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RISMedia’s 2015 Real Estate CEO Exchange

Sept. 16 & 17, 2015 – The Yale Club, New York City

(in alphabetical order)


Featherston_JohnJohn E. Featherston is President and Chief Executive Officer of RISMedia, Inc. Since 1980, RISMedia, the leader in real estate information systems, has been providing the industry with news, trends and business development strategies through its flagship publication, Real Estate magazine; its leading website, RISMedia.com; and its renowned networking and educational events. RISMedia also provides real estate news and information to consumers through its member-only national networks: RISMedia’s Real Estate Information Network® (RREIN) for leading brokers, and RISMedia’s Top 5 in Real Estate Network® for leading agents. Hundreds of thousands of home-buying and -selling consumers receive valuable information from leading real estate professionals daily, weekly or monthly, through their affiliation with either RREIN or the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®. RISMedia is headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut.

ssons are meant to encourage and inspire well outside the boundaries of an office.


Candace Adams_85x100Candace Adams is president and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties. With more than 1,500 agents across three states, Adams has helped expand the company to provide integrated real estate services including mortgage, insurance, new development and relocation. Adams joined Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties in 1998 after managing her own successful brokerage firm. She continued to rise through BHHSNEP’s ranks, and was selected as president in 2008 and CEO in 2013. An accomplished and frequently recognized real estate leader, Adams was honored in 2008 as one of the “Eight Most Remarkable Women” in business in Connecticut. In 2011 she was named a “Woman of FIRE” by The Commercial Record, Real Estate Executive magazine placed her among the “100 Most Influential Real Estate Executives” in America in 2014, and she was most recently recognized for the second time on Swanepoel’s Power 200 list.

David Charron_85x100David Charron is president and chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Regional Information System (MRIS), one of the nation’s largest MLS systems serving more than 40,000 real estate professionals in the Mid-Atlantic region. When he joined MRIS in January 2001, Charron brought a wealth of leadership and strategic industry experience, combining an extensive background in real estate, information systems and Internet business solutions. Charron brings a customer-service focus and first-person management style to his role overseeing all MRIS operations, ensuring that MRIS maintains its leadership edge. Prior to joining MRIS, Charron was the president of Net Input, an Internet-based business consulting practice serving Fortune 500 clients in apparel, media, sports and real estate. From 1980 to 1997, he managed several organizations that successfully defined, marketed and delivered information systems to real estate professionals. Charron currently serves as Chairman of the MRIS Investment Committee.

Craig Cheatham_85x100Craig Cheatham is president and CEO of The Realty Alliance, a network of 70 of the largest, full-service residential real estate firms in North America, comprising a combined sales force of more than 100,000 agents—in addition to hundreds of employees in real estate operations and affiliated businesses, such as mortgage, title and insurance. Before joining The Realty Alliance, Cheatham spent several years as CEO of the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO), an international federation of agencies involved in the regulation of the real estate industry. Before serving ARELLO, Cheatham worked for many years as COO for the Alabama Association of REALTORS®. Cheatham has been successful in supporting organizations in a non-volunteer capacity for close to 25 years and has earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). He holds a bachelor’s degree from Harding University and an MBA from Samford University.

Sheryl Chinowth_85x100Sheryl Chinowth is CEO and co-founder of Chinowth & Cohen REATLORS®. The brokerage opened in August of 2004 with one office and 25 sales associates, and since then, has grown to over 360 associates and seven offices, with the eighth currently under construction. The company ranks as one of Oklahoma’s largest real estate companies, voted “Best of the Best” Real Estate Company in Tulsa by the readers of Oklahoma Magazine for multiple years. Chinowth is also an owner of Elite Title Services and Elite Financial Services. A licensed REALTOR® since 1978, prior to opening Chinowth & Cohen REALTORS®, Chinowth was the top producing real estate agent in Tulsa County. She has earned multiple awards, including Tulsa Business Journal’s Influential Women in Business 2005, Women in Business Champion of the Year 2006, and Women of Achievement Award. In 2010, she was selected as a member of the inaugural Women of Distinction class for the Tulsa Business Journal. In October of 2013, Chinowth was honored with the prestigious “Extraordinary Philanthropist” Award by Luxury Real Estate; she currently serves on the board of directors for the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®.

