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RISMedia’s 2012 Real Estate CEO Exchange

Sept. 5 & 6, 2012– The Yale Club, New York City

Our Select Line-Up of Speakers Will Include:

Keynote Speakers

Ron Peltier is chairman and chief executive officer of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate and the nation’s second-largest full-service residential real estate brokerage firm. With his keen insight and experience in virtually all aspects of the residential real estate industry, Peltier has helped build HomeServices into a national presence, expanding the company to provide integrated real estate services including mortgage, title and homeowners insurance, among other home related services. Peltier was honored with RISMedia’s first annual Homeownership Person of the Year award in 2004, and ranked first on REALTOR® Magazine’s list of the real estate industry’s top 25 most influential people. He is a founder and member of the Board of Directors for the Realty Alliance, a member of the Board of Directors for National Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, Forsythe Appraisals and a director for the National Association of Brokers.

Kenneth R. Trepeta Esq. has been Director of Real Estate Services for the National Association of REALTORS® since June of 2007. In this role, he covers the broader real estate industry for NAR on the legislative and regulatory front, acting as liaison to senior executives at large real estate firms. Prior to this, Trepeta was the Regulatory Policy Representative for NAR handling regulatory and industry relations on issues such as RESPA and federal housing policy, including FHA. Trepeta’s former roles include serving as a Vice President for Government Relations at JP Morgan Chase where he covered tax policy, housing and mortgage issues, legal reform issues, etc., and serving as Vice President for Government Relations at the Financial Services Forum, where he led successful efforts to change the tax code with regard to capital gains and dividends and reform the nation’s class action laws. Trepeta is a monthly columnist for RISMedia, covering the Dodd-Frank Act, RESPA and other key housing issues impacting real estate professionals and consumers.

Session Panelists

Walt Baczkowski, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Point2, a Yardi Company, has been responsible for developing relationships with MLSs, brokers, franchises and individual REALTORS® in syndicating real estate listing data as well as Web solutions. Point2 currently syndicates more than 1.3 million listings daily to over 70 real estate portals. Prior to his current position, Baczkowski worked as a local and state REALTOR® Association Executive for 30 years. Baczkowski served as a Director for the REALTORS® Information Network during the development of REALTOR.com®, has served on the NAR CEO Advisory Group for the past four NAR CEO’s and has also served on the Advisory Board developing the Realtors Property Resource, RPR.

Curt Beardsley is the VP, Customer & Industry Development at Move/REALTOR.com®, the official site of the National Association of REALTORS®, ListHub and Top Producer Systems® (subsidiaries of Move, Inc). Curt has an 18-year background in high-technology, most of it real estate-industry related. In 1994, he founded True North Technology, which developed and deployed the U.S.’s first major internet-based Multiple Listing System (MLS) system, as well as the first public real estate website to offer a complete searchable inventory of MLS listings online. He later was director of Product Development and Strategy at GTE Enterprise Solutions, with responsibility for the real estate vertical market. Prior to joining Move, Inc., Curt was director of Product Development for a telecommunications company that specialized in systems targeting the real estate and automotive channels.

With more than 35 years in the real estate business and as president of the 4th largest real estate company in the United States, Helen Hanna Casey is an energetic dynamo with endless energy and enthusiasm who leads over 4,700 sales associates and employees in 130+ offices across Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and New York. Instrumental in the growth of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, her passion for the real estate business and improving the real estate process for the client is legendary in the industry. A much sought-after speaker, Casey has spoken to real estate professionals throughout the United States, and as far away as England.

