Austin Board of REALTORS
2021 Board of Directors
At the end of last year, a record number of members applied to serve on ABoR committees and the board of directors. It demonstrates the level of passion and commitment that members have for the organization and one another’s professional interests. Romeo Manzanilla, now immediate past president, headed the board during one of the most unpredictable periods in ABoR’s history. There was no precedent for conducting business during a global health crisis. “When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in March,” Manzanilla wrote in his outgoing president’s letter, “we took immediate action knowing that lives are more important than business.” The organization quickly shifted to offering remote operations, making ABoR an industry leader in its response to increasing uncertainty. That’s the kind of work that members can expect from the association’s governing body.
Here is the list of new and returning officers and directors for 2021.
Officers and Returning Directors
Susan Horton, president
Susan Horton has been a licensed broker since 2009 and an ABoR member for more than 10 years. She has also served on a number of committees, including the Legislative Management Team, Ambassadors Task Force and Education and Professionals Standards. She was an ABoR Foundation board member, won ABoR’s 2015 Salesperson of the Year and is a three-time Platinum Top 50 REALTOR winner.
Before assuming office, Horton acknowledged to members that 2021 will have “plenty of challenges ahead that we cannot yet predict. But the future of Central Texas real estate is bright. And the Austin Board of Realtors will continue to provide the tools, assistance and leadership.” Horton went on to define what leadership means to her. “It’s about caring for others, having an open heart and mind, and inspiring future leaders to serve,” she says.
Cord Shiflet, 2021 president- elect
Cord Shiflet has been an active member of ABoR for more than two decades. He served as a director on and off since 2015, and at the end of 2020, completed a three-year term. He was also a member of Government Affairs, Audit and ACTRIS Advisory committees.
Job Hammond, secretary/treasurer
When Job Hammond was interviewed as a candidate for re-election, he said his experience as a director has been an unbelievable opportunity and he was ready for another term. “I like understanding what the industry trends are and what’s going to happen in future years,” says Hammond. “So not only can I help prepare for my business, but I can help others prepare for theirs.”
As a sitting director, Hammond was concerned with the direction the industry was going in and the way technology was edging out real estate professionals, so he made a commitment to work harder on behalf of those with a fiduciary responsibility to buyers and sellers and can see himself continuing that work through 2021.
Romeo Manzanilla, immediate past president
Romeo Manzanilla has been an active ABoR member for 15 years. Prior to his tenure as president, he served as a director from 2015 to 2019 and sat on various committees including Grievance, Diversity, MLS and Special Planning.
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Manzanilla likely had one of the most unique — and even consequential — experiences as board president in the organization’s history. He helped oversee the shutting of ABoR’s facilities and spearheaded a shift to remote operations. “We turned this necessary pivot into an opportunity to serve [members] better,” said Manzanilla. “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.”
John Crowe, Elected term 2020-2022
John Crowe is currently serving a second term as director. In addition to two decades in the residential real estate business, he also teaches negotiation strategy and buying and selling techniques to agents. Crowe brings to the board his experience as a Certified Negotiation Expert, Accredited Buyer Representative and Pricing Strategy Advisor.
Karlyn Ellis, Elected term 2020-2022
Karlyn Ellis has been a Texas resident since 1994. While she obtained her real estate license more than 16 years ago, she has been buying and selling homes with her custom home builder spouse for two decades. What originally inspired Ellis to run for a board seat was the threat of industry disrupters. “As a broker and owner of two local offices, I felt a need to step up and represent the voices of not just my agents, but all agents that our board serves,” she says. “With the advancements in technology the art of communicating our value to the public is [crucial for] protecting our industry. The art of communication between each other and our local boards is also vital.”
Ashley Jackson, Elected term 2019-2021
Ashley Jackson, an Austin resident since age 7, was first elected to the board of directors in 2019 and recently completed serving a term as secretary/treasurer. On her candidate profile, Jackson says that she looks forward to achieving the goals of the board’s strategic plan, which, in part, includes improving market data delivery and operational agility. She also wants to focus on raising the bar on professionalism in the real estate industry.
