Achieving the American Dream

Patty Arvielo believes the most important quality a woman leader should have is an unconditional belief in her own abilities. “No one will tap you on the shoulder and ask you to be successful,” she said.

As a first-generation Latina from Southern California, Arvielo started her career from scratch 35 years ago. Today, she is co-founder and president of New American Funding, a mortgage lender with 2,200 employees spanning 140 branches across the country.

Her colleagues say she is influencing the mortgage industry in terms of lending policy, promoting Hispanic homeownership, and rallying for the upward mobility of women in the workplace.

When she was 16, Arvielo had accepted a clerical position with TransUnion Credit. By the age of 19 she had worked her way up into mortgage and a few years later asked to lead the operations unit of a start-up brokerage company. Ultimately, she took her work experience and launched New American Funding with her husband in 2003. “I went from working for a major corporation to working for myself,” she said. “I was investing in my ideas to fund future growth opportunities out of my own money – it was part of learning the whole risk reward part of being an entrepreneur.”

Arvielo’s experience in lending prompted the company to form its own retail-based lending, wholesale, and builder divisions. Under her guidance, the company now operates the entire home-loan process in-house, from origination to processing, underwriting, and funding to servicing. Mortgage Executive Magazine recently named New American Funding for the third consecutive year on its 50 Best Companies to Work For list.

Colleagues say she cares about the well-being and growth opportunities of those within her company. She continually works for the upward mobility of women and leads a company where 57 percent of employees are women, many holding C-level positions. She heads the Latino Focus group, she established to educate the housing community on ways to better serve the Latino community during the home buying process.

She is a member of the Corporate Board of Governors for the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals. She serves on affordable lending panels for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and is a member of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Consumer Affairs Advisory Council and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She also serves on the Executive Board for Big Brothers Big Sisters in Orange County.