Board of Directors

Phil Bracken

Chairman and Founder

Phil Bracken has been serving the homeownership industry since 1975.

  • EVP of Wells Fargo – 15 years Government & Industry Relations
  • Managing Director of Prudential Home Mortgage – 5 years
  • CEO of America’s Mortgage Company – 10 years
  • Current chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Missouri
  • Advisory Board Member of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA), and the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP).
  • Past Chairman of the Corporate Partners of the National League of Cities and engineered a unique National Alliance Agreement with the US Conference of Mayors
  • Recipient of “lifetime achievement award” from NAREB, NAHREP, and Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) of America which awarded their highest honor in recognition of a lifelong dedication and prominent service to MBA and the mortgage lending industry
  • Creator and architect of the Housing Policy Council of the Financial Services Roundtable and initiated the Hurricane Katrina Relief Coalition in Washington, DC. In addition, he currently is Co-Chairman of the Consumer/Lender Roundtable and the Head of the Housing Recovery Alliance in Washington, D.C.

Boards & Affiliations:

Co-Chairman of the Consumer/Lender Roundtable
Head of the Housing Recovery Alliance in Washington, D.C.

Tino Diaz

Managing Director – Chief Administrative Officer

Tino Diaz has been serving the homeownership industry since 1975.

  • CEO of CharisPros USA Management Services (to homeownership industry) – 11 years
  • CEO of Vertex Mortgage Bankers – 6 years
  • CEO of AIB Mortgage Company – 4 years
  • CEO of The Delta Group USA – Management Services (to financial services industry) – 9 years
  • Director of US League of Savings Institutions- Management Services, Institute of Financial Education, SAF Systems & Forms – 8 years
  • Founding Managing Officer – Americana Federal Savings & Loan – 2 years
  • National Chairman & President – National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP)
  • Chairman and architect of the NAHREP Code of Trust – “En Confianza”
  • Recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award in the field of Marketing, University of Illinois
  • Board Member – Property & Loan Committee, Diocese of Southeast Florida
  • Member of the Consumer Advisory Council, Federal Reserve Board of Governors

Boards & Affiliations:

Director Emeritus of NAHREP of South Florida
Build Volunteer – Habitat for Humanity

Gary Acosta

A 20-year veteran of the real estate industry, Gary Acosta is the chairman of New Vista Asset Manageement and is the co-founder of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), a 15,500-member non-profit trade association that is focused on increasing sustainable homeownership for Hispanic Americans. Also, Mr. Acosta is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Acosta was named to Hispanic Business Magazine s Top 100 Most Influential Hispanics in business in 2004. He has served on boards or advisory boards for the National Association of Realtors, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and JP Morgan Chase. Acosta currently is a member of the national advisory council of First American Company and on the residential board of governors for the Mortgage Bankers Association of America.

Barrett Burns

Barrett Burns is the current President and CEO of VantageScore. Mr. Burns has more than three decades of professional experience in risk and credit management and has held a diverse number of national and international leadership positions at several of the country’s most prestigious financial services companies.

Prior to joining VantageScore, Mr. Burns was the Executive Vice President at U.S. Trust, heading the National Private Banking Group. He was also a member of U.S. Trust’s Executive Committee and the Senior Management Team of parent company, The Charles Schwab Corporation. Mr. Burns also served as Senior Vice President and Chief Credit Officer of Finance One Banking Group, the consumer and commercial finance unit of Bank One that was, at the time, the nation’s fifth-largest finance company. He holds a BA in Economics from Washington and Jefferson College.

Mike Kappas

Michael S. Kappas is President and CEO of Apprisen, formerly known as Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Midwest and the oldest non-profit credit counseling agency in the country. He has served in this position since September 1998, following an extensive (25+ years) career in the banking industry.

As President and CEO, Mr. Kappas has focused on growth, quality of service and technological enhancements. Under his leadership, Apprisen has expanded to become a national leader in the industry, offering comprehensive financial counseling and education services, including HUD-approved housing counseling, through in-person, phone and Internet sessions. Each year, thousands of predominantly low-to-moderate income consumers learn how to balance budgets, reduce debt and use credit wisely.

A graduate of Purdue University with an MBA from Xavier University, Mr. Kappas brings his vast experience in the financial services industry to his current non-profit work. Prior to his position at Apprisen, he was Vice President of Operations of Bank First Ohio Corp where he managed all operations for the $1.1 billion holding company consisting of three affiliate financial institutions. Earlier, he had served as Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President of First Financial Group, the holding company for County Savings Bank.

