No Association Left Behind

Another year is almost over, and what a year it has been. Last month, I went to hear Charlie Cook Jr. of “The Cook Political Report” address a group of college students at Elon University, currently home to my two sons. After Mr. Cook’s very enlightening and entertaining presentation on the 2014 election and early prognostications on the 2016 election, he made a few personal comments to the students. He specifically told the kids that they were among the lucky few attending a private university whose star is decidedly rising in every way. It is a university that is globally improving and, as a result, is gaining by leaps and bounds in both recognition and reputation. He further advised the students that they want to be at a university that is so devoted to improvement that by the time they graduate, they would no longer be eligible to get into the school with the grades and SAT scores that were sufficient when they entered. Once again, the importance of always striving to be better was brought home to me. We cannot afford to be, and will not be, left behind.

I want to stress that in the end, I hope that the role I played this year as AEC chair has been effective and helpful to the REALTOR® association community. But my part has been small. I could not have accomplished anything this year without the immense dedication of the leadership of NAR. President Steve Brown is one of the most thoughtful, dedicated, admired, and brave leaders NAR has ever had. I will be forever thankful to Steve for appointing me to chair the PAG that led to the Core Standards. Steve’s Leadership Team and Executive Committee are made up of truly extraordinary leaders—leaders who are unafraid to look the future in the eyes and act on what they see. To each and every one, thank you. And to Dale Stinton—you provide leadership, guidance, and courage to this association, its volunteers, and its AEs. I have learned so much from you and appreciate you beyond measure.

Doug Hinderer, Cindy Sampalis, Cynthia Bair, Laurie Oken, Renee Holland, Krystal Allen, Courtney Wilson, Debra Jordan, Dolores Plambeck, Denise Marx, and Cliff Niersbach—there are not words sufficient to express my gratitude for making my year so easy and increasing my competency.  You are the true heroes of the AE world and I will forever tell everyone how amazing you are in every way. We should all strive to be as good as you are individually and as a team. I have met, worked with, and come to admire too many NAR staff members to mention, but thank you all for the work you do on behalf of our collective members and the AE community.

Mark Allen, Jarrod Grasso, Cindy Butts, Travis Kessler, Gavin Blair, Christine Todd, and Marc Lebowitz—what a blast we had this year. You are the best AEs and friends a girl could ever hope to work with. You were the heart and soul behind the Core Standards; thank you for letting me be the face.  Jarrod, I have your back next year.

Finally, the biggest thanks go to the leadership and staff of the North Carolina Association of REALTORS® who allowed me to serve as AE chairperson in a year of great change. Without their support and professionalism, I could not have served in this capacity. Tomp, Tony, Patrice, and Treasure: You are the best Leadership Team ever, anywhere. Bryan, Cady, Blair, Ellie, Mike B., Mandy, Robert, Kristin, Mike L., Adair, Caroline, Denise, Donna, Kay, Keri, Mckenzie, Monica, Nicole, Phyllis, Robin, Sam, Sherry, Tyler, and Will, you are the best staff of any association in the country and I am so proud of you. Thank you for allowing me to work each day with you.

I have been humbled by this experience. Thank you all for the honor of allowing me to serve as the chair of the 2014 AE Committee.

— Andrea Bushnell, RCE, EVP, North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, 2014 chair of the AE committee

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