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Vol. 8 / Issue 2

$20 USD

Publisher’s Letter Volume 8, Issue 2

The 2019 NAWRB 10th Anniversary Conference, Redefining Leadership, brought together industry leaders and senior executives from across the most inclusive economic ecosystem at the beautiful Langham Huntington Resort in Pasadena, CA. This Special Edition of NAWRB Magazine recaptures the synergy and eye-opening conversations we heard from our incredible speakers and 2019 Leadership Award Winners. This year, we were able to highlight all the work that occurred behind the scenes for the past ten years to realize our vision for the 2019 NAWRB Women in the Housing Ecosystem Report (WHER), the most diverse coverage of the Housing Ecosystem with over sixty resources in six volumes: Diversity & Inclusion, Homeownership, Women-Owned Businesses, STEM, Aging Population, and Family Offices with a gender lens perspective. With nineteen panels, intense and powerful discussions were exchanged with all participants to successfully create a fabulous and productive mastermind. All first copies of the 2019 NAWRB WHER were sold out at this event! Order your copy of the 2019 NAWRB WHER at https://www.nawrb.com/womenhousingecosystem/. For those who missed this incredible event filled with rich synergy, novel ideas and new opportunities, the 2019 Conference Video Collection is now available for $299 at https://www. nawrbconference.com/product-page/conference-video-collection. Thank you for all those who have supported NAWRB throughout the last decade. With our combined resources and expertise, we are building a dynamic resource platform for future generations. Enjoy! DesirĂŠe Patno, CEO & President NAWRB

2019 NAWRB Leadership Awards Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB) is proud

to honor our winners of the 2019 NAWRB Leadership Awards! After weeks of reviewing incredible candidates, we narrowed it down to these exceptional women leaders who are utilizing their expertise, passion and drive to redefine leadership and facilitate additional growth in their industry and local communities. As each winner accepted their award, they spoke from their hearts, sharing moving stories of their unique journeys and how this conference, and the people they have met, have impacted their lives for the better. Here are some of the most memorable quotes from our inspirational 2019 NAWRB Leadership Award Winners, and closing remarks from NAWRB CEO & President, Desirée Patno.

Government Official Leader - Maren Kasper Acting President, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer

*Accepted by Marina Walsh, Vice President of Industry Analysis at Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA)

“We nominated her because of her invaluable leadership since taking the reigns at Ginnie Mae in January. It’s an immense responsibility. In just over 7 months, Maren has advanced a lot of Ginnie Mae’s priorities, whether it’s technology innovation, counterparty risk, holding a huge summit where over 900 attendees came to DC in June. She’s just done a fabulous job. So, on behalf of all of us at Mortgage Bankers Association, but in particular Marcia Davies as well as our new president Bob Brook Smith, we accept this award, and I look forward to giving it to her.”

Mentor Leader - Jean Bradley VP, Strategic Business Development Essent Guaranty, Inc.

“I went into the mortgage insurance business, where we put people in homes with a low down payment that need help and then, more importantly, we help them stay there when they need it most. Listen, it’s an incredible world, an incredible job, it’s an incredible mission. I stand here tonight humbled by this honor. I am a ten-year breast cancer survivor and we are celebrating ten years, but we’re also celebrating 10 years of Desirée doing an incredible, fearless- anybody who knows her knows she’s fearless- job of being an advocate and a champion. This incredible woman that makes our mortgage real estate finance ecosystem better everyday.”



Corporate Leader - Chris Boyle

Chief Client Officer Single-Family Business, Freddie Mac

“Thank you, Desirée, for this wonderful award and your wonderful organization. You have passion, you have drive and I admire you greatly. This has just been a great experience and I’m really honored to stand here today, to get this award and to have my name called out in the same list as all of you.” I’ve been in the housing industry for over 30 years and somebody asked me where my passion comes from. I think it’s important to know who people are and where they come from and what they’re about. I’m an immigrant to this country. My dad came to this country with a wife and two children and $50. I have lived the American Dream. He worked for every penny, and when he died his home was one of his biggest assets. He was a man I admired greatly and housing means a lot to me, so thank you for this.”

Women-Owned Business Leader Christine Beckwith Founder & CEO 20/20 Vision for Success

nowhere. I started on the South Side of Chicago and then the West Side of Chicago. I was then picked up by U.S. Bank, who said ‘What you’re doing in the community, come do it here.’ I’ve been here for about five years, loving every single minute of it.”

Corporate Board Leader Karen Clark SVP of Multicultural Strategies City National Bank

“Real estate has a special place in my heart. I grew up commercial real estate construction lending, and I was all about acting, dancing and singing—I still am—but L.A. was a whole different trip from where I came from, and I wasn’t very many callbacks at all. I had a degree in economics so I went to a headhunter and got a job at Wells Fargo Bank in commercial real estate construction lending. I was hired as an admin assistant but the market was moving so fast that they had to bring me right into those conference rooms. I manage multicultural strategies now at City National Bank. I teach a lot of financial education, always teaching kids about real estate and bringing professionals into the bank to even teach colleagues about it. Thank you so much for this honor.”

*Accepted by Jean Bradley, VP Strategic Business Development, Essent Guaranty, Inc.

“It is with great admiration and extreme humility that I accept this amazing award from the Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB). Special thanks to you, Desirée Patno, for leading such a tremendous organization. For the past 30 years, which have flown by, I have enjoyed a tremendous journey along the path of mortgage sales origination and up through the ranks of all levels of management to senior and executive positions. I’ve considered it an honor to serve people and to lead them to become be greater entrepreneurs with more structure and passion for great results. As such, I find myself drawn to my ‘Why?’ That is to teach, educate, and motivate mortgage and real estate professionals, thus the launching of 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching & Consulting.”

Consumer AdvocateLeader Fabiola Candlish Senior CRA Loan Officer US Bank

“It took me a while to get here. I was told I was never going to be anything, so keep doing what you’re doing and to all the ones that said I couldn’t be here, not bad for a girl going



Nonprofit Leader Kea Hagen

Director of Administration Urban League of San Diego “At the Urban League, we help people become economically self-sufficient. We do this through integrative services, in housing, work readiness, and education. It’s so inspiring to see a woman, a single mother with a child, come to us with nothing but when she leaves our program, she is a homeowner, she has a job and her child has an education. It does something to our hearts, and it means we are making an impact in the community. That’s why I do what I do. I have been with the Urban League for about 15 years. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of the Urban League.”

Technology/STEM Leader Dr. Chitra Dorai Founder & CEO AmicusBrain

“The stories I heard today, the tips I got, the encouragement all of you have shown me have all made an impact on me. You

have all heard Mahatma Gandhi's saying, ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’ Another part he said was, ‘Do not wait for what others can do.’ This award is very special because I left a very stable job and decided to do a start-up dedicated to addressing the needs of the aging population. At a time in the startup world where everyday is a rollercoaster, receiving this is such a moment of recognition that I’m on the right path. Desiree, when I told you that I was going to start this company, no questions asked, you threw your support. You started the journey of being part of the company from day one. I can’t tell you in words what that meant and what that continues to mean to me. I’m simply going to dedicate this to you.”

Residential Leader Tami Bonnell

CEO EXIT Realty Corp. International “I’m a firm believer that if you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room. For sure, tonight, I’m not the smartest person in this room. It’s amazing to be around people who are proactive and want to change the way things are being done, and find opportunities and possibilities. Desiree, you are a huge champion. You have titanium balls, and I want you to consider that a serious compliment. I speak a couple hundred times a year, I’m the CEO of an international company, and I can tell you for sure that there are very few events that you go to where you find out about cause and effect, you know about possibilities, and you find out about problems and opportunities that can not just change your life but everybody’s life that is in your company and everybody’s life that is in this industry. That takes a lot of courage. I don’t think you have any idea of the difference that you make, and we love you very much.”

Diversity Leader Teresa Palacios Smith VP of Diversity & Inclusion HSF Affiliates LLC

“My father came to this country without even a dollar. He had pesos only from Colombia. He decided to come here, and I was born in this beautiful country. I was told I should stay in the service industry, and more like in housekeeping, when I was in college in Mississippi because that’s what my dad did. I was embarrassed to say that my dad cleaned the planes for Delta airlines but today I’m very proud of that. This is a huge honor

and it makes a big impact on me. I met Desiree five years ago, and God blinked then, because this woman has been an incredible inspiration to every one of us in this room. The impact you have made in my life, I can’t even measure. I want you to know how special you are, how wonderful you are, and I will always consider you my friend.”

Finance Leader Viola Solomon

Director of Community Lending BBVA “One day I was so depressed. I’ve been in the mortgage business 36 years, have done every job on the forward side. This particular year, I beat a lot of people on the traditional team. I closed more loans than they closed, and typically we’d have a big celebration at the end of the year for the top producers. Some things happened in the economy and my boss said we would not have that big party this year. I was mad because I beat those other managers with the business they don’t even want to do. I was depressed because I worked hard that year and I wanted some recognition for that hard work. While I’m in my office, this woman walks in with two little boys and her niece. I knew I didn’t have any appointments that day. I recognized it was one of my customers. They came in and said, “Miss Viola, we just wanted to thank you for our home. My sons want to say something to you.” One of the boys had a big white teddy bear. That little boy said, “Thank you for my room,” and he gave me my teddy bear. The mother said, “We wanted you to know how much we appreciated you.” At that moment, I realized why I was doing what I did. It wasn’t about that big party; it was about family and changing lives.”

Commercial Leader Sondra Wenger Managing Director CIM Group

“We focus on urban investing, and we believe that the best way to enhance value to a community is to invest in a community as a whole. We are so lucky for what we do. There’s nothing more rewarding than looking at a project that you helped create. It is so special and we are so blessed to be in this industry because not a lot of people get to do that. I want to



thank Desiree because most events I go to are all men, but it’s nice to be at an event that’s mainly women.”

Family Office Leader Wendy Craft COO Favara, LLC

“I don’t know if there are enough women in Family Office to fill a room like this so this has been a wonderful experience. Meeting all of you and learning your stories has been very inspiring. I’m very passionate about the Family Offices. They give so much charity back to the world. The perception of the press is very different from our experience. They care very deeply about the communities and donate to building those communities. A special thing is that I’ve met so many wonderful women and men who have been my mentors and I try to give that back. I wouldn’t be here today without them. Kudos to all of you who were mentoring other people. We need more of that; you make the world what it is, so thank you.”

Media Leader Corey Trujillo Chief Maven Synergy Maven

“I’ve listened to all of you women and I just read through the titles, the accolades, the list of experience. I said, ‘Am I really in this group of women? Is this really my life right now?’ My job is to make my clients look good—get them awards, get them accolades, make sure they are out and they look good. I’m

rarely in this position in front of a room full of people. This puts me in mind of my father, who passed away with cancer right before 9/11. He was a Navajo Native American. His family were not that many generations off the reservation. He once said to me, ‘When a door opens, walk through it.’ I feel like my life has changed today just from the people I have met yesterday and today, whom I’m sure I will meet again and work with.”

Veteran Leader Erica Courtney

President of 2020Vet and Zulu Time, U.S. Army Aviation Major, NATO Gender Advisor “Twenty-two: that’s how many veterans we lose a day. That’s one every 65 minutes, that’s 6,000 a year. Veterans are national gems. The problem is that they don’t quite know that. So, if we don’t catch them within the first three years of transitioning, that’s when they fall off the statistical cliff. There are 52,000 organizations dedicated to veterans and their families, yet veterans continue to die at unprecedented rates. So what are we doing wrong? There are some that do great things. The problem is that they are siloed. Who is holistically looked at these veterans? Where is the peer-to-peer support? That is what is powerful. After many years of advocacy, I had a vision five years ago and talked to Desiree. She said, ‘Erica, we need to do something together.’ We are going to open up a grassroots veterans center here in LA, where there’s more veterans than anywhere in the country that is dedicated to serving veterans holistically from a technology and local resources standpoint.

Closing Remarks from Desirée Patno, CEO & President of NAWRB

“I remember when I started in the business 30 years ago. When my name was called from my cubicle, I would make a comment at the meeting once a week and then slither back in my chair because I was so fearful of what I had to say— that no one would listen or it wouldn’t make an impact. I decided that everytime I did something, it mattered. And if could do it, why couldn’t you do it? We have to create and re-energize our melting pot. We have to continue that journey to understand, love, and help each other in what we can do to create a better ecosystem by sharing the resources in this room, the love you see, and the knowledge you gain from these events. Wealth is not just a number of money; wealth is leveraging the options of life, the aging population, having children, caring for animals, you name it. Happiness is wealth.”



Access to Capital

37 SheTalk 40 42 45 47 49 Independence 53 56 Community 59

Access to Capital - Micro to Billions

Dr. Alexis Crow

Kamal I. Latham

Cynthia French Blanchard & Wendy Craft

Vol 8 / Issue 2: 10th Anniversary




Profile 4 11 Legislative 15 Business Ownership 19 23 Leadership 27 31 Technology 34 2019 NAWRB Leadership Awards NAWRB Testimonials

Government Consumer & Business Opportunities

Family Office

Women-Owned Businesses Strength & Power

mPower - Results Based Leadership NAWRB Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council (NDILC)

Marketing Science, Media & STEM

Chris Boyle

Erica Courtney & Desirée Patno

Women on Boards

Keynote Luncheon: Mastermind Collaboration

Social Impact – Data Analytics

Living 63

Homelessness, Poverty & Permanent Housing



Women’s Homeownership & Being Sustainable

Aging Population


Aging Population

Redefining Leadership


“I think that everyone knows people who should have been in the room this week. Every one of us knows someone who should have been in the room and who would have have been impacted in an unbelievable way. I say we all make a commitment that every one of us brings at least two more people next year.” - Tami Bonnell, CEO of EXIT Realty Corp. International

“Three words: inspiring, informative, and invigorating. The breadth of topics covered by the conference through SHETalks and the panels were just outstanding. The Women on Boards panel was an eye-opener for many of the attendees. Last year we had such an eye-opening session about the Opportunity Zones, and here I would look at Women on Boards as one such. We were inspired by the work of the Moderator Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, but it was also a very informative session in terms of pushing the curtain away into the work itself and what it takes to become a board member.” - Dr. Chitra Dorai, Computer Scientist, Data Scientist, and AI Expert, Founder & CEO, Amicus Brain

“This has been an amazing event. I’ve been here since Sunday, and I feel like I have personally grown more than anything. I appreciate the opportunity to learn and be inspired by these amazing women in this room. Thanks to the conversations and stories, I feel like I am a brand new person than I was when I showed up here on Sunday. Mission accomplished, check mark!” -Marina DeWit, Region 9 Advocate, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy

“Thank you to Desiree and this community for this wonderful honor that I received for Corporate Award Leader. It means so much to me. I am an immigrant to this country. Housing is important to me, it was important to my family, and it is part of the fabric of the United States, which is truly the greatest country in the world. To hear stories from large banks to community banks to those we serve across the spectrum, and from those who are part of business – whether it’s data and analytics or whatever it might be – it’s a huge ecosystem and an important system that is, again, the fabric of the United States. So, again, I thank you. I’m fortunate to be in this business and I’ve been fortunate to spend the bulk of my career with Freddie Mac.” - Chris Boyle, Chief Client Officer, Single-Family Business, Freddie Mac

