2019 GAD Institute
The Government Affairs Directors’ Institute is an annual professional development conference for state and local real estate association professionals who provide guidance to and work for associations in the areas of government affairs, political affairs, legislative or regulatory affairs, lobbying, advocacy, RPAC fundraising, campaigns, community outreach and/or all REALTOR® Party initiatives. The Institute provides a means for these industry professionals to meet, exchange ideas and best practices, as well as gain valuable career skills and networking opportunities in order to provide the best value and information to the real estate industry.
Where: Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, Ohio
- Onsite registration opens Monday evening July 15, 2019
- Institute kicks off Tuesday, July 16
- Institute ends Thursday July 18 following the Ohio Night Out Reception
Hotel Rates: $189/night plus taxes & fees
Registration Opens: Early May, 2019
Registration Fee: $550; After June 15 – $600
Registration is closed for the 2019 GAD Institute
“Online registration for the 2019 GAD Institute is now closed. You may register for the conference on site at the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, beginning on Monday afternoon July 15. The NAR hotel block is closed. The Hyatt Regency may honor NAR’s group rate if you contact them directly. If not, the following hotels are located in the near vicinity and have availability. Contact Kyle Lambert London with questions or concerns. Thanks!
- Hyatt Regency Cincinnati
- Hilton Cincinnati Netherland
- Westin Cincinnati
- Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown
Know Before You Go
- Conference mobile app – An easy way to view conference sessions, events, speakers and other attendees. Update or add to your information here.
- Click Here to Reserve your 30-minute session with the following NAR staff experts:
- Melissa Horn, Manager, Online Advocacy
- Peter Kelly, Director, RPAC Technology and Online Fundraising
- Adriann Murawski, Policy Representative, State and Local Government
- Free Headshot Opportunity – sign up for a specific time for Tuesday, July 16.
- GADs Give Back – See which project the GADs are supporting locally this year and donate here.
Jeff Berding is the President and General Manager of local soccer franchise, FC Cincinnati. FC Cincinnati is one of 29 teams in the United Soccer League, the largest soccer league in the United States and Canada. The USL is one level below Major League Soccer, and team’s long-term goal is to prove that Cincinnati is a big league soccer town and earn the right to be awarded an MLS Franchise. The team plays its home games at Nippert Stadium on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. In one of his first moves, Jeff hired US soccer legend John Harkes as the first Head Coach.
Prior to his August 2015 founding of FC Cincinnati, Jeff served for 19 years as an executive with the Cincinnati Bengals. Jeff led the Sales and Public Affairs efforts of the NFL team. He joined the Bengals in 1996 after managing the successful campaign to win voter approval of public funding for the Reds and Bengals stadiums. In soccer, Jeff served for three years as President of Kings Hammer Soccer Club, the second largest select club in Greater Cincinnati.
Bringing professional soccer to Cincinnati is consistent with Jeff’s track record of working to make his hometown a better place to live, work and raise a family. He was elected to his first term on Cincinnati City Council in November 2005, and was re-elected in 2007 and 2009. He chaired Rules & Government Operations Committee and was vice-chair of the Finance Committee. He was a leading voice for the business community, and with Chris Bortz, worked with Tom Williams and Bob Castellini to create The Banks Working Group that has led to a dynamic new riverfront.
Jeff is a fifth-generation Cincinnatian, born and raised in Westwood where he attended St. Catharine Elementary School and St. Xavier High School. Jeff played grade school soccer before playing varsity football and track at St. X. He graduated cum laude from Miami University, and in 1999 earned his M.B.A with honors from Xavier University. While serving as a City Council Member, Jeff was a member of the 40 Under 40 Class of 2006.
Working with friends, Jeff helped form the coalition of Democrats, Republicans and leaders of the NAACP to reform Cincinnati City government. After gathering input from citizens across the city, he led the coalition in 1999 to pass the reform that allowed city voters to directly elect a stronger Mayor. Jeff also chaired various committees and worked with social service agencies and businesses to better direct United Way funding to agencies that make a real difference in Cincinnati neighborhoods. For more than 20 years, Jeff has volunteered with the Chamber of Commerce to study and advance issues that improve the economic environment.
Drew Brighton is the co-founder of TargetSmart, the nation’s leading political data and targeting company. For nearly a decade, Drew and his team have been a driving force behind innovations in data-driven politics. TargetSmart has worked closely with NAR since 2006, providing the data and consulting infrastructure around the REALTOR® Party’s Campaign Services, Grassroots Advocacy, and Consumer Outreach Programs.