When he joined MRIS in January 2001, David Charron brought a wealth of leadership and strategic industry experience, combining an extensive background in real estate, information systems and Internet business solutions. As MRIS President and Chief Executive Officer, Charron brings a customer-service focus and first-person management style to his role overseeing all MRIS operations, ensuring that, as one of the nation’s largest MLS systems, MRIS maintains its leadership edge. He also emphasizes two-way communications with the MRIS Board of Directors and MRIS Shareholders, fostering collaboration and inspiring innovation. Charron currently serves as Chairman of the MRIS Investment Committee and is a former board member of the REALTORS® Federal Credit Union in addition to being a former member of the NAR MLS Policy Committee. He is also a founding member of COVE, an industry think tank comprised of large MLS organizations.  

Richard W. “Rick” Davidson was appointed president and chief executive officer of CENTURY 21 Real Estate in February 2010. In his role, Davidson leads the world’s largest residential real estate sales organization of approximately 7,600 independently owned and operated franchised brokerage offices and more than 112,000 sales associates in 71 countries and territories worldwide. With more than 20 years of experience in the real estate industry, Davidson is a licensed real estate broker in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia and earned the SIOR, Executive Management Specialist designation in 2009. Davidson currently serves on the international board of directors for Easter Seals and is active in Big Brothers/Big Sisters and a number of other local and national charities.

John 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.

As co-owner/co-founder of Coach REALTORS®, Georgianna Finn manages all aspects of the 650-agent, 18-office real estate firm based on Long Island, N.Y. She is the author of several real estate sales training programs and national publication articles. Finn has been a guest speaker, panelist and moderator at many real estate meetings, including the national conventions of The National Association of Realtors®, Christie’s International Real Estate, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, RISMedia and Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate

As president and CEO of Prudential Georgia Realty, Daniel T. Forsman is a visionary with a passion for success. His commitment to excellence, strong work ethic, tech-savvy and innovative agent programs combine to lead and grow Prudential Georgia Realty into the strongest, most agent-centric real estate company in Atlanta. Forsman previously held positions as executive vice president, CFO and COO before his installation as president in 1986. Since then, he has grown the company to 22 offices with over 1,200 agents. Widely recognized by his peers in the real estate and business community, Forsman has been awarded the Gordon Brown Excellence Award for referrals and relocation, the coveted President’s Award and Five Star Circle of Service Award from the Atlanta Board of Realtors® and the Presidential Gibraltar Circle Award. He has also been named one of the “Top 40 Businessmen Under the Age of 40.”   

As vice president of special initiatives at GARDNER, REALTORS, Glenn “Chip” Gardner is in charge of the identification, prioritization and execution of the company’s key projects. Actively involved in the company’s day-to-day operations, Gardner represents the fourth generation of Gardners to work in the family’s real estate business, which was established in 1943 by his great grandmother, New Orleans real estate icon, Gertrude Gardner. His first initiative after returning home in May 2011 was to lead the company back to its independent heritage and membership in Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. Gardner is a Certified General Real Estate Appraiser and Broker in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

Bob Hale has been the president and chief executive officer of the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) since 1988. Through Hale’s leadership, HAR has grown to become the largest trade association in Houston and the second largest local REALTOR® association in the country, with more than 24,000 members. Hale has earned recognition from the National Association of REALTORS®’s (NAR) REALTOR® Magazine, as one of the 25 Most Influential People in the American real estate industry in both 2003 and 2006. As a thought leader for the real estate industry, Hale has been interviewed and quoted in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Houston Chronicle, Houston Business Journal as well as countless real estate trade publications. Hale assists HAR in its mission “to help its members achieve ongoing success” and strongly believes in providing “high tech” member services in a “high touch” manner.

Todd A. Hetherington is CEO of NM Management, Inc., a company whose organizations provide the full gamut of residential and commercial real estate sales and service support to clients in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. It is the parent company of CENTURY 21 New Millennium, one of the top ranked CENTURY 21 firms in the country for gross closed commissions. Hetherington joined the CENTURY 21® franchise in 1994, and through key mergers, strategic acquisitions and management team building, has led CENTURY 21 New Millennium® to the pinnacle of real estate franchise statistics with $1.6 billion in annual sales volume. In addition to leading the company along with his business partner, Mary Lynn Stone, his duties involve overseeing the core service companies of mortgage, title, relocation and property management.

