Diversity Leadership Program

banner image for diversity leadership program class of 2022

NAA’s Diversity Leadership Program (DLP) provides up to 15 individuals of diverse backgrounds an opportunity to develop as a leader in the rental housing industry. Participants who are considered junior to mid-level (3-7 years in rental housing) will gain leadership experience through mentoring, and training as part of the yearlong program. The program is a crucial aspect of the NAA’s leadership diversification strategy intended to identify, mentor and engage individuals from underrepresented minority groups.

Upon completion of the Diversity Leadership Program, participants will be able to:

  • Gain understanding and comfort of your cultural background. 
  • Learn how unconscious bias’ impact your view of others and interactions with them. 
  • Develop insight on how you can contribute to D&I efforts at your company.
  • Advance your leadership and communication skills to position yourself for success in a diverse world.
  • Learn how to facilitate healthy conversations around diversity in the workplace.
  • Develop a personalized career growth plan to achieve a leadership role within the rental housing industry

The application period for the Class of 2022 is now closed. If you would like to be notified when the next application period opens, please email [email protected].

Program Information

  • NAA membership is required.

  • Must be 29 years or younger on June 30, 2022.

  • Must be employed full time in the rental housing industry.

  • Demonstration of making a meaningful impact at the workplace.

Diversity Leadership Program participants are required to attend monthly virtual sessions and NAA's Apartmentalize Conference.

  • March 4 - November 3, 2022: Monthly Virtual Sessions (Education Sessions, Reading Discussions, Capstone Calls and Mentor Calls)

  • June 22-24, 2022: Apartmentalize (San Diego, CA) 

Note: All selected candidates are responsible for travel expenses for attending Apartmentalize.

If accepted, DLP participants will receive the following benefits:

  • A 100% virtual leadership development opportunity that incorporates training, personalized assessments, and mentoring tailored specifically for underrepresented groups in rental housing.  

  • Complimentary registration to NAA’s Apartmentalize on June 22-24, 2022 in San Diego, California.

  • Assigned a mentor who is a leader in the rental housing industry and will be involved in regular mentorship calls.

  • Opportunity to participate on a committee at the national or local level.

  • Applications will be reviewed based on letter of recommendations, personal statement, and program commitment during the review period in late January.

  • All selections will be made by members of NAA's Diversity & Inclusion Committee

  • Resume

  • Personal Statement

  • Professional Reference

  • Support by Supervisor

  • Considered Junior to Mid-Level Career (3-7 years in rental housing) from an Underrepresented Group.

  • Employed a Minimum of Three Years in the Rental Housing Industry

  • NAA membership is required.

For a program overview and application information, please email Sara Keene.

October 4, 2021: Applications Open

December 3, 2021: Applications Due

January 17- 28, 2022: Application Review

February 11, 2022: Selected Applicants Notified

March 4, 2022: Diversity Leadership Program Kick-Off Call

Mentoring is a vital to the Diversity Leadership Program participants success. If you are interested in serving as a mentor for one of the 2022 participants, please apply by December 3, 2021.

Meet the Class of 2022

Members of NAA’s Diversity Leadership Program, Class of 2022 are the next generation of leaders with a lot of ideas for the rental housing industry.


Faith Barker
Marketing Director
Pioneer Acquisitions
Member of the Chicagoland Apartment Association


Nikita Bhappu-Abbaspour
Director of Communications
Valet Living
Member of Bay Area Apartment Association


Camil Davis
Assistant Property Manager
SL Nusbaum
Member of the Virginia Apartment Management Association


Amanda DeHart
Leasing & Marketing Manager
Member of the National Apartment Association


Vanessa Grayson
Business Manager
Lincoln Property Company
Member of the Apartment Association of Kansas City


Ariel Guzman
Community Manager
Member of the New Jersey Apartment Association


Heydyn Hernandez
Regional Sales Manager
CORT Furniture
Member of the South East Florida Apartment Association


Ricardo Lawson
Community Manager
Member of the Greater Charlotte Apartment Association


Caleaya Miller
Assistant Community Director
Highmark Residential
Member of the First Coast Apartment Association


