Voices: Courageous Conversations with Women of Color Virtual Series

Introducing a new three-part virtual series, Voices: Courageous Conversations with Women of Color. This series will explore the experience of being a woman of color in real estate finance. During this series, you will hear from a dynamic lineup of female industry leaders as they share their personal journeys and discuss solutions to bridge the gap through allyship, mentorship and sponsorship. This timely conversation will inspire and inform, while giving voice to the challenges and opportunities to help move our industry forward. 

This virtual series is complimentary for MBA Members. You must register for each installment of the Voices series. Questions? Please contact Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Past Series Offerings

Voices 1: Our Time. Our Story.

January 12 | 3:00 PM -  4:15 PM ET 

Recent events across our country have elevated the conversation around diversity, equity and inclusion. For women of color, it's time to tell their story. In the first session, we will take a deeper look into the complexities of being a minority woman in the real estate finance industry. Our panelists will share their stories and experiences, and the challenges that ultimately propelled them to success. 


Marcia M. Davies (Moderator)
Chief Operating Officer
Founder of mPower
Mortgage Bankers Association

Cerita Battles
Affordable Lending Strategy Managing Director
J.P. Morgan Chase

Laura Escobar
Lennar Mortgage

Lisa J. Haynes, CPA, MBA (Moderator)
Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer
Mortage Bankers Association

Smriti Popenoe, CFA
President and Co-Chief Investment Officer
Dynex Capital, Inc. 

Amber Rao
Vice President and Senior Mortgage Banker
Key Bank Real Estate Capital 

Voices 2: Can We Talk?

January 19 | 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM ET 

Let's get real. Our diverse panel will discuss the differing experiences of women of color with those of their white female counterparts, and explore the impact on their careers. Through candid conversation, join this interactive session to listen and weigh in on what's happening in our industry.


Trina Scott (Moderator)
Chief Diversity Officer
Rock Ventures  

AJ Barkley
Senior Vice President, Neighborhood Lending Executive Consumer Lending 
Bank of America 

Tammy K. Jones
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer 
Basis Investment Group, LLC

Cathy Pharis
Managing Director and Head of FHA Platform
Wells Fargo Multifamily Capital 

Lorraine Stewart
Senior Vice President, Mortgage Lending
Boeing Employees Credit Union 

Maria Vergara
Director of Community Lending
Fannie Mae 

Voices 3: Together We Rise.

February 2 | 3:00 PM - 4:15 PM ET 

Let's talk solutions. In the final installment of the Voices series, industry leaders will come together to discuss what's needed to help bridge the gap for women of color. This session will feature a "CEO Corner" fireside chat with two industry CEO's as they discuss the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion. Learn the importance of allyship, mentorship and sponsorship, and how we can work together to create opportunities for all women. 


Charmaine Brown (Moderator)
Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Tujuanna B. Williams (Keynote Speaker) 
Founder and CEO
Williams Consulting LLC

Mentor/Mentee Spotlight:

Jimmy Farris (Mentor)
NFL Veteran and Superbowl Champ

Darius Mirshahzadeh (Mentor)
Former President and CEO
Money Source

Mary Nguyen (Mentee) 
National Sales Manager 
CMG Financial

Tamara King (Moderator)
Vice President, Residential Policy and Member Engagement 

CEO Corner:

Patty Arvielo
New American Funding

Debra W. Still, CMB
President and Chief Executive Officer
Pulte Financial Services 

Voices: Meet our Industry Panelists