housing ecosystem. Below are the top three tips she thinks any nascent real estate agent would benefit from knowing to help them fulfill their potential and guarantee their place among the successful 10 percent.

1. Educate Yourself & Never Think You Know Everything

Real estate is more complicated than a glamorous sales job, and it’s helpful to educate yourself—or better yet, earn a four-year college degree—in other fields, including business economics, construction, finance and law. Each of these topics are relevant to selling and buying a property, so it’s pivotal to have foundational knowledge in each of

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these fields to help your job performance. In addition, it is useful to plan for disruptions that might arise in the industry, such as new laws and tax codes, novel technology developments and upcoming market trends. Technology can assist the industry in property management, application processing and data synthesizing so that agents and brokers can focus on connecting with clients and helping them with the emotional process of buying or selling a home. Find out how you can leverage these new developments now so that you can stay ahead of the competition.

"Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Blockchain, for example, are emerging technologies that are impacting the way real estate businesses operate & interact with their customers & clients." Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain, for example, are emerging technologies that are impacting the way real estate businesses operate and interact with their customers and clients. AI can be a helpful tool that can make everyday tasks more efficient and provide assistance to clients at a moment’s notice rather than a replacement for the agent themselves. It’s important to remember that AI is not without flaws. Some worry that AI creators and users


"90% of agents fail in their first five years." will include their own biases into new technology, causing more roadblocks and harm to minorities. Innovators are working to make AI great at problem-solving, automatic processing, data collecting and so on, but being an agent or broker requires skills AI does not have: the expert advice of a professional who has worked in the field for over 20 years, the ethics to makes sure AI is used responsibly, the ability to listen and understand a client’s needs, the intuition to know when a property is a good fit or deal, and the empathy to sympathize and provide moral support when homebuyers get cold feet or things don’t go according to plan. Blockchain will make property data more secure and accessible to the public, and it will make transactions efficient and safe. This increases accessibility of data integral to home buying and selling, and ensures independent industries are held accountable for sound business practices. Blockchain will also drive an increase in smart contracts, which allows contracts, escrows, property records and more to be completed and financial transactions to occur without the need of title companies or attorneys.

while the seller takes home the profit through cryptocurrency. Both AI and Blockchain are merely helpful tools for helping agents and brokerages serve their clients with the utmost care and efficiency. An integral part of learning is always asking questions. When you are tasked with performing any task in the line of business, always ask why you are doing it. In doing so, you will understand the logic and purpose behind the things you do. As a result, you will develop a better grasp on the real estate business system in general and contribute your own insights on how to improve it.

2. Act & Prepare As a Business Owner

You are not only a real estate agent but an entrepreneur who owns their own business. Real estate is a business of

Forbes analysts predict that home buying and home selling might become as easy as using a shopping cart on a website. Blockchain has the capacity to ensure the homebuyer receives the deed or title, NAWRB MAGAZINE |

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"Nothing is ever perfect & you can't please everyone, so remember to acknowlege your strengths & weaknesses, and find out what makes you stand out among the crowd!" sorts, and it is important to act like a business owner to ensure your future success. In fact, 86 percent of real estate agents are independent contractors, according to the National Association of Realtors 2016 Member Profile, so the law and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) consider you a business owner and you will be treated as such. You have sole responsibility for your business interests, but that does not mean you have to do it by yourself. Part of being a successful business owner is being a wellversed planner to juggle your multiple responsibilities as you are accountable for sales, expenses and marketing. Build a business plan and a great team that can help you carry out tasks and share in opportunities. You won’t be able to do this alone, so make sure you have people you trust to carry your business when needed. Further educate yourself as a business owner and independent contractor by utilizing resources from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the IRS. Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB) is proud to be one of only 11 of the SBA’s Partner Resources for Women-Owned Small Businesses, and we provide countless resources and consulting services to help you achieve long-term success.

3. Passion and Social Impact Ensures Longevity

Real estate is more than just putting up a sign and selling a house; in other words, it’s not just a glamorous sales job. A lot of the real estate business boils down to human interaction. You are dealing with someone’s sanctuary, foundation and investment. To an individual or family, a home is a place of personal freedom, security and comfort in an impacting world, and a source of financial stability. Real estate agents are still an integral part of the home buying process as a dependable source of knowledge, advice and emotional support for clients during this important decision. Moreover, they have the invaluable tool of building relationships and empathy, which are pivotal to success in the industry. Agents are adept at handling hiccups in the buying process, such as when a client suffers a traumatic loss, loses their job or gets cold feet. As human beings, they can relate to these troubles and provide practical solutions. This is what no technology development can ever replace. There might be moments when things do not go as planned or you make a mistake, but don’t worry because it is all part of the process. Nothing is ever perfect and you can’t please everyone, so remember to acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses, and find out what makes you stand out among the crowd. In return, clients and peers will respect your authenticity. Longevity is endured by those who are passionate, care for others and their needs, and create social impact.

Desirée Patno CEO & President of NAWRB

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Premier

PUBLISHER/ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

DesirĂŠe Patno

SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Kendall Roderick

Executive

CONTENT WRITER

Burgandy Basulto PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS

Jay Jones

Contributors Brateil Aghasi Briana Aamodt-Kuenz Christine Farwell Dr. Chitra Dorai Dr. Kami J. Anderson Dr. Thyonne Gordon Erica Courtney Erin O' Toole Hyepin Im Je'net Kreitner Kellie Aamodt Kim Scherer Mike Shatynski Nicole Cober Noel Massie Suzanne Miller

/NAWRB

/NAWRB

NAWRB Magazine is a quarterly publication with gender lens perspective, featuring unique content, articles on diversity, inclusion and engagement in the housing ecosystem, exclusive interviews with industry professionals, business development tools, book reviews, feature stories and more. All materials submitted to NAWRB Magazine are subject to editing if utilized. The articles, content, and other information in this publication are for information purposes only. Articles, content, and other information in this publication without named authors are contributed by the publication’s staff, but do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NAWRB. NAWRB assumes no liability or responsibility for any inaccurate, delayed or incomplete information, nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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The Invisible Female Veterans:

Interview with U.S. Army MAJ Erica Courtney

The idea of the “essential women” extends from the civilian workforce into the military and veterans who have transitioned back into civilian life. In an episode of Know the Rules of the Game® Podcast for Invisible Female Veterans with host Desiree Patno, CEO & President of NAWRB, special guest Erica Courtney, President, Zulu Time, Founder, 2020vet, Inc., U.S. Army Aviation, Major NATO Gender Advisor, discussed the state of veterans and the epidemic of the “invisible female veteran,” referring to women veterans who are often overlooked and underappreciated by the society they have helped serve.

Erica Courtney: Trailblazer for Women in the Military Erica is a U.S. Army veteran having served in various positions to include: military police, scout helicopter pilot and paratrooper. As a trailblazer, she was part of the first group of women to go Cavalry and the first to graduate the Advanced Armor Cavalry Course. Erica is trailblazer for many reasons, but especially for being the first to break records and transcend the status quo for women in the military. As she shared in the podcast, Erica was the

• Youngest female to climb Mt. Whitney at nine years

• Unofficially wore ‘pants’ to earning of the spurs cer-

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old, the tallest mountain in the continental United States, until 2019; First female to hold the University of Hawaii cadet commander for the entire year; First group of women to fly the cavalry mission in the U.S. Army, which was the last airframe in any service to allow women to fly;

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emony, at the time when women could only wear skirts with the dress uniform; First woman to graduate the Advanced Cavalry Armor school; and First women to lead a long-running national veteran entrepreneurship Board of Directors.


Profile Invisible Female Veteran To show what it means to be an invisible female veteran, Erica shares the following poem by Sarge Lintecum to paint a picture of this concept: “You can tell her by the twinkle in her eye, At parades when the flag marches by. She served our country and she served it very well. Some have even served a tour or two in Hell. She suffered hardship and never ceased to care. It gave us strength just to know that she was there. She was a leader, you could tell by the rank she wore, But she became the invisible soldier after the war. She can march, she can fly, and she can sail. She proved that bravery isn’t exclusive of the male. She did every job she was asked and more, But she became the invisible soldier after the war. Now, it is finally time to right a wrong. Honor our sister soldier; hear her song. It’s very clear that she’s a patriot to the core. Don’t let her be the invisible soldier anymore.” NAWRB: What is the veteran suicide rate? Erica Courtney (EC): U.S. service personnel and military veterans continue to take their own lives at unprecedented rates. It is an epidemic. Despite the fact that there are over 45,000 nonprofits dedicated to veterans and their families in addition to multiple billion dollar-backed government programs aimed at addressing servicemen and veteran issues, we have made little to no progress in combatting this over the last decade. We do not offer them insightful options as they leave the service besides corporate job placement and when they leave the service and transition, they are overwhelmed at ‘help’ options. It’s our duty to change this sobering statistic: According to the 2018 Blue Star Families’ Military Family Lifestyle Survey, 82% of military families feel the general public doesn’t understand the sacrifices they make. In addition, our women veterans face additional challenges that their male counterparts do not. We as a nation are failing our veterans-the very people who put their lives on the line to protect our national interests. Abraham Lincoln once poignantly said that if we do not take care of those who bore the battle, essentially, we are a nation without morals. Each day we lose valuable national resources in record numbers: Veterans Suicides recently surpassed combat deaths and non-combat, younger and female veterans are the most vulnerable 22: We lose 22 veterans a day due to suicide. Veterans account 22% of all suicide completions in the U.S. 65: We lose a veteran every 65 minutes due to suicide 6,000: We lose 6K veterans a year due to suicide NAWRB MAGAZINE |

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NAWRB: Why are female veterans invisible and what issues are unique to female military veterans? EC: Women are not the image Hollywood portrays when it comes to soldiers: big burly guys kicking down doors, rolling around in the dirt and operating high tech equipment. In the military, at least in the Army and Marines, it is about the physical. However, the military is changing in order to remain competitive in this uncertain global power competition. We need thinkers, strategists, intelligence, communicators, collaborators, technology experts—roles very well suited for women. Having a diverse Force makes us a better Force. The cultural divide is real. When women leave service, they have another societal layer attached to them that their male counterparts do not have-relearning what being ‘feminine’ means. What civilians do not realize, what women veterans often do not even realize, is that they might appear to be like other women, but they aren’t operating on the expectations traditionally applied to women. Behaving at odds with these traditional expectations is often a significant drawback in the ability of women veterans to fit-in in the workplace, in the dating world, in the female civilian community, in society in general. And directly challenging these expectations can often lead to conflict.

"Society often gives the job to the male vet-

eran over a female veteran as they are seen

as more of a ‘soldier’ despite the fact that women are increasingly in combat roles."

Women veterans have reported negative experiences with civilian women, ranging from lack of understanding and inability to relate to cold shoulders. Men also do not know how to deal with a woman who is so direct, lacks emotion and does not have time for bias as there was a mission to accomplish. Lives may have been on the line. In a 2015 study on how female veterans cope with transition, one participant said: “When I first got out of the military, I had a hard time with [women], civilian women. They didn’t understand why I looked so militant. ‘Why do you walk straight up? Why do you walk and direct so?’” Operating in male-dominated environments and doing traditionally male activities, up to and including combat, are so different from the experiences of civilian women that the two sides often cannot relate. Moreover, the behaviors—male behaviors—that women veterans learned were correct in the military are now at odds with the expectations civilians have for women. Instead of helping them fit in, these same behaviors now make them stand out, often in ways that make other people uncomfortable. Women are often denied recognition for their military accomplishments. In a 2016 Service Women’s Action Network survey, 74 percent of the respondents said that the general public did not recognize their service. They are generally thought of as a military brat or spouse. This kind of exchange, where a woman’s connection to the military is assumed to be earned by another, most likely male, individual can be insulting and disheartening to a woman who has served. This means that women, both during and after service, are likely to find being a woman inconvenient for some time to come. Many studies point to the fact that women do not self-identify as a veteran, even if they had combat time, which is another problem. Women often start businesses, the fastest-growing segment in entrepreneurship, out of necessity because they cannot find work. Society often gives the job to the male veteran over a female veteran as they are seen as more of a ‘soldier’ despite the fact that women are increasingly in combat roles. In addition to the cultural bias women veterans face, they often have much higher rates of mental and physical health issues over their male counterparts. NAWRB: When you say they are suffering more, what do you mean in terms of numbers?

