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Founder & CEO
Desirée Patno is the CEO and President of the National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses (NAWRB) and Desirée Patno Enterprises, Inc. (DPE). With over 25 years in real estate and championing gender equality, she brings insider knowledge to NAWRB’s mission of advancing women and women-owned businesses in the housing ecosystem.
As Vice Chairwoman of NAWRB’s Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council she oversees the accountability of increased utilization of women-owned and small businesses and women inclusion at all levels. Since 2010, NAWRB has brought the awareness of the diverse opportunities provided by the Office(s) of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) established by Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Desirée resides on the Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) Leadership Advisory Council and Enterprising Women Advisory Board. In 2012, she won the prestigious Enterprising Women of the Year and HousingWire’s Women of Influence awards, receiving the HousingWire award again in 2016. Recently, she was selected the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Women in Business Champion of the Year and NAWRB is honored to be listed as a Women’s Entrepreneurship Partner for the SBA.
Chairwoman: Rebecca Steele, President of Sigma Associates LLC
President & Owner of Chrimata, Inc.
Jay Jones is the President and owner of Chrimata, Inc.
As President of Chrimata, Jay was directly involved in hundreds of purchases of investment properties and later manage the rental properties portfolio. Jay formed Chrimata “Management professional leasing company” to meet the needs of other companies employee demands. Prior to forming Chrimata, Jay was a Senior Scientist for Xontech, Inc, a Leading Defense contractor. A data analyst and system integration specialist conducting and analyzing flight mission experiments for the space defense program. Jay is an active community leader who sat on the board of Directors for AYSO soccer league and coach many teams through the years embracing the motto “Everyone Plays.” A father of 4 boys, jay is consistently supporting the lives of the young. Jay hopes to one day teach Physics at the high school level.
Silvia N. Rathell
Government Relations Chairwoman
Silvia N. Rathell is a small business owner and co-owner of Rathell Properties LLC, a small investment company that focuses in real estate. She joined NAWRB in 2017 as the Washington D.C. Satellite Office Government Relations Chairwoman assisting the organization’s growth in government advocacy on behalf of women’s gender equality and women-owned businesses in the housing ecosystem.
Planning to pursue her doctorate degree in the near future, Rathell sits on several national boards and advisory councils—the White House Policy Briefings for Latino Leaders, The National Farmworker Alliance and the Social Security Administration’s Latino Advisory Board, to name a few—always mindful of the fact that there remains much work to be done for women and minorities.
Mrs. Rathell lives in Maryland with her husband Brooks Rathell, her 17-year-old daughter Maya, 7-year-old daughter Adrianna and 5-year-old son Brooks Jr.
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. She has had three short stories, two poems and three books published in the last seven years. When she isn’t designing, she is writing, obsessing over books, her wonderful husband, and their three furry children.
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.
Colette Grubman is a Sophomore English literature major at Chapman University. She interns as a social media marketer at NAWRB. At Chapman she holds the title of Vice President at Chapman C.A.R.E.S. Off-campus, she volunteers with the Friendship Foundation, instilling daily life skills in special needs children and young adults. Colette strives to one day become a young adult fiction novel editor.
Yvette Hernandez is a business marketing major at California State University of Fullerton. She interns as an event planner and social media marketer at NAWRB. Her campus experience as member of the Business Latino Association developed her team player skills. She strives to explore a career in marketing after graduation.
Marissa de Swart
Marissa de Swart, our Dutch intern, is in charge of our government relations with the Netherlands. At the age of 16, Marissa became part of the European Youth Parliament. Being part of this organization has not only contributed to her choice of studying European Studies (majoring in European Law) at the University of Amsterdam, but it has also given her the drive to contribute to international politics in the future. Marissa is currently studying abroad for a semester at Chapman University in Orange CA. At Chapman University Marissa is following courses that are part of the Peace and Leadership program. By following these courses Marissa wishes to learn how leadership works and whether good leadership can contribute to the continuation of a peaceful Europe in which human rights, democracy and democratization are respected and supported by its people.
Burgandy Basulto is a writing intern at NAWRB. She is an alumna of California State University, Fullerton, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and philosophy. She plans to attend graduate school for philosophy in order to pursue a career in academia. Her passions include writing, reading, traveling, photography, and a good cup (or two) of coffee.
Jing Tian has a Masters in Finance from the University of California, Riverside which includes fundamental skills about corporate finance, accounting and investing. She is detail-oriented and good with numbers. Her learning experience is from an insurance company in Hong Kong which inspired her to study further in financial planning. Jing is currently working as the accountant at NAWRB. She strives to explore a career in corporate finance after graduation.
NAWRB Event Planner
Avalon Irwin is a Senior at Biola University and majoring in Intercultural Studies. She is passionate about diversity and reconciliation. She has interned overseas in Alicante Spain where she had the opportunity to use art as a means to bridge the gap between Americans and various EU countries. She worked as a Resident Adviser to an all female dorm where she learned a lot about the needs women have and the challenges they have in pursuing their dreams. This sparked her co-worker and her to start a conference for women at their school’s campus called Shed the Shame where they invite women to come and hear the stories of other women leaders and how they have had to identify the shame put on them for being who they are. Then we teach them how they can overcome this to be empowered women. Shed the Shame is currently in the process of becoming a full non-profit that will provide literature, conferences, and aid for women who have dealt with and experienced shame because of their push to become powerful women.