David Roberts, Sr.

President of the National Association of REALTORS® - 1985

To improve lines of communication between all levels of the National Association, David Roberts* instituted a series of meetings known as "007"- "Officer Outreach x 7." Seven meetings were held throughout the year to encourage two-way communication so that national, state, and local leaders could learn more about one another's programs and needs. National Association officers, past presidents, regional vice presidents, state association elected officers, and senior staff attended the meetings.

Active in federal legislation during his term, Roberts wanted to see the proposed increase in imputed interest rates defeated. He urged REALTORS® all over the country to contact their congressmen and tell them the Association's position on deficit spending, tax hikes, and imputed interest rates, as well as how those issues would affect the industry. Roberts believed the deficit could be reduced by cutting spending, not just by raising taxes. He pressed for a phase-in of tax provisions, stating that an "incremental approach to tax reform is prudent and responsible."

After graduating from Auburn University with a bachelor's degree in aeronautical administration, Roberts entered the Army Air Corps and was involved in the preparation for the invasions of Normandy and southern France, rising to the rank of colonel at the age of 28. After his military service, Roberts and his brother, John, decided to follow their father into the real estate business. In July 1946, they opened their office in the toolroom of the family garage. Roberts became president of Roberts Brothers, Inc., in Mobile, one of Alabama's largest real estate companies.

At the National Association, he was a member of the Board of Directors for 13 years and the Executive Committee for 6 years before becoming president. He has also served on many other committees, including Professional Standards, Political Affairs, and Strategic Planning. In 1979, he was chairman of the Legislative Committee. Active at the state and local levels, Roberts was president of the Alabama Association of REALTORS® in 1970 and has served on its Board of Directors since 1954. He was elected president of the Mobile County Board of REALTORS® in 1954 and was the 1968 Mobile County REALTORS® of the Year and Alabama REALTORS® of the Year.

Roberts was also a member of the American Society of Real Estate Counselors® (ASREC) and the American Chapter of the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI-USA). He attended the International Real Estate Federation's congresses in London, Paris, and Sydney and addressed the Australian Congress on the subject of property management in the United States. He also served nine years on the Board of Trustees of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Long active in civic and business affairs, Roberts was president of the Mobile County Better Business Bureau, the Loop Exchange Club, and the Skyline Country Club; a member of the Mobile Planning Commission; founder and a director of Southtrust Bank of Mobile; and president and board member of America's Junior Miss Pageant. A coalition of local civic clubs named him Mobilian of the Year in 1985, the same year he served as Association president. He was also an active member of the Dauphin Way United Methodist Church.

Source: NAR Archives