Congratulations to the 2021 NAWRB Leadership Award Winners!

Award Winners1

Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB) is pleased to announce the Winners of the 2021 NAWRB Leadership Awards! This year’s award theme is Technology Human Balance® as we recently marked eighteen months since our transition to the realm of digital interfaces and virtual work. Although the pandemic affected everyone worldwide, these women leaders showed tenacity, adaptability, and strong leadership through it all in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem.

“We are honored here at NAWRB to leverage our unique bandwidth to connect these incredible leaders to create greater social impact with solutions,” stated Desiree Patno, CEO.


Board Leader:
Neely Tamminga

Neely Tamminga – CEO & Chief Whiteboard Artist, DISTILL

Neely Tamminga is CEO and co-founder of DISTILL-a strategic advisory services company to CEOs and board
directors in the consumer sector. Since co-founding DISTILL in 2017, Neely has helped CEOs form better strategies for growth in the apparel, home furnishings, media, e-commerce, beauty, and food industries. Though each engagement differs in its needs, actions, and initiatives, the approach remains the same-creative collaboration, expert research, and swift deliverables easily synthesized by leadership teams for actionable ideas while also presenting board-ready solutions aligned with key stakeholders. Clients view DISTILL as CEO-friendly and board-approved.

Prior to launching DISTILL, Neely had a successful 20-year career on Wall Street as a managing director and senior research analyst covering the consumer sector. During her career, Neely led the consumer research practice as a Group Head at Piper Jaffray, a growth-company investment bank. In addition to ongoing research responsibilities for more than 30 companies during her tenure, Neely helped develop and lead the longest, consistently running, longitudinal consumer survey project in the United States of teen research consumption behaviors called, ”Taking Stock with Teens.” While serving as a research analyst, Neely helped more than a dozen companies move their statuses from privately held to publicly traded by participating in their initial public offerings. A few of these highlighted companies include Wayfair, Bare Escentuals, Ulta Beauty, Restoration Hardware, Express, Vera Bradley, and Coty. Beyond the initial public offering process, notable research coverage included Nordstrom, Williams-Sonoma, L Brands, Estee Lauder, Ann Taylor, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Urban Outfitters.

Key career awards include top sell-side analyst in The Wall Street Journal Best on the Street analyst survey in 2006 and 2011 for coverage in broad line and apparel retailers. In 2010, FT/Starmine ranked Neely No. 2 in Stock Picking for her 2009 coverage in Specialty Retail. In 2009, FT/Starmine ranked Neely No. 2 Industry Estimator for her 2008 coverage in Personal Products. In 2007, Neely was named by Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal as a 40 Under Forty award winner. Neely has also received recognition by Institutional Investor magazine for her coverage in the apparel & footwear, department stores, and hardlines retailing sectors. Frequently quoted in the media and featured on such channels as CNBC, Bloomberg, and Fox Business News, Neely is considered an expert in consumer behavior and the retail industry.

Research expertise includes the consumer economy; retail-specialty, department store, e-commerce, and off-price; consumer packaged goods and food retailing; beauty and personal products; furniture and home furnishings; teen and women’s shopping behavior and preferences; channel dynamics in consumer products and retail; business cycle analysis and the convergence of retail and technology.

Since DISTILL’s launch in 2017, Neely has co-authored more than 30 whitepapers, articles, and research studies on the consumer economy, consumer behavior, and the competitive landscape for retailers and brands. A frequent keynote speaker, Neely has presented multiple times at companies and organizations including Google, ShopperTrak, Tyco Retail Solutions, Turnaround Management Association, and more. In 2020, Neely debuted as a TEDx speaker with the launch of her talk about the greying of the U.S. economy titled, “Let’s Shape an Economy that Values Connection Over Consumption.”

Neely has more than ten years of direct board service and experience across multiple organizations and sizes. Board experience includes multiple terms and roles (including Chair and Treasurer) at Highpoint Center for Printmaking-a nationally recognized printshop and community organization. Neely also serves on the national board of directors for AdoptAClassroom, which provides resources to better fund teachers and their classrooms with a mission to help Title 1 schools, districts, and teachers. In addition to direct board service, Neely is routinely called into public company board rooms to engage board directors and leadership teams in conversations about the state of the consumer economy and creative pathways for growth.