“This is my first year attending the conference. When I arrived, I was thinking it would probably have a lot of information about the industry, it would have a lot of information about what we’re doing to create a more equitable field in the industry, but I wasn’t expecting the diverse platform they had. Not only diverse in how we connect with each other but how we are evolving that to create a bigger picture— how we are utilizing women for the power and strengths that they have in order to make a bigger impact outside of our industry. Seeing different people around, seeing them connecting and how open they are to talking about their journeys, to talking about the impacts we can make, the impacts they are already making, and where they want to go from that, has just been huge. So it’s definitely surpassed my expectations, and it’s been wonderful to have.” - Hilary Passo, Director of Human Resources, Equity Prime Mortgage LLC



“I wanted to send this short testimonial in; to once again say thank for all that you do for us and NAWRB. The memories from this year’s conference will forever be in my heart. Desiree, you stand for much more than just an organization. You emanate goodness, humbleness, inspiration and hope to all of us proving that even though we feel we are not good enough in reality we are. Although some individuals have had it rough in this industry regardless of it being real estate, workforce development and even in the realm of diversity & inclusion; I can remember an instance when a past colleague once said to me that I will never thrive in this industry because I come from a migrant working family and I was not good enough to be above poverty level. When I think I am weak, you say I am strong, I can say for myself that when I feel like I’m not enough; I examine my thoughts and remember you saying we are part of something bigger than any one us. I believe in what we are doing, and I am proud to be on your team. I have created a bond that is unbreakable with the women that I met this year. In retrospect, meeting Jean Bradley felt like I had VIP back stage access to a one on one with Michelle Obama, being serenaded by Karen A. Clark took me over the top. To me, helping the next women in line is what NAWRB is and this is what we flourishing women represent; hope and inspiration to become more in this world then what we were yesterday.” - Fabiola Candlish, U.S. Bank

“This was my second time attending the NAWRB conference. It is a great mastermind conference full of like-minded individuals willing to share knowledge and expertise in their respective real estate ecosystem space. What makes this conference different is the caliber of the leadership of the speakers and the attendees. The fact that the conference feels more like a group of friends coming together to learn from each other is fascinating to me. Desiree and her staff have done an amazing job of gathering key players for this event. The Langham Hotel in Pasadena Califonia for sure added a special feel to the event. I totally recommend this conference to my colleagues and I am looking forward to next year event. Congratulations NAWRB for another successful event. " -Nelly DeLourdes Mitford, CIPS, TRLP, CNE, MP Global Real Estate Group, LLC

"Attending the NAWRB Redefining Leadership Conference has been one of the best conferences I attended in 2019 for several reasons. The caliber of speakers and attendees are top notch. The location of the conference was in my favorite city and hometown of Pasadena. Opportunities to build your social capital with select leaders in the housing and real estate ecosystem. Thank you NAWRB, NDILC, Board Members, Sponsors, and Desiree for the opportunity to participate and be part of the special conference.” -Vanessa Montanez, VP - Sales and Business Development Manager, U.S. Bank

“I am a real estate broker and auctioneer, and I have attended just about every one of Desiree’s conferences, except Chicago. This has been the best one ever. The people that you have here and the knowledge that the women have are so helpful to all of us who want to create a better world, sell real estate, and do whatever we can to promote better living conditions for everyone. I got so much out of it and the networking was amazing.” - Laura Dietz, Real Estate Broker and Auctioneer, Summit Realty





Desirée Patno


Kendall Roderick CONTENT WRITER


Jay Jones Lucille Chaney Ari Jones

“I'm so thankful to have invested in 2019 NAWRB conference. I attend many 'industry' events, and this was unlike any I have ever seen. The spectrum of expertise was just mind blowing. AI, opportunity zones, and nonprofits helping homelessness were just a few of my favorites. I loved the diverse set of speakers I would never hear at a typical conference. I loved the honesty and rawness of the panels. I loved the vibe in the room of collective collaboration over competition.


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.

It's been a month and I'm still recalling nuggets of wisdom, quotes, and philosophies from the event daily. The biggest take-away was the business relationships and new friends. I've already had multiple meetings with new connections, and we're looking forward to doing business together. After the event I'm thinking bigger, and now engaging business with a broader scope and wider reach. Thanks NAWRB!” -Angie Weeks, REALTOR, CIPS, Green®, RCS-D, Metro Estates

“Two things that I want to say about NAWRB: First of all, each day is jam-packed, full of invaluable content and strong, intelligent, action-oriented women, sharing success stories but also lessons learns on a host of subjects, including housing, affordable housing, homelessness, and our aging population. Invaluable lessons for all of us to learn. The second thing I want to say is the contacts. No, that’s not the right word. The relationships that were built over the last two-and-a-half days will last into the future. I know that the people I have met over the past two days will be in my thoughts and in my future plans, and I will continue to share successes and lessons with them. Here, we have laughed, we have cried, and we have celebrated our sisterhood.” - Rachel Beam-Jares, Field Manager, Valuation Department, Fannie Mae






Our “Government Panel� featured government Santa Barbara City Council and as commissioner for her officials who discussed lesser-known consumer and business opportunities in government. The panel included, Moderator Helene Schneider, Regional Coordinator of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness; Saul Schwartz, Director of the Office of Minority & Women Inclusion (OMWI) at Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Michelle Corridon, Deputy Director at USDA Rural Development; Terri Billups, Assistant District Director of Economic Development at Los Angeles District Office for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA); and Marina DeWit, Region 9 Advocate at the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy. Saul began his career at the FDIC in the Legal Division in 1989 after working at the Federal Labor Relations Authority in 1984 through 1989 as a labor lawyer. He also worked for a law firm in Pittsburgh for several years before he began his Federal employment. Helene brings over 15 years in municipal government leadership, most recently as mayor of Santa Barbara, California. She also served on the

local Housing Authority.

Michelle has over 28 years of housing finance experience encompassing strategic planning, community development, policy analysis, credit loss mitigation strategy, and communications. She leads high impact policy and procedure implementation along with process improvement, stakeholder engagement, budgeting, and human resources for the $24 billion dollar loan guarantee program. Terri is responsible for economic development in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Terri’s experience in the Los Angeles District Office includes serving as the Assistant District Director, Lender Relations and leading the 8(a) Business Development Program.Marina represents small businesses in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa, Guam and Northern Mariana Islands. She works with small business owners, state and local governments, and small business associations to bring the voice of Region 9 to Washington, DC. NAWRB MAGAZINE |


Saul talked about what the eight OMWI agencies have been doing in the past year to increase diversity and inclusion. First, each agency submits a 342 Report to Congress, which is accessible on the FDIC’s official website, www. fdic.gov. It focuses on both workplace diversity at all levels of employment and women and minority contracting for these agencies. Second, the OMWI’s host a technical assistance events each year, which helps women-owned and minority-owned businesses learn about opportunities for working with the federal government by procuring contracts. There is no cost for attendance. Third, they track the financial industry, and they reach out to the regulated agencies and send them a survey to track their workforce diversity. They also track how many contracts they are doing with women-owned and minority-owned businesses. This survey is voluntary, so they usually have a 20 percent response rate from financial agencies. Terri Billups works with small businesses in the Los Angeles District Office of the SBA, and she had useful tips for women entrepreneurs who are seeking access to capital. According to Terri, 5 percent of the SBA’s 23 percent di-

“Everyone needs a home and the government needs help to provide homes to the homeless. The USICH works to make sure homelessness is 'Rare, Brief and One-Time.'” bring it every time. You want to be the best there is.” (B) Be open to trying new things, gain a mentor to learn how you can improve, be bold, be the best educated and know the market. Tell the contractor what they don’t know. Be aggressive and don’t be afraid to ask questions or be rejected. (C) Know how much capital you have available to you and your capacity, and know who your competition is. Don’t be afraid to start small. Marina DeWit deals with federal regulations that impact small businesses, whether existing or upcoming, in her line of work. She tells small business owners that they have to vocalize when regulations are hurting their business: “You are the experts and you have to speak up about what is not working for you. Can be about fees for paying for services.” It is as simple as going to her office’s website and submitting your comments. Marina has experience running her own small business, so she can relate to the concerns and struggles that other small businesses deal with. She shared a story of when she assisted in having the SBA amend a regulation that required drivers must stop after a certain time. This regulation was becoming a burden and a safety hazard when drivers had livestock or when it affected their driving hours.

verse spend goal is supposed to go to women-owned small businesses. She recommends that women business owners apply for the women-owned certification to help them reach their goals and gain other benefits. In addition to becoming certified, Terri shared a few pieces of advice for small business owners that she calls the “ABC’s”: (A) Learn how to analyze the market, understand what you do and where it fits, advocate for yourself and other women, and aspire to be a government contractor who will



Helene Schneider, who previously served as the Mayor of Santa Barbara from 2010-2018, works for US Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), the federal interagency that works on ending homelessness in America. There is an overarching theme of interconnectedness,and one member from each of the 19 different agencies sits on the Council which meets quarterly in Washington, DC. Helene is also one of the 5 members of the national initiative team which shares ideas and best practices, where she represents California and Arizona. Everyone needs a home and the government needs help to provide homes to the homeless. The USICH works to make sure homelessness is “Rare, Brief and One-Time.” Their national goal is to assist groups that are most vulner-

able to homelessness, including veterans, people with disabilities, families with children, unaccompanied youth and all other individuals. “Homelessness is high in areas where the cost of living is high,” she stated. Areas of increased focus for the USICH include: • Increasing affordable housing; • Strengthening prevention and diversion; • Creating solutions for unsheltered homelessness; • Tailoring strategies for rural communities; • Helping those exiting homelessness find career success and economic mobility; and • Learning from the expertise of people with lived experiences of homelessness. Helene shared that the Working Group on Employment addresses data or knowledge gaps in housing and employment, strengthens coordination between homeless assistance and workforce systems, increases access to employment services and programs, and spurs action and innovation via supporting pilot or other demonstration efforts. How can USICH and NAWRB partner to increase employment opportunities to those dealing with homelessness? Ingredients for success will include political will, effective use of adequate resources, collaborative approach, and a “never give up” attitude. Terri Billups shared how small business owners and the homeless population can mutually benefit from each other: “If every women-owned business hired just one homeless person, we could solve the homeless problem in Los Angeles.” This is just one of the few innovative ideas that were shared during the course of the conference. There is no limit to what the real estate and housing ecosystem can achieve if different groups work together by leveraging each other’s resources.

Terri Billups

Helene Schneider

Saul Schwartz

Michelle Corridon

Marina DeWit





Business Ownership

The “Family Office” panel discussed the lat- Family offices originated in Europe, but the concept was est developments and trends in Family Offices, including developed in the United States by the House of Morgan intergenerational wealth transfer and tax issues. Our moderator Wendy Craft, Chief of Staff at Fulcrum Equities, LLC with panelist: Cynthia French Blanchard, President of Anthem Vault, Inc., AnthemGold, Inc., and Hercules, SEZC; Cindy Brittain, International Private Client Tax Partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; and Brian DeLucia, Managing Partner of Arrivato LLC. A family office is a family controlled investment group that families of significant wealth can have to manage their wealth and assets. Family offices are attractive to investors with business leadership inclinations because the model gives them complete control with little regulatory oversight. Family offices can either be single-family (SFO) or multi-family (MFO). SFO’s are created to support the financial needs of one family that has at least $100 million or more worth of assets as it typically can cost over $1 million a year to operate . MFO’s, on the other hand, are for families with at least $50 million in assets each and provide the advantages of an SFO without the expense and potential managerial dilemmas. MFO’s are especially attractive when well run and offer collaborative opportunities and support.

and the Rockefellers. The main motivation for the offices was wealth management, however the purpose of them have evolved with time. Other drivers include a desire for advisors to assist in global volatility, more investment options and multi-generational wealth preservation. To begin, the panelists discussed how recent changes to the tax codes by the Trump Administration has affected Family Office. Cindy Brittain stated that one can avoid California’s income tax with proper planning. In some states, she shared that there is a trend of families setting up their own private trust company. Although many family offices have made a hub in New York City, Cindy tells us that “Tennessee wants to be at the forefront of family offices.” Cynthia also touched upon the pressing issues of intergenerational wealth transfer. As mentioned in Volume VI:Family Offices of the 2019 NAWRB Women Housing Ecosystem Report (WHER), intergenerational wealth transfer is something that all family offices should prepare for to ensure wealth sustainability. Seventy percent of family offices predict that the next generation will take control in the next 10 to 15 years. NAWRB MAGAZINE |


“Only 20% of businesses survive the first succession, so it is important that family offices prepare for the upcoming intergenerational wealth transfer to avoid any potential pitfalls.” This is the time for family offices to assess what the next generation needs and establish programs that will help the next generation with future financial planning, as well as estate and tax planning solutions. Cindy shares that there is some unwillingness among older generations to begin the transfer process. As she stated, “older generations don’t want to transfer; they want to die in the chair,” in what she calls the “Prince Charles Syndrome.” Only 20 percent of businesses survive the first succession, so it is important that family offices prepare for the upcoming intergenerational wealth transfer to avoid any potential pitfalls. Another challenge that family offices should be prepared for is the infamous ‘rule of 92,’ which states that 92 percent of a family’s wealth is lost by the third generation. This is an obstacle even for those who have successfully implemented their first succession. Cynthia French Blanchard noted that her family office is being proactive in preparing for intergenerational wealth transfer by including the younger generation in the daily operation of the company. “We hire a lot of nieces and nephews to be a part of the company to have the foundation of ownership,” she said. An important aspect of succession planning is educating the next generation about the operations of the family office. Part of that education should include hands-on experience in the family offices so that they can learn the in’s and out’s of the organization. This often includes business operations, investment strategy, asset allocations, succession planning, philanthropy and other responsibilities related to managing great amounts of money. The panelists agreed on the importance of allowing children to have a voice and participate in meetings. This might mean giving them a say in what the family mission will be moving forward. It all comes down



to true communication and creating an alignment of interest throughout the family. Moderator Wendy Craft introduced an interesting topic of whether or not family offices have trouble bringing in innovative ideas since business is usually kept in the family. As she asked, “Is our family becoming incestuous because we don’t have new ideas coming in?” Brian DeLucia answered that “Governance in a family is very important. Some have their children get hired by other companies to build their skills and knowledge, and to increase exposure to what other family offices are doing.” This is one way that family offices can bring fresh perspectives into their organization. As the younger generation brings innovative ideas into the family office, the older generation helps them gain opportunities in areas that spark their interest. This creates a symbiotic relationship that benefits everyone. As Brian explained, “the children might have other passions or interests, so you have to utilize your whole ecosystem to help them gain exposure and experience in what they’re interested in.” As a result, he states that “children are learning how to speak or think in a business sense.” Overall, it’s critical for first generations in a family office to understand the younger generations’ passions and motivations. In return, the younger generations will gain an interest in what the family is doing.Reaching the younger generation through philanthropy was the trend, but now they are becoming

interested in cryptocurrency, as Cynthia has seen from her own personal experience. One of the most pivotal tools that every family office needs for continued growth and success is effective communication, which is why teaching communication among family members is key. Cindy shared that it’s sometimes difficult for members of a family office to communicate their wants, but they fail to realize that they share common goals and values with each other. Learning that they have a common thread might be a scary prospect to them, but this knowledge can lead to a stronger bond, especially between the first generation and those that follow. Family offices can learn how to improve their communication and deal with difficult decisions with the assistance of an open-minded advisor who, as Cindy stated, “can be a piece in bridging a plan.” Therapists can be helpful in succession planning, as well, as it can bring up uncomfortable feelings regarding mortality. Overall, a successful succession plan will address economic, fiscal and human issues likely to appear in the transition, and family offices benefit from seeking counsel from key advisors, industry experts and thought leaders, colleagues and other family members.

