Honoring Black History Month: Business Ownership



There are 2,681,200 African American Women-Owned Businesses which make up 21 percent of all women-owned businesses. However, “the gap between African American women-owned businesses’ average revenue and all women-owned businesses is the greatest” (Volume III: Business Ownership, NAWRB WHER).

According to the American Express report, while the number of women-owned businesses grew 21 percent from 2014 to 2019, firms owned by women of color grew double that rate at 43 percent. The number of businesses owned by African American and Black women grew even at an even faster rate at 50 percent, compared to Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander women at 41 percent; Latinx/Hispanic at 40 percent; and Native American/Alaska Native at 26 percent. These rates are slower than those of women of color in general but faster than overall women-owned businesses.

Interested in learning more about minority-owned businesses? Purchase Volume III: Business Ownership today at our shop. NAWRB’s WHER offers over seventy resources in our six volumes that break down important topics in the housing ecosystem. 

2020 NAWRB WHER – Over SEVENTY Resources in Six Volumes – Get your digital copy TODAY!

WHER Cover (1)

Wealth is defined by having options. We must provide our children with resources to grow prosperity! If we do not provide future generations opportunities for wealth building and training for wealth management, we risk setting them up for failure. What can we do now to help our children achieve economic empowerment and sustainability?

Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB) proudly introduces the 2020 NAWRB Women Housing Ecosystem Report (WHER), the fourth installment of the most diverse coverage of the Housing Ecosystem with over sixty resources in six volumes: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Real Estate, Business Ownership, STEM, Access to Capital, and Aging Population with a gender lens perspective.

Volume I: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion 
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Welcome to the first volume of the 2020 NAWRB Women Housing Ecosystem Report (WHER) on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. The report begins by addressing the latest data on diversity and inclusion at all levels of employment in the workplace, such as the “broken rung” that women face from entry-level to management, followed by an exploration of how businesses are working to maintaining diversity, equity and inclusion in their workplaces during the current global pandemic.

First, we review the status of gender diversity in multiple industries, especially among leadership positions, that make up the real estate ecosystem, or anything that revolves around land. In doing so, we draw on findings from reputable reports, such as McKinsey & Company’s Women in the Workplace 2019 report. Second, we will address some of the major challenges women face in climbing up the ladder and attaining higher-paying positions in their field, such as the “broken rung,” harassment and unconscious bias in the workplace. Third, we will discuss the focus on environmental, social and governance factors in investing, through an ESG Investing approach, and how this transition is positioned to positively impact the opportunities available to diverse businesses and organizations. Fourth and finally, we take a moment to highlight how the current global health crisis has impacted the workforce, and suggest how companies can maintain diversity, equity and inclusion in this unprecedented environment.

Volume II: Real Estate
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In 2020 NAWRB WHER, Volume II: Real Estate, we explore how the real estate industry is navigating COVID-19 challenges and utilizing technology as a solution. Building on last year’s report, we have expanded the previous homeownership volume to include a broader view of real estate, including a residential, commercial and industrial outlook.

In the first section, we focus on residential real estate, including homeownership, poverty and homelessness. We begin by noting the state of the nation’s housing prior to the COVID-19 pandemic before venturing into the unforeseen effects the crisis has had on the economy, and thus the residential real estate industry. Some findings include that the older population is facing greater hardship in homeownership compared to the younger generations, especially Millennials. Also, we address how minority groups, especially Black homeowners, are being disproportionately impacted by the public health and economic crisis.

Next, we summarize how real estate professionals are utilizing technology to help with business operations and helping clients buy and sell a home. Technology is enabling the industry to not only expedite processes but also connect with clients on a personal level as much as possible. Finally, we go over how the commercial and industrial real estate industries have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Please keep in mind that the industry is changing rapidly and the information presented here might not reflect the current trends and developments. This is first and foremost a useful guide for professionals to use as they prepare for the transition real estate is making to thrive after the pandemic

Volume III: Business Ownership 
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In the 2020 NAWRB WHER, Volume III: Business Ownership, we address diversity, resources for growth and sustainability, and family offices. From last year’s report, we have broadened our focus from only women-owned businesses to all businesses in general, and now include family offices as a section of business ownership.

This volume addresses a plethora of issues within business ownership, from the state of women-owned businesses and veteran-owned businesses to tools for growth and sustainability, and the latest trends and developments among family offices.