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Diversity & Inclusion Leader: Patty Arvielo

Patty Arvielo – Co-Founder & President, New American Funding

New American Funding – President & Co-Founder. Champion of diversity and inclusion. Created and maintains a supportive and inclusive work environment for all. A passionate mentor who believes in inspiring and guiding younger generations to find their own success in business and in life. Patty Arvielo has been a leader in the mortgage industry for nearly 40 years. She has worked her way up from the bottom rung and gained extensive knowledge of the entire industry along the way. Over the course of her career, she functioned in a variety of capacities, from underwriting to processing to her current role as Co-Founder and President of New American Funding.

A first-generation Hispanic American, Arvielo learned the value of hard work from her mother, who built a successful cleaning business in California. At age 16, Arvielo entered the workforce with an entry-level clerical position at TransUnion Credit. From there, she landed a job at a prominent mortgage company, where she would rise through the ranks from a clerical loan opener all the way to branch manager to assistant vice president.

Living by the credo “with risk comes reward,” she and her husband Rick Arvielo launched their own mortgage company in 2003. In the years since, Arvielo has transformed New American Funding into one of the largest independent mortgage lenders in the U.S., one that helps tens of thousands of families achieve the dream of homeownership every year. In fact, New American Funding is now the largest Latina-owned private mortgage company in the nation, appearing on Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest Growing Companies in America six times. But Arvielo’s company isn’t only defined by its size. Thanks to Arvielo’s dedication to creating an inclusive and encouraging environment, New American Funding has also become one of the best places to work in the entire country.

Arvielo and New American Funding recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion. As a result, New American Funding is committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture that respects and appreciates differences among employees, whether those differences are in ethnicity, gender, race, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, education, or religion.

The company has also been recognized multiple times as one of the best workplaces in the nation by FORTUNE and Great Place to Work®, including as a Best Workplace in Financial Services and Insurance, Best Workplace for Women, and Best Workplace for Millennials. Beyond creating an enviable working environment, Arvielo has also driven New American Funding to become an industry leader in lending to minorities. In that spirit, Arvielo established the company’s Latino Focus and New American Dream initiatives to improve the lending experiences of Hispanic and Black home buyers, respectively.

Those initiatives have led New American Funding to far exceed all other large lenders in lending to minority borrowers. As a result, Arvielo is a coveted national voice on lending to minority communities, frequently advising federal and state lawmakers, federal and state regulators, governmental agencies, other large lenders, and much more on this critically important issue.

Arvielo’s work both at New American Funding and as an advisor has earned her numerous national awards
from prominent organizations and media outlets, including being recognized in 2016 by Ernst and Young as
an EY Entrepreneur of The Year® for Orange County.

LinkedIn | Website

Suha Zehl

Mentor Leader:
Suha Beidas Zehl

Suha Beidas Zehl – Founder and President, Z Technology Solutions

Suha Zehl is an award-winning executive leader who has over 35 years of experience in various industries including financial services, mortgage lending, technology, business intelligence, and higher education. She is the Chief Innovation Officer at Blackfin Group and the Founder/President of her own consulting firm, Z Technology Solutions. In addition serving as a Certified Delegate with the Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB), Suha also serves on the Board of Directors for Women with Vision as well as the Board of Governors for the National Association of Minority Mortgage Bankers of America (NAMMBA), as well as a Visionary Ambassador with NAMMBA.

Suha is a regular contributor to various industry magazines including Mortgage Women Magazine and The Vision Magazine. She also frequently publishes articles on several social media platforms including LinkedIn. Suha is a sought-after speaker and podcast guest; she has appeared on stage and at virtual events, including NEXTWinter19, 2021 Mortgage Star Conference, WWV Celebrity Coach Webinar Series, NEXTSummer21, and Fintech Hunting. She has interviewed several executive leaders, including Marcia Davies, COO of MBA and Founder of mPower. Suha is also the host of her own LinkedIn series, In the Spotlight with Suha, where she shines the light on the next generation of leaders in the real estate and financial services space.

