MINNEAPOLIS, MN (July 16, 2020) — Gino Blefari, CEO of HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, has appointed Teresa Palacios Smith as Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for HomeServices and its subsidiaries, including its family of brokerage, mortgage, insurance, settlement-services, and relocation companies, and HSF Affiliates, which operates the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and Real Living franchise networks.
In her role, Palacios Smith will lead HomeServices’ employee- and agent-diversity programs, cultivate a culture of equity and inclusion, and champion the company’s goal of increasing minority homeownership.
“There’s no place like home. Our home is a place that we associate with acceptance, family, love, safety, and belonging,” said Palacios Smith. “HomeServices exemplifies this and I’m honored to lead the diversity and inclusion efforts of a company that values its people, promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion, and cherishes homeownership and fair housing for all.”
Palacios Smith began her career as a successful real estate agent and served on Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties’ management team. In 2017, she joined HSF Affiliates as its Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion for the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and Real Living franchise networks.
During her more than 20 years in the real estate industry, Palacios Smith has been a national speaker and trainer who has focused on emerging markets, unconscious bias, and real estate trends in diverse market segments. She serves on the boards of many of the country’s top housing organizations that focus on supporting people from traditionally underserved communities and is recognized for her dedication to expanding and celebrating leadership opportunities in real estate for women. She is a past president of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), one of the largest associations of minority real estate professionals in the country, and a co-founder of the NAHREP’s Atlanta chapter. In 2019, she received the Diversity Leader Award from the National Association of Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem. In May 2018, she was honored by RISMedia with the Newsmaker award and was inducted, along with HomeServices’ executive chair Ron Peltier, into RISMedia’s Hall of Fame.
“HomeServices has been, and always will be, dedicated to reflecting the rich diversity of the many markets and communities we serve as we look to provide and expand the opportunity of home ownership to all communities,“ said Blefari. “Expanding our executive leadership team with a person of Teresa’s caliber, passion, and energy is an important first step.”