MReport October 2020

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10 | TH E M R EP O RT KEYSTONE AWARD RECIPIENTS THE RISING BUSINESS LEADER AWARD Marissa Yaker Managing Attorney of Foreclosure, Padgett Law Group As the recipient of this year's Rising Business Leader Award, Marissa Yaker said she saw this reward as "an affirmation that our industry recognizes, encourages, and supports women who have a drive, passion, and desire to question and improve this industry. We each have a voice, but collectively our voice is louder and stronger. I feel grateful to work in an industry that supports one another and helps strengthen professionals such as myself." Yaker added "a sincere thank you to all the amazing people in my life, as I would not be the person that I aspire to be,without each of them." Looking back over the course of her career, Yaker said that one of the key lessons she learned was to always stop and ask "why?" "We sometimes forget that the 'why' is so important. It helps provide better understanding, it helps us to be a better person, and it reminds us to never stop learning." Yaker added that she learned to stop and ask "why" early on in her career, after realizing she could not be as effective without understanding the full picture. Yaker said the most important female mentor in her life was her mother. "She always taught me to 'reach for the stars' and to believe in myself," Yaker said. "She used to say, 'It is ok to fall down, as long as you remember to get back up.'" Yaker said that her mother was the reason why she pursued a career in law. She also cited the recently passed Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg as an inspiration, saying "Her impacts in the legal community have been an inspiration to me from an early age and will continue to inspire others." Citing some of the most important lessons she has learned from female mentors in her life, Yaker said, "Supporting other females in the workplace is important. Believe in yourself and bring your whole self to the table. Never underestimate yourself or others on your team. Always support one another." THE COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP AWARD Hattie Sharp SVP, Strategic Partnerships & Business Development,'s Hattie Sharp told MReport that she was honored to receive her Keystone award because "there are so many women within our industry that actively participate in their community who are equally deserving." She said both the nomination and being selected as this year's Community Leadership Award recipient "challenges me to do more and reminds me of the importance of community service." She added that she couldn't wait to "get back to serving the refugees in Dallas once COVID-19 is over." Sharp said that some of the most important lessons she has learned throughout the course of her career came from watching how her grandfather ran his own business. "He treated everyone fairly and cared about them as people, not just as employees," Sharp said. "I want everyone to experience the same level of respect and kindness: team members, bosses, vendors, clients, admins, CEOs, subordinates, etc." Sharp said that her grandfather's experience taught her that "successful leaders that truly inspire the best from others have high emotional intelligence and therefore build productive relationships that produce positive results." Sharp said that she has "been blessed to have worked for and with many successful, wise women over my career." She said she was grateful for how these mentors have stretched her beyond her comfort zone and provided opportunities to expand her career into new areas. "One of my toughest but most loved mentors used to tell us, 'assume positive intent.' Assuming the best before you enter a situation helps you see that person in a positive way and helps eliminate your unconscious bias towards defensiveness." Sharp also said that her female mentors have taught her to "never stop learning, ask questions, continue to look for new ways to do things, and never settle for 'this is how we've always done it.'" 2020 Women in Housing Awards The Keystones Continuing an annual tradition, MReport once again brings you the Women in Housing Awards. Last month we profiled all 25 of our finalists across five categories, all designed to recognize women who have made a mark on the industry. It is now our pleasure to bring you this year's five final recipients.

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