Sherry Chris_85x100Sherry A. Chris is the president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. Her appointment followed Realogy’s announcement that it was launching a new and dynamic global residential real estate brand after entering into a 50-year agreement with Meredith Corporation to license the Better Homes and Gardens® name. Chris has more than 30 years of real estate experience, including significant senior management positions in the areas of sales, marketing, new technologies, and franchise management. A native of Canada, she began her real estate career in Ontario and held increasingly senior positions with Royal LePage for 16 years before taking on executive roles within notable US brokerages. She joined Realogy in 2006 as chief operating officer for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Chris is a frequently sought-after speaker at international real estate and technology conferences, and is regularly featured by national media outlets such as the FOX Business Channel, CNBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. A strong advocate of engaging with businesses and consumers through social media channels, Chris is the most followed CEO of a national real estate brand on Twitter. Chris serves on the realtor.com® and NAR real estate services advisory boards. She is also the vice chair of the national board of directors at the non-profit organization, Rebuilding Together.

Jeff Detwiler_85x100Jeff Detwiler is president and chief operating officer of Long & Foster Companies. He is responsible for guiding the strategic direction of the organization and overseeing its daily operations. Long & Foster Companies consists of six major business lines: General Brokerage, Property Management, Relocation, Mortgage, Settlement Services, and Insurance, as well as several smaller ventures in related business areas. Detwiler has almost 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, with much of that time devoted to various segments of banking, including mortgage, investment and commercial banking. His background also includes insurance and portfolio management. Detwiler graduated from Princeton University in 1983.

Dan Elsea_85x100Dan Elsea currently serves as president of Brokerage Services for the Real Estate One Family of Companies. He and his brother Stuart share the leadership of the company and its affiliates. The company is in its third generation in Michigan, having begun as Elsea Realty in 1929. Real Estate One is ranked No. 8 in the country, and the largest broker in Michigan with 39 company owned offices, 26 franchises and 1900 sales associates throughout the state. In 2014 the Real Estate One family of companies closed 4.2 billion in sales and completed over 36,000 transactions in brokerage, mortgage, title and casualty insurance. Real Estate One operates under a number of well know local brands throughout Southeast Michigan including Max Broock REALTORS®, Reinhart REALTORS® and Johnstone & Johnstone, in addition to the Real Estate One brand throughout the State. Elsea has served on a number of industry REALTOR® boards and in various committee capacities at the state, local and national levels as well as a member of the LeadingRE Board of Directors, National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Executive Committee and chairman of the NAR larger broker forum.

Wendy Forsythe_85x100Wendy Forsythe is executive vice president and head of Global Operations for Carrington Real Estate. She has leveraged her passion for real estate, technology and branding to help build successful real estate networks in both Canada and the United States. Since joining Carrington Real Estate Services in 2012 as executive vice president/head of Global Operations, the company has more than tripled in size. She is responsible for the operations and growth of the brokerage, which today has over 2,400 agents across the country. In addition, she leads the brand strategy, marketing, training and online initiatives.

Dave GarDave Garlandland is manager for Rainmakers Consulting Group and Principal at Pacific States Capital, where he pairs his passion for innovation with an essentialist leadership style that values collaboration, clarity and creativity. He is a passionate advocate for the proper application of technology in real estate. In over 14 years of entrepreneurship, he has established, led and managed advisory, technology and investment firms each dedicated to the pursuit of increased yield to stakeholders. In addition to advising top global residential and commercial real estate organizations on everything from marketing and communications to IT and corporate finance, Garland has acquired and managed national investment-grade real estate portfolios, and has developed several mixed-use, commercial and residential properties totaling over a quarter billion dollars in market value. Garland is a Licensed Real Estate Broker, Certified Construction Specialist, member of the Urban Land Institute and sits on the board of directors at Sustainable Land Development International. Garland holds a BA, Summa Cum Laude from the University of Notre Dame; a degree from Oxford University and an MBA from the Melbourne Business School.

Bob Hale_85x100As president and CEO of the Houston Association of REALTORS® since 1988, Bob Hale’s vision and drive have made HAR.com a household brand in the greater Houston area and the most frequently visited website for Houston real estate. HAR has grown to become the largest trade association in Houston and the second largest local REALTOR® association in the country with more than 28,000 members. HAR.com recently expanded to cover the entire state of Texas and receives 3.1 million visitors to the website or mobile app each month; it is the only local site that is regularly listed among the 25 most frequently visited real estate websites in the country, according to comScore Media Metrix. Member listings are viewed 40 million times on HAR.com each month. The Houston Association of REALTORS® is also a cutting-edge MLS, a Commercial Division hosting Commercial Gateway, an NAR-award-winning International Section, a REALTOR® Supercenter and a technology department which has developed hundreds of REALTOR® member tools in addition to HAR.com. Hale strives to fulfill HAR’s mission that its members achieve ongoing success by adopting and implementing a market-driven, member-centric business plan, recruiting and retaining a professional staff, re-engineering its governance, constantly surveying Houston-area real estate consumers, and becoming a cutting-edge, technologically advanced association.