First, we review national trends of women-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses and veteran-owned businesses, and supply useful information about financial resources for recovery from natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic. Second, we address must-know resources to scale your business, from diversity classification and government contracting to impact investing and crowdfunding. Third, we provide an overview of the latest key findings regarding the operations and impact of family offices. In doing so, we address how family offices are adapting to new tax codes, intergenerational wealth transfer, a faltering economy and technological disruptors.

Volume IV: STEM 
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Although women outnumber men in the population and make 85 percent of all purchasing decisions, we live in a world mainly designed by men for men, and women are forced to acclimate to products and tools that are not built with their own unique needs and features in mind. In 2020 NAWRB WHER, Volume IV: STEM, we explore the representation of women in technology design, and how a lack of diversity has resulted in disadvantages for women as consumers.

First, we give vivid examples of how women are disadvantaged by everyday products, professionals tools and equipment, and the negative impact it has on gender equality. Some industries mentioned include gaming and entertainment; financial services; healthcare; transportation; space; and the military-industrial complex.

Second, we explain how this phenomenon is perpetuated by a lack of women in design leadership roles and the general underrepresentation of women in technology design, programs available for increasing women’s leadership, and obstacles are blocking the path for greater gender parity.

We also take a look at women’s representation in artificial intelligence (AI) design and explain why diverse, collaborative teams are important for AI design and how women are well-equipped to facilitate a collaborative spirit. Third and finally, we provide a positive look forward by highlighting organizations that are paving the way for more women in technology design roles and suggestions for how we can increase women-centered innovation, or creation and evaluation of products and tools for women by women. We also list venture capital firms that are making an effort to target women-owned and minority-owned startups.

Volume V: Access to Capital
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In 2020 NAWRB WHER, Volume V: Access to Capital, we address how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted financial wellbeing, the importance of increasing financial literacy among the general population, and share resources for access to capital.
Time will tell of the economic impact of the pandemic as the country enters another recession, but the financial impact on households and businesses has been swift and inhibiting. Americans are still recovering from job or wage loss and are struggling to pay monthly bills. Similarly, many small businesses have benefited from government assistance, but they are still navigating running their businesses in this new environment in which COVID-19 is an ongoing threat to public health.

In this volume, we will address the impact of COVID-19 on the financial wellbeing of individuals, households and businesses. Then, we will take a deep dive into the factors that contribute to financial wellbeing in order to suggest actionable solutions to helping the nation not only recover from the current pandemic but to be proactive for any future economic crises through financial literacy. In doing so, we will address the impact of education and media on financial literacy, and the importance of integrating the pillars of financial literacy from early education.

Finally, we will provide helpful resources for access to capital, as well as updates to ongoing financial assistance that has been available to small businesses in the form of Economic Injury Disaster Loans and the Paycheck Protection Program.

Volume VI: Aging Population 
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In the final volume of this report, 2020 NAWRB WHER, Volume VI: Aging Population, we provide an overview of the growing aging population, the disproportionate impact of COVID-19, and how the housing and real estate population can help at the industry, business and community levels.

The aging population is becoming the largest growing population group in the United States and outnumbering the working-age population. Last year, we addressed how the aging population has been the target of numerous financial scams and are vulnerable to elder financial abuse and neglect – which have both financial, physical and mental ramifications. This year has been fraught with a new threat to the health and wellbeing of the older population: namely, the COVID-19 pandemic, which has proven more fatal to the older population and the immunocompromised.

In addition to providing the latest data on the aging population in the United States, including health and financial wellbeing, we will address the impact that COVID-19 has had on this segment of the population. Similar to last year’s report, we will review the latest findings regarding older adults in terms of the representation in society, before taking a deep dive into how this group is at higher risk of COVID19 related deaths, and how general caregiving has changed during this time period.

We conclude by addressing women’s representation in global wealth and provide actionable solutions for the potential pitfalls family offices might face in making their wealth sustainable and ensuring their investments have the greatest social impact.


#1 Acknowledge Trailblazers with the NAWRB Certified Delegate Spokeswomen


Our first “Getting Real About Leadership” event with the NAWRB Certified Delegate Spokeswomen was a blast! Thank you to our delegates and everyone who was able to join us, and a special shout out Leora Ruzin for leading the dialogue of what it means to Acknowledge Trailblazers. If you missed it, you can check out the video on Youtube (tinyurl.com/y9fokom6)

Our next event will be on JANUARY 7th, 2021, 9 am PST with NDILC member Kellie Aamodt sharing what it means to Keep Achieving.

Go to facebook.com/events/363484868053818/ to RSVP and check out all future events at facebook.com/nawrb/events!

