Mentoring & Leadership Guiding the Way to Success!

Thirty-two of the largest U.S. companies by revenue on the Fortune 500 list, including PepsiCo, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Oracle and General Dynamics, are run by women. Although this only accounts for a mere 6.4 percent of Fortune 500 companies, it is the highest proportion of female CEOs in the history of the Fortune 500.

It’s an exciting time to be a female entrepreneur with the abundance of opportunities available, including government contracts and diversity and inclusion programs. However, even with all the support, there are still obstacles facing women in the workplace; from lower pay than their male counterparts to sexual harassment and fewer promotion opportunities.

To get a better understanding of why women are still being held back in the business world, I looked at the most successful businesswomen I’ve known over the years. They have all had mentors, including myself. Over the past eight years, I have led mentoring meetings, training sessions and workshops giving me a clearer understanding of the specialized training and mentoring women need as they develop into successful entrepreneurs.

Change Your Mindset

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” – Marie Curie, two-time Nobel Prize Winner in Physics

It starts with your mindset. You need more than just business essentials and marketing to be successful. You need to believe that you can succeed in conquering your fear and embracing your confidence. Interestingly, I find more women have a fear of success than a fear of failure. We reach a certain level, and then we suddenly seize up and get stuck.

When women are ready, willing and able to break through their own glass ceiling and ask for what they’re worth, we will see a huge surge, not only in our economy but also in our community. The key to this and any success is collaboration. Through collaboration, we will change the world for the better.
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Helping Warrior Dogs Transition



I was asked to speak about the amazing Warrior Dog Foundation of which I am honored to serve on their Board of Directors at the recent Five Star Conference. We live free because of the sacrifices of those with two feet and the ones with paws.

The Warrior Dog Foundation is dedicated to serving the special operations K-9 community. The K-9’s deployed with these special forces are of the top tier in the working dog world. They are expected to perform in the most austere of environments and face conditions that most humans cannot survive.
The Warrior Dog Foundation was founded by former Navy SEAL Mike Ritland. We believe Special Operation Forces (SOF) and law enforcement K9s deserve the highest level of care in retirement. We bridge the gap between service and retirement for these K9s. Once these retired warriors have completed their service and, for whatever reason, are unable to continue on with their handler, the Warrior Dog Foundation helps transition these K9 heroes from an operational environment into our state-of-the-art kennel facility. We then ensure the care of each individual K9 with dignity and grace, including both mental and physical rehabilitation for the rest of their lives with the goal to rehome, if possible.

The K9 warriors at the Warrior Dog Foundation are the top tier in the working-dog world. They perform in the most austere of environments and face conditions that most human beings cannot imagine. These K9’s are vital to the success of every mission. We strive to educate the public on the importance of K9s in combat and law enforcement, and showcase the level of sacrifice these dogs give in support of our troops and communities.To quote our founder, Mike Ritland, “These dogs are not only our best friends, they embody what’s best about us—the courage, loyalty, and heart of true warriors.”

To learn more about the Warrior Dog Foundation and our retired K9 heroes individual stories, please, visit our website at or email any questions to

Laura Dietz
Summit Realty/ Merlin Enterprises, Inc.

Catching the Next Wave of Mortgage Borrowers

Sometimes, a transition calls for a radical change, though some people try to avoid such shifts because they can be jarring. The sudden loss of refinance business has been that way for many lenders, and it will get worse in the future. How lenders respond to this transition into a purchase money market will set the winners apart from the rest.

The approaches loan originators will take to solve this problem will vary. Many will double their efforts to attract new refinance business, as writing that business has become their core competency. Others will seek out more purchase money business, pulling out old playbooks and relearning the rules of building strong business referral networks. A few will look for the radical change and catch the next wave of mortgage borrowers.

Speaking of catching waves, when learning to surf, even when you fail, you still learn something about yourself and become better for it. Mortgage lenders, on the other hand, cannot afford to fail. They must find the next wave of mortgage borrowers or face the threat of losing their businesses, which is all the more reason for them to consider the radical change.

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Women’s Advancement in Real Estate: An Interview with Sara Sutachan

What was the inspiration behind WomanUP!? What motivated you to become involved in the women’s movement?

I’ve actually always been a feminist. My mom is a single mom—my dad has always been around—but my mom was a really strong independent woman and she’s my role model. I came to work for the California Association of Realtors® (CAR) and had another amazing role model in Leslie Appleton-Young. I’ve always been attracted to follow strong women, and read books and articles about the women’s movement and the gender gap.

In my role at CAR, I oversee the industry and broker relations, and part of that is interacting and building relationships with the brokerage community and meeting with them on a regular basis. As I met with CEOs and some of the largest brokerage firms in California, I always wanted a balanced room. What I found was that I was hard-pressed to find that balance because the people who led the larger brokerage firms tended to be male.

I’d been noticing this, and even if it wasn’t a large firm, I would make sure women sat at the table. I thought to myself, “This is crazy. We should do something about this.” I couldn’t really drive it home until I got a call from Gretchen Pearson; she was going to speak at a women’s event and said, “I want to know data. Do you have any data on women leaders?” We really didn’t at that point. I had my own personal experience with not finding those women on the rosters, so then we dug into the data. I had my staff look at the largest brokerage firms in California and Google which leaderswere men and which were women. We found that 36 percent of firms were either run by women or had women at the C-level or in management at the top California brokerage firms with over 100 agents. We analyzed a list of approximately 200 of these firms.
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Driving Collaboration across the Health Care Continuum

We all have those moments when our careers and personal lives converge. As a business leader at the largest health care real estate investment trust (REIT), I focus on investment projects in collaboration with senior living communities, health systems and medical groups to create the real estate infrastructure needed to deliver care for a growing number of aging Americans. As a wife, mother, sister and daughter, I also think about what my parents, aging relatives and even my future 80-year-old self will need when it comes to living well as we age.

The growth of the aging population is the most significant demographic trend impacting the U.S. According to the Population Reference Bureau, the number of Americans age 65 and older is projected to more than double from 46 million today to over 98 million by 2060. In addition, the number of people age 85 and older is projected to more than triple from 6 million today to nearly 20 million by 2060.

This increase in life expectancy is accompanied by an increased prevalence of chronic conditions, including dementia. According to the CDC, in the United States alone, more than a quarter of older Americans are burdened with multiple chronic disease, more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease and countless family members spend their days serving as unpaid caregivers. The most expensive and at risk population for the health care system to treat are the physically and cognitively impaired. We need to rethink how to best deliver care for this growing segment of the population.
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