The Broker's Edge Event took place on Thursday, October 27, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Broker's Edge: Speakers
Leslie Rouda Smith
National Association of REALTORS®
Leslie Rouda Smith (ABR®, AHWD, C2EX, CIPS, CRB, CRS®, e-PRO®, PMN), a REALTOR® for 36 years from Plano, Texas, is the 2022 President of the National Association of REALTORS®.
Leslie is a broker associate at Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate in Dallas, where she specializes in residential, ranch, and country real estate along with her husband Brian and their children, Kristin and Austin, all of whom are REALTORS®.
At the national level, Leslie has been a member of NAR’s Board of Directors since 2009 and has served several years on the Executive Committee. In 2017, she was the vice president for Region 10, comprised of Louisiana and Texas, and she chaired the “Future of the REALTOR® Party” PAG. In 2013, she served on the NAR Leadership Team as vice president.
In 2009 and 2011, she served as a liaison for two NAR past presidents. Also in 2011, she chaired the Leadership Academy Advisory Board, served as the political fundraising liaison, and served on Presidential Advisory Groups for political survival as well as National Flood Insurance Program implementation. In 2008, Leslie chaired the Professional Development Committee.
Leslie is very active in REALTOR® Party activities. She has been a member of the RPR, LLC Board of Directors, and was a longtime Regent for the REALTOR® University. She has experience serving on numerous NAR committees, including Finance, Strategic Thinking, Communications, and Research.
At the state level, Leslie was the 2016 Chairman of the Board of Texas REALTORS®. She has served on their Board of Directors for multiple terms. She was named their 2018 REALTOR® of the Year and received the Texas REALTORS® Distinguished Service Award in 2014. She was the founder of the Texas REALTORS® State YPN Network.
Leslie is a past recipient of the Salesperson of the Year award from a local association. She received REALTOR® of the Year from her local board, the Collin County Association of REALTORS® in Plano, Texas. She served as president of the Dallas network of the Women’s Council of REALTORS® in 1998, and in 2014, she was named Entrepreneur of the Year for the Texas Women’s Council of REALTORS® Network.
Active in her community, Leslie has volunteered on behalf of affordable housing programs, neighborhood revitalization, and housing opportunity initiatives. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications from the Ohio State University, where she was named an Outstanding Young Alumni.
Travis Close, Master GRI, ABR, e-PRO®, CRS, of Real Estate Partners Chattanooga LLC, is the 2022 President for Tennessee REALTORS®.
Travis has held numerous leadership positions in the real estate industry, including Division 3 Vice President for Tennessee REALTORS®, President of Greater Chattanooga REALTORS®, Director, and multiple local committees.
At the state level, he has also served as a Director, Forms Committee member, Vice Chair, and Convention Committee member. He is a graduate of NAR Leadership Academy’s Class of 2016.
A native of Chattanooga, Close is deeply involved in the community, having served as President of the UT-Chattanooga Early Childhood Board, Signal Crest United Methodist Board Chair, and Notre Dame High School Board President as a volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America. He and his wife, Tina, are the parents of two children.
Sher Powers (AHWD, C2EX, CRS, e-Pro), a REALTOR® from Nashville, TN, is the 2023 Tennessee REALTORS®. President, a key part of the association's 11-member Executive Committee.
Sher is the broker/owner of Urbane Residential Specialists, with 22 years of experience specializing in residential real estate for owner-occupants and investors.
At the national level, Sher has served on the NAR Board of Directors since 2018 and is the Commitment to Excellence (C2EX) 2023 Vice Chair. Prior roles include the Leadership Academy Advisory Group, Chair/Vice Chair Local Leadership Idea Exchange Council, Housing Opportunities Committee, RPAC Fundraising Trustees, and Consumer Communications Committee. Sher also graduated from the elite NAR Leadership Academy program in 2020.
At the state level, Sher has served as President-Elect, First Vice President, Division 2 Vice President, TN Director, Vice Chair of the Diversity Inclusion Committee, and a member of the Governmental Affairs Committee and Nominating & Election Task Force.
At the local level, she is a primary member of Greater Nashville REALTORS® and is past President (2018.)
In addition, Powers has served as a guest speaker, instructor, panelist, and moderator at numerous real estate events and has written classes on her two passions: inclusion and real estate investing. She is a Subject Matter Expert for the current real estate investing REBAC class for NAR.
Sher is married to Arden von Haeger, a Professor of Illustration at Savannah College of Art and Design. They share a love of charitable service, travel, and real estate investing/renovation.
CEO of Stashwall, Inc.
