Board of Directors
- Luis Padilla, 2022 NAHREP President
- Gary Acosta, Co-Founder & CEO
- Nuria Rivera, 2022 NAHREP President-Elect
- Sara Rodriguez, Immediate Past President
- Neil Terc, Treasurer
- Neily Soto, Secretary
- Gerardo ``Jerry`` Ascencio, Hispanic Wealth Project Chairman
- Juan Martinez, Chapter Subsidiary Chairman
- Edwin Acevedo, Director
- Atila (AT) Almeida, Director
- Nora Aguirre, Director
- Rob Chevez, Director
- Mark Dimas, Director
- Francisco Fernández, Director
- Oralia Herrera, Director
- Mauricio Perez, Director
- Adriana Perezchica, Director
- Diana Sifuentes, Director
- Josué Soto, Director
- Armando Falcon, Board Advisor
- Daisy Lopez-Cid, Board Advisor
- Joseph Nery, Board Advisor
Luis C. Padilla is the the Co-Owner of RE/MAX Oceanside Realty along with his wife Debbie. He emigrated from Cuba to Miami, Florida in 1973 and has been a part of the real estate industry for 33 years. His financial background began at St. Thomas University, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in finance, and a minor in business. He has worked in various sectors of real estate, including commercial and residential lending, REO listing agent, numerous real estate businesses and traditional real estate sales. He is currently focused and dedicated to helping first-time home buyers, which is why his sales manager and him make it a point to educate their agents on how they can better assist clients trying to obtain the American dream.
This passion has moved Mr. Padilla to be involved with the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals® since 2008. He has had the privilege to serve the organization as a member of the National Board of Directors and coached NAHREP® chapters throughout the United States. To expand NAHREP’s Hispanic Wealth Project principles, Mr. Padilla became a NAHREP 10 Certified Trainer and sits on the approval committee. In 2015, he was the President of the NAHREP South Florida chapter, and under his leadership, the chapter won the national Chapter of the Year Award. The Atlanta chapter also won Chapter of the Year under his mentorship as a coach. Aside from his role with NAHREP, he has also been a Tom Ferry Business Coach for the last three years.
For his production as an agent, Mr. Padilla has received accolades such as the 100% Club, #21 income producer for the region, and 2019 RE/MAX’s Chairman’s Club Award. He has consistently been ranked in the NAHREP Top 250 Latino Agents for the last 6 years.
Gary Acosta is the Co-Founder & CEO of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP®). NAHREP is the nation’s largest Hispanic business organization with over 40,000 members and 100 local chapters. In his capacity as CEO of NAHREP, he created the Hispanic Wealth Project, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a strategic plan to triple Hispanic household wealth by 2024. In 2018, Mr. Acosta co-founded L’ATTITUDE, a mega-event that celebrates the achievements of the Latino community in business, entertainment, and politics.
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 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.
Mr. Acosta is a former member of the board of directors of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. He has also served on advisory boards for several Fortune 500 companies including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and JP Morgan Chase. Mr. Acosta grew up in Montebello, California and received his education from the University of California, at San Diego and Pomona College, where he played varsity basketball for future Hall of Fame Coach, Gregg Popovich. He writes a widely read blog on the economy, politics, sports and Latino culture. Mr Acosta lives with his family in San Diego, California.
Nuria Rivera sits on the National Board of Directors and also serves as a chapter coach for the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals® (NAHREP®). She is a millennial entrepreneur and launched a title and escrow company in 2015, Novation Title Insurance Agency, of which she is CEO. Although it is a newer company, Novation Title has received Utah’s “Best of State” award for four years in a row since in 2016, which was a very humbling experience for Ms. Rivera and her team. Ms. Rivera came to the United States when she was 11 years old and learned a new language and culture. She feels passionately about the community and giving back and has a non-profit organization called “Dreamers’ Foundation” that holds an annual fundraising event to give back to an already established charitable organization.
Ms. Rivera recently started an entrepreneur coaching company to follow one of her passions which is self-development and growth. She fulfills her purpose by teaching and helping others create the life they desire.
