Ernest Reyes, cofounder of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, passed away on Saturday after a brief illness, the organization announced. He was 72.
Mr. Reyes and Gary Acosta founded the national trade group for Hispanics working in the real estate and housing industry in 1999. The San Diego-based association has 21,000 members with more than 40 chapters across the country.
"Erie always had clarity on the issues and what changes needed to be made to advance Hispanic ownership," Acosta said in a press release. "He was a compelling voice on public policy and the heart and soul of our organization. He will be missed greatly."
Mr. Reyes was the chairman and executive director of the NAHREP Founding, an affiliate of the group that works directly with consumers to increase financial literacy, education and community development. He also served in volunteer leadership positions as chairman of the San Diego Home Loan Counseling Center and the 9th Region Regulatory Fairness Board of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Mr. Reyes was a licensed real estate broker and CEO of Network Realty, spending 40 years in the industry. NAHREP said Reyes was a passionate voice for Hispanic rights, advocating for Spanish-language documents and service for Hispanic homebuyers.
He survived by his wife, Patricia, of 51 years; son, Darren; daughter, Denise; and five grandchildren. Plans for the memorial service are pending.
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