2016 Real Estate CEO Exchange: Speaker Profiles

RISMedia’s 2016 Real Estate CEO Exchange

Sept. 13 & 14, 2016 – Harvard Club, New York City

(in alphabetical order)



John Featherston is the founder, president and CEO of RISMedia, Inc. Since 1980, RISMedia, the leader in real estate information, has been servicing more than 374,000 of the residential real estate industry’s most productive and successful agents, brokers and related service professionals. RISMedia provides the industry with news, trends and business development strategies through its flagship publication, Real Estate magazine; its leading website, RISMedia.com; and its renowned networking and educational events. RISMedia’s private Power Broker events, including the CEO Exchange – held each September in New York City – and the Power Broker Forum, Reception & Dinner – held each year in conjunction with the REALTORS® Conference & Expo – are two of the most sought-after events for brokerage owners and other industry executives. Every day, real estate professionals share thousands of articles and infographics written by RISMedia editors and contributors, helping them influence hundreds of thousands of consumers as they consider buying and/or selling a home. Website content, mobile delivery systems, marketing, promotional capabilities, relationships and partnerships have helped make RISMedia a strong ally and partner of many leading brokerage firms and industry service providers. In 2015, Featherston was awarded the RE/MAX ‘On the Shoulders of Giants’ Award, recognizing his longtime support of the real estate industry.


Gino_Blefari_85x100Gino Blefari is the chief executive officer for HSF Affiliates LLC, which operates the real estate brokerage networks of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate. Blefari has been in real estate for decades and was an award-winning agent, manager and broker/owner. He came to his position at HSF Affiliates from Silicon Valley, Calif.-based Intero Real Estate Services, Inc., which he founded in 2002 and through mid-2014 served as its president and CEO. Under Blefari’s direction, Intero became one of the fastest organically growing companies in the history of real estate. In 2014, Intero ranked 14th nationwide for real estate sales volume, according to RISMedia’s Power Broker Report. Blefari’s most recent recognition includes: 2006 EcoBroker, presented by EcoBroker International; 2007 Italian Business Man of the Year by the Italian American Heritage Foundation; 2012 Mentor of the Year by Buffini & Company out of 7,500 mentors; first and only recipient of the Leadership Award from the Tom Ferry Organization; inducted into the Mike Ferry Organization’s Leadership Hall of Fame; 2014 RISMedia National Homeownership Award for “outstanding achievements among residential real estate’s most influential and charismatic leaders” (Blefari is the only two-time honoree of this prestigious award, receiving it first in 2007); and board of directors of HomeServices of America.

Katie Johnson_85x100Katie Johnson is the general counsel for the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR). She is responsible for assuring that the programs and policies of NAR are in compliance with the law, and for protecting and preserving association assets and policies as necessary. Prior to becoming general counsel, Johnson focused on software and data licensing, trademark protection, contract negotiations, data security and privacy, brokerage risk management, and providing legal counsel to NAR’s technology initiatives, including RPR and RAMCO. Johnson recently earned a master’s degree for Information Technology and Privacy Law.

Alex_Perriello_85x100Alex Perriello is president and chief executive officer of the Realogy Franchise Group. In this role, Perriello oversees the Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, CENTURY 21®, Coldwell Banker®, Coldwell Banker Commercial®, ERA®, Sotheby’s International Realty® and ZipRealty® real estate brands, which, combined have approximately 13,600 franchised offices and more than 256,800 brokers and independent sales associates doing business in 110 countries and territories worldwide. With more than 35 years in the real estate industry, Perriello is widely recognized as a real estate industry leader and keen observer in the areas of policy and market trends. He serves on the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) as a member of the Executive Committee. In addition, he chaired the NAR 2010 Strategic Planning Committee and has been a member of its Large Firm Advisory Council since 2005. Perriello previously served as president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation from 1997 to 2004. He began his career as a sales associate and worked in almost every facet of the real estate business. With an eye toward the future of residential real estate, Perriello led the effort to create the Realogy FWD Innovation Summit in 2014, designed to find and attract the best new technology products and services for Realogy’s affiliated franchise networks and company-owned residential real estate brokerages. Perriello is a frequent speaker and panelist at major real estate industry events. In 2014, he was named the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) Person of the Year, and in 2015, he was named to the Easter Seals Foundation Board of Trustees.

