CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS VOL. 1
"Thanks to my determination and the opportunities in real estate, I made my dream a reality.”
Born in Mexico, Gina Diaz is an accomplished mother of three, ovarian cancer survivor, and attorney who dedicates her time to helping undocumented immigrants in her community. As an immigrant herself, Diaz serves her community as one of the top immigration attorneys.
Diaz practices within multiple fields of law, such as real estate and family. After being named the top Real Estate Attorney in the State of Illinois, Diaz took her knowledge in real estate into the investing field. Diaz began building her real estate empire by purchasing and rehabbing properties. After expanding her real estate portfolio with over 40 rental properties, she began giving back as one of the founding members of We Win, LLC – an organization dedicated to introducing women to the world of real estate.
Diaz decided to make a bigger impact by helping found We Win, NFP – a non for profit geared towards transforming lives while providing transitional housing to strengthen communities. Her real estate investments led her to share how to build generational wealth. Gina hopes that people will see themselves in her story and take that first step toward financial security.
“Repeatedly, I have faced challenges and kept moving forward. I have learned to never give up and never forget to look up.”
Baxtie Rodriguez is a serial entrepreneurial real estate professional with more than 21 years of experience as a managing broker. She has guided and mentored hundreds of agents and has taken home flippers, homeowners, and other home inspectors under her wing, providing invaluable lessons through her consulting business, Bax Development Group.
As the sole owner of Bax Properties, Inc. she managed multiple real estate franchises, encompassing more than 65 agents simultaneously. Baxtie is also currently the owner of City Home Inspectors, which services homes in both the Chicagoland and Sarasota (Florida) areas, and also owns and operates an online referral-based brokerage. Baxtie loves to teach and provides pre-licensing and professional development courses to aspiring home inspectors and Realtors in both Illinois and Florida.
She is also a strong believer in the value of community and maintains membership in The Oak Park Association of Realtors, the Illinois Association of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors, the National Association of Hispanic Professions, the American Society of Home Inspectors, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, and the Illinois Association of Home Inspectors.
Baxtie is proud to work every day alongside he three children who have joined her in her business ventures.
Magaly “Maggie” Martinez
“If a little girl sitting on a rock, pondering life, was able to find her calling in real estate, so can you.”
Maggie Martinez is more than a mortgage adviser; she is a mortgage expert. Her financial and real estate background give her a significant insight into her clients’ options. Maggie has recently joined Guaranteed Rate, the third largest lender in the US, as a Branch Manager. She has a vision to service the Latino community through top notch customer service, technology, and programs as well as to provide a home for other professionals to grow with her.
Maggie offers honest advice on any home loan. This ranges from a first-time home buying experience, to purchasing a vacation home or investment property, to refinancing any type of residential mortgage across the country.
Her knowledge is an asset to her clients, along with her youthful demeanor. She is a wife and a mother of two young children and can relate on what the process of home buying means not only for an individual but for the whole family. Maggie truly loves to make the experience of home buying one to remember fondly.
Maggie has dedicated her entire business to providing outstanding customer support by providing caring and sound advice with full transparency. Her main goal is to leverage all her resources to continue to close the gap in Hispanic homeownership all while paving the path for those that come after her to have an easier access to potential pull of wealth that can be built through real estate.
“All my childhood lessons gave me the necessary tools to navigate a world of entrepreneurship.”
Ainhoa Garcia graduated from the University of Cordoba in Spain and the University of Paul Verlaine in France in translation and interpreting studies. In 2012, Ainhoa packed her suitcase with a bunch of dreams and moved to Chicago. She has always had a passion for helping others, and saw a career in real estate as an opportunity to combine that passion with her love for interior design, business, and communication.
Having experienced the relocation process firsthand, she is committed to helping her clients make every transaction as memorable as possible, every step of the way. Ainhoa believes the best part of her job is the amazing people she meets and connects with. First-time home buyers, people looking to sell, or folks just needing tips to update their home should have her number.
Driven by honesty, advocacy, and dedication, Ainhoa works with hundreds of loyal and wonderful clients and has created a growing team that has achieved top producer awards, both locally and nationally. When Ainhoa is not selling houses, you can find her “at brunch” in Chicago, traveling, or attending events. She also enjoys cooking, reading, volunteering, and preparing “to-do” lists.
“My happiness is a daily choice.”
Danica Matos has been in real estate for more than 15 years, wearing many hats ranging from broker to investor. Today she leads her own real estate team, NFMS Group.
Throughout her career, Danica has helped hundreds of families buy, sell, and invest in real estate. Born and raised in Chicago’s Humboldt Park community, Danica’s long-term goal is to help her community build generational wealth through real estate, especially in multi-family.
One of her proudest accomplishments was helping clients through the market crash of 2008. She coached many families put of their difficult financial situations with wise real estate advice, which in turn gave those families a better future. Today, many are thriving and successful because of the real estate decisions they made at a critical time.
Danica believes that real estate is much more than just a business; it is a lifestyle that can serve as a vehicle to leave a legacy for your family. She hopes to impact her clients’ lives by assisting them with every aspect of their real estate needs, from home ownership, to sales, to investment. She is regarded as a trusted life and business coach who can help families obtain the life they want.
