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Kit Hale, a REALTOR® from Roanoke, Va., and Ken Libby, a REALTOR® from Stowe, Vt., have received the National Association of REALTORS® 2019 Distinguished Service Awards. The honor is presented yearly to no more than two of NAR’s 1.4 million members. Winners were recognized at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco.

NAR established the award in 1979 to honor REALTORS® who have made outstanding contributions to the real estate industry and who serve as leaders in their local communities. It is considered the highest honor an NAR member can receive; recipients must be active at the local, state and national association levels, but must not have served as NAR president.

Hale has chaired several committees and served on multiple Presidential Advisory Groups, one of which he chaired in 2016 to focus on election guidelines for national leadership. In 2008, hale was appointed by NAR’s president to serve as a Liaison to the Housing and Diversity committees and, in 2015, he oversaw NAR’s RPAC and President’s Circle fundraising as REALTOR® Party Fundraising Liaison. A longtime member of NAR’s Board of Directors, Hale served as 2011 Region 3 Vice President, which includes Delaware, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. He currently serves on NAR’s Executive Committee.

In 2009, Hale was appointed by Virginia’s governor to serve on the Virginia Housing Development Authority’s Board of Commissioners and served two terms as chairman of the board. His term ended in June of 2019 after spending 11 years as a VHDA Commissioner. Additionally, he is the longtime chair of Housing Virginia, a statewide organization that believes all Virginians should have access to quality, affordable housing.

Hale is active in his local community, currently serving on Roanoke City’s Planning Commission, and served for 10 years on the Roanoke City Board of Zoning Appeals. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Renovation Alliance (formerly Rebuilding Together, Roanoke) and the Board of Directors for the Council of Community Services, a local nonprofit that primarily focuses on planning for health and human services while linking people with community resources.

“Kit’s longtime service to the association at every level and dedication to his fellow Virginians make him truly deserving of this award,” says NAR 2019 President John Smaby. “The impact that Kit has made on his community and the real estate industry cannot be overstated. I am honored to recognize his efforts with this award.”

Hale has been a REALTOR® for 28 years and is currently the principal broker and managing partner of MKB, REALTORS®, a 195-associate, locally owned independent real estate firm.

“Receiving the Distinguished Service Award is a tremendous honor and I’m humbled to be selected,” Hale says. “I’m grateful for the opportunities to serve and have benefited from the knowledge gained and relationships formed. We’re fortunate to work in an industry that provides robust opportunities to be involved in our community and organization in such meaningful ways. None of this would be possible without the sincere and quality mentorship of many respected REALTOR® members.”

Libby has been a REALTOR(R)® for 40 years and is currently the broker/owner of Stowe Area Realty Group, Keller Williams Vermont. As an active member of NAR, Libby has held numerous leadership positions during his four-decade REALTOR® career. Beginning in 2007, Libby served as Region 1 Vice President, which encompasses Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. Libby served on the Executive Committee from 2010 to 2013 and as a Liaison to the Global & Resort, 2nd Homes Committees. Libby was also a REALTOR® RPAC Trustee in 2009 and chaired the Commercial Leadership Forum in 2008.

In Vermont, Libby served on the Vermont Commercial Investment Board of Realtors® in 2000 and 2003, and on the Vermont Association of Realtors® Executive Committee and Board of Directors from 2006 to 2012. He has the unique distinction of being named president of the Vermont Association of Realtors® twice, first in 2003 and again in 2016, while also being awarded the Vermont Realtor® of the Year twice in 2007 and 2012. He currently chairs the Vermont Realtor® Political Action Committee.

Libby’s service started at a young age, serving as a U.S. Marine during President Dwight Eisenhower’s second term. During that time, he was assigned to the Presidential Guard detail for security at Camp David, and the Presidential Summer White House in Newport, R.I. Libby was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Team and Burial Detail at Arlington National Cemetery. Upon leaving the U.S. Marine Corps, Libby served as a Metropolitan Police officer in Washington, D.C., for seven years. He returned to Vermont to serve as chief of police for the Town of Stowe from 1969 until 1976 and from 1982 to 1992. Libby was also the executive director for the Vermont Sheriff’s Association from 1994 to 2005, during which time he served on the National Sheriff’s Association’s legislative committee. Additionally, Libby was president of the Green Mountain Council of the Boy Scouts of America, where he continues to serve as past president and vice president of development.

“It is my privilege to present the Distinguished Service Award to Ken Libby. His long history of service to the real estate industry, his community and our country is remarkable,” says Smaby. “Our industry and our nation are better because of Ken’s service to his fellow REALTORS® and countrymen.”

“I’m incredibly honored to have been selected to join the highly qualified individuals who have come before me,” Libby says. “Through my many years of service to NAR, I’ve always looked up to those wearing the DSA badge. That includes Ben Blair, the first DSA recipient I really got to know and who has been my role model for many years.”

For continuing coverage of the REALTORS® Conference & Expo, please visit, and for more information, please visit