Anat Baron is a force of nature whose forte is building brands, leading teams, and growing companies. She has led major organizations through periods of internal upheaval, intense competition, and market disruption. Her real-world experience and deep understanding of technology allow her to share proven strategies for engaging consumers, nurturing innovation, and generating sustainable growth for businesses, non profits, and associations. Anat provides an exceptional blend of business acumen, creative vision, and storytelling.
Currently the CEO of Stashwall, Inc., an early-stage, game changing technology startup, Anat Baron is best known as the wunderkind behind Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Within three years, she grew Mike’s into a $200 million juggernaut—establishing a new product category in the ultra-competitive beer industry. She did this despite her allergy to alcohol. Baron’s eclectic and highly successful career has included working with well-known hotel brands including Four Seasons, Holiday Inn and Radisson and as a Hollywood executive and producer. After leaving Mike’s, she combined her entertainment and business know-how to write, produce, and direct Beer Wars, an award-winning documentary film that tells the David and Goliath story of the US beer industry and predicted the exponential growth of craft beer.
As a solution-oriented keynote speaker who offers fresh perspectives on the big ideas and important questions shaping our future, Anat inspires your audience to think bigger and take action. She builds each of her dynamic and informative talks by investing time with key members of your organization and understanding your audience and the most important issues they face. The result is an insightful and engaging presentation that sparks conversation, creates meaningful change, and has lasting impact. Her compelling, no-nonsense, audience centric approach makes her the perfect speaker for today’s increasingly fast changing world.
CEO, Tennessee REALTORS®
Angela began her career with the REALTOR® organization in Athens, Georgia serving as CEO for the Athens Area Association of REALTORS®. In 2010, she assumed the role of CEO/President for the San Antonio Board of REALTORS®, an organization of 11,000+ members. In the fall of 2017, she was named CEO of Tennessee REATORS®.
Over her career, she has served on countless committees and workgroups at the National Association of REALTORS® including the Board of Directors; Association Executives Committee; RCE Governing Board; Business Issues; Research; Data Strategies; Federal Technology Policy Advisory Board; Land Use, Property Rights and Environment; Association Executives Institute Advisory Board; Associations Executives Recommendations and Recognitions Advisory Board; REALTOR® Association State and Commercial Collaboration Work Group; and the RPR Board of Directors. She is currently serving as a member of the Insurance Committee.
Angela holds the CAE, RCE, and e-Pro designations. She has been presented with the NAR Omega Tau Rho and inducted into the Dr. Almon R. (Bud Smith), RCE, AE Leadership Society. She is a proud graduate of the University of Georgia, holding a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.
CEO, Home Builders Association of Tennessee, Nashville, TN
Charles Schneider serves as the residential construction industry’s legislative and political strategist, advocating for the industry to the governor, the Tennessee Legislature, and state agencies. His focus is to unite the thousands of voices from 12 local associations into a single drumbeat to defend residential construction. In the last six months, he has driven member recruitment efforts, increasing the number of builder members by over 40-percent.
Before joining HBAT, Schneider spent several years at the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry as vice president of government affairs. In this role, Schneider led human resources, taxation, and environmental policy groups for Tennessee’s largest employers. The organization was responsible for passing numerous tax cuts, revising outdated environmental regulations, and defeating countless proposed mandates on employers.
Prior to serving at the chamber, Schneider held various political and public policy roles for elected leaders across the southeastern U.S.
Schneider received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. He and his wife Anne reside in Nashville and enjoying spending time at family homes in Monteagle and Mount Pleasant, Tennessee.
Principal Broker/Co-owner, Weichert, REALTORS®—The Andrews Group, Murfreesboro, TN
Chris began his career in real estate in late 2005. He is currently the Principal Broker/Owner at Weichert REALTORS®—The Andrews Group in Murfreesboro, TN, and he specializes in residential and new construction.
Throughout his career, Chris has served as the President for the Middle Tennessee Association of REALTORS® and the 2014-2015 Division 2 Vice President for Tennessee REALTORS®. Chris is also a Golden R President’s Circle Hall of Fame RPAC Investor. Furthermore, Chris was a Reserve Deputy with the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office for four years and was deemed a subject matter expert for the National Association of REALTORS® Safety Matters Course. Chris also serves as FPC for Congressman Scott DesJarlais.
Chris has a strong passion for teaching and coaching real estate agents. Moreover, Chris is a strong family man. He is married to Carrie Garrett, and they have two beautiful children. He is an active member of his church and loves to spend his free time with his family, practicing Niseido Ju Jitsu and time at the gym. Lastly, as a reflection of his work in this industry, Chris was named Tennessee’s REALTOR® of the Year in 2021.