“If I had not gone through this, I would not be the person I am today.”
Carmen Chucrala is the founder and Managing Broker of Habloft LLC, a Chicago based brokerage focused on real estate investments and portfolio diversification.
Under her direction, Carmen provides an umbrella of services for clients to protect and grow their investment dollars. By leveraging her experiences in accounting, software implementation, and real estate investments, Carmen and her teams are developing a “one stop shop” business model that combines real estate and accounting services for small to mid-size businesses. Her client base is a network of real estate investors requiring expertise in diversifying their real estate portfolio, drafting business plans with five-year goals while creating compliance and due diligence systems. The objective is to build passive and active income.
Carmen takes pride in her Colombian heritage. It is from this perspective that she understands the entrepreneurial path one must undergo to achieve success for themselves and for their family as an immigrant. As a co-founder of the Chicagoland Latino Investor Organization, Carmen leads this Latino-driven initiative to serve as the voice for housing providers, property owners, and investors when policies compromise the ability for families to create and preserve generational wealth.
Carmen is the co-Founder of SPIRE Real Estate Education, Inc whose mission is to create successful paths in real estate for individuals seeking to become real estate professionals. Her contribution is to build partnerships with brokerages and companies to offer pre-licensing and continuing education coursework, and onboarding and training development programs. The purpose is to educate, innovate and train the next generation of real estate professionals.
Carmen holds a Master’s in Accountancy from the Keller Graduate School of Management with a dual bachelor’s degree in marketing and finance from DePaul University.
Michelle Aponte Boksa
“Confidence is key to breaking barriers and having it all as working Latinas.”
Michelle specializes in assisting first-time homebuyers and excels at breaking the homebuying process into simple steps. Her mission is to educate clients on loan options so they can make informed decisions and plan for the future. She provides clear, upfront information about the mortgage process so her clients feel confident in their homebuying journey.
Michelle started working in real estate at the age of eighteen as a receptionist for a mortgage broker. After completing her MBA in 2012, she committed to becoming a top mortgage loan originator. She has been awarded Top Originator by the prestigious Scotsman Guide, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) and has received the Freddie Mac Home Possible Rise Award along with various accolades from employers. Her long-term goal is to share her experience and provide a place for other loan originators to thrive in the industry.
Michelle’s definition of success is to create things that bring value to others. She has created local fundraisers to provide basic needs for the unfortunate and welcomes new opportunities to serve the community. She also enjoys exploring the city with her four-year-old son, cooking with her husband, visiting family often, staying active, and learning new things.
“I didn’t stop. I never quit. I kept going.”
Johanna is a real estate investor and the founder of Credit Rx. She hails from Pereira, Colombia and was raised by entrepreneurial parents before they moved to the U.S. when she was a teen.
Throughout her life, Johanna has been driven by her entrepreneurial spirit and belief in education. She earned a master’s degree in sales and marketing from the Keller Graduate School and worked as a branch manager at Bank of America, managing the largest and most successful branch in her district.
In 2011, Johanna met and married an amazing Marine veteran by the name of Oscar Diaz, and they were married six months later. Inspired by their personal home-buying experiences and experience with fixing their credit, Johanna founded Credit Rx. The company concentrates on the Hispanic market and helps clientele find financial freedom and opportunity with solutions to their credit problems. Credit Rx now serves clients Rico all of the states of the US including Puerto Rico
In 2022, Johanna earned her real estate license in Puerto Rico and is currently working with investors for the purchase of properties to be converted into vacation rentals. She enjoys the challenge of real estate and looks forward to the future.
Facebook: Johanna Diaz
“Run your own race and be yourself.”
Rosy Beltran has been a real estate professional since 2005, and is currently a real estate broker at REMAX Properties, serving the Chicagoland area. Rosy takes pride in always looking out for the best interest of her clients. She has a strong track record of success because she focuses on building long-term relationships with everyone she works with.
For Rosy, the only way to have a successful real estate transaction is to look at the clients’ big picture. She takes everything into consideration and is always thinking about the long-term implications of each investment. Her clients are her extended family, for without them, her career would not be possible.
Rosy’s mission is to continue helping as many families as possible achieve the American dream of home ownership. She also seeks to practice what she preaches by continuing to grow her own real estate investment portfolio alongside her life partner, Arturo Vargas. Rosy is also the proud mother of twin baby girls, Gianna and Giselle. She enjoys traveling at least once a year and is excited to continue doing this with her daughters. She’s also a self-proclaimed foodie who loves trying out new restaurants, and loves everything to do with fashion.
“Everything I have learned in this business has translated into all other aspects of life.”