Wendy Craft

Cindy Brittain

Cynthia French Blanchard

Brian DeLucia



The strength and power of women-owned

businesses was the last panel of the conference, featuring Moderator Desirée Patno, CEO & President of NAWRB; Advisor for Amicus Brain; Chairwoman of NDILC; and CSO of Zulu Time; Erica Courtney, President of Zulu Time and 2020VET, U.S. Army Aviation, Major NATO Gender Advisor, and CA Commissioner on the Status of Women and Girls; Lisa Dunn, Realtor and Partner/Owner at LAUREL Real Estate Resources; and Adrianna Shannon, Mortgage Banking Professional. With almost three decades specializing in the Housing and Real Estate Ecosystem, Desiree Patno leads her executive team’s expertise of championing women’s economic growth and independence. Erica is heavily involved in women and veteran advocacy efforts having chaired Boards, Committees and holds public office as an appointed Commissioner in California representing approximately 20M women and girls. Lisa is celebrating her 26th year as a Top Producing Re-

altor, who specializes in residential real estate throughout Orange County with an emphasis on Rancho Santa Margarita. She also provides educational programs for both Realtors & consumers in VA home buying, FHA/VA Condo Project Approval and Wire Fraud Prevention. Throughout her over 25 years in Mortgage Banking, Adrianna Shannon has served at Bank of America, FEI, LLC, and Fidelity National Agency Sales & Posting. Adrianna shared that one of her challenges was getting into executive level positions with a lack of higher education. So she decided to leave the corporate sphere to start her own business helping women entrepreneurs. She was able to connect women business owners with her network to help them grow their businesses. Adrianna has about six start up clients who are doing very well with her help. She has faced challenges, such as those who are questioning her abilities and work, but she worked through those obstacles by showing her worth through her work ethic.



Lisa talked about her journey opening her own brokerage with her partner Lori Namazi that started through the California Association of Realtors (CAR)’s WomanUp! Group. The brokerage, which currently has four realtors, has property management and referral only services. She looks forward to the future of her women-owned company. The third to take the microphone was Erica, who shared with the audience how she came from a military background to the corporate sphere, which was not a good fit, to starting her own consultancy. 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 from the Advanced Armor Cavalry Course. Erica continues to serve the nation as a Major in the U.S. Army Reserve under the Joint Chiefs of Staff working on Women, Peace and Security initiatives as the only NATO certified Gender Advisor working at political and strategic levels.

Desirée Patno

When she first started her consultancy, she had ten clients across the country and a few employees before she eventually added on a partner to help grow the business. After five years of working in buying and contracts, she went more into the logistics space. Most of her work is with the state, and she advises businesses to start local and with the state for contracting opportunities. She gets to choose her clients in her consultancy and those she does business with in logistics. Desirée then talked about procuring contracts at the Federal level, and different tools women business owners should use for obtaining contracting opportunities. In addition, she stated that it’s important for businesses to think big and reach outside their comfort zone. To emphasize this point, she shared a story of how a company with only four employees was able to gain a contract to supply lighting and other services for the Carl’s Jr. fast food chain.

Adrianna Shannon

Diversity classification can open your business to newfound streams of funding, from banks to venture capital dollars. Volume III: Women-Owned Businesses of the 2019 NAWRB Women in the Housing Ecosystem Report (WHER) provides invaluable information and resources for businesses, from certification to access to capital.

Resources for Women-Owned Businesses • Union Bank Diversity Lending Program for women, minorities and veteran entrepreneurs • Women’s Business Centers • Women’s Venture Fund • Women’s Capital Connection • InnovateHER Women Business Challenge • The Amber Grant Resources for Minority-Owned Businesses • Minority Business Development Agency • National Minority Supplier Development Council • JPMorgan Chase Small Business Forward Program for women, minorities and veteran entrepreneurs • SBA 7(a) Loans & 8(a) Business Development Program • Accion U.S. Network • The National African American Small Business Loan Fund



Lisa Dunn

Erica Courtney

Resources for Veteran-Owned Businesses • SBA Veterans Advantage • Loans from financial institutions in the SBA Preferred Lender Program • Leveraging Information and Networks to Access Capital (LINC): This online matchmaking service, connects small business owners with nonprofit lenders that offer free financial advice and specialize in microlending, smaller loans (SBA Community Advantage program), and real estate financing (SBA 504 loan program). • SBA Veterans Advantage: Guarantees loans approved to businesses owned by veterans or military spouses • SBA Veteran’s Entrepreneurship Act of 2015: Reduces the upfront borrower fee to zero dollars for eligible veterans and military spouses for SBA Express loans up to $350,000.

“...SBA announced that the federal government presently awards $22.9 billion in federal small business contracts to women-owned small businesses.” In March 2019, the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that the federal government presently awards $22.9 billion in federal small business contracts to women-owned small businesses. It achieved its small business procurement goal for the sixth year in a row, awarding 25.05 percent ($120 billion) of federal contracts to small businesses. Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs) received 4.27 percent ($20.6 billion) of federal small business eligible contracts. Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDB) were awarded 9.65 percent ($46.5 billion) of small business eligible contracts.

As with the SBA, there are government contracting opportunities for women entrepreneurs with diverse agencies: In FY 2018, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) "obligated" about $44.9 million of its total contracting dollars to minority- and women-owned businesses, an approximate $1.2 million increase from FY 2017. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) awarded $212.9 million in contracts in 2018, of which $38.4 million went to women-owned businesses (WOB) and $56.7 million to minority women-owned businesses (MWOB). In FY 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) total spend was $169,441,229, of which $51,995,823 (30.7 percent) was spent with minority-owned and women-owned businesses. From public utility companies to Federal agencies, the entities searching for diverse firms are extensive, and business certification can help bring you to the forefront. Here’s the most important part: agencies and entities cannot utilize you based on your diversity if they do not know you exist. The importance and value of certifying your business cannot be overstated. Thank you to our panelists for their candor and wisdom that they shared as experienced business owners. “When you think in ownership, think big. And if you don’t hit the target that first year, it’s okay,” Desiree said. “You can make another goal to get to it.” She also told the audience to recognize the smaller goals they do achieve: “Don’t forget to celebrate your successes.” Adrianna added that it’s important to realize your selfworth, push through your fears, and acknowledge that you deserve any opportunity or accomplishment. These pieces of advice are incredibly valuable not only business owners at any level but also for individuals in their professional and personal lives.





The first day of the conference was off to a great start by a

special “Results Based Leadership Panel� hosted by mPower, MBA Promoting Opportunities for Women to Extend their Reach. The panel was moderated by Marcia Davies, COO of Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Founder of mPower, and NDILC Council Member. Marcia was joined by industry experts Teresa Bazemore, CEO of Bazemore Consulting LLC; Chris Boyle, Chief Client Officer of Single-Family Business at Freddie Mac; Jean Bradley, VP of Strategic Business Development at Essent Guaranty, Inc; and Debbie Hoffman, CEO & Founder of Symmetry Blockchain Advisors, Inc. Before the first panel began, NAWRB Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council (NDILC) Member Erica Courtney, President of 2020vet and Zulu Time, U.S. Army Aviation Major, NATO Gender Advisor, Commissioner for the California Commission on the Status of Women & Girls, welcomed the audience to the first day of the conference.

Results Based Leadership

Erica shared her history in the army and experience in a leadership position, including the obstacles she faced and her achievements. 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 from the Advanced Armor Cavalry Course. She currently serves as Major on the Joint Chiefs of Staff working on Women, Peace and Security DoD policy and strategy as a NATO certified Gender Advisor. In this role, she is responsible for providing a gender perspective throughout the Pentagon. Erica Courtney was recently appointed to the Commission on the Status of Women & Girls by California Governor Gavin Newsom. She emphasized how important it is for women to be involved in policy and industry decisions that will affect not only their own future but also future generations of women. “If you don’t have a seat on the table, you’re on the menu,” she stated. The conferences provided by NAWRB serve as a stepping stone to professionals looking to claim their seat by networking with like-minded individuals, learning from their experiences, and leveraging their resources. As Erica stated, “We can all learn from each other about professional development. Think about what you’re hearing. It’s important to tell each other our stories.” Following Erica’s inspiring introduction, Desirée Patno, CEO & President of NAWRB, Advisor for Amicus Brain, Chairwoman of NDILC, and CSO of Zulu Time gave a synopsis of the various notes leadership panels that would take place throughout the day and her relationship with Marcia Davies. Desiree credits Marcia with not only helping her structure her ideas but also providing powerful information and support.



Moderator Marcia Davies promptly took the stage to introduce her fellow panelists, each of which she knows professionally and personally. A few of the panelists also played an important role in supporting the growth of mPower from the beginning. Marcia shared that when mPower first began hosting events and wanted to have paid speakers, Chris Boyle helped her by having Freddie Mac become mPower’s first sponsor. Teresa Bazemore is one of Marcia’s trusted resources and mentors, and both served on the MBA board when mPower was first formalized. Teresa motivated her to expand mPower’s influence and reach by telling her to do more and make it bigger. Her encouragement was one of the factors that led to the start of mPower’s full day conferences. Jean Bradley of Essent Guaranty Inc. suggested to her company that they join mPower to help it grow rather than host their own events focused on women’s empowerment. Jean’s job is to make her company better and joining mPower was one of the best decisions she could make on its behalf. Each of these phenomenal leaders gave words of wisdom on what makes an effective leader based on their own unique experiences. Chris Boyle demonstrates that it’s possible to obtain a work-life balance even at the highest levels of leadership. Throughout her career, she raised five children, continued to develop her career, and owned it.

Leadership Jean Bradley, during the course of her career, always envisioned that she could do something bigger and better everyday.

She was able to make a lot of life choices that worked well with her business choices. She credits her success to her ability to “change, adapt and do something different.” Teresa Bazemore is a self-acclaimed “recovering lawyer” who practices a career in mortgage banking. The transition was motivated by her desire to be involved in the strategy of a company. Throughout her career she has always been involved in the strategy of a business, and she was able to give partners better ideas than they came in with. To achieve your professional goals, Teresa tells the audience, “You have to be willing to take risks and believe in yourself.” Jean Bradley shared that it took her awhile to learn the skills she has for leadership. During the course of her career, she always envisioned that she could do something bigger and better everyday. Sometimes her ideas were bigger than her company had the capacity to meet yet. “Are you selling things we don’t have yet?," a CEO would ask her. As a leader, she loves to watch how people think and utilize their strengths while being mindful of their unique characteristics. During the financial crisis, she was given an important responsibility when her business asked her to be the commercial leader for all the settlements. The panelists took turns sharing what traits are effective for leadership. Chris Boyle stated listening is the best leadership skill: “Before you get to communicating, you have to listen. So much is accomplished when a leader listens.” Although sharing one’s wisdom is important, listening is just as pivotal for being an effective, communicative leader. According to Debbie Hoffman, an effective leader needs a goal in mind, as well as a team that knows what the goal is and how to get there. To attain your goal, your team needs to

reach the cohesion that everyone wants to work towards this. Some people might not be “connecting the dots” about how the means are necessary for an end, and “one outlier is very difficult,” she states. To avoid any obstacles, make sure everyone understands why each task is pivotal to the end goal. In addition to listening to your team and communicating whenever there is confusion about the team’s goal, Teresa Bazemore adds that it’s important not having “Yes” people around you. Rather, you should surround yourself with those who are smart and have skill sets that are different than yours. Also, make sure to get their perspective on a problem by asking, “What do you think?” To truly create a team environment among your employees, it’s important to have inclusion. The panelists took turns sharing their ideas of ensuring that everyone feels included. Jean Bradley stated, “It’s about knowing how your team thinks and how they process things and articulate things.” Everyone thinks and communicates differently depending on their personality, background and experiences. “Understanding gaps and closing them is our job,” she states of leaders. Debbie Hoffman similarly suggests that leaders need to be able to identify and leverage the skills of each employee. Marcia Davies suggests that mentors can be involved to help employees feel included in the company culture. She mentioned that the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) typically hosts “speed dating” sessions between mentors and mentees. Mentorships usually happen organically; a mentor can be as simple as one’s colleague that one forms a relationship with in his or her company. Marcia notes that it’s critical to get feedback from each other, and women are likely to do that than men. Chris NAWRB MAGAZINE |


adds that you don’t need just mentors; you need champions. She claims we need to start talking about women as champions of each other rather than as mentors and mentees. Marcia closed out the panel by asking each person the best career advice they have been given. Debbie succinctly, yet poignantly, stated that the best advice she has been given was “Be yourself.” Similarly, Chris was taught the benefits of being authentic. “Being who you are and being genuine establishes trust,” she stated. Being authentic also means allowing others to be themselves, as well. Everybody has something to contribute. The best advice Teresa was given was to “always make sure that you are running to something instead of away from something.” Jean’s advice was to “know when to fly the plane at 10,000 feet and know when to drop down,” or to realize the limits of how much you can handle in any given situation. The audience asked our panelists how they make sure that their mentorship comes from their own experiences and strengths and is not just advice handed down to them from a male-dominated tradition. The panelists answered that all of their experiences might be different than what they were taught. In addition, one’s gender, race, ethnicity, and other factors will affect one’s experiences. Marcia states, “I share what has happened to me and how I have navigated it.” Some of the best mentoring happens through honest and forthcoming conversations. For instance, the panelists agreed that some of the best conversations are when you share when you made a mistake that had an impact. Telling stories when you take risks are powerful, too, because you are showing how you made it through and it worked out. Thank you to Marcia Davies and mPower for hosting this invaluable enlightening discussion on leadership. The mPowering You, MBA’s Summit for Women in Real Estate Finance will take place in Austin, Texas, on October 26th, 2019. This full day event is “purposefully dedicated to just that by creating opportunities to expand your network, celebrate your wins and reach your potential,” according to their website: https://www.mba.org/get-involved/mpower



For this enlightening discussion on redefining Teresa shared that she always held leadership positions, leadership, NDILC was represented by NAWRB Diversity & Inclusion Leadership (NDILC) Council Members Desirée Patno, CEO & President, Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB), Advisor, Amicus Brain; Chairwoman, NDILC; CSO, Zulu Time; Tami Bonnell, CEO, EXIT Realty Corp. International; Erica Courtney, President, Zulu Time, Founder, 2020VET, U.S. Army Aviation, Major NATO Gender Advisor; Rachel Beam-Jares, Field Manager, Valuation Department, Fannie Mae; Teresa Palacios Smith, Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion, HSF Affiliates LLC; Dr. Chitra Dorai, Founder & CEO, AmicusBrain; Stephanie Durflinger, EVP Chief Product Officer, Sagent Lending Technologies; and Tammy Hannan, Tax Office Managing Partner, BDO. Each Council member took turns introducing themselves and their unique approaches to leadership. Teresa Palacios Smith has more than 20 years of experience working in the real estate industry and is a frequent speaker at national and local industry events. She shared a story of when she applied for a HUD contract without having experience in the area. She faked it until she made it and hired the right people on her team. Soon enough, she was asked to teach classes on HUD in six months.

even in high school, and she never got the credit for it. She finally had to tell herself, “I did this!” She encouraged the audience to own up to their accomplishments as well, even when we are discouraged by others who make us feel as if we are not good enough. “Diversity, change and adapting is important for leadership,” she added. “As I come up the ladder, let me bring you up with me.” Tami Bonnell has had more experience than most in real estate, selling her first house at thirteen and obtaining her real estate license the day she turned eighteen. Even with that experience, she has had to work hard to reach the level of influence she has today. Tami Bonnell stated that EXIT’s leadership includes putting people before profits.