Ken_Trepeta_85x100Kenneth R. Trepeta Esq. is president and executive director of the Real Estate Services Provider Council Inc. (RESPRO). Trepeta, who has been working on key issues of importance to RESPRO® for almost 10 years, brings two decades of Washington experience to the association. Prior to this position, Trepeta had been the director of Real Estate Services for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) since June 2007. In this role, he covered the broader real estate industry for NAR on the legislative and regulatory front, acting as liaison to senior executives at large real estate firms. Prior to this, Trepeta was the regulatory policy representative for NAR, handling regulatory and industry relations on issues such as RESPA and federal housing policy, including FHA. Trepeta’s former roles include serving as a vice president for Government Relations at JP Morgan Chase and serving as vice president for Government Relations at the Financial Services Forum. He was also a frequent contributor to RISMedia, covering the Dodd-Frank Act, RESPA and other key housing issues impacting real estate professionals and consumers.


Candace_Adams_85x100Candace Adams is president and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties. With more than 1,500 agents across three states, Adams has helped expand the company to provide integrated real estate services including mortgage, insurance, new development and relocation. Adams joined Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties in 1998 after managing her own successful brokerage firm. She continued to rise through BHHSNEP’s ranks, and was selected as president in 2008 and CEO in 2013. An accomplished and frequently recognized real estate leader, Adams was honored in 2008 as one of the “Eight Most Remarkable Women” in business in Connecticut. In 2011, she was named a “Woman of FIRE” by The Commercial Record. Real Estate Executive magazine placed her among the “100 Most Influential Real Estate Executives” in America in 2014.

Vitale_MaryannMaryann Vitale Alles is the President and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties, the largest privately held residential real estate company in St. Louis, MO. Alles has been a licensed Realtor® since 1982 (Rookie of the Year) and swiftly became one of the top real estate agents in St. Louis. She attained her broker’s license with the largest real estate firm in the city in 1985, developing her office into one of the highest earners in the company, while being promoted to Regional VP along the way. Alles followed through with the vision of opening her own brokerage in 2002, and as a founding partner she launched Prudential Select Properties. The brokerage was promptly the second largest in the St. Louis market; in 2013, Alles accepted the role of President and CEO, and the major challenge of successfully guiding the business through a major conversion to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand. Under Alles leadership, the company has gained a highly positive reputation for a genuine family feel and empathy for hard working agents. This character is driven by a living and breathing culture, which has translated into a great momentum and is exemplified by growing recognition and achievements.

Stephanie_Bellanova_85x100Stephanie Bellanova is an owner/partner of ERA Central Realty Group. Bellanova, partner Scott Lauri, and her mother, Ann Davis, have been an integral part of the central New Jersey real estate landscape since 1986. Sharing her mother’s vision of fostering a culture of teamwork, education, and giving back to the community, Bellanova and her team have created a brand that is recognized locally as well as nationally. As the No. 1 ERA Real Estate company in New Jersey, and ranked one of the Top 25 ERA brokerages in the country, Bellanova believes that grassroots efforts are truly what effect change. Bellanova is a charter member of the ERA Young Leaders Network and a member of the Board of Directors of the Mercer County Board of REALTORS®. ERA Central Realty Group is a full-service real estate brokerage with five branch offices in four counties of central New Jersey Robbinsville, Cream Ridge, Bordentown, Freehold, and Monroe Township.

Geoffrey_Bray_85x100Geoffrey (Geoff) Bray is the co-owner and active broker of Engel & Völkers Minneapolis. He has been a residential real estate advisor for nearly 10 years and opened Engel & Völkers Minneapolis in August of 2015. This was an intentional effort to bring a high quality brand to the Twin Cities that can challenge the status quo of what it means to be a real estate professional. In less than a year, Bray, along with his business partner Lindsay Bacigalupo and their staff have grown the company from six licensed professionals to almost 40 full-time Engel & Völkers advisors. This year, their Minneapolis shop is on pace to advise on over 400 transactions. Having just opened their third shop location in Northeast Minneapolis, strategic growth is happening in Minneapolis by selecting the right people and creating a culture that is inviting to those agents wanting to be a true concierge for their clients.

