Meet the speakers and presenters for the Broker's Edge virtual events.

Series One:
Modern Leadership (Sept. 30)

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Valerie Alexander (Keynote Speaker)

Valerie Alexander

Valerie Alexander is a renowned expert on happiness and inclusion, and a nationally-recognized speaker on the topics of happiness in the workplace, the advancement of women, and unconscious bias.

Her TED Talk, “How to Outsmart Your Own Unconscious Bias” has been viewed over 170,000 times, and she has spoken at more than 100 conferences, colleges and companies, including Coca Cola, GE Capital, NASA, Tillamook, Santander, and notable Real Estate industry events such as, WomanUP!, Luxury Connect, OwningIT, Inman Connect, REvive! and several Associations’ annual meetings, retreats and leadership trainings. She was also the commencement speaker for her undergrad alma mater, Trinity University, giving the inspirational talk, "Tiger at Heart."

Valerie’s books include Happiness as a Second Language, Success as a Second Language and How Women Can Succeed in the Workplace (Despite Having “Female Brains”), plus several more she’s published under her U.S. registered trademark “...as a Second Language," including books on parenting, creativity, grief and soon to come, mindfulness.

Valerie started her career as a corporate securities lawyer, investment banker and Internet executive in the Silicon Valley, then transitioned to Hollywood, where she enjoyed success as a screenwriter and director. In addition to traveling the world as a keynote speaker, Valerie also writes Christmas movies for the Hallmark Channel, which she knows you secretly love, even though you’ll only admit to watching them with your mom.

Valerie and her husband live in Los Angeles with their ill-mannered German Shepherd, Vegas, Baby!

Brian Copeland (Moderator)

Brian Copeland, 2019 NAR Vice President of Association Affairs

Brian Copeland is the founder and CEO of Doorbell Real Estate in Nashville, Tennessee. He has appeared on numerous HGTV and The Learning Channel television shows and served as one of Facebook’s Global Community Leadership Council members. He has been one of the most sought-after real estate speakers and consultants in the country, emceeing and keynoting some of the largest conferences in the industry. He has earned spots on T3’s Social Influencers Power List and Inman’s Most Influential List. He has represented Facebook on stage at their Marketing Week Executives’ Meeting in New York City and at the CMX Summit in Los Angeles.

Brian not only a sales leader and industry influencer, he gives tirelessly in the REALTOR® leadership arena. In 2019, he served as the Vice President for Association of Affairs for the National Association of REALTORS®. He was the 2017 President of Tennessee REALTORS® and was Nashville’s REALTOR® of the Year in 2011.

Brian founded and runs one of the largest technology camps in the nation each Spring in Nashville, attracting more than 1500 real estate professionals from 30 states and three continents.

Brian and his spouse live with their two children on a farm where they raise cows, goats, and chickens.

Marki Lemons-Ryhal

Marki Lemon Rhyal

With over 25 years of marketing experience, Marki Lemons-Ryhal a fifth-generation entrepreneur, third generation restaurateur, and first generation infopreneur has established herself as an award-winning social media speaker and course author. In a market where change is the only constant factor, Marki has used her dynamic, professional attitude and vast experience to become one of the top speakers in the country relying on content from one of the several real estate continuing education classes she has authored.

By consistently offering sound industry analysis and professional guidance, Marki’s expertise has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Agent Magazine, Forbes, REALTOR® Magazine, and has also been included on CBS News Chicago and CNBC.

In 2010, Marki was named the Illinois Real Estate Educator of the Year. Marki began her career in education in 1993 and currently works as a speaker and coach, teaching social media and technology classes for the National Association of REALTORS®, CHASE, Goldman Sachs 10k Small Businesses, REALOGY, and Chicago City Colleges.

Marki resides in Bronzeville with her husband Stephen and their two sons Skyler and Austin. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Chicago State University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Saint Xavier University.

Josh McGrath

Josh McGrath

Josh McGrath is a life-long resident of West Virginia, an auto enthusiast, speaker, investor, and entrepreneur. Josh started selling real estate immediately upon graduation from high school at just 18 years old. In 2001 he and business partner Angie McCown formed their team listing and selling together.

In 2005 Josh and Angie opened Real Estate Central in Charleston, WV. Real Estate Central has now grown to five offices and 90+ REALTORS® and is one of the leading Real Estate agencies in central West Virginia. In June of 2020, during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Josh affiliated the company with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate to become the first and only BHGRE company in the state! Josh currently holds his license in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, and South Carolina.

Josh and his team founded the organization, REC Kickin’ Cancer, and since 2011 has been raising money for agents fighting cancer annually, this event raises $15-20k. As a two-time Local REALTOR® of the year, 2007 and 2013. He is a past president of the Kanawha Valley Board of REALTORS® and is serving his fourth year as a director of the West Virginia Association of REALTORS®. Josh has previously, and continues to, serve and chair multiple state and local committees.