Ms. Rivera loves traveling, music, creative art, running, reading, and family. A focus for her is contributing to her community, so finding ways to give back in all that she does is of priority. She feels passionately about reaching goals and wants to help the community and people around her reach theirs. She feels that her purpose in life is to develop, inspire, empower and help change our world.
Sara Rodriguez is the CEO/Owner of Titan Title and a partner at Mendez Rodriguez, PLC. Her practice specializes on all matters related to residential and commercial real estate transactions. She served as 2016 President of NAHREP Northern Virginia and has served on the chapter’s board of directors since 2013 in various leadership roles. Additionally, she serves as a national chapter coach.
Since 2005, Mrs. Rodriguez has taught DPOR approved courses through various state-licensed schools in both English and Spanish. She also teaches Continuing Legal Education (CLE) for the National Business Institute in Virginia. Mrs. Rodriguez has appeared as a speaker at multiple events and conventions speaking on a multitude of real estate issues including contract, short sales and foreclosures. She was admitted to the Virginia Bar in 2003 and has practiced immigration law, family law and real estate law.
After more than 17 years of real estate experience as an investor and developer, Neil Terc was able to acquire, build and sell more than $15,000,000 worth of residential and commercial real estate assets. He accomplished this while also excelling as a 14 year Software Sales Manager at IBM where he ran Business Partner sales in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
In 2014 Mr. Terc decided to take the next big step and combine his experience in both real estate and technology by following his personal mission of helping the Hispanic community achieve their homeownership dreams. He created real estate platforms YourCasa and SuCasa.com to help educate, prepare and connect 1,000’s of families with Spanish speaking Real Estate professionals that can help them achieve those dreams. In the last two years, SuCasa has helped many agents and lenders across the country by connecting them with over 34,000 prospective buyers and looks to increase traction and conversion so more families can gain a better path to long-term wealth.
Neily Soto joined the real estate industry 17 years ago to help the Hispanic community achieve their dream of homeownership. It was shortly after September 11 when she was laid off from managing a hydro electric plant in Methuen, MA that she decided she wanted to connect more with her community.
Ms. Soto focused on making connections with local officials and helped develop the down payment assistance programs currently in use to help low- to moderate-income families buy their first home. She still teaches first-time home buyer classes locally and is known as the go-to person in this niche. After the markets took a downturn in 2007, Ms. Soto innovated her services and started local focus groups to discuss how to keep families in their homes. Over 400 short sales and modifications later (and a SFR designation), the market began to change and she shifted her focus to helping investors build portfolios.
Ms. Soto was the Founding Chapter President for NAHREP Boston. “I am proud to have been given the opportunity to work with such a quality organization but most of all such quality and professional Latinos,” she says.
Currently Ms. Soto sits on the board for the largest CAP agencies in Massachusetts, one of the ways she keeps in touch with what is happening in her local community and where she can serve as a voice for their needs. As a board member to her local association, and committee member for the National Association of REALTORS®, she stays up-to-date with industry changes. The NAHREP Top 250 Latino Agents and Century 21 Centurion award are some of the recognitions she has been awarded.
Gerardo “Jerry” Ascencio
Gerardo “Jerry” Ascencio is chairman of the NAHREP Foundation, dba Hispanic Wealth Project, and broker-owner of San Fernando Realty. A 30-year veteran of real estate, he is also the 2012 President of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals® (NAHREP®). NAHREP is the largest minority real estate trade association in America with over 40,000 members and 100 local chapters nationwide.
A sought-out public speaker, motivator and trainer, 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 was the featured performance of the 2015 Nuevo Latino Tour across the United States.
Mr. Ascencio also owns Mission Real Estate and San Fernando Realty Escrow Division, and served multiple terms as a national board member of the National Community Stabilization Trust NCST. 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 REALTORS®.
Juan Martinez is the Broker/Owner of Century 21 Americana. 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 one producing Latino real estate agent in the country per the NAHREP Top 250 Latino Agents 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 five 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.