Helen_Hanna_Casey_85x100Helen Hanna Casey is the president and CEO of real estate brokerage for Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. With more than four decades in the real estate industry, Hanna Casey, her sister Annie, and brother Hoddy lead the fourth-largest real estate company in the United States, overseeing over 205 offices and 7,300 sales associates and employees in eight states. Now in its third generation, Howard Hanna continues to be family owned. Hanna Casey’s leadership and savvy marketing mind have helped Howard Hanna realize its potential by developing a multi-media approach to advertising. Today, HowardHanna.com receives over one million visitors a month. Hanna Casey began working at Howard Hanna in 1975 after graduating from Georgian Court University, earned her Graduate, REALTORS® Institute (GRI) designation from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) in 1978, and became a Certified Residential Broker (CRB) in 1985. She was the first woman to be elected to and serve as president of West Penn Multi-List, and was also the first woman to serve as chair of the NAR Real Estate Services Advisory Group. She has chaired other national groups, such as The Realty Alliance, the NAR Large Firm Broker Involvement Board, the NAR Corporate Investors Council, and served on the Executive Committee of NAR.

Jon_Coile_85x100Jon Coile is the CEO and president of Champion Realty, Inc., a HomeServices of America company. Champion is a multi-office regional brokerage based in Annapolis, Md., with mortgage, title and insurance subsidiaries. Coile got into real estate in 1988 and became a multimillion-dollar agent. In 1991, he became a partner in Champion Realty and held many positions in the company, including branch manager, new homes director, IT director, general manager, and ultimately president and CEO. He is the chairman of the board of MRIS; a member of the MLS Evolved Task Force trying to build a new MLS for the Mid-Atlantic region; a member of The Realty Alliance; a member of the Move, Inc. Broker Advisory Board; and a member of the NAR MLS Policy Committee.

Rick_Cunningham_85x100Rick Cunningham is an owner/investor in multiple Keller Williams Franchises, including: Santa Monica; Newport Estates; L.A. Brentwood; Pacific Palisades; Honolulu; San Carlos; Los Gatos; Carmel; San Francisco; Half Moon Bay; Almaden; and Burlingame. He has amassed an agent base of over 1,450 residential and commercial agents with $4.5 billion in cumulative sales. A 20-year veteran in the business, Cunningham is an entrepreneur at heart, creating numerous other real-estate-related core service ventures, including strategic partnerships and joint affiliations with mortgage, settlement services/escrow, disclosure services, transaction coordination, and real estate assistant staffing.

Dean_deTonnancourt_85x100Dean deTonnancourt is the broker/owner of HomeSmart Professionals in Rhode Island. Licensed in real estate practice since 1989, deTonnancourt prides himself on exceeding the expectations of his clients and customers with dedicated, professional, and personalized service. Currently ranking among the top real estate professionals statewide in terms of listings and sales, deTonnancourt has proven himself as a top producer in his field. He founded HomeSmart Professionals Real Estate -a franchise under HomeSmart International – in 2014, and grew his company to over 100 associates in just 18 months. deTonnancourt was previously a founding member of Keller Williams Realty in Rhode Island in 2000. In the past two years, HomeSmart Professionals Real Estate has achieved many milestones, including becoming the largest real estate office in the state of Rhode Island based on agent count. The firm is currently the number four top-producing office in the state based on closed transactions for the first half of 2016. Over the course of his career in real estate, deTonnacourt has held numerous positions of leadership in his local and state REALTOR® associations and has also won several awards.

Jeff_Detwiler_85x100Jeff Detwiler is president and COO of Long & Foster Companies.  He is responsible for guiding the strategic direction of the organization and overseeing its daily operations.  Long & Foster Companies consists of six major business lines: general brokerage; property management; relocation; mortgage; settlement services; and insurance, as well as several smaller ventures in related business areas.  The Long & Foster Companies operates in seven states across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions and the District of Columbia. It has more than 200 locations, 1,800 employees and 11,000 real estate agents. Detwiler has almost 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, much of that time devoted to various segments of banking: mortgage; investment and commercial banking.  His background also includes insurance and portfolio management.  Detwiler graduated from Princeton University in 1983.