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20% of men, verses 30% of women veterans are diagnosed with a mental health disorder. EC: Compared to men, women veterans are more likely to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder (31 percent versus 20 percent). Women veterans are significantly more likely to have a diagnosis of depression, PTSD, other anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder and some personality disorders. Women veterans having a mental health diagnosis are significantly more likely to have: STD, UTI, pelvic/ genital pain condition, sexual dysfunction and reproductive health problems. Their unemployment and suicide rates are at an epidemic high, they generally have family to care for, are less likely to win contracts, have higher rates of homelessness, are less likely to ask for loans, deal with a lack VA mental and physical health care addressing women’s needs, and the cultural challenge of going from a soldier to what society somewhat expects appropriate behavior to be as a female.

than males to win government contracts. A recent report revealed that women are less likely to ask for business loans out of fear of being denied, even though their financial profiles are often better than their male counterparts. Women veterans are three times as likely to experience homelessness and poverty over non-veteran women. They suffer higher rates of PTSD and depression over their male veteran counterparts but less substance abuse. According to the VA, women veterans die by suicide at six times the rate of non-veteran women. Younger women veterans are at higher risk at 12 times the rate of non-veteran women. Compare this to male veterans who have twice the rate of suicide over non-veteran males. It is an epidemic.

They may become entrepreneurs by necessity as they face unusually high unemployment rates of 11.1 percent compared to 7.1 percent for other women. Younger women veterans face a rate of 35.4 percent. They are more likely to have family to take care of and have a harder time trans-

Young women veterans have an unemployment rate of 35.4%

While only constituting 15 percent of the military, women account for 95 percent of reported sex crime victims, which is considered seriously underreported due to retribution. From 2005 to 2015, the number of women veterans using VA health care increased 46.4 percent, from 237,952 to 455,875. The changing demographics of the women entering, and ultimately leaving, the Armed Forces have an impact on the kinds of services they will require in the future. As more and more women move into the ranks of veterans, it becomes important to investigate their post-military outcomes.

lating their military experience into civilian speak. Even if they were combat arms, males are often seen as warriors and women veterans regularly do not self-identify as a veteran. Then there are factors like the lack of access to capital women face as a whole, and are 21 percent less likely

There is a lack of data related to women veterans. Their health issues are different than men. They are slowly being diagnosed with pelvic floor disorders like UTIs, descent of the bladder, uterus and rectum as a result of the weakening of the muscles and connective tissue due to long-

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"The military does not do a good job preparing you in a meaningful way upon exit. You lose your identity, your culture, your 'family'."

term strenuous military activity and high impact exposures. Although women were technically barred from serving in combat, since Operation Desert Storm, women have been deployed to forward positions in greater numbers. This increased involvement in combat zones and the associated risk from exposure to trauma, injury, intense training and environmental hazards present new health consequences for women that must be addressed for both actively serving women and female veterans. Considering that the female segment of the military continues to increase, female veterans' health must be situated at the forefront of the biomedical research and health policy agendas. Biomedical research in veterans that incorporates the study of sex and gender differences will translate to better health outcomes for female veterans. A one-size-fitsall approach is not working. Gear, backpacks for example, has been finally modified as weight rested on women’s hips can cause many of the problems they currently encounter; whereas in men, the weight was more concentrated on the back. Looking at dosages of shots, medicines, et cetera, should be taken into account. Just as in civilian medical care, more research is needed to properly address prevention and treatment.

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professionals, federal programs and research. Budgets increase every year although much isn’t even spent. Leaders at the executive, congressional and Pentagon know this is an epidemic and they will tell you they just don’t know why this is happening. Military generals are often cited that this is the toughest enemy they faced in their entire career. The VA and others are asking for private help to address these issues in a meaningful way. Generally, it is a three-year process. The military does not do a good job preparing you in a meaningful way upon exit. You lose your identity, your culture, your ‘family.’ You feel disconnected, misunderstood and lonely. Unlike wars past, there are not huge numbers getting out at once and that peer-peer camaraderie is solely missing. Over half of veterans do not return to the place they grew up, so they desperately want to make connections and develop relationships. They lack community.

NAWRB: Now that we are aware of the issues, can you tell us what works? Once they get past the statistical ‘cliff,’ what do veterans really need from your first-hand experience as a veteran and advocate?

They may turn to one of more than 45,000 veterans organizations dedicated to them or their families and get even more overwhelmed. We are throwing money at the problem year over year but we continue to approach it wrong with white coats and even more government programs. What we need is a holistic, grassroots approach focused on four elements: connection, shelter, career development, and health: mental, physical and spiritual. We should triage our veterans focusing on personal, professional and rehabilitation needs, not pass them around.

EC: Billions of dollars are flowing to more medical health

Government leaders need to be assisted in addressing

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veteran issues within three categories: (1) Personal (money management, family counseling, housing assistance, benefit/claims assistance, bereavement); (2) Professional (education, job training, entrepreneurship); and (3) Rehabilitation (Suicide, PTSD, readjustment, depression, substance abuse, traumatic brain disorder, anger management) through the power of peer counseling and a one-stop-shop technology hub that can be customized for each veteran. Veterans are national gems and if they get through the first three years, they will come out as strong citizens. They do not want handouts. They want purpose and connections. They want access to capital and mentorship. If we help our veterans in a meaningful way, they add to the economy instead of drawing from it. It reduces the country's social burden. The last thing a veteran wants to be is a burden. Meaning and connection are central to mental health. Having them can build optimism and reduce depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress. Peer-peer support is essential to give them straight talk from people they inherently trust and understand what they are going through. Veterans are more likely than similar civilians to volunteer more hours, to vote consistently and to serve in civic organizations, according to a LA Times report recently released that advocates hope will counteract the perception of veterans as “broken heroes.” For years, veterans and organizations have been working to make sure veterans are perceived as leaders and assets. There is empirical evidence and not just theory. The statement that veterans are civic assets is no longer an opinion; it’s a fact, and it’s backed up by data. In addition to volunteering more hours annually — 160 for an average veteran volunteer compared with 120 for a civilian — veterans are more likely to trust most of their neighbors, the report found. Veterans also are more likely to vote in local elections, contact their public officials and discuss politics frequently with families and friends. Female veterans are running and winning office like never before, overcoming the bias that women are not strong enough for politics. That desire to be part of a team again, the desire to have a new unit after you leave your active-duty unit, is very strong. Veterans also are two times as likely to be successful in business in terms of length opened and revenue earned thanks to the skills they learned while serving. They have also been found to significantly add to a company’s bottom line due to their mission focused and teamwork mentality.

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Diversity & Inclusion

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March 31st, 2020 marked Equal Pay Day, a day representing how far into the new year women have to work to earn the same amount of money men did the previous year. Almost four months into 2020 women finally equaled men’s 2019 earnings, due to the pervasive gender pay gap that results in women earning approximately 82 cents to every man’s dollar, which equates in a loss of $407,760 over a 40-year career. For women of color, this is a loss of nearly or over $1 million.

"Equal Pay Day was established by the

National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1966 to increase public awareness of the prominent gap between the wages of working men and women." Equal Pay Day was established by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1966 to increase public awareness of the prominent gap between the wages of working men and women. In 1970, women earned roughly 59 cents for every dollar a man earned; half a century later this figure has increased by 23 cents.

How COVID-19 is Exacerbating the Gender Pay Gap & Suggested Solutions

The gender pay gap in many occupations has only been exacerbated by the onset of COVID-19 and it’s tumultuous effect on the economy, especially as women serve as a majority of workers who are considered essential, including healthcare workers (especially registered nurses, grocery store cashiers and salespersons, child care workers, restaurant waiters and waitresses and retail workers. According to a report by the National Women’s Law Center, “93 percent of child care workers, 66 percent of grocery store cashiers/salespeople, 70 percent of waiters and waitresses, and 77 percent of clothing/ shoe stores cashiers/salespeople are women. Many of the workers in those jobs are women of color.” The nation’s true essential workers, the individuals who are on the frontlines of the COVID-19, are also the least paid and endure pay inequity compared to their male counterparts. Not only are these occupations generally low paid, but they often do not provide support in terms of paid leave, employer-sponsored health insurance, and child care. As the aforementioned report shows, women in these frontline positions generally make less than

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their male counterparts. For instance, the median annual earnings for women grocery store cashiers/ salespersons is $24,000 compared to $27,000 for men, a $3,000 difference. Women home health and personal care aides make $25,000 a year, compared to $30,000 a year for men; women child care workers make $22,000 a year, while men with this position make $27,000; and women registered nurses make $65,000 annually, while their male counterparts earn $71,000. The conjunction of a gender pay gap and the economic effects of COVID-19 is affecting many women and women of color in these essential roles as many are the breadwinner of their family, who depend on their income for basic necessities. In fact, 41 percent of mothers are the sole or primary breadwinners in their families, and they often make only 69 cents on the dollar compared to fathers. Women also make up a majority of jobs that are currently being furloughed or put on temporary leave by companies that have been forced to close as “inessential� businesses. These jobs include waiters and waitresses, retail workers, hotel and motel desk workers, and maids/housekeepers in travel accommodations. Women comprise 70 percent of waitstaff, 77 percent of retail workers, 66 percent of hotel/ motel clerks, 88 percent of maids and housekeepers. Just like women who are in occupations that are considered essential, women in these professions deal with a gender pay gap ranging from a difference of $1,000 to $6,000 annually compared to men who do the same job as them. As these women potentially suffer job losses, they have less of a financial cushion to fall on than their male counterparts, especially if they support a family with their income and do not have much disposable income remaining. In the current public health and economic crisis, these women are also facing high costs for emergency health care and medication, rent or mortgages, rising prices for supplies or food, and other expenses that have risen due to this global pandemic. Women are currently dealing with unprecedented changes and challenges due to the COVID-19 outbreak in their personal and professional life. Not only are some women dealing with limited mobility in carrying out their professional duties, which is stressful on its own, but some are having to care for children and family members around the

"Just like women who are in occupations that

are considered essential, women in these professions deal with a gender pay gap ranging from a difference of $1,000 to $6,000 annually compared to men who do the same job as them." clock as schools and facilities are currently shut down. How do we help these women and their families? In addition to immediate action, which has been partially answered by the recent CARES Act by the government, there needs to be longer term structural changes to our laws and economic infrastructure to address the impacts of COVID-19 and ensure that it does further the negative effects of the current gender pay gap. The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) suggests the following solutions for addressing the crisis, including providing emergency cash assistance for people with low incomes who will not benefit from tax relief or unemployment immediately. This is being addressed by the new $2 trillion stimulus package, which will provide $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married couples, with an additional $500 per child under the age of 17. Keep in mind that these payouts will be income-based and single adults with an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less will receive the full amount. For married couples with no children earning $150,000 or less in combined incomes will also receive the full amount. The payment decreases for single people earning at least $99,000 and married couples with no children earning at least $198,000. Other ways women and their families can be helped include, as suggested by the NWLC, include:

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Strengthening unemployment insurance to reach more workers and adopting stronger triggers so that the program can automatically respond to increased hardship. Expanding emergency paid sick time and family and medical leave protections to protect all working people by eliminating exemptions for large employers and ensuring that nonprofits can be reimbursed for emergency benefits—and enacting forward-looking provisions to ensure that these critical benefits are available to everyone outside of the circumstances of a public health emergency.

