- Joseph Nery, 2016 President
- Teresa Palacios-Smith, Immediate Past President
- Leo Pareja, 2016 President Elect
- Gary Acosta, Co-Founder & CEO
- Liza Mendez, Secretary
- Rich Hernandez, Treasurer
- David Acosta, Director
- Gerardo ``Jerry`` Ascencio, Foundation Chairman
- Marisa Calderon, Executive Director, Ex-Officio
- Armando Falcon, Director
- Danny Hernandez, Director
- Helen Hernandez Archer, Director
- Daisy Lopez-Cid, Director
- Luis Padilla, Director
- Juan Martinez, Director
- Pamela Valenciano, Director
Joseph Nery is one of the members of Nery & Richardson LLC and his practice is focused in four areas: real estate, corporate and business law, estate planning and commercial and civil litigation. Mr. Nery represents individuals and companies in litigation matters such as foreclosure prosecution, consumer protection, breach of contract and landlord/tenant disputes. Prior to establishing his own law practice, Mr. Nery was a transactional attorney with two of Chicago’s most prominent law firms.
Mr. Nery served as president of the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals® (NAHREP) from 2009 -2011. He has served as a national board member of NAHREP since 2012 and was elected 2015 NAHREP President Elect. Mr. Nery has also served as a board member of the Illinois Real Estate Lawyers Association since 2008. He is an active member of the American Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association and Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois. Mr. Nery’s charitable affiliations include serving as a board member of the March of Dimes/Comcast Sports Awards Dinner and the Rauner YMCA. He is a frequent speaker on topics such as business formation and development, establishment of estate plans, short sales, foreclosure prevention, predatory lending, collections enforcement and the purchase and sale of a home. He is regularly featured on legal and business segments with Univision and Telemundo Chicago in radio and television.
Mr. Nery obtained his law degree with distinction from the Hofstra University School of Law in Long Island, New York where he was a recipient of the Patricia Roberts Harris Fellowship. He received a bachelor of arts in political science with honors from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
Teresa Palacios Smith is immediate past president of The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals® (NAHREP). She is vice president of business development and cultural initiative for Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Georgia Properties. Ms. Palacios Smith is responsible for business development and corporate marketing of Relocation Services, HUD and REO properties, International & Rental Services and Affinity Marketing Program. She has over 20 years of experience in the real estate industry, is fluent in Spanish and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcasting and Public Relations from Mississippi State University.
Ms. Palacios Smith is ranked as the number one Latina real estate agent in Georgia and ranked number 49 real estate agent in the country by the NAHREP as published in the most recent release of NAHREP’S Top 250 list. She has been named by the Atlanta Tribune Magazine as one of Atlanta’s Superwomen for her leadership and advocacy in the Hispanic community. She resides in Georgia with her husband Mike and two children Jessica and Jeffrey.
A broker since 2002, Leo Pareja has been recognized nationally as an industry expert and top producer. He was recognized as one of the 30 Under 30 Class of 2011 by Realtor Magazine and ranked as the #5 team in the country by the Wall Street Journal the same year. He was recognized as the #1 agent in the country by NAHREP on the 2013 Top 250 Latino Agents list and is founding President of NAHREP Metro DC.
Gary Acosta is the co-founder and CEO of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP®) and a 25-year veteran of the housing industry. NAHREP is the nation’s largest minority real estate trade association with over 20,000 members and 40 local chapters. In his capacity as CEO of NAHREP, he created the Hispanic Wealth Project, a new 501c3 non-profit organization with a strategic plan to triple Hispanic household wealth by 2024. Mr. Acosta also authored The NAHREP 10, the principles that guide NAHREP members towards a career of wealth and prosperity, and he is the creator of 53 Million and One® , a one of a kind, theatrical presentation that chronicles the true life story of Jerry Ascencio, and his journey from immigrant to successful real estate entrepreneur.
Mr. Acosta has also founded or co-founded several mortgage, real estate and technology companies including New Vista Asset Management, CounselorMax, and RealEstateEspanol.com. In 2013 he co-founded The Mortgage Collaborative, a cooperative of mortgage companies who work together to increase profitability and market share.