Edwin Acevedo began his real estate career in 2008. After 6 years of real estate sales, he began a new venture called Lotus Group Real Estate with several partners, which became the fastest-growing real estate brokerage in the city of Downey for 2016. Entering 2022, Lotus Group Real Estate is affiliated with Century 21 and is now called Century 21 LOTUS, solely owned by Edwin and his wife Claudia Acevedo. It now consists of over 60 agents that span over two different locations, Downey and Ventura. He prides himself as an entrepreneur and his focus is on strategic business building.
Atila (AT) Almeida
AT Almeida is a top producer REALTOR® in Dallas/Fort Worth. He is Past President for NAHREP Dallas. AT is passionate and focused on advancing sustainable Hispanic homeownership for Latinos in Texas. AT Almeida was born and raised in Brazil and migrated to the U. S. in 2006 as an undocumented immigrant aspiring for the American Dream. As a newcomer to the U. S. with no English experience he relentlessly worked as a dishwasher, pizza delivery, and a professional bullrider to eventually become a top producing REALTOR in the first three years of his real estate career.
Nora Aguirre is an associate with Century 21 Americana. She has been in the real estate profession for 16 years, rapidly growing her business to become one of the top agents in the country.
As a first-generation immigrant from Mexico, she is passionate about educating buyers about real estate and helping them find their next forever home. She has a unique ability to connect with home buyers and bring comfort to the home buying process. Her customer base is unique for a REALTOR® with a large transactional volume. Her customers are traditional home buyers looking to make a purchase of a primary residence.
Ms. Aguirre has grown her business to more than 200 transactions per year resulting in an average of $1.5 million in gross commissions. In 2006, Ms. Soto joined Juan Martinez at RE/MAX Executives shortly after launching her career. Nora led the buyer’s team for seven years and then ventured out to create her own business and has had amazing success. She has become an inspiration to others and an incredible leader.
In early 2019, after six years of operating on her own, she and Juan Martinez collaborated to create a dynamic partnership at Century 21 Americana. Here, she lends her influence and passion for mentoring real estate professionals to build capacity and provide exceptional service.
Nationally recognized, Ms. Aguirre has earned a number of honors: Top 25 Most Influential Women in Real Estate four years in a row, third Top Millennial Team, Top 25 Latino Team, and winner of the NAHREP Top 250 Latino Agents three years in a row. In 2018, she was recognized as #1 Female Agent in Nevada.
Ms. Aguirre is passionate about sharing her knowledge and expertise of real estate. For the past five years, she has hosted “Real Estate with Nora,” a 30-minute radio program on La Verdad Radio 95.9 FM Las Vegas which airs daily during the week covering topics that demystify the real estate market.
A member of NAHREP® since 2008, Ms. Aguirre founded the Greater Las Vegas Chapter in 2017 and served as its founding president. She also serves as a coach and mentor to new professionals in the field.
Ms. Aguirre served in the Nevada Army National Guard for six years where she was a drill instructor for at-risk youth in Southern Nevada. She frequently volunteers her time for veteran’s groups and other causes close to her heart. She lives with her family in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Rob Chevez is the CEO of the CAZA Group, a real estate team that consistently sells over 100,000,000 in volume and one of the top real estate teams within the Keller Williams Franchise. In 2019, Mr. Chevez was interviewed by Gary Keller in front of 10,000 of his peers on his “ZONE Methodology ” where he discussed how he has grown and expanded his business.
Mr. Chevez is also the Founder of the GRID Investor Network, the largest real estate investment network in the DC Metro area with 12 local chapters and 13000 members. In 2019 he had the privilege of serving as the Chapter President for the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals® (NAHREP®) Northern Virginia Chapter, and he currently serves on the board of his Keller Williams Market Center. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Real Producers, The Washingtonian and the NAHREP Top 250 Latino Agents.
Mr. Chevez earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from American University, where he wrestled on scholarship and served as team captain for 2 years. In his early years, his family traveled extensively as part of the State Department affording him the opportunity to live in Argentina, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico, Australia, and Jamaica. Today, he lives in Reston Virginia with his wife Kim, daughter Isabella and dog Prim. He loves investing in real estate and has a passion for teaching others how to build wealth and create a legacy.
