Insiders Blog Home

Insiders Blog #1

Gary Acosta shares his weekly experiences, updates and raw perspectives about NAHREP, done exclusively for the organization’s current and past leadership.

In the past 30 days NAHREP launched a new logo, hired a new director of chapter operations, and started to gear up for the Policy Conference and Leadership Academy.

The new logo was a big deal for us. Last year at our board retreat, the national board directed the staff to start exploring a new logo that was more reflective of the organization’s expanded focus on economic empowerment and wealth creation. However, most of the board just wanted something fresh and new. The design team on staff did a great job and gave us multiple options. It did however take a couple of months to get consensus. I wanted something that illustrated the organization’s network, but a few board members thought the first logo looked like a molecule. Eventually we settled on the logo that was ultimately selected even though there are still some who prefer the old design. I realize change is tough, but I love the new logo and think in time everyone will get comfortable with it.

Tina Marie Hernandez has joined the staff as our Director of Chapter Operations. She’s coming onboard at an important time. As most of you know, we have been growing our chapter network at a rapid pace…maybe too rapid and it has caused a few breakdowns. The chapter support team led by Ana Cervantes is critical to the overall success of our organization, but quite frankly has not received the resources they need to meet the demands of their job. We are trying to change that by hiring a development company to build a web-based task management system for our chapters. The hope is that our chapters and support team will have a system similar to the systems that were used during the REO days (i.e. Equator and to centralize communications and track the tasks associated with managing a chapter event. Easier said than done, but if we can pull this off it could be a game changer.

This year, our Policy Conference and Leadership Academy will also include our HWP Wealth & Real Estate Conference on the tail end of the event. It’s a lot to manage, but because our policy event was scheduled relatively late this year, we decided it would be too hard to have the event in April and also a Wealth Project event in May. We’ll be announcing our speaker and session line-up soon, and we should be proud that our policy event is one of the largest and most recognized in the industry. We have tremendous potential to be a political force in Washington DC, but have underprioritized that in the past. Last year we hired Noerena Limón to help us build out our policy platform. Noerena worked in the White House and most recently at the CFPB. Right now, she is working with the staffs of three U.S. Senators to draft legislation which would explicitly permit DACA recipients to get FHA loans. We plan to spend much more time in Washington.