Peter F. Hunt is chairman and CEO of Hunt Real Estate Corporation. Under his leadership, Hunt Real Estate Corporation’s sales volume has risen to over $1.5 billion. Since 1984, Hunt has founded Devere Mortgage Corporation, a licensed mortgage banking firm; Hunt-Vanner Agency, a general insurance agency; Realty Express, a fee-for-service real estate brokerage (operating in New York and Florida); The Realty Club, a membership organization supplying homeownership services; Fisher Homes, a fine homes builder; and Hunt Technology Solutions, Inc. (with his son, Charles, and Joel Beasley). The Corporation joined the ERA system in March 2002, now operating 31 residential sales offices as Hunt Real Estate ERA in Buffalo/Niagara, Rochester, Syracuse, Watertown, Saratoga and Phoenix, and three commercial offices in New York State.

Author and speaker Ken Jenny is an expert in the residential real estate brokerage industry and real estate marketing. Ken is a proven leader and management professional with over 32 years of progressive and diversified experience in the real estate industry.  From sales agent to corporate executive to visionary, Ken has viewed residential real estate from nearly every strategic vantage point.  Real estate firms worldwide have utilized his expertise, strategies and innovations to address the constant challenge of change facing the residential real estate brokerage industry.

As chairman of the board, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Mason-McDuffie, Ed Krafchow’s tenure as leader of Mason-McDuffie has been highlighted by three specific accomplishments: growth of the company, technology innovation and a focus on training agents. His basic philosophy is that good organizations create accountability, develop people at all levels of the company and acknowledge those that get their job done, create a result and serve people well. Krafchow’s greatest pride is the charitable work that has been created within Mason-McDuffie. With the help of his wife, Kathy, there have been millions of dollars and thousands of hours spent by volunteers of the brokerage in serving a variety of needs – locally, nationally and internationally. Krafchow believes the real estate industry really functions on good service and survives because of the care of its clients.

Kevin Levent is the president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers, a full-service real estate brokerage in the greater Atlanta marketplace for over 30 years. Levent joined the company over 25 years ago as a sales associate and assumed his present role 15 years ago. The company has 1,600 sales associates working from 25 office locations throughout the region, and operates a unique business model with centralization of processes driven by technology. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers owns its other core businesses of Mortgage, Insurance, Title, and Pre-License School… all embedded into the structure of the company.

John Lim is the president and CEO of Mobile Card Real Estate. As one of the premier mobile marketing and technology companies in the industry, Mobile Real Estate prides itself on leveraging complex mobile technology to engage consumers, create brand awareness while simultaneously capturing unique consumer data for our clients. Prior to the creation of MRE, Lim founded OSM Partners in 2003. Under Lim’s professional guidance and expertise, OSM performed successful marketing initiatives for national companies including Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc., the National Football League, Equinox Fitness, and Diageo, the world’s largest multinational beer, wine, and Spirits Company.

As president of RE/MAX Gateway, Scott MacDonald has built a solid reputation for creating a company that focuses its attention on its agents. The company’s philosophy is based on creating an environment that fosters the sharing of ideas, so that everyone succeeds. Since opening RE/MAX Gateway in 2001, MacDonald has expanded the operation to four successful offices in Northern Virginia with 123 agents who contribute their successes to MacDonald’s dedication to continuing education and training. With over 24 years of experience and while consistently maintaining RE/MAX Chairman Club status, MacDonald continues to encourage his agents to achieve their goals. MacDonald is also active in developing programs to help agents outside of his company succeed. He and his partners developed the Home Pricing Wizard and Broker Success Kit, which are new to the market and already showing signs of success.