The company, which has built 675 franchises in 25 years, has never compromised its people, and she never let one person go. When the company was not performing at peak level, employees with leadership positions took a pay cut until they proved they deserved their job. EXIT also makes it a priority to have diversity within their leadership: out of top 18 leaders, 12 are female. A good leader can help others realize their full potential. NAWRB MAGAZINE |


“The company, which has built 675 franchises in 25 years, has never compromised its people, and she never let one person go.” “People become what you tell them they can be,” Tami stated. She gives a new employee 90 days to find out if they are right for the job, and she makes sure to acknowledge when they are doing well. Leadership means mentoring others to become better leaders themselves. Stephanie Durflinger was an honorary NDILC guest at the conference, and she shared that she leads leaders by “Giving them room to develop themselves as leaders and helping them form a strategy forward.” Rachel Beam-Jares is a passionate leader who has extensive experience in the mortgage and real estate industry. In her current role at Fannie Mae, Rachel leads a team of valuation professionals who are responsible for managing the quality and accuracy of appraisal services provided by more than 500 appraisers across the country. As an advocate for diversity and inclusion, she is part of a group of three that created an awareness program, which is currently funded for a second phase. She is also in talks with impacted neighborhoods and markets about how to increase diversity. “Everyone needs to have a seat at the table,” Rachel stated. “This is how we improve everything. Championing each other is important, too.” For instance, she noted that women with children could be more if they were given more opportunity: “We need to provide them that flexibility they need to reach their potential.” Erica Courtney, a U.S. Army veteran, continues to serve the nation as a Major in the U.S. Army Reserve under the Joint Chiefs of Staff working on Women, Peace and Security initiatives as the only NATO certified Gender Advisor working at political and strategic levels. Her tip for good leadership is to keep things in perspective to not become overwhelmed: “Keep a little distance between you and what you are doing so that you don’t let it control you emotionally.” Also, she advises leaders to be comfortable with receiving a helping hand: “Don’t feel like you have to do all the work yourself.” Erica continued to give invaluable wisdom on leadership



based on her experience in the military: “The military gave me a fantastic foundation,” she said. “These same principles apply to any facet. You don’t have to act like a man to be successful. It takes a while to get on an equal level playing field. We should own our different strengths. Figure out who you, your strengths, outsource your resources and collaborate with other women and men.” Dr. Chitra Dorai in her former career was an IBM Fellow, IBM Master Inventor and responsible for Cognitive Solutions and Services in IBM’s Global Business Services as its CTO. Dr. Dorai received numerous awards and recognition both externally and at IBM for her groundbreaking research and client-facing work in Banking, Financial Markets and Media & Entertainment industries. Her prime experience as a leader came during the housing crisis and in IBM research. This tumultuous time was her first introduction to how Americans lived and paid mortgage payments, and she brought the best of technology to help those who were at risk of losing their homes. “Growth and comfort don’t coexist,” she stated. She vowed herself to learn about this industry for the next 10 years to help homeowners at risk. During that time, she “brought more than 15 machine learning tools that analyzed these homeowners to find the best solution.” In hindsight, she is glad that she responded to this call for her help and stepped out of her comfort zone. “Sometimes problems come and you have to embrace the challenge or call for a solution,” she stated. Dr. Dorai continued to speak about women’s leadership opportunities in the STEM field. It was common at IBM that women named into executive positions had to make a commitment to mentor other women. This is a great way

for continuing the trend of women helping women to become leaders and reach their full potential. “Trust your instinct, bring others along with you, be true to yourself and you’ll be able to lead others,” Dr. Dorai advised. “Don’t let anyone tell you this is not your time or not your turn; be firm and be fair. Don’t be afraid to educate people and get them out of their box, and get them around other powerful, supportive women.” Tammy Hannan has 18 years of tax experience, including over 16 years in public accounting. Throughout her career, Tammy has provided tax consulting and compliance services to clients in the real estate, private equity, alternative energy and healthcare industries. “Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Push your limits and don’t be afraid to fail,” Tammy advises current and future women leaders. “Make sure you are pushing yourself to what you are capable of doing and that will help you grow.” NDILC Chairwoman Desirée Patno oversees accountability of increasing women-owned and small business utilization and women’s inclusion at all levels. Through her leadership, NAWRB has raised awareness of diverse opportunities, supporting the development and implementation of workforce and supplier diversity standards for the multi-trillion dollar housing sector since 2010. According to Desiree, “Leadership is at every level,” from entry level to the senior executive level. To be a good leader, she stated that it’s important to show gratitude. “Appreciate people and say ‘thank you.’ We all like to hear thank you.”

NDILC Mission

The NAWRB Diversity & Inclusion Leadership (NDILC) Council is dedicated to raising the number of women leaders and growing women’s employment and empowerment 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.



“Marketing Science in Entertainment:

A Machine Learning Approach,” Brett Danaher, Assistant Professor of Economic and Management Science at Chapman University, gave an informative introduction to marketing science as it pertains to his work, and its potential uses for the housing and real estate ecosystem. Dr. Danaher publishes research in data science and entertainment strategy and consults for large entertainment firms such as NBC Universal, Disney, Spotify, EMI Music, Harper Collins, BBC Studios and Masterclass. Dr. Danaher first addressed how data science is impacting businesses across all industries, especially how data science is influencing marketing science in the entertainment industry. In other words, his talk was focused on how marketing departments are using data to figure out which type of content appeals to their demographic. For instance, companies can predict demand for content using a ‘Genome’ approach. All TV and movie content has a “genome,” which refers to the demographic the content is appealing to. This type of data is higher than metadata (e.g., the presence of Thor’s hammer or music by ACDC) but lower than genre (e.g., comedy, drama, sci-fi, etc.). The genome includes elements such as plot themes; genre; gender and nationality of main actors; story arcs; mood of the script; TV ratings; geographical setting; number of plot lines; and more. With a genome a company can predict if a culture will like the content. How-



Technology ever, there are thousands of seasons of television content for any entertainment company, such as BBC. It would take an exorbitant amount of money to hire experts to watch all the content and categorize each show according to theme, moods, plot arcs and so on. As Dr. Danaher states, creating a genome for any content is a classification problem and artificial intelligence is a useful tool for identifying patterns and classifying things. Machine learning solves this problem as one can train an algorithm to create the genome of many shows at once. For example, data scientists can train an algorithm for 500 season scripts and then let it categorize the plot themes of ten thousands of season scripts.

“...Machine learning is a powerful tool for mid-sized companies of any industry due to its ability to perform tasks of a large scale.”

Dr. Chitra Dorai

What possible uses are there for a genome once we have one for a show? Well, one thing companies can do is match the genome with revenue date for each season of television when it was sold in each country to create a “supervised learning” problem. With machine learning, data scientists are trying to see if an algorithm can predict how well a season of a show will do in any given country as a form of predictive analytics. Each country has their own specific interests, which might cause a season of a show to be popular in one country but unpopular in another depending on the show’s genome. For example, a plot that is centered around politics is usually popular in countries like Russia, Finland and Norway but unpopular in the United States.

Dr. Brett Danaher

The use of data science in entertainment has led to interesting discoveries regarding country-specific interests. Machine learning helped the entertainment industry learn that people in Italy favored themes involving fear, technology, law, action and family, among others, but disliked themes such as romance, people and culture, surprise and business. The patterns that were found were not due to chance either. After his short presentation, Dr. Danaher was joined by Moderator Veronica N. Miracle, Reporter of ABC7 Eyewitness News; Debbie Hoffman, Founder & CEO of Symmetry Blockchain Advisors, Inc; and Dr. Chitra Dorai, Founder & CEO of Amicus Brain, to discuss women’s representation in STEM and the influence of media.

Debbie Hoffman

Netflix and other companies are targeting consumers using machine learning and targeted marketing. Nearly 80 percent of TV shows watched on Netflix were all recommended by AI systems, according to Dr. Danaher. He added that streaming services have changed creativity in entertainment by building a “different creative playground space” with less constraints on creatives. Dr. Danaher also stated that “Disney invested million of dollars for their content genome project, but BBC got a genome up and running for less than $100,000.” Even though BBC had a smaller budget, their project still gave positive results and performed reasonably well. Dr. Danaher emphasized that machine learning is a powerful tool for mid-sized companies of any industry due to its ability to perform tasks of a large scale.

Veronica N. Miracle

Debbie Hoffman and Dr. Chitra Dorai addressed women’s representation in STEM based on their own unique experiences in the field. Debbie shared that her experience as an educator in blockchain has been eye-opening. There is developing talent in the blockNAWRB MAGAZINE |


“Netflix & other companies are targeting consumers using machine learning & targeted marketing. Nearly 80% of TV shows watched on Netflix were all recommended by AI systems.” chain space but she admits some “people are intimidated to get involved.” She advises that we should try to bring other women up in STEM. Media representation of STEM is partially to blame for the obstacles women face in the pipeline. This is because the media often portrays a lack of diversity in STEM and perpetuates stereotypes and biases, such as men being better than women at science and math. Debbie and Chitra, both business owners, stated that they try to mentor women and give them opportunities to showcase their skills in STEM.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is all in for diversity.

Debbie ended the discussion by shedding light on the connection between blockchain and media. Blockchain has the power to change the media and the entertainment industry as a whole by bringing independent film to the masses; bringing music directly to fans without having to go through a third party; and allowing fans to buy music from artists themselves. She claims that this “could explode creativity” if it can solve outstanding issues involving rights.

The FDIC recognizes the importance of contributions made by diverse communities in its workforce and business activities. As a leader among government agencies, we are committed to diversity and inclusion and providing opportunities for employment, contracting, investments, and sharing our expertise in financial education. We continue to strengthen stability and public confidence in the nation’s financial system, leveraging the talents of our workforce and small-, minority-, women-, LGBT-, and veteran-owned businesses to create business value and achieve a work environment of involvement, respect, and connection. Contact us: Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) MWOBOutreach@fdic.gov 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342)

www.fdic.gov Each depositor insured to at least $250,000



Access to Capital

Capital is pivotal for the success

of any entrepreneur to launch a sustainable and lucrative business. Traditional routes of access to capital are changing as technological development creates new avenues, and the distance between entrepreneur and investor decreases due to an increase in fast and efficient communication. Women entrepreneurs have notoriously faced hardships in gaining access to capital, from lack of information and resources and local and state government assistance, to facing cultural biases from investors. A 2014 report by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship states women business owners received 16 percent of small business loans and 17 percent of loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Without adequate capital, women cannot make their creative ideas a reality, nor can they afford to maintain the businesses that provide jobs for a significant portion of the population. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, women own 36 percent of privately-held businesses and contribute $3 trillion to the economy due to job creation—creating 16 percent of jobs in the nation. During the Keynote Luncheon, industry experts discussed access to capital from the micro level to billions of dol-

lars. Panelists included Moderator Desirée Patno, CEO & President of NAWRB; Advisor for Amicus Brain; Chairman of NDILC and CSO of Zulu Time; Terri Billups, Assistant District Director of Economic Development at Los Angeles District Office of the SBA; Vanessa Nicole Dawson, Founder of The Vinetta Project and Contributor to Forbes; and Sean Davatgar, Chairman and CIO at Dava Capital (SFO). As part of her SBA career, Terri Billups was the Deputy District Director for the SBA, Michigan District Office covering the entire state of Michigan, and the Deputy District Director (DDD) for the Pittsburgh District Office in Pennsylvania. With almost three decades specializing in the Housing and Real Estate Ecosystem, Desiree Patno leads her executive team’s expertise of championing women’s economic growth and independence. Vanessa is a serial entrepreneur and active angel investor with a background in Digital Development and Retail Finance. She began her career in retail finance and private equity in Vancouver and New York. Sean Davatgar was a special guest of the panel, and his company Dava Capital (SFO) is an investment advisory and management firm focused on the development and implementation of business strategies. NAWRB MAGAZINE |


“First thing business owners should do is reach out to their lender. 'How many of you have a relationship with your banker as you do with your doctor?'” Desirée started the discussion by asking the panelists how new business owners start to obtain capital. Terri states that entrepreneurs who have just started their own business receive funds from using their own savings, borrowing from family and friends, or getting a commercial loan if they qualify. Some businesses even get their start by buying against their credit card, which can be risky, “but this is realistically where most businesses start.” Terri adds that the first thing business owners should do is reach out to their lender. “How many of you have a relationship with your banker as you do with your doctor?,” Terri usually asks people. You usually wouldn’t see a doctor who didn’t know you are or your medical history. Most of us will go to a banker who doesn’t know who we are, and this is because many of the transactions we make with our bank are either online or through an ATM. However, the banker is in charge of your financial health, just as a doctor oversees your physical and mental health. This is why Terri always encourages people to get to know their bank. To do this you should go to the bank occasionally and make yourself known by introducing yourself and asking to meet the relationship manager. Many people have different banks so she suggests finding whatever fits. “If you do not get approved for a commercial loan, this is where the SBA comes in,” Terri stated. The SBA was always known as “The Lender of Last Resort.” Anyone can visit one of the SBA’s women business centers with their business plan for counseling free of charge. The SBA has programs for you at any stage of your business, as well. Ben & Jerry’s and Urban Armour are just a couple of successful businesses that started with SBA. The SBA also offers disaster loans to small businesses, homeowners and renters affected by natural disasters. This information is discussed in-depth in the 2019 NAWRB Women in the Housing Ecosystem Report (WHER). Here is an excerpt below regarding small businesses: “The SBA offers low-interest disaster loans for businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters who need as-



sistance 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. During Fiscal Year 2017, the SBA approved a total of 27,263 disaster loans for a total of $1.7 billion— $1.3 billion for home disaster loans and $296 million for business disaster loans. The SBA processed 84,705 home loan applications and 10,882 business disaster loan applications, making a total of 95,587 processed loan applications. 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.

“During Fiscal Year 2017, the SBA approved a total of 27,263 disaster loans for a total of $1.7 billion...”

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 insur-

Vanessa Nicole Dawson

Desirée Patno Terri Billups

ance 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.” Vanessa informed the audience about her work, which focuses on equity and access to capital through venture capital. “Women are highly underfunded in equity and early stage investing,” she stated. In her experience, she saw that a lot of business owners or entrepreneurs, especially men, would go to their friends for capital who they trusted and vice versa. This made her curious about why more women are not funded this way. A lot of equity capital is dominated by men, so her goal was to find out how women can network more to gain opportunities in access to capital. To achieve this goal, Vanessa launched her company, The Vinetta Project, which sources for tech-based women-owned businesses and helps them access the capital they need to achieve. They source around 1500 female-run tech companies a year, and they help them with their pitch, financials, and whatever they need before sending their information to equity investors. Through Vinetta, Vanessa has cultivated a diverse global network of founders, inves-

Sean Davatgar

tors and corporate partners focused on closing the gender based funding gap for female tech founders. Vinetta has enabled the flow of over $225M in venture Capital to Seed stage companies. Sean took the stage to share his own difficult experience building capital when he started his business, from living in Beverly Hills to sleeping on his mattress in a warehouse in Anaheim when he was in debt. Through his private equity firm, he helps tech businesses succeed by making sure they had some assets to be sustainable, as well as figuring out the value each company brings and how to develop it. The company then matches the value to the demand. Knowing these resources and making sure that we get back up when we get knocked down is important for the success of any business, as Desiree noted during the panel. As the diverse panel showed, there are resources available for businesses of any size and with varying goals. For more information on access to capital, check out Volume III: Women-Owned Businesses of the 2019 NAWRB WHER at www.nawrb.com/womenhousingecosystem.



to match the surge in productivity, especially compared to previous decades. Between the years 1948 to 1973, productivity rose up 96.7 percent and hourly compensation grew up 91.3 percent. There is a greater divergence between the years 1973 to 2013, during which productivity increased 74.4 percent but hourly compensation only rose 9.2 percent. The flatlining wage growth and current geopolitical uncertainty is resulting in the decline of the purchasing power of the average american household. For white collar services, there is often a high educational premium, meaning that potential hires need postgraduate degrees to be considered for the positions. Getting a postgraduate education is costly, which might result in adults having to accrue student loan debt in order to attain jobs that do not pay a wage proportional to their expected production. Dr. Alexis Crow also addressed the representation of women in senior positions on a global scale. While women make up around 50 percent of the workforce in most countries, they comprise less than 40 percent of senior positions. The only exception is in Ukraine, where they make up around 55 percent of senior positions.