Suha is the recipient of the Women of Influence award (2021) and a Tech Trendsetter award (2019) by HousingWire, the Mortgage Star award (2021) by Mortgage Women Magazine, the NEXT Powerhouse award (2021) by NEXT Mortgage Events, the Most Powerful Women in Fintech award (2019 and 2021) by Progress in Lending, and the Woman with Vision award (2019) by Mortgage Women Magazine. Suha has also been recently recognized by the National Association of Women in Real Estate Banking (NAWRB) with the Mentor Leader award (2021).

Suha is currently pursuing several certifications as a professional coach from the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). She holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. She is also a Project Management Certified Professional and has completed the Harvard Management Development Program. Suha speaks four languages and is an avid scuba diver, travel, and culinary enthusiast.

LinkedIn | Website

Monica Leblanc

Women-Owned Business Leader:
Monica LeBlanc

Monica LeBlanc – Broker/Owner, Diamond State Realty Cooperative LLC

Monica is the Broker /Owner of Diamond State Realty Coop and Diamond State Property Management. She is the 2021 Vice President of the Delaware Association of Realtors, President of the Women’s Council of Realtors Sussex County Network, and President of the Dover Downtown Rotary Club. Monica also served as the 2020 President of the Kent County Association of Realtors and was named Kent County Realtor of the Year in 2019. She also went on to win Delaware Realtor of the Year in that same year. She serves as the Co-Coordinator for the motorcycle rights group ABATE of Delaware Kent County Chapter and sits on the First State Animal Shelter and SPCA board of directors.

Monica is the 2018 recipient of the Good Neighbor award given by the Kent County Association of Realtors. Licensed since 2005, Monica holds several Real Estate designations including being a GRI which is a Graduate of the Real Estate Institute. Throughout her career, she has always believed that education in the industry is the key to her success. Monica has helped guide new Realtors to become successful, no matter what company they work under. Her own agents have also followed in her footsteps winning the Good Neighbor Award the past four years in a row. Sales have always been a passion as she was the first woman car salesperson in 1980 at the young age of 18, opening the doors for other women to get into that industry. Monica is the go-to gal when it comes to Real Estate and Property Manager issues and is a proven leader in her industry. In her spare time, she enjoys boating and spending time with her two children.

LinkedIn | Website

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Commercial Leader:
Sheila Matuscak

Sheila Matuscak – CEO & Co Founder, CoeoSpace

Sheila is the Founder & CEO of CoeoSpace (pronounced co-ee-oh). CoeoSpace is a free and open platform where Landlords and Brokers can supercharge their leasing and sales efforts. Occupiers find your space through our custom-matching algorithm. Landlords and Brokers can then boost their listing’s reach to decision-makers by 1000x via Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram with the Promote Space services.
Sheila is a commercial real estate veteran and launched CoeoSpace, an open data platform company, in 2019 with the vision of using technology to bring digital tools, transparency and efficiency to the commercial real estate industry.

Sheila has 25 years of experience working in all aspects of commercial real estate including brokerage, development, investment and now CRE tech. She most recently was a Managing Partner of Cresa Global prior to launching CoeoSpace.
Sheila is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Illinois and she is a member of CREW (Commercial Real Estate Executive Women), The Economic Club of Chicago, The Urban Land Institute and is a longtime sponsor of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award program. She is also on the advisory board of the Youth Impact Program at Northwestern University and on the Chicago Board of CareerSpring.

Sheila received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance at Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana and an MBA degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Business.

LinkedIn | Website


Technology & STEM Leader: Lisa Morales-Hellebo

Lisa Morales-Hellebo – Co Founder/General Partner, REFASHIOND Ventures

Lisa Morales-Hellebo
VC, Entrepreneur, and Fashion Tech Community Catalyst, Co-founder & GP, REFASHIOND Ventures / fund, CEO & Co-founder, REFASHIOND OS / rOS / consulting, Co-founder, The Worldwide Supply Chain Federation / community

Lisa Morales-Hellebo is passionate about helping fashion tech and supply chain startups achieve industry adoption, growth, and scale. As a VC, seasoned entrepreneur, product strategist, and community builder, Lisa knows what it takes to spot and coach a winning team — backed by 25 years of working with startups to F500s on strategy and execution across branding, product development, and innovation.