#NDILCLeadership #NDILCPrinciples #NDILCTenForTwenties #NDILCTopTen

The Journey of Laura Harbison: Broker/Owner, Realty Executives Southern Nevada Properties


NAWRB’s Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council brings you the story of NAWRB Certified Delegate Spokeswoman, Laura Harbison. With our Story Tree, we want to showcase the ups, downs, and in-betweens of our team’s careers and lives. Help us grow our tree by sending in your own leadership stories! 

Laura Harbison, Broker/Owner of Realty Executives Southern Nevada Properties, does a fantastic job of managing her very busy life, as a successful business owner and the matriarch of a family of nine.  She has compiled an impressive list of real estate accolades during her three decades of experience and now, in partnership with her husband John, is one of the most successful Real Estate Brokers in Southern Nevada.  

But it wasn’t always a seamless journey. 

For someone who is so obviously adept at the business of real estate, it’s surprising to learn that Laura started out in college at UNLV with dreams of a different kind.   Originally majoring in Computer Science Engineering, and then switching her major in her junior year to Quantitative Management Systems with an emphasis in Operations Research (with core study in finance, marketing, and statistics),   Laura saw herself entering the corporate world after college graduation. 

During her first year at UNLV, one of Laura’s sorority sisters (Delta Zeta) was working at a real estate office and suggested she apply to be an assistant. Flexible jobs were hard to find, and this company needed help seven days a week, at all hours of the day, so it was an opportunity to be employed full time while still being able to work around a heavy class schedule.  It wasn’t something she had ever considered doing, and she had been keeping busy and paying the bills with a variety of odd jobs prior to that. However, she applied and started the following week. Soon she was working in varying capacities at the company, sometimes performing receptionist duties, other administrative and clerical duties, and eventually working as an assistant to the top agent in the company.   By the time she completed her degree, she had also obtained her real estate license. While there, Laura took the opportunity to learn as much as possible about the business and gain all the experience she could. She said she initially thought real estate would be a stopgap until she got around to her “real” career. 

In the meantime, Laura had fallen in love with the industry and came to the realization that she wouldn’t face the ‘glass ceiling’  in real estate that she might encounter if she took a different path.       

As she would eventually discover, three decades ago, real estate was also a challenging career for a woman looking to excel.   That didn’t turn out to be 100% true though…  After she had been with that particular company for a period of years and was one of its top producers, Laura became pregnant.  That pronouncement earned her a  30 percent decreasein her commission split, and she saw that less qualified males were receiving preferential treatment. Instead of doing the expected thing and quitting her job, Laura stayed at the company, following through on a vow to herself to become the number one agent in her office and one of the top ten agents in the company overall.    

Two years later, while standing on a stage at a company awards ceremony, Laura had what she described as an epiphany.    She was receiving multiple awards, among which were being the top producing agent in her office and the ninth highest producing agent in the company overall (out of over 700 agents with the company at that time). She had kept her promise to herself, and NOW she could leave. 

That was about the time that representatives from the local Realty Executives franchise had begun to speak to Laura about coming to work for them.    The company was female-owned, and Laura was intrigued by the idea of working for a woman-owned company.   Laura looked at other real estate companies as well but felt her possibilities for success were much greater at Realty Executives, and she made the final decision to make her move.    Her former employers didn’t make it easy for her, but the worse their behavior got, the more assured she was that she made the right choice.  She walked away from her last 7 closings and took a leap of faith.   The previous company was so bitter over her exit that they actually sent her 7 checks for $0.00 (as each of the 7 sales closed), among other antics.   

Besides the idea of working for a woman-owned company, one of the things that most attracted Laura to Realty Executives was the freedom she was given to put together a team and run her business as she felt it had to be run.    By her second year there, she was not only the top producing agent in the company but also the top producing agent worldwide for the franchise system. 

The advantages of working in a positive business environment cannot be overstated.   Open communication, employee engagement, and the collaboration and sharing of ideas are some of the basic tenets of good business practices and Laura says these were all present in those early days at Realty Executives.  From the very beginning, she just put her head down and did her job, and that type of work ethic was appreciated by her new company.   Her entrepreneurial spirit was embraced and encouraged. 

Laura is not the type of person to bounce around from job to job.  She considers herself a nose to the grindstone kind of person, a hard worker who just wants to perform well for her clients. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have ambitions. After some time with Realty Executives, she asked to open up her own satellite branch, which she did with great success for many years.   Then in 2016, she was offered the opportunity to become the Broker/Owner of her own franchise, and she jumped at the opportunity. 