Alex Castellanos is one of the Republican Party’s best-known and most successful media consultants and strategists. Castellanos has served as communications consultant to seven U.S. Presidential campaigns, has helped elect over a dozen U.S. senators and governors, and enjoys over three decades of political consulting experience, both in the United States and abroad. He brings a wealth of campaign strategy, public opinion research insights, and communications experience to corporate communications and public policy campaigns. Castellanos is a co-founder of Purple Strategies, a boutique strategy firm that takes its name from the merger of colors commonly identified with Democrats (blue) and Republicans (red), and the founder of NewRepublican.org. He is also an ABC News contributor and posts regularly on media outlets, including The Huffington Post and NationalReview.com.
Cincinnati’s 69th Mayor
Mayor John Cranley believes that being part of something bigger than oneself is how to lead a meaningful life.
Mayor Cranley’s top priorities include jobs, safety, inclusion, reducing poverty, improving neighborhoods and protecting the environment. Since taking office in late 2013, he has helped bring more than 6,100 new jobs to Cincinnati; added officers to the street which has led to lower crime; added firefighters which effectively ended “brownouts” in the Fire Department; resolved the city’s pension crisis; approved a multi-year plan to repave and repair deteriorating roads; implemented a major anti-poverty program, the Hand Up Initiative; and is leading an effort to invest in solar energy to reduce the city’s carbon footprint.
Mayor Cranley created the City’s first Office of Economic Inclusion & Minority Contracting, aimed at increasing the number of minority firms awarded city contracts. In its first year of operation, the department increased spending with minority-owned businesses from $4 million dollars to $11 million dollars.
Under his leadership, Cincinnati continues to make huge strides towards equality for all. Cincinnati has been recognized as one of the nation’s most immigrant friendly cities, ranking 18th, and for the fifth year in a row received a perfect score on the Municipal Equality Index by the Human Rights Campaign.
Determined to leave our planet safer for future generations, Mayor Cranley has been a leader fighting climate change. Citywide emissions are down 18%, and the city is close to breaking ground on a 25-megawatt solar array to reduce Cincinnati’s carbon footprint. Just recently, the city was awarded an American Cities Climate Challenge grant.
In 2002, Mayor Cranley co-founded the Ohio Innocence Project, an organization that has exonerated and freed 28 wrongfully convicted people through the use of DNA technology. He has also worked as a real estate developer and attorney.
Mayor John Cranley grew up in the Price Hill neighborhood and attended St. William Elementary School and St. Xavier High School. He has earned degrees from John Carroll University, Harvard Law School and Harvard Divinity School. He and his family reside in Hyde Park.
Sean Fellows is President of Star & Sagebrush Strategies an international advisory firm offering counsel in the areas of business development, crisis communications, strategic planning, media relations, & government affairs. Sean has significant international, congressional, state legislative & municipal government experience, as well as a proven track record of successfully developing & executing strategic business objectives. His experience includes state & federal legislative affairs, state legislative & executive branch lobbying, as well as political contribution, election, campaign & business development strategy. Sean ensures that the interests of his diverse portfolio of clients are well represented by developing bipartisan coalitions & building relationships with local, state, national & international leaders.
Sean also serves as in Intelligence Officer in the United States Air Force (USAF) Reserves. Sean holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel & currently serves as the IMA to the Command, 547th Intelligence Squadron, Nellis AFB. The 547th IS serves as the USAFs center for adversary tactics analysis; develops intelligence threat training programs; defines potential threats to air operations of the United States; and provides intelligence support to Air Combat Command’s test and evaluation programs and live-fly exercises.
Sean holds a Master of Business Administration, with an emphasis in International Business and Foreign Affairs from Georgetown University through the McDonough School of Business & Walsh School of Foreign Service. He worked/studied abroad in China, Costa Rica, Honduras, India, Panama, Qatar, Spain & the U.A.E. He holds a Master’s Degree in History of U.S. Foreign Policy, with an emphasis on U.S.-Latin American relations, from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and Air University’s Air Command & Staff College. Sean received his B.A. with Honors in Political Science, History & Aerospace Studies from the University of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota. In addition to serving as Senior Class President, Sean studied abroad in Cuba, England & Ireland.