"...payouts will be income-based and single adults

with an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less will recieve the full amount." “Providing significant investments in child care funding to help providers and families.

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Ensuring health care, including reproductive health care, is available and affordable to all. Requiring businesses receiving bailouts to protect their workforce against layoffs and provide decent wages to their workers.� During this public health and economic crisis, women and their dependent families are being short-handed more than other households due to the gender pay gap. The women who are working on the frontlines of COVID-19 deserve their fair share.


http://bit.ly/NDILC Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathleen L. Kraninger announced the appointment of members to the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB), Community Bank Advisory Council (CBAC), Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC), and Academic Research Council (ARC). These experts advise Bureau leadership on a broad range of consumer financial issues and emerging market trends. ●

NDILC Member Rebecca Steele, President/CEO, National Foundation for Credit Counseling, has been appointed to the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB). The CAB is mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to advise and consult with the Bureau's Director on a variety of consumer financial issues NDILC Member Major Erica Courtney, President of 2020vet and Zulu Time, U.S. Army Aviation Major, NATO Gender Advisor, and California Commissioner on the Status of Women & Girls, spoke at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC)'s Women, Peace and Security Conference in Benning, GA on February 5th. Erica shared her insight on the leadership role of women in peace and security in today's global environment. ●

The National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security "describes the course the United States Government will continue to take to accelerate, institutionalize, and better coordinate our efforts to advance women's inclusion in peace negotiations, peace building activities, and conflict prevention; to protect women from gender-based violence (GBV); and to ensure equal access to relief and recovery assistance, in areas of conflict and insecurity. to NDILC Member Tami Bonnell, CEO of EXIT Realty, for being recognized as one the the Most Powerful Leaders in Residential Real Estate by Swanepoel Power 200 (SP200). Tami was ranked alongside fellow EXIT Realty coworker Steve Morris, Founder and Chairman of EXIT Realty. The overall 2020 Leadership Rankings, the Power 200, ranks the most powerful leaders in the residential real estate brokerage industry as at December 31, 2019, with adjustments made only for the major leadership announcements made after that date. ● Congratulations

In addition, her company announced a corporate stimulus plan called EXIT’s Take Action Stimulus Package, which represents over $50 million in value, is a coordinated effort providing business tools, enhanced technology and exclusive training at no charge. It is meant to help their agents so that they can work on their business during the current disruptions. All departments pulled together to put together this stimulus package to help all regional owners, broker owners and agents to give them all the tools they need to reach out and connect with people. Tune in for Know the Rules of the Game® Podcast for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans and PPP with your host Desiree Patno, CEO & President of NAWRB, and special guest Kristy Bain, Lender Relations Specialists at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Desiree and Kristy discuss important information about the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) for small businesses, including a $10,000 loan advance, and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Both are meant to help keep small business workers employed and provide access to capital to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Listen here: https://www.nawrb.com/podcast/.

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NDLIC member, Teresa Palacios Smith, Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion for HSF Affiliates which represents the brands of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and Real Living Real Estate was recently featured along with Real Living Real Estate CEO, Allan Dalton on the cover RISMedia’s Real Estate Magazine. Real Living is the “Home of Lifestyle Advisors” which is the industry’s leading lifestyle brands and Teresa’s role and the message of empowering women and growing the diversity initiatives throughout the organization was highlighted in the issue. ●

Teresa was also recently featured with Chris Stuart, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and Tim Wilson, CEO of Prosperity Home Mortgage during the More to Know Series where she spoke about the CARES Act and many of the programs available to homeowners to assist during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. In addition, she was featured on Real Living’s National Forum alongside CEO, Allan Dalton; Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist of NAR; Tim Wilson, CEO of Prosperity Home Mortgage and Rusty Willis & Cindy Fox, Real Living’s RL Bridge Co-host. She is doing weekly videos where she talks about the importance of diversity. Watch her latest video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PE37WZb4rg&feature=share.

In addition to her work with NDILC, Kellie is actively engaged with protecting one of our largest assets, the ocean. Kellie is on the Board of Directors for MARE (Marine Applied Research and Exploration). MARE is a non-profit that is focused on intelligent ocean management, and is exploring, discovering and protecting the oceans. MARE has been an integral part of establishing and analyzing the impact of marine protected areas (MPA's) predominately in Northern California. With over 15 years to date and analytics, there is substantial evidence that, with time, MPA's can improve the fish life and overall health of both the area inside and the area outside by over 250 percent. ●

In our current circumstances with COVID-19, she and her organization are working to maintain their expedition schedule as soon as permitted. They continue to maintain contact with their supporters during these difficult times. In addition, Kellie will be assisting WISEPlace, the only homeless shelter for unaccompanied women, with their upcoming fundraiser. She continues to ensure this wonderful non-profit is supported by the community. Dr. Chitra Dorai, AI Scientist & Founder of Amicus Brain Innovations, a health tech startup focused on bringing the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to transform caring for aging population with neurodegenerative disorders has embarked on a data collection and analysis initiative to present a portrait of the risk faced by the aging population in numbers. Dr. Dorai’s article on the impact of COVID-19 on the Aging Population is featured in this magazine issue. ●

Many of Dr. Dorai’s team are talented young professionals, including many women. Her leadership is making sure employees are not only working but also taking care of their physical and mental health. Her company is small enough that they can do that level of personal caring. Each day at their meetings, they ask how many steps their employees have walked and ask if they have anything to share with the team before jumping into the technical work. She is working on formulating a new policy that is focused on maintaining a human aspect in this new environment.

Who do you know that is a perfect NDILC fit? NDILC Mission: Dedicated to raising the number of women leaders and growing women’s employment and em-

powerment at all levels in the housing ecosystem. Our Council, comprised of senior executive women, works diligently toward gender equality and obtaining equal opportunity for women across America.

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NDILC’s Ten Women Leadership Principles During this global health pandemic, effective leadership is more important than ever as companies face drastic changes to their operations and employees face more responsibilities at home, such as homeschooling their children and a growing lack of essential resources, and several statewide stay-at-home orders. To help women leaders take on these new challenges in stride, NAWRB’s Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council (NDILC) present their Ten Women Leadership Principles, which they collectively created to help women in the real estate and housing ecosystem become more effective leaders and empower other women to reach their full potential. In the upcoming weeks, each of these principles will be presented in detail with a personal message from an NDILC member about her experiences applying these principles to her professional and personal life. Each NDILC Council Member contributed their insights into what it means to be a great leader, and together they chose principles that are applicable to any woman at any stage in her career. This is a universal guide for all levels of leadership, and any woman can benefit—whether she dreams of the C-suite or she wants to become a better senior executive leader at her company. “After several months of curating to bring the best universal modern set of leadership principles, we are extremely proud to present NAWRB Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council (NDILC)’s Ten Women Leadership Principles,” stated Desiree Patno, CEO & President of NAWRB. “Our revolutionary unique platform of women senior executive thought leaders from the most diverse industries impact Quality of Life with everything that touches land: the real estate ecosystem.” Share, engage, and practice every day at all levels of leadership. Be the storyteller!

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Erica G. Courtney

Rachel Beam Jares

Teresa Palacios Smith

Kellie Aamodt

Marcia M. Davies

Desirée Patno

Amy Pienta

Tami Bonnell

Dr. Chitra Dorai

Rebecca Steele


NDILC’s Ten Women Leadership Principles Acknowledge Trailblazers:

Know and learn from the women who came before you. We are all standing on the shoulders of giants.

Keep Achieving:

Effective leaders always keep learning. There is always something to learn and improve upon.

Believe:

Whatever the mind can conceive, it can achieve.

Pass the Torch:

Give opportunities to future generations of women. Your legacy will be the people you help along the journey.

Know Yourself:

Be authentic and lead in a way that is true to you. Own your unique talents and strengths, and empower those around you.

Speak Out:

Unconscious bias is present, but ignoring it only perpetuates it. Take a stand and speak out.

Listen:

Never assume anything about anyone. Everyone has their own story that makes them who they are.

Be Present:

Sharing your time is one of the most valuable gifts you can give. Do it with intention by truly being present.

Prepare for the Future:

Women with advanced skills today will be ready for tomorrow’s challenges.

Lead by Example:

Inclusion isn't enough. Press for parity and strive for excellence in everything. Stay tuned for future articles that will expound on each of these principles to assist women professionals in applying them to their individual goals.

About NDILC

The NDILC is dedicated to raising the number of women leaders and growing women’s employment and empowerment at all levels in the housing ecosystem. The Council comprised of senior executive women, works diligently toward gender equality and obtaining equal opportunity for women across America. To learn more about the NDILC, please visit www.NAWRB.com/NDILC/.

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sheCENTER ( FOLD )

Anne Schuchat, MD

Briana Aamodt-Kuenz

Dr. Deborah L. Birx

Erica Courtney

Nicole Cober

Jovita Carranza

FACE

Dr. Thyonne Gordon

WISEPlace Empire State Properties

CDC


sheCenter(fold)

Essential Women PRESERVING THE

Quality of Life For the first time in NAWRB history, this sheCENTER(FOLD) features not just one woman but a collage of dynamic “Essential Women” who are impacting the wellbeing of society through these difficult times. After asking our community for submissions, we are incredibly humbled to give centerstage to a few of these women leaders, representing a variety of positions and backgrounds, who are helping to ensure the quality of life of countless Americans as we tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) as a united front. These women are having a positive impact on the world, even if their actions are unseen and unheard. NAWRB gives voice to their selfless actions and sheds light on their efforts to show these women that they are being noticed and appreciated.

Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the Coordinator of the United States Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS, U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy, and world-renowned global health official, is the White House’s Coronavirus Response Coordinator, who aids in the government’s response to the global health pandemic. Ambassador-at-Large Dr. Deborah L. Birx, was appointed to the White House Coronavirus Task Forces as a Coronavirus Response Coordinator to aid in the government’s response to the global health pandemic. Ambassador Birx is an essential figure in the White House’s response to the COVID-19 and attends regular White House briefings. According to the government website, “Ambassador Birx is a world-renowned medical expert and leader in the field of HIV/AIDS. Her three-decade-long career has focused on HIV/AIDS immunology, vaccine research, and global health. As the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, Ambassador Birx oversees the implementation of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease in history, as well as all U.S. Government engagement with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. From 1980 to 1994, Birx served as an active duty reserve officer in the United States Army, and from 1994 to 2008, she achieved the rank of Colonel in the active duty regular Army.

Serving as the U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy, she aligns the U.S. Government’s diplomacy with foreign assistance programs that address global health challenges and accelerate progress toward: achieving an AIDS-free generation; ending preventable child and maternal deaths; and preventing, detecting, and responding to infectious disease threats.” For additional information regarding the response to COVID-19, please visit www.coronavirus.gov and https:// www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/.

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Jovita Carranza, SBA Administrator, headed the oversight of the $349 billion in guaranteed loan assistance that was granted by the White House to help small businesses overcome economic hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic, and continues to help small businesses in access to capital. SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza is currently serving her second tenure at the SBA as she previously served in the George W. Bush Administration as Deputy Administrator from 2006-2009. The Trump administration nominated Administrator Carranza to lead the SBA while she was serving as the 44th Treasurer of the United States.

