When Pamela Loveless first moved to Reno, NV twenty-two years ago she clearly did not fit in with the local commercial real estate community. The city’s ethic makeup was 2%-to4% African American, quite different from her California roots. That was two strikes against her, Loveless remembered thinking: she was a woman and she was Black. Without further ado, Loveless, now the owner of PKL Homes, a short-term apartment rental operator, set about finding a way in.

The adage is the Reno was an old cowboy town and it still holds onto that image, she says. “I purchased cowboy hats in every color and whatever I wore to a business event I would pair it with a cowboy hat. I took something near and dear to them and made it mine.”

It worked—at least in terms of name recognition and getting her foot in the industry. Receiving complete acceptance, though, was a long uphill slog that required not only imagination but also grit, backbone and determination. There are still days when she feels she has to push back against subtle bias and discrimination.

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Erika Morphy


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