Marisol has undeniably strong presence and a confidence that has propelled her into the rooms of some of the highest profile buyers and sellers in Massachusetts. Marisol is the repre-sentative of one of the most exciting developments under-way in Wilbraham, Massachusetts – The Gardens of Wil-braham – a prestigious 55 plus condo community. Most re-cently, she has been named as a top 100 Latino agent iby NAHREP (National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals) as well as named in the Top 50 Real Estate Teams, Na-tionwide, by her brokerage. Within the past few years, her portfolio has expanded her operating footprint to the great-er Boston area. Marisol was able to assist her dear friend, Alex Cora – Manager, Boston Red Sox – and his family with multiple transactions in Boston, as well as representing numerous noteworthy players, and coaches within the Red Sox community.
A Massachusetts Puerto Rican native, Marisol’s professional career began in banking, with TD Bank as well as MassMu-tual Financial Group. Marisol strives to maintain a work-life balance by spending time with her family, especially her two daughters Solimar and Carina, traveling and watching her favorite baseball team- The Boston Red Sox.
“Real estate is financial freedom.”
Sheyla Padilla is a bilingual, seasoned investor in the beautiful City of Chicago. Her seventeen years of experience in Real Es-tate acquisitions and sales, project and business management, construction, and interior design have resulted in the overall success of her career.
Sheyla is the CEO of a construction company. A woman and minority owned licensed General Contractor. She meticulous-ly renovates distressed properties, holds them as investments, or sells the assets on the market. Her strong leadership, listen-ing and communication skills, attention to detail, and organi-zation are the core values to the business.
Sheyla is also the Head of Operations of a proprietary, full-service residential leasing company. She oversees an invest-ment portfolio of 14 properties in Chicago’s underserved communities: the West Side and South Side. Sheyla is a firm believer that quality apartments and healthy living are a right, not a privilege. She successfully grew the company by perfect-ing the Real Estate Investor’s BRRRR method: Buy, Renovate, Rent, Refinance, Repeat.
When she is not wearing multiple hats and making Executive decisions, Sheyla enjoys traveling and spending quality time with family and close friends. She is an avid herbal tea drinker and follows the paleo diet. She loves listening to music and has a fond appreciation for nature, particularly flowers and plants.
Sheyla’s overall mission and vision is to shatter glass ceilings and promote social equity.
FB: Sheyla Padilla
Linked In: Sheyla Padilla
“My imagination took me to places you’ll never visit.”
Sally Delgado is the newly appointed Vice President of Operations at Realty of Chicago [ROC], a thriving brokerage firm with five locations, award winning distinctions and recognitions, and a growing roster of over 270 agents to date. Prior to her appointment, Sally served as an educator with over a decade of experience ranging from non-profit organizations, to serving in post-secondary and as a higher education administrator.
Sally credits her arduous childhood and her teachers of the world, on her ability to pivot at any given moment; she leads with confidence and a solution-focused mindset. Her proven track record is unmatched and her innate ability to connect with people set her apart.
She has served on various community projects, is an alumna of DePaul University, where she was recognized for the Latino Student Leadership Award among her peers, an alumna of Mujeres de HACE cohort 2020, is an ambassador for St. Jude Children Research Hospital, and served on the Casa Central Auxiliary ELAB board. Sally is looking forward to amplifying the Realty of Chicago brand and strategic development while bolstering the broker and clientele experience.
Tina Marie Hernandez
“When I finally recognized that I am the only one who can make ME happy, my life changed.”
Tina is celebrating her 30th year in the real estate industry. Understanding the importance of doing all in her power to create a “win-win” scenario for all parties involved in any market has earned her success with her clients and peers. She is well known as a person who supports community efforts that are designed to give citizens an opportunity for first-time homeownership with affordable options, as well as those searching for Fine Home and Estates.
Her efforts in helping the community have earned her positions with NAHREP local and National. With this organization she is able to help empower other professionals in her industry and is able to help the community.
With the help of her husband, Rich Hernandez, they built a thriving independent real estate company but felt they needed a partner. In 2020, during a pandemic they took the leap and partnered with Coldwell Banker. Bringing a luxury brand to the diverse market her and her agents represent has been amazing.
In her spare time Tina is busy being a grandma to her enjoying her family.
Her proudest accomplishment is her family. She has four beautiful children that help her remember that tomorrow is not promised and to cherish the gift of today.
“Life is a gamble. Always bet on yourself.”
Tanya Diaz was born and raised in the Logan Square Neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois. She is passionate about real estate and has been in real estate for over 10 years. Tanya is the Designated Managing Broker/Owner of Main Event Real Estate Group, which she opened in 2018.
Tanya was recently featured in Top Agent Magazine and has hosted and spoken at women empowerment events. She is committed to empowering the next generation of strong, Latina women to have a voice for themselves and accomplish their life goals.
Tanya has served as past Executive Secretary for the Chicago Chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) and continues to be involved with community work. In building a stronger community, Tanya continues to support the mission of “The Clubhouse,” – a facility owned by her husband and friends to develop strong minds and talent through sports training and exercise.
Being part of a “Champion Team,” is something Tanya is very familiar with. She is the mother of three boys and wife of 1996 U.S. Olympian and Former Lightweight World Champion, David Diaz. She continues to be surrounded by a winning team of Realtors that she gets to work with on a daily basis in her office.
Tanya’s favorite hobbies are traveling, photography, spending time with family and being a baseball mom.