Chief sustainability officer for LAER Realty Partners, Melrose, MA
Craig Foley is a leading national voice on sustainability in the real estate industry. Craig’s combination of real estate and energy management skills gives him a unique perspective about sustainable energy solutions and subject matter expertise on greening the MLS, high-performance home valuation and marketing, and the impact of climate change on the real estate industry. He is a LEED Green Associate and the chief sustainability officer for LAER Realty Partners. As a real estate broker, he has sold several high-performance projects in and around Greater Boston. He is also the team co-founder of REthink39 Group. REthink39 is devoted to lowering the 39% of U.S. energy consumption attributed to the built environment and believes it can be part of a solution with every transaction closed.
As a real estate consultant, he has partnered with a broad range of companies, including Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, Honeywell, Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships, Elevate Energy, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. Craig was one of five people in the U.S. to receive the EverGreen Award from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) in 2013. His committee work at NAR includes chairing the Sustainability Advisory Group in 2019, and he will be the 2022 chair of the Land Use, Property Rights, and Environment Committee. In 2020 Craig was honored to be asked to chair NAR President Vince Malta’s Advisory Group on Sustainability. He also has served on Fannie Mae’s Energy Advisory Council and the Energy Efficiency Task Force for Freddie Mac.
2022 REALTOR® Party Director, Nashville, TN
Hagan Stone has been a licensed REALTOR® since 1999. He is a consistent top producer in his market and a partner and managing broker with PARKS Realty in Nashville, Tennessee.
Hagan was the 2014 President of Greater Nashville REALTORS® and the 2020 President of Tennessee REALTORS®. He is a Platinum R major investor and member of the NAR RPAC Hall of Fame, and the 2022 NAR REALTOR® Party Director. Hagan has chaired NAR Leadership Academy, Commitment to Excellence, and RPAC Fundraising Trustees.
Dr. Jessica Lautz
Vice President, Demographics and Behavior Insights, National Association of REALTORS®
Dr. Jessica Lautz is Vice President of Demographics and Behavioral Insights at the National Association of REALTORS®. The core of her research focuses on analyzing trends for both NAR members and housing consumers. Through management of surveys, focus groups and data analysis, she presents new and innovative ways to showcase results. Jessica discusses research findings in major media outlets and international presentations. In 2022, Dr. Lautz was named a RISMedia Newsmaker in the Influencer category. In 2021, Dr. Lautz was named one of Housing Wire’s Women of Influence, a list representing 100 of the most influential women in leadership in the housing industry. She also volunteers at Nottingham Trent University as an industry fellow mentoring real estate graduate students.
Jessica received her Doctorate of Real Estate from Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom. She also holds a Master’s in Public Policy from American University and undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Law and Justice from Central Washington University.
Mortgage Loan Originator, Regions Bank, Franklin, TN
A Kentucky native, Kevin enlisted in the U.S. Navy after graduating high school. He honorably served four years of active duty and an additional two years in the Naval Reserves while attending the University of San Diego, later finishing his bachelor's degree at Belmont University.
Over the past 13 years, he has enjoyed a successful referral-based business and is the Managing Broker at Pilkerton Realtors InTown. He is passionate about association involvement and the protection of private property rights. Kevin currently serves as a Vice President of Greater Nashville REALTORS®.
Managing Broker, Pilkerton REALTORS®, Nashville, TN
Over the past 13 years, Kevin has enjoyed a successful referral-based business and is the Managing Broker at Pilkerton REALTORS® InTown.
He is passionate about association involvement and the protection of private property rights.
Kevin currently serves as a Vice President of Greater Nashville REALTORS®.
Managing Broker, RE/MAX Integrity, Cle Elum, WA
Kitty Wallace joined the real estate world from the lending world 20 years and has never looked back. She is an active REALTOR® and Managing Broker at RE/MAX Integrity in Cle Elum, WA. She loves selling real estate as well as teaching and mentoring agents in the ever changing world of real estate.
Kitty has always been active in her local REALTOR® Association as well as WA REALTORS® and NAR. Kitty’s passion is REALTOR® advocacy. If you know Kitty at all you know she is always talking RPAC and the importance of investing in RPAC to ensure we have an industry to work in tomorrow. Kitty has served as WA REALTORS® RPAC trustee, WA REALTORS® RPAC chair, Region 12 Fundraising RPAC Trustee, and was the 2019 Chair of Major Investor Council at NAR. She also served as the Vice President of Government Affairs for the WA Association of REALTORS®. Kitty was the 2020 President of WA Association of REALTORS®. This year she is the Chair of the Broker Engagement council at NAR.
Kitty leads by example and is a Platinum, President Circle, double- hall of fame investor. Kitty was named WA State REALTOR® of the Year in 2016.
Kitty is very active in her community and believes being involved is the first step of shaping the future.