Sean is extremely active at local, state, national & international levels. In 2015, Sean was a member of the inaugural class of Presidential Leadership Scholars, a unique leadership development initiative that draws upon the resources of the presidential centers of Lyndon B. Johnson, George H.W. Bush, William J. Clinton & George W. Bush. Sean serves on the Board of Directors for the Vegas Golden Knights (NHL) Foundation & US Congresswoman Dina Titus’ Service Academy Nomination Committee. He previously held two statewide Gubernatorial appointments in Nevada as Chairman of the Southern Nevada Veterans Cemetery Committee and as a Commissioner for the Nevada Office of Veterans Services. He served on the Henderson Planning Commission & the Board of Trustees for the Henderson Library District. In 2009, Sean was recognized by In Business Las Vegas as a “40 Under 40” Award recipient.
Sean is an oenophile and enjoys traveling, golfing & spending quality time with his wife Katie and their adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Ryder.
AJ Frye is a second generation REALTOR of RCF Properties Inc.
On the local level, AJ served as President of the Dayton REALTORS® in 2012. She served on numerous committees including Budget & Finance; RPAC; Strategic Planning; Legislative; Emerging Issues; MLS Operations; YPN and Professional Standards. She was the board’s Broker Owner of the Year in 2014. On the state level, she has served as District Vice President (2014-2015) and has been a Director since 2008.
AJ has served as a member of numerous Committees, including: Legislative Steering, Legal Action, RPAC, Commercial Industrial, Residential Property, Communications and Finance, among others. She was a member of the Ohio Division of Real Estate Credentials Task Force (2013-2014). Additionally, Ms. Frye was elected as an NAR Director in 2012 and served on a number of Committees, including Housing Opportunity, Commercial Real Estate Research, and Commercial Legislation and Regulatory Advisory Board. She served in leadership on the Property Management Forum and Commercial Committee. In 2014 she was a member of the NAR Environmental Summit.
AJ currently serves as Region 6 RPAC Trustee, representing Michigan and Ohio. She contributes to RPAC at the Golden R President’s Circle Major Investor Level and is a 2018 member of the RPAC Hall of Fame.
She holds NAR’s Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), e-PRO, Broker Price Opinion Resource (BPOR), (CIPS) Certified International Property Specialist, and is a candidate for the Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation.
AJ and her wife, Shay, have a daughter and reside in Dayton.
Chief Executive Officer, National Association of REALTORS®
Bob Goldberg is chief executive officer of the National Association of REALTORS®. In that role since August 2017, he has worked closely with NAR’s leadership to transform the organization—introducing a staff culture focused on putting members first, leading change, communication, collaboration, and giving respect.
Among the initiatives he has launched are an Innovation, Technology, and Investment Summit; an Executive Outreach Program; and “Day in the Life of a REALTOR®,” a program that puts every NAR staff person into the field each year to better understand the work of REALTORS® and local associations.
Goldberg is also president of NAR’s investment arm, Second Century Ventures(link is external), as well as the highly ranked REach®(link is external) technology accelerator. Through those entities, NAR holds positions in a range of technology companies, driving innovation for the benefit of the industry and NAR members. In addition, he is president and CEO for the REALTORS® Information Network (RIN), a for profit, wholly-owned subsidiary of NAR, where he’s responsible for oversight of the realtor.com® operating agreement with Move Inc.
A 23-year veteran of NAR and a recent inductee into the REALTORS® Political Action Committee Hall of Fame, he previously served as senior vice president, overseeing a wide portfolio that included sales, marketing, business development, and strategic investments. Before joining NAR, Goldberg was a senior vice president with PRC Realty Systems, the nation’s leading provider of computer-based real estate information.
In January 2019, Goldberg was named No. 7 on the Swanepoel Power 200, a list of the most powerful and influential executives in real estate, produced annually by consulting firm T3 Sixty. Goldberg holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He and his wife, Susan, a former REALTOR®, live in Chicago.
2018 – 2019 NAR REALTOR® Party Director
Christine Hansen, broker-owner with Century 21 Hansen Realty in Fort Lauderdale, is the 2018 president of Florida Realtors®, the state’s largest professional association with 180,000 members.
