New Corporate Diversity Bill Tackles Obstacles to Diverse Leadership

In February, Representative Gregory W. Meeks (D-N.Y.) introduced the H.R. 1018 – Improving Corporate Governance Through Diversity Act of 2019, which will require public companies to disclose the gender, race, ethnicity and veteran status of their board directors, nominees and senior executive officers, as a way to track the progress of diverse representation in the corporate sphere.

“Diversity has been proven to have a positive impact on business performance, and it is only natural for investors to want to know which companies are choosing to bring in a wealth of different perspectives into their corporate board rooms,” Representative Meeks said in an official statement. “Revealing the gender, racial, ethnic, and veteran makeup of these corporate C-suites and boardrooms will not only shed light on the value of diversity, but hopefully encourage corporate shareholders to increase diversity in the highest ranks of their corporations.”

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Life of a Female Veteran: U.S. Army Combat Pilot Veteran Erica Courtney (part 5 of 6)

It had been some years now since I got out of active duty. I had ‘transitioned.’ However, it was obvious to me that my veteran community was suffering and struggling to adapt to this new world on the outside. As I travelled the country on business, I would frequently end up sitting next to veterans on a plane. Once the veteran connection was established, when they could get past my gender and realize I was in the fight alongside them, they would offload their personal stories. Many had never shared these things with their own families. I would listen and advise if possible. 

After years of this, it became apparent that something wasn’t working. Why was I constantly being bombarded with this heavy stuff? I tried ignoring it but then started dissecting the events. Veterans want to talk to veterans— not white coats, not federally-funded programs stemming around entrepreneurship where they handle hundreds of people led by a non-business owner, and not corporate America attempting to give them a job. They wanted connections with people who understood them. Perhaps being a female was also non-threatening and these guys could be vulnerable? 
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Stop Being A Fly on the Wall

Everyone gets stuck. It’s part of life. It’s part of business. We all have blind spots, energy slumps, personal and professional limitations and challenges that often we might not seem to be able to get over.

But getting stuck can be especially frustrating when you are a CEO and everyone looks up to you for leadership and guidance.

Surprisingly, in situations like this, 95 percent of us think that if we just try a little bit harder, it’ll all work out and we will be able to resolve our challenges and eventually ‘get unstuck.’

When I work with executives who are ‘feeling stuck’ I usually tell them a story that goes something like this: “In a quiet room, on a hot day in July, a small fly burns out the last of its short life’s energy in a futile attempt to fly through the glass of a window pane.”
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Hispanic Poverty Rate Dropped to Historic Low in 2017

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the poverty rate among the Hispanic population dropped to the lowest level recorded in 2017, at 18.3 percent. This decline is not only the largest year-to-year drop among all demographic groups—1.1 percentage points from 2016—but also the lowest poverty estimate for Hispanics since they were first reported in 1972.

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Deadliest Fires in California 2018: Resources for Financial Recovery

After dealing with numerous deadly fires earlier this year, California is currently dealing with three major wildfires, including the Camp Fire in Butte County, the Woosley Fire in Los Angeles County and the Hill Fire in Ventura County. California Governor-elect Gavin Newsom recently issued emergency proclamations in response to the wildfires and requested statewide FEMA Emergency Declaration. While Cal Fire firefighters still work hard to contain these fires and affected homeowners plan their next steps, it is important to know about the available resources for financial and physical damage recovery.

While we still await updates, these California fires are being named the deadliest in the state’s history. At time of writing, the number of deaths from the Camp Fire in Northern California has risen to 63 while over 600 people remain missing. According to recent updates by Cal Fire, the Camp Fire has burned approximately 142,000 acres, causing over 40,000 residents to abandon their homes and find safety. The Woosley Fire has burned more than 98,000 acres and numerous homes, and the Hill Fire in Ventura County has burned over 4,000 acres, including RVs and outbuildings. While the Hill Fire is fully contained, the Camp Fire is 45 percent contained and the Woolsey Fire is 69 percent contained.
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AI & Blockchain in Real Estate: How to Leverage the Disruption

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain are emerging technologies that are impacting the way industries conduct business, especially in real estate. Not much is known about blockchain to the general public besides its association with bitcoin, and most people associate AI with either Siri or Alexa. However, more professionals in the housing ecosystem are increasing their focus on these new trends as they will significantly alter the way businesses operate and interact with their customers and clients. 

