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The Way I See It

January 1, 2006

by Robert Golden, AEC Chair 2006

The 2006 NAR Association Executives Institute has come and gone, and it was a great one. Thanks to David Phillips and the entire AEI board for putting together an excellent event. I really enjoyed Reno, particularly the Lake Tahoe area, which is such a beautiful part of our country. I know that many of us found the Reno Hilton to be a bit “dated,” but then again we’re all so spoiled with the many phenomenal hotels and resorts we visit. (Last I heard there were still AEs in the casino.)

The attendance at AEI was record-setting at just under 1,400. It was great to see more young people there, which must mean more of the younger generation are entering our profession. It’s about time. As you’ve heard me say before, we don't do a very good job of recruiting and retaining young professionals in our industry.

Congratulations to Charlie Brindel, executive officer of the Coastal Carolinas Association, who received the Terry McDermott Community Service Award. The award recently was named to honor our longtime friend and leader Terry McDermott, past NAR EVP/CEO. Charlie, you make us proud with your commitment to making the world a better place. As I read the many contributions that Charlie made to his community— volunteering at Citizens Against Spouse Abuse, American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, and the Humane Society—I realized how little I do and how much more I could do. I hope Charlie has inspired you as much as he did me.
A sincere thanks to all the state and local associations that made contributions to the silent auction at AEI. We raised more than $8,600 to benefit the Habitat for Humanity of the Gulf region. There were some awesome items this year: Who could turn down an opportunity to float down the river with Keith Holm serving up martinis? Jay Iverson: thanks for your generous bid to ski with me in 2009, or was it to have my wife prepare a gourmet dinner?

As I write this, I’m on the plane returning home from the first meeting of the “Future of the MLS” Presidential Advisory Group that NAR President Tom Stevens has appointed. (With so much to think about, I broke down and bought one of those $5 one-ounce vodka bottles from United Airlines.) All indications are that this group will come out with some significant and high-impact recommendations for the future direction of MLSs. With all the outside forces involved in this area some changes are much needed. As one PAG member commented, the MLS structure as we know it has not really changed much in the last 50 years. Watch for progress from this group.

In closing: Congratulations to Dianne Ruggiero of the Kansas City Regional Association on her appointment to serve as the 2007 AEC vice chair . . . the Mid Year Legislative Meetings are coming up, plenty of critical issues to deal with on the Hill, none more important than advancing the small business health plan legislation . . . a thanks to NAR CEO Dale Stinton, who is coordinating meetings with state and local AEs to listen to what is on our minds, we appreciate your interest . . . My wife and I are in the process of purchasing a home and what an awakening experience it is, something that I think an AE should go through from time to time just to be reminded of what our members do . . . that’s the way I see it. 

— Robert E. Golden