New Faze is proud to introduce you to a few of our
Next Faze Leaders.

We can always highlight an individual’s work experience. That of course goes without saying. Anu Dhillon has been an Assistant Supervisor at a recreation and wellness center, a Research Assistant for the Political Science Department at UC Merced, and a Summer Analyst at Morgan Stanley. All of these things hold weight as it pertains to knowing whether or not someone can hold down a job and what type of work they have done in the past to earn a paycheck. Anu differs from most in some respects though. Leaders go above and beyond. They also sacrifice and do things that they know they won’t be rewarded for. Anupam has made a habit out of this. He is addicted to helping others to flourish and prosper.


This is a young man who has lent his time and solid work ethic to the Boy’s and Girl’s Club, the UC Haiti Initiative, the Business Society at UC, and the Merced County District Attorney’s office. Most of us go to college to receive something, whether it is an education, social experience, or to find one’s self. Anu was in school giving back to the school and the other students through his volunteer efforts. School is a community and he was helping to build outward from within. He was even helping to set up entrepreneurships in a different country. Anu is all about growth and leading others to help whenever possible. This is the type of individual who embodies the essence of what this company is all about. This is the type of person that can help make a community the absolute best in can be.


What do you like best about volunteering?


Knowing that I can make a tangible impact is what drives me to volunteer. Being able to personally reflect upon the changes in my community after weeks, months or even years of commitment is sincerely gratifying and is what I like best.


Are leaders born or built?


Leaders are built. Many assume that leaders are people who can speak well in public and have the charm factor. While those are both important, there are many other skills that are learned through experiences. Setting reachable goals, having your team be inspired by the work they are doing, and promoting trust within an organization are not abilities somebody is necessarily born with, but they are major traits of leaders and they are abilities which can be cultivated.


What made you want to travel on the career path that you have chosen?


My unique experiences throughout college have reinforced my commitment to public service in my local, and even global, communities. I believe that public-private sector partnerships are extremely critical in community development and hope to work on both sides upon graduating law school.

Scheduled to graduate from the University of California in 2015 with a B.S. in Management, being President and Evangelist of the Campus Life Christian Club, and chief Financial Officer of the Business Society Club only tells a small portion of Denzel Butler’s story, which with every step he takes, is still being written. Ambition, a good moral compass, a passion for charity, and a strong worth ethic means the ink from which his life’s journey is being documented, is of the highest quality. Whether being a Residential Assistant, a service technician or a volunteer food server at Saint Mary’s Dining Hall to feed the homeless, Denzel finds a way to give his all and then some. Isn’t that what life is all about?!


Denzel was the recipient of the National Federation of Independent Business Young Entrepreneur Scholarship, as well as a recipient of the Bank of America Scholarship. But what matters most to him is using those accolades, achievements and experiences to be an innovator of progression, success, and positivity. He wants to build upon every opportunity that has presented itself to help communities flourish while ensuring that the environment’s natural balance is maintained through good old fashioned grass roots efforts from the ground level up. Helping communities to be better and stronger as a whole is the aim. Denzel believes in team work, communication, and incorporating all the knowledge he has obtained into the base from which his leadership skills will inspire and enhance the overall quality of life of those he has the good fortune of working for and with.


How does being an entrepreneur positively affect the way you work with others on business in which you are simply an employee?

Having operated my own business, I have the unique understanding of the responsibilities associated with being a CEO and an employee. As such, I can complete my tasks as an employee with full comprehension of how my work affects the decisions of higher management and the company as a whole.


During an awards ceremony at the end of your successful career, how would you want the presenter to remember your accomplishments?


I want the presenter to remember my accomplishments as those being achieved by an entrepreneur that did not succeed just on his own. However, God, family, mentors and team work aided my self-drive in propelling me to success. I want to be remembered as one who received wisdom from the wise and gave all the wisdom that he received to those wanting to receive it.


What advice would the present “you” give to the younger “you” before starting on this journey?


The present Denzel would tell the younger Denzel to never let anyone tell you that your goals and aspirations are impossible. People are not in control of your destiny, but you ultimately are. Your decisions today will have an impact on “my” future of tomorrow.


