Fabiola Candlish, Senior CRA Officer, U.S. Bank
“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.”
Nelly DeLourdes Mitford
-Nelly DeLourdes Mitford, CIPS, TRLP, CNE, MP Global Real Estate Group, LLC
“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, California 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. ”
– Rachel Beam-Jares, Field Manager, Valuation Department, Fannie Mae
“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.”
-Vanessa Montanez, VP – Sales and Business Development Manager, U.S. Bank
“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.”
-Angie Weeks, REALTOR, CIPS, Green®, RCS-D, Metro Estates
“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.
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!”
-Chris Boyle, Chief Client Officer, Single-Family Business, Freddie Mac
“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.”
-Marina DeWit, Region 9 Advocate, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy
“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!”
-Tami Bonnell, CEO of EXIT Realty International Corp.
“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.”
Dr. Chitra Dorai
-Dr. Chitra Dorai, Computer Scientist, Data Scientist, and AI Expert, Founder & CEO, Amicus Brain Innovations Inc.
“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.”
Rebecca Steele, CEO and President, National Foundation for Credit Counseling, NDILC Co-Chairwoman
“ It’s just been an incredible conference. The women who have been here and all of you who I’ve met with have been the highlight of my year so far, really.”
Marcia Davies, COO, Mortgage Bankers Association
“The NAWRB Conference is designed to strengthen connections, learn from the best and recognize female leaders. This year’s conference provided great content and the women in attendance are so inspirational. Thank you for a great experience.”
Dr. Chitra Dorai
Dr. Chitra Dorai, AI Scientist, Entrepreneur; Former IBM Fellow and CTO at IBM Global Services
“The highlights were many, but if I have to pick one to distill it all, it’s the level of sharing-not holding back-but genuinely and authentically sharing so that people could walk away with increased knowledge and increased power to implement it.”
Adenike Fasanya, Owner, Marvel Ventures Mortgage, Inc.
“ For me [the highlight of the conference] was just the women-just being in the same room as these women. This was not fluff. This was substance, this was brains, this was passion, this was power. So, I’m leaving so energized, so motivated, so blessed. This has been a great experience for me.”
John Yen Wong
John Yen Wong, CRB
Founding Chairman, AREAA
“NAWRB: Great Content, Great Speakers, Great Conferences, Great People, Great Organization.”
Aleathia Scott, Senior Accountant: City of Inglewood, Finance Department: Financial Reporting Division
“I am grateful for you allowing me sit in on the NAWRB seminar. I was completely blown away by your expertise and the experience and knowledge of your panel.
For quite some time, I have dreamed about being a part the Real Estate Ecosystem. Just last week, I printed out a picture of an apartment building and a strip mall to put my vision board. Then subconsciously I began to self-doubt myself and started thinking “it’s too hard and you don’t know anyone Phenomenal in real estate that can mentor or coach you”. But on February 27, 2018, when I stumbled across you and NAWRB not by chance but by destiny; your seminar made my vision very clear and I see nothing but unlimited POSSIBLITIES!
Thank you for reaffirming my focus. I look forward to connecting with you to assistant in my journey in this new endeavor.”
Lena Vann, GME Enterprises, Senior Vice President, Risk Management Programs.
“Desiree Patno’s vision for NAWRB is unparalleled! She has a passion for the work and tirelessly addresses issues to advance women’s economic growth and gender equality in the housing ecosystem. Desiree’s efforts will have a paramount impact on a host of women, and I, for one, am thankful that we have her as our champion.”
Tomaneci Waller-Day, Supplier Diversity Director, Freddie Mac,
“Most of our efforts, especially at Freddie Mac, are centered on not only the development aspect. I spoke about my vendor academy and how that’s really the first step in understanding an organization and their needs, but really it comes down to our sourcing needs. One of the panelists talked about having that right match; do the services that you provide really match the needs of the organization?
That comes with a level of understanding, really taking the time to understand the organization, understand their criteria and their needs. Freddie Mac is actually putting some series in place that are allowing us to have a stronger handhold with the vendors we’re trying to bring in, so that we can have that first touch to say, ‘Here you are, you want to do business with us. Let us take the time to understand what it is that you do.’ Then we can set that realistic expectation as it relates to, ‘Do you have the past performance to really do the work here? Do you have the core capabilities? Do you have the staff? Can you staff up or down?’