Lisa takes R&D seriously and is currently co-founder of REFASHIOND OS (rOS), a startup that is building a network of on-demand apparel Microfactories across the USA and its public marketplace, She is also co-founder of The Worldwide Supply Chain Federation, an organization that is changing how supply chain professionals learn about, collaborate, and adopt supply chain innovation around the world. The New York Supply Chain Meetup is its founding chapter, attracting hundreds of attendees from around the globe to its monthly events.

Lisa has co-founded and is general partner of REFASHIOND Ventures — an NYC-based, early-stage supply chain technology venture fund that invests in startups refashioning global supply chains. She’s a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, serves on select Advisory Boards, and has been featured in numerous publications.

LinkedIn | Website

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Residential Leader:
Jennifer McKinney

Jennifer McKinney – Vice President, Property Management, San Diego Housing Commission

As Vice President of Real Estate Operations for the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC), Jennifer McKinney oversees the agency’s Property Management department.

Ms. McKinney is responsible for the administration of various affordable housing programs, as well as the day-to-day maintenance operations for more than 2,000 units of affordable-housing owned by SDHC.

She has more than 25 years of real estate management experience, including commercial and multifamily properties. Her areas of expertise include property repositioning, rehabilitation, financial management, budgeting and forecasting, and employee development. Prior to joining SDHC, she worked in real estate management in the private sector.

Ms. McKinney has a bachelor’s degree from Point Loma Nazarene University and holds a certification in Real Estate Finance, Investment and Development from the University of San Diego.

LinkedIn | Website

Nancy Obando

Finance Leader:
Nancy Obando

Nancy Obando – Sr. Vice President Strategic Products & Affordable Lending, Mountain West Financial Inc.

Through various leadership roles, Nancy Obando learned the true importance of external public relations at the corporate level in order to effectively be a voice within the community, develop deep relationships with key players to maximize quality and frequency of exposure. Nancy Obando discovered the importance and my passion for being an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

As a previous President running the largest Asian based real estate organization and with current seats in the National Association of Minority Mortgage Bankers of America Los Angeles and National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Association, Nancy Obando received many awards from the City of Los Angeles, County of Los Angeles and Congress / U.S House of Representatives for my various contributions within the community.

My vision is to ensure that we are enabling members of minority groups and professionals that invest time and talent in the underserved and emerging communities to establish a deep-rooted foundation toward becoming leaders in the real estate, finance, and development sector. My focus is to help. I believe in making helpfulness part of your identity. Only when your desire to help is authentic can it reward you with new real connections and trust within the community.

LinkedIn | Website


Nonprofit Leader:
Jacqueline Castillo

Jacqueline Castillo – CEO, Legacy Ladies

Jacqueline Castillo is a philanthropist, visionary, author, advocate, life coach and businesswoman. She is founder and President of a not-for-profit organization called Legacy Ladies, Inc. Our mission is to be a premier organization that transforms the lives of disenfranchised girls. We foster character, confidence and grace through our academic and experiential programs; with the goal of developing extraordinary thinkers who are courageous leaders that will become productive global citizens. The organization is celebrating their 14th anniversary and has awarded over a million dollars in in-kind offerings and financial support for their programs, Adopt-a-Family and Adopt-a-School, with a committed board of 9 people. She has continued the legacy of leadership by establishing an experiential leadership program called, “From the School House to The White House Leadership Academy,” which is their best practice in serving students in disenfranchised communities.

Jacqueline Castillo professional experience ranges from the capacity building at the University of North Florida to Regional Sales Manager for Nicholas Earth Printing to on-air television talent. As a senior account executive and part of the management team at Oce Office Systems, she achieved consistent sales rankings in the top one percent in the country. Jacqueline was an executive-on-loan for the L A Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention as Deputy Director of Community Relations and Outreach. Her professional experience in broadcasting included founder and CEO of Brown Eyed Productions, a multimedia production company, based in Los Angeles, and numerous positions in broadcasting such as an on-air personality for WAWS/Fox in Jacksonville, FL, and the PBS station in Omaha, NE, and TV production, sales and marketing positions for stations WJXT/CBS, Jacksonville, FL and KMTV3/NBC, Omaha, NE. In addition to producing quality television programs, Jacqueline has also produced and directed commercials. She has performed in many commercials and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild.

