Three real estate minority professional associations in California have teamed up to endorse Pablo Wong for the state’s real estate commissioner.

The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, The Asian Real Estate Association of America and the California Association of Real Estate Brokers this week announced their support of Wong.

If appointed, Wong would be the first Latino or Asian real estate commissioner in California. Wong is a native of Managua, Nicaragua and of Chinese decent. He immigrated to San Francisco in 1979 where he began as a real estate company handyman and is now the director of diversity marketing for First American Title Co.’s Bay Area region.

The groups believe Wong’s Latino and Asian background will be a great asset in addressing diversity issues affecting the industry, which have been driven by changes in California’s demographics.

“Because of the growing influence of minority markets in California, we need a commissioner who can relate to the state’s multicultural community and, most importantly, has extensive experience in all facets of consumer protection as required by the Department of Real Estate,” said Butch Grimes, president of CAREB.

Prior to joining First American, Wong was the community affairs manager for the California Automobile Association. His background also includes more than 10 years as a real estate agent, deputy director for the Governor’s Office of Community Relations and as an industry and consumer liaison for the California Department of Real Estate.

California’s previous commissioner, Paula Reddish Zinnemann, left the post in October when state voters recalled Gov. Gray Davis and appointed Arnold Schwarzenegger to replace him. The governor appoints the real estate commissioner.

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