Kendred Manceaux, Elected term 2020-2022
Kendred Manceaux has been living in Austin since the early 1990s and prior to attaining his real estate license, he was an investor. This is what eventually convinced him to switch careers.
Manceaux went on to earn his real estate license in 2001 and then launched a brokerage after three years. Just before Manceaux joined the board, he said he desired to work closely with the ABoR team and to focus on crucial issues facing members, especially those that threatened local businesses.
Shay Millheiser, Elected term 2019-2021
Before her election to the board, Shay Millheiser served on ABoR’s Housing Issues Policy Team and Development Policy Team. When she was a University of Texas student, Millheiser was renovating fixer-uppers. She was so enthralled with real estate that she left a PhD program to get her license and work with buyers and sellers full-time. What Millheiser believes she offers as director is a voice for members under the age of 30 and those new to the real estate industry.
Edie Phillips, Elected term 2020-2022
Edie Phillips had her real estate license for a decade before she committed to the career full-time. It was the 2008 housing crisis that inspired Phillips to take the leap. Then and now, her stated goal is to work closely with clients to navigate their real estate transactions.
For three years, Phillips was director of recruitment for the National Black MBA Association Austin Chapter. She’s also a 2020 Texas REALTORS Leadership Program graduate. Before election to her 2020 term as ABoR Director, Phillips said she was interested in serving because “every person deserves a voice at the table,” including part time, new and seasoned REALTORS. “I would like to be that voice for them,” says Phillips.
Kent Redding, Elected term 2019-2021
A native Texan, Kent Redding has been an Austin resident for four decades and a member of ABoR for 14 years. He was a Platinum Top 50 Award winner from 2011 to 2018. According to his director bio, “Kent gives back to the community by ensuring that every member’s input is acknowledged.” By engaging members and building trust, he aspires to provide REALTORS tools they need to be successful in their careers.
Austin Stowell, Elected term 2019-2021
Austin Stowell has been a real estate professional for 15 years. As a member of the board, he has the opportunity to bridge his experience in housing development and the local real estate market. According to his director bio, he hopes to “ensure the board is more proactive in meeting the demands of the clients it serves.” In 2019, Stowell expressed interest in relying on his expertise to work with ABoR’s government affairs team and advocate for public policies desired by REALTORS in Central Austin.
Anne Wheeler, Elected term 2019-2021
Anne Wheeler moved to Austin to attend college and then started working in the real estate industry as a licensed agent. Five years later, she earned her broker’s license and went on to cofound Wheeler McCarroll Realtors, which had a decade-long run as a respected Austin brokerage. Today, Wheeler is a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist and Negotiation Specialist.
Newly elected Board of Directors
Christine Chau is a Texas native who has been in the real estate industry and an ABoR member for 18 years. She is past president of the Austin chapter of the Asian Real Estate Association of America. Chau ran for her board position, in part, to protect property rights and advance members’ shared principles. On her candidate profile she wrote, “I’ve accumulated diverse perspectives from residential real estate, property management, mortgages, and commercial real estate and have the know-how and instincts to leverage these into practical, achievable results.”
Charlotte Lipscomb’s tenure in the real estate industry and as a member of ABoR spans more than three and a half decades. She has been named an ABoR volunteer and salesperson of the year, and has already completed a three-year term as a Board of Director. For the coming term, Lipscomb wants to help the organization adjust to the various changes the real estate industry faces. On her candidate profile, Lipscomb wrote, “I will work hard to think outside the box and move through changes in effort to best serve the membership.”
Brian Talley has been an ABoR member for 15 years and in the real estate profession for two decades. Nearly half of that time was spent on the commercial and corporate side of the industry. He recently served a four-year term as City of Austin Commissioner of the Building and Standards Commission. As an ABoR Director, Talley aspires to advocate for diversity, transparency and serve on the body responsible for financial accountability.
