Dr. Cheryl Travis-Johnson (EVP & COO VRM Mortgage Services) founded The Council for Inclusion in Financial Services (CIFS) in partnership with Marques Woods in 2017 (President & CEO Braycor, Inc.). After being asked to sit on various Diversity and Inclusion boards that were merely senior leaders talking about issues but not leading to any impactful solutions. Dr. Johnson and Mr. Wood wanted to have an impact on the problem. The dual approached Keith Murray (President & CEO, VRM Real Estate Alliance (VRMREA)) with their concept as he is a living example of the success the financial industry can experience with diversity. He agreed that this was a great concept and allowed the use of his platforms to support our efforts. In fact, he agreed to serve as CIFS President & CEO and managing member of CIFS. Further, he financed a standalone entity to support these efforts. VRM Mortgage Services, Auction.com, and Betters Law Firm were the host sponsors the first year. They have each continued as hosts sponsors each year since that time and the list of sponsors has grown since then. Mr. Murray believes that he and his peers have a corporate responsibility to promote financial literacy in the communities where they conduct business.
As our decision-making body at the highest level of organizational leadership, the CIFS Advisory Board plays a critical role in promoting an organization that invests, prioritizes, and supports diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Whether in the determination of strategy, the hiring of an executive, the allocation of resources, or the goal of serving the community with authenticity, our board’s leadership on diversity, equity, and inclusion matters.