Christine Munda
Regional Support Specialist
Berger Rental Communities
Member of the Pennsylvania Apartment Association


Eddy Perez
Property Manager
Member of the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando


Gio Ponce
Senior Property Manager
Element 47 by Windsor
Member of the Apartment Association of Metro Denver


Saniya Regmi
Training and Development Associate
Goodman Real Estate
Member of the Washington Multi-Family Housing Association


Epiphany Smith
Community Manager
Blue Ridge Companies
Member of the Upper State Apartment Association


Nichole E. Wiley
Senior Community Manager
BRG Realty Group
Member of the Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky Apartment Association

Class of 2021


Buddy Bryson
Account and Marketing Manager
Groundworks Landscaping


Jason Cantu
Associate Director of Property Management
Tigris Real Estate


Wesley Dean
Community Manager


Dana Duckworth
Regional Account Executive


Crystal Dukes
Director of Education and Training
RealSource Management


Monica Frazier
Executive Property Manager
Village Green


Samantha Harvey
Property Manager
JMG Realty Inc.


Staci Hasman
Community Manager
AMLI Residential


Destiny Igiebor
Operations Manager
Grady Management, Inc.


Rita Khan
Community Association Manager
Associa Kramer-Triad


Julianna Kim
Community Manager
Mill Creek Residential


Meaghan Mannion
Residential Leasing Manager
Lupoli Companies


Jessica Romero
Market Director of Sales - FL
Valet Living


Ishea Shepherd
Senior Property Manager
AMC Delancey Group


Ruha Vohra
Community Director
Veritas Equity Management

  • Jordan Campbell | Community Manager, Shippy Properties | San Antonio, TX

  • Angel Davila | National Maintenance Trainer, Monarch Investment & Management Group | Franktown, CO

  • Dion Harris | Community Manager, Burkely Communities | Greensboro, NC

  • Moneque Horsey | Director of Sales, BG Multifamily | Bala Cynwyd, PA

  • Delila House | Regional Training Specialist, MAA | Germantown, TN

  • Cristina Istrate | Asset Management Senior Analyst, FCP | Chevy Chase, MD

  • Jeremiah Mangrum | Property Manager, Somerset Apartment Management | Little Rock, AR

  • Jamie Medina | Property Manager, Bella Investment Group | Flagstaff, AZ

  • Brian Polley | Senior Regional Manager, Sundance Property Management, LLC | Cincinnati, OH

  • Sierra Rasmussen | Community Manager, Greystar | Portland, OR

  • Camron Shelton | Regional Director, Centerspace | Minneapolis, MN

  • Lynett Smith | Property Manager, Atlantic Pacific Management Company | McDonough, GA

  • Gicel Suarez | Property Manager, Apartment Homes by Tonti | Metairie, LA

  • Sara Wood | Director of Operations, Sunset Property Solutions | Cincinnati, OH

Capstone Presentations

Within NAA’s Diversity Leadership Program, participants work in small groups to develop real solutions for advancing diversity and inclusion in rental housing. Watch the Capstone Presentations from the Class of 2021.

The Bridge Program
DLP Participants Monica Frazier, Meaghan Mannion and Wesley Dean present “The Bridge Program”, a year-long program designed to “bridge the gap” between corporate and onsite team members.

DLP Alumni and Mentor Network
DLP Participants Buddy Bryson, Jason Cantu and Staci Hasman present “Diversity Alumni Network and Resource Center”, a mostly virtual hub for knowledge and resource sharing for past, current and future members of the DLP program.

Inclusive Spaces
DLP Participants Samantha Harvey, Ishea Shepherd and Ruha Vorha present “Inclusive Spaces”, a network and education initiative for emerging leaders.

From Onsite to Insight
DLP Participants Dana Duckworth, Destiny Igiebor and Rita Khan present “From Onsite to Insight”, a comprehensive plan to move minority women from onsite and vendor suppliers to the executive level.

D&I Hubspace
DLP Participants Crystal Dukes, Julianna Kim and Jessica Romero present “Diversity & Inclusion Hubspace”, a platform where individuals can share their stories, offer support, and access Diversity & Inclusion resources.