In 2016 Josh was awarded the 40 under 40 award by the West Virginia State Journal’s Generation Next, the State REALTOR® of the Year, and represented West Virginia at the National Convention. Josh was named Young Gun Class of 2020 by the West Virginia Executive Magazine. As a continuing education instructor and representative of Region 3 on the NAR RPAC Major Investor Council, Josh is a huge advocate of RPAC and its importance to the REALTOR® industry.

Josh currently resides in Charleston with his husband Rick, and their dogs Jaxon and RaeLynn. Josh loves traveling around the country, speaking/motivating agents on real estate success strategies, and spending his free time at Holden Beach, NC.

Dave Jones

Jones Dave

As a former teacher and high school principal, Dave Jones takes a service-minded and social justice approach to running and operating Windermere Abode with his wife, Anne Jones. In addition to being the owner/operator of Windermere Abode, he also hosts the insideABODE podcast: abodeLIVE!, series on Instagram, and is the creator/producer of the insideABODE vlog, nominated for the Inman Innovator Award in 2019. When not busy with his Abode ventures, he is Palmer Scholars community mentor, a hip-hop scene junkie, loves all things tech, and a lifelong hoopaholic.

Series Two:
Today's Broker in a Virtual World (Oct. 27)

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Peter Singer (Keynote Speaker)

Peter Singer

Peter Warren Singer is Strategist at New America and a Professor of Practice a Arizona State University. Described in the Wall Street Journal as “the premier futurist in the national-security environment,” Dr. Singer has been named by the Smithsonian as one of the nation’s 100 leading innovators, by Defense News as one of the 100 most influential people in defense issues, by Foreign Policy to their Top 100 Global Thinkers List, and as an official “Mad Scientist” for the U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command. No author, living or dead, has more books on the professional military readings lists.

Singer has served as a consultant for the US Military, Intelligence Community, and FBI. He was coordinator of the Obama campaign’s defense policy task force, named to the U.S. Military’s Transformation Advisory Group, NATO’s Innovation Advisory Board (for unmanned maritime systems), and is an Associate with the U.S. Air Force’s China Aerospace Studies Institute. In addition to his work on conflict issues, Singer was a member of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy, and an advisor to IDS and Zignal. In the entertainment sector, he has advised a range of programs, including for Warner Brothers, Dreamworks, Universal, HBO, Discovery, History Channel, and the video game series Call of Duty, the best-selling entertainment project in history. He has received awards/support from the Tribeca Film Institute, Sloan Filmmakers Fund, Film Independent, and FAST Track at the L.A. Film Festival.

His first book Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry pioneered the study of the new industry of private companies providing military services for hire, an issue that soon became important with the use and abuses of these companies in Iraq. It was named best book of the year by the American Political Science Association, among the top five international affairs books of the year by the Gelber Prize, and a “top ten summer read” by Businessweek. Singer advised the Defense Department, CIA, and the European Union on the issue and helped bring to light the role of private contractors in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal and the Halliburton controversies in Iraq.

Children at War was the first to comprehensively explore the tragic rise of child soldier groups and was recognized by the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book of the Year Award. Singer subsequently served as a consultant on the issue to the Marine Corps, and the recommendations in his book resulted in changes in the UN peacekeeping training program. An accompanying History Channel documentary, Child Warriors, won a CINE Golden Eagle Award for excellence in the production of film and television.

Wired for War examined the implications of robotics and other new technologies for war, politics, ethics, and law in the 21st century. Described as “awesome” by Jon Stewart of the Daily Show, Wired for War made the NY Times non-fiction bestseller list in its first week of release. It was named a non-fiction Book of the Year by The Financial Times and featured at venues as diverse as all three U.S. military academies, The Festival of Dangerous Ideas, TED, and the royal court of the UAE.

Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know explores the key questions we all face in the cyber age (how it all works, why it all matters, and what we can do). It was described by the Chairman of Google as “an essential read” and by the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO as “the most approachable and readable book ever written on the cyber world.” The book was featured at venues ranging from the Microsoft CEO Summit to the South by Southwest festival.

Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War melds nonfiction style research on emerging trends and technology with a fictional exploration of what the future of war at sea, on land, in the air, space, and cyberspace will be like in the future. Described as “a modern-day successor to tomes such as The Hunt For Red October from the late Tom Clancy.” (USA Today) and “A Wild Ride” (The Economist), it went through six print runs in its first six weeks of release. Its new model of “useful fiction” has been endorsed by a unique group that ranges from the head of the U.S. Navy to the writer of HBO Game of Thrones and the producer of Hunger Games.

LikeWar explores how social media has changed war and politics, and war and politics has changed social media. It was named an Amazon book of the year, a NY Times “new and notable,” and reviewed by Booklist as “LikeWar should be required reading for everyone living in a democracy and all who aspire to.”