Dr. Alexis Crow, Lead of Geopolitical Investing Practice at PwC, Senior Fellow at Columbia Business School and Senior Fellow of Global Business and Economics of the Atlantic Council, kicked off the SHETalks series, featuring concise and impactful 20-minute presentations on key issues affecting the industry and gender equality. Dr. Alexis Crow’s presentation, titled “She-EO: How Increasing Female Executives Powers Profit in the New Economy,” addressed the economic benefits of having more women in leadership positions. In her presentation, Dr. Alexis Crow notes that the U.S. is on a record-breaking growth streak but workers’ hourly compensation is not increasing enough



Considering Pew Research Analysis of U.S. companies included in the S&P 1500, women make up only 5.1 percent of CEOs and 11.5 percent of other top executive positions. She emphasizes that there is ”a long runway for growth in new economy sectors.” Women make up 17.3 percent of non-CEO executives in the utilities sector and 16.1 percent in the consumer discretionary sector—which also happen to be the sectors with the highest rates of women in these positions. Women are less represented in executive positions in the financials and telecommunication services sectors, at 8.1 percent and 6 percent, respectively. Dr. Alexis Crow highlights that women bring

SheTalk unique skills and experiences to the table that make them good leaders. For example, she states “a woman is more likely to match skills for tasks at hand,” making sure that each employee is doing work that helps them reach their full potential. Women leaders are also good at motivating people, she claims. A recent study by the Pew Research Center reveals that some believe women in top executive business positions are better than men at creating safe, respectful workplaces, which are important for facilitating a diverse corporate culture. The report reveals that 89 percent of adults state it’s essential for today’s business leaders to create a safe and respectful workplace, and a greater share believe that women leaders are better equipped to achieve this.

"Dr. Alexis Crow notes that the

U.S. is on a record-breaking growth streak but workers’ hourly compensation is not increasing enough to match the surge in productivity..."

In addition to creating a safe, respectful workplaces, good leaders are those that are honest, ethical and provide fair pay and good benefits to their employees. In the survey, women top executives were believed to perform better than their male counterparts in each of the following abilities: creating a safe and respectful workplace; valuing people from different backgrounds; considering the societal impact of business decisions; mentoring young employees; and providing fair pay and good benefits. She importantly notes that representation of the different genders in leadership should really be 50-50. This is because studies show that there is no difference in terms of company performance or revenue if there is more than 60 percent or more of either gender. Therefore, our goal should be having an equal representation of both men and women as CEOs and other top executive positions. Towards the end of the SHETalk, Dr. Alexis Crow highlighted actionable solutions to increasing representation of women in leadership positions and closing the pay gap. Possible solutions include bringing balance to wages; increasing productivity; having an empathetic voice bringing D&I and achieving consensus in the boardroom, not a coup d’etat; enhancing creativity for individuals; and serving as a role model and increasing motivation.



These are just some of the benefits that Kamal Latham shared with the business owners and investors in the audience at our conference.

According to Kamal’s presentation, the EDC tax incentives include

● 90% reduction in corporate tax; ● 90% reduction in personal income tax; ● 100% exemption on gross receipt tax, business property tax and excise tax payments; and ● 83% reduction in the Customs Duty from the Standard 6 percent to 1%.

Through the EDC Tax Incentive Program, 19,308 jobs have been created in the U.S. Virgin Islands. This includes direct, indirect and induced jobs from 2013 to 2015. In addition, a little over $1 billion has been generated in wages and salaries by EDC Beneficiaries, and $9.6 million has been acquired in charitable contributions between the years 2013 to 2015. The EDC works with businesses in a variety of industries, including health care, financial, agriculture, technology, manufacturing, alternative energy, aviation, consulting services, and more!

Enterprise Zone Commission

The second SHETalk, presented by Kamal I. Latham, Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (USVIEDA), educated our audience about the incredible business and investing opportunities at the U.S. Virgin Islands. The USVIEDA is a “semi-autonomous government organization responsible for the promotion and enhancement of economic development in the U.S. Virgin Islands, ” according to its official website.

Economic Development Commission

One main component of the USVIEDA, the Economic Development Commission (EDC), offers unique tax incentives for qualified businesses, such as reduction of up to 90 percent of personal and corporate income taxes and up to a 100 percent exemption on excise, business property and gross receipt taxes.



“Revitalizing our towns one building at a time” is the motto of the Enterprise Zone Commission (EZC). Through this program, the U.S. Virgin Islands helps to revitalize distressed communities that were once socially and economically vibrant by providing “tax incentives and economic benefits free from regulatory barriers which inhibit economic growth” and encouraging collaboration among the public, private and non-profit entities to achieve its goals. The EZC tax incentives include a 90 percent reduction in corporate tax, a 90 percent reduction in personal income tax and 100 percent exemption on gross receipt tax and business property tax.

As stated on the USVIEDA’s website, the strategic objectives of the EZC are to improve

1. Community Aesthetics, or the general appearance of the Enterprise Zones; 2. Public Safety & Crime Prevention, in order

to create a safe environment for businesses and residents; 3. Education, Job Training & Entrepreneurship, by expanding access to education and training opportunities for residents; 4. Funding, by assisting businesses and residents acquire capital to rehabilitate the Zones; 5. Infrastructure, Housing & Neighborhood Development by improving public infrastructure to support business development and enhance housing opportunities; 6. Business Development by developing, recruiting, retaining and/or expanding businesses that create wage jobs; and 7. Plan Implementation, by working with community stakeholders to create and implement town plans.

"The EZC

tax incentives include a 90% reduction in corporate tax, a 90% reduction in personal income tax...." Opportunity Zones

in low- to moderate-income communities across the country through tax benefits, such as deferring tax on capital gain by making an investment in any of the designated zones. So far, 8,761 communities covering all 50 states, including the five U.S. territories, have been designated as opportunity zones, and they will keep this status for 10 years. Learn more about Opportunity Zones in Volume VI: Family Offices of the NAWRB 2019 Women in the Housing Ecosystem Report (WHER).

State Trade Expansion Program (STEP)

The USVIEDA recently received a $125,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help small businesses in the area increase their revenues and product sales by expanding their export-related activities into foregin markets. This program, called the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) supports the export growth of small businesses in the USVIEDA through foregin trade missions, foregin market sales trips, U.S. Department of Commerce services and trade show exhibits. The STEP program is currently seeking applicants.

Hotel Development Program

The designated zones served by the EZC include Savanne-Downstreet, Garden Street-UpStreet on St. Thomas, and the towns of Christiansted and Fredericksted on St. Croix. St. Croix and St. Thomas are also marked as opportunity zones.

With its beautiful coastline and vast land areas, U.S. Virgin Islands is perfect for hotel and resort development. Latham informed the audience about how the Hotel development Program assists in the development of hotels, resorts and related tourism facilities in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Opportunity Zone (OZ) tax incentive was created as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to encourage investment

According to Latham, current legislation “allows for the use of future gains in hotel room occupancy taxes and casino taxes to



assist in the development areas.” For instance, hotel developers can use a portion of their hotel occupancy and casino taxes to repay long-term loans, which can also help in obtaining financing for other projects. Monies that are generated through the program are placed in a separate hotel development and finance trust fund created for each approved project. Due to expansion of the Hotel Development Act of 2011, hotels and other related facilities can be developed besides the well-known islands of St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John, such as Water Island—a quiet 492-acre island located in Charlotte Amalie harbor. The U.S. Virgin Islands have dealt with natural disasters in the past, especially hurricanes, but they are receiving funds to help them redevelop and strengthen. The territories are resilient and prepared for future natural disaster occurrences. As Latham assured us, the U.S. Virgin Islands is “at the cusp of an economic renaissance” as an oil refinery is being restarted, cruise ships are docking at the territories and more hotel rooms are being booked. The USVIEDA offers many untapped resources and incentives for investors, business owners, hotel developers and professionals at one of its territories, as well as an opportunity to help revitalize the local communities. Latham has a resounding message to those who are interested in being a part of the U.S. Virgin Islands’s burgeoning economy: “We want all of you to be a part of our come back story.” Find out how you can be involved by visiting usvieda.org



them Vault, Inc., (a gold and silver savings platform), AnthemGold, Inc, (a gold-backed crypto asset token platform) and Hercules, SEZC (a blockchain based supply chain management protocol). A family office is a family controlled investment group that families of significant wealth can have to manage their wealth and assets. Family offices are attractive to investors with business leadership inclinations because the model gives them complete control with little regulatory oversight. Family offices can either be single-family (SFO) or multi-family (MFO). SFO’s are created to support the financial needs of one family that has at least $100 million or more worth of assets as it typically can cost over $1 million a year to operate. MFO’s, on the other hand, are for families with at least $50 million in assets each and provide the advantages of an SFO without the expense an -d potential managerial dilemmas. MFO’s are especially attractive when well run and offer collaborative opportunities and support. Family offices originated in Europe, but the concept was developed in the United States by the House of Morgan and the Rockefellers. The main motivation for the offices was wealth management, however the purpose of them have evolved with time. Other drivers include a desire for advisors to assist in global volatility, more investment options and multi-generational wealth preservation.

Wendy Craft, Chief of Staff of Fulcrum Equities, LLC and Cynthia French Blanchard, President of Anthem Vault, Inc., AnthemGold, Inc., and Hercules, SEZC participated in NAWRB’s first ever SHETalk fireside chat to discuss what it is like being a woman in the family office sector, the relationship between different generations and recent technological developments.

As the number of billionaires rise, and the time it takes to make significant amounts of money decreases, we are seeing a growth in the number of family offices across the globe. According to EY reports, there were an estimated 1,000 single-family offices in the world in 2008. Today, there are more than 10,000 family offices globally. The estimated number of family offices in the United States is over 5,000.

Wendy Craft serves as Chief of Staff for Fulcrum Equities, LLC, a single family office that invests in real estate and operating companies. The office handles the holdings of its principal, Kent M. Swig, and his real estate family and also co-invests with other family offices on a variety of investments around the world.

Family offices have developed into a one-stop-shop for wealthy families. In addition to asset management and facilitating wealth preservation within and between generations of the family through trusts and foundations, family offices help with immigration, finding homes, setting up charitable foundations, getting children into local school systems and project financing.

Cynthia Blanchard is part of a gold legacy family. Cynthia and her husband, Anthem Blanchard, have carried out the family legacy by Co-Founding An-

Family offices are also taking advantage of new opportunities, such as forming partnerships to conduct buyNAWRB MAGAZINE |


outs and acquisitions, financing startups, purchasing real estate and insurance products, lending to companies and becoming activist shareholders of companies. You can learn more about recent trends of family offices in Volume VI: Family Office of the NAWRB 2019 Women in the Housing Ecosystem Report (WHER). Wendy began the talk by asking Cynthia what it is like to be a woman in family office, a field that is predominantly male. Cynthia shared that she married into a gold legacy family from a background as a singer in the music industry. “Navigating the legacy family takes a great amount of centeredness to not get intimidated,” Cynthia stated. She compared it to a delicate “dance.” Cynthia says it can be hard to do this dance, but you have to walk in the room with confidence.

"Today, there are more than 10,000 family offices globally. The estimated number of family offices in the United States is over 5,000." It is often easy for women to fall into a role they are told to do. Younger women, she stated, have more confidence in family office. “You get a new perspective as you get older,” she said. She sees herself as having more options for approaching the male-dominated industry in that she can be herself instead of just performing. In respect to the business she runs with her husband, both are equal partners in all aspects of the business. They are also mindful of diversity and inclusion in their business decisions. Cynthia stated that they have a number of women employees and contractors, and their highest-paid developer is a woman. Wendy emphasized that women play an important role in family offices, even if it’s behind the scenes. In her experience working with international family offices, she has seen that women often give their approval for any investment decisions. According to the Winning Women: Key Insights for Wealth Firms Targeting Today’s Dynamic Female Clients by Clearview Family Wealth, WealthBriefing, Wealthmonitor and Boston Multi Family Office, surveying 35 wealth-holders, business owners, family office professionals and advisors, women control an estimated third of the world’s private wealth. In the United States alone, women are the primary earners in 40 percent of households. Female representation has also grown in the ultra high net worth level with women from the Asia-Pacific leading in wealth creation among women. In this region, over half of female billionaires are



first-generation entrepreneurs, a trend that is seen around the globe. In a little over a decade, researchers predict that women, who comprise about half the world’s population, will control 75 percent of discretionary spending. Intergenerational wealth transfer is something that all family offices should prepare for the ensure wealth sustainability. Seventy percent of family offices in the aforementioned report predict that the next generation will take control in the next 10 to 15 years. This is the time for family offices to assess what the next generation needs and establish programs that will help the next generation with future financial planning, as well as estate and tax planning solutions. This usually requires the older generation having the younger generation involved in the family office and preparing them for succession. Cynthia shared that the interaction between the older and younger generations is bringing new ideas to the family office industry. For example, the younger generation educated by the older generation is providing a new perspective, such as the inclusion of technological developments and blockchain. Cynthia and her husband frequent blockchain and cryptocurrency conferences to represent their business and stay on top of the newest trends. The blockchain industry has a larger share of young professionals and more women than family office, but she acknowledges that gender bias is still present, even if she does not deal with it to a large extent. For dealing with bias, Cynthia advises women to not let male opinion dictate what they say or how they act. “Don’t react, just act,” she stated. Although it can be overwhelming to feel like the only woman in the room in a male-dominated industry, her advice is: “Don’t buy into the numbers; change the numbers.” Being a part of the change means intuitively navigating the industry and forging a path for future generations of women to follow. It also means calling out bias when you see it, and Cynthia states that she does not allow herself to be a bystander when it happens: “I have the confidence to be honest and graciously direct. It doesn’t always come out that way, but I try.” Addressing bias and communicating with others when it occurs opens up a dialogue for new perspectives. As Cynthia states, we are “helping men [and women] help us by helping them understand our biases.”

top 10 most powerful women in real estate and she was ranked among the top 10 most powerful Real Estate Franchise Executives all for the year 2013, 2014 and 2015. In her spare time, she is a black belt martial artist, coach, judge and referee. Tami did an excellent job hosting the event and introducing each panel with a personal touch, and we appreciate Tami’s commitment and never-ending support of NAWRB, as well as her phenomenal involvement in NDILC. Before introducing our first speaker, Chris Boyle, Chief Client Officer of Single-Family Business at Freddie Mac, Tami gave the audience words of wisdom to the audience by sharing leadership skills from the Mafia. Some of these mantras include learning to fight for your turf by being the best at it, respecting and valuing other people’s talents and never staying in your comfort zone. Whether one is in the Mafia or working in the corporate sphere, these are all necessary skills of an effective leader. A veteran of over thirty years in the mortgage industry, Chris Boyle joined Freddie Mac in 1990 and has held a variety of key leadership roles in client management. Prior to joining Freddie Mac, she held leadership positions in Capital Markets, Sourcing and Sourcing Strategy, Operations and IT with NBD, Carteret S&L, and Goldome Bank.

