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RISMEDIA, March 10, 2011—Carmen Mercado, a Long Island, New York-based Education & Diversity Manager with NRT’s Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, was installed as chairman and president of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals during its policy forum last week in Washington, D.C. Mercado has served on the association’s national board since 2006 and most recently was vice chair. Gerardo “Jerry” Ascencio, a Los Angeles-based real estate broker, will succeed Mercado as vice chair. Both officers will serve a one-year term in their post.

“Carmen Mercado and Jerry Ascencio bring a potent combination of real marketplace knowledge, leadership and understanding of the challenges that Hispanic home buyers and practitioners encounter,” said immediate Past Chair Alex Chaparro. “Their grasp of the issues will be a huge benefit to NAHREP’s national leadership team.”

By day, Mercado trains real estate agents and drives leadership development for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, which is owned by NRT LLC, one of the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage companies. Mercado is also an active member of the Realogy Diversity and Inclusion Council. She is a certified real estate instructor and delivers training programs throughout the Long Island and Queens area. She became active in NAHREP at the local level in 2004 when she founded the local NYC affiliate chapter. In 2006, she was appointed to the national board and has served on the executive committee prior to being named last year as vice chair. A passionate advocate for underserved home buyers, she has helped educate local Latinos about homeownership over the years by delivering seminars in liaison with local nonprofits.

Gerardo “Jerry” Ascencio, GRI, CRS is founder and past president of the NAHREP San Fernando/Santa Clarita affiliate chapter and a member of the association’s national board. He is an established real estate broker in the greater Los Angeles area with two offices and 65 agents and broker associates. Ascencio served on the board of directors for the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® and has served in numerous leadership and educator roles. He will succeed Mercado as chairman in 2012.

In other NAHREP news, Hispanic, Asian and African American real estate leaders have submitted a five-point plan to U.S. lawmakers on measures that must be taken to preserve homeownership for multicultural home buyers. The plan calls for practical and diverse solutions to address the challenges that multicultural communities face now and in the future. Alex Chaparro, immediate past chairman of NAHREP; John Wong, co-founder for the Asian Real Estate Association of America; and Ron Cook, vice chair of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, offered insights behind recommendations on the March 8 show on NAHREP Radio. The show is available for listening in archive 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

More than 100 minority real estate professionals made visits to Capitol Hill last week for appointments with their local lawmakers. It is the biggest organized outreach by the coalition since the three groups began collaborating on the joint policy forum in 2008.

“In a political climate where talk of restricting FHA and unwinding the GSEs is dominating the housing conversation, it’s important for minorities to weigh in,” said NAHREP Chairman Carmen Mercado. “The multicultural coalition is recommending considerations that ultimately will benefit all working class families that dream of owning a home.”

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