Mr. Acosta is a former appointee of the consumer advisory board (CAB) of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the powerful federal agency responsible for regulating consumer protection in the financial services industry. He served as 2014 chairman of the CAB mortgage committee.
In 2012, the Mortgage Bankers Association of America awarded him with their prestigious “Investing in Communities” annual award. REALTOR® Magazine named him one of the 25 Most Influential People in real estate, and Hispanic Business Magazine named him one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in America.
He is a former member of the board of directors of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America and has served on advisory boards for several Fortune 500 companies including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Mr. Acosta grew up in Montebello, California and received his education from East Los Angeles College, Pomona College and the University of California at San Diego. He lives with his family in San Diego, California
Liza E. Mendez is a second generation REALTOR® and broker/owner serving the Miami marketplace for over 30 years. She graduated from the University of Miami in 1981 with bachelor’s degree in business administration with a marketing specialization. Ms. Mendez holds designations in CRB, CRS, GRI, e-PRO as well as active participation in the local, state and national REALTOR® associations. She served as the 2014 chairman of the board for the Miami Association of Realtors with over 32,000 members at that time. She is one of the founding members for the NAHREP South Florida Chapter. Her company assists real estate clients in the residential, commercial and property management sectors.
Rich Hernandez has experience as a REALTOR® with a background in marketing and administration. Mr. Hernandez has grossed over $1 billion in sales and has built a strong sales team covering a large geographic area. His knowledge in brand management, competitive intelligence, and account management has allowed him to success in sales for the past 25 years.
Mr. Hernandez is co-owner of Comfort Real Estate Services Inc. and operates Coastal Properties Escrow Inc. in Ventura and Orange County. He also co-manages One Thirteen Capital Fund LLC, a real estate fund.
2013 President, NAHREP El Paso
Broker Associate, Keller Williams Realty David Acosta Real Estate Group As a consistent top producing agent, David experienced much success in his local real estate market of El Paso, Texas. His achievements inspired him to expand his business to the high-end market of Los Angeles, California. David was the founding president of NAHREP El Paso and currently sits on the NAHREP Corporate Board of Governors and lends his expertise on real estate to the association.
Gerardo “Jerry” Ascencio
Gerardo “Jerry” Ascencio is chairman of the NAHREP Foundation and broker-owner of San Fernando Realty. A 25-year veteran of real estate, he is also the 2012 former president of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals® (NAHREP). NAHREP is the largest minority real estate trade association in America with over 20,000 members and 35 local chapters nationwide.
Mr. Ascencio is widely recognized as one of the most charismatic speakers in the real estate industry today. A native of Michoacán, Mexico, Mr. Ascencio’s own immigrant experience has made him an impassioned advocate for homeownership and economic empowerment for all Americans. Between 2012 and 2014, he anchored 100 episodes of ESN, NAHREP’s highly successful YouTube talk Show. In 2014, he starred in 53 Million and One®, a one of a kind theatrical presentation that chronicles his extraordinary life story. The show premiered at the NAHREP National Convention and Latin Music Festival in Los Angeles, California and is on a national tour in 2015.
Mr. Ascencio also owns Mission Realty REO and serves on the board of the National Community Stabilization Trust. He is the founding president of the NAHREP San Fernando-Santa Clarita chapter and has also held local leadership roles with the Southland Regional Association of REALTOR®s.
Marisa Calderon is executive director of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP). She is an 18 year veteran of the financial services and housing industry.
Ms. Calderon takes a direct role in the association’s conference and event planning efforts, including NAHREP’s Housing Policy and Hispanic Lending Conference in Washington, D.C. and the association’s marquee event, the National Convention and Latin Music Festival.
She has prior advocacy and leadership experience as a chairman of the board of the California Wilderness Coalition where she engaged in grassroots efforts, and leveraged relationships with Congressional offices.
Ms. Calderon serves on the Fannie Mae Affordable Housing Advisory Council, Advisory board of Banc of California, on the board of directors of the Hispanic Wealth Project and is co-author of the association’s annual publication, The State of Hispanic Homeownership. She speaks at conferences and events regarding NAHREP’s advocacy efforts, policy positions and on general Hispanic housing trends.