Gretchen Pearson_85x100Gretchen Pearson, CRB, is president and owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties. Pearson founded her brokerage in 2005 under the name Windermere Welcome Home. In September 2010, Pearson aligned with Prudential Real Estate and quadrupled the size of the company. In the last 12 months, Pearson acquired five additional brokerages, 13 offices and 400 agents. Prudential California Realty, Pearson Properties, Inc. is the largest female-owned real estate company in California with 900 agents in 30 offices located throughout the Bay Area, Sacramento and the Central Valley. In December 2014, her Prudential Real Estate Brokerage became Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties. In February 2015, her brokerage was named the fastest growing full-service real estate brokerage in California, and in March 2015, was awarded the Apex Award as the 12th most producing company in the BHHS network. Pearson’s professional experience has included roles as agent, office manager, and senior corporate executive. As COO for Prudential Realty in California, Nevada and Texas, she directed operations for more than 118 offices and 3,300 agents who handled more than $8 billion in sales in 2004 alone. After five years as COO, she opted for the challenges and opportunities associated with business ownership and became co-owner of Prudential’s Tri-Valley Real Estate group, based in Pleasanton, California.

Dale Ross_85x100Dale L. Ross, CRB, is CEO of Realtors Property Resource®, LLC, and has been in the real estate business for 35 years. As a real estate consultant and/or broker to many companies, Ross has been involved with asset management, renovations, and sales disposition of commercial and residential properties. He holds real estate brokers’ licenses in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. In 1984, Mr. Ross formed Pioneer Realty, Inc., as a boutique real estate company, specializing in residential and commercial investments. In 1994, he co-founded the Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc. (MRIS) and served as its president and CEO for seven years. In 1985, Ross served as president of the Montgomery County Association of REALTORS® (Maryland). Four years later, he became the youngest member to be elected president of the Maryland Association of REALTORS®. In 2009, NAR formed Realtors Property Resource®, LLC to develop and operate a nationwide, property-centric, real estate database. Today, RPR® is a wholly owned subsidiary corporation of NAR, supporting the core competence of its members by providing robust property information, analytics and reports to REALTORS®. RPR®’s platform contains parcel-centric data sets covering over 166 million residential and commercial U.S. properties.

Weichert, Realtors: Marty Rueter.Martin J. Rueter, GRI, CRS, is president of Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. A fourth generation REALTOR®, Rueter describes himself as “just another S.O.B”… son of a broker. His family-operated real estate business in Philadelphia continues today after 115 years. Rueter’s experienced all aspects of real estate brokerage – residential and commercial sales, leasing and property management. Before joining the Weichert® organization in 2001, he spent over 20 years with the Century 21 system, eventually serving as senior vice president at their corporate headquarters, where he was responsible for sales and management training, corporate relocation, and other franchisee services worldwide. As co-founder and president of Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., Rueter has expanded the Weichert System by nearly 300 offices in 37 states. For his visionary leadership, he was recently recognized as No. 66 in the Swanepoel “Power 200” list of real estate “movers and shakers.”

Jeff Sposito_85x100Jeff Sposito is president and founder of J. Rockcliff REALTORS®, headquartered in San Francisco’s East Bay region. With over 36 years of experience in real estate management and ownership, Sposito has risen through the ranks of the real estate industry and is dedicated to best serving the needs of the client by hiring the best agents and providing the tools needed to succeed. He started his career as a top-producing agent and moved up into several prestigious management and ownership positions. Over the three-decade span of his career, Mr. Sposito has won numerous awards, including REALTOR® of the Year, Outstanding Leadership Award and was recognized by the California Association of REALTORS® as having the best real estate exchange in the state of California. Sposito is currently a Lifetime Director for the California Association of REALTORS® and he also serves as a director of the National Association of REALTORS®. Additionally, he was president of the Bay East Association of REALTORS® in 1985 and president of the Contra Costa Association of REALTORS® in 2001, the only individual to have ever held both these prestigious titles.

*Check back frequently for additional speaker profiles.

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