Life of a Female Veteran: U.S. Army Combat Veteran Erica Courtney (part 3 of 6)

Chris and I finally got married and a few years later came our first son. We planned it so I would be pregnant in a non-operational position during an eight-month leadership course. Noah was born upon arriving to my next assignment at the 10th Mountain Division in upstate New York. My mother decided to help since Chris and I were both serving and someone needed to be with the new baby; it really takes a village to raise a family.

I left Ecuador, where I worked on some amazing projects with international organizations to help save the original watersheds, the rainforest and its indigenous people. I was selected to become the first female cavalry commander while I worked as the senior logistician for the unit, but it kept getting pushed back due to logistical needs. The commander I was to replace had already been shot down three times, and survived each. I was told the command was going to be delayed a year, and then I became pregnant with my second son Ayden.
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One to Watch: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Showcases Diversity Within Asian Communities

One has only to look at the AREAA (Asian Real Estate Association of America) 2017-18 report, State of Asia America, to see evidence of the strong diversity within the Asian American community. According to the report, the Asian American and Pacific Islander community is the fastest growing demographic in the United States, both in terms of natural born citizens and immigrants. Six ethnic groups within the Asian community number over one million each and over eight million people in the US speak either Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean or Hindi. These numbers are perhaps one reason the film Crazy Rich Asians coming to theaters this coming Wednesday, August 15th is generating tons of breathless excitement.

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Stories of Character and Courage-NDILC Luncheon Panel at 2018 NAWRB Conference

After a jam-packed morning of information and new industry developments, our conference attendees were treated to an informal panel session led by NDILC (NAWRB Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council) Chairwoman, President & CEO of NAWRB Desirée Patno, Co-chair Vanessa Montañez, and Council Members Sarah Goldfrank, Dr. Chitra Dorai, Stacey M. Walker, and Teresa Palacios Smith.

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mPower at NAWRB Conference 2018: Addressing Workplace Disruptors

For the first time at a NAWRB Conference, mPower (Mortgage Banker’s Association Promoting Opportunities for Women to Extend their Reach) presented a panel, kicking off our Year of Women with style and substance.

NAWRB President and CEO, Desirée Patno introduced MBA COO and Founder of mPower Marcia Davies noting “This is the first time we have had a collective group of women and men from all different industries and this panel is the first time we have had MBA be a part of us.”

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2018 Live Conference Updates: OMWI/Procuring Contracts

Procuring contracts may not sound the most glamorous of topics, however, this panel was not only information-packed but all of our speakers from government and local agencies made themselves incredibly accessible to our attendees. Continue reading

2018 NAWRB Conference Live Updates: Investing In Opportunity Act

While implementing the Investing in Opportunity Act can be complicated, all of the speakers on our panel were enthusiastic about the transforming change this tax incentive could bring to communities most in need. 

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NAWRB Hits the Ground Running in Chicago

 

Less than twenty-four hours after landing in Chicago our team hits the ground running putting all the pieces in place ahead of our 2018 Year of Women Conference.

In short order, we set up our command center in the historic Standard Club in downtown Chicago—the only private club to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.  Continue reading

Real Estate Agent, Or Treasure Hunter?

Uncovering a home’s story is the best part of the job

A recent story making the headlines sparked our imaginations. While not directly relating to real estate and housing, its premise is familiar to anyone who has discovered long-lost memories within an older home.

A Georgia woman walked into her local Goodwill and noticed a vintage slide projector. She opens it up upon purchasing, and in the course of doing so, is taken back in time; pulled into the world of a family from another era.

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Walking On The Glass Floor by Judy Hoberman

Think about this…you’ve worked hard to get where you are. You are respected by your colleagues and maybe even envied by your friends. You have a great reputation and are known for your integrity, honesty and intelligence plus a whole lot more…and yet, deep down inside you have that “feeling” that sometimes you are…for lack of a better term, an imposter. You are putting on a great front on the outside and inside you have that internal conflict… am I enough? I’ve interviewed enough women to know that this is one of the missing pieces in the puzzle of leadership. This takes courage, and that it one of the seven unexpected qualities of women who lead.

It’s funny when the word leadership is mentioned, everyone thinks of the CEO of a large company with hundreds of people that you are responsible for. You can be a leader of 100, 10 or…even simply yourself. Leadership is about you and me and who we are in this position, and who we can be. Whether you are moving out of a dorm room or moving into an executive suite, you are already a leader. The goal is not to just invite you to be in that position, but to stay and let the magic happen.

Every day there is another woman who is standing out in her field, and making things happen, change, transform and create a better future of opportunities for the women coming through the ranks. The amazing part is that these women are younger and younger and have tools available to them that the women we call trailblazers didn’t have. They have platforms to speak on and mentors to question and yes, they are making a difference in our everyday lives. They are the future of women in leadership and their confidence in knowing that is something we admire.

There are seven qualities of leadership that I direct my readers, clients and colleagues to. You will likely recognize that many, if not all, are part of who you are. You may have pushed them down so they need some polish to put the shine back on and bring them up to the surface. We are reminded to find our voices, get a seat at the table, learn to negotiate and to support other women. Yes to all of those qualities, and let’s go one step further…or seven to be exact. Here are those qualities that just might be your hidden gems:
1. Passion
2. Authenticity
3. Courage
4. Communication
5. Decisiveness
6. Resilience
7. Generosity

Consider this your invitation to reconnect with these seven “unexpected” essential leadership qualities. As my tagline reminds us, “Women Want To Be Treated Equally Not Identically”™, let’s bring women onto the glass floor and not only walk, but dance together and create a movement to the future of women in leadership. In addition, we have created a non-profit foundation by the same name, where we will donate a portion of the proceeds of every book sold to companies, associations, charities, social causes and scholarships and plan to start a movement about women in leadership.
http://amzn.to/2sZ9HGG

Beyond Abuse: Finding Our Voice on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

It started with a phone call from Capital One Financial Corporation on January 14th, 2016. “Ms. Patno, are you the sole owner of Desiree Patno Enterprises, Inc.?”

That simple call was how I found out that my husband’s accountant had been dispersing my unsigned business checks illegally, with some going into her personal accounts and several others paying her bills directly.

I was (and still am) angry that not only my trust was betrayed, but after years of hard work and developing a reputation as a successful businesswoman in the housing and real estate sector, I was, to put it quite simply, duped.

How could this happen to me? And if this could happen to me, in my mid-fifties, plugged into and engaged fully in my businesses, what happens to women older than me, with fewer resources at their fingertips and perhaps cognitive issues?

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