In this article, we’ll get you up to speed on how blockchain and AI will alter the industry, especially real estate, and how companies can stay afloat along this new current of technological development. 
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NDILC in the News

Dr. Chitra Dorai, Computer Scientist, Data Science and AI Expert, and Founder and CEO at Amicus Brain Innovations, Inc., attended the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, which had over 70,000 attendees and was the largest entrepreneurial conference with participants ranging from IBM, Google, Amazon, and other major companies. Dr. Chitra Dorai also recently participated in DC Finance New York on October 23rd, 2018, regarding Future Proofing the Real Estate Business in AI (Artificial Intelligence) Era. Dr. Chitra Dorai also participated at MBA’s D&I Summit in Washington D.C. on Using Technology and Data Analytics to Impact D&I on November 28, 2018.
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Life of a Female Veteran: U.S. Army Combat Veteran Erica Courtney (Part 4 of 6)

With my EMBA close to completion, I was offered a senior level job at a logistics company in Miami. They needed me to lead and grow the government market. Even though I kicked and screamed about being pigeon-holed in logistics and contracting, it sure was a marketable skill. I used to buy everything, from BBQs and sunglasses to furniture and aircraft armor. I worked with the contracting officers and comptrollers who handle the big budgets routinely when I had to equip my units in the U.S. or abroad. Now companies wanted to know how to get to the person I used to be.

It was obvious people had no clue how to deal with federal buyers. I could build a section and plan out their approach. Sure, sign me up. I will take the job. For the first time, I had to think about what I was going to wear. It had been uniforms day in and day out forever. Not a big shopper, I found outfits on mannequins that looked good and showed up early, because if you are not early in the Army you are late. 

No one was there when I got there. The boss pulled up, happy to see me and said I was looking sharp. I thought nothing of it. I had to be very guarded; you never give off signals in the Army. My boundaries were disciplined. In Miami, flirtatiousness abounded. I wanted to be taken seriously and flirting would have destroyed that. I worked hard and the boss loved me, but I was in my own bubble. No one knew what I was doing or had any idea about government. I was not connecting with the workers. It was not a good fit. 

I left after a year. Corporate America was not my thing. However, during this time, Oprah and The White House Project named me, along with 50 other women around the country, a woman with the background and drive to change the world. We were all sponsored and flown to New York to collaborate with community, government and private leaders who inspired me to continue to serve. 

Degree in hand, I decided to go it alone. My family was now moving to Jacksonville, Florida. The need for government business development was there. I researched the market and found many unqualified people charging a fortune to break into this space. People just don’t know what they don’t know. You can’t just jump in. You have to understand the buyer’s language. I knew within 30 seconds if I would work with a vendor or not while serving. Why not prepare people correctly, especially if they were willing to pay for my expertise?
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Special Guest Interview with Wendy Federman, Award-Winning Broadway & Film Producer & President of Foolish Mortals Productions

What is a Producer?
“A producer is a rare, paradoxical genius: hard-headed, soft-hearted, cautious, reckless, a hopeful innocent in fair weather, a stern pilot in stormy weather, a mathematician who prefers to ignore the laws of mathematics and trust intuition, an idealist, a realist, a practical dreamer, a sophisticated gambler, a stage-struck child. That’s a producer.”
–Oscar Hammerstein II

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CA Passes Women on Corporate Boards: Disrupting Real Estate Businesses

NAWRB had the pleasure of writing a formal letter to the various committees on the California State Assembly and Governor Jerry Brown regarding the passing of SB 826 bill, which requires that at least one woman be on the board of publicly held companies in California by year end 2019. 

At time of writing, California Jerry Brown has officially signed the SB 826 bill this year, a landmark legislation requiring female representation on corporate boards. Despite concerns over its potential efficacy. The bill is an important step in diversity and inclusion, as well as for the advancement of women.

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