Ms. Calderon is a graduate of University of California at Berkeley with a bachelor of arts in anthropology.
Armando Falcon, CEO of Falcon Capital Advisors LLC, is an expert on real estate markets, financial services regulation, and corporate governance. He provides strategic consulting services to a wide range of clients on issues such as mortgage market policy reforms, capital market financing, corporate governance reviews, regulatory compliance matters, and new mortgage market product innovations.
He previously served as the chief regulator for two of the largest financial institutions in the world, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Nominated by President Bill Clinton and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to the position of Director of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), Mr. Falcon continued to serve in this role into President George W. Bush’s second term. He played a key role in overseeing the U.S. secondary mortgage market and the stability of the U.S. housing finance system.
During Mr. Falcon’s tenure, he transformed OFHEO from a small struggling agency into a strong respected regulator that was recognized by the Washington Post as a courageous and highly effective agency. Through his work at OFHEO, he is now credited with raising early warnings about the latent dangers in the US housing market. In 2003, he initiated an agency report on systemic risks in the mortgage market. He led an OFHEO investigation of financial misconduct at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and initiated corrective measures to address structural deficiencies at both companies. He oversaw the introduction of higher standards for risk management, accounting and corporate governance. In addition to managing the agency and its diverse staff of some two hundred experienced examiners, financial analysts and attorneys, he also served on the President’s Corporate Fraud Task Force.
Before his appointment as the Director of OFHEO, Mr. Falcon served as the General Counsel for the Committee on Banking and Financial Services of the U.S. House of Representatives. In that capacity, he was responsible for advising the Committee on all major financial issues, including the Savings and Loan crisis. He was instrumental in drafting many key laws, including legislation regarding deposit insurance and regulatory reform, money laundering, interstate branching, consumer protection, and government securities reform.
He remains a trusted advisor to senior government officials, and in 2009, he was selected by the Comptroller General of the Government Accountability Office to serve on the Comptroller General’s Advisory Board. He also advises foreign government officials and business executives on how to develop effective primary and secondary mortgage markets. In addition, he is a regular speaker at investor and business conferences around the world.
Mr. Falcon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Mary’s University, a master’s in public policy from Harvard University, and a law degree from the University of Texas.
2013 President, NAHREP Central Florida
Danny is the founder of Evista REsources Realty, Inc. A consistent honoree of the Top 250 Latino Agent award, Danny has found much success working with developers both in Florida and abroad. Danny currently sits on the NAHREP Corporate Board of Governors where he provides market intelligence and advises the association on important business development ideas.
Helen Hernandez Archer
Helen Hernandez Archer is originally from San Juan Puerto Rico and comes from a family of REALTOR®s as her father was one of the first brokers and real estate instructors on the island along with her mother.
Ms. Archer has an associate broker’s license in Georgia and is partner owner of Luxe Living Properties at Keller Williams First Atlanta. Since 2006, she has more than $60 million in volume and hundreds of homes.
Ms. Archer specializes in corporate relocation, global investor clients and luxury global marketing. She currently serves clients as the relocation agent for Fortune 500 companies like CNN, AT&T, Coca Cola and Georgia Power.
She is a member of the Atlanta Board of REALTOR® s, the Georgia Association of REALTOR® s, the National Association of REALTOR® s, the Tom Ferry Organization Real Estate Business Coaching. She was president of the Atlanta chapter of National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals® (NAHREP) in 2013 and was part of the Agent Leadership Council at Keller Williams for the years 2007, 2008, 2010
Prior to being a real estate consultant she was an awarded veteran journalist with Telemundo, CBS and CNN where she won an Emmy Award for the 9-11 Coverage and a Peabody Award for the Katrina Coverage. With CNN she traveled many countries as a producer and managed all the political and presidential elections coverage for CNN in 2004.
Daisy Lopez-Cid served as president of the Central Florida chapter of National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals® (NAHREP) in 2012.
