Well, goodbye 2020, and hello 2021!

I know all of us are very excited for the new year, and it’s an extreme honor to represent you as the 2021 Association Executives Committee chair. I began my AE career in 1991, when I took what was supposed to be a temporary, three-month administrative position with the Washington REALTORS®.

I was a high school teacher at the time, and while waiting to get my teaching certificate in Washington state, the association seemed to be a nice fit. Who knew it would turn into a career?! I was the temp who wouldn’t leave, and 21 years later, I was serving as the association’s chief operating officer.

As a believer in continuous growth, I accepted the CEO position with Arizona’s largest local REALTOR® association in 2012, then moved on to my current role, CEO of the MetroTex Association of REALTORS® in Dallas, in 2018. It has been a tremendous career—full of opportunities, challenges, and blessings!

The knowledge we freely provide to each other is part of what makes our careers as AEs so great.

So, let’s talk technology. Last year not-so-gently nudged all of us to instantly find tech solutions that few had previously explored. Terms such as “Zoom” became the norm, and questions like, “Are you there? Can you hear us?” rang out repeatedly in offices throughout the country as we waded through myriad online meetings and technical challenges.

Many of us were forced to leave our comfort zones or bring them into our own homes in order to continue to engage with members and keep staff safe, all the while never really closing. We are all facing the pandemic differently; for some, things have been closer to business as usual, while others have had to embrace every tech solution to preserve social distancing.

In this issue, you’ll learn best practices for using technology in your association and tips on the various platforms available. You’ll hear about progressive and innovative ideas to put to use, no matter the size of your association. The knowledge we freely provide to each other is part of what makes our careers as AEs so great.

This issue and the dedicated colleagues who are sharing their experiences for the benefit of all AEs embody the essence of National Association of REALTORS® President Charlie Oppler’s credo: “One, Together.” As we wade forward into 2021, we know that what we’ve learned has only made us stronger and more resilient. Together, we’ve got this!

In closing, I’d like to recognize Ryan McLaughlin, CEO of the Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS®. He is serving as the 2021 AEC vice chair, and together, we look forward to working with all of you as we lean in to 2021—and lean on each other. We can hear you!

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