His latest book is Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution. Released May 26, 2020, it has been described by the creator of Lost and Watchmen as “A visionary new form of storytelling—a rollercoaster ride of science fiction blended with science fact.” and by the head of Army Cyber Command as “I loved Burn-In so much that I’ve already read it twice.”

Prior to his current position, Dr. Singer was the founding Director of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at the Brookings Institution. He was the youngest scholar named Senior Fellow in Brookings’ 102-year history. Prior to that, he was the founding Director of the Project on U.S. Policy Towards the Islamic World, where he was the organizer of the US-Islamic World Forum, a global leaders conference. He has also worked for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, as a contributing editor at Popular Science, and at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. Singer received his Ph.D. in Government from Harvard and a BA from the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton.

Kristy Hairston (Moderator)

Kristy Hairston

A gifted speaker and sought-after instructor, Kristy Hairston’s compassion for others, business savvy and training skill have motivated and equipped thousands of REALTORS® to set and realize their goals. Among her many professional honors, Kristy was especially humbled to be selected as the 2017-2018 Educator of the Year by the Tennessee Association of REALTORS®.

Kristy is a certified instructor who trains and teaches throughout the country and was chosen to speak at the National Association of REALTORS® convention.

Kristy says, “The most rewarding part of being an instructor is the satisfaction that comes from helping others grow their businesses.” At the core, Kristy is a life-long learner and goal-setter. She has served on the Tennessee REALTORS® Forms Committee for four years, working with REALTORS® across the State to ensure that the Tennessee forms meet the needs of agents in the field.

Whether Kristy is coaching with agents one-on-one or speaking to an auditorium full of agents, her personal experiences shine through. Kristy knows what it takes to define success on your own terms and accomplish your goals. She grew her sales business from six transactions her first year to leading her team to close more than 130 transactions in a calendar year. Today, her selling career is focused on helping friends, family and past clients.

Kristy’s goal is to invest all of her knowledge, passion and skill in the lives of others so they can grow their businesses. Kristy provides scalable solutions that will help first time agents or sharpen seasoned agents and teams looking to move from a plateau to the next peak. If you’d like to learn with Kristy, check out her leadership and real estate blog: www.WorkPurposefully.com.

Kristy C.A.R.E.S. She is:

  • a results-driving consultant/coach;
  • a passionate advocate for clients and REALTORS®;
  • a trusted and knowledgeable resource;
  • a compelling educator; and
  • a servant-leader who embraces personal humility and professional excellence.

Josh Harley

Josh Harley

Josh Harley is the Founder and Chairman of Fathom Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: FTHM). Fathom Realty has been ranked as the #11 largest independent brokerage in the U.S. and the #20 largest real estate brokerage overall by Real Trends in 2020. Prior to starting Fathom, Josh ran a successful real estate team and personally coaches and teaches on the subject. He’s a tech-geek with a passion for discovering new ways to use technology to improve real estate, not replace agents. Josh is a Marine Corps Veteran and an advocate for servant leadership and placing others first. He has been recognized as a Real Trends Game Changer and made the SP200 list of Most Powerful People in Real Estate. Josh has also been recognized as the Top CEO in Dallas - Ft. Worth by the Dallas News.

Brian Copeland

2019 Broker Summit Speaker Brian Copeland

Brian Copeland is the founder and CEO of Doorbell Real Estate in Nashville, Tennessee. He has appeared on numerous HGTV and The Learning Channel television shows and served as one of Facebook’s Global Community Leadership Council members. He has been one of the most sought-after real estate speakers and consultants in the country, emceeing and keynoting some of the largest conferences in the industry. He has earned spots on T3’s Social Influencers Power List and Inman’s Most Influential List. He has represented Facebook on stage at their Marketing Week Executives’ Meeting in New York City and at the CMX Summit in Los Angeles.

Brian not only a sales leader and industry influencer, he gives tirelessly in the REALTOR® leadership arena. In 2019, he served as the Vice President for Association of Affairs for the National Association of REALTORS®. He was the 2017 President of Tennessee REALTORS® and was Nashville’s REALTOR® of the Year in 2011.

Brian founded and runs one of the largest technology camps in the nation each Spring in Nashville, attracting more than 1500 real estate professionals from 30 states and three continents.

Brian and his spouse live with their two children on a farm where they raise cows, goats, and chickens.

Deanne M. Rymarowicz

Headshot image of Deanne Rymarowicz in a pink jacket with a blue background.

Deanne M. Rymarowicz is NAR Associate Counsel. Before joining NAR, she was General Counsel for the Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS® for eight years, and has also served as counsel for the Nevada Real Estate Division. She has an extensive background in transactional and administrative law, focusing on corporate, insurance and mining law. In her spare time, she loves traveling, baking, and shopping at Home Goods.

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