President’s Perspective: Summer 2017

I am amazed at how quickly the year is moving, and I am excited for the direction we are heading under the leadership of our incredibly diverse and engaged volunteers and staff. This spring, I joined a number of Chicago REALTORS® at the Capitol Conference in Springfield, as well as the Legislative Meetings in Washington, D.C. More than ever, I am concerned about the issues facing us, but I am confident that our REALTOR® representation has never been stronger. When we met with our representatives in Springfield, we advocated for changes to education license law and spoke out against rent control initiatives.  In D.C., we spoke to our legislators about national flood insurance, sustainable homeownership and most importantly, tax reform – in particular, keeping the mortgage interest deduction, property tax deductibility and the 1031 Like Kind Exchange. I am so proud of the efforts, time and commitment of those of you who ventured to advocate on behalf of your peers. I am confident that our voices were heard and positions understood. A special thank you to the dedication of the Federal Political Coordinators (FPCs) and Government Affairs Directors (GADs), who are a critical aspect of our advocacy efforts. I encourage you to watch the video featuring our FPCs, and learn how they help the REALTOR® voice stand out. I also ask that you be proactive, and be prepared to respond to Calls for Action. For the first time in over a decade, we enter a period of transition, with our local and national CEOs as they retire with accomplishment and honor. For the last 12 years, we have had the great fortune of working with Ginger Downs, who will retire in April 2018. She has led us with grace and finesse, consistently elevating those around her. Under her influence and guidance, we have increased our representation on the state and national stages. Ginger has set the industry standard for association management and strategic planning models across the nation. I am fortunate to have had the privilege to work with her. Secondly, NAR CEO Dale Stinton is also retiring at year’s end, and I want to personally thank him for over 35 years of service. He leaves an indelible legacy! With many changes on the horizon, I am excited for the future . We are an industry made up of hundreds of backgrounds, from creative to corporate; we all have something authentic to contribute. We are in full swing, having just elected new officers and now making committee appointments. I am proud that our leadership reflects our diverse membership. I want to encourage you to engage with our great association and get involved. The more representation we have in our ranks from our 77 neighborhoods, the stronger we will be moving forward for generations to come. We are fortunate to have had brilliant, strong, and visionary leadership with an eye toward the next iteration of our industry; a trend I expect will continue despite this time of transition. I look to our future and the direction we are heading with great delectation. I hope you will be inspired and become an active participant in making our industry, and our city, the best it can be. I believe in you.