Avi_Gupta_85x100Avi Gupta is the president and CEO of SmartZip, the national leader in predictive analytics for the real estate industry. With nearly 20 years of technology expertise, he has championed several software products from concept to successful market adoption, and been a pioneer in big data and predictive analytics technology. Gupta has a deep passion for real estate and loves to meet up with other thought leaders. Email agupta@smartzip.com to reach out to Gupta and share insights.

Rick_Haase_85x100Richard “Rick” Haase is the president of Latter & Blum Inc. (LBI), with more than thirty offices located throughout Louisiana, Texas and Southern Mississippi. LBI is comprised of Latter & Blum Inc./REALTORS®, C.J. Brown REALTORS® Inc., Noles-Frye Realty®, Van Eaton & Romero REALTORS®, Realty Associates, NAI Latter & Blum Commercial Real Estate, Latter & Blum Insurance Services, Essential Mortgage Company and Platinum Title & Settlement Services.  Established in 1916, the firm handles residential and commercial sales, leasing, property management, insurance, appraisals, title and mortgage services. Haase has been active in residential real estate sales and brokerage management for more than 35 years. Before being named president of Latter & Blum Inc., Haase served as president of Latter & Blum’s residential operations and has held senior leadership positions with leading U.S. companies. A graduate of the Gestalt Institute’s Organizational Systems Development program, Haase serves on many boards, including The Real Estate Services Providers Council and the United Way of Southeast Louisiana.

Todd_Hetherington_85x100Todd A. Hetherington is CEO of NM Management, Inc., the parent company of CENTURY 21 New Millennium, the top ranked CENTURY 21® firm in the world since 2012 based on gross closed commissions. He focuses his attention on growth opportunities and overseeing the core service companies that support the 850 agents and $2.8 billion in annual real estate sales volume. He is quick to give credit for the organization’s success to their exceptional leadership cadre.Hetherington graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and earned his Master’s in Engineering Administration from The George Washington University. He and his family live in Fairfax County, Va.

David_Howell_resizedDavid Howell is the Executive Vice President and CIO of McEnearney Associates, Inc. Before joining McEnearney Associates as an owner in 1996, Howell was the owner and Principal Broker of his own real estate company for 12 years. Howell was the Managing Broker of the McLean, Va. office from 1996-2010, and was named Chief Information Officer in September 2010. He is also Principal Broker for McEnearney Associates in Maryland, and is an Associate Broker in Virginia and Washington, D.C. Howell was President of the Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS (NVAR) in 1995 and was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Regional Information System (MRIS). He served as that organization’s Chairman 1996-1997 and 2011-2012 and is currently on the MRIS Board and its Executive Committee.

OB_Jacobi_85x100OB Jacobi is the president of Windermere Real Estate and brings a second generation of leadership to the firm, which was founded by his father, John Jacobi, in Seattle in 1972. As president, Jacobi has helped facilitate Windermere’s growth into the largest regional real estate company in the Western United States with more than 7,000 agents and 300 offices in 11 states and Mexico. In addition to guiding business strategies for the Windermere network, Jacobi oversees operations for six family-owned Windermere offices. He also serves on the board of the Windermere Foundation, which has provided over $30 million in funding to non-profit organizations that support low-income and homeless children and their families.

Ed Krafchow_85x100As chairman of the board, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Mason-McDuffie, Ed Krafchow’s tenure as leader of Mason-McDuffie has been highlighted by three specific accomplishments: growth of the company, technology innovation and a focus on training agents. His basic philosophy is that good organizations create accountability, develop people at all levels of the company and acknowledge those that get their job done, create a result and serve people well. Krafchow’s greatest pride is the charitable work that has been created within Mason-McDuffie. With the help of his wife, Kathy, there have been millions of dollars and thousands of hours spent by volunteers of the brokerage in serving a variety of needs—locally, nationally and internationally. Krafchow believes the real estate industry really functions on good service and survives because of the care of its clients.

Whitney_Finn_LaCosta_85x100Whitney Finn LaCosta is a principal of and serves as executive vice president and general sales manager of Coach Real Estate Associates, Inc., an independent brokerage firm with 20 branch offices and more than 700 agents in Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island, N.Y. The company enjoys global connections through membership in Leading Real Estate Companies of the World and affiliation with Christie’s International Real Estate. Finn LaCosta is also a principal of Coach Title Company and Fairfield Mortgage Company. As a second-generation REALTOR®, and broker/ owner, Finn LaCosta has been involved in all aspects of running the real estate brokerage business and has been instrumental in developing company policy, expanding the company into new markets, and overseeing branch operations, and is an active participant in leadership and agent training. She is an active member of the Long Island Board of REALTORS® and has sat on the executive board of her chapter of The Women’s Council of REALTORS®, where she served as secretary and treasurer.