Jacqueline is a strong advocate of community service and has served on many boards such as the Visiting Nurses Association, Jacksonville Women’s Network, and the Hubbard House. She was also a spokesperson for the Jacksonville Marrow Donor Program, in Jacksonville, FL. While there she coordinated and trained 75 volunteers in the recruitment of potential donors, resulting in more than 600 African-American donors within 18 months. She was appointed by the Mayor of Jacksonville, FL, to the Jacksonville Housing Authority Committee Task Force and also served on the Health and Human Services Sex Education Task Force and the Conflict Resolution Committee. She is a member of the National Association of Multi-Ethnicity in Communications, SAG-AFTRA, The Ebell, Los Angeles Chapter of The Links, Inc., Women in Film, President of The Castillo Charitable Foundation, and former member of the Board of Visitors at Claremont Graduate University, and the Pacific Council on International Policy, and alumni of the Jacksonville Leadership Network, the Southern California Leadership Network, in Los Angeles, and the African American Board Leadership Institute, in addition to the Wells Fargo Executive Directors Leadership Institute. Jacqueline also organized and spearheaded a grassroots task force, African American Citizens for Change, designed specifically to create awareness of political and social consequences.

As a result of her leadership, she has received numerous awards: “Women of the Year ” award from Assemblymember, Mike Davis, a Los Angeles Business Journal nominee, “Women Making a Difference,” the “Bernard and Shirley Kinsey Award” for the humanitarian works of Legacy Ladies, Inc., received by Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s (FAMU), the Meritorious Award from the NAACP Los Angeles Youth Council, recognized by the “Our Authors Study Club” for outstanding community service, recipient of the “Public Service Award” from the Ebony Guild, “Woman of the Year” award from the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, the “Golden Glow Award” from the L.A. Chapter of Chums, Inc., Women in NAACP, “We See You Awards,” “Faith Awards,” and Biddy Mason Award for community service. Jacqueline holds a B.S. degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix. She is married to James and they have a son, Justin, who is their pride and joy.

LinkedIn | Website


Consumer Advocate Leader: Monda Webb

Monda Webb – CEO, Little Known Stories Production Company, LLC

MONDA RAQUEL WEBB is an award-winning author, filmmaker and performing artist. After graduating with a degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Rhode Island in 1990, Monda began her production career as a traffic coordinator for City Cable 16, a municipal channel in Washington, DC. She quickly climbed the ranks and served in all aspects of production, from grip, to production assistant, to producer to on-air talent. As producer, she won awards from the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) for Production in several different categories.

Additionally, Monda has over 25+ years of corporate, government and non-profit experience. Her specialties lie in mortgage finance, FinTech, outreach (grassroots, multicultural), partner engagement, TV/Film production, business development, content creation, (web, print, broadcast), training (development, instructor-led, instructional design), communications (b2b and b2c), and marketing.

Monda has led strategic communications/marketing/training efforts for the Government, Mortgage Finance, Telecommunications and IT Industries. By nature, Monda is a super-connector and has spent years building and sustaining relationships with people in the government, non-profit and for-profit sectors.
Currently, Monda combines producing, writing, performing and publishing under her consulting company, Monda Media, LLC, where she pursues her passion for the written word, spoken word, social media, television, and film under one umbrella.

The publishing arm of Monda Media has written and published four books and manages author brand, public relations, product marketing/sales and ancillary items.

Monda established Little Known Stories Production Company, LLC as the production arm of Monda Media in 2014. In 2015, Monda wrote, directed and produced her calling card to the film industry, “Zoo (Volkerschau)”, a short film about the last known human zoo at the 1958 World Fair in Brussels, Belgium. Zoo has won 11 U.S. and International Film Festival Awards, including awards from Spain and Indonesia, for “Best Short (film)”, “Best Script”, “Excellence Award”, “Best International Short” and other categories.

Monda’s sophomore film “Pooch Sitter”, a film about a quirky pet-sitter who seeks love and affection from other people’s dogs in an untraditional way, is currently on the film festival circuit. This modern-day Goldilocks-ish tale is giving paws to audiences worldwide.

A staunch advocate of giving back to the community, Monda is a proud member of the NAWRB Consortium, and Board Member for three non-profit organizations, which include “Wings for Joy”, “Consumer Action” and “Women in Film and Video DC (WIFV-DC),” for which she is an Executive Board Member and serves as Treasurer.

