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The Week Ahead: Fostering a More Inclusive Workplace

The American Mortgage Diversity Council (AMDC), a Five Star Institute membership group, will host the third and final of its 2021 Diversity & Inclusion Webinar Series on Wednesday, August 25 at 11:30 a.m. CDT, “Learn From Your ERGs: A Valuable Resource For Company Feedback on Initiatives.”

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 how Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) build high-level trust and help companies flourish. ERGs foster belonging, new perspectives, and help drive innovation, serving as a great place to seek feedback and gather needed intelligence on how a company meets its diversity and inclusion (D&I) objectives.

Is your company taking advantage of this resource?

Webinar participants will include Tai Christensen, Director, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer of CBC Mortgage Agency (Chenoa Fund); Michael Ruiz, Director—Corporate Procurement and Supplier Diversity for Fannie Mae; Jason Riveiro, VP of Global Services for Realogy Holdings Corp.; and Teresa Palacios Smith, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer for HomeServices of America.

As Diversity & Inclusion Officer for CBC Mortgage Agency, Christensen has 17 years of experience in the mortgage industry, beginning in 2003 as a Contract Loan Processor for multiple mortgage brokerages in Salt Lake City. Most recently, she has become a national spokesperson for the UHOUSI Initiative, which is a plan that focuses on increasing sustainable homeownership within black and brown communities. Tai has been featured on Fox Business News, as well as written articles for the Washington Post, MReport, Real Estate Weekly, as well as has appeared on several podcasts.

In his role with Fannie Mae, Ruiz is responsible for increasing the company’s inclusion and utilization of diverse suppliers and individuals per the guidelines of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. Before joining the GSE, Ruiz resided in San Francisco, where he worked as a Supplier Diversity Consultant and was President/CEO of the Northern California Supplier Development Council.

Riveiro oversees all cross-brand global initiatives for ERA Real Estate, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate, Coldwell Banker, Corcoran, and Century 21. He has played a role in launching multicultural marketing departments at Big Lots and The Sherwin-Williams Co., and served on boards including National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals’ Corporate Board of Governors, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Business Advisory Board, WCPO Community Advisory Board, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, and many more.

Palacios Smith leads D&I efforts for HomeServices of America, an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway, overseeing the organization’s commitment to employee and agent diversity programs and represents more than 75,000 network agents globally and 6,400 employees including the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and Real Living Real Estate Franchise Network. Teresa has more than 20 years of real estate experience and is a frequent speaker and trainer at national events across the country.

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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