Alex_Lange_color_85x100Alex Lange is currently president and CEO of UpstreamRE, driving one of the most collaborative, forward-thinking, and creative solutions introduced into the real estate industry in half a century.  A graduate of Harvard’s General Management Program, Lange got his start in technology in the U.S. Army before entering the private sector as managing partner of IKON Technology Services. He later became CTO for Art.com/AllPosters.com where he contributed to their expansion into a multinational, $120 million company in three years. Lange later co-founded and served as chief technology officer for Roost.com, a successful social marketing platform which was ultimately being acquired by Vertical Response. He later served as chief technology officer at Market Leader, a SaaS solutions (CRM, websites, print marketing, etc.) for real estate professionals, where he played a key role in building it from a $40 million market cap company that he joined to a $380 million acquisition by Trulia less than four years later. While at Market Leader, Alex was included in the Global Top 1,000 Chief Technology Officers (Bloomberg, S&P, The Global Leaders).  Most recently, Lange served as an operating partner of Second Century Ventures – the strategic investment arm of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) – where he identified, evaluated and executed strategic investments and coached existing portfolio companies to increase value.

Vince_Leisey_85x100Vince Leisey is president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate. For someone driven by passion and positivity, Vince is most motivated by the word “no.” During his nearly 30-year career in real estate—from salesperson to successful broker and company president—Leisey says what pushed him to build his business from good to great were the critics who told him success wasn’t possible. In over a decade at the helm of Omaha-based Ambassador Real Estate, Leisey turned that adversity into achievement, leading his company to both financial and charitable prosperity. In 2013, the Omaha office closed over 5,400 units and a billion dollars in sales volume. Prior to 2013, this had not been accomplished by any other single office in North America. Ambassador Real Estate has raised more than $1.1 million dollars for the Sunshine Kids. Leisey was the youngest person to ever be awarded Prudential Real Estate’s prestigious “Broker of the Year” award in 2007. Leisey is also the founder and chief advisor of the REThink Council, a brainstorming group of top young agents from across the country. He’s spoken in front of thousands of professionals across the country, explaining how success in life is determined by whether you’ve enriched the lives of others.

Chris Lim_85x100Chris Lim is the founder and CEO of Climb Real Estate, a leading San Francisco-based real estate firm. Climb offers a comprehensive array of brokerage and marketing services for residential buyers, sellers and developers. Under Lim’s leadership, Climb has become the fastest-growing boutique brokerage representing some of the finest properties in the city. Inspired by his father’s custom-home construction company and his mother’s independent real estate practice, Lim created a highly nimble and creative agency, committed to superior service and innovation. Lim began his real estate career in 2002, quickly becoming recognized as one of the top producing agents in the SOMA and South Beach areas. Prior to that, he worked in finance at both Merrill Lynch and Fuji Securities. At Grey Advertising, he built brand and digital marketing programs for Fortune 500 companies. Recognized by the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA), the Chinese Real Estate Association, and the San Francisco Chronicle, Lim’s combination of real estate prowess, marketing instinct, and design aesthetic brings a fresh point of view to the industry.

Michael_MahonMichael Mahon is the president and broker-of-record for HER REALTORS®. As a 26-year veteran of the real estate industry, Mahon has gained national recognition for his use of cultural development strategies in creation of associate development growth, as well as organizational recruitment growth and retention. “We Are HER” has become the rally cry of success for HER Realtors®, who maintained a closed unit volume of 11,636 units, with a closed sales volume of nearly $2.1 billion for 2015. While HER Realtors® remains recognized as an industry leader in technology development, Mahon believes, “you win with people, and any brokerage’s success for the future remains in engagement and building of relationships between clients and associates.