The first full day of panels looked at the overarching topics of interest in the housing and real estate ecosystem. During the following day, we took a deep dive into homeownership and business ownership, two of the most important pillars for economic growth and stability. Participants had the opportunity to learn exclusive information on consumer and business opportunities for government officials, trends and obstacles to women’s homeownership, poverty and homelessness, and ways we can strengthen the economic impact and funding of women-owned businesses. Today's Master of Ceremonies was NAWRB Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council (NDILC) Member Tami Bonnell, CEO of EXIT Realty Corp. International. She is a 30+ year veteran of the real estate industry and was instrumental in building three major brands. Among her many achievements, she was recently recognized by Leading Researcher Real Estate trend watcher Stephan Swanepoel, as one of the 200 most Powerful people in Residential Real Estate, included in the

Before Chris took the stage, Tami stated that two of the biggest dreams Americans have are to own a home and to start their own business. Chris stated that Freddie Mac is helping make one of these dreams possible as signified in their tagline: “We make home possible.” In terms of the housing market, three million homes were sold in 2018, existing home sales rebounded, and the Northeast experienced the biggest growth. The average age of first-time homebuyers is 33 years, and there are “twice as many single female homebuyers than single male homebuyers,” according to Chris. Leveling the playing field is important to Freddie Mac as they want women to have the same opportunities to enter NAWRB MAGAZINE |


the homeownership space. In terms of women’s representation in the workforce, she stated that women in the housing finance industry are small in number and there are not a lot of female leaders. Full opportunities for each gender is crucial for increasing the number of women in the industry, as well. Currently, women make up only 1 of 5 in the C-suite. Only 17 percent of banking insurance leaders expect to see an increase in the number of women in leadership positions in the next 5 years, Chris stated. There is a gender divide in the industry in perspectives on women’s opportunities. Apparently 33 percent of females think they are doing well while 50 percent of males share the same sentiment. “We can change that sentiment,” she said positively. “It’s a rally cry for who you are and the talent you bring.”

"Only 17% of banking insurance leaders expect to see an increase in the number of women in leadership positions in the next 5 years." Supporting leadership is her passion, which is why she launched a movement called #LeadingtheWay for women. #LeadingtheWay “creates a dialogue and tagline,” she stated. Chris shared with the audience her experience working at Freddie Mac and how she was given opportunities to achieve a work-life balance. Her company allowed her flexibility to work remotely so she was able to raise her five children and manage clients from the comfort of her home. She stated that women should be supported in the life decisions they make, whether personal or professional. “We have to support each other’s choices as women in our career.” These choices shouldn’t affect a woman from being considered for promotions, either. “If you’re capable and qualified, you should be paid that salary,” she claimed. According to Chris, Freddie Mac scouts for talent through an internship program that brings new careers to the company. “It is a small but great breeding ground for testing and developing one’s skills,” she added. Freddie Mac also has opportunities for mid-career hires through its partnership with iRelaunch, which she foresees will make a difference in leadership. Chris shared that 30 percent of their c-suite is female, and the board chair is a woman, which shows that gender diversity is a priority for the company. As she stated, it is “smart business to have diversity.” Based on findings from a recent report, “profitable firms



that added female leaders saw 30 percent increase in profits. An engaged CEO lightens the load three-fold.” During her own career, Chris had mentors who supported her, and she didn’t see gender as a barrier for herself. She claimed that women need more than mentors to succeed. “We need champions, not just mentors and sponsors,” she said. “We need male champions too. Ask for the champion that is going to take you to that next level.” Being a mentor herself has been a rewarding experience for her, and she considers her mentees as heroes: “It has been a blessing in my life to be a mentor. The mentor walks the journey along with the hero.” To end her speech, Chris gave the audience sound advice that they can apply to their own lives. Here are her three main golden nuggets of wisdom: 1) “Keep evolving: this is a changing business. Know what you like and keep evolving.” 2) “ Advocate for yourself: When you sit back and expect people to know your talents, that might not happen. Learn to ask for more money, a bigger role, or a changing role because your skills are transferable. Deliver more than is asked for it.” 3) “Keep chipping away at the glass ceiling.” To create change in the industry, Chris stated that it’s important for women to connect with each other and help push each other forward. Also, change will not happen overnight, and it requires understanding the way the industry works before one can try to make a lasting impact. As she shared, you “need to adjust to the environment and then get to a point where you can lead it to a new direction.”

Erica gave an eye-opening speech about the status of veterans, the obstacles they face transitioning into civilian life and how her new company Zulu Time is helping to make a difference. Erica gives the United States an “F” grade for how they currently deal with veterans, and a big reason for this is a military-civilian cultural divide, which includes differences in language, community and culture. For instance, veterans struggle to form relationships when they are pushed into the corporate sphere because they are taught to not talk about themselves or their accomplishments. The first three years of separation from service is an imperative time for veterans as it is often their most difficult time. Those between the ages of 18 to 36 are the most vulnerable. According to the Zulu Time website, numbers of suicide, depression, PTSD, obesity, addiction, unemployment and homelessness are still on the rise among veterans even though there are 42,000 organizations and billions of dollars in programs that are dedicated to helping veterans and their families. The numbers of all these areas surpass those for civilians.

Today's SHETalk Fireside Chat featured Desirée Patno, CEO & President of Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB), Advisor of Amicus Brain, Chairwoman of NDILC, and CSO of Zulu Time, and Erica Courtney, President of Zulu Time, Founder of 2020VET, U.S. Army Aviation, Major NATO Gender Advisor, and CA Commissioner on the Status of Women & Girls. Erica is a U.S. Army veteran having served 14-years active duty 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 from the Advanced Armor Cavalry Course. Erica continues to serve the nation as a Major in the U.S. Army Reserve under the Joint Chiefs of Staff working on Women, Peace and Security initiatives as the only NATO certified Gender Advisor working at political and strategic levels.

“We are losing a veteran every 65 minutes equating to 22 veterans a day and 6,000 a year,” according to a sobering statistic. There must be a solution for providing multi-faceted programs and assistance to our veterans that meet their unique needs, and Zulu Time is here to provide one through peer-to-peer support: “ It is crucial as veterans speak to each other, frankly, offer tough love and can fast track each other out of the three-year transition period successfully. They trust each other. Through this they can obtain better community relationships, a livelihood and a purpose.” Once they receive help during this tough time, veterans have proven to be significant contributors to their communities and the economy. Veterans are two-thirds more likely to volunteer in their communities than civilians, they run and win public office positions, make more successful business owners, and are excellent employees in the right culture and setting. To help more veterans get to this point in their transition, we need to be proactive rather than reactive. Zulu Time, which takes its namesake from a term NAWRB MAGAZINE |


representing military time on deployment, takes a holistic approach by “combining community connection, health wellness, career development and shelter through peer-peer interaction and local support” to make sure that veterans are not left behind. The organization is in the process of creating a facility that is approachable and comfortable enough that a 18-35 year old veteran will actually want to go to, either to seek resources and assistance or just to hang out and connect with fellow veterans. The facility will include trained veteran peer counselors, privacy areas for physical and mental health needs, open areas for yoga and other workouts, as well as presentations from industry and government officials of NGOs. During the conversation between Erica and Desirée, the topic of the “Invisible Veteran” came up, which refers to women veterans who are often overlooked even more so than their male counterparts. Women comprise 15 percent of the military but only 1.4 percent of U.S. women, or 2 million women, have served in the military; this number is the largest in history and it’s rising. Veteran women continue to serve the United States by reinvesting and devoting themselves to the future, not through military service but through entrepreneurship. They are no stranger to hurdles and overcoming barriers as many dealt with this routinely while serving in a male-dominated profession. In 2012, veteran women-owned businesses were responsible for nearly 20 billion in receipts-an increase of 26.3 percent since 2007. They are strong, smart and driven, but we must understand specific challenges they face so we can help them be successful. Through entrepreneurship, many of the issues the community faces subside. Instead of masking the problem through medication prescribed at record rates, healthcare systems trying to keep up with a new demographic, and job placement programs in which the majority of veterans quit by year two, let’s put our efforts towards something that is working. It is not only a moral imperative that we take care of them, but an economic one as well. You can learn more about women veteran business owners in Volume III: Women-Owned Businesses of the 2019 NAWRB Women Housing Ecosystem Report (WHER). Erica is currently working at the Pentagon to work on the United States Strategy on Women, Peace and Security, which will address the disproportionate effect of armed conflict on women and girls. She is continuing her efforts in helping women and girls at the state-level as Commissioner of the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, representing approximately 20 million residents. According to their official website, the prime function of the Commission is “to encourage women and girl serving organizations to institute local self-help activities designed to meet the educational, employment, and related needs of California’s women and girls.”



"The first three years of separation from service is an imperative time for veterans as it is often their most difficult time."

Greater Social Impact

Health of Communities with Government Relations & Infrastructure Creates

Know the Rules of the Game® Professional development tool to revitalize communication and partnerships between industries as we work together to form mindful strategic solutions achieved through a gender lens.

Affordable Housing

From 2000 to 2015, the measure of the poor population living in high-poverty neighborhoods increased from 43% to 54%. With low inventory of rental units that are affordable and in adequate condition, low-income households are forced to live in units that are potentially unsafe.

Aging Population

The Aging Population is a neglected but significant portion of our society that will become dependent on younger generations for their physical, mental and financial wellbeing. We cover wide-ranging topics like employment, living arrangements, physical, mental and financial health, care giving, poverty, and elder financial abuse.

Small Business Sustainability

Providing Small business owners with guiding principles for long-term success. SBA Women-Owned Small Business Partner Resource

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We address how advanced areas of technology, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain, will alter the industry and how companies can stay afloat along this new current of technological development. These trends will significantly alter the way businesses operate and interact with their customers and clients.

Opportunity Zones

NAWRB’s decade-long history in social impact through our data analytics, media engagement, connections with family offices, senior executives and expert leaders across the housing ecosystem, and involvement in government legislation, drives our ability to facilitate greater returns on communities, helping them thrive and be sustainable for generations to come.

NAWRB Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council

Dedicated to raising the number of women leaders and growing women’s employment and empowerment 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. NAWRB made history bringing Dodd-Frank Section 342 out of Washington DC

Access to Capital: Investing – National Disasters

Resources from $5,000 to over $1 Billion for Real Estate, Investors & Startups. SBA administers disaster loans for business owners, homeowners and renters. $306 billion dollars were spent for natural disasters in 2017, with over $1 trillion estimated to be in 2018. Renters and Homeowners can gain access to capital for up to $40k and $200k, respectively and small businesses can receive up to $2 million.

2019 NAWRB Women Housing Ecosystem Report (WHER)

Most diverse coverage of the housing ecosystem with over sixty resources in six volumes: Diversity & Inclusion, Homeownership, Women-Owned Businesses, STEM, Aging Population, and Family Offices with a gender lens perspective.

Social Impact, Advisor, Publisher & Speaker

Desirée Patno, CEO & President of NAWRB

NAWRB.com . (949) 559-9800




Women business owners make a differ-

ence on corporate boards. Research shows that public company boards perform better—they are more profitable and more productive—than companies with all-male boards. Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, CEO of 2020 Women on Boards and Berkhemer Clayton Retained Executive Search, moderated the discussion. Betsy was joined by panelists Teresa Bazemore, CEO of Bazemore Consulting LLC; Scharrell Jackson, COO and CFO of Squar Milner LLP, and CEO & Partner of Leadership in Heels; and Terry Bayer, Director of the California Water Service Group. Having diverse members on corporate boards is not only an ethical decision—it’s good for business. Credit Suisse research demonstrated that companies are more profitable and more productive when they have at least three women directors on their boards, especially in return on equity and stock performance. In terms of female representation on corporate boards, California, at 15.5 percent, lags behind the national average of 16.2 percent for the Russell 3000. Also, 25 percent of California’s public companies in the Russell 3000 index have no women on their boards of directors.

Former California Governor Jerry Brown signed the SB 826 “Women on Corporate Boards” bill last year, a landmark legislation requiring female representation on corporate boards. Specifically, SB 826 requires that at least one woman on the board of publicly held companies in California by the end of 2019. Despite concerns over its potential efficacy, the bill is an important step in diversity and inclusion, as well as for the advancement of women.

“Having diverse members on corporate boards is not only an ethical decision—it’s good for business.” NAWRB was pleased to see the passing of the bill as we have continually supported the bill with 2020 Women on Boards and wrote multiple letters for each stage of the legislative process, including a final letter to Governor Brown. In an official letter to the California State Senate, Former Governor Brown stated, “There have been numerous objections to this bill and serious legal concerns have been raised. I don’t minimize the potential flaws that indeed may prove fatal to its ultimate implementation. Nevertheless, NAWRB MAGAZINE |


“Women need to be their own champions and not be afraid to speak about their accomplishments.” position is available. They also suggested that one applies for state commissions to advance one’s career.

Terry Bayer

Teresa Bazemore

Scharrell Jackson

Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire

recent events in Washington, D.C. –and beyond– make it crystal clear that many are not getting the message.” While the bill is not an all-encompassing solution to the obstacles that deter women’s advancement through the corporate ladder, this legislation will be an impactful incentive for public companies in California to start addressing these issues. The panelists, all of whom have served on multiple corporate boards throughout their careers, shared how those climbing the ladder can earn their own seat at the table. They gave practical and tangible advice that anyone can apply to their professional lives. First, as Betsy stated, “serving on nonprofit boards is key to getting on corporate boards.” You learn a lot being on boards, and you get the opportunity to work with like-minded, smart people who can help you grow. All in all, it’s critical to make career decisions in a strategic way that will get you further to achieving your goals. Second, networking is also important for landing that coveted board seat. The panelists suggested professionals can network by being involved in nonprofit boards and growing a good reputation, so that they will be recommended by superiors when a



Terry shared that she earned a seat at the table by networking and “being open” to the people that she met. “We have to break into the ‘Good Old Boys’ network,” she stated. “People get on boards because they know the CEO or the Board Director and there’s a high level of trust.” Third, women need to be their own champions and not be afraid to speak about their accomplishments. “We are not invited to the party, so it’s important to salute ourselves,” stated Scharrell Jackson. “Bottom line is: I’m a badass. We need to be able to gracefully share our accomplishments. We often minimize what we bring to the table.” To change this pattern, she urged the audience to “get comfortable being uncomfortable by tooting our own horn.” Although it seems simple enough, Teresa adds that it helps to communicate to your company that you wish to be on a board. “Let people know that this is something you are interested in,” she stated. Being your own champion doesn’t stop once you’ve earned your seat at the table; you have to continue to put forth your ideas with confidence. As Scharrell states, “It’s important to not just have a seat, but to also have a voice at the table.” Teresa adds that there really needs to be at least two to three women on a board so that there is more of a voice for women.