All of these things, we within our office, are taking the time to understand about the vendors that are interested in doing business with us, and that way it’s setting you on a clearer path to success. If not, it allows you to go back and maybe reevaluate or retool your organization and say, ‘You know what? We are going to try to pursue Freddie Mac in the future, but these are the changes that we have to make or this is what we have to do to get better or to grow.’
If anything, it’s about our sourcing needs matching with the vendors and then the vendors taking the time to develop their understanding of the corporations. Freddiemac.com/supplier allows you to have some direct information about our supplier diversity program, how to get registered within our group, how to contact my office, as well as to really understand some of the initiatives that we’re doing in the secondary mortgage market.”
In our vendor academy, last year, we had 13 participants in the legal division and of that 13, seven of them have active contracts this year. They’re engaging and anytime the legal department has a need, they’re going to this group because they know them, they spent five months with them, they understand their services and they’ve built this relationship. Because of that, because they were able to say, ‘I didn’t even know that these vendors were out here to do this that had these capabilities that were diverse,’ they can continue that relationship.
It’s just going to keep growing because the things that we do, we have to do with intent, right? We have to be intentional. If we’re going to develop these vendors, if we’re going to have them commit to coming to our office once a month for five months, then let’s take the time to purposefully utilize them.”
Sharron P.A. Levine
Sharron P.A. Levine, Director, Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI), FHFA
“It’s great to have an organization like this that is focused on women. There are many other organizations that are focused on minorities and women in general, but this is singularly focused on women; which I think is a great support group and great network for women to be a part of.”
Broker/Owner, Real Estate On Demand “I’m very excited to be part of NAWRB! I attended the NAWRB Nexus Conference and personally, it was an amazing experience. I enjoyed a lot and learned a lot! Great organization.”
Philip D. Lovas
Philip D. Lovas, Regional Advocate – SBA Region IX, Office of Advocacy, U.S Small Business Administration
“I’m most looking forward to hearing what they’re [attendees] questions or issues are. At the Office of Advocacy, it’s our job to listen to small business people in the field and report back what we’re hearing. I’m in California for the next couple days and this is part of my trip out here, my focus at this conference; to hear what people are saying from the real estate side, what we can do and take back to Washington.”
Philip D. Lovas
Tanya Wattenburg Komas, Ph.D., Founding Director & CEO, Concrete Preservation Institute, Alcatraz Island & Pearl Harbor “The last powerful part of my presentation has to do with the connection between college students and veterans. We started the program with college students and it evolved into a veteran-priority program pretty quickly. My husband is a military veteran and I had a lot of college students who were veterans who were not connecting well, so it evolved to veterans.
The next evolution was the active duty training program at Pearl Harbor and learning that working with veterans is awesome; but if we can catch them a few months before they get out, it makes such a difference in their lives. They’ve been made all these promises: you’re going to get a great job, you’re going to get to go to college, everybody’s going to want to hire you. They get out of the military and they don’t know the companies to talk to, and they don’t have connections even if they have skills.”
“Younger college students, regardless of their background, are looking to go out and get a bigger world; are eager and just want to go learn and see and experience. I think in some ways, these veterans—especially our current post-9/11 veterans, who have had two or three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and with troops declining in numbers are getting deployed a lot—are in a lot of ways looking to come back and find something smaller. They’re looking for what the other one did.”
Frank Montes, California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce (CHCC) Chairman of the Board
“We’re going to work together for one cause, and that cause is to bring our community up. Homeownership is key to any small business owner. We need to make sure that they feel secure and have a piece of the American dream. That American dream here in California has doubled and tripled in cost, so we need more affordable housing.
I’d like to see what they’re [attendees] thought is on affordable housing, because our population of minorities here in California is getting less and less of the piece of the real estate boom that’s coming. We need to make sure that we educate our community and also educate the representatives in Sacramento so we can pass regulations that address some of the roadblocks to building these homes. A lot of them are regulations from the environmental side, so we need to ensure that there’s a balance so we can get more people to own homes. ”
“Access to capital is the biggest challenge to the average minority homebuyer. A lot of the minority communities really got hit by this last mortgage fiasco, through no fault of their own, and they’re still trying to overcome it. I think that’s the problem; also, the trust factor. When you’re in front of somebody who’s giving you a loan, there’s a trust that goes on, and that trust has been broken. It takes a while to gain that trust again. I think the banks and the mortgage companies need to work on that a little bit more. Not a little, a lot more.”