Realty Executives was also a company that supported her personally as well as professionally.   They did not consider her (large/growing) family as a hindrance, but rather an asset.  In addition to running her office and managing her employees, Laura also made time to start a charity (A Touch of Home, that benefits Title One Hope – the Homeless Education Division of the Clark County School District), be a Girl Scout Leader for 9 years, and has been a Catechist teaching 7th grade for her church parish for the last 16 years (a position that she still holds today).   

About 16 years ago, Laura’s husband John joined her in the business.    In the early 90s, Laura had encouraged him to get his real estate license, but he wasn’t really interested at the time.  

Eventually, he changed his mind and went to work with her. Now he is an integral cog in the company’s wheel, handling what they like to call “Field Services”, which includes a lot of the marketing functions (such as photography, video, 3D tours) and property management functions such as weekly property checks, walk-throughs, attending inspections, etc.    Their partnership works so well because while John is out making sure all is well with the properties, Laura sticks close to the office, ensuring that things are running smoothly there. Together, the two of them manage to make the business side of their relationship work with the personal side, which is quite demanding. 

The Harbisons are parents to seven children, ages 31 to 12, and four of them are still living at home.  As anyone who has ever been a parent to more than one child can attest to, one of the most challenging things to accomplish is time management, especially with the young ones. Homework has to be completed, play dates have to be made, and sporting events need to be attended. 

Last year,  in 2019, John and Laura experienced every parent’s nightmare, when they lost their oldest son to a very aggressive cancer that had been detected only 12 months prior.   During that prior 12 months, they worked together to keep the business afloat, while dealing with doctors and treatments (much of that out of state due to the rare type of cancer), and while taking care of their other 6 children’s needs (physical and emotional).   While many families are torn apart by these types of events, it has brought the Harbison family closer together.       

Over her 30 years in the industry, Laura has obtained many professional designations — ABR, AHWD, BPOR, BS, CDPE, CRS, DRB, GRI, PSA, RSPS, and SRES.   Among her many other accolades, she has been named one of the top 100 agents in the country by the Wall Street Journal and has been Realty Executives’ #1 Team Worldwide 16 different years. 

Laura says she also sees strength in numbers when it comes to staffing her office.   Her goal is to continue to foster a workplace climate that encourages team collaboration and success. Being in a position to create that kind of workplace for herself and her employees is surely one of life’s highs. 

laura harbison


The Journey of Leora Ruzin: Senior Vice President of Wholesales, EPM


NAWRB’s Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council brings you the story of NAWRB Certified Delegate Spokeswoman, Leora Ruzin. With our Story Tree, we want to showcase the ups, downs, and in-betweens of our team’s careers and lives. Help us grow our tree by sending in your own leadership stories! 

My story is one that has been told before, and it is not totally out of the ordinary. I had a troubled childhood; one that was fraught with abuse and neglect. I was often left to take care of myself, and that self-reliance is the foundation for everything I do. I grew up far quicker than I should have but having a level of maturity that early on has served me relatively well in my adult life.  

Well, before I graduated from high school, I knew I wanted to do more in life than what my small town would afford me, so I graduated early and joined the Army. My time in the service is one that I look back on fondly, and one of the biggest regrets I have from my younger days is that I did not retire from the military. I would re-enlist in a heartbeat if I knew they would take me back, and the life lessons I learned have helped shaped the leader and person I am today. 

I have dealt with unimaginable loss in my life, and nothing has had a lasting impact on me quite like the death of two of my children. While I am blessed to have four children, losing Victoria and Hayden in infancy is an indescribable experience. While it took me a long time to recover from the losses, I truly feel the experience has made me a better mother and a more compassionate person. I understood the importance of giving love and praise as often as possible, not only with my kids, but my family, friends, and colleagues. Life is fleeting and you never know when the next comment you say to someone may be your last. 

When I got into the mortgage industry in 2007, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My background was in accounting and human resources, and I was largely ignorant of not only the industry but how much it was in turmoil during this time. All I knew was that, as I was learning more about the business while handling the office manager duties, I became more and more entrenched. Before long, I was not only managing all the payroll, accounting, and HR, but I was instrumental in building dedicated mortgage back-office operations. I stood up a closing department, post-closing department, and oversaw all the licensing and compliance for the company. The rest, as they say, is history.  