Carranza leads the federal agency exclusively dedicated to assisting small business owners and entrepreneurs in starting, growing and expanding their businesses. The SBA also helps residents and businesses by providing no cost, low interest loans in the event of a natural disaster. Currently she heads the oversight of the $379 billion in guaranteed loan assistance that has been granted by the White House to help small businesses overcome economic hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. Carranza also announced that the SBA will be granting automatic disaster loan deferments through December 31, 2020, to help borrowers who are still paying back SBA loans from previous disasters. Because the change is automatic, borrowers of home and business disaster loans do not have to contact the agency to request deferment. She also changed the criteria for eligibility to apply for the SBAs Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help more small businesses apply as soon as possible. “The SBA is looking at every option and taking every action to cut red tape to make it easier for small businesses to stay

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in business. Automatically deferring existing SBA disaster loans through the end of the year will help borrowers during this unprecedented time,” said Carranza. “Today’s announcement adds a list of growing actions the SBA is taking to support small businesses. These actions include making it easier for states and territories to request a declaration so small businesses statewide can now apply for economic injury disaster loans, and changing the terms of new economic injury loans to allow for one-year deferments.” U.S. Congress reached a deal on a roughly $480 billion coronavirus relief funding package to continue helping small businesses and hospitals, and expand COVID-19 testing. This new funding package comes after the initial funds set aside for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) were exhausted in just two weeks — due to over 1.66 million loans for more than $342 billion. The Senate has approved the deal, and now it goes to the House. The deal will authorize the Paycheck Protection Program to spend an additional $310 billion to replace the previous $349 billion that has run dry. Of this money, $60 billion will be set aside for smaller lending facilities, including community financial institutions, small insured depository institutions and credit unions with assets less than $10 billion. Other support for small businesses includes a $10 billion for grants under the Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, $50 billion for disaster recovery loans and $2.1 billion for additional salaries and SBA expenses. Prior to her role at the SBA, Carranza enjoyed an accomplished career at the United Parcel Service, starting as a part-time, night-shift box handler and eventually becoming the highest ranking Latina in company history, serving as President of Latin America and Caribbean operations. Carranza is the Founder of JCR Group and earned her MBA from the University of Miami. Carranza’s leadership is pivotal in this time as many small businesses are on the brink of extinction and need as much financial support as they can get to keep their businesses afloat and keep their employees on payroll.


Nicole Cober, Esquire, Principal Managing Partner of Cober Johnson and Romney (CJR), NWBC Council Member, shares her story of her experience receiving hospital treatment for breast cancer surgery during the COVID-19 outbreak. She is educating the public about how changes in policy procedure affected her treatment and will continue to affect her as she continues to battle breast cancer. Nicole Cober, Esquire, is a successful business owner who was interviewed for NAWRB Magazine, Vol. 8, Issue 3, and who was a distinguished speaker at the 2019 NAWRB Conference, Redefining Leadership. Aside from her professional success, Nicole has shown personal strength in sharing her story of her experience receiving hospital treatment for breast cancer surgery during the COVID-19 outbreak. She shares how changes in policy procedure affected her treatment and will continue to affect her as she continues to battle breast cancer. For instance, she states that medical professionals who were helping to prep her for surgery were asked to leave the operating room because they did not have face masks. Some of her follow-up treatments will have to be done over the phone or online, which might become prob-

Kim Scherer, Senior Manager of Local Public Affairs at Southern California Edison, led the company’s transition during the coronavirus, is helping employees adjust, and serves as a Liaison Officer to Government Representatives. I would like to recommend Kim Scherer, a Senior Manager, Local Public Affairs. She has been a steady and incredible woman working behind the scenes in the coronavirus response at Southern California Edison. SCE provides an essential service: electricity. It’s not out front and center in the public consciousness until the lights go out and the power is not working. It takes a lot of work to ensure the power is safely on and reliable constantly.

lematic if she has any complications. She was also sent home the day of her surgery because the hospital thought she was safer at home, and she was unable to see her doctor post-surgery. Nicole notes that there are even discussions about eliminating emergency services in hospitals in Washington, DC, because there is a shortage of staff and minimal supplies. Nicole asks us to keep in mind other individuals with breast cancer or other ailments who do not have surgeries scheduled and might experience a delay in care because hospitals are short-staffed and lack supplies. The impact of COVID-19 has larger implications than only coronavirus patients themselves; we will likely see long-lasting effects in hospital treatment and care for all current and future patients in need. Thank you, Nicole, for sharing your story and enlightening the community about the impact of COVID-19 on a larger scale, and how important it is for hospitals to be given enough supplies, equipment and resources to save lives and maintain the quality of life for countless Americans. Watch Nicole’s video here: https://www.linkedin.com/ posts/niccoberesquire_covid19-breastcancer-itsreal-activity-6650124154802630657-U1hG.

Since the beginning of March as the coronavirus pandemic was declared, Kim stepped up to work beyond the normal work day, seven days a week to ensure SCE employees transitioned safely to a teleworking situation while still providing an essential service. She reported everyday in the Emergency Operations Center at 7 AM and would come home late into the evening. She served as a liaison officer to key local government and agency representatives, informed company decision making on essential work and philanthropy contributions for local food NAWRB MAGAZINE |

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banks, and advocated for the company’s number one priority in keeping employees and customers safe. Kim stepped up when so many of us couldn’t as we struggled to manage work, homeschooling, caretaking, illness, etc. She did not hesitate to answer the call of duty.

Kim just celebrated her wedding anniversary and we all had to “force” her to unplug for one day but she was right back to work the next day - a Saturday. On so many accounts, Kim Scherer is definitely an incredible woman but often an unsung hero.

Suzanne Miller, President, Empire State Properties, President of Empire State Properties, organized a fundraiser through GoFundMe to help raise money to provide food for New York’s physicians and staff who are at the front lines of the COVID-19.

lumbia University Hospital and others have enough meals to feed their frontline physicians while they are on duty so they can continue to work day and night and have one less thing to worry about. The idea was born when we heard from the surgery doctors at Columbia University Hospital, and our goal is to start with this hospital then expand our efforts to feed as many hospitals across the city as possible, all shifts, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Help us make this happen.

Suzanne Miller, organized a fundraiser through GoFundMe to help raise money to provide food for New York’s physicians and staff who are at the front lines of the COVID-19, treating countless patients of this novel virus. She wrote the letter below regarding the mission of her fundraiser and why it’s important that we give back to our healthcare community during these trying times: “Right now the world is going through an unprecedented situation that no one could have imagined. What started an ocean away has spread globally, and New York City has become the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in the United States. Our hospitals are stretched to their limits, and our frontline physicians are working harder than ever before, away from their own families and loved ones for days at a time. Empire State Properties is a New York City-born and -based company, and we are dedicated to serving our local community. Now, more than ever, we want to do anything we can to help our physicians. My passion for helping the medical community stems from my late husband, a New York City family doctor who passed away shortly after 9/11. I understand what these medical professionals are going through, and now it’s time to do our part. At NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Hospital and others, cafeteria operations have been significantly reduced to maximize the safety of employees, and there is little food available to the physicians overnight. Together we can help ensure NewYork-Presbyterian/Co-

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We have set up a Go Fund Me page to make donating easy. No amount is too small … or too big! Every dollar counts. We will make sure all monies raised go directly to benefitting the frontline heroes and we are withdrawing the funds to purchase meals from local restaurants and providing them with necessary supplies. As we navigate these uncharted waters, we can all do our part no matter how small to get through this and come out on the other side a more compassionate and caring community.” At time of writing, Suzanne’s fundraiser has raised nearly $15,000 of her $50,000 goal. Help provide food for New York’s physicians and staff here: https://www.gofundme. com/f/food-for-the-frontline-physicians-and-staff.


Dr. Thyonne Gordon, is a storyteller and curator who helps build strategies for business owners and corporate teams, and supports countless youth with scholarships and mentorships. Her business Beyond Story helps people go beyond their story to living their best lives. When thinking of incredible women, we look to doctors, lawyers and scientists to tell their stories. Today, I will introduce an incredible woman who tells those stories. She’s a gifted storyteller and curator who helps build strategies for business owners and corporate teams. Dr. Thyonne Gordon created her business Beyond Story to help people go beyond their story to living their best lives. She does ghostwriting, grant writing, curricula development and training, and recently launched a FB Live to help Shift Your Crisis Story. She does this every morning at 9:19 AM (symbolic of the number 19 in COVID) and has given a new acronym perspective using Coming Out Victoriously Illuminating Ideas Daily, to inspire watchers. Dr. Thyonne’s business relies on in-person training and de-

Hyepin Im, is the Founder of Faith and Community Empowerment (FACE), a HUD-approved nonprofit housing counseling agency whose mission is to advance the Asian American community’s participation, contribution, and influence through faith-based and community partnerships and is hosting a series of webinars to help people and small businesses through the global health pandemic. FACE is hosting a series of webinars to help people and small businesses through the global health pandemic. This month, Hyepin Im is hosting a webinar with Terri L. Billups, U.S. SBA Assistant District Director, Economic Development,

velopment and her largest client is healthcare—leaving her dead in the water right now. She inspires others to create business opportunities. When the stimulus package was released she encouraged people to apply. Many felt intimidated by the process so she began applying for them. Now she is writing everyday to support those needing help. She’s also encouraging everyone to write their stories. “More than ever before, this is the time to write so the next generation knows what we’re made of and how we survived,” she shared in one of her talks. There is much more about Dr. Thyonne that makes her incredible—running successful nonprofit organizations; supporting countless youth with scholarships and mentorships; leading successful boards and excelling in board governance; and the volunteer coaching she does with nonprofit Executive Directors. But what I know for sure is, her story technique uniquely impacts every life she touches. She is a woman who has touched my heart and I nominate her so that she can touch yours and your readers. www.beyondstory.com

on COVID-19 Federal Assistance & Loan Forgiveness Programs for Churches and Nonprofits. FACE made the following announcement about their webinar: “We are pleased to share this special opportunity to hear the latest updates from US Small Business Administration on their federal assistance programs in response to the Coronavirus pandemic including their loan forgiveness programs (ie; Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program). Churches and nonprofits can also apply for these programs and qualified applicants can have their loans forgiven and not have to pay back for qualified items up to certain limits.” FACE serves as a light and bridge between the Asian American community and the greater community at large by connecting and creating private and public collaboration, maximizing the capacities of NAWRB MAGAZINE |

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faith-based organizations and other community non-profits, increasing access to resources and funds, and assisting low-income individuals and revitalizing neighborhoods.

payment! Congratulations to FACE for the deserved recognition of their hard work helping low-income communities achieve the American Dream of homeownership!

To date, FACE has educated over 9,000 prospective homeowners. FACE’s efforts have resulted in providing homeowners with over $1.4 million in down payment assistance and exemplary efforts have earned numerous recognition including the prestigious Hope Award from the National Association of Realtors as well as Homefree-USA’s President’s Award. Last year, ABC Channel 7 news recognized Faith and Community Empowerment (FACE) as they shared the story of FACE Homebuyer Education Client Vicente Cain Rivera and his journey of becoming a homeowner at age 22. With an income less than $34K, Rivera was only able to put $2,900 in down payment, but FACE helped him with $105,000 down

Brateil Aghasi is the Executive Director of WISEPlace, that is participating in the annual Help Them Home fundraiser to help the homeless during the global health pandemic. Help them Home is a 24 hour online fundraiser for the homeless of Orange County. With 17 other organizations, they are planning to raise $700,000 for those experiencing homelessness. Brateil Aghasi, CEO of WISEPlace, helps unaccompanied women with no children or spouse. WISEPlace serves homeless women between the ages of 18 and 94, but 60 percent of the homeless women they serve are over 60 years old. WISEPlace served 321 women in 2019 – the highest number of lives positively impacted in their organization's history – bringing their total to more than 8,100 women since 1924. Fifty-eight percent of the women they serve are domestic violence survivors and 41 percent are disabled. WISEPlace provides transitional services to survivors of domestic violence for 4-6 month. The organization was able to triple the number of women they support by tapping into federal dollars and taking advantage of contracts that people don’t know much about.

