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RISMEDIA, March 6, 2007-The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) announced the appointment of Felix DeHerrera, president of Texas-based Southwest Alliance, as chairman of the nation's fastest growing trade association for Hispanic real estate professionals.

He previously served as vice chair and has been involved with NAHREP since its inception, starting its first affiliate chapter in 2000 in Las Vegas.

Rebecca Gallardo-Serrano, a real estate broker and member of the organization's executive committee and national board, will succeed DeHerrera as vice chairman. They will be officially installed during the group's annual legislative conference in Washington D.C. on March 9.

"Felix DeHerrera has been instrumental in building the foundation of NAHREP's outstanding leadership in the industry," said NAHREP's outgoing Chair Frances Martinez Myers. "His company's success in promoting excellence among minority owned and small businesses is a model among his peers and his commitment to Hispanic homeownership has been unwavering."

Since first receiving his real estate license in 1978, DeHerrera has had a long-standing history empowering minorities in the industry. He and his wife, Christine, own both a real estate office and a mortgage brokerage in Las Vegas. Additionally, the DeHerrera duo owns a majority share of Southwest Alliance of Asset Managers. Southwest Alliance, based in Austin, Texas, is the Management and Marketing Contractor for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the states of Texas and New Mexico.

Southwest Alliance is the first Hispanic majority owned M & M contractor for the Department.

As president of Southwest Alliance, his commitment to minority and small business is evidenced by contracts with eleven NAHREP Hispanic brokers, four African-American brokers, plus seven additional brokers that are either woman owned or small business owners that list the HUD acquired homes.

Additionally, Southwest Alliance contracts with 100's of minority and small businesses to inspect, appraise, and maintain the properties until sold.

"NAHREP is so fortunate to have such strong and seasoned leaders at the helm of the organization," said NAHREP CEO Timothy Sandos. "From the corporate background of outgoing chair Frances Martinez Myers to the entrepreneurial trend-setting success of Felix DeHerrera and the civic experience of Rebecca Gallardo-Serrano, we have exactly the type of perspective needed to guide a rising national organization."

Rebecca Gallardo-Serrano, a Silicon Valley-based REALTOR and managing partner of Protelo Group Real Estate Services, joins DeHerrera at the helm as vice chairman.

Gallardo-Serrano has been active in community affairs and served a four-year term as Planning Commissioner for Santa Clara County (Northern California) and president of the Hispanic Association of Real Estate Professionals. She is co-founder of the Latina Coalition, promoting Latina civic management and previously served as a California Association of Realtor's Director in 2002-2003. Her volunteerism also includes work with the Bay Area Lupus Foundation and the City of San Jose Human Rights

During her tenure on NAHREP's national board, she was secretary on the Executive Committee, Education chair for the hugely successful 2006 Convention, and a guiding voice on the Affliates Review Committee. She has also been a key figure in the training and development of President's Council leaders and is founder and one-time president of the NAHREP Santa Clara County Chapter.

Now in its seventh year of existence, NAHREP has experienced 25% annual growth in its membership as practitioners scramble to learn ways to better serve the Spanish-speaking 1.5 million Latino home buyers that are projected to enter the housing market by 2010.

Hispanics are expected to account for 31% of the nation's household growth between 2000 and 2010, and nearly 40% of all new homeowners over the next 20 years. Bilingual real estate practitioners will play a central role in the home-buying process for Latinos, a fact reinforced by a 2004 study from the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute at the University of Southern California.

NAHREP's mission since its inception is to increase the rate of homeownership amongst Hispanics by empowering practitioners with tools and information that will help them better serve home buyers.

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