LinkedIn | Website

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Government Leader:
Lucy Dunn

Lucy Dunn – CEO – OCBC Orange County Business Council

LUCY DUNN – President and Chief Executive Officer – Orange County Business Council
As President and CEO of Orange County Business Council, Lucy Dunn leads a dynamic organization of business members, working with academia and government, to ensure the county’s economic prosperity and high quality of life.

Before joining OCBC, she served as Director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development under Governor Schwarzenegger, who also appointed her to the California Transportation Commission in 2008. Governor Jerry Brown reappointed her two more terms. She helped develop Orange County’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness and serves as a business advisor for the South Coast Air Quality Management District and Southern California Association of Governments. She is founding co-chair of the R.E.A.L. Coalition of 23 CEO’s of California’s largest business organizations from San Francisco to San Diego advocating for infrastructure, education, water and governance reform.

Lucy received the California State Legislature “Woman of the Year” and an Assembly Certificate of Recognition as “person of the year.” She was the first woman president in the 80-year history of the Building Industry Association of Southern California. She serves on the boards of Pacific Symphony, Mobility 21, UCI Foundation, California Economic Summit, Homeful Foundation, Orange County Housing Trust, and Orange County Taxpayer Association.

She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards from advocacy for housing to mobility and education. In 2014, OC Register named her as one of “Orange County’s 100 Most Influential.” In 2016, the Endangered Habitats League honored her for her work in advancing the protection of habitat and cultural resources, while providing for South Orange County mobility options. In 2018, Orange County Business Journal named her one of OC’s 500 most influential.

Lucy is an attorney, singer, world-traveler and the mother of two sons and a remarkable daughter-in-law.

LinkedIn | Website


Corporate Leader:
Tami Bonnell

Tami Bonnell – Co-Chair, Exit Realty Corp, International

EXIT Realty Corp International’s CEO TAMI BONNELL is an internationally renowned leader in the real estate industry and was instrumental in building three major brands. Among her many achievements, she was recognized by Real Estate trend watcher, Stephan Swanepoel, three years consecutively as one of the 200 most Powerful and influential people in residential real estate, among the top 20 corporate executives and among the top 10 women leaders.

Ms. Bonnell has been a featured speaker at the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTOR’S® convention to the Top 500 power brokers, The National Women’s Council REALTORS®, Inman News Connect Conference and the RIS Media’s Leadership Conference.

She was named to the Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB) National Diversity & Leadership Inclusion Council (NDLIC).

Ms. Bonnell was honored by STEM connector as one of its 100 Corporate Women Leaders in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

MS Bonnell is the recipient of NDLIC’s 2020 Diversity & Inclusion award.

Ms. Bonnell is a 30 plus year veteran of the real estate industry and joined EXIT Realty in 1999. She was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2012 and promoted to Co-Chair on September 03, 2021.

She is a wife, mother of three and grandmother of three. In her spare time, she is a martial artist, coach and referee, an information Junkie and reads over 300 books a year!

LinkedIn | Website

Mitzi Perdue

Family Office Leader:
Mitzi Perdue

Mitzi Perdue – CEO, Win This Fight! Stop Human Trafficking

The organizer of Win ThisFight, Stop Human Trafficking, Mitzi Perdue, is an author, speaker, and businesswoman who’s specialized in real estate. She holds a BA with honors from Harvard University and an MPA from George Washington University.

She is a past president of the 35,000-member American Agri-Women. She’s also a former syndicated columnist for Scripps Howard and her column, The Environment, and You, was the most widely syndicated environmental column in the country. Her television series, Country Magazine, was syndicated to 76 stations. She currently hosts The Pen and the Planet on EarthX TV.

As a woman in real estate, she founded CERES Farms in 1974. Today it’s a second-generation commercial and agricultural real estate investment company that has owned rice fields, vineyards, and also commercial and residential real estate.

CERES Farms is a major supplier of wine grapes in California, and if you’ve tasted any of the following wines, you may have tasted grapes grown from her vineyards: Joel Gott, Robert Mondavi, Kendall Jackson, Gallo, McManis, Sutter Home, Diageo, and the Wine Group.