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https://youtu.be/q6mvsIop_PE

In April 22, 2020, WISEPlace is participating in the annual Help Them Home fundraiser to help the homeless during the global health pandemic. Help them Home is a 24 hour online fundraiser for the homeless of Orange County. With 17 other organizations, they are planning to raise $700,000 for those experiencing homelessness. WISEPlace’s own goal is to raise $40,000. Every dollar counts and goes directly to programs serving participants and keeping everyone safe and healthy through COVID-19. Donate here: https://bit.ly/HTHwise.


Je'net Kreitner, is CEO/Founder of Grandma's House of Hope, committed to improving the quality of life for Orange County’s most vulnerable, underserved and socio-economically disadvantaged community members by providing housing, food and trauma-informed supportive services. Three months ago, no one knew that the COVID-19 virus existed. Now the virus has spread to almost every country, infecting at least 446,000 people whom we know about, and many more whom we do not. It has crashed economies and broken health-care systems, emptied public spaces and filled hospitals. It has separated people from their workplaces and their friends. It has ultimately disrupted modern society on a scale that most living people have never witnessed. Hence, it has demanded many leaders to make time sensitive decisions they have never had to make before. Grandma’s House of Hope (GHH) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to improving the quality of life for Orange County’s most vulnerable, underserved and socio-economically disadvantaged community members by providing housing, food and trauma-informed supportive services. GHH’s mission is to Empower the Invisible Pop-

ulations of Orange County by targeting those who truly slip between the cracks of other programs. The Founder of Grandma’s House of Hope has led her team with grace, empathy, and most importantly competence. With her staff being a part of the essential workforce and her clients being that of the most vulnerable to the virus, every decision made a huge impact on the organization. Being a past victim of homelessness and now an advocate for the homeless, this pandemic has hit home for Je’net Kreitner. She has spent sleepless nights and her own resources to ensure that every staff member was safe and taken care of, mentally. She has ensured that all participants in her shelters were given the proper care, communication, and materials needed to keep them safe. In result, no COVID-19 cases have been reported from our programs. It takes a woman with courage to lead during this time of need so we would like to nominate Je’net Kreitner, an Incredible Woman Preserving the Quality of Life During COVID-19.

Amy Lee Caimano, Licensed Sales Agent of Hilton Head Real Estate Partners, works with non-profits, shelters and local community members to help the underserved gain access to items they need, from appliances, furniture and bikes, to small everyday personal necessity items. In 2012, I was fortunate to move to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. It was a dream come true for me, living near the beach on a beautiful, sunny Island. When my twins started high school at the local public high school I wanted to get involved. I was lucky enough to be able to assist with a program that the high school itself had in place for students & their families struggling with homelessness, illness, death of a parent or guardian, financial or other crisis situations. I quickly learned that our beautiful Island had a huge diversity of income & financial situations.

Since 2018 I have focused on helping out those less fortunate in our community by helping them gain access to items they need from appliances, furniture, bikes, to small everyday personal necessity items. I have worked in conjunction with our vast array of non-profit organizations, churches, social clubs, shelters, & local community members to get these items to the families. I have also become aware that we have a very giving community here, whether I am arranging collections of shoes, clothes or toiletry items, or reaching out for an urgent need, Hilton Head Island's people have always come through for me! This year in 2020, I have been accepted to be on the Board of The NAWRB MAGAZINE |

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Sandalwood Community Pantry, a non-profit pantry that has been running for over 11 years, I am able to donate my time & talents to this amazing cause. Giving back to my local community not only keeps me in touch with community members that I would not normally know, it also helps our small Island community stay strong and healthy. As a Realtor in my community, it is important to me that people see me as a neighbor that gives back and helps those in need.

Dr. Kami J. Anderson, Founder/Executive Director of Bilingual Brown Babies, helps bilingual children develop their multilingual capacities, and has developed a homeschooling curriculum for parents. In the midst of these epic times, I am still trying to show up for homeschooling mothers—now the newly established homeschooling mothers —by offering language services that will not only push families to bilingualism but also bring families closer together through family communication in theory and practice. Mothers need their kids to “leave them alone for a minute” so they can work, but in ways that are enriching and fulfilling and not just “plopping them in front of a TV.” As a #blackbilingualmama who has not only Spanish teaching expertise, but also expertise in the ways in which Black children specifically get what they need for language, I have homeschooling curriculum as well as kid-friendly videos on my private network for children to enjoy and learn from. We are now in a new normal. We have the stability of a job that transitioned easily into remote work, but we have never had to work with our children in the background like we are now. Our children’s teachers have given us digital resources, but we

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find that it’s just maintaining and not pushing them the way we want them to be pushed. We have all the math, science and ELA we need for our child because between us and our girlfriends, we are swapping resources, but none of us speak a foreign language enough to know what to do with it that will help our kids. We aren’t all that cool with just throwing our child in front of technology, but we know that a few minutes of enriching stuff will never hurt anyone. So, I got creative. I not only began promoting my homeschool curriculum in a way that would appeal to my new homeschooling mothers, but I created a program that will allow mothers to get quality language videos for their children to get Spanish basics, vocabulary and conversational skills that will be long lasting and memorable. I am also posting virtual museum tours for museums in Spanish speaking countries so that kids can watch my own children’s experience.


Briana Aamodt-Kuenz, is taking on the role of teacher for her children as well as mother now that parents are having to administer their children’s education. In addition to homeschooling, Brianna is responsible for the care of elder family members. Briana lives in Neenah, Wisconsin, with her five children, and her husband is a Sergeant in the U.S. Army. Briana was nominated by her mother, NAWRB Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council (NDILC) Member Kellie Aamodt, Board Member of Marine Research and Exploration (MARE) and Retired UPS Vice President of Corporate Inside Sales. As Kellie states, Briana is one of many mothers who “are stepping up and homeschooling their children, dealing with elder care, ensuring the households stay together in tough financial times, and keeping the family safe. So many women have had to shuffle their daily activities quickly to handle this ‘new normal.’”

< Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to coordinate with the World Health Organization (WHO), federal, state and local public health partners, and clinicians in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. CDC is closely monitoring the situation and working 24/7 to provide updates.

Outbreak response in action: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) staff support the COVID-19 response in the CDC’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

<

Photo Credits: James Gathany

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Different Ways Technology is Helping to Combat COVID-19 & Keep Humanity Connected As the healthcare industry uses all their resources to treat the growing number of COVID-19 cases worldwide, which at time of writing is over 1.6 million cases with almost 100,000 confirmed deaths, technology has become a useful tool to help monitor cases, share information, care for patients and ensure public safety. Outside of healthcare, the corporate world and school systems have also used technology as a means to carry on their business operations, such as using Zoom and other video conferencing websites to host virtual meetings and classroom sessions. In this article, we’ll highlight just some of the ways technology is helping to maintain quality of life during this unprecedented time where the need for responsible information sharing and connectivity during quarantine is at its highest.

Videoconferencing for Remote Care, Learning and Productivity

According to an article by HealthTech, the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv, opened a coronavirus telemedicine program in March to physically isolate and treat Israeli patients. “A telehealth-driven model could be expanded in the U.S. if coronavirus cases grow, one federal official told National Public Radio,” the report notes. While China was dealing at COVID-19, 5G networking and communications equipment were installed at the West China Hospital of Sichuan University as a reactionary measure “to allow providers to conduct the first remote diagnosis of coronavirus with the help of a telehealth system. The initiative will be expanded to other hospitals,” HealthTech reports. In other countries like the U.S., many employees are working from home under state- or self-imposed quarantines, and they are using remote work tools such as Zoom video conferencing to help keep in

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touch with their colleagues, CNBC reports. Americans are also using Zoom to connect with friends and family by hosting virtual gatherings. Zoom, like FaceTime and Skype, is a useful tool for socializing with others without the risk of exposure. School districts and universities have also taken on Zoom as a form of communication between students and teachers as most school campuses in some states have been closed for the rest of the school year. In lieu of traditional face-to-face teaching, school courses have transitioned to an on-line format and classroom sessions are now held virtually. This change has put pressure on teachers and students alike. Teachers have to not only learn new technology but also use it effectively to relay information to their students in a structured manner. Students, and their parents, on the other hand, have to create a productive learning environment in their homes amongst the other responsibilities they have to conduct at home.

Robots Assist Patient Care

While communication tools have helped healthcare workers keep in touch and share timely information with each other, robots have been used as a medium between physicians and their COVID-19 patients. Providence, the nation’s third-largest healthcare system, was the first in the United States to treat a patient with COVID-19. HealthTech reports that in late January, physicians at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington, used a robot to check a patient’s vitals with a stethoscope and communicate with them with the robot’s builtin screen. With a remote-controlled telehealth cart, physicians were able to conduct basic diagnostic functions, including taking blood pressure and temperature. Providence Regional Medical Center’s Chief Clinical


Technology

"The change has put pressure on teachers and students alike... not only to learn new technology but also how to use it effectively..."

Officer, Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips, told Forbes that “technology is allowing us to reduce the number of up-close interactions” with patients who have contracted the coronavirus.

ance, testing orders and screening questions within their own electronic health record software. This technology is becoming a useful tool to inform patients and providers as quickly as possible.

In a webinar about Providence’s care strategies amid the COVID-19 outbreaks, Dr. Compton-Phillips emphasized that clear communication about care options for concerned patients is key during this time of uncertainty. “The best thing you can do for your organization and the people depending on you is to be the voice of reason and calm,” she said.

Chatbots Help Ease Patient Fears About Coronavirus

Chinese news media have stated that other uses for robots have included robotic food delivery and trash removal. In addition, robots have been designed to kill germs by emitting ultraviolet C light and are sterilizing rooms at facilities with suspected cases of coronavirus. These robots are also being used to clean the interiors of some airplanes traveling from China to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Software Identifies Coronavirus Patterns in Electronic Health Records HealthTech also reports that some healthcare IT vendors are updating their software to better identify patterns and potential signs of COVID-19. In late January, Madison-based electronic health record corporation Epic updated its travel screen questionnaire in collaboration with the help of biocontainment experts and infectious disease specialists. They also utilized coronavirus guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The goal of this project was to make sure that clinicians and other medical staff on the frontlines of COVID-19 were asking patients the right questions, such as about recent international travel and relevant symptoms that could prompt isolation precautions, Healthcare IT News reports. Likewise, Athenahealth and Meditech have also released new guid-

Plenty of healthcare companies have been updating their algorithms to create chatbots that help screen users for the virus before they visit a hospital or clinic. This is meant to help the patients identify possible symptoms early and reduce unnecessary visits from patients who do not have the virus. For example, there’s an on-demand primary care app called 98point6 which released a coronavirus screening chatbot in January. The app had mixed results in the beginning, but tech designers have been updating the algorithm ever since with symptom-specific changes. Artificial intelligence (AI)-backed chatbots have also been developed to answer any questions from the general public about the virus. An AI firm called Haptik created an WhatsApp nCOV help desk chatbot to answer any questions about COVID-19 and provide users with continual updates. A 17-year-old named Avi Schiffmann, a high school junior from Mercer Island outside Seattle, created a global COVID-19 tracking website that has been a vital global resource for the general public. Avi created the website in December, when no cases had been reported outNAWRB MAGAZINE |

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"In these times of uncertainty, technology is becoming an increasingly helpful tool..." side of China. Today, the site has been visited by tens of millions of people from every country in the world. The site tracks critical information, including number of deaths, numbers of cases locally and globally with an interactive map, information on the disease, and a Twitter feed with the latest updates. The resource is updated every minute, and uses information from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other resources. Visit the site: https://ncov2019.live/data.