Lorena S. Fimbres
Lorena S. Fimbres, VP, Chief Business Development Officer, Stem Connector and Million Women Mentors “I think professional development is a key feature for how we see we can empower and reach more women to be successful in their careers. Million Women Mentors believes in the importance of role models and through organizations like NAWRB, we can truly expand our circle of influence which means we expand the number of women that we can reach and support in being very successful. Not only those that are NAWRB Members, but all of the organizations that are somehow related to your members. Again, if you think about the depth and breadth of what we can do by partnering, the success of Million Women Mentors has really been in connecting key organizations that represent successful women and that ultimately collaborate to build synergistic responsibilities.”
Tami Bonnell, CEO, EXIT Realty International “I think that the whole entire thing is to get involved to evolve. Hopefully more people make it to the conference because this is the most content at any event. We have to share that with everybody for them to attend.
“From a personal perspective, I think the best thing that I can help people with is to put together an action plan of what it is they want. You need to know what you want; you need to put together a six-week action plan. Do it every month halfway through the month; book four hours to work on your life and on your business, not in it. Plan it in advance and you’ll get better and better at it every single month so that you’ll find you’re accomplishing more than you ever thought possible. I think that would help every individual regardless of what it is that they are pursuing.”
Toni Moss, CEO, AmeriCatalyst LLC and EuroCatalyst BV“I talked about my passion to change the purpose of housing; that is really the sum of my career, to make that happen. I’m about to leave this industry to do just that. I’m doing a global property development that’ll really change everything. I think we need to bring this industry into the 21st century, and I have a lot of thoughts on how to do that.
“Your home helps you make a living. When you look at the trajectory of socioeconomics in this country it’s every man for himself. We’re losing the social safety net and we’re taking away vital things from people. The only way they’re going to survive is to collaborate with each other. When building community, you need to change the way you physically build as well. It sounds like really vague concepts, but I’m trying to make it extremely specific and deliberate. I think when I come out with Digital Ridge, which is the property development I spoke of before, everybody is going to go ‘ah,’ and it’ll change the way that people do things.”
When I joined the Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem a few years ago, it was mainly for the purpose of gaining the WOB designation. NAWRB was a smaller organization with big ideas. My focus and philosophy may have been different from that of some women in business. I have always believed my gender is an advantage. Working in the Default Servicing Arena for over 20 years, my nurturing and caring personality was welcomed in the business, and contributed to my success.
Since my early participation in NAWRB, the organization has grown and flourished with Desiree at the helm. The emphasis is the success of women in the Banking industry and the opportunities obtainable for management and ownership. Of particular interest to me are the programs encouraging women at all levels and making women more aware of the resources available. A Woman does not have to be a member of NAWRB to benefit, learn, and grow. Reaching out to all women is a viewpoint supported by the general membership.
My Company is in a growth mode, and NAWRB will be a support, while we make the decisions that come with growing. NAWRB is now a larger organization with even bigger ambitions creating a positive impact for women in the exciting and changing world of business. Thank you NAWRB .
Love this magazine. We have an office of wonderful women all with amazing stories.
-Joseph Brazen, Brazen Sotheby’s International Realty
Love this magazine and I love how generously marketing and column space is shared with us. Desirée is correct. No other organization publicizes their members in such a large way. I love NAWRB!!
-Dianne Langston, Quality Real Estate Services, Inc.
It was an honor to work with you, share information and be featured in your article in N Magazine. I’m proud that Staging is now part of the REO community. You and your organization are doing great and needed work. Thank you for all that you are doing! I look forward to working with you in the future!
-Barb Schwarz, Creator of Home Staging
Any exposure is so valuable to any business and especially when it is done in such a professional manor. That’s what I love about NAWRB. Alex walked me through the certification process and really made it easy, and for that I am so thankful.
-Shelly West-Chenoweth, President, Atlas Field Services, Inc.
Our decision to join NAWRB stems from our desire to be actively engaged and a contributing member in our real estate community. NAWRB allows us the opportunity to collaborate with other like-minded women-owned business professionals and make a difference in real estate and related industries.
-Sandra H. Cope, Vice President/Escrow Officer, Inwest Title Services
I joined NAWRB because it is one of the only associations focusing on women in the REO business. I believe this is an excellent opportunity to be part of an organization that supports and encourages women to be successful in real estate.
