MBA Diversity & Inclusion Interview: Patty Arvielo of New American Funding


(One in a recurring monthly series featuring efforts of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, part of MBA’s commitment to increase racial, gender, sexual orientation and ethnic diversity within the mortgage banking industry.)    

Patty Arvielo is co-founder and president of New American Funding, Tustin, Calif. She has more than 30 years of experience in the mortgage industry; in addition to her role as president, she continues to originate loans while managing all sales and operations.  

Arvielo also serves on affordable lending panels for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the Consumer Affairs Advisory Council for the Mortgage Bankers Association; and serves on the Corporate Board of Governors for the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals. She created the Latino Focus Committee, whose mission is to identify and address challenges Hispanic consumers face in their pursuit of homeownership and to enhance the quality of their lending experience. In addition, She also serves on the Executive Board of the charitable organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters; her life story was recently featured on NBC “I am my mother’s American Dream.”  

Ernst & Young recognized Arvielo as its 2016 EY Entrepreneur of The Year in Orange County, Calif. Earlier this month, the National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses announced it will honor Arvielo with The Gershwin Award, recognizing her efforts as a successful businesswoman while mentoring fellow NAWRB members to foster growth and new talent.  

MBA NEWSLINK: You started in the mortgage industry from the ground up–as an input clerk–and turned New American Funding into a nearly $1 billion a year business. What made you determined to succeed?  

PATTY ARVIELO, NEW AMERICA FUNDING: I’ve always been a hard worker and driven toward success. At first, I was just doing the job in front of me, and then my drive to do more, and be more, took over. I saw that if I wanted to be in a position of stability, where I could provide for my family, and myself, I had to make more money.  

What makes me determined has changed over the years. Initially it was earning a paycheck and creating a foundation. Later I became focused on building New American Funding, and with that, my family of employees gained importance. While all of those things are still my motivation, my passion for serving Latinos and my efforts toward the upward mobility of women in the workforce are big contributors to my determination today.  

NEWSLINK: Do you see yourself as a role model for others?  

ARVIELO: Yes, and I consider that a blessing. I have had different mentors along the way who have influenced my career and my accomplishments, and I feel privileged that today I can be an example for others.  

NEWSLINK: Why is it important for the mortgage industry to embrace diversity?  

ARVIELO: We need to look ahead and become a reflection of our markets. America is going to be more culturally diverse than it has ever been, soon we will see a minority-majority with Latinos. We’re going to see more Latinas in decision-making position in the household, more integration of technology in day-to-day decisions, different value sets, and more buying power among minorities and multi-generational consumers.  

Our industry and our workforce need to reflect all of those traits, and not just having the numbers in your staff, but having these diverse viewpoints in positions that affect change. If we don’t, we won’t be able to properly engage and serve our markets.  

NEWSLINK: How important is it that lenders and other businesses in the real estate finance industry target minority homebuyers now?  

ARVIELO: I believe it is critical. To ignore minority homebuyers is to ignore your future business.  

NEWSLINK: What are lenders such as NAF doing to address the diversity, needs and challenges of consumers?  

ARVIELO: At NAF, we strongly believe that our company should reflect the community we serve.   

In 2013, New American Funding, formed its own Latino Focus Committee. The in-house group develops services to enhance the quality of the lending experience among Hispanic consumers and aims to enrich the Hispanic community through homeownership.  

NEWSLINK: Is embracing diversity enough?  

ARVIELO: No. Having different perspectives present is a vital first step, but actual involvement is where it really counts. We can have representation of women, minorities and other groups, but unless they are in decision-making positions that influence change, there will be little progress.  

We have more than 2,100 employees at New American Funding, 57 percent of which are female, and women hold many executive and management positions. We’re forming a team as diverse as the communities we serve, and that applies to our decision-making positions, too. It’s inclusion–actual involvement from diverse groups, that really makes the difference.  

NEWSLINK: What are three basic steps a company can take towards improving diversity and inclusion?  

ARVIELO: I don’t know that they’re basics, but in general you’ll need to assess your staff, compare the composition of your company to that which you seek to reflect, then close the gap between them.  


The MBA Diversity and Inclusion Committee was formed in 2013 to provide leadership and guidance to help the real estate finance industry gain a competitive advantage by increasing diversity in leadership, workforce and suppliers.   MBA encourages its members to support these efforts and to recognize the competitive advantages of embracing a diverse and inclusive workforce and marketplace. For more information about the MBA Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, click