At ABoR, we shape the future of real estate. Your Association has been embracing change and pushing the industry forward since 1926. In 1952, we were one of the first real estate associations in the country to create our own MLS. In 1966, ABoR was the first local REALTOR® association in Texas to accept Black members following desegregation. In 2013, we made national news when we became the first REALTOR® association in the country to implement data integrity standards for third-party listing sites. And in 2018, we were once again the first local association in the U.S. to livestream our Board of Directors meetings as part of our commitment to transparency.
We innovated again this year in the face of a global pandemic. If there is one thing I’ve learned this year, it’s that things don’t always go the way you expect them to go. We had many great events planned this year, including our first-ever ThinkUp conference that was sure to put ABoR in the national spotlight. But when the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in March, we took immediate action knowing that lives are more important than business. ABoR was one of the first associations in Texas to proactively close our facilities and shift to remote operations, all while fighting to ensure your business was considered essential, and without skipping a beat in our level of service to you. It’s been this collaborative spirit of making sure that our members are safe while still having the ability to make a living that sets ABoR apart from other associations.
We turned this necessary pivot into an opportunity to serve you better and in more ways than ever before. We launched ABoR On-Air; an online REALTOR® Store with curbside pickup at ABoR HQ and ABoR South; online chat support and powerful new professional development programs such as our How to Hustle Series. Though I miss interacting with the members and all of my colleagues in person, I am so proud of the work and direction that ABoR has taken to pivot and adapt but still achieve the goals set in our strategic plan, including a significant Matrix update, redesigned ABoR.com and the new Property Search Portal this fall. In light of all of this, what I’m most proud of accomplishing this year has been the renewed interest in volunteering for our Association. We had a record number of members apply to serve on our Board and committees this year. Thanks to our hundreds of ABoR volunteers, not only did ABoR stay relevant during this pandemic, we provided guidance and inspiration like never before.
During my term as President, I have worked hard to lead by example, hold myself to a higher standard and create a path for those who come behind me to be successful. But serving as president of the Association is really the embodiment of the collaborative efforts of so many. ABoR members who sacrifice their time and talent to serve on our Volunteer Groups, including the Board of Directors, are rewarded for their service by making a tangible difference in our industry, communities and Association. Every volunteer and staff member is a reflection of ABoR and their contributions do not go unnoticed.
I would like to extend a special thank you to my fellow Directors who haven’t always agreed with me but have always respected the process and my leadership. I would also like to thank our executive staff, including ABoR CEO Emily Chenevert, CMO Kelea Youngblood, Executive Administrator and Policy Officer Vicki Harris and Director of Business and Professional Development Danielle Archambault, for always being so meticulously organized and open to new ideas, for their guidance and — more than anything — for their friendship. The great strides that we have made this year would have never been accomplished without the effortless execution of these great women leaders. Finally, I want to thank you — our members — for caring for your clients, this industry and the communities you serve each and every day. Our market is once again experiencing record-breaking growth, and real estate is leading the way for economic recovery due to your hard work in the field to ensure people have homes.
As my year as President comes to a close, I can’t help but feel a bit melancholy. Not because there are things we didn’t accomplish as an Association, or because of the missed opportunities to travel and interact with other real estate professionals across the nation, but because 2020 has been a year that no one will ever forget. We are fortunate to be in an industry that is doing great, but there are so many others in our great city that have not done well socially, economically or physically. I can only hope 2021 will mark a year of new beginnings, a return to normalcy and continued focus on what matters most. I have no doubt our future is bright for ABoR. We have many committed members who have a passion for service and will keep this year’s momentum going.
As for me, it is my goal to continue serving our industry and community by staying involved and following my commitment to always lead by example, even when no one is looking. It has been my honor and privilege to serve you this year. Thank you!