Today Mitzi is working to combat human trafficking by “cutting the head off the snake.” She’s working to combat the money laundering that enables the $150 billion human trafficking industry.

As part of raising awareness about trafficking, In the last year, she has had close to 100 articles on human trafficking published in outlets such as Psychology Today or Wealth Management. She’s also been on more than 100 podcasts, talking about trafficking.

Since Mitzi got her start investing in California real estate, and today also invests in Maryland real estate, she treasures the work of NAWRB. “Being in real estate has been a great life for me,” she says.

LinkedIn | Website

LR HS Leora Ruzin

Veteran Leader:
Leora Ruzin

Leora Ruzin – SVP of Lending, Coloramo Federal Credit Union

Leora Ruzin, CMB, AMP is the Senior Vice President of Lending at Coloramo Federal Credit Union. Leora is also the Managing Editor of both “The Vision” and “Women with Vision” magazines and is currently on numerous industry Boards, including Folds of Honor. A 14-year veteran in the lending industry, Leora is incredibly passionate about spreading awareness on helping everyone achieve the American dream of financial freedom. She is a fierce advocate for housing finance reform and common-sense credit policy. Leora is the winner of numerous prestigious industry awards, including Housing Wire’s 2020 “Women of Influence”, National Mortgage Professional Magazine’s 2020 “Women of Inspiration” and is a two-time winner of the “Women with Vision” award, given by 20/20 Vision for Success coaching.

An Army veteran, she understands the importance of ensuring no one is left behind, and truly feels that anything can be achieved through perseverance and teamwork. Her experience with trauma, both as a cancer survivor and a survivor of sexual and physical abuse, has given her the drive and passion to help other women find hope and strength during similar circumstances. When Leora is not spending her time advocating for homeownership and spreading the word about the importance of investing in personal goals, she continues to expand her own knowledge through reading and attending industry workshops.

Leora holds an Associate’s degree in Accounting, a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management, and she is a veteran of the United States Army. She currently resides in Palisade, Colorado with her husband and daughter.

LinkedIn | Website

Davia Temin2

Media Leader:
Davia Temin

Davia Temin – President & CEO, Temin and Company Incorporated

CEO of Temin and Company – a boutique risk, reputation, and crisis management consultancy – Davia Temin works with some of the most talented and impactful leaders in the world, helping them to refine and strengthen their vision, voice, and market position in times of crisis and opportunity.
Temin and Company specialize in ethically-based crisis, reputation, and culture management; risk assessment; and corporate governance for global companies, professional services firms, foundations, colleges and universities, and governments. Davia serves as a spokesman during crises, strategist, and leadership and communications coach at the board, CEO, and executive committee levels.

A nationally recognized writer, commentator, and coach, she has worked with literally hundreds of business and world leaders and appeared on CBS, CNN, NBC, Bloomberg, PBS, ABC, and The Wall Street Journal, and numerous other publications and networks around the world.
Prior to founding the firm 23 years ago with the backing of GE, Davia headed Corporate Marketing, Crisis Management and Public Affairs for GE Capital, Schroders, Scudder, Citi Investment Bank and Columbia Business School.

Currently, Davia is the Chair of Video Volunteers, an international media and human rights NGO. She also serves on the Board of Girl Scouts of Greater New York and on the Boards or Advisory Boards of The Knight-Bagehot Fellowship of Columbia Journalism School, the Economic Club, Harvard Women’s Leadership Board, WomenCorporateDirectors, and Predmore Holdings. She is an NACD Board Leadership Fellow.

An honors graduate of Swarthmore College, she attended Columbia University for her master’s degree. She served as First Vice-Chair of the Board of Girl Scouts of the USA for 9 years, and board member of Swarthmore for 11 years. She has received numerous awards, including the Woman of Power & Influence Award by the National Organization for Women and The Girl Scouts Pinnacle Award for Leadership – their highest honor.

Profiled in many business and leadership books, she writes the “Reputation Matters” column for, is a contributor to Huffington Post, American Banker, Directors & Boards, Corporate Board Member, and Chief Executive Magazine and has written chapters on “Rebuilding Trust in the Financial Markets” for the book Trust, Inc., and on crisis leadership for Women on Board – Insider Secrets to Getting on a Board and Succeeding as a Director.

LinkedIn | Website