CEO | Chicago Association of REALTORS®


Ginger Downs, RCE, CAE, CIPS, IOM

Ginger Downs, RCE, CAE, IOM Ginger Downs, RCE, CAE, CIPS, IOM, is Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Association of REALTORS®, responsible for leading and maintaining the Association’s national standing as a premiere REALTOR® organization. Ginger was appointed to her current role in October 2005, having served as an executive officer of REALTOR® associations since 1983. Prior to Chicago she was Executive Vice President of the Seattle-King County Association of REALTORS® (Kirkland, Washington) for more than a decade. Ginger’s range of past professional engagement includes managing six REALTOR® associations; including a commercial REALTOR® overlay association; serving as a representative/spokesperson for several community housing coalitions and contributing to the development of the REALTOR® Safety Council program – the foundation of the National Association of REALTORS® Annual Safety program.

Ginger’s designations include the National Association of REALTORS® – REALTORS® Certified Executive (RCE), the American Society of Association Executives – Certified Association Executive (CAE) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – graduate of the Institute of Organizational Management (IOM). Ginger also recently received the NAR Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation.

Since arriving in Chicago, Ginger has parlayed her expertise in and love of professional development to include Director seats on the Real Estate Advisory Boards for DePaul University, Roosevelt University’s Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate, John Marshall Law School and the Goldie B. Wolfe Miller Women Leaders in Real Estate Initiative. Her most recent appointment is on the Board of Regents for the newly formed REALTOR® University, which grants a Masters of Real Estate degree. Due to her financial and strategic planning background, she serves as R.U.’s Treasurer, as well as the Co-Chair for the Finance & Planning Committee (with NAR 2011 Past President Ron Phipps).

Ginger also is engaged in the Chicago community with service on the Board of Directors for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce (2008 – 10), as well as the 2014 President for All Chicago – Making Homelessness History. All Chicago is a consolidation of The Emergency Fund (for homelessness prevention) and The Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness.

Ginger has a long history of leadership service at both the state (Washington and Illinois) and national levels of the REALTOR® organization. Most recently, she served as the 2012 Chair of the NAR Association Executives Committee and as a NAR Board of Directors member. Ginger is a President’s Circle and ‘Golden R’” contributor to NAR’s REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC), recently named to the national RPAC Hall of Fame for her lifelong investment of at least $25,000.

Ginger holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from San Francisco State University. Her professional recognitions include honors as the Women’s Council of REALTORS® Chicago Chapter 2013 Affiliate of the Year, Illinois Association of REALTORS® Association Executive “Rhino” Award (2012), Chicago Agent Magazine Agent Choice Award for Association VIP (2011), NAR “Bud Smith” AE Leadership Society (2002), Washington Association of REALTORS® Association Executive of the Year (2004), the Washington Society of Association Executives President’s Award (2003), the Washington Society of Association Executives Association Executive of the Year (2002), the Seattle-King Co. Association of REALTORS® President’s Award (2002 and 1996).

Ginger and her husband, Bruce S. Downs, live in Chicago’s South Loop.