Mark Dimas is the Broker Owner of Mark Dimas Properties, central to the Greater Houston area with strong roots in DFW and San Antonio real estate as well. Mr. Dimas is well-respected not only for his professional track record, but even more in his relentless pursuit to grow opportunities in real estate. Mark Dimas Properties operates at over 90% referrals and repeat business and has upheld excellence in real estate service. Record-breaking over 750 positive reviews and upwards of 500 residential listings sold each year, Mr. Dimas stays hungry and humble to find new ways to change lives and leave every community positively impacted.
Proved and praised, Mark Dimas and his team have continued accolades nationwide:
- #1 U.S. Latino Real Estate Agent – NAHREP 2017
- #4 Houston Real Estate Team – Houston Business Journal 2018
- #54 Real Estate Team in U.S. – Wall Street Journal 2018
- Top 20 Realtor: Houston Business Journal 2007-2018
Refined in the fire of entrepreneurship at a young age, Mr. Dimas quickly recognized an ever-growing demand for top tier service and an absence in industry-wide digital innovation. Dedicated to the real estate market, he has made it his life’s work to improve the quality of life for homeowners, agents, developers and communities at large.
Mr. Dimas lives his life as Zig Ziglar once said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help people get what they want.” Through servant leadership and a commitment to lifelong improvement, he runs an extensive portfolio of real estate service companies with a strong work ethic and tenacity in representing his clients’ best interests.
Keynote speaker and thought leader in sales, the laws of attraction, team culture and more, Mr. Dimas disrupts the real estate sector with interactive marketing, technology and operational excellence–always cutting edge and always first class.
Francisco “Paco” Fernández is the broker owner of Best Properties Realty Group. He is a REALTOR® with a Master’s degree in Business Administration and over 8 years of experience in the real estate industry in Puerto Rico. As the President of the Caguas Board of REALTORS in 2016, Francisco led his team to achieve Board of the Year. He served as the 2020 President of NAHREP Puerto Rico, demonstrating his dedication and commitment to this profession. He has since ranked in the NAHREP Top 250 Latino Real Estate Agents.
Oralia Herrera is Broker/Owner of Century 21 TK Realty Inc. She came to this country as a child from La Purisima Durango Mexico with her parents and five siblings. Her family established in Franklin Park where she attended school and has raised three children together with her husband.
On her 21st birthday, Ms. Herrera became a real estate agent and made it her profession and passion. With over 25 years of experience in real estate, she has made a mark in her community with professionalism, integrity and care. Ms. Herrera has made lifelong relationships with her clients and friends, helping them every step of the way into homeownership and real estate investments. Her passion is clear and her energy heartfelt.
Her many real estate achievements include:
- Century 21 Centurion producer Award 1996-2006
- Masters Diamond Award Century 21 1999
- Hall of Fame Award Century 21 2004
- Double Centurion Award 2005
- SFR Designation 2007
- TRC Designation 2008
- CIPS Designation 2009
- Chicago Magazine Top Agent Award 2011, 2012, 2013
With over 19 years of experience in the San Diego real estate market as Head Broker of Keller Williams Realty, Mauricio Perez leads an office of over 140 agents in Chula Vista and has prior experience managing over 220 REALTORS® at the KW La Jolla Market Center. No stranger to managing multiple tasks and people at any given moment, Mr. Perez is always up to speed on pertinent issues essential to our industry.
As part of his duties as Broker, Mr. Perez is in charge of compliance and has personally approved over 2,000 transactions in the past six years, further expanding his knowledge of residential real estate. Mr. Perez also maintains his NMLS Mortgage Loan Originator license, strictly for educational purposes so he can better understand every aspect of the real estate transaction.
Mr. Perez had the pleasure of leading the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals® (NAHREP®) San Diego Chapter as president in 2016, where he further developed his leadership skills, as he became an advocate for sustainable Hispanic homeownership.