Greg Ward has been a Realtor and an ABoR member for just over a decade. For the past six years, Ward finds himself in a leadership role where he focuses on helping brokers and owners grow their business while also providing support, tools and resources to agents so they can perform to the best of their abilities. As a sitting Director, and during Austin’s explosive growth, Ward is committed to helping the organization cope with competition and relevancy. He wrote, “I want to ensure ABoR continues to empower our leaders, talented staff, and volunteers so that our agents and brokers are equipped with the resources necessary and are positioned at the forefront of our industry.”
Wuensch is a 16 year veteran of the real estate industry and has been an ABoR member just a year shy of that duration. She has previously served as vice chair of the Diversity committee and was on ABoR’s Austin City Council Candidate Interview Panel. As a passionate member of the Board, Wuensch aspires to represent the organization in a way that reflects the values and beliefs of ABoR’s members and Austin communities. “I am a female minority broker who sponsors full- and part-time agents,” said Wuensch in her member bio. “I represent a large demographic of our membership and their unique interests and perspectives. I want to listen and advocate for our members, provide representation and productive leadership that fulfills member needs… when facing evolving and ever changing issues.”
Here is the list of new and returning Williamson County Association of REALTORS’ executive committee members, directors for 2021 and the award winners for 2020.
Kriston Wood, president
Kriston Wood is a REALTOR at Keller Williams Realty, Round Rock.
Michele Sherwood, president-elect
Michele Sherwood, lifelong Austinite, is a REALTOR at Keller Williams Realty, Round Rock.
Jennifer Welch, treasurer
Jennifer Welch owns full-service real estate brokerage, Amazing Realty in Austin.
Kimberly Dale, secretary
Kim Dale is a graduate from the Texas REALTOR Leadership Program. She’s a senior REALTOR at Realty Texas in Round Rock.
Cynthia Bell, past-president
Cyndi Bell is a broker associate at Realty Texas in Round Rock. She has been an active member of the Board since 2018 when she was named president-elect.
Bryan Hutchinson, CEO
Bryan Hutchinson joined WCRealtors in 2019 as Chief Executive Officer.
Amanda Keeley, Belinda Payne, Julie Floyd, Kristi Sanguinet, Tamara Nelson, Tara Knight, Gregory Hodge and Amy Kobza.
2020 Industry Award Winners
In early December, the following members were recognized by Williamson County Association of Realtors for their outstanding work and achievements.
REALTOR of the Year
Terri Hardee Romere of Keller Williams Realty, Lonestar, is the 2020 REALTOR of the Year recipient, has earned many designations including the ABR, CRS, SRS, GRI and SRES. She has served in various roles at Texas REALTORS including mediator, ombudsman and the political involvement council for Region 8. Most recently, Terri was inducted into the RPAC Hall of Fame, which recognizes REALTORS who have invested at least $25,000 in RPAC over the course of their career.
Affiliate Member of the Year
Cat Totty of R Bank has been a member of Williamson County REALTORS since 2018 and in her profession since 2012. She has been actively involved at Williamson County REALTORS in a variety of ways including serving on the 2020 Events and Membership Committee, played an integral in planning several key events including super bowl of builders and the golf tournament, consistently supporting Williamson County REALTORS through sponsoring events and education classes.
Distinguished Service Award
Linda Graves of RE/MAX Capital City has had her license for just over 37 years. She was Williamson County REALTORS president in 1996 and has served on a variety of committees. She holds her ABR, CRS, GRI and CDPE designations. The Distinguished Service Award is a lifetime achievement award which recognizes a Primary REALTOR member of Williamson County REALTORS for the effort and work expended on behalf of the Association, fellow REALTORS, and the real estate industry as a whole.
Ruby Johnson of Better Life Realty is the 2020 President’s Award recipient. The award is given to an individual who has demonstrated stellar service and support to Williamson County REALTORS in 2020.
RealtyLine wishes everyone a successful and healthy 2021!