Rei L. Mesa is the president and chief executive officer of Prudential Florida Realty, Florida Real Estate Services. Prudential Florida Realty has approximately 1,700 real estate sales professionals servicing 18 counties throughout Florida. Since its inception in 1999, the company has quickly become the 2nd largest residential real estate brokerage in Florida, the 26th largest residential real estate firm in the nation based on transactions and the 34th largest residential real estate firm in the nation based on sales volume. Mesa currently serves as a National Association of REALTORS® Director and serves on the Large Firm Relations Committee, NAR Major Investor Council, Public Policy Coordinating Committee and Global Business and Alliance Committee. A graduate of the National Association of REALTORS® Leadership Academy, Mesa is among a select group of graduates who have become very active in guiding the future of the REALTOR® associations throughout the nation.

Bill Plattos is the general manager and executive vice president of First Team Real Estate, a company he joined in 1979 as an ambitious agent. With 30 years of industry experience under his belt, Plattos has played an integral role in helping the company achieve its rank as the No. 10 brokerage nationwide for overall sales volume. Plattos is a member of The Real Estate Services Advisory Board, a 25-person panel comprised of representatives from the largest brokers in the country. A strong advocate for industry policy changes and evolving innovation, Plattos’ expertise is frequently referenced by respected print, online and broadcast medias.

Joseph Rand is a managing partner and general counsel for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty, one of the largest real estate brokerages in New York State and one of the biggest family-owned companies in the country.  BHGRE Rand Realty consists of over 25 offices throughout the northern New York City suburbs of Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, and Orange Counties in New York, with a 2012 expansion into Passaic and Bergen Counties in New Jersey.  The brokerage consists of over 800 agents, closing approximately 4,000 real estate transactions and $1.5 billion in sales volume annually. Rand is also the managing partner for Rand Commercial Services and for the Hudson United companies, consisting of Rand’s affiliates for in mortgage, title, and insurance.

Since opening the doors at her first office in 1995, Connie Farmer Ray has developed award-winning Coldwell Banker Platinum Partners into one of the premier residential real estate organizations, and the first to offer full-service real estate services, in the Georgia and South Carolina Coastal Region. Having been in the real estate profession for almost 40 years, Ray is a Certified Residential Brokerage Manager and has served with distinction in many leadership capacities including: President of the local Board of Realtors®, Chairman of the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, President of the MLS of Savannah, Regional Director for the Georgia Association of Realtors®, Board Chairman of First National Bank, Board of Governors Member for Bethesda Home for Boys, Educational Properties Foundation Board of Armstrong Atlantic State University and Board of Directors for United Way of the Coastal Empire.

Richard Rector has served as owner and chief executive officer of Realty Executives Phoenix since 1980 and has served as president and executive chairman of Realty Executives International since 1984. As an instrumental leader of Realty Executives International and its franchises, Rector is responsible for managing the strategic development and growth of the international company. Rector’s distinguished career in the real estate industry has spanned almost four decades and includes involvement with the following business organizations: Young President’s Organization, World President’s Organization, The New England Financial Policyholders Advisory Board, Trulia Advisory Board, The Executive Committee, Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service Board of Directors and Director of the 1999 National Association of Realtors®. Rector has also been involved with many community organizations, including the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Liberty Wildlife and Habitat for Humanity, where Rector launched a company-wide program to raise money and build homes in many U.S. cities.

Barry S. Redler joined Long & Foster as chief marketing officer (CMO) in September of 2009. In this newly created position, he is responsible for overseeing all brand, marketing strategy and communications for Long & Foster and its more than 170 sales offices which span throughout the companies’ seven state region and the District of Columbia. He also oversees the marketing operations of the subsidiary mortgage, title, and insurance businesses. Prior to joining The Long & Foster Companies, Redler oversaw marketing and sales as a vice president for the Stanley Martin Companies, a privately held regional homebuilder.  He also worked for The Ford Motor Company for over 20 years in various senior level marketing and sales positions.