-Amanda Arhuire, Sunrise Property Preservation, LLC
NAWRB gives me a voice, a voice that has been long awaited for and I hope to inspire all women business owners in any industry…
-Stephanie Hughes, All Bay Realty, Inc.
NAWRB is a phenomenal organization that assists women-owned buisness owners in not only their ongoing education and development in real estate, but also in the networking of other women-owned business owners on how to grow their business and support one another with the added benefit of being certified as a women-owned business.
-Teresa Ryan, Owner, Ryan Hill Realty
NAWRB is an amazing organization that I highly recommend for women in real estate looking to network, expand their education and further their careers!
Lisa Ristow, The Ristow Group
Looking forward to seeing you guys SOON! I am so excited about N Magazine! NAWRB are real estate game changers!!!
Stephanie Hughes, All Bay Realty
Thank you so much! I LOVE IT! Where can I get a copy of the magazine at? Thank you for asking me to be a part of N Crowd in N Magazine.
Joan Patterson, Keller Williams Realty
NAWRB does a fantastic job of heightening awareness of intelligent business people who happen to be women.
Lisa Ristow, The Ristow Group
We cannot begin to say how proud we are to receive NAWRB certification. It is the result of lifelong work and commitment to not allow dreams to just be dreams. Thank you to NAWRB and thank you to every wonderful person we’ve crossed paths with along the way! Dream on & God bless!
Terry Rasner, Reno Tahoe Realty Group, LLC.
Desiree is such a great speaker. I had so much positive feedback. People are asking me to bring her back to a larger venue! I am excited about my membership and I hope to be an active member to increase our numbers. She is such a hard working lady, and I have true admiration for her. So much of what she said was on point with my experiences, and it was great to hear from another professional. I need that kind of dialogue on a regular basis. Let’s get my membership up and running and I am interested in certification as a woman owned business.
Dianne Langston, Quality Real Estate Services, Inc.
I love how NAWRB offers marketing opportunities at a reasonable rate, while also making it a focus for the Real Estate Industry as a whole to receive education about all types of transactions in order to make it a more efficient and easier place to do business.
Thank you so much for thinking about us. I was able to get a room at the Five Star Conference at a great rate. Can’t wait to see you there!
Raye Mayhorn, Realty Executives
Leading Ladies was a very professional event, interactive, and it was filled with new ideas about thinking out of the box to utilize my WOB certification to expand business. I took away tons of good information. There are so many REO groups seeking new members that it’s hard to figure out where I should invest my resources. After attending the conference I was happy that I had joined NAWRB.
Colleen Calnan, Calnan Real Estate
I do not impress easily and was completely blown away by Desiree’s knowledge and professionalism. After three years of attending C.A.R. meetings she wins the best knowledge-packed presentation in my book.
I have nothing but fantastic things to say about NAWRB! I believe in this organization. Keep up the great work! It really shows!!
Ivery Summers, The REODIVA
I know a lot of companies ask if you are a member of NAWRB.
Thank you once again for inviting me to the event dinner this evening. It was very enlightening and productive. I was very impressed at the resources we have in our association and look forward to future endeavors. You and Desiree are doing an impressive job!
Melissa Lising, Titan Real Estate Services
It was a pleasure meeting you at the Five Star. I really enjoyed the event/dinner you planned for members of NAWRB. Thanks for all you do to promote women in business.
Marlene Cerreta, Cerreta Realty Group
Of course I will be continuing my membership. You guys are the BEST!!!!
Willie Stewart, Divine Realty
Hi there…thank you so much! It was a true pleasure…didn’t see so many items you mentioned…I always pitch that I speak English and Spanish…can’t believe I missed that! Again, thank you so much! This made my day!!!!
Liza Mendez, Pedro Realty International
Thank you so much. Everything seems to have gone well and simple other than a large deluge of old paperwork to find…. Since attending REO Expo and putting in some applications online I am getting emails from companies who say they can certify us. I will be sure to recommend you if anyone ever asks.
Carol A. Kemp, Kemp Real Estate, Inc.
It was great meeting you and your staff at the REO Expo as well. Just so you know Katherine has been extremely helpful and patient with me through this [certification] process and I’m grateful for your assistance.
Stephanie Davis, DC Properties of Arizona, Inc.