SAN FRANCISCO (November 11, 2013) – Mary Frances Burleson, a Realtor® from Dallas, Texas, has received the National Association of Realtors® 2013 Distinguished Service Award. Out of 1 million Realtors®, no more than two are recognized with this award each year. The recipients were recognized in San Francisco during NAR’s annual Realtors® Conference and Expo.
NAR established the DSA in 1979 to honor Realtors® who have made outstanding contributions to the real estate industry and are recognized as leaders in their local communities. The award is considered the highest honor an NAR member can receive; recipients must be active at the local, state and national association levels, but must not have served as NAR president. NAR President Gary Thomas presented the award to Burleson.
“I am extremely honored to present this year’s Distinguished Service Award to Mary Frances Burleson,” said Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty, in Villa Park, Calif. “Over several decades, Mary Frances has demonstrated a tremendous amount of dedication and self-sacrifice to the Realtor® community through her involvement in numerous volunteer positions at the local, state and national level. Mary Frances has proven herself to be a leader who believes in the principle of service above self.”
Burleson has been a Realtor® for 47 years and is currently the president and CEO of Ebby Halliday Real Estate, Inc. Based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the firm is Texas’ largest independent residential brokerage. Additionally, she holds the honor of being the third Realtor® from the company to receive the coveted DSA, an industry first.
“I am honored and grateful to accept the Distinguished Service Award,” said Burleson. “I am also extremely fortunate to be part of a profession and organization that values service to others. Realtors® have a common goal to help build strong communities and work toward improving people’s quality of life; this is something I strongly believe in and have strived for throughout my career in real estate.”
Burleson has held a number of leadership positions within the Realtor® organization over the years. She has served as a member of the board of directors at NAR since 1991 and has been a state chairman. Burleson is currently a large firm representative on the board of directors, a position she has held since 1998. In addition, she has chaired numerous committees, groups and forums within NAR, most notably the Convention Advisory Group, the Research Committee and the Economic Issues and Trends Forum.
While active on a national level, Burleson has also dedicated her time and energy to her local and state Realtor® associations. She has served as president of the MetroTex Association of Realtors®, formerly the Greater Dallas Association of Realtors®. Burleson was named Realtor® of the Year by MetroTex – an honor she also received from the Texas Association of Realtors®. She also has served as chairman of the board of the Texas Association of Realtors® after holding several leadership positions, including secretary-treasurer and chairman-elect.
Burleson was appointed by Governor Rick Perry to serve as a broker member on the Texas Real Estate Commission, which regulates and licenses real estate brokers and salespeople in the state of Texas. She has also served as chairman of the board for the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce, the Baptist Foundation of Texas, and as a member of the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Executive Committee. She has also been a member of the Fannie Mae National Advisory Council, made up of industry leaders and experts who advised the entity on housing and mortgage finance issues, as well as the expansion of homeownership opportunities.
Burleson started her career with Ebby Halliday as Ebby’s secretary and worked her way up, opening the fourth office for Ebby Halliday in Richardson, Texas, and then serving as regional manager for four additional offices. Today, Ebby Halliday includes 30 offices; two real estate brands; mortgage, title, and personal insurance companies; and approximately 1,500 sales associates covering more than 12,000 square miles in North Texas.
In addition to her work in the real estate industry, Burleson has exhibited Boxer show dogs since 1964. She and her late husband, Rufus, have completed championships for 40 dogs and won national specialties at four American Boxer Club shows. The Burlesons have been honored with the Life Time Achievement award from the American Boxer Club.
The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.