Three mortgage industry professionals have joined the American Mortgage Diversity Council's (AMDC) advisory board. Founded and operated by Five Star Global, the AMDC promotes diversity and inclusion throughout the mortgage industry by providing a platform for the collaboration of industry leaders aiming to advance diversity- and inclusion-focused dialogue.
New advisory board members include council members Tai Christensen, Chief Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Officer, CBC Mortgage Agency; Kisha Parker, EVP, Corporate Sustainability, PennyMac; and Frank Fuentes, National VP, Multinational Community Lending, New American Funding, who will serve as the AMDC’s Vice Chairperson.
Incoming members join the existing AMDC board, composed of Chair Lola Oyewole, VP Human Resources and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Ocwen Financial Corporation; April Alexander, National Community Development & Outreach Manager, Prosperity Home Mortgage; Michael Ruiz, Director of Supplier Diversity, Fannie Mae; and Joe Velazquez, SVP Neighborhood Lending, Bank of America.
Christensen has served since 2019 as Director of Governmental affairs at CBC Mortgage Agency (CBCMA), a national housing finance agency that provides down payment assistance. She has spent those years working to increase homeownership in the Black community, because she does not want her own story of success to be an anomaly. “I want it to be the norm for our communities of color,” she said. CBCMA, in March, appointed Christensen its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Officer for 2021. CBCMA’s leadership says the company’s DEI committee, with Christensen at the helm, will leverage its resources to promote a culture of inclusion for all employees and business partners, regardless of racial, ethnic and gender identity.
As the leader of the PennyMac's Corporate Sustainability Program, Parker is responsible for the development and evolution of PennyMac’s corporate sustainability program framework and governance routines that drive enterprise focus on the environmental, social—including diversity and inclusion—and governance impact of conducting business operations.
Incoming Chair Fuentes joined New American Funding almost 20 years ago. He was hired by President Patty Arvielo and CEO Rick Arvielo in order to help launch the company’s inside call center, specializing in serving the needs to the Hispanic market—his dedication to serving this market quickly earned him a ranking as the #1 Loan Officer in the company. Fuentes was the first Latino and bilingual loan officer hired at New American Funding. With 20 years’ experience in the mortgage industry, he has shared his expertise personally assist thousands of Hispanic families with responsible and affordable home loans and refinances.
AMDC Director Eileen Kornmeyer says she is proud to welcome new members and those taking on more responsibility and that thanks also are in order for outgoing members.
"I am very pleased to welcome Tai Christensen, Frank Fuentes, and Kisha Parker to the AMDC Advisory Council. They join a strong group of industry professionals who are dedicated to advancing the conversation on diversity, equality, and inclusion,” Kornmeyer said. “The AMDC Advisory Board has done outstanding work on white papers and webinars on timely industry topics. I look forward to the energy, passion, and contributions of our new members in moving our mission forward.”