Hi REALTOR Friends!
Quick question. Where in the heck did 2023 go? The year absolutely flew by. It feels like only yesterday my nephew was roasting me, I mean, installing me at the 2023 IAR Inaugural and I was sharing with all of you the progress we aspired to in the year ahead.
Serving you as 2023 IAR President has been an honor and a privilege. It has been an insanely rewarding, empowering and humbling experience. The support you all have given to a girl who loves snacks, swears way too much and is 5’1” but her attitude is 6’ 3”, has filled me with endless gratitude. As someone who has travelled to many other state and local associations, I won’t hesitate for one second to say that Iowa absolutely has the best members, staff and volunteer leaders in the country. If I didn’t know that before this year, I will certainly never forget it after.
This year our theme was Find A Way or Fade Away. As you will learn more about in the pages ahead, here are just a few things we Found a Way to do in 2023:
- Fight for our members
- Increase transparency
- Improve engagement & communication
- Champion vital legislation
- Increase housing opportunities for diverse populations
- Host engaging events & education opportunities
- Shared our more fun, relatable side on social media
- Engage and empower emerging leaders and Ambassadors
And it has become increasingly evident that the one thing Iowa REALTORS are NOT going to do is Fade Away. Through all the challenges we have faced in 2023, and there were a lot, we have proven that we are a resilient group who isn’t afraid to put in the work to protect private property rights and improve our industry. As we look forward to the continued challenges on the horizon, I have complete confidence that we are in a great position to navigate any obstacle and come out better on the other side of adversity.
Coming into my term as president, the most common question I was asked was “What are your goals for the year?” Each time the question was posed I struggled to answer. I knew they were looking for a clear, linear goal such as passing a certain piece of legislation or creating a new committee. Sure, I had some ideas on that, but nothing I was passionate about. We had some initiatives going that I would continue to push forward, and I knew our members and volunteer leaders would continue to set the specific agenda in the year ahead.
I started to wonder if I was the right leader at the right time if I couldn’t even rattle off a few goals I had set for my term. It wasn’t until looking around the rooms at Capitol Conference this year and seeing all the new faces and leaders that I realized why I was struggling with the question. A bit late, but you all know me, so that totally checks out. I was struggling because my goal was not linear, specific or concisely stated. It was what I had set out to do so many years ago when I embarked on my leadership journey at IAR.
My goal as President of IAR was to empower others to step into their own leadership journey, regardless of their age, skin color, gender, sexual orientation or geographic location. Leaders who are better than me. Leaders who may have needed to see someone who looked like them, or swore like them, or had a unique leadership style like them. My goal was to increase diversity in our leadership because better decisions are made when diversity is at the table. To propel others and give them the confidence they need to step into their own journey. Because if someone like me can do it, so can they. I wanted to prove that you don’t have to look or act a certain way to be a leader.
And looking at the future leadership of our association, we are well on the way. If I had even a small part in empowering even one of the next IAR Presidents, Ambassadors or committee chairs, my time was well spent. 2023 wasn’t about a checklist of accomplishments, it was about strengthening our foundation for future leaders to continue building upon and if I’m confident about anything this year, it is that we have accomplished exactly that. The future is bright for IAR and I am so excited to continue to be a part of that future.
So, THANK YOU all. Thank you for embracing someone whose photo doesn’t show up next to leader in the dictionary. Thank you for tolerating my less than polished running of the BOD meetings and for allowing too many curse words to slip out. Thank you for your endless support and encouragement. Thank you all for believing me. It truly means the World to me.
And to sign off exactly the way you are all expecting me to… I am so F@#*%&! done.
Forever grateful and ready to shine as past president,