As told by Leslie Rouda-Smith, Otto Catrina and Pat Pipkin
The NAR Leadership Academy is going through some changes. Beginning with the selection process for the 2012 class applicants may now be asked for an in person or Skype interview. Chairman of the Academy Advisory Board Leslie Rouda-Smith, “The goal of the Academy is to identify those with potential for leadership at the national level. The interviews give us a chance to discover each person as an individual and find out their passions to create a mix of people that will progress and grow.” With this in mind the advisory board is going to choose a smaller size class than previous years, “we’ll make sure that we have a complementary group of talents and diversity for leadership at NAR.”
“Each of us on the board put in hours of time reviewing the applications before we get to the actual selection meeting. The diversity of perspectives among the board members in the room and the open dialogue we have during the process really contributes to what we hope will be a well-rounded representation of our membership” says, Otto Catrina, Vice Chairman of the board. The Advisory Board is a group of ten; eight REALTORS®, two of which are graduates of the Academy; one state Association Executive and one local Association Executive. They met during the recent Midyear Business meetings in Washington DC to begin the selection process for the class that will graduate in May 2012.
“The advisory board is always looking for ways to improve the program and the interviews are a change in process that allows the board to connect faces and names, it’s a benefit for the candidate and to the selection process” says Pat Pipkin of New Mexico, immediate past Chairman of the board. “With the smaller, more elite group size and the use of interviews, we hope to get a really dynamic group of future leaders.”
The Leadership Academy Advisory board is:
Leslie Rouda-Smith, Chairman from Plano, Texas, Otto Catrina, Vice Chairman from Castro Valley, California, Pat Pipkin, Immediate Past Chairman from Santa Fe, New Mexico, Jill Beck, Executive Vice President of North Dakota Association of REALTORS®, Bonnie J. Boyd from Mentor, Ohio, Ingrid Glancy, from Denver, Colorado, Brenda G. Ghibaudi, CRS, PMN from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Dwight Hale, from San Antonio, Texas, Theresa Hatton, Executive Vice President of the Greenwich Association of REALTORS®, Mary T. McCall from Tampa, Florida.
When members of the 2011 NAR Leadership Academy met in Chicago for session IV, we knew we were near the end of our time together; not surprisingly, our class has grown closer and friendships have gotten stronger. After all, learning and building relationships are paramount to the program’s success. Even though we have our own aspirations and are determined to succeed, we work as a team and are supportive of the collective efforts and achievements. Together we’ve helped build and pave the future of our profession. Synergy among our group is outstanding.
We started the session with a Tuesday evening reception where we mingled and got caught up on business and personal affairs. On Wednesday morning, Chairman of the Advisory Board Leslie Rouda-Smith offered some opening remarks, followed by Vice Chairman Otto Catrina, who hosted a session entitled “Modeling the Way.” He offered these characteristics of great leaders: Honesty, forward looking, competency, inspiring, credibility and shared values. Otto shared his own experience as a member of first Academy class and pointed out how his leadership experience evolved.
Later we toured the Realtor® building, an amazing experience. We met with a wide range of department heads and staff representing the library and Information Central, Center for Realtor® Technology, Marketing and Business Development, Realtor® University, Commercial, Conventions, the NAR Executive Offices, and the Global Alliance. Passion and dedication from our staff was clearly displayed by all.
The Chopping Block was our dinner destination. It’s a cooking school and retail space that let guests cook their own dinner. Wow! What an awesome team-building activity. As we walked into the “kitchen,” appetizers and drinks were offered. We had professional chefs assist us through the entire evening. We will long remember this wonderful experience.
The next day, we received a great deal of insight into the complex organization that comprises NAR. Erin Campo from NAR Executive Offices provided the NAR Governance overview. She explained the importance of the expertise profile and the responsibilities and criteria necessary for committee involvement. It is interesting to learn about the appointment process, where each year 1,500 positions are filled based on 7,000 recommendations from 2,000 applicants.
We also heard from national leaders. Elizabeth Mendenhall, Vice President and Liaison to Committees, shared the NAR strategic planning vision, its purpose and process. And, Charles McMillan, 2009 NAR President, offered insight regarding his path to national leadership and the rewards and sacrifices of being President of the world’s largest trade organization.
As we finished the session, we had to say good bye and look forward to our final session in Washington DC during the spring meetings in May. We look forward to our graduation and one more opportunity to celebrate our accomplishments together! Must say the Class of 2011 rocks!