Ciao! Diana Huynh will be graduating from the University of California, Merced in Spring 2015 with a B.S. in Management and a Psychology minor. But before she graciously saunters that stage of success, she will be venturing in Rome, Italy to expand her cultural gen.


Her life motto is to aspire to inspire and she lives this everyday by having the dream and passion to uplift and influence the minds of others. She recognizes communities as the root of human minds. Society and life encounters are what shapes peoples way of thinking, and to empower someone’s mind is to empower their soul.


What is the key to being a leader?


Inspiration. When you inspire someone, you are helping them reach a conclusion through his or her own thought process. The only thing you are doing is planting the seed, but they are the ones who grow.


To “lead” you must know the way, go the way, and show the way. It is important that leaders practice what they preach, and be the leader they wish to follow. Being a leader is not what I do, but it is who I am.


Why is inspiration significant to you?


I chose to lead through inspiration because I feel that when you inspire someone, it makes a longer lasting impression, even if they don’t remember it came from you. When people are inspired, they share it with other people, and that’s the beauty of it.


I have had a very colorful life, and it is through experience that I understand how important it is to have some sort of empowerment. I want help people understand that just because you don’t have wings does not mean you cannot fly. I want to inspire people to be the leader of their own lives, to stop wishing for more and use the resources that are within reach and make more. It is only then when you will truly thrive.


How has joining the New Faze family inspired you?


The first time I met Professor Mark T. Harris, he asked me, “What’s your dream?” I didn’t know how to answer, so I answered honestly. I said, “I don’t know, all I know is that I want to help people. I don’t know how, but I’ll find a way.” He then introduced me to New Faze and I accepted his internship offer without hesitation. He was surprised that I said yes without any research of the company itself, and I told him, “I don’t care, all I need to know is you.” Since day one, I knew he saw a soil where he could plant a seed to help me grow. He knew he could help me prosper into someone great. Becoming a Next Faze Leader brought clarity to my life; it pointed me into the direction that I’ve been longing to go.


My first project as a Next Faze Leader is the Community Gardens project. To be able to have the opportunity to transform poverty to prosperity in a food desert is empowering, not for just me but for the whole community. I have always wanted to “give back” to my hometown, but the question that always lingered was “how?” New Faze has given me the resources I need to do just that.

Mr. Harris is from Sacramento, California.  He is deputy general counsel at New Faze Development in Sacramento.  He is a recent graduate from the University of Oregon School of Law.  Mr. Harris has worked for United States Representative Barbara Lee and the Democratic National Committee in Washington, D.C.  He had the privilege of speaking at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.


Mr. Harris has also done work for disability rights groups, including the American Association for People with Disabilities in Washington, D.C.  He connected with members of congress, including United States Representative Tammy Duckworth and former Senator Tom Harkin to work on improving the current situation in this country and around the world for people with disabilities.  Mr. Harris has also had the privilege of working for Attorney John Burris one of the best Civil Rights Attorneys in the country.  Mr. Harris has always taken a strong stance for people who need assistance.


Mr. Harris is also the founder of a non profit organization, Tomorrow’s Today, who’s goal is to give educational and sports opportunities to all young people, both able bodied and disabled.  Mr. Harris currently lives in Sacramento.

If you want to build a home that will stand the test of time for families with a desire to cultivate strong values, good morals and a great work ethic, you have to begin with a sturdy foundation. Companies such as this one routinely build those sorts of foundations, those types of homes, and when you have enough of them, you get communities of people ready and able to affect the world in a positive way. These types of feats are only possible when the people that work for such companies are made of the same organic fiber as Martin Harris.

Martin Harris has been working hard his entire life to become the sort of leader it takes to help a community flourish. You build a home brick by brick and that is exactly how he built himself up. He played college basketball for UC Merced and was an All-Conference selection. It took years of blood, sweat and tears to become the type of player that could compete at such a high level. He also shared the knowledge and skills he had developed with the youth at the Shanghai University of Sports, Nike Basketball Camp when he coached 9-17 year olds on the fundamentals of basketball. Foundations, fundamentals, there is definitely a theme developing here. He’s interned for various politically tied movements including but not limited to: Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, and the US Olympic Committee. He served under Karen Bass evaluating scholarship applications. At the US Olympic Committee, he performed research on green energy usage in Olympic training facilities and venues. He also produced speaking points for the Bicameral Task Force on Global Climate Change. Naturally he was a Political Science Major and a Business Management Minor. This is how you build and it’s a plus that Martin Harris does it with a green thumb.


Where do you see yourself 20 years from now?


Though married with children, I see myself traveling the world, while owning and managing a business that helps to build communities internationally. Through my organization I’ll also be teaching college level courses on international business and ethics. I’ll be getting around in a self driving sports car and enjoying all of my favorite sporting events from any location in the world as if I were in each arena thanks to some type of virtual eye glasses. My 20 year prognosis looks very bright.

Which intern experience will be most vital as it pertains to reaching your career goals?


The intern experience that I find to be most essential for my career goals is the Dixieanne Park Project. At New Faze Development, we as interns are taught that our company not only builds houses but builds communities. Therefore, revitalizing Dixieanne Park within the community of Del Paso Heights will not only be important for Renaissance Park, but it will also benefit the surrounding community by providing a safe environment for kids and their families. In my career goals, I plan on improving public – private partnerships so that everyone can benefit from each other.


How has athletics helped you to develop leadership qualities?


Athletics has helped me develop leadership skills in ways that I could not have imagined. I’ve been involved in several sports as a kid, which included track & field, football, and basketball. I was most passionate about basketball and continued playing through high school into college. I was a part of the first collegiate basketball team at UC Merced and received All Conference my second year on the team. Basketball has taught me that it takes a team to accomplish a goal. It has also taught me to always do the best I can and to never give up in times of adversity. Most importantly, sports has taught me that the real victory is won by what you do off the court. This requires training, practice, and preparation prior to the games. That same work ethic and method of preparation is the most important part of the formula as it pertains to building yourself into a leader.

My goal is to transfer to St. Mary’s college which is in Moraga, California and Major in Business with a concentration in Global Business; I plan on transferring in the fall of 2015 and become an investment banker or a venture capitalist. I am glad that I spent the first two years at Folsom Lake College in order to prepare for transfer, it has been a valuable learning experience and I have gained a lot of insight about my future endeavors. He is majoring in Business with a concentration of Global business. Once he transfers he is going to study abroad in Shanghai, China.


I am most proud of my Yoruba heritage, and my distinguished family name. It inspires me to strive to live up to the prestigious accomplishments that represent my family legacy. My most significant learning experience has been learning to juggle my academic studies in college, my work in an educational technology company and playing on the college tennis team, and all of the Next Faze leaders and staff have helped me manage all of this very well.


Do you think that leaders are born or built?


I definitely believe that leaders are built, but it is easier to aspire to that spot more than others. But anyone can become a leader as long as they motivate themselves into aspiring to do what they want to do. Always make a plan but actually execute this plan and make something of yourself in the long run, no matter what it is that you want, you can achieve it through hard work.


Are sports a reflection of life, and if so, why?


I think that sports help shape the way people carry themselves. I say this based off of the way that a person actually plays the sport. I don’t think it is based on the skill level but on the mindset that they have in the game. I will never go into the game with a negative attitude, because that will give you negative mindset, which will cause you to have a negative output on things. If you go in with a positive attitude then you will be able to have a more positive mindset and a positive attitude towards things.


Where do you see yourself 20 years from now?


In 20 years I plan to have made my brand and have it well marketed. This would include me getting married with children, but I also plan to own my company, so I can dictate my outcome for my present and future. I plan to own an investment firm and with me getting to the top with the support of everyone, I plan to give back to all of the communities that have supported and make sure that there will be opportunities that I want to be available to everyone who want to work for it and earn it. Not only do I want to be successful but I want to make sure that I can make others successful once I am able to help, because no one can do it all on their own.

College graduate of Sonoma State University, bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, Captain and MVP of Sonoma’s men’s basketball team, and currently a pre-law student in prep for his LSAT exam; I’d say Sterling Arterberry is on the road to success. As a Next Faze Leader at New Faze, a homebuilding and development company, he has the opportunity to explore the world of business up close.


Sterling is the type of young man that embraces all challenges and opportunities to grow and compete. This is the stuff that true leaders are made of. People such as him impact developments, communities, and society in a way conducive to forward thinking and progression. Young people like Sterling become the visionaries who lead us into a better tomorrow, all the while understanding that the future is now.


Do you think great leaders fight for that position or are they chosen?


I think the key word in that question is “great.” Great leaders, without a doubt in my mind, fight for their position. A position that is awarded to someone undeserving, or handed to someone that still has yet to prove his or her worth can be disastrous for whatever group they are chosen to lead.


Are sports a reflection of life, and if so, why?


I may be speaking from a biased perspective because it has been a major part of my life to this day, but sports are a reflection of life in every way. I played basketball at a very high level throughout high school and college and there was hardly a sport that I didn’t try. Soccer, football, track, golf, fishing, I can go down the line. The lessons that are taught through the trials and tribulations of competition are invaluable. Lessons such as patience, teamwork, leadership, perseverance, selflessness, gratitude, and the translation of hard work in practice over to success in games are things athletes learn. All of these things are encouraged and even sought after in the business world. I think it has molded many leaders of yesterday, many leaders of today, and will continue to mold our youth into future leaders of the world.


What is the most competitive situation you have ever been in and overcame adversity?


From a sports perspective, the most competitive situation that I have ever been in was my junior year down at Sonoma State. We were playing Cal State LA, who at the time was the 11th ranked team in the nation. Although we weren’t too far down in the polls that year, almost cracking the top 25 at 30th in the nation, we found ourselves in a hole late in the game that many people had already ruled us out. We had gotten off to a horrible start, CSULA jumped out to a quick 20 point. I vividly remember this experience because nothing like it has ever happened to me. At the 5 minute mark in the second half, we were forced to stop play due to a media time out. I looked at the scoreboard and we were down 17 points. If you don’t know basketball, that is a pretty insurmountable lead with only 5 minutes to play. For the last 5 minutes of this game, we put on a full court press that worked to perfection. With myself being one of the more athletic players on the team, I lead the front of the press. All of a sudden, CSULA began to fall apart. We forced them to commit turnover after turnover. There were 8 seconds left on the clock and we were down by one point, with them at the free throw line. Their player made the first free throw. Then the second free throw missed to the left. I grabbed the rebound and for some reason one of the opposing players ran me over and sent me to the line with 5 seconds left in the game. I knocked both of the crowd silencing free throws down. The game then went to overtime and we dominated. It was one of the toughest sports come backs I have ever been a part of. We were all mentally and physically exhausted by the games end, but the reward of seeing that W on our schedule and seeing the smiles on our teammate’s faces was priceless.


When it comes to building homes, communities and a healthy environment for families and societies to flourish, it all begins with a plan and a great team. The team is the group of individuals that are responsible for executing such meticulous plans and therefore, they are extremely important. We’ve all heard the saying; the chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Timothy Cross may be one of the strongest. Hard work, dedication, perseverance, and that is all exhibited before he eats breakfast. Imagine what he exudes once he is at work.


At the epicenter of what we do, is building. Timothy has worked on construction sites and behind the scenes. He worked within Account Management for Taja Construction and interned under Construction Management for Don Todd and Associates. Doing so, he has obtained priceless experience as a white and blue collar worker as it pertains to the business of building structures. From calculating construction estimates to being there, wearing his hard hat, surveying construction progress, Timothy has been very busy. He was an athlete in high school, a promoter within the entertainment field and studied Marketing at Howard University and plans to attend Arizona State University to complete his degree. Timothy is a multi-faceted gem of an asset, whose various skills and abilities equates to innovation and excellence of the highest regards.


What made you want to work within the marketing?


I started working within the marketing field at the age of 16 promoting for 18 and under clubs. I enjoyed designing flyers to advertise the events and fell in love with the fact that marketing focused on people and what they desired. I was most attracted to the energy and life that you have to put into it. The fact that to be good at marketing, you have to be good at observing, living and interacting with people to learn their likes, dislikes, and nuances. That is what made me want to work within the marketing field.


Do you see yourself as more hands on or a person who delegates?


Although I possess characteristics of someone who is hands on, I see myself as a delegator. I have an ability to see the big picture in many different things. I’ve held leadership positions in the past in which I delegated responsibilities among my peers. I enjoy seeing the end result after the individual(s) apply their own influence to the delegated task. I tend to be understanding of different working styles and I’m usually able to mediate well with diverse groups.


If there were a perfect community, and you were responsible for building it, what would it consist of?

My perfect community would consist of a diverse surrounding population. If possible, there would be a free gym for members of the community, complete with a swimming pool and rec. center. The homes would have rooftop gardens and solar panels to be environmentally friendly. This community would have a concert venue, movie theatre, and shops at the street level. The development would be connected to a light rail, mass transit, or subway system. There would be a huge underground parking structure, palm trees, and other tropical vegetation as well. A skyscraper would be located nearby or the community could be a skyscraper itself. A lot of street art, huge murals, and sculptures placed at noticeable locations would be a must. I would finish it off with good restaurants, libraries, schools, and nightclubs nearby. It would feel like there is a sense of culture there.

Zimeng Liao, who goes by Gloria, is very interesting. Gloria is a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Public Relations Committee, a member of the Business Society’s Finance Dept., and an economics tutor. She is extremely intelligent and gifted when it comes to all things business and finance; hence her being a double major in Economics and Management at the University of California, Merced. That isn’t even the interesting part. When it comes to building and development, ideas must be shared and this is done through communication.


Of Asian descent, Gloria is fluent both written and orally in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, and understand conversational Japanese. In any realm of business, that is a strong skill to possess; the ability to communicate information for growth to many different people. Most great leaders are great orators. Being a great orator means nothing if you can’t understand the needs of the people and the people can’t understand you. Gloria is a rare mixture of young ambition, a high aptitude as it pertains to financial analytics, and the ability to bridge the language gap. The future of community development looks bright with Gloria in the fold.


What language do you dream in and how has being multi lingual helped you the most?


I can speak both Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese Chinese; And being multi lingual has helped me to learn to understand both sides of the stories because of language barrier, and being multi lingual keeps me in touch with my own culture and knowing that everyone is different in its own way.


Do you rather the business side of things or the financial side?


I would choose to be on the financial side of the business because to me, numbers are unbiased and a great business built upon great finance.


When developing a community, what are the most important issues that must be addressed before construction begins?


The most important issue would be safety of the neighborhood because it determines the quality of living in the community and the willingness of purchasing will also be determined by the safety of the neighborhood.

Not everyone understands the need for leaders in our communities; but most importantly, there are only a few that are willing to work their entire lives to make a positive change in people’s lives. Sadly, bad economies, fewer jobs, unethical decisions, higher crime rates, brought a tremendous discouragement for many, however Stephanie Badillo has dedicated her energy and enthusiasm to mentor many young kids to help them achieve their educational and personal goals. “We are all entitled to dream, and we must believe that we can achieve what we dream for.”


While born in the U.S, Stephanie was raised in Tijuana, Mexico; where at a young age she was exposed to civil courts by her mother who served as a former judge. After overcoming English language barriers, Stephanie graduated from UC Merced with great academics and national accomplishments, such as wining the 2011 Sam’s Club Business plan competition and participating in the 2011 Latino Leadership Program at Harvard Kennedy School.

During her time at UC Merced, she was an active school leaders in multiple peer mentoring programs, and pre-law organizations that were committed to empower minority students, and provide resources for these students to continue with their education. As part of her adventurous spirit, Stephanie completed her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and minor of Business management abroad, in the city of Rome, Italy, where she studied Italian, and interned for a family owned law firm; where she was able to compare the Mexican, U.S and Roman judicial systems. Currently, she resides in San Diego and works for a top producer realtor in Keller Williams Realty, while she waits for law school admission for the 2015 Fall program.


How did interning at New Faze prepared you for your professional career?


Having the opportunity to work at New Faze during my undergraduate career exposed me to a “unique company” that constantly revolutionizes traditional housing services; based on the real needs of communities, individuals and new technologies. New Faze leaders taught me to be innovative and  open to change. But, most importantly, working with these community leaders, set an ethical foundation, to always do the right thing, to have morals and values that are highly considered amongst other leaders. Lastly, our leadership created a platform where I could speak up my mind; our CEO, also known as “our mentor” always encouraged us to voice our opinions, without fear of been judged. Such amazing work environment allowed me to grow professionally and continue the New Faze legacy in any other company I work for.

New Faze has been supporting leadership development for nearly a decade. We are proud to celebrate the success of former Next Faze Leaders.