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Staff Directory


Desirée Patno
President & CEO
Desirée Patno, Founder and CEO of NAWRB, the only national trade association representing women-owned businesses specializing in the housing economy. With more than 23 years experience in real estate services, Desirée brings “heels on the ground” knowledge to her mission of promoting 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. Patno is one of the most visible advocates for women in the housing economy. She is a recipient of the 2012 Enterprising Woman of the Year award, 2012 WIPP Business Leadership Social Media Award and was recognized by HousingWire as one of the most influential women in housing in 2012. A California native, she has been married for more than 30 years and is the proud mother of four boys. Additionally, she was the only girl in an all-male water polo league in high school, professional dancer, swimmer, loves to collect ornate antiques, and is a bonafide fashion finder.   


Laurie Keys
Office Manager

Laurie Keys is the office manager for NAWRB. Laurie comes from an accounting and human resources background and graduated from California State University, Chico, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and a minor in Broadcasting/Sports Casting. An avid sports fan — especially USC football — she is devoted to her husband and two daughters in high school who both play volleyball. 


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
Executive Assistant to Desir
ée Patno

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
Member Relations

Shideh Balali is in charge of Member Relations 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 attended Trinity Law School where she earned her Juris Doctorate. Shideh enjoys spending time with her family, fiance and their furry little child. She loves traveling, yoga and different cultures.
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.