Wearables Support Monitoring of Coronavirus Patients

Wearables have become invaluable in helping fight COVID-19 by helping healthcare professionals to monitor their patientsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; vitals with minimal contact. The Shanghai Public Health Center, for example, has been using a continuous temperature sensor to help reduce the spread of coronavirus in China, which has been used by four other hospitals in China. Once the sensor is applied to the patient, it sends real-time information and sensor readings to health professionals. The Shanghai Public Health Center also applied sensors to monitor heart and respiratory rates among this patient population. Healthcare professionals in the U.S. are starting to utilize Apple, Fitbit and Samsung fitness trackers, smartwatches and other wearables to track COVID-19 symptoms and help treat patients. As those stricken with COVID-19 begin to overwhelm the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s health care system, the lack of sufficient tests makes it difficult for hospitals to make critical decisions about the best care treatments for patients, and where to deploy doctors, nurses, respirators and other scarce care resources. In response, hospitals are trying to ease this burden by incorporating wearables into their coronavirus efforts. Specifically, they are planning to use these wearables to track the progress of the COVID-19 as it spreads across the nation; identify doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who have contracted the disease quickly; and monitor coronavirus patients to make better decisions about who should be hospitalized. In these times of uncertainty, technology is becoming an increasingly helpful tool to not only help monitor the virus and treat inflicted patients, but also help people continue critical facets of their daily lives, such as working (if they can) to earn an income, continuing their education and staying connected with their loved ones. As the healthcare industry creatively uses these new resources to help save lives, technology is bridging the gap between humans as they remain separated during this public health crisis.

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The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Securities (CARES) Act is a $2 trillion economic stimulus package that was signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020. It’s purpose is to provide relief to Americans and small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill includes a variety of benefits, from direct stimulus checks to Americans and expansion of unemployment benefits, to a suspension of federal student loans until September 30th and rules for retirement accounts. In this article, we highlight seven important things you should know about how the stimulus package will affect you and how to claim your benefits.

The federal government is sending direct cash in the form of stimulus payments to Americans in need of financial relief from the coronavirus crisis. the new $2 trillion stimulus package, which will provide $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married couples, with an additional $500 per child under the age of 17. These payouts will be income-based and single adults with an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less will receive the full amount. For married couples with no children earning $150,000 or less in combined incomes will also receive the full amount. The payment decreases for single people earning at least $99,000 and married couples with no children earning at least $198,000. Your income will be based on either your 2018 or 2019 federal tax filings, depending on whichever the IRS has received recently. Therefore, if you have not filed your 2019 taxes yet, the IRS will go by your 2018 return. People who do not have Social Security Numbers are not eligible for the payments, so this excludes some people with visas and undocumented immigrants. Keep in mind that only people with valid Social Security Numbers will receive payments, with the exception of people in the military. Those who receive Social Security payments, disability payments and unemployment are still eligible. Also, this process is automatic and you will not have to apply or opt in to receive your payment.

The stimulus package extends eligibility for unemployment claims for the following situations: • Workers who have been laid off or furloughed “through no fault of their own.” • Workers experiencing reduced hours because of COVID-19. • Workers who have quit, but only under some extenuating circumstances (e.g, unsafe workplace).

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Government • • • •

Part-time workers, gig workers, self-employed workers, independent contractors, freelancers. People who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who are taking care of family members who have it themselves. People who have been ordered to self-quarantine. People whose child’s day care or school has been shut down.

Those who are not eligible to apply for unemployment include individuals whose jobs have been shifted to work-from-home, and people who are receiving paid sick leave or paid family leave; those who have just entered the workforce and can’t find jobs right now; and people who proactively quit their jobs because of fear of COVID-19. The new benefit increases will vary state, but the federal government will give additional $600 per week to whatever a person receives from their state for up to four months only. How long will your unemployment benefits last? Well, each state has varying maximums for unemployment, ranging from 12 to 28 weeks, but most states are allowing for 26 weeks. In addition, the new bill adds 13 more weeks of federally funded unemployment insurance if you reach the state maximum.

The CARES Act provides $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses.Of these funds, the recent CARES Act will also grant the SBA to give out a total of $349 billion for guaranteed loans through its loan programs. At time of writing, the SBA has run out of these funds within two weeks of providing financial aid to small businesses, and the federal government is working on funneling more money to the SBA to carry on their funding programs. With the developing changes, you might also be eligible for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans for qualifying small businesses. As mentioned above, these are low-interest loans with terms that might last as long as 30 years for small businesses and nonprofits.The CARES Act also established several new temporary SBA programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak: SBA Economic Injury Disaster (EIDL) Loans & PPP (Paycheck Protection Program).

Financial Relief for Independent Contractors/Self-Employed Previously, self-employed people and independent contractors have not been eligible to collect unemployment except if their business is an S-corp. However, since the government has recently passed the CARES Act, a $2 trillion stimulus package, unemployment insurance has been extended to self-employed workers and independent contractors. Those who qualify will be able to collect unemployment benefits for 13 more weeks than the usually allotted time and receive an additional $600 a week on top of state unemployment benefits for up to four months. Note that the rate of state pay might be lower for self-employed, freelance workers and independent contractors in your state. To apply, visit your state’s unemployment website and be ready to provide your Social Security number (and those of your dependents), and driver’s license or state ID.

Small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. As stated on the SBA’s website, “This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available following a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.” Please note that “successful application” does not mean you have to be approved for the loan. Moreover, loan approval is not necessary to receive the loan advance. This program is for any small business with less than 500 employees (which includes sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by COVID-19. In certain industries, businesses may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA’s size standards for NAWRB MAGAZINE |

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respective industries. The U.S. Small Business Administration has updated their application for Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Interested businesses as well as previous applicants are being asked to apply or reapply here. On the application, make sure to check the $10,000 box to access the emergency grant.

Federal student loan payments, as well as interest, have been automatically suspended until September 30, 2020. This means that people with student loans do not have to make payments towards their debt, and they will not accrue new interest from now until the end of September. Individuals can still make monthly payments if they wish, but it is not required. Since interest is suspended, the payment will go toward previously accrued interest and then the principal. Eligible loans include Direct Loans from the federal government from the past decade. However, state loans, private loans, Perkins loans and the majority of Federal Family Education Loans (including Sallie Mae student loans) are not eligible. If your employer is helping pay off some of your student loan debt, from March 27th to the end of 2020, employers can offer up to $5,250 in additional student loan assistance and tuition reimbursement without counting it toward your income.

As part of the stimulus package, the government has suspended required minimum distributions (RMDs) on all retirement accounts for the rest of the year 2020. The intention of this change is to prevent retirees from having to dip into their retirement accounts while the market is down, which gives accounts more time to rebound in the future. For those who have already taken an RMD, you have 60 days to return the money to the account or open a new qualified retirement account and avoid a penalty. Otherwise, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be liable for any tax on the withdrawal. You can also withdraw money from your retirement account early now that the 10 percent bonus penalty on withdrawals has been waived for 401(k)s and IRAs. However, there are limitations: the distributions must occur in 2020 and must be no more than $100,000 in total.

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Make sure to take advantage of the financial assistance at your disposal if you are in need, and keep well-informed as changes are made regarding the stimulus package. During these times, updates are happening every day as the federal government tries to accommodate varying circumstances and overcomes obstacles to make sure Americans are receiving the help they need during this time of economic hardship.


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Fireworks highlight the Battleship IOWA Museum after the free Beach Boy concert during LA Fleet Week.

Former WWII USS IOWA Redeployed to Assist USNS MERCY You have seen it all over the media recently that one of the Navy’s two hospital ships, the USNS MERCY, has deployed to Los Angeles for our national-wide pandemic emergency to fight the COVID-19 coronavirus. Just down the pier from the MERCY is one of the Navy’s retired battleships, USS IOWA. The IOWA was once the most powerful warship afloat and still is the ultimate symbol of America to the world. While commissioned during World War II, Korea, and the Cold War, USS IOWA and her American sailors made the world safe for democracy. Now, IOWA has found a new way to serve, as the Battleship IOWA Museum, a 501(c)3 non-profit in the Port of Los Angeles. Today while the MERCY is in port in LA, the IOWA is doing even more. She is serving as a command post for the Navy’s non-medical responders. While most Americans might be surprised to hear that a museum would play such a key role in a terrible disaster, it is not a coincidence. The IOWA, Navy and civilian responders have been practicing for this day for 5 years during LA Fleet Week. Our Navy trains every day of every week and Fleet Weeks are no different. “Defense Support of Civil Authorities” or “DSCA” exercises happen behind the scenes during each Fleet Week and allow our Navy to practice one of its core jobs, providing humanitarian assistance to America and the world in times of greatest need.

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LA Fleet Week was started in 2016 under the leadership of the IOWA’s President and CEO, Jonathan Williams. During Fleet Week, Los Angeles could get to know its Navy and the Navy could get to know Los Angeles. Jonathan noted, “Few Angelenos know that Port of LA is the largest in America and that LA is maritime city. One in twelve jobs in LA is directly related to trade across the seas and 90% of all America’s economic traffic travels by sea with 40% of that through LA!” Around 250,000 Angelenos attend LA Fleet week each Labor Day weekend. Visiting Navy, Coast Guard, and allied Canadian ships are featured during LA Fleet Week but the centerpiece is the


Business Ownership grand old gray lady, the USS IOWA. USS IOWA was towed to Los Angeles from the Navy’s “mothball fleet” in the San Francisco Bay in 2012. Since then, the City of Los Angeles adopted her wholeheartedly. She started in LA as simply another of the 100 or so ship museums around the country but has become much more. TripAdvisor now ranks her as 5th in Los Angeles as both a museum and a tourist attraction, no small feat in a City with around 150 museums and 650 tourist attractions.

A student from an underserved LA school enjoys a hands-on STEM lesson aboard the Battleship IOWA Museum Veterans aboard IOWA

The Chairman of the Board of the IOWA, retired Rear Admiral Mike Shatynski, explains, “To me, the two most impactful museums in LA are the Museum of Tolerance in West LA and the IOWA in the Port of LA. The Museum of Tolerance reminds us to never forget the terrible things that man can do to man and the Battleship IOWA Museum reminds us of the great things that man can do for man. American workers built battleships funded by dimes donated by American children and American sailors sacrificed their lives aboard battleships to bring down terribly evil dictatorships around the world.” Today, the IOWA is much more than just a museum. Her growth in the past 7 years has been truly remarkable and can be attributed to her 3 program pillars which are education, veterans, and community. Over 35,000 children, mostly from underserved LA schools, are educated and inspired annually in STEM, overnight stays, and other programs. Veterans find a home aboard, something that many have been missing desperately since they left the service. They serve as volunteers or by participating in formal programs such as Operation Re-Boot. IOWA has become the hub of activities and services for a previously underserved population of LA veterans. Finally, the IOWA has driven economic and waterfront develop in the City of Los Angeles’ community of San Pedro, traditionally a backwater for City of LA and Angeleno attentions. The new redeveloped LA Waterfront, a seaside version of downtown’s LA Live, will feature USS IOWA as a cornerstone.