A leader in regional, state and national real estate associations, Hansen just celebrated her 30th year in real estate and has been active with Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors® (now part of Realtors® of the Palm Beaches & Greater Fort Lauderdale) for more than two decades, serving on numerous committees and task forces. She has been a director of Florida Realtors and chaired or served on a variety of state committees, as well as in all of its leadership positions. Hansen also has been a director of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), participating in its strategic planning committee and as 2017 NAR Liaison for Member Relations; in 2019, she is set to be NAR’s Realtor Party director. She has taken additional real estate education courses and earned the designations of CRB (Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager), GRI (Graduate, Realtor Institute) and CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist).
Hansen has been involved in numerous civic and charitable organizations, including fundraising efforts to help a Realtor® who was injured in the 2012 bombing at the Boston Marathon. In her community, she supports Easter Seals, Challenge Air, Silent Angels and Paws for Patriots, among other causes.
Ohio Secretary of State
Frank LaRose is the Ohio Secretary of State and is a former co-chair of the National Network of State Legislators Committed to Civil Governance. Throughout his time in public service. LaRose has spearheaded substantial efforts to increase government transparency and productivity, particularly in the areas of elections administration and regulatory reform. He is a decorated combat veteran, former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, and a former Ohio Senator.
As a State Senator, LaRose authored laws that encourage greater civic engagement, ensure every eligible Ohioan can vote, protect the integrity of the ballot box, modernize voter registration, prevent voter fraud, and ensure fair elections. He’s also worked to cut burdensome regulations on small businesses and make Ohio more welcoming to hard-working entrepreneurs. He has supported lower taxes for all Ohioans and cut red tape so free market enterprises can flourish and Ohio families can prosper. He has developed a reputation as a bipartisan problem-solver who gets things done – and who isn’t afraid to stand up to his own party when it’s in the best interest of Ohioans.
Governing Magazine named LaRose as one of 12 State Legislators to Watch in 2014, highlighting his efforts to improve political civility.
He is a graduate of The Ohio State University and lives in Hudson with his wife Lauren and their three young daughters.
As the President and CEO of Strategic Affairs LLC, Paula has over 25 years of experience in political and issues campaigns, fundraising and advocacy with 17 years of experience in these areas specific to REALTOR® organizations.
Paula has been a contract government affairs director for state and local REALTOR® associations and a REALTOR® Party Consultant for the National Association of REALTORS®. She has served on the GAD Advisory Group, been a member on panel discussions at prior GAD Institutes, and served on NAR committees. As a REALTOR® Party Consultant, Paula was assigned as the liaison to 7 state associations around the nation and asked to be an instructor for the Choosing REALTOR® Champions Course. She was featured in the article, “Local Political Action: Start Here” in the Summer 2007 Edition of REALTOR® Association Executive Magazine.
From 2015 to 2018, Paula was the Director of Corporate Fundraising for the National Association of REALTORS®. She was the staff executive responsible for the launch of NAR’s REALTOR® Party Corporate Ally Program (CAP), a soft dollar corporate fundraising campaign to support REALTOR® political and issues advocacy.
Paula’s educational background is extensive and varied. She holds a B.S. in business and a M.A. in art history from the University of Maryland at College Park. She is a graduate of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University, holds a certificate in PAC & Grassroots Management from the Public Affairs Council and a certificate in professional fundraising from Boston University.
In her spare time, she is an award-winning adjunct professor of art history.
Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard is internationally known for his dedication to wildlife preservation, research and education. He has authored more than a dozen books, the most recent, “Hope for Animals & Their World,” was coauthored with Jane Goodall. He has also shared science and environmental news via his nationally syndicated radio program, “The 90-Second Naturalist,” for thirty years.
Maynard’s travels to promote biological diversity, natural history and wildlife conservation have spanned five continents and earned him a membership in the Explorers Club. He is an active member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and a member of the Board of Trustees for the Margo Marsh Biodiversity Foundation, a primate conservation fund headquartered in Washington, D.C.
Born and raised in central Florida, Thane earned his bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Rollins College in Winter Park, Fl., and his master’s degree in wildlife ecology from the University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. He is also a graduate of the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management program at the Harvard Business School, as well as the first National Education Leadership Institute sponsored by WWF and Disney.
