The new LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance has announced its board of directors in advance of the organization’s launch on Oct.1. John Thorpe was elected as The Alliance’s first president. Alex Cruz will serve as vice president, Patrick Ruble as secretary and Scott Armstrong, who will serve as interim treasurer for the remainder of 2020. All other roles will extend through the end of 2021.
The board was confirmed today by the 53-person Steering Committee, which consists of leading members of the real estate industry including agents, brokers, brand leaders, lending and title professionals and members of the LGBTQ+ community. This marks the first time a national LGBTQ+ real estate organization has elected leadership. The Alliance currently has more than 1,100 on its www.facebook.com/lgbtqrealliance group page.
The Alliance is an inclusive organization founded in June as a 501(c)6 non-profit corporation dedicated to enhancing the professional lives of its members while providing consumers with the proper resources to assist in buying, selling and enjoying their home.
Thorpe began his real estate career as an agent in 1999 and has been a Realogy employee since 2004 working as a manager, trainer, business consultant, recruiter and member of the franchise sales team. He has spent the last seven years serving as a regional vice president, Membership Development for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. He was recently honored as a Real Estate Newsmaker in the Crusader category by RISMedia for his work in the LGBTQ+ community, including his role as chair of Realogy’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group.
“Twenty years ago, when I started in real estate in Jacksonville, N.C., I never would have imagined being able to lead such an important and prestigious group,” Thorpe said. “It’s astonishing what we have already accomplished in just a few short months. We are integrated with numerous non-profit organizations, have had incredible discussions with potential corporate partners and have dozens of chapters ready to go. We are committed to assist our members in networking and generating referrals along with advocating on behalf of all LGBTQ+ people on their housing and shelter needs. We will work towards eliminating housing and credit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity along with addressing youth homelessness and assisting aging LGBTQ+ people with their housing needs. I’m looking forward to working with Alex, Patrick, Scott and the Board in leading the Alliance and welcoming members to the organization.”
Cruz is an agent on the Task Team with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Professional Realty in Cleveland, Ohio. He served on the Alliance’s Steering Committee and is co-authoring the first national CE course for real estate professionals, providing insight into how best to serve LGBTQ+ homebuyers and sellers. Cruz is active in the Akron Cleveland Association of REALTORS® and also serves on the board of directors of Plexus, the LGBT & Allied Business Chamber of Commerce for Northeast Ohio.
Ruble, a manager associate with Coldwell Banker Realty in St. Paul, Minn., is the former government affairs director for the Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS® (SPAAR). He is currently the president of SPAAR and also serves on the board of directors for the City of Saint Paul’s Neighborhood STAR (Sales Tax Revitalization Program).
Armstrong is a partner, stockholder and currently serves as president of Consumer Title and Escrow. He’s a licensed Title Agent in Florida and has worked in the real estate industry since 1989.
Members of the board of directors include:
– Sean Frank, Mainframe Real Estate, Orlando, Fla.
– Dave Gervase, Keller Williams, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
– Jackie Garber, Cummings & Co. REALTORS®, Baltimore, Md.
– Austin Rowe, Captain & Co. Real Estate, Memphis, Tenn.
– Val Scinto, Keller Williams, Miami, Fla.
– Octavius Smiley-Humphries, Flex Realty, Durham, N.C.
– John Thorpe, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance will soon launch its website at realestatealliance.org and begin accepting members on the site beginning on Oct. 1. Those who join before Dec. 31 will be named Founding Members.
For more information, please visit www.realestatealliance.org.