Mr. Kappas is a member of the Huntington Bank Advisory Council. Prior board involvement includes the Ohio Association of Non-Profit Organizations, Cooperative Processing, National Foundation for Credit Counseling, and Jobs for Ohio Graduates. He was also appointed to the Ohio Building Authority Board by former Ohio Governor Taft.

He resides in the greater Columbus, Ohio area with his wife, Sharon, where he has been an active member of the community.

Jim Park

For nearly 20 years, Jim Park’s work at FHA, Freddie Mac and local community development agencies helped to further sustainable minority homeownership and community revitalization efforts throughout the country. Park has been recognized by a number of national consumer advocacy organizations for his tireless efforts to remove the barriers to homeownership for minorities and low to moderate-income families.

Park currently serves as the President and CEO of the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) and participates on various boards of national nonprofit organizations and corporations that are committed to expanding opportunities for underserved communities

John Taylor

John Taylor is President and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. Raised in the housing projects of Boston and trained as an attorney, he has dedicated his life to economic justice. With over 25 years in the field, he has been the recipient of numerous local, state and national awards, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Award, two United States Congressional Citation Awards, the State of Massachusetts Award for Excellence in Community Economic Development, and a Presidential Appointment to the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund.

Mr. Taylor recently was appointed to the board of directors of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and the Leadership Conference for Civil Rights. He has also served on several other national boards, including the Consumer Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank Board, The Fannie Mae Housing Impact Division, The Freddie Mac Housing Advisory Board, and many others.

He has appeared on ABC’s Nightline, CBS, Fox news, CNN, CSPAN, in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and hundreds of other print, television and radio media. Finally, Mr.Taylor has testified before numerous congressional committees, both in the US Senate and the House of Representatives.

Julius L. Cartwright

Julius Cartwright personifies the essences of a successful, visionary, and strategic entrepreneur. His thoughtful approach, ability to actualize and chart a business course has earned him the respect of his community, industry peers, and emerging business leaders. His thriving venture and Upscale Select Builders, Inc. reflect Mr. Cartwright’s ability to seize opportunity, create business synergies, and support passion to excel in his profession and simultaneously, serve his community. He was installed as NAREB’s 27th President in August at the 64th Annual National Convention in New Orleans, LA.

Mr. Cartwright’s entry into the real estate profession began in 1988. After two years, he joined W.E. Jones & Associates, Inc. located in Shaker Heights, Ohio. During his tenure, dedication to excellence and outstanding service earned Mr. Cartwright, among other awards, the honor of “Top Producer and Agent of the year.” His industry achievements did not go unnoticed, and he was asked to join the Cleveland Association of Real Estate Brokers. There, his leadership skills, industry knowledge, and business acumen landed Mr. Cartwright in the Presidential and Board of Director positions. Mr. Cartwright has faithfully served as President of the Cleveland Realtist Association (two years); President of the Ohio Realtist Association (three years); served as 1999 Chairman of the Board, Ohio Realtist Association (3 years); and NAREB’s National Board of Director’s since 1995. Mr. Cartwright later rose through the ranks within the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), the nation’s oldest minority professional real estate trade association.

The 1990’s decade served as a launching pad for a number of Mr. Cartwright’s business, professional and civic interests. In 1994, he founded the Dream Team Realtists, widely recognized as one of Cleveland’s most successful real estate collaborations, and was awarded his real estate broker’s license. At the same time, he published the “American Dream” Mr. Cartwright established both of his business enterprises, which specialized in marketing, managing and rehabilitating properties throughout the Cleveland area. Over the past 13 years he has successfully marketed and sold REOs for banks and asset management companies.

Julius Cartwright has worked with the City of Cleveland, and collaborated with various non-profits, developers/builders to acquire over 200 lots through the City of Cleveland as a land acquisition specialist.

Today, Julius Cartwright is a licensed real estate broker with over 22 years of experience. He has successfully sold over 1,500 homes and over 500 million in sales volume, and has worked in property management for 15 years, managing 750 units throughout his career. Additionally, he has been involved in the acquisition & rehab of over 350 properties for various investors.

He resides in Cleveland with his wife, Vicky and their two sons, Julius, II and Christian.



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