As president and chief executive officer of Fillmore Real Estate, New York City’s largest privately owned and operated residential and commercial real estate firm, John Reinhardt has elevated the company’s profile from a regional to a more national level. Having begun his own professional career at Fillmore back in 1978, Reinhardt is intimately invested in the firm’s success, as well as that of the agents he oversees and the buyers and sellers that entrust Fillmore with their real estate needs. Constantly refining the practices that enable Fillmore to maintain its standing as one of the country’s most respected brokerage firms, Reinhardt has overseen a number of company milestones.

Steve Rodgers currently serves as president/CEO/partner of the new Real Living Lifestyles real estate franchise, a full-service real estate brokerage with an industry-leading suite of tools and resources for real estate professionals and their clients. A proven leader in the real estate industry for nearly 20 years, Rodgers brings his entrepreneurial spirit, incredible track record and forward thinking to the company. His goals for Real Living Lifestyles include growing integrated real estate technology and tools complete with lifestyle services to create a truly multi-dimensional and full-service real estate entity. Rodgers currently serves on several National Association of Realtors committees and contributes year-round to schools, charities and community events. An accomplished speaker, Rodgers has shared the stage with a diversity of acclaimed leaders and authors in addition to addressing a group of high-level executives at the Harvard Business School.

David Romero is president and CEO of CENTURY 21 Award-Superstars. Since 2009 he has managed a 16-office, 1,400 agent combination of two top-performing CENTURY 21 operations based in Orange and San Diego Counties. Romero began his real estate career in 1992 while attending California State University, Sacramento. After graduating with a degree in Political Science, Romero and his brother built a full-service real estate company, purchasing CENTURY 21 Superstars and expanding the business throughout Orange County. In 2004 the Romeros purchased San Diego-based CENTURY 21 Award and combined it with Superstars. Active in the community he serves, Romero works with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Easter Seals, Housing & Redevelopment in the City of Anaheim in addition to the city’s Planning Commission.  

Dick Schlott is currently the chairman and CEO of Gloria Nilson Realtors, Real Living, and RLS REALTORS®. With over 40 years in the real estate business, Schlott is a well-known and highly regarded professional in the industry. He founded Schlott Realtors in 1971 and grew it to 140 offices and 4,500 salespeople across five states, with over $7 billion in sales. Schlott also developed the Home Mortgage Network, before selling Schlott REALTORS® to Coldwell Banker in the early 1990s. Schlott then ran the ERA Franchise system, until its sale to Cendant in the mid 1990s. He then moved on to develop GMAC Home Services, and served as president and CEO from the late 1990s through early 2001. During this time, one of the purchases he made for the company was that of Gloria Nilson REALTORS®.

As the founder, president and CEO of Prudential Network Realty, Linda H. Sherrer has guided the company from its inception in 1988. Today, Prudential Network Realty is one of the most dynamic and respected real estate firms in Northeast Florida with more than 300 agents, eight branch offices, a corporate relocation division, a title company and a mortgage company. Sherrer is one of the original 10 members of the National Advisory Council of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. and was named Prudential Real Estate Affiliates’ National Broker of the Year in 1998. Sherrer’s community and civic activities include serving a Gubernatorial-appointed term on the Jacksonville International Airport Authority Board of Directors. She has also served on the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Trustees, the Florida Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors and as past president of the Northeast Florida Association of REALTORS®, where she currently serves on its board of directors.

Verl N. Workman, co-founder of Pinnacle Quest Consulting and president of RISMedia’s Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, is a sought-after speaker, trainer and motivator who inspires audiences to break free from old expectations and habits in order to reach their potential in every aspect of their lives. Workman has spent the last 20 years educating, motivating and training sales associates, entrepreneurs, real estate agents and brokers, and other audiences worldwide. As a long-time technology pioneer, entrepreneur, consultant, trainer and top executive, Workman speaks from experience, maintaining his real estate business to ensure effectiveness.


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