2022 Smith Society Inductees

From left to right:

  • Tyrone Adams, RCE, C2EX, CEO, Colorado Association of REALTORS®;
  • Jean Beck, RCE, AHWD, C2EX, e-PRO®, CEO, Hilton Head Area REALTORS®, SC; 
  • Katie Johnson, AHWD, General Counsel & Chief Member Experience Officer, National Association of REALTORS®.


Members of the Dr. Almon R. (Bud) Smith, RCE, AE Leadership Society are recognized, regardless of the length of their tenure, as leading contributors to the industry and the profession. Up to three honorees are selected annually. Much like a fellows program, members will play an active, ongoing role as innovators and mentors for the AE community. It is also conferred in recognition of the honoree’s ongoing commitment to the advancement of REALTOR® association management and anticipated future contributions.

View Complete List of Inductees

Who Was Bud Smith?

Bud Smith served as Executive Vice President of the National Association of REALTORS® from 1991 to 1997. For more than 30 years, Bud served REALTOR® organizations, leaving an indelible mark on all levels of the organization. Under his tenure, the National Association recorded substantial growth in membership. Bud also was recognized outside of the REALTOR® family as a respected thought leader in association management. To honor his legacy, the Dr. Almon R. (Bud) Smith, RCE, AE Leadership Society, was established to recognize association executives who are leading contributors to the industry and the profession.


All full-time association executives employed at any level of the organization, regardless of the length of employment, are eligible for induction into the Dr. Almon R. (Bud) Smith, RCE, AE Leadership Society.

Award Criteria

To achieve induction into the Dr. Almon R. (Bud) Smith, RCE, AE Leadership Society, it must be demonstrated that nominees have brought credit to the profession of association management through their personal involvement in advancing the purposes of the organization at the local, state, and national level; provided leadership in ways that have benefited the organization, the members, or other association executives; or made other significant contributions that have advanced their organization in meaningful ways. To recognize those who excel in the association management profession by demonstrating uncommon leadership, a willingness to help others, and acceptance of a responsibility to constantly improve themselves. Candidates must have a proven track record of identifying and sharing innovative ideas. Inductees will serve as role models for all association executives in these characteristics. In addition, the Recommendations and Recognition Advisory Board will place strong emphasis on candidates with the RCE and/or CAE designations.

Function of the Society

The society shall serve an active role in the ongoing activities of the AE community nationwide. In addition to serving as role models for innovation and collaboration, inductees shall serve as a pool of association leaders who may be called upon by the AEC leadership, at its discretion. Representative examples might include tasks such as mentoring fellow AEs and serving as an industry issues brainstorming group.


An induction ceremony shall be conducted each year at the NAR NXT Leadership Luncheon. Induction shall be accomplished by the reading of the names of the inductees, and the inductees will receive a plaque signifying their induction.

Number of Inductees

The number of inductees during the first two (2) years of this program shall be determined by the Recommendations and Recognition Advisory Board. Beginning with the third year (2000), the maximum number of inductees in any given year shall be six, not including the recipient of the William R. Magel Award of Excellence. Effective in 2016, the number of Dr. Almon R. (Bud) Smith, RCE, AE Leadership Society inductees is limited to no more than three per year..

Nomination Procedures

The 2023 nomination process will open in August 2023.

Submission of the Dr. Almon R. (Bud) Smith, RCE, AE Leadership Society nomination form is all that is necessary. Nominations must be submitted online. Self-nominations are not accepted. The Recommendations and Recognition Advisory Board believes that "honor seeks the candidate," not the reverse. Therefore, politicking and campaigning are strongly discouraged.

Selection Timeline

The name of the recipient will be announced during the RCE Leadership Lunch at NAR NXT, The REALTOR® Experience.

Questions regarding the Dr. Almon R. (Bud) Smith, RCE, AE Leadership Society may be directed to Cynthia Bair at 800-874-6500, x3280, or cbair@nar.realtor.