Percentage of executive searches that are helping find more women on boards is increasing. While executive searches can help women have the opportunity to apply for board positions, Teresa gave more guidance on how a working professional can cater her experience to meet a board’s need: “Look at the expertise they need and how you can bill your resume to meet those needs.”

“... there are not enough cyber experts or human resources experts on boards, so these areas are worth gaining experience in or highlighting in your resume.” If you are serving on a nonprofit board, she advises you to think about what boards you want to be on are looking for and how you package your experience that way and leverage it at the nonprofits. She also notes that there are not enough cyber experts or human resources experts on boards, so these areas are worth gaining experience in or highlighting in your resume. How do you maintain a work-life balance serving on a board on top of your other professional responsibilities? The panelists commented that the time commitment required on a board varies depending on the size of the business. Boards typically meet eight to nine times a year, but chairing a committee includes additional responsibilities. There is more of a commitment when there is a crisis occurs. It all comes down to being able to carve out time for board responsibilities in one’s busy schedule. However, all panelists agreed that compensation is fair in terms of the time commitment and workload. Thank you to our experienced panel for sharing their insight and tips so that more women can have the opportunity to not only serve on a board but to also make a difference. NAWRB MAGAZINE |


Senior executives and media industry experts ing an open mind to other perspectives and to not have a joined in an honest, heartfelt conversation about the importance of humility and human connection for professionalism and their eye-opening experiences maintaining a work-life balance.

stronghold on your beliefs. Having the humility to listen to opinions that might differ from yours is a sign of strength rather than weakness. Nicole Cober shared how working in Washington, D.C. has taught her to be humble.

The panel was moderated by Dr. Alexis Crow, Lead, Geopolitical Investing Practice, PwC, Senior Fellow, Columbia Business School; Global Business and Economics, Atlantic Council. She was joined by Veronica N. Miracle, Reporter for ABC7 Eyewitness News; Vanessa Nicole Dawson, Founder of The Vinetta Project and Contributor at Forbes; Nicole Cober, Legal Analyst of DC Fox News and Board Member of the National Women's Business Council (NWBC); Connie St. John, President and CEO of No Weapon Productions (NWP); and Desirée Patno, CEO & President, Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB), Advisor, Amicus Brain; Chairwoman, NDILC; CSO, Zulu Time

Nicole Cober stated that dealing with opposition in Washington, D.C. is the norm, and it’s “not for the faint of heart.” She also said that people are often defined by their careers and act according to their titles: “You lead with what you do rather than who you are.” Confidence, however, goes a long way for success because it gives you the courage to not let others define you. “When you are confident, you work on yourself everyday and on not being threatened when people see something different,” Nicole said.

One of the most insightful conversations was on the difference between being humble versus humiliation and how to strike the right balance. Being humble means hav-



Whenever you face opposition, no matter what field you work in, Nicole suggests that you get through it with open-mindedness and respect. When people take criticism too personally, it can cause them to withdraw from people in general out of self-preservation. As she described it, “When we take things personally we go down a rabbit hole of isolation.”

However, isolation inhibits a dialogue that can be beneficial to both parties. Nicole shared that she had to learn to be open-minded while remaining rooted in who she is, and to be open to listening instead of judging. She also claims that open-mindedness can make one more empathetic to other people: “We you can see the humanity in someone, it’s hard to demonize them and judge them.” Veronica Miracle added that she found the power of empathy through her work as a journalist. As a storyteller, she has learned that people resonate with news stories they can connect to on a human level and those that make them pause. She shared a story of a man who would put up crosses for each victim of a mass shooting. Her crew was able to capture this man as he put up each cross, and Veronica was pleasantly surprised that it was the most popular story of the day. “We must recognize that people want to see moments of humanity and stillness,” she stated. Another topic of interest was how these women leaders maintain a work-life balance with their responsibilities. Desirée Patno stated that she learned her work ethic from her father and made sure to have the entire family be a part of her business. From a young age, she taught her four sons about her line of work and that they were going to work together as a team. Her children would find ways to make helping out fun, like racing to see who could get the most flyers to the most doors. Desirée taught her children that there was nothing they could not learn to do. Although she is still figuring out how to strike the perfect work-life balance, she always prioritizes her family when necessary. “When they need me, I’m there,” she stated.

“Desirée Patno stated that she learned her work ethic from her father and made sure to have the entire family be a part of her business.”

care of herself. All of these stories pointed to an important message that working professionals need to make their health and wellbeing a priority, and make time for their loved ones. At the end of panel, Moderator Dr. Alexis Crow asked the women on stage to present two pieces of advice they would give to young women. Desirée told the audience to “Always ask questions, get as much stage presence as you can and listen.” She explained that we can learn more from others when we make a concerted effort to listen to others rather than waiting for our turn to speak and to be present each moment instead of multitasking. Veronica Miracle would advise young women to “Be grateful for where you are in the current moment and figure out where you’re going next.” As Jon Bon Jovie once said, “The future goes to those who know what song will be next.” “We all just make it up as we go along,” said Connie for her piece of advice. “Adults are grown children and we make it up as we go along. Not making mistakes is not the goal; it’s how you grow from mistakes.” Nicole’s last resounding message was to “Love God, love yourself and love others in that order. My faith grounds me and my purpose. I know how to ground myself because I’m part of something bigger than myself. When I know how to care for myself, I know how to pick relationships that care for me, too. People do treat you the way you ask to be treated.” “Women need to know 80 percent in order to have the confidence to act, while men get by with 20-30 percent,” Nicole continued. “Young women are afraid of the ‘C.’ We have to give ourselves permission to fail, to grow and move on. Failure is a building block to success.” Thank you to all these wonderful women leaders for sharing their words of wisdom, as well as for their candor in speaking about their experiences in their lives that have molded them personally and professionally.

Connie St. John stated that she chose to be a part of her son’s life more as a working mom. To achieve this, she made sure she could take her son with her after school, and chose jobs that gave her flexibility. When she had a health scare caused by the stress of her busy lifestyle, she had to remind herself that she needs to take NAWRB MAGAZINE |


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Moderator Desirée Patno, CEO

& President of NAWRB, Advisor of Amicus Brain, Chairwoman of NDILC; and CSO of Zulu Time; Marina B. Walsh, Vice President of Industry Analytics, Research and Economics, at Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA); and Brian De Lucia, Managing Partner at Arrivato LLC, led a discussion on how industries in the housing and real estate ecosystem can achieve social impact through data analytics. With almost three decades specializing in the Housing and Real Estate Ecosystem, Desiree Patno leads her executive team’s expertise of championing women’s economic growth and independence. Representing Fortune 100 companies in their relocation needs and selling thousands of properties across multiple platforms, she brings insider knowledge to NAWRB’s mission of advancing women and women-owned businesses. Marina Walsh is Vice President of industry analysis in MBA's research and economics department, specializing in industry performance benchmarking for residential lenders and servicers. She has worked in real estate finance for close to twenty years.

Brian DeLucia is a Managing Partner of Arrivato LLC, a Single Family Office created out of a partnership in land and building development within the real estate industry. Brian spends most of his time reviewing prospective multi-family acquisitions, multi-family development, land development, retail pad sites, global cell tower portfolios, lower middle market companies, and special situations. Desirée Patno started the discussion by having Brian talk about his work from a workforce housing perspective. Simply put, “You have to make the numbers work,” Brian said. From an economic perspective, it’s about controlling a budget, and some try to squeeze out every penny and end up outsourcing. This aspect is often overlooked by investors who are evaluating these opportunities. In contrast, Brian’s firm controls their own budget. They also acquire land all cash so they don’t have to go out and raise capital. This helps give them a cushion in case there is a recession. Brian added that they do their own engineering for building projects, and they oversee their general contracting.



Most importantly, they do not hide money into the budget. Being so hands on comes with some risks, but it also creates large margins that they can absorb in case there is another recession. “Controlling your budget, playing the long game and making transactions favorable to the marketplace creates more velocity,” stated Brian. Marina, who has been with the MBA for 18 years, talked about the state of the overall economy, as well as housing affordably from the perspective of supply and demand. Marina’s work focuses on the profitability of mortgage companies. She works closely with the CEOs and CFOs of mortgage companies, community banks, credit unions, and independent mortgage companies on how they can be profitable. Her job requires being up-to-date on the current status and projections of the housing market. Some of the questions she asks are: Is there a demand for housing? Is there demand for mortgage originations? What does this mean for profitability? There has been talk of a possible recession similar to the one that occurred in 2007-2008, but Marina is fairly confident that the housing market won’t take us into a great recession. Part of the reason is that the housing market has been pretty weak lately as there is a big supply issue. For instance, 2018 was the worst year in profitability for mortgage companies overall. However, at the national level, the financial obligation ratios are not in a crisis situation.

“There has been talk of a possible recession similar to the one that occurred in 2007-2008, but...”

“Some good news regarding the economy is that the unemployment rate is at 3.7%”

Some good news regarding the economy is that the unemployment rate is at 3.7 percent. At the same time, Marina noted that the stock market has been volatile and there are trade tensions. Inventory is not keeping up with household growth, either. Wage growth has been rising slightly in the last two years but home price appreciation is increasing at a higher rate. After the recession, for eight to ten years, there was an increase in renter-occupied households, but now owner-occupancy is on the rise. Marina stated that there is a potential demand for condos on the rise, especially as Millennials are entering their 30s and becoming first-time home buyers. Millennials are not opposed to living in a smaller space if they can be in an urban setting with access to good education systems and opportunities. Increased homeownership has been especially prevalent among hispanic households and Millennials. Aging Baby Boomers are likely to stay put in their homes, but many they are remodeling. Marina predicts that housing demand will be highest among the aging Baby Boomers and those between 25 and 28 years of age, or Millennials. Reports show that approximately 1.2 million households are formed each year. Young adults who were living at home are moving out due to increased wage growth. Overall, each generation wants different things when it comes to housing. In terms of supply, Marina focused on the “Three L’s”: Land, Labor and Lumber. There’s not enough land and permitting is an arduous process in areas that need it the most. There’s also not enough construction workers in parts of the country, especially in areas that have been affected by the recent natural disasters. “Lumber” refers to the plethora of supplies needed to build housing projects, and they are very expensive. Due to the burden and expense of building low- to middle- income housing, developers are forced to ask themselves if it makes economic sense when have to pay more to build. Vacancy rates are at all time lows and we are not keeping up with housing formation. High end properties have the most deceleration in home price appreciation, but not for the low- to moderate- income buyer, which is where the need



is. “There’s been some reprieve in house prices, but there needs to be more supply,” Marina stated. The Opportunity Zone tax incentive was created as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to encourage investment in low- to moderate-income communities across the country through tax benefits, such as deferring tax on capital gains by making an investment in any of the designated zones. So far, 8,761 communities covering all 50 states, including the five U.S. territories, have been designated as opportunity zones, and they will keep this status for 10 years. Other legislation has been introduced in Congress for housing revitalization, as well. States such as Colorado, Ohio, and Wyoming are booming right now in terms of housing development, but there are needs in other parts of the country that are not being met yet. In conclusion, Desirée asked the panel how climate change, such as record hot temperatures across the world, and related natural disasters affects the decisions made by real estate developers. Brian answered that his firm receives access to proprietary data that will eliminate speculation regarding weather in different areas that might be vulnerable to natural disasters. They also make sure to educate themselves on absorption rates, upcoming developments, and more, so they know exactly what they are getting into. Brian exemplifies that it’s in the best interest of developers and investors to prepare and educate themselves as much as they can about the area they are choosing to build in.






The “Homelessness, Poverty & Permanent Housing” Panel discussed homelessness, poverty and resources for permanent housing. Panelists included Moderator Zeeda Daniele, President of Central Park Promotions Inc.; Helene Schneider, Regional Coordinator of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness; Brateil Aghasi, Executive Director of WISEPlace; and Anne Miskey, CEO of Union Station Homeless Services.

Zeeda served as National Director of Community Lending for New American Funding and worked for Fannie Mae for over 15 years in various management roles. Helene cochaired Bringing Our Community Home, Santa Barbara's countywide 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness, served as policy council chair on the countywide homelessness collaborative board, and chaired the U.S. Conference of Mayors Hunger & Homelessness Task Force.

Brateil demonstrates a history of turning around struggling companies into high impact organizations, previously serving as Executive Director of Forever Footprints and Director of Programs at Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire. Anne has previously served as CEO of Downtown Women’s Center and Executive Director of Funders Together to End Homelessness. Zeeda stated that the country is facing a crisis regarding homelessness. Communities are seeing an increase in homelessness and are trying to figure out why this is the case. Helene Schneider provided statistics that show the gravity of the situation. Based on a point-in-time count, 553,000 people are experiencing homelessness in the United States. According to a 2018 point-in-time count, 37,878 veterans NAWRB MAGAZINE |


“According to a 2018 point-in-time count, 37,878 veterans experienced homelessness, compared to about 40,000 in 2017.” experienced homelessness, compared to about 40,000 in 2017. The number of homeless veterans dropped 5.4 percent since 2017 and by nearly half since 2010. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently reported a 10 percent decline among female veterans. Helene shared the efforts of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) to find homes for the homeless The USICH housed 21,631 people in 2018. Housing is affordable if a household is paying 30 percent of their income, and a lack of affordable housing is a contributing factor of homelessness. Areas of increased focus for the USICH include increasing affordable housing; strengthening prevention and diversion; creating solutions for unsheltered homelessness; tailoring strategies for rural communities; helping those exiting homelessness find career success and economic mobility; and learning from the expertise of people with lived experiences of homelessness. Ingredients for success will include political will, effective use of adequate resources, collaborative approach, and a “never give up” attitude. Anne Miskey of Union Station Homeless Services stated that “Pasadena reduced homelessness by 20 percent this year.” Homelessness is a modern issue that started in the late 70s because of federal policies. The “three hots and a cot” model was the first approach to homelessness, but Anne notes that we can only truly end homelessness by giving people a home. Her organization focuses on permanent solutions for homelessness, including housing, supportive services, employment, and community engagement. They have housed almost 1,000 people and have a 99 percent success rate. There is a general bias that people become homeless because of mental illness or drug addiction. However, the causes of homelessness are varied and complex. These include a lack of affordable housing, systemic racism, lack of a livable wage job, foster care system, eviction, lack of access to the housing market, and mass incarceration. All of these problems relate to an overarching issue of systemic racism. “Four out of 5 communities redlined are in poverty and of color,” Anne said. “Baltimore was almost completely redlined.” Women of color are also adversely affected by factors contributing to homelessness: “Eviction is to black women what mass incarceration is to black men.” Addiction and mental health are individual vulnerabilities to homelessness, but they are often not the direct causes of homeless unlike physical health, history of trauma, job loss, mental health, domestic violence and catastrophic event. “We have to stop blaming the individual,” Anne stated. Obstacles to addressing homelessness with tangible results include lack of



communication, community push back and lack of political will. She also noted that we need a continuum of services, such as outreach, access points, emergency response, housing, employment, community engagement: “We need to connect people and reduce fears, learn facts, volunteer, advocate for living wage jobs and, most importantly, more housing.” “Women, Inspired, Supported, Empowered” provides the acronym and driving force of WISEPlace, an organization committed to helping women overcome unemployment and homelessness by “providing safe, affordable transitional housing, healthy meals, financial-empowerment curriculum and employment assistance,” as well as per-

“According to a 2018 point-in-time count, 37,878 veterans eperienced homelessness, compared to about 40,000 in 2017.” sonalized counseling from its management. Their facilities include a Hotel for Women, “a 30-bed transitional housing shelter for single women,” which opened its doors in 1987. With their passion and hardwork, WISEPlace has transformed the lives of more than 7,500 women since its inception in 1924, and they continue to change the lives of about 90 women each year. Brateil Aghasi, CEO of WISEPlace, stated that they specifically help 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. She claimed there is a “crisis with senior women emerging.” 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. She advises nonprofits to work more with government organizations and other related institutions. Brateil shared that her future goal is to build permanent supportive housing to help the transition from shelter to housing. The city of Orange County plans to build 2700 housing units, and WISEplace will have 50 of them on their property.