Mark_McLaughlin_85x100Mark A. McLaughlin is CEO of Pacific Union International, Inc. McLaughlin led the acquisition of Pacific Union in August 2009, and the brand enjoys an exclusive relationship with Christie’s International Real Estate. A visionary leader in the real estate industry for more than 20 years, the hallmark of McLaughlin’s successes has consistently been executive team leadership, early adoption of technology applications, open communication and teamwork, with keen emphasis on quantitative goals, and exceeding client expectations.  Since 2009, McLaughlin has grown Pacific Union from $2.2 billion in total sales volume to $7.63 billion in 2015. McLaughlin also drove initiatives to develop joint ventures in the mortgage, insurance, and property management services. With the launch of Morgan Lane in September 2006, McLaughlin built the company in just three years to be Marin County’s most respected luxury brand. Before the Morgan Lane startup, McLaughlin served as the interim president of Sperry Van Ness International, and as the first executive recruited to online real estate marketplace, LoopNet, Inc. Previously, McLaughlin held key management roles with Jones Lang LaSalle and Colliers International.

Pam_O'Connor_85x100Pam O’Connor is president & CEO of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®. For over 35 years, O’Connor has managed networks that ultimately were consolidated into Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, which today is comprised of 550 market-leading firms in over 55 countries. The first woman to head a major real estate network, O’Connor has been selected as one of the top 25 thought leaders by the National Association of REALTORS® and has received Worldwide ERC’s Meritorious Award, President’s Award and Distinguished Service Award. A frequent industry speaker and author, O’Connor serves on numerous leadership boards and councils.

Jose_Perez_85x100Jose Perez, partner and executive vice president of Proxio, has been making a difference in the real estate industry for over 25 years. After a career at Realogy, where he set numerous franchise sales records, helped merge or acquire hundreds of real estate brokerages, and established consultative sales methodologies, Perez founded PCMS Consulting, Inc. in 2008. PCMS is a combination of forward-thinking consulting strategies combined with web marketing technology sales that help brokerages reinvent their businesses. In 2015, Perez sold PCMS to Proxio, Inc., a Silicon Valley-based real estate technology provider. Perez remains president of PCMS in addition to his primary role at Proxio. He is currently managing an aggressive global sales strategy that is helping connect agents, brokers, and properties in over 40 countries. Perez is a blogger and columnist for many media outlets, and a frequent speaker for various industry groups.

Gary_Rabon_85x100Gary Rabon is president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Advantage, a residential real estate company that is ranked the No. 1 Coldwell Banker firm in North Carolina. Growing up in a family-owned sporting goods company, Rabon learned how to run a successful business and developed sales and people skills. Hard work, integrity and responsibility are the traits that have guided him throughout his real estate career. He thrives on helping others achieve their personal goals and aspirations. He is a certified public accountant and founding partner of a local CPA firm in Raleigh. Additionally, he is a partner in the affiliated mortgage and title company, and also serves as a director on the board of Four Oaks Bank, a local, publicly traded, community bank.

Diane RamirezDiane M. Ramirez is the chief executive officer and chair of Halstead Property, growing the firm from its original goal of three storefront offices in Manhattan to its current size of nearly three dozen offices with 1,200 agents throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Riverdale, the Hamptons, the Hudson Valley, New Jersey and Fairfield County, Conn. Licensed in New York, Connecticut and Florida, Ramirez has been an active real estate executive and broker for more than three decades. Together with Clark Halstead, she founded Halstead Property in 1984. The firm was purchased by Terra Holdings in 2001. Ramirez was appointed by the Governor to the Department of State Real Estate Board in 2010 and is still an active member. She is also a member of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), where she currently serves on the board of governors, their executive advisory board and as co-chairman of their board of directors of the residential division. She also serves on the board of directors for Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, as well as on the advisory board of Luxury Portfolio International®.

Joe_Rand_85x100Joseph Rand is the general counsel and managing partner for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate – Rand Realty, one of the largest companies in the New York region with 25 offices and 800 agents, and closing almost $2 billion in real estate transactions in 2015. Rand’s primary responsibility is managing the company’s career development and education programs, principally based on a concept he has pioneered called “Client-Oriented Real Estate,” or “CORE,” which is designed to raise the level of client service provided by the real estate industry. You can find more about his approach to real estate education at his educational blog www.clientorientedrealestate.com and more about him personally at his sporadically-published personal blog about his experiences moving from New York City to the suburbs at www.movetosuma.com.

