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Mission & History


The National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses (NAWRB) is dedicated to providing women the tools and opportunities for economic expansion and growth, while advocating and promoting women-owned businesses specializing in the housing economy.


In 2009, Desirée Patno, a prominent REO broker with over 20 years of experience in the industry, had a vision of creating an organization dedicated to the promotion of women-owned brokerages in the REO industry. While working to set the organization's structure Patno decided to highlight the success and opportunities of women-owned brokerages across the industry; thus the National Association of Women REO Brokerages (NAWRB) was born.

Patno officially premiered the new organization at The Five Star Default Servicing Conference in Fort Worth, Texas on September 21, 2009.  NAWRB was welcomed as a long overdue necessity in an industry lacking women representation.

After NAWRB's premiere in Forth Worth, it quickly caught the attention of industry professionals across the country and memberships began to soar.  With success among the brokers in the industry, NAWRB's Board of Directors decided to expand membership to all women realtors to help promote women to create their own brokerages.  

In 2010, NAWRB created a non-profit (501(3)(c)), NAWRB Community Enhancement.  The  nonprofit was created to restore and enhance public parks and spaces in neighborhoods affected by high rate of foreclosures.  The inaugural Community Enhancement donation was to the Welsh Green Park in Hemet, California in February of 2010.  Over the years, the NAWRB Community Enhancement has grown to become an educational vehicle, providing access and information to women and women-owned businesses with the programs and set-asides available to them, and is now the NAWRB Foundation.

In August 2010, Desiree Patno, CEO of NAWRB, authored an article in HousingWire, bringing attention to the Dodd-Frank Act specifically the Provision 342 for the creation of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion in federal agencies beginning January 2011. This was a major step towards accountability for women's employment and women-owned businesses in our industry. 

In September 2010, NAWRB launched their 3rd-party certification for Women-Owned Businesses (WOB) and Minority Women-Owned Businesses(MWOB), specific to the housing economy. As our industry is very unique as to the requirements, we specialize in evaluating the technical expertise and standards as part of our certification process.

In 2011, NAWRB partnered with Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), Enterprising Women, and launched its own publication, N Magazine.  N Magazine directly promotes and advocates for women in the housing economy, showcases exclusive interviews, business development tools, market studies, as well as government impact and federal initiatives. N Magazine has been expanded to the full organizational name of NAWRB Magazine.

In 2013, NAWRB announced its official name change to the National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses to reflect the company's emerging business model to expand opportunities for women beyond REO brokerages to include all women specializing in the housing economy. The decision to change the name of the NAWRB acronym was a product of evolution of the real estate industry, starting over two years ago with our trademark tag line, SHE (Specializing in the Housing Economy), is Changing Real Estate. The new name embodies all women that work within the housing economy.