R. Layne Morrill*, from Kimberling City, Missouri, was the 1998 president of the National Association of REALTORS®. Morrill, a REALTOR® since 1960, was president of Shepherd of the Hills, REALTORS®, in Kimberling City and Branson, Missouri.
In his 38 years of service with the association, Morrill was active at the national, state, and local levels. He served on NAR's Board of Directors beginning in 1974 and its Executive Committee beginning in 1988. Morrill served as an NAR regional vice president in 1988 for Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. He chaired the Independent Expenditures Committee in 1983, the REALTORS® Political Action Committee in 1988, the Government Affairs Coordinating Committee in 1990, and the Strategic Planning Committee in 1992. He served on numerous other task forces and committees, including the Legislative, Issues Mobilization, Mortgage Finance, and State and Urban Affairs Committees. In 1994, he served as an NAR Committee Liaison and was responsible for coordinating the activities of the committees in the Government and Political Relations Group. The group included the Public Policy Coordinating, Business Issues, Federal Taxation, Environment, Housing and Community Development, State and Property Rights, State Housing Issues, Political Affairs Coordinating, and Political Communication Committees.
As NAR president, Morrill's busy schedule included meetings with White House officials and a number of congressional leaders and other federal officials on an array of housing issues, such as private property rights, expanding the availability of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), tax reform, and the elimination of private mortgage insurance (PMI) when it is no longer needed. During his presidency, Morrill also testified on behalf of NAR before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs regarding PMI. He also met with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Andrew Cuomo to discuss an array of issues, including NAR's efforts to help the nation achieve a record high homeownership rate of 67.5 percent by the year 2000, under President Clinton's National Partners in Homeownership plan. He and Cuomo also discussed NAR's efforts to develop a certification program designed to broaden the skills of real estate professionals who work with buyers and sellers of different minority groups and cultures, under the "One America" program, developed by NAR and HUD to encourage multicultural and minority outreach in all aspects of housing.
As NAR President, Morrill also accepted on behalf of the association the 1997 Domestic Partnership award from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in recognition of the association's advocacy of private property rights and shelter needs in Eastern Europe. Morrill also represented NAR at a conference sponsored by the 1998 Real Estate Summit hosted by the National Real Estate Organizations (NREO), a coalition of 12 national real estate groups, including NAR, which promotes responsible legislation and regulation for a healthy real estate economy. During his tenure, Morrill also was involved in the "The House That Congress Built" project, an effort that brought members of the U.S. House of Representatives, REALTORS®, Habitat for Humanity, and numerous other housing-related groups together to build simple, low-cost homes in all 435 congressional districts. As president, he also appeared as NAR spokesman on a number of national broadcast media programs and was quoted in numerous publications for his expertise in the real estate industry.
At the state level, Morrill was the 1974 president of the Missouri Association of REALTORS® and served on MAR's Board of Directors from 1962. He chaired MAR's Legislative, Long-Range Planning, and REALTORS® Political Action Committees. In 1979, the state association honored him with its REALTOR® of the Year award.
At the local level, Morrill served four years as president of the Tri-Lakes Board of REALTORS®. He chaired the Table Rock Multiple Listing Service in 1975 and 1979.
Active in the community, Morrill served as a director for the Bank of Kimberling City and Rural Missouri Cable TV, Inc. He also served as a director for the Branson-based White River Valley Electric Cooperative, the KAMO Electric Cooperative, in Vinita, Okla., and the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corp., in Herndon, VA.
Morrill lived in Kimberling City with his late wife, Brenda, and daughter, Rochelle Dawn.
R. Layne Morrill passed away on January 30, 2021.