Pat_Riley_85x100Pat Riley is the president and CEO of the Allen Tate Companies. Beginning his career in the real estate business in 1972 and with Allen Tate since 1992, Riley guides all aspects of the 59-year old company as the region’s industry leader. Allen Tate ranks No. 10 in transaction sides and No. 21 in closed volume among America’s top 500 residential real estate companies. The company is the top Carolinas’ based real estate firm and ranks seventh among the country’s largest independently owned, non-franchise brokers, based on transaction sides. The company has more than 1,500 Realtors® working from 41 branch offices throughout the greater Charlotte, Triad and Triangle regions of North Carolina and the Upstate region of South Carolina. The Allen Tate Family of Companies includes the award-winning Allen Tate Relocation Services and other specialty companies, such as Allen Tate Home Services, Allen Tate Mortgage Services, Allen Tate Insurance Services and Builder Services. Riley currently serves as chairman of the board of directors for Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, a global network of more than 500 independent real estate firms.

Leonard Steinberg HeadshotLeonard Steinberg is President of Compass Real Estate. With almost two decades of experience, Steinberg is recognized as one of New York’s leading residential real estate authorities. The Leonard Steinberg Team is ranked consistently in the Top Ten Broker Teams in the United States by the Wall Street Journal and has been responsible for well over $2 billion in residential transactions. He has served as a marketing agent and consultant on some of New York’s most iconic developments, including 150 Charles Street, 200 Eleventh Avenue and 54 Bond Street. Previously, he owned a fashion company and was a fashion designer at Christian Dior America. Steinberg is a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker.

Cary_Sylvester_85x100Cary Sylvester is vice president, Industry Development for Keller Williams Realty International, where she works to ensure that Keller Williams is an innovative leader, solving problems and driving change in the industry. A highly regarded leader in the real estate and technology communities, Sylvester is a frequent presenter and training instructor. Prior to joining Keller Williams Realty, she served as an Oracle consultant with Database Consultants, implementation manager for Copera, and database architect at Dell. Sylvester is an Oracle Certified Professional.

John_Vatistas_85x100John Vatistas is the founder and CEO of Launch, an Arizona-based, invitation-only luxury real estate company. Launched in November 2015, the startup has already attracted 100+ agents who all represent the top tier in pricing and production in the area. This isn’t Vatistas’ first run in real estate. In 2005, he founded Equitable, an invitation-only real estate brokerage that began with two agents and rapidly grew to 275 agents in two years. In 2007, Sotheby’s offered Vatistas the exclusive rights in Arizona, which he parlayed into the purchasing of a 50-percent interest in Russ Lyon Realty, changing the name to Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty.  The acquisition and growth of Russ Lyon created the largest Sotheby’s franchise in the world.  At the end of 2012, Vatistas sold Russ Lyon Sotheby’s. Vatistas has significant mortgage, title, and insurance experience, owning companies in all facets of the real estate business.

Paul Wells_85x100Paul Wells is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Barrington in Illinois. The company has two offices with approximately 50 agents and has been recognized as one of the most successful offices in the entire RE/MAX system. Wells has also led The WELLS Group, one of the region’s top-producing teams, for almost 20 years. Wells is the recipient of many honors, including the RE/MAX Distinguished Service Award and induction into the RE/MAX Hall of Fame. Wells is also the past executive vice president of CDPE. Wells is on the board of managers for Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) and its treasurer, in addition to being part of the Broker Public Portal Project, where he serves on the executive committee as treasurer.

Sue_Yannaccone_85x100Susan Yannaccone is the president & CEO of ERA Real Estate. An 18-year industry veteran with impressive leadership experience in franchise management and real estate brokerage operations, Yannaccone joined ERA Real Estate in July 2015 as chief operating officer and is assuming the role of president and CEO this September. Yannaccone is focused on bringing the organization to the next level with strategic focus on growth, customer service and franchisee engagement. Prior to joining ERA Real Estate, Yannaccone served as senior vice president of network services for HSF Affiliates, LLC, where she was responsible for all affiliate-facing servicing for the real estate brokerage networks Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Prudential Real Estate and Real Living Real Estate. Previously she served as vice president of operations for Real Living from 2010 to 2012. A graduate of Clemson University, Yannaccone began her career in commercial real estate before assuming roles with residential real estate firm GMAC HomeServices and Brookfield Residential Property Services in Canada.

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