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Women With Vision Magazine
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2022 WWV Award Winners
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“The human capacity for burden is like bamboo - far more flexible than you'd ever believe at first glance.”
- Jodi Picoult
Kirti’s vision is to see women in the mortgage industry at the forefront taking the lead toward key industry leadership and executive roles. Kirti is highly personable and dedicates herself to providing top-notch service to her clients, loan officers, and associates.
Kirti brings heart and soul to her team. She is a true team player who is always going the extra mile to help colleagues and teammates alike. Besides her primary job as a processor, she also excels in her role as a business development director.
She has a knack for connecting with people and thrives on closing deals effectively and efficiently because a closed deal means a home for her client. Kirti puts a lot of energy into building a strong workforce at the branch and actively recruits new staff and helps train them. She doesn’t shy away from challenges, which makes her an incredible asset to the team.
Say Yes, Everyday!
- Laura Brandao
Laura Brandao’s vision for the future of women in the mortgage industry is tied to her continued and unwavering commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion in all facets and roles in financial services as it pertains to those working in the industry and those whom the industry serves as clientele.
She has a clear and unshakeable conviction that informs her actions daily. Laura Brandao is one of the most influential and inspirational leaders in the financial industry today. She champions the values of diversity, inclusivity, and equality for all with passion and by setting an example of what it means to be a woman with vision in a leadership role. For more than two decades, Laura has been assessing the needs of the mortgage industry and responding. As president and partner of American Financial Resources, she led the company and the entire industry in developing unique products to support the ever-changing demands of the housing market. Laura has been a consistent voice for new product development, as well as placing technology at the forefront of the mortgage process.
Laura recently became the Chief Growth Officer and partner at EPM (Equity Prime Mortgage). Her vision for EPM is laser-focused on empowering their clients with knowledge, opportunities, and the educational tools they need to navigate the mortgage process easily and clearly. Laura’s vision is to provide opportunities for home ownership and financial success to everyone on an equal basis.
Laura continues to work tirelessly to encourage, support, and educate women who aspire to have a career in the financial service business. Laura has lent her time and considerable energy and enthusiasm to organizations that promote and support women in business. She is chair of the Women with Vision and National Association of Minority Mortgage Bankers of America’s Visionary program. Laura is a board member of the Mortgage Bankers Association of New Jersey (MBANJ) serving as chair of the women’s committee. As Chair of the Women with Vision division of 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching, Laura serves as an advisor for the virtual training program dedicated to providing women with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive and excel in their chosen profession. As Chair of NAMMBA’s Visionary program, she has actively recruited over 100 corporate partners to support the college recruitment drive.
Laura’s catchphrase, “Say Yes Everyday!” is both her signature saying and her personal mantra for maintaining a positive outlook and a mindset of gratitude and the courage to take every opportunity to learn, grow and serve others with her actions and words.
Laura lives by these words and builds their lesson into every challenge. Saying yes is being able to take a leap of faith and feel confident enough to accept the outcome and continue to grow as a result. And saying yes means letting your unique light shine to help, support, encourage, and inspire others while allowing their light to impact you as well.
Step up and serve others fully.
Learn more about Julia...
Julia has overcome a lot of adversity, including her mother’s death when Julia was 11, and her father’s death when she was 32. Julia qualified for a scholarship to come to the U.S. for school and earned her associate degree before returning to Panama where she earned both a bachelor’s and a master's degree.
After returning to the US, Julia became involved in real estate where she continued to learn and grow. She is licensed in Texas, and when COVID hit Julia used the time to earn her New Mexico real estate license, as well as become a Certified Zig Ziglar Life Coach. Julia is always learning and helping others.
Julia’s vision continues to mature alongside her growth as a leader in the real estate industry. She is an eternal optimist and is committed to mentoring other realtors and expanding her real estate offerings.
Seek to grow as a leader, as a recruiter, as a mentor to other originators and the opportunities are endless.