The US Navy’s hospital ship USNS MERCY passes by Battleship Iowa in LA Harbor as it deploys to provide emergency medical assistance during the nation-wide COVID-19 emergency. (Aerial photo by Dave Marsden)

Even more excitement is on the horizon for IOWA once America recovers from the coronavirus epidemic. In 2019, IOWA was licensed by NAWRB MAGAZINE |

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the US Navy to become the National Museum of the Surface Navy. IOWA was chosen to represent the Navy’s core values to our country; providing humanitarian assistance, supporting international relations, and ensuring freedom of the seas. During this national emergency, the IOWA is physically shutdown but is still providing education and veteran programs remotely. Even more important, the mostly volunteer crew is still working aboard when they can by using social distancing and other safety measures to make the IOWA better for her reopening once America recovers from the pandemic. When you are no longer ordered to “Stay at Home” and are safe to travel, please put a visit to USS IOWA on your calendar. In the meantime, IOWA needs support from America. Despite being a retired Navy warship and a licensed Navy museum, IOWA receives no government funding and operates as a 501(c)3 non-profit museum. Please consider contributing a tax-free donation today so IOWA can continue her important new missions for America.

Mike Shatynski

Rear Admiral Shatynski, a retired Surface Navy officer, served on Navy surface vessels ranging from small coastal riverine patrol boats to the battleship USS New Jersey. He currently serves as chairman of the board of the Battleship IOWA Museum and is a co-founder and director on the board for the LA Fleet Week Foundation. For more information, visit pacificbattleship.com or surfacenavymuseum.org. Thank you, Laura Dietz, CEO of Summit Realty, for making this possible.

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Media

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

News RoundUp

Women Leaders Have the Best Coronavirus Response & They All Have Something in Common Women leaders of countries such as Iceland, Taiwan, Germany, New Zealan and more, are showing tremendous leadership during this global health pandemic, and are exemplifying some of the best coronavirus responses that have led to fewer deaths. Their leadership styles have similar characteristics, such as being truthful with their citizens, showing decisiveness, utilizing technology and responding with empathy and care to the fears and concerns of their people.

www.forbes.com

‘It Feels Like a War Zone’: Doctors and Nurses Plead for Masks on Social Media Healthcare workers, including numerous doctors and nurses, who are on the frontlines of the coronavirus battle are comparing this unprecedented situation to being in a war zone. As they treat a growing number of COVID-19 cases, their supplies have dwindled, forcing them to improvise ways to make their stock last. Now they are urging leaders to help supply them with the necessary resources, and protective equipment like masks, gowns and face shields, to save lives while protecting their own wellbeing.

www.nytimes.com

Mortgage Bankers Association Responds to Fed Announcement to Purchase Mortgage-Backed Securities The Federal Reserve announced that it will increase the scale and scope of purchases of agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) in the amounts needed to support the smooth functioning of markets, and the purchase of agency commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS). In response, Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) President and CEO Bob Broeksmit, CMB, states, "MBA applauds the Fed for announcing its intent to increase the scale and scope of its purchase of agency MBS and agency commercial MBS. This will not only protect consumers by stabilizing mortgage rates for home purchases, but it will also help homeowners to refinance their loans and support multifamily real estate markets.”

www.mba.org

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Xenophobia Stops People From Buying Groceries at Fully Stocked Asian Markets Asian-owned stores in New York City are reportedly fully stocked but are not seeing many customers because of the xenophobia surrounding the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), according to an article by Next Shark. The Executive Director of the Asian American Federation Jo-Ann Yoo fears that this is due to a growing trend of anti-Chinese sentiment that is endangering the livelihood of the Asian American community: “All of the messaging about vilifying Asian-Americans and this anti-Chinese sentiment from the president really is going to hurt our — it’s hurting our community, but it’s also hurting the grocery stores,” Yoo said. Another article by CNN notes that there has been a growing number racist assaults and ignorant attacks against Asians during this time, as well.

nextshark.com

China Sends 30 Tons of Medical Supplies to Italy in March In March, nine Chinese medical workers traveled in a plane with 30 tons of medical supplies and equipment, including masks and respirators, to Italy to help the European country deal with its growing coronavirus crisis, at a time when it had the leading number of deaths. Italy used to be the worst-affected nation in the world after China, but the country has recently been surpassed by the United States."In this moment of great stress, of great difficulty, we are relieved to have this arrival of supplies. It is true that it will help only temporarily, but it is still important," stated the Head of the Italian Red Cross, Francesco Rocca.

www.aljazeera.com

Coronavirus Is a Disaster for Feminism, Says The Atlantic Purely as a physical illness, the coronavirus appears to affect women less severely. However, we are not just living through a public-health crisis, but an economic one, that has created greater responsibilities for women. Across the world, women—including those with jobs—do more housework and have less leisure time than their male partners. Not only do women do most of the shopping for the household, which has become more of a struggle with a surge in panic buying, but women also have to manage homeschooling their children while working, whether at home or in essential positions, in which they comprise the majority of workers.

www.theatlantic.com African Americans are at Greater Risk of Death from Coronavirus Forty-six percent of African Americans view the coronavirus as a major threat to their health compared to 21 percent of white Americans. Public health officials have also stated that African Americans are at a greater risk of dying from the coronavirus (COVID-19) compared to white Americans because they are disproportionately poor and thus have lower quality of healthcare. Because the African American population is disproportionately sicker than white Americans, they will have a higher death rate, and the reasons for this include health inequalities between the different races, including access to health care, and differences in the quality of care African Americans receive. Other factors outside of health care include racisim and discrimination, housing, access to transportation and education.

theundefeated.com

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Dermatologists Nationwide See an Influx of “COVID Toes” Among Children The coronavirus has infected more than 2.4 million people across the globe, and each case varies in symptoms, such as a fever, dry cough, and loss of taste and smell. Now dermatologists are noticing another COVID-19 symptom prevalent in younger people that has been previously overlooked: an inflammation of blood vessels in the hands and feet called “COVID toes.” COVID Toes are characterized by a reddish-blue discoloration of the extremities, and it is particularly prevalent among kids. Dermatologists across the United States have seen an influx of this condition in the last few weeks, according to Amy Paller, MD, Chair of the Department of Dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/

Stocks Fall, Oil Crashes into Negative Territory A fall in stocks caused tracking declines in oil prices as people became concerned over weak energy demand in an oversupplied market. According to an article by Yahoo Finance, the May contract for U.S. West Texas intermediate crude oil, which expires on April 21, 2020, erased all value and dropped below zero for the first time in history, settling at -$37.63 per barrel. The June contract for the commodity also dropped sharply, but held above $20 per barrel Monday afternoon. Senior Market Analyst Joshua Mahony explains the situation thusly: “With a huge surplus in crude products filling inventories on land, there is a clear benefit to those producers [who] are able to put their oil out to sea. Unfortunately, the lack of demand and landlocked nature of production in the U.S. and Canada has already started to provide negative prices across a number of crude products in North America.”

finance.yahoo.com/news

U.S. Government Models Coronavirus-Relief Deals after Warren Buffet’s Financial Crisis Bailouts Billionaire “Shark Tank” star Mark Cuban told Business Insider that U.S. government officials should model their coronavirus-relief deals after Warren Buffett's bank bailouts during the 2008 financial crisis, when he helped out Goldman Sachs and Bank of America. "He bought preferred shares of stock which paid a dividend, plus he asked for warrants," Cuban stated. "When the market recovered and those stocks went up, he made a killing.” The U.S. Treasury was seemingly inspired by Buffett in their preliminary deals with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines. The deal did not secure preferred stock, but it demanded warrants enabling it to acquire the airlines' shares at a fixed price in the future. When airline stocks of the “Big 4” rally, the Treasury can execute the warrants to buy the shares at a discount, then sell them for a profit and build its cash reserves. This money can be used to help other businesses in need.

markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/

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American Dirt

by Jeanine Cummins Jeanine Cummins’ compelling book, which earned her a spot on Oprah’s Book Club list, tells the story of Lydia Quixano Perez, who runs a bookstore in Acapulco, Mexico, where she lives with her journalist husband and son. She has no idea that a stranger who begins to frequent her store will change her life, forcing her to flee with her son to their home and start a new life as a Central and South Americans-turned migrants.

The Silent Patient

by Alex Michaelides The Silent Patient is a psychological thriller that will stick with you long after reading, featuring the complexing story of a glamorous couple - an artist named Alicia and her fashion photographer husband, Gabriel. After Gabriel returns home late one night, Alicia shoots her husband five times and never speaks again, resulting in her being institutionalized in a center outside London. An interested psychotherapist named Theo Faber works to unravel this mystery as he treats his new patient.

Little Fires Everywhere

by Celeste Ng Now a Hulu original series starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, Little Fires Everywhere is a story about two families - the Richardsons and the Warrens - living in 1990s Shaker Heights, who are brought together through their children. As the two families become inextricably linked, the picture-perfect Richardson family find their lives upended by the enigmatic mother and daughter, leading to the Richarson’s home catching fire in 1998 by suspected arson.

Ozark

Starring Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Julia Garner In this 14-time Emmy nominated show, Jason Bateman and Laura Linney star as a married couple who are forced to relocate their family to the Ozarks following a money laundering scheme gone wrong with a Mexican drug cartel, while dealing with their own marital problems. As the family becomes inextricably linked with the cartel, their climb up the ranks leads to a slew of dangers from their new neighbors and the cartel as they begin to change the lives of the Ozark community.

Killing Eve

Starring Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer, Fiona Shaw In this British comedy drama spy thriller series, Sandra Oh plays Eve Polastri, a British intelligence investigator tasked with capturing a psychopathic assassin named Villanelle. As her chase develops, the two characters develop a mutual obsession. This riveting show is based on the novel series by Luke Jennings, and each of the show's series is led by a different female head writer. The first season was written by Golden Globe-winner Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Waco: Miniseries

Starring Taylor Kitsch, Michael Shannon, Julia Garner Waco, a television miniseries on Netflix that originally appeared on Paramount Network, is a six-episode series that provides an eye-opening and incredulous account of the infamous standoff that occurred in 1993, between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Branch Davidians, a religious community in Waco, Texas, that resulted in a fatal fire that killed many of the Branch Davidians, including 25 children. NAWRB MAGAZINE |

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AGING AND COVID-19 A PORTRAIT IN NUMBERS By Amicus Brain Innovations, Inc. Dr. Chitra Dorai As the Covid-19 pandemic sweeps through the globe upending the lives of billions of people, a stark fact is that Older adults are more likely at higher risk for developing more severe complications from COVID-19 illness. The COVID-19 coronavirus is a respiratory disease that causes symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. It can lead to serious illness and death. Amicus Brain Innovations, a health tech startup focused on bringing the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to transform caring for aging population with neurodegenerative disorders has embarked on a data collection and analysis initiative to present a portrait of the risk faced by the aging population in numbers.

As the table shows, while New York and Florida have comparable counts of older population (4.5 Million and 4.4 Million respectively), the infection rates vary dramatically. 14,411 cases per million of 60+ in the state of New York compared to 1,468 cases per million of 65+ in Florida. Reasons are clear. New York is densely populated, especially New York city and coronavirus spreads more easily in dense, packed areas. Size also is part of the explanation with New York city and its over 8 million people. Another big reason is also the high testing underway in New York. This table also highlights the impact of the early self-isolation measures as seen in the number of California. While California has a 5.6 Million 65+ population in the state, the Covid infection rate is 1,187 per million of 65+, a lower number of disease incidence compared to some of the other states.