Adriana Perezchica has been working in real estate since 2005, and brings with her a proven sales and closing track record. Clients and real estate professionals alike seek out Ms. Perez because of her commitment to excellence and knowledge of the real estate industry. Her depth of understanding around market trends and impressive negotiation skills quickly propelled her to her status as one of the top producing brokers in the greater Seattle area. Adriana sees every transaction as an opportunity to create a new future for her clients, while protecting their interests above all.
Diana Sifuentes is co-owner of Berkshire Hathaway HSA Action office located in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex. Born in a small town in Tamaulipas, Sifuentes has flourished without formal marketing education, simply relying on referrals from friends, family, and previous customers. Her inspiring customer service has contributed to her success resulting in recognition as one of the NAHREP Top 250 Latino Agents in the USA. Sifuentes served as Chapter President of NAHREP Texas Plano/Garland from 2019 to 2020 and currently serves as the Regional Co-chair for the NAHREP Mountain Region.
Josué Soto is the CEO of Soto Legacy Group / Powered by EXP Realty. He is a REALTOR with over 14 years of experience in the Central Florida market. Mr. Soto has been a member of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) for many years. Mr. Soto believes in NAHREP and its mission and as a result, he became involved in leadership in 2015. In 2017 he became President of NAHREP Central Florida, leading the chapter to achieve NAHREP’s Chapter of the Year. After his term as President, he became a National Coach and is now a National Director. As a result of this opportunity, Mr. Soto has had great success: He doubled his income, has sold over 100 million in his career and is in the top 1% of the Central Florida market due to the education he has received and the important connections and relationships and mentors established through NAHREP. This has elevated him and put him front and center with high-ranking executives and top producers. He has grown personally and professionally. In gratitude of all he has experienced, Mr. Soto shares advice with others and takes pride in helping them grow their businesses.
Armando Falcon is CEO of Falcon Capital Advisors LLC, a management consulting firm based in Washington, DC. Falcon Capital Advisors provides strategic advice and technical assistance to financial services companies, mortgage industry participants, technology providers and government agencies on matters involving process reengineering, project management, regulatory compliance, and data analytics. Falcon Capital Advisors is known to be on the cutting edge of market developments, including the digital transformation of the mortgage market.
He previously served as the Director of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) from 1999 – 2005. As the presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed director of the agency, he served as the chief regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and played a key role in overseeing the U.S. secondary mortgage market and the stability of the U.S. housing finance system.
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. Over that eight year period, he was responsible for advising the Committee on financial regulatory issues and he played a key role in drafting major legislation.
Mr. Falcon currently serves on several corporate and government boards. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Mary’s University, a Master’s degree in Public Policy degree from Harvard University, and a law degree from the University of Texas.
Daisy Lopez-Cid is the 2018 President for the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals® (NAHREP®) and Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Premier Properties in Kissimmee, Florida.
Originally from Brooklyn, New York and with a background in immigration law, Ms. Lopez-Cid has been a force in Central Florida real estate for the past 17 years. Entering the real estate market in 2001 as an associate, she is now owner of what is ranked as the most successful RE/MAX franchise in Osceola County since 2013.
Ms. Lopez-Cid has served on the NAHREP National Board of Directors since 2013, and is a Past President of NAHREP Central Florida. Daisy was instrumental in the creation and development of the NAHREP coaches program and served as chairman to the coach’s program in 2016. She has recently focused her efforts on facilitating the launch of new chapters in strategic markets, including Puerto Rico, Boston and Philadelphia.
Consistently ranked as one of the top Latino agents in the United States on the NAHREP Top 250 Latino Agents list, Ms. Lopez-Cid was recognized by the City of Kissimmee in 2014 for making the list three years in a row. An avid advocate for homeowner rights and sustainable homeownership, she often travels to the state capitol and Washington D.C. to meet with lawmakers, especially in recent years given the volatile housing market. In 2013, Florida Governor Rick Scott appointed Ms. Lopez-Cid to the Valencia College District Board of Trustees where she provides insight to direction of the college’s policies.
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 National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals® in 2016 and was the NAHREP Chicago Chapter President from 2009 – 2011. 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.