The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance recently named Fred Underwood as its first Ally of the Year, a prestigious honor recognizing the efforts of those supportive of the organization and the LGBTQ+ community. Underwood is set to retire after working at the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) for the last 31 years, most recently serving as director of Diversity.
Underwood, who was unanimously recognized by The Alliance’s nine-person Board of Directors, will be honored at “Experience: The Alliance,” the organization’s first conference set for Sept. 22 – 24 in Las Vegas.
Prior to joining NAR in 1990, Underwood was an equal opportunity specialist in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Chicago Regional Office. He also coordinated the Fair Housing Program for the city of Evanston, Ill. He is a graduate of Macalester College and earned a Master’s in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
“It is impossible to measure the importance Fred has played in championing diversity, equity and inclusion in the real estate industry,” said LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance CEO Ryan Weyandt. “And no one has played a more important role in paving the way for so many in the LGBTQ+ community to have successful careers in real estate. Not only did he play a prominent role in having NAR’s Code of Ethics amended to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, but he has also worked to position NAR as a staunch supporter of our community’s Fair Housing rights, including the Equality Act.
“The Board and I called upon Fred often as we worked toward the launch of The Alliance, to gain his viewpoints on governance, transparency and creating the proper structure to allow for success. We wish him well in his upcoming retirement and know that when we need to learn from his experiences, he is only a phone call away.”
The Alliance is an inclusive organization which launched in October 2020 as a 501(c)6 nonprofit 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. It currently has nearly 1,000 members.
The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance will hold its inaugural LGBTQ+ Housing Policy Symposium on April 29 -2 9. U.S. Congresswoman Angie Craig, Minnesota’s first openly LGBTQ+ member of Congress, is scheduled to speak.
Source: The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance