Michelle Mills Clement, FASAE, CAE, RCE
Michelle Mills Clement is the CEO of the Chicago Association of REALTORS®. An experienced association executive, Michelle previously served as president and CEO of the Commercial Brokers Association (CBA) in Seattle, WA, association executive for the Washington State Commercial Association of REALTORS®, and Executive Director of NAIOP Washington Chapter: The Commercial Real Estate Development Association. She is the Treasurer of the board of Association Forum, and is a Fellow of ASAE: The Center for Association Excellence, an honor bestowed on less than 1% of the association’s membership. She was also appointed to the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority by Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Michelle is a passionate voice for fair housing and antiracism in the real estate industry. Under her leadership, in 2018, the Chicago Association of REALTORS® issued an apology for past actions in promoting inequality and segregation in Chicago. She has been a vocal advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion, penning an op ed for the Chicago Tribune on the importance of ending segregation in real estate and issuing an Industry Call for Action seeking more equity for Black REALTORS® and fair and equal treatment for Black and minority property owners.
Under her leadership, the association hosted its first-ever diversity, equity and inclusion conference, the Chicago REALTORS® 360 Summit, which discussed how to build equitable solutions to shape Chicago’s future and take action to increase the bottom line. She also guided the launch of the association’s new diversity leadership incubator, the Leadership Accelerator, which mentors and provides critical leadership skill building for REALTORS® looking to advance their careers in the real estate industry. She has spoken out on these topics at the national level, including on behalf of the National Association of REALTORS®, and as cohost of a podcast focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion, Texts to Table, with three of her Black association executive peers.
A native Chicagoan, she enjoys political campaign fundraising and volunteer management. She was integral in the election of Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL) from Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District. In 2019, Michelle was elected to the Board of Trustees for Bradley University; she is also active in Bradley’s Black Alumni Alliance, of which she is a past president. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, and volunteers regularly with CREW Chicago (Commercial Real Estate Women) and the CREW Careers Program, which introduces the career of commercial real estate to girls ages 12 – 18 on Chicago’s west side.
She has won many honors and awards, including Crain’s Chicago Business’s “40 Under 40” (2019), three time Chicago Agent Magazine’s “Association CEO of the Year” (2021, 2020 and 2019), Connect CRE’s “2020 Women in Real Estate” award, twice Bisnow Chicago’s Commercial Real Estate “Power Woman & Rising Star,” (2020 and 2021), Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate’s Changemaker Award (2021) and was named to the prestigious Swanepoel Power 200 List of most powerful and influential executives and leaders in the residential real estate brokerage industry (2020), amongst others. She was also honored with the American Society of Association Executive’s Key Award, which is the highest honor for and association CEO. She was the first Black recipient of this award in its 60+ year history.
Michelle holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from Bradley University and a master’s degree in nonprofit management from DePaul University. She has a certificate in commercial real estate from the University of Washington and has earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) certification from ASAE and the REALTOR® Certified Executive (RCE) certification from the National Association of REALTORS®. Michelle lives in the Humboldt Park neighborhood in Chicago with her husband Brace and five-year-old son Broyce.