Ms. Lopez-Cid’s served as head paralegal in the Spanish division of the Department for Immigration Services and moved on to work for an established law firm. Following that experience, she ventured in the real estate industry and became one of the top producers for Century 21 in Kissimmee, FL. In 2005, she joined the RE/MAX executive group where she continued to excel in making people’s dreams of home ownership come true. After seven years as a top sales agent with RE/MAX, Ms. Lopez-Cid purchased a RE/MAX franchise.
RE/MAX Premier Properties opened its doors in 2007, quickly establishing itself as the leading agency in Central Florida and the largest RE/MAX office in Osceola County. She facilitates first time home buying and foreclosure prevention seminars throughout Central Florida. Ms. Lopez-Cid was voted a Top 10 Hispanic REALTOR® s in the United States for 2012 and 2013, was a finalist for La Prensa Newspaper’s Hispanic Women Who Make a Difference Awards, and the 2011 Puerto Rican Parade Boriken Award for Business Woman of the Year. She currently serves as the President for the Board of Directors of the Osceola County Association of REALTOR® s and is affiliated with the Women’s Council for REALTOR®s.
Appointed by Governor Rick Scott, she currently volunteers her time to serve as a Trustee to Valencia Community College (VCC).. Ms. Lopez-Cid is committed to various philanthropic causes, including the Children’s Advocacy Center, Little League Team in Osceola County, the Osceola Council on Aging, the Community Business Initiative Council, Relay for Life, and Meals on Wheels among many others.
2015 President, NAHREP South Florida
Luis’ career has taken him from commercial and residential lending, to property management and real estate sales, as well as owning numerous real estate businesses over the past 20 years. Ranked consistently as a top agent nationally, Luis is now the co-owner of RE/MAX Oceanside Realty along with his wife, Debbie.
Juan Martinez is the Broker/Owner of Century 21 Martinez & Associates. A leading figure within the real estate industry, Mr. Martinez has been pushing the boundaries of production over the course of his 13 year career. He concluded his successful sales career with over 4,000 closed transactions (with 584 closed transactions in his last year of production), resulting in $16 million in commissions. Since then, Mr. Martinez has laser-focused his efforts towards building an innovative company devoted entirely to training and coaching real estate agents.
For the first 10 years of his 13 year career, he functioned as an award winning real estate agent. The Wall Street Journal’s Top Trends Report named him the “#1 Hispanic Agent” and “#13 Team” in the nation. In 2011, Mr. Martinez was named number 1 producing Latino real estate agent in the country per the NAHREP Top 250 list. During his time operating within the RE/MAX brand, he was a seven time winner of the Chairman’s Circle Award, three time Diamond Award winner, as well as the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement award and a Hall of Fame Award. He also led his team to be named one of the Top 100 Teams in the World, a recognition they’ve received multiple times.
In 2009, Mr. Martinez served as president of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) Nevada chapter. He also served on their National Board before going on to hold the position of NAHREP National President for 2013 and 2014. Since the onset of his involvement with the NAHREP organization, he has collaborated with many leaders in the Housing industry, including Shaun Donovan, former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, former President Bill Clinton, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and FHA Commissioner and Assistant Secretary for Housing, Carol Galante. He has also lent his extensive industry insight to leading media outlets such as CNN and CNN Español.
Recently, Mr. Martinez has turned his focus towards the formation of a comprehensive back-end system based on 5 Pillars for powerhouse production. With the assistance of internationally recognized real estate coach, Mike Ferry, of the Mike Ferry Organization, from whom Mr. Martinez has been coached by for the entirety of his career, he was able to form his own thorough style of coaching and mentoring.
2015 President, NAHREP North County San Diego
Pamela has been serving sellers, buyers and investors throughout Southern California for over 18 years. Committed to excellence, integrity, value, and trust. Invest wisely in an outstanding and experienced professional for life’s biggest transaction. She is licensed realtor with Solutions Real Estate serving greater San Diego, Orange County and Riverside County. In addition to her real estate business, Pamela is Owner of Notarize it Document Signing Services which she has operated since 2003. She is bilingual in English and Spanish.