I run the day-to-day accounting operations for Lument’s Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage banking businesses. This includes managing and reviewing transactions related to the lifecycle of loans—from application to rate lock to closing to settlement. As part of these duties, my four-person team, based in New York and Dallas, is responsible for gathering supporting documents to ensure that all transactions are recorded correctly and are available for our auditors. Risks and controls have to be at the forefront of accounting.

One aspect of my job that I really enjoy is the ability to learn from the people I work with. Everyone can teach you something interesting. “A motivated and talented staff can be the difference between success and failure” I’ve learned a lot about how to manage my own staff from Jim Briggs, who is Lument’s chief accounting officer. I’ve worked with Jim for 14 years; in good times and bad, he always uses the kind of language and tone of voice that makes everybody feel at ease, which is super important to me.

As both a Hispanic woman and an immigrant, I’ve certainly had to overcome many challenges throughout my life to get to where I am now. But at the same time, I’ve been blessed to work for a company where I don’t feel my managers focus on my ethnicity or on other labels that might be attached to me. Instead, I’m treated as a unique individual who is measured simply by how effectively I do my job.

However, my path to a career in commercial real estate was definitely not a direct one. I moved to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic when I was 12. And when I first enrolled at Baruch College, part of the City University of New York, I planned to become a teacher. However, I eventually changed track and graduated with a business degree. While in college, I worked for a medium sized accounting firm proofreading financial statements and doing bookkeeping services for an Airline based in Spain. Later, I worked as an auditor at Ernst & Young. In 2004, I joined CharterMac, a predecessor company of Lument. Next year will be my 20th anniversary here.

The good news is that I continue to feel very welcome. That’s partly because Lument has built a strong culture of inclusion. That’s evident in the resources they offer to help everyone grow and thrive. For instance, Jennifer Shapiro-Lee, a psychotherapist, was hired to offer weekly wellness classes at no charge to employees. Through Jennifer, I learned valuable lessons on important topics like work-life balance, self-care, and gratitude. At the end of the day, you need to feel happy where you work, and people need to feel comfortable.

I’m a proud mom of 13-year-old twin girls, who keep me busy. I also love giving back to the community. I’m a hair donor. On weekends, I’m very active in my church, where I teach first communion and confirmation classes, U.S. History and English to non-native speakers. Other hobbies of mine include dancing merengue music, cooking delicious Italian food, and knitting. In fact, last winter, I knitted warm winter hats for everyone in the New York office’s mailroom—never a bad thing for the cold months ahead! Some ladies at the NY office are enjoying knitted Airpods holders.