REALTOR®, Dave Perry Miller, Dallas, TX
A Top 500 REALTOR® in Dallas, Kristin Smith speaks nationally, is part of the 2016 REALTOR® Magazine 30 Under 30 class, is the 2015 REALTOR® of the year, is a graduate of NAR Leadership Academy, and is on a mission to acquire as much real estate as possible. REALTOR®, investor, speaker, and owner of the Luxe Warehouse Airbnb featured on CNBC’s Cash Pad!
Deputy General Counsel and Vice President, National Association of REALTORS®
Lesley Muchow is Deputy General Counsel & Vice President of Legal Affairs and Antitrust Compliance for the National Association of REALTORS®.
Northern Middle Tennessee Regional Director, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Nashville, TN
Lyndi Berrones returned to her home state of Tennessee in 2017 to work for the Department of Economic and Community Development. Berrones started as a statewide recruitment director and is now the department’s regional director for Greater Nashville. She spends her days creating jobs for Tennesseans by recruiting new companies to the region and helping existing companies expand. Berrones has directly assisted in the creation of more than 15,000 new jobs and $1.75 billion in new capital investment for the State.
Prior to return, Berrones lived and worked in Santiago, Chile and then served as the economic development director for Miami-Dade County until 2016. She is a Young Leaders Council graduate, YMCA Y-CAP board member, and received the prestigious Excellence in Economic Development Award in 2019. Berrones holds a master’s in international business from the University of South Carolina and an executive certificate from Harvard Business School. In her free time, she also serves as a head cheerleading coach for 5- to 13-year-olds in the Hermitage Seahawks recreational league.
Senior Vice President of Member Development, National Association of REALTORS®
Marc Gould is the Senior Vice President of Member Development at the National Association of REALTORS® with responsibility for numerous programs that benefit members and increases professionalism in the industry.
Marc joined NAR in 2006 and has been fortunate to take on continued responsibility that benefit both the members and the real estate industry. Under his leadership, NAR launched its industry-changing Commitment to Excellence digital engagement platform, a robust set of sustainability strategic priorities, the REALTOR® Center for Financial Wellness, and expanded broker-focused outreach.
Marc is known as an engaging speaker and thought leader. He has presented and served on panels across the country on topics as varied as professional development, sustainability, and leadership principals.
Marc has an MBA from Loyola University, a BA from the University of Michigan, and achieved the rank of Major as an officer in the United States Army.
Broker/Owner, RE/MAX Choice Properties, Hendersonville, TN
Mike Gaughan is currently a Broker/Owner of RE/Max Choice Properties and previously served as the 2008 Tennessee REALTORS® President.
Mike was awarded the Tennessee REALTORS® REALTOR® of the Year in 2016.
Broker, Parks Realty, Smyrna, TN
Robert Morris graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science degree. He entered real estate in 1985 and has been actively involved in real estate sales and training since that time. He is a selling broker with Parks Realty, located in Middle Tennessee, where he actively lists and sells real estate with his team. Robert has been honored as the REALTOR® of the Year in 2000.
He recently received the 2021 Tennessee REALTOR® Educator of the Year award, his second time (1995) to receive this award in his career. Robert has been chosen as one of Tennessee REALTORS® Region 2 District Vice-Presidents for 2022-2023. He has served on several local association's Board of Directors and just finished serving a 2020-2021 term as President of the Middle Tennessee Association of REALTORS®. Robert has been accepted as a candidate into the 2022 NAR Leadership Academy class and will serve as a NAR Director from Tennessee REALTORS® for 2022-2024. He also has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Real Estate Business Institute (REBI) for 2022-2023 as well as selected to the Learning Experiences committee for 2022. Robert will also serve on NAR's Professional Development (2022) and Housing Opportunities (2022-2023) committees as well.
Robert is an international speaker, certified instructor and consultant who holds several professional designations/ certifications just to name a few, the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS). Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB), Internet Professional (e-PRO®), Accredited Buyer Representative® (ABR®), Real Estate Negotiation Expert (RENE), Seller Representative Specialist (SRS), the Graduate REALTOR® Institute (GRI), and the Performance Management Network (PMN) designation for the Women's Council of REALTORS®. He is also certified by the Instructor's Training Institute (ITI). He has conducted seminars, training workshops and leadership conferences for countless numbers of REALTORS®, boards, conventions and associations throughout the continental US, Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the British West Indies. Robert is a Certified Instructor for Real Estate Brokers Institute (REBI). He is also a Course Facilitator/ Instructor for the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council (REBAC) and Women's Council of REALTORS® (WCR).
Robert has taught personalized courses to thousands of REALTORS® across the country and is committed to helping REALTORS® become more knowledgeable in all facets of the real estate industry. Robert currently instructs REALTORS® in a variety of areas ranging from business planning, brokerage management, leadership management, diversity, professional standards, fair housing, goal setting, time management, and real estate ethics. He is committed to raising the bar and making a positive difference in the lives of every person he meets.