Eugene Robinson uses his twice-weekly column in The Washington Post to pick American society apart and then put it back together again in unexpected and revelatory new ways. To do this job of demolition and reassembly, Robinson relies on a large and varied tool kit: energy, curiosity, elegant writing and the wide-ranging experience of a life that took him from childhood in the segregated South—on what they called the “colored” side of the tracks—to the heights of American journalism. His remarkable story- telling ability has won him wide acclaim, most notably as the winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for his commentary on the 2008 presidential race that resulted in the election of America’s first African- American president.
In his three decades at The Washington Post, Robinson has been city hall reporter, city editor, foreign correspondent in Buenos Aires and London, foreign editor and assistant managing editor in charge of the paper’s award-winning Style section. He has written books about race in Brazil and music in Cuba, covered a heavyweight championship fight, witnessed riots in Philadelphia and a murder trial in the deepest Amazon, sat with Presidents and Dictators and the Queen of England, thrusted and parried with hair-proud politicians from sea to shining sea, handicapped three editions of American Idol, acquired fluent Spanish and passable Portuguese and even, thanks to his two sons, come to an uneasy truce with hip-hop culture.
He saw, long before the states were split into red and blue, that politics and culture are always intertwined. He sees how the great trends that are reshaping our society are also reshaping our neighborhoods, our families, ourselves. Immigration, for example, is far more than a tally of how many people moved from somewhere else to America. It’s also the story of a changing inner-city block that rises or sinks as newcomers arrive. It’s the story of how the grammar and syntax of a new hybrid language are forged in basketball or soccer games at the local playground. It’s the story of a woman, all but cloistered in her home country, who walks down a public street for the first time in her life without a veil. Or the story of a man, raised in society where machismo still rules, learning for the first time to regard his wife as a breadwinner, perhaps eventually as an equal.
Using the old-fashioned instincts and habits of a reporter, Robinson goes out and finds these stories. He sees them as the foundation that supports his provocative opinions—and as building blocks that can be used to assemble the larger narrative of today’s America.
Robinson was born and raised in Orangeburg, SC. He remembers the culminating years of the Civil Rights Movement—the “Orangeburg Massacre,” a 1968 incident in which police fired on students protesting a segregated bowling alley and killed three unarmed young men, took place within sight of his house just a few hundred yards away. He was educated at Orangeburg High School, where he was one of a handful of black students on the previously all white campus; and the University of Michigan, where during his senior year he was the first black student to be named co-editor-in-chief of the award-winning student newspaper, The Michigan Daily.
He began his journalism career at The San Francisco Chronicle, where he was one of two reporters assigned to cover the trial of kidnapped newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst, which arguably set the pattern for all the saturation-coverage celebrity trials that have followed. F. Lee Bailey, at the time the most celebrated lawyer in America, was lead counsel for the defense. He lost the case, which taught Robinson a valuable lesson he has never forgotten: Reputation and performance are two different things.
Robinson joined The Washington Post in 1980 as city hall reporter, covering the first term of Washington’s larger-than-life mayor, Marion Barry. For the first time since Orangeburg, race became a dominant issue in Robinson’s life—as city hall reporter, he was the de facto emissary of a powerful white institution, The Washington Post, to an ambitious, race-conscious, black-run government of a majority- black city. There he learned another important lesson: Man-in-the-middle is never a comfortable role, but sometimes it’s a necessary one.
Robinson became an assistant city editor in 1981, and in 1984 was promoted to city editor, in charge of the paper’s coverage of the District of Columbia. During the 1987-88 academic year, on leave from The Post, Robinson was a Nieman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard University. He began studying the Spanish language—he had always promised himself that if he ever had a year off he would learn Spanish, since that would be useful for any journalist in a nation where immigration from Latin America was already gathering steam. Study of the language quickly led to courses on Latin American literature, history and politics.
On his return to the paper he was named The Post’s South America correspondent, based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a post he held from 1988-1992 (which let him cover the trial in Amazon and also research his first book, the one about Brazil, Coal to Cream: A Black Man’s Journey Beyond Color to and Affirmation of Race, published in 1999). For the subsequent two years, he was London bureau chief (affording him the opportunity to sit in one of the gilded state rooms of Buckingham Palace as Queen Elizabeth II committed the investiture of a new crop of knights and ladies).In February 1994, Robinson returned to Washington to become The Post’s foreign editor. That same year he was elected to the Council of Foreign Relations.
In January 1999, Robinson became an assistant managing editor of The Post in charge of the Style section
—where he learned that hip-hop and American Idol are as relevant to people’s lives, in their way, as the “serious” news that gets reported on the front page. His appointment as associate editor and columnist took place January 1, 2005.