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Aging Population The harrowing stories of nursing homes becoming death traps are highlighted in the New Jersey Covid infection rate. While New Jersey’s aged population is about ¼ of the state of New York, its Covid infection rates are alarmingly comparable. 12,187 per million of 65+ in New Jersey and 14,411 per million of 60+ in New York. HOW CAN WE HELP TO REDUCE RISK AND PREVENT ILLNESS? A number of useful resources are available to educate and implement community actions designed to reduce exposures to COVID-19 and slow the spread of the disease. Here is a list. From Administration of Community Living: What do Older Adults Need to Know? https://acl.gov/COVID-19

From CDC: What can you do if you are at higher risk? https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/ From NIH: NIH Clinical Trial of a Vaccine for COVID-19 Now Enrolling Older Adults https://www.niaid.nih.gov/news-events/

From ALZ: Steps that Dementia Caregivers can take to reduce risk https://www.alz.org/help-support/ From AARP: Coronavirus and Older Adults https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/

ABOUT US: The number of people in the US living with cognitive impairment (including Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementia) is over 5.8M today and is expected to increase to nearly 14M by 2050. The rapidly growing population of informal caregivers (more than 16M today) of people with cognitive impairment is subject to high stress due to patient behavioral symptoms, increased demands on caregiver time, and lack of adequate care-giving knowledge and training. The economic value of the caregivers' time spent providing more than 8.5 billion hours of care is estimated to be nearly $234 billion. Amicus Brain’s AI-led personalized services focus on caregivers and their complex, time-consuming tasks. Our smart assistive services reduce caregiver load and save time by providing advice and decision support with AI-mediated conversational engagement. We are transforming caregiving by providing a scalable, cost-effective solution that raises the standard of current practices in neurodegenerative care and leads to improved health outcomes. Our team members are based in New York, Boston, Irvine, USA and Bengaluru, India.

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Quality of Life

Today the overall survival rate for some types of childhood cancers is approaching 90% thanks to leading-edge research. for some types of childhood cancers is approaching 90 percent thanks to leading-edge research. However, the work is not nearly finished. There are types of pediatric cancer that are still 100 percent fatal. Currently, 1 in 300 Americans will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 20. The average age of diagnosis is six years old. And the incidence of this disease among children in the United States is rising almost 1 percent per year. We can offer hope with research. Children should not only survive, but they should thrive without the likelihood of recurrence or secondary disease. “We are in a very exciting time for pediatric cancer research. Cancer research as a whole has significantly progressed and led to many novel discoveries such as targeted drugs and immunotherapy,” states Dr. Lingling Chen, John’s Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Your Child Has Cancer

A cancer journey begins with the words, “Your child has cancer.” After that, there is only one thing a parent wants to hear. Concerns flood into a parent’s mind at lightning speed. What are our options? What quality of life will my child have during treatment? What will they be like after treatment? Do we have enough insurance to make sure my child can receive treatment? And as the ground crumbles beneath them, the questions just explode. Despite the incredible progress in research advancements, pediatric cancer still claims the lives of more children than any other disease. It robs children of their innocent joy, of their future, of their family time. Pediatric cancer is a journey no family ever wants to take. Childhood cancer touches every single aspect of a family’s life. Parents and children’s lives are ‘on hold’ waiting, hoping, searching for the cure. While this reality seems devastating, there is hope and a way to fight this disease. Statistics indicate that mortality from childhood cancer is declining. The cancer death rate has dropped more dramatically for children than for any other age group. This progress can be attributed solely to research. Today the overall survival rate

Public funding for pediatric cancers is sorely lacking. Children make up 10 percent of the cancer population. Yet, only 3.8 percent of public cancer research funds are dedicated to pediatric cancer research. Children face as many different types of cancer as adults, and there are types of cancer that only occur in children. Adult treatment protocols do not simply scale down to the pediatric population. Children have unique physiologies, and they have to live with the consequences or side effects of the treatments a lot longer than an adult. It is up to the private sector to fill this research funding gap so that advancements can be made for children facing cancer. Organizations like the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) have recognized this pressing need and have dedicated themselves to supporting the research efforts specific to cancers affecting children ages 0-19 years. A child diagnosed at six years old could have on average 71 years to live with the aftermath of their treatment. Some children do well and experience few to no side effects of their cancer diagnosis. More commonly, childhood cancer survivors face a diminished quality of life and significantly elevatNAWRB MAGAZINE |

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Dr. Sakamoto, Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University, is optimistic: “The future is bright as we are beginning to understand the individualized, genomic approaches to treat cancer including pediatric tumors. It is an exciting time to be doing research.”

ed health risks. They experience a lifetime of physical limitations, secondary cancer, chronic health conditions, academic delay, cognitive challenges, PTSD, and often financial stress. Childhood cancer survivors are four times more likely to struggle with long term employment in their adult life. The impact of providing adequate treatments and cures is pervasive. Breakthrough research has helped improve cancer survival rates more dramatically for children than for any other age group. However, there are still childhood cancers that have not had the same results – many aggressive cancers continue to devastate families and rob children of their childhoods. There is still much to be done and the momentum is greater than ever.

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The progress up to this point has been excruciatingly slow, especially for pediatric cancer. In the last 30 years, only two drugs have been approved for pediatric use. The reason is simple, pediatric cancer isn’t a profitable business to be in. The task of curing cancer is immense and pressing. Time is running out for some of our children. If a patient fails to respond to the trusted protocol, their odds of survival are significantly less. We need to expand the treatment options. We must seek less toxic treatments leading to an excellent quality of life after cancer and not just survival. The general public has to be the impetus of change in our approach to this problem. The families are in the trenches and the fight for their child’s life has to have already been fought. The research has to have already been completed. We need to invest in that future. We need to make sure they can also hear the words, "But we have a cure." “Although children make up 10 percent of our cancer population, they are 100 percent of our future,” says Dr. Alex Huang, Case Western University.

By Christine Farwell

Philanthropy Manager, Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation


We are all navigating in uncharted waters living with our

new reality called COVID-19. These are unprecedented times. New terminology plagues us daily, whether seen on the television, internet, radio, blogs, newspapers, or social media, we are bombarded 24/7! We are social creatures by nature. We communicate, socialize, interact, and engage with our friends and family. Now we are living more isolated and alone thanks to a new term called “Social Distancing.” What is Social Distancing? This is not a new term. Social Distancing has been used as a means of protective sequestration throughout various pandemics. This form of isolation has been used throughout history – Leprosy, Black Plague, Spanish Flu, Ebola, SARS outbreaks – using social distancing is one way to “flatten the curve” - preventing a peak of infections by spreading the virus over a longer timeframe to control the outcomes such as healthcare services, testing, vaccines, and therapies. (“Social distancing,” 2020) Social Distancing is intended to stop or slow down the spread of carrying the virus and those not infected. “Social Distancing is an aspect of human behavior particularly important to epidemiology because of its universality; everybody can reduce their contact rates with other people by changing their behaviors, and reduced human contact reduces the transmission of many diseases.”(Reluga, 2010)

Will wearing a mask protect you from the Covid-19?

When the virus first struck and social distancing was introduced, people rushed to buy masks until none were left. Masks became as hard to find as toilet paper! Though people were urging everyone to stop buying masks and leave them for the health providers, after a few weeks, masks became a "must" for most companies and people going to the store. "If everyone is wearing a mask, regardless of who has the virus, the chain of transmission would be reduced," Hildreth said Friday during the city's daily health briefing. It's become an enforced rule from many companies. This includes SEPTA (a public transportation company) that issued a policy requiring any transit rider to wear a face mask for the protection of its workers and other riders. A man was recently pulled off one of their buses by police because he didn't have a mask and wouldn't leave the bus on his own accord. People are currently doing their best to keep living while avoiding getting sick, and it seems even though a mask isn't full-proof, it is helping.

What is the cost of social distancing? The cost is liberty, capital, human capital, social capital, isolation, time, convenience, travel, entertainment, and peace of mind. Beyond the personal price, there is the economic cost social distancing is costing us. But is this the answer? YES! By implementing social distancing, this will delay the exponential growth and spread of COVID-19. It starts

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with you: personal hygiene, practicing social distancing, and cleaning your environment. School closures, self-quarantine, cancellation of events, large gatherings, conferences, sports events, meetings, parties, limiting mass transportation, restaurants, bars, gyms, amusement parks, museums, libraries, and large workplaces will lessen our pandemic, infection rates and deaths associated with the virus. We can look to our neighbors: China, Italy, Spain, Germany, and other countries as examples of how vital Social Distancing is and makes a vast difference. Life is a game. By using game theory for social distancing, maybe we can formulate an answer. Solving a game refers to solving the problem with the best strategy to play and win. We are all players trying to solve for the best strategy and solution. The more efficient social distancing, the more the epidemic cost can be saved per person. I do not have the answers, but I am practicing social distancing. I have embraced technology using WebEx, Zoom, Facetime, emails, and my smartphone to grow my social capital virtually, lessen my stress, and embrace my new reality. I encourage you also to welcome your new reality. It starts with you; use personal hygiene, practicing social distancing, and cleaning your environment. You can use technology, learn something new, teach others, start a new hobby, read, smile, exercise, listen to music, call a friend, play games, watch or stream a show, and have dinner together. Just limit the number to a small group. By: Vanessa MontaĂąez Writer/Contributor

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Overcoming Corona

t came from Nowhere Armed, Dangerous with very little facts floating along the faintest breeze like a dandelion in the air stopping the world in her tracks dropping us to our bare knees

Waking up daily to Brace for the new death toll Taking its toll On the world's souls Once vibrant, free, bold Now checking a Poker hand Hoping not to Fold

Flooding our lungs Lives at stake An invisible jury hung Only 10 at a time for funerals and wakes

But then A fork in the road New Stories unfold of kindness, selflessness, giving Spirits fighting to stay in the world of the Living

Covid 19 World Traveler on a plane on a train through cold and rain Italy, China, the UK across the pond A bully, the unraveler forcing us to add social distancing to our lexicon Covid is a ruthless perpetrator Uses anything, anyone as incubator Nimble Gymnast Sticking a landing in cars in bars on the streets where we gather where we eat determining how we greet at least six feet apart or Under Darkness looms Stops Hearts in Emergency Rooms Without prejudice, Covid attacks our defenses No invisible fences with the intent of leaving us defense-less Buried in our Sunday best Alone Quarantine just plain mean isolation intimidation Venturing out for groceries to get by "Oh shoot, did he just cough and sneeze?" spreading with exponential multiplication I'm giving you the side-eye "Where's your mask?" "Do you have to ask?" "That cough better be from allergies" Political battles Wage As we shelter in place Life as we know it fades

Prayers for those warriors on the front lines in our biggest towns to our rural footprint Going above and beyond to make sure we're fine Doctors, Nurses, Scientists, Truckers, Grocery, Restaurant Workers, Government Risking lives and families, bravely fighting from the trench and we the Public respond in kind Necessity is the mother of invention we rise up in a Corona intervention to stop the madness mitigate the sadness pull the plug on a systemic pandemic and turn the tide with a quickness So as this virus Attempts to Rage Against the Machine Our air has less pollution Sure as tootin' More Birds are Singing Clear Skies More Blue And in March A whole month without a school shooting Since 2002 We are world strong We will overcome Covid 19 Even though none of our senses could have warned us what was wrong We work together and LEAN on one Another Creating a new normal Somewhere in between Love, Gratitude and Deep Respect for One Another Creating a new deal a World Healed Fate Sealed Stress Lifted Life Gifted New Faith Revealed It's a New Dawn And a New Day and We Won We have Overcome Corona

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Profile for Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem

Vol 9 Issue 1  

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