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The Week Ahead: The Keys to Building a More Diverse Workforce

On Wednesday, August 18, the American Mortgage Diversity Council (AMDC), a Five Star Institute membership group, will host the second of its 2021 Diversity & Inclusion Webinar Series, at 11:30 a.m. CDT, “A Diversity of Talent: A Guide to Recruiting, Hiring, and Promoting Your Workforce.”

Over the course of three weeks in August, 15-plus subject-matter experts and leaders in the industry will discuss pressing diversity and inclusion topics impacting today's mortgage business. This year's agenda features three educational panels covering topics regarding minority homeownership, talent diversity, and employee resource groups.

This week’s webinar will focus on diversity and inclusion (D&I) recruiting, hiring, and promotion strategies that give your company a competitive advantage over the others. Learn how to approach these areas with expanded creativity and problem-solving, better decision-making, increased productivity, and employee engagement.

Webinar panelists will include J. Anthony Van Ness, Founder, Managing Partner for the Van Ness Law Firm; John Drumgoole, Jr., VP, Minority Lending for New American Funding; Paul Gigliotti CEO and Founder of Axis Lending Academy; Wendy Wilson, AVP Strategic Initiatives of DHI Mortgage; and Sharon Edwards-Parris, Senior Recruiter, Human Resources for Cenlar.

Van Ness is the Founder and Managing Partner of Van Ness Law Firm, a Florida default and litigation law firm with locations in Deerfield Beach and Miami. The firm has represented national mortgage lenders and servicers since 2004, making it one of the older default firms serving Florida. In addition, J. Anthony Van Ness serves on multiple boards for trade, associations, and charity.

Drumgoole Jr. uses his skillset to help grow his company’s market share, working with other leaders across multiple channels. He has 10-plus years’ operational experience in sales, business development, and financial services, and he has placed some $1 billion in market volume through strategic growth efforts. He is active in several trade associations including the Mortgage Bankers Association and is an award-winning author and a regular contributor to Forbes.

Gigliotti has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services and technology industries. He has held executive roles for multiple mortgage lenders and has a distinguished track record of growing lending platforms and streamlining internal and external operational processes. Gigliotti serves as chair of AXIS Lending Academy, a non-profit education program that offers free hybrid education training to people seeking a career in the mortgage industry while helping home lenders diversify their workforce and lower costs. He also serves on the California Mortgage Bankers Association’s board of directors.

Wilson manages the DHI Mortgage Homebuyers Club, a department dedicated to helping buyers prepare for successful homeownership by providing guidance surrounding credit and education. She also leads recruiting initiatives including the Mortgage Mastery Program, a program designed for young professionals transitioning from campus to corporate lifestyle by providing training and mentorship, helping to create the next generation of mortgage professionals. Wilson also serves on the DHI Financial Services Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Committee.

Edwards-Parris has more than 20 years of staffing-industry experience with a concentration in diversity recruiting and a deep commitment to making a difference in people’s lives. Edwards-Parris is a volunteer for Delaware State College where she mentors students on workforce readiness and at the Urban League of Philadelphia where she provides interview advice to students in the nonprofit’s signature Project Ready program designed to prepare high school students for both college and careers.

The third and final webinar in the 2021 Diversity & Inclusion Series will be held August 25, titled, “Learn From Your ERGs: A Valuable Resource For Company Feedback on Initiatives.”

Here's what else is happening in The Week Ahead:

About Author: Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.

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