A Nod to the Past

From the Editor: The 30 dynamic young people we chose for this year’s '30 Under 30' feature demonstrate the kind of forward thinking that has made NAR a great organization for nearly 100 years.

June 1, 2006

Richard Mendenhall once said (paraphrasing Sir Isaac Newton) that NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® leaders “stand on the shoulders of giants.” The words of NAR’s 2001 president come to my mind each year as we prepare to publish our “30 Under 30” feature.

Year after year, those who make the list tell us what a debt of gratitude they owe to the family members and mentors who coached them in the business.

This year is no exception. I love stories like those of Cara Mantovani, whose grandmother was a land developer in Florida, and Penny Liu, who made a decision to work with her top-performing mom and discovered that her Chinese heritage opened a whole new world of business opportunity.

Cara and Penny are two of the five “30s” we brought to Chicago this year for a full-day photo shoot. The magazine’s art director, Julie Fournier, chose locations that symbolize the here and now—Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art and Millennium Park.

But I think you’ll agree that the 30 dynamic young people we chose for this year’s feature (from more than 550 applicants) demonstrate the kind of forward thinking that has made NAR a great organization for nearly 100 years.

That’s right; in 17 months, the association will be celebrating its 100-year anniversary. That’s a century of REALTORS® working together to bring efficiency to the real estate market and expand opportunity for real property buyers.

The association is planning to publish a book celebrating the past 100 years, and through our research for that book, I’ve learned quite a bit about the foresight shown by leaders in this industry. For example, NAR helped usher in important advances in mortgage finance and data sharing.

Not every page of the association’s history has been happy. There have been obstructionists who stood in the way of technological advances and equal opportunity. NAR members have toiled through difficult economic circumstances and unfavorable tax law changes. The association has had its share of costly business missteps. But, by and large, the story of NAR is one of progress.

NAR will officially begin the celebration of its 100-year anniversary at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Las Vegas in November 2007. Like our “30 under 30,” those of us who work for the organization owe a debt of gratitude to those who came before us - members and staff who brought us to this point. So between now and then, many of us will be working on ways to commemorate the past 100 years. If you have a written history or historical images of your company or REALTOR® association, please share them with NAR archivist Beth Arthur, earthur@realtors.org. Help us preserve the lessons of the past as we move forward into the brave new world of tomorrow. Thank you.

Stacey Moncrieff

Stacey is director of content strategy for the National Association of REALTORS® and editor-in-chief of REALTOR® Magazine. In addition, she oversees the quarterly REALTOR® Association Executive magazine and manages a variety of e-communications for REALTORS® and REALTOR® association executives. She has been with the NAR for more 30 years, starting as an associate editor with Real Estate Today magazine, where she covered sales and finance topics.