Over the last 20 years, I have battled ovarian, cervical, and colon cancer, and am happy to say that I have been in remission since 2016. I have endured so many surgeries, treatments, and stays in the hospital, and there are times where my body reminds me of all I have been through. I have battled depression, anxiety, and a severe panic disorder throughout all of this, but I never let it get in the way of me achieving my goals and dreams. I will not lie in that there have been moments in my life where I wanted to give up, especially when I was also faced with misogyny, sexist and discriminatory treatment in the workplace. As a victim of rape and sexual assault, combined with a childhood filled with being told I was not “good enough” or “pretty enough”, it has been easy for me to believe it when I was told I was not worthy of the positions that I have worked so hard to attain.  

As I entered my 40’s, I experienced a paradigm shift in my way of thinking, after dealing far too long with discrimination. With the help and support of my most trusted friends and colleagues, I made the decision to invest in myself and got into a coaching program that literally changed my life. Through this coaching, I have gained valuable tools to advocate for myself, promote my own self-worth, while removing the negative space I was letting the “haters” rent in my head. When I combined this mental shift in thought with a renewed focus on improving my physical and mental health, after a recent medical scare and the unexpected death of my mother, I can happily say that I am stronger than I ever have been. While I still encounter misogyny and discrimination and am still working on my mental health issues, I am now equipped with the tools to rise above them 

My goal and vision as a Delegated Spokeswoman for NAWRB are to be able to use my life experiences to help other women who have a story like mine. In addition, I want to take the passion I have for this industry to help others achieve the American Dream of homeownership. I specifically want to help our veterans and service members have a better and more secure transition from military to civilian life. I want other women who have had to suffer in silence to know that they are not alone and that they can achieve their goalsWith the tools I have access to through NAWRB, along with the network of phenomenal women who are also Delegated Spokeswomen, I am excited to see what I can accomplish in the months and years to come.  

leora ruzin

The Journey of Brandy Nelson: Executive Director of Foreclosure and Commercial properties, Windermere Homes & Estates


NAWRB’s Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council brings you the story of NAWRB Certified Delegate Spokeswoman, Brandy Nelson. With our Story Tree, we want to showcase the ups, downs, and in-betweens of our team’s careers and lives. Help us grow our tree by sending in your own leadership stories! 

Covid 19 has changed the way we do business but we have adapted and thrived. Our business was done through Zoom which allowed us to have a larger target audience and kept us all engaged. I have Zoom calls daily which is good and bad, considering I sometimes have 4 Zoom calls a day and find it hard to get other work done.  On top of adapting to everything else, I had to also adapt to having a 4- and 6-year-old at home with online schooling.  As a mom who runs a business and a team, you feel that you have to be at all places at once. But we make it work.  The pandemic has caused a lot of stress but being able to have groups and Zoom calls was able to keep everyone energized, motivated, and successful.  Many women I know wanted to give up because they felt that they had no choice but they were given options.  We had lots of masterminds and worked on what is working now in our business.   

brandy nelson

The Journey of Nancy Obando: Senior Vice President, Mountain West Financial


NAWRB’s Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council brings you the story of NAWRB Certified Delegate Spokeswoman, Nancy Obando. With our Story Tree, we want to showcase the ups, downs, and in-betweens of our team’s careers and lives. Help us grow our tree by sending in your own leadership stories! 

Being an advocate and empowering others came at an early age for Nancy. Coming from personal experience, she understands the systemic struggles and cultural nuances that may stifle growth and development within various minority communities. Early on she understood that she wanted to make a difference in people’s lives — Especially minority women like her. She saw the struggle her mother endured and accepted because she believed she did not have another choice. Growing up in a home where women are not to be seen or heard, the belief that she was to be raised like a lady and simply marry a man who will take care of her financial needs was simply not a value she believed in and certainly not a value that she plans on instilling in her 2 young sons. Her drive comes from the struggle of being outcast by her own parents simply by choosing to move out, be independent, and go to college. Nancy saw the struggle and stumbling blocks she faced in her own home and understood that she was going to make a difference and empower women’s lives — to give other minority women the courage and voice to dream and achieve whatever their goal might be. She mentors, sponsors, and advocates for women empowerment. Nancy’s vision is creating wealth opportunities through homeownership and to establish a deep-rooted foundation toward mentoring more women leaders in the real estate, finance, and development sector.  

“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception” – Ruth Bader Ginsberg  

nancy obando

The Journey of Laura Dietz: Owner/Broker/Auctioneer, Summit Realty


NAWRB’s Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council brings you the story of NAWRB Certified Delegate Spokeswoman, Laura Dietz. With our Story Tree, we want to showcase the ups, downs, and in-betweens of our team’s careers and lives. Help us grow our tree by sending in your own leadership stories! 

I would love to tell you years ago while sitting in my college classroom, I dreamt of becoming a real estate professional, but that would not be true. I could go with a resume of my life, but this would be a novel, so I will start with the day my real estate journey began.

January 17, 1994, 4:30 AM, a day etched in my memory forever. The Northridge earthquake claimed my home, knocking it off the foundation. Three days later, my husband of many years died. Reality set in like the jolt of the earthquake. I was now alone, my home destroyed, and the sole support of myself.

In my previous life, I enjoyed, in my spare time, working with several charities. Event planning, fundraising, and finding real estate to purchase was second nature for me. I decided I loved working with people, helping others, and venturing into a new industry would be stimulating and very rewarding. I set my mind on a career in real estate.

Upon obtaining my real estate license, I joined a national/international real estate company. That worked well for five years. Then it dawned on me that I was giving several thousand dollars a year to a broker that could be going into my pocket. I obtained my broker’s license and created Merlin Enterprises, named after my rescued Arabian horse. Throughout the next few years, Merlin Enterprises grew and specialized in residential, commercial, REO’s, and government contracts. I spent numerous hours servicing my clients as well as attending conferences, conventions, and networking. I created a name for myself and a following in the industry.

While attending an out-of-state conference, I was approached by a real estate auctioneer. He offered me the opportunity to add real estate auction services to my already booming real estate business. I jumped at the chance. Merlin Enterprises now offered California a new real estate auction company. My business was thriving, but after 13 scheduled auctions, my auctioneer developed a case of homesickness and announced he needed to go back to his home state. I enrolled myself at the American School of Auctioneering and, upon completion of the courses, became the first woman certified real estate auctioneer in California at that time. I soon decided to distinguish my real estate business from my auction business and created a women-owned business specializing in real estate. Summit Realty was born.

Summit Realty presently has four offices in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. I am as passionate about real estate today as I was 26 years ago. Working with people to fulfill their dreams of homeownership, coupled with helping fellow agents by sharing my knowledge and experience plus continuing my education in an ever-changing industry, fills my days with gratitude and satisfaction. I would be remiss in not mentioning there are those days of frustration as well, but I still find time to go back to my roots and be hands-on involved with my charities, even serving on the board of directors of the Warrior Dog Foundation.

laura dietz

Congratulations 2020 NAWRB Leadership Award Winner Sharron P.A. Levine, Director of FHFA’s Office of Minority & Women Inclusion!


NAWRB is proud to award Sharron P.A. Levine with the 2020 Government Official Leader Award! Levine is the Director of FHFA’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion. She leads the Agency’s oversight of the diversity and inclusion (D&I) programs of FHFA’s regulated entities, which include Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Common Securitization Platform (CSS), the 11 Federal Home Loan Banks, and the Office of Finance. Sharron has more than 35 years of legal experience in the financial services industry representing corporate, institutional, governmental, and private entities in many aspects of real estate law, including construction and permanent loan financing; housing finance; leveraged buyouts; and more. Levine has delivered numerous keynote and other speeches across the industry and has been nominated several times for awards in Diversity and Inclusion for the work that FHFA has accomplished in this critical area.

Each year, the NAWRB Leadership Awards honor women leaders in the housing ecosystem who are utilizing their expertise and passion to break glass ceilings in the corporate world and facilitate the growth of their local communities. Congratulations, Sharron P.A. Levine!

Congratulations 2020 NAWRB Leadership Award Nava Michael-Tsabari, Director of the Raya Strauss Center for Family Business Research!


NAWRB is proud to award Nava Michael-Tsabari with the 2020 Family Office Leader Award! Michael-Tsabari is the director of the Raya Strauss Center for Family Business Research at The School of Management, Tel Aviv University. Nava received a Ph.D. from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology and is a researcher and an educator on the subject of family businesses. She is also a 3rd generation of the industrial Strauss family, worked in the group and served on the board of directors of its publicly-traded company. Nava published several papers and received academic awards, among them the 2012 FFI Best Unpublished Paper and the 2014 Best Article of the Family Business Review.

Each year, the NAWRB Leadership Awards honor women leaders in the housing ecosystem who are utilizing their expertise and passion to break glass ceilings in the corporate world and facilitate the growth of their local communities. Congratulations, Nava Michael-Tsabari!