Patty Arvielo, a first-generation Latina, started mortgage banking firm New American Funding with her husband in 2003. Today, New American Funding employs more than 2,300 individuals at more than130 branches across the United States and funds over $1 billion in home loans every month.

She is a member of Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Consumer Affairs Advisory Council and Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She is also a member of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and serves on its Corporate Board of Governors.

Arvielo built a highly successful company in which women make up 57 percent of the workforce, with many holding C-level positions. She has created an inclusive environment, where women excel on merit. As a result, New American Funding has been recognized by both Hispanic Lifestyle and Mortgage Women Magazine as an outstanding workplace for women.

When asked what her greatest professional accomplishment has been, Arvielo cites building New American Funding from the ground up and transforming it into a national mortgage lender. She credits her success as a business leader to working hard and never losing sight of her dreams, while also paying attention to others’ needs.

Because Arvielo believes that mentoring is very important, she has implemented a program at New American Funding called “If You Want to Grow, We Want to Know” that provides employees the opportunity to reach their career objectives. She encourages women to be assertive and to not be afraid to make mistakes—they can be your best lessons.

According to Arvielo, diversity is critical because the United States is moving toward becoming a minority-majority nation. Without diversity, businesses will lose relevancy. “Making sure diverse viewpoints are taken into consideration on all levels in a business is paramount, she says. “Businesses need to reflect their markets, so they can reach their audiences and transact appropriately.”

Arvielo summarizes by stating that she tries to see challenges not as obstacles, but as opportunities.