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Staff Directory

     Desirée Patno
Founder and CEO

Desirée Patno is the founder of the National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses (NAWRB) and Desirée Patno Enterprises, Inc. (DPE). With over 20 years of experience, Patno brings insider knowledge to her mission of promoting women and women-owned businesses in the housing economy.
Through NAWRB, she advocates for the increased utilization of women-owned businesses and mentors female entrepreneurs for future successful business ownership. Since 2010, Patno has worked hard to bring national awareness of the diverse opportunities provided by the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) which was established by Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Patno resides on the Executive Advisory Board for Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), as well as Enterprising Women and Equator. In 2012, she was nominated as one of Housing Wire’s 30 Most Influential Women in the Housing Economy, and won a prestigious Enterprising Women of the Year award.
She continues her advocacy for women and women-owned businesses through the annual NAWRB Conference which attracts influential executive speakers nationwide, national speaking engagements and NAWRB’s Women in Housing Financial Fitness Road Show and Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council (NDILC). In partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the road show travels to major cities, connecting women with federal and local programs, set-asides, funding options and contracting opportunities to grow their businesses both vertically and horizontally.

Cindy Conrad
Certification Consultant

Cindy Conrad is an Enrolled Agent and has provided accounting and tax services for clients the past 18 years. She is the owner of Conrad Accounting & Tax Services located in Irvine, Calif. She prides herself on offering exceptional customer service to business owners in the area of tax, accounting and business management. Prior to embarking on a career in accounting, she worked for Ford Motor Company and Campbell Soup Company as a marketing manager and assistant marketing research manager. She is a graduate of Nathaniel Hawthorne College in Antrim, NH, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Business Administration and Fairleigh Dickinson University with a Master’s Degree in Marketing. 

Kendall Roderick
Graphic Designer

Kendall Roderick is the Graphic Designer at NAWRB. She has her BFA in Graphic Design, an Associates degree in English and her Industrial Design
 Certificate. When she isn’t designing, she is obsessing over books, her wonderful husband, and their three furry children.

Lauren Iglehart
Administrative Assistant

Lauren Iglehart is the Executive Assistant to Desiree Patno at NAWRB. As a graduate from California State University, Long Beach, Lauren received her bachelors degree in Communications and enjoys spending time with her friends. On the weekends, Lauren likes going to the movies, playing tennis, and cooking. 

Belester Benitez
Content Writer

Belester Benitez is a Content Writer at NAWRB. He is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with The Emphasis in Creative Writing and a Global Cultures minor. In his free time he enjoys writing, reading, going to the movies, sports, trying new restaurants, and spending time with his family and friends.  
Shideh Balali
Strategic Development

Shideh Balali is in charge of Strategic Development at NAWRB. As a graduate from the University of California, Davis, Shideh received her Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and minor in Dramatic Arts. She later graduated Law School where she earned her Juris Doctorate and shortly thereafter passed the California Bar and became an attorney. Shideh enjoys spending time with her family, fiance and their furry little child. She loves traveling, yoga, food, different cultures and nature.
Aparna Mankada
Content Writer

Aparna Mankada Covilakam is a Content Writer for NAWRB. With a Masters in English Literature and a passion for writing, she enjoys coming up with interesting ideas for the company’s blog and other writing projects. On her off days, you can find her cooking, reading, watching movies, and enjoying the gorgeous SoCal weather with her husband.