Life Begins Outside Your Comfort Zone.
Learn more about Cristy...
Cristy’s passion for doing what’s right and advancing our industry through responsible innovation is unmatched. Throughout her 20-year career, she has developed tremendous respect from her peers, colleagues, and industry professionals to become the leader she is today. Cristy’s deep understanding of our profession and the trust she has earned inspires confidence in everyone around her and is why she is viewed as a prominent thought leader in our space. Because of her commitment to the industry and leadership, she has been recognized in many ways, including The Collateral Risk Network’s peer award Valuation Visionary in 2020.
Cristy’s vision is for women to be in leadership roles that strive to improve outdated processes and ensure fairness in valuation is accessible to all properties and consumers. Cristy sees women at the forefront of enacting change and bringing diversity into the appraisal profession. Cristy is one of the most well-regarded professionals in our industry. No matter which capacity she fulfills, Cristy is always focused on the best for our profession.
“A strong woman knows she has strength enough for the journey, but a woman of strength knows it is in the journey where she will become strong.”
– Unknown
Aliza is an inspiring role model for anyone wanting to live their best life. She readily shares her vision of empowerment so people can lay the foundation of a solid, independent future. She is a hard worker who is creative, helpful, and always willing to learn. Her bright energy and enthusiasm are a motivating force and equally essential when building new relationships and more business. She has an impressive educational background and a fearless attitude which she relies on to create more opportunities for her clients and colleagues. Aliza is always looking to grow the pie for everyone rather than just having the big piece. This business is more than just closing loans for Aliza, it is about empowering people by helping them own their biggest asset, their home.
Aliza’s vision has always been to empower people in general, and women in particular, who will then pave the way for other people’s success. She wants women to be self-sufficient and in control of their lives and finances. Aliza has a two-prong approach to this when it comes to the banking industry. The first is mentoring, training, and hiring more women to live their most successful lives by making it big in the mortgage industry. Secondly, Aliza uses her mortgage knowledge to educate borrowers through seminars and coaching sessions so they can realize their American dream of owning a home. This will lay the foundation for a solid, independent life for them. As an immigrant woman of color, she understands the double whammy of struggles women face. She uses her experiences to guide those who need support, whether they are colleagues, clients, or anyone looking to make it big in the banking world.
“I've learned people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
– Maya Angelou
Learn more about Alex...
Alex’s vision is for a future ruled by kindness, support, and encouragement in which we use our strengths to lift each other up and build a world with more hope and opportunity for all. While women continue to fight for our rights and equality every single day, it is now more important than ever to make our voices heard. In her life, Alex views each step forward as a new opportunity to do better and be better – her hope is to one day use her power to make a lasting difference. Alex manages the First Option Mortgage (FOM) marketing department, organizes the company’s brand image and day-to-day activities for the FOM marketing team. Alex is ambitious and a solid leader who continues to build strong reputation in the industry.
Too many families depend on me every day for me to do anything but give my all.
Learn more about Elena...
Elena Boland is the kind of leader who lives her vision every day. It’s about introducing women to the mortgage community. She believes we must find them and build them up through education. She is selfless when it comes to giving new LOs a hand up and always willing to answer questions and offer advice from lessons learned in 17 years in the industry. Brokers are family to Elena’s way of thinking. She has volunteered to teach at local high schools about finance and invites summer interns to enable young women to become familiar with what it is like to work in the mortgage world.
Elena has earned Top Broker and Loan Officer/Originator in Scottsman for several years. In 2021, she was the Women Mortgage Network (WMN) Chair and the Sparking Change award winner for AIME and a Women With Vision Award Winner, and 2022 marks her second year as a Women With Vision Award Winner.
Elena knows what it takes to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Her story is one of family, hard work, and the relentless pursuit of her dreams. She is a prime believer that brokers bring a greater sense of connection to their community as local mortgage experts and are inherent parts of the communities they serve.