In 2010, Robinson was elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board. He is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the NABJ Hall of Fame. His second book, Last Dance in Havana: The Final Days of Fidel and the Start of the New Cuban Revolution—an examination of contemporary Cuba, looking at the society through the vibrant music scene—was published in 2004. His latest book, Disintegration, was released in October 2010. In it, Robinson discusses the disintegration of the black community into four distinct sectors—and the implication for policies such as school reform, urban renewal and affirmative action.
Robinson is a regular contributor to MSNBC. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife, Avis, an artist and collector.
What do the American Kennel Club, the American Bankers Association and the National Corn Growers Association have in common? They have all turned to Amy Showalter for her expertise and motivation to elevate their government relations influence. Amy is a grassroots and PAC influence expert who founded The Showalter Group to help associations and corporations increase their grassroots and PAC effectiveness. In fact, over 85% of her long term consulting clients have experienced an increase in budget, staff, PAC contributions and senior management recognition after collaborating with Amy.
She has delivered over 300 workshops and keynotes to over 25,000 grassroots advocates, PAC contributors, PAC boards of directors, government relations staff, and non-profit volunteer leaders about how to maximize their political and civic influence. For nine years she directed the efforts of the highly acclaimed Nationwide Insurance Civic Action Program (CAP). During her tenure, over 2,000 public affairs professionals across the country ranked Nationwide’s program as one of the top two corporate grassroots programs in the country. (Ed Grefe and Martin Linsky, The New Corporate Activism)
Amy’s blog “Politicking the Bottom Line” was published on Forbes.com, and she currently blogs for Bloomberg Government. Over 500 media outlets have featured her insights, including the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, Politico, CNN Money.com, Foxnews.com, CNBC.com, and Roll Call. She is the author of “The Underdog Edge: How Everyday People Change the Minds of the Powerful. . . and Live to Tell About It.” (Morgan-James) and “The Art and Science of the BFF: 105 Ways to Build Relationships on the Hill, at the State House, and in City Hall”, which has sold over 16,000 copies. Amy also is the Executive Editor of Creating and Managing an Association Government Relations Program, published by the American Society of Association Executives.
She has served as a faculty member at the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Organization Management, and as a guest lecturer at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management. Amy has served in several national government relations leadership positions, as a past Chairman of ASAE’s Government Relations Section Council, as a board member of the Washington Area State Relations Group, and is the Producer of the annual Innovate to Motivate ® conference for political involvement professionals.
Amy has a BA in Political Science from Wright State University and an MSA from Central Michigan University.
She and her husband, Randy Boyer, co-exist with their dogs Eli and Finn in the greater Cincinnati area. Finn is a registered Pet Partners® therapy dog. He and Amy are regular visitors at the Cincinnati Ronald McDonald House and the “Barks and Books” program at the Clermont County Library.
2019 President, National Association of REALTORS®
John Smaby, a REALTOR® from Edina, Minn., is the 2019 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® President.
A second-generation REALTOR®, John has been in the industry for 40 years. He is a broker at Edina Realty, where he specializes in residential real estate.
John is a member of the Minnesota Association of REALTORS® (MNAR), and has held numerous leadership positions there. He served as MNAR president in 2015 and treasurer in 2013. John was the RPAC chair from 2013 to 2015 as well as the RPAC Trustees chair in 2014. That same year, he chaired the Public Advocacy committee. He has been a member of the MNAR Board of Directors since 2013. In 2013, John received the Ed Anderson Political Achievement Award and in 2014, MNAR named him their REALTOR® of the Year.
John has been dedicated to serving his industry since the beginning of his career. While at the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR), he participated on numerous committees beginning in the 1980s, including professional standards, education, communication, risk management, and MLS, to name a few. He served two terms on the Board of Directors and in 2004 he served on the Regional MLS Board of Directors.
John’s spirit of service doesn’t stop at his profession. In Edina, he has led the Minnesota Youth Forum, Washburn Community Ministries, and the City of Edina Adult Education Board. He has also tutored students at Minneapolis Washburn High School. He has been a member of the Edina Rotary Club and the Edina Chamber of Commerce. John has been married to his wife, Linda, who is also a REALTOR®, for more than 30 years. They enjoy spending time at their cabin in Northern Minnesota.