The panel talked about how homeless women need special services to help them with domestic violence, sexual trauma (especially with female veterans), and safety. Many women veterans who report their sexual abuse were discharged from service and were unable to receive resources. Anne shared that she started asking women what their goals were. Many homeless women wanted to reunite with family, give back to others and find their voice. There are also a lot of homeless families. Anne stated that programs were once required to separate families; therefore, some families choose to stay on the street rather than have their families separated. There are currently 10,000 shelter beds in Los Angeles on a given night for about 60,000 homelessness. “People are retiring on social security alone, and that is not enough to afford housing in any county or state,” Anne stated. To make an impact on ending homeless, there needs to be a coordination of services, such as social services, faith organizations, real estate and other sectors. Thank you to this incredible panel for sharing their insight into the causes of homelessness and suggestions for how the economic ecosystem can work together as a whole to find every person and family a home. For local resources and services, call 211—your most comprehensive source of local human and social services information in the United States and most of Canada.

Brateil Aghasi

Zeeda Daniele

Anne Miskey

Helene Schneider NAWRB MAGAZINE |


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The “Women's Homeownership & Being As an industry, Teresa emphasizes that “It’s important Sustainable” panel featured prominent leaders in the housing and real estate industry, including Teresa Palacios Smith, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at HSF Affiliates LLC and NDILC Council Member; Hyepin Im, President, CEO & Founder at Faith and Community Empowerment; Vanessa Montañez, Vice President of Sales and Business Development Manager for the National Specialized Sales & Strategic Markets, US Bank Home Mortgage and moderated by Tami Bonnell, CEO, EXIT Realty Corp International. Teresa Palacios Smith has more than 20 years of experience working in the real estate industry and is a frequent speaker at national and local industry events. She currently heads Diversity and Inclusion at HSF Affiliates LLC, a Berkshire Hathaway organization. According to her figures, “80 percent of all consumer decisions are made by women.” A lot of minorities are also impacting our economy, as well as veterans. Twenty percent of home purchases are done by veterans, and they make up 19 percent of home sellers.

for us to touch each of these communities.” To tackle this problem, she has dedicated her time to bringing in women-owned businesses into the company to help in areas other than homeownership because it’s critical that “women and minorities are part of the franchise process of owning a company. That’s where real true wealth is created.” Hyepin Im serves on the U.S. Army Advisory Board, the Pacific Council on International Policy, the Western Partner for the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2013, she was recently honored by Los Angeles Magazine as “Ten Inspirational Women of Los Angeles.” Vanessa has been in residential lending for the last twenty-one years where she has applied her expertise in loans and real estate. She has worked for major lending institutions such as JPM Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and East West Bank. Vanessa Montañez started the discussion by sharing interesting statistics about US Bank and women’s homeownership. According to her, there are currently 72,758 US Bank em-



ployees representing 71 languages. The company has been ranked as one of the best employers for diversity, the best for veterans and the best for women. U.S. Bank also makes it a priority to give back to their local communities, and they have donated $57 million across the nation to nonprofits. “Women make 91 percent of purchasing decisions, and they are outpacing men in education at every level,” according

“Women make 91% of purchasing decisions, and they are outpacing men in education at every level.” to Vanessa. In addition to women, Teresa mentioned that a lot of minority groups are impacting our economy. For example, 21 percent of all homebuyers are veterans and 19 percent of all homesellers are veterans. Teresa suggested that we make sure women are part of the franchise process of owning a company because that is where wealth is cre-



ated. Overall, the housing and real estate ecosystem needs to focus on creating opportunities for women to become homeowners and business owners. Hyepin discussed the work her company, Face and Community Empowerment (FACE), does to help people buy a home. In her words, they “bring the face of God” to their services. They operate by the “Three C’s,” which include Compassion, Capacity, and Commitment. ABC Channel 7 news recognized FACE as they shared their 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 a $105,000 down payment! Hyepin believes that the “Not In My Backyard” mentality, otherwise known as “NIMBY,” is hurting inventory stock. She also stated that it’s important to keep people informed about available resources for low-income homebuyers. “The more we share those data points, there might be a shift in making things more available or friendly for women. Many people don’t know these programs exist,” she stated. “We

are a trusted advisor as a navigator to help them with their budget and strategize on how to reach their goals.” The panelists answered the question, “How do you get the word out and what do you do for sustainability?” They all agreed that it helps to have good connections with people in media, financial institutions, financial government agencies, etc. They also suggest having a good database, using press conferences and garnering relationships with real estate associations. People need to be encouraged to take a homebuyer class as they would take a driving class when getting their license, and there needs to be more incentives for doing so. Freddie Mac and others are educating potential homebuyers too. Word of mouth helps and the companies these panelists represent offer many languages to help the different communities that they serve. Tami Bonnell noted that there are more than 2,400 down payment assistance programs across the country. A common complaint homebuyers have is that “they know more than their agent or people meant to help them.” So financial institutions and real estate professionals need to show that they are offering services that homebuyers cannot access on their own. Here are a few resources panelists shared for homebuyers and homeowners: - Google - Downpaymentresource.org - GSE’s (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac) - Credit Smart - US Bank - HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agencies - FDIC.org/moneysmart - 2019 NAWRB WHER Toward the end of the discussion, the panelists went around and each shared their favorite memories helping homebuyers. “There is no greater satisfaction than helping that person buy their first home,” Vanessa stated. Thank you to our knowledgeable panelists for shedding a light on how we can help more women and minorities become homeowners and build sustainable wealth.



The aging population is an often neglected Given the professional background of our panelists, discusbut significant portion of our society that will become dependent on younger generations for their physical, mental and financial wellbeing. In our next panel, experts from different industries will discuss the aging population, including, Moderator Desirée Patno, CEO & President, Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB), Advisor, Amicus Brain; Chairwoman, NDILC; CSO, Zulu Time; Dr. Chitra Dorai, Founder & CEO, Amicus Brain; Terry Bayer, Director of the California Water Service Group; John Figueroa, CEO & Managing Partner of Bailey Cavan Capital LLC, Former CEO & Board member of Genoa Healthcare, and Former CEO but current Chairman of Apria Healthcare Group Inc.; and Dr. Debra Cherry, Executive Vice President of Alzheimer's Greater Los Angeles and Clinical Psychologist.



sion was focused on how the healthcare industry can meet the needs of the growing aging population. John Figueroa painted a picture of how this is both a social and economic issue: “Eighteen percent of our economy is driven by healthcare. It can get as high as 50 percent of our GDP in the next 30 to 40 years. A vast majority are trying to figure out how to change to meet the needs of the growing aging population.” “Three out of four [older persons] have multiple chronic disease states and are taking multiple pills a day,” John continued. In addition to dealing with multiple diseases, less older people are being placed into nursing homes than ever before. “We are caring for them in different settings, more so than we have done in the past.”

Aging Population From January to June 2017, 97 percent of individuals ages 65 and older reported that they have a facility they go to for medical care, according to the 2019 NAWRB Women in the Housing Ecosystem Report (WHER), while only 3 percent said they did not obtain medical care in the past year due to cost.

"In 2016, the average older person pays $4,159 for insurance, $913 for medical services, $715 for drugs and $207 for medical supplies."

Older consumers paid an average of $5,994 in out-ofpocket health expenditures in 2016, an increase of 38 percent since 2010. On average, the greatest share of health costs for the older population is spent on insurance at 69 percent. The average older person pays $4,159 for insurance, $913 for medical services, $715 for drugs and $207 for medical supplies. The total population spent less in out-of-pocket medical expenses with an average cost of $4,612 in 2016. Older Americans spent 13.1 percent of all their expenditures on health, while the total population only spent 8 percent on health. Almost all older persons age 65 and older were covered by Medicare in 2016 at 93 percent. Medicare, however, only covers most acute care services and requires that beneficiaries cover some of the cost, leaving the rest to be accounted for by other sources. About half of older persons use some type of private health insurance to cover the remaining cost, while 8 percent had military-based health insurance and 7 percent were covered by Medicaid. One percent had no coverage. Panelists foresee technology making healthcare more manageable and attainable for the older population.

In regards to living arrangements, approximately 13.8 million, or 28 percent, of noninstitutionalized older persons lived alone in 2017. Of this number, 9.3 million were women and 4.5 million were men. In addition, of women aged 75 and older, almost half lived alone at 45 percent. Terry Bayer highlighted major problems affecting the aging population, including chronic illnesses, socialization and housing. “The aging population is chronically ill in many cases with diseases like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.” she stated. “There are also social dynamics, and it’s not just about the medicine or the doctor visit. It’s about housing and the social support system you have.” “We know that socialization is very important for the aging population,” she continued. “Whether it’s someone that lives alone and goes to a meal-on-wheels for lunch, or they’re living in a group home setting or family, it’s much better for your health to have socialization than isolation.” Housing is another big problem for the housing population that still needs to be solved, according to Terry, so now is the time for real estate and housing professionals to get on board and join the discussion. Housing for the aging population is becoming a serious problem and has to do with fragmentation. The latest U.S. Census Report on the status of the aging population shares that, in 2015, 76 percent of the 11.9 million households headed by persons age 75 and over were homeowners. Twenty-four percent of this group were renters. Older homeowners had a median family income of $31,000, while renters had a median family income of $17,400. The common rule-of-thumb is to not spend more than one-third of your income on total housing costs, yet older householders typically spend more. Older homeowners spent 36 percent of their income on housing and renters spent 78 percent of their income on rent.



John Figueroa

Terry Bayer

Dr. Chitra Dorai

In terms of home value, the median value of homes owned by older persons was $150,000 in 2015. This is $30,000 less than the median home value for all homeowners during that same year. However, about 78 percent of older homeowners had complete ownership of their homes. Towards the end of the discussion, the panelists discussed the rising number of older persons with dementia and its effect on them and their caregivers. “Being in dementia care is a women’s issue,” stated Dr. Debra Cherry, who works in the nonprofit sector. The numbers of those with dementia and the cost is growing. “More women get Alzheimer’s disease than men. If you control for age, women still get it more than men do. Women are also the caregivers.” “Dementia pushes many families into poverty,” Dr. Cherry added. Dementia put families into poverty as the out-ofpocket costs are 81 percent higher than for other chronic conditions. The financial impact of dementia is more severe for some groups, including African Americans and those with lower levels of education. Family members typically give about 80 percent of total care to persons with dementia, and most caregivers are women. Dr. Chitra Dorai explained how her startup company Amicus Brain is working to address the issue of cognitivism among dementia patients. What she found that is missing from her travels around India and in the United States is that “while we can get people to care for the physical safety of our loved ones, nothing is stimulating their cognitive function.” Addressing cognitive function is important for preventing delayed onset of Alzheimer’s disease, and this is what AmicusBrain’s AI companion is meant to help. This problem is also related to the issue of socialization



Desirée Patno

Dr. Debra Cherry

"In 2010, there were seven potential caregivers for every person age 80 and older. This ratio is expected to drop to 4 caregivers per older person by 2030. " that Terry mentioned also. As Dr. Dorai explains, another question we need to ask is “How do we engage our loved ones to interact and reach into the recesses of their brain to engage and converse so that they are not becoming increasing isolated?” To avoid the high costs of dementia later in life, there are preventative actions people can take now, and Dr. Debra Cherry listed a few action items for people of all ages. In fact, thirty percent of dementias may be preventable if we maintain our health. Aging well depends on a variety of factors including genes, environment and lifestyle. Factors that might make one more likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s include a head injury, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, stress, sleep, and smoking. Some protective factors include education, general health, physical activity, social engagement, adequate sleep, cognitive stimulation, and preserved hearing. Volume V of the 2019 NAWRB Women in the Housing Ecosystem Report (WHER) profiles the aging population in the United States and covers a wide range of topics including physical, mental and financial health and healthcare.



mPowering You Summit Oct 26 | Austin, TX mPowering You is bringing back their crowd favorites and introducing fresh new speakers and opportunities to help you show up powerfully in work and life. Participate in thought-provoking and necessary conversations hosted by mPower, MBA Promoting Opportunities for Women to Extend their Reach, a network exclusively for women in the real estate finance industry by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

MBA’s Annual Convention & Expo Oct 27-30 | Austin, TX MBA’s Annual Convention is a must-see event for real estate finance professionals as it attracts the industry’s power players and innovators. Attendees get to experience products from leading companies, meet with hundreds of exhibitors, and get hands-on access to the latest products and services that can grow and strengthen their business. MBA’s experts and advocates will leave you with strategies for success.

IMN’s 2nd Annual Hotel Construction & Development Conference Oct 28-29 | Santa Monica, CA IMN’s annual Hotel Construction & Development Conference is a comprehensive informative event about the latest hotel developments happening in the West Coast. In Los Angeles, there are numerous exciting hotel projects that will be in progress in the coming years, with nearly 40 new hotel openings by 2021. Attendees will learn how to capitalize on the city’s dominating hotel construction with low land rates and the explosion of tourism.

The Dallas Family Office & High Net Worth Conference Oct 31 | Dallas, TX This conference hosts over 100 single family office executives, as well as ultra and high net worth individuals (HNWI) who represent approximately $50 billion under management. Invited attendees will gain valuable insights and learn fresh innovative ideas from a distinguished panel of experts from all across the globe speaking on a variety of unique topics. Notable speakers include Desiree Patno, CEO & President of NAWRB.

The East Coast Family Office & High Net Worth Conference Oct 29 | New York, NY Invited guests will attend DC Finance’s 6th annual conference for New York’s top ultra high net worth individuals and single family offices at the Union League Club. This is a unique family conference experience with first tier content by notable speakers in an environment that allows for great networking opportunities. Notable speakers include Mitzi Purdue, 3rd Generation of The Sheraton Family, and Former NASA Administrator Daniel Saul Goldin.

WIPP’s ChallengeHer Oct 29 | San Diego, CA Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) is hosting an event is designed to assist businesses in competing for government contracts by reducing the competition utilizing the WOSB Set Aside Program. ChallengeHER includes a series of events across the country with sessions for those at all levels, from those beginning the process of becoming a federal contractor to those who have federal experience but are looking for a higher level content.

Web Summit 2019 Nov 3-8 | Lisbon, Portugal Web Summit brings together individuals and companies who are redefining the global tech industry, and it has been called the “best technology conference on the planet” by Forbes. At a time of great uncertainty for many industries and the world in general, this year’s conference will gather the founders and CEOs of major technology companies, fast-growing startups, policymakers and heads of state to discuss where the future of global tech should go.

REALTORS Annual Governance Meetings Nov 6-11 | San Francisco, CA The National Association of REALTORS Annual Governance Meetings are meant to create a dialogue on the future of the association. Registered attendees are welcome to join this discussion at any of the scheduled meetings and locations, including the Marriott Marquis San Francisco, The Park Central, and Moscone West. The event will feature many workshops and leadership training sessions to help you develop your business and leadership skills.

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