Marvin Jolly
Plano | CRS

Years with REALTOR® organization: 20

Key volunteer roles and honors

Collin County Association of REALTORS® President; CCAR REALTOR® of the Year; CCAR Past President; Frisco Rotary Club Past President

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

Lean in. When facing a challenge, it’s easy to avoid the problem, go into mental paralysis, or even let human nature move us away from the difficulty. A healthier solution is to move toward the problem—lean in—to proactively find a solution. This advice works in business and personal relationships and organizations of all sizes. I choose to lean in.

What are you most looking forward to in 2020?

Two things: The Texas REALTORS® centennial celebration at the conference in San Antonio and planning for the 87th Texas legislative session. We have a large group of REALTOR® members who serve on committees and work groups. They are doing valuable research and having strong dialogue about issues that are important to Texas property owners.

From the beginning of our organization, we have focused on professionalism. And that’s still very important today. I’m looking forward to charting the beginning of our second century. — Marvin Jolly

Russell Berry

Years with REALTOR® organization: 18

Key volunteer roles and honors

Region 12 RVP; Chairman, Texas REALTORS® Public Policy Oversight Committee; Chairman, Texas REALTORS® Conference Committee; President of MetroTex Association of REALTORS®; MetroTex REALTOR® of the Year and Easterwood Cup winner; Chairman, MetroTex Leadership Academy; NAR Texas Representative to Participation Council; NAR RPAC Trustees Fundraising Committee; NAR Federal Housing Committee

What’s the most important decision you have made as a leader?

I put my name in the hat for leadership of Texas REALTORS®. It has not been an easy journey for me, but my passion, determination, and willingness to serve has made me a better leader. I’ve learned humility, teamwork, and perseverance from this experience. I have had some truly great advocates beside me every step of the way, unwavering in their support and always there for me with encouraging words and actions. You never take this position on by yourself, and if your intentions are right, you will succeed. The best is yet to come!

What are you most looking forward to in 2020?

Continuing to shape Texas. It’s a centennial year for Texas REALTORS®, an opportunity to reflect on the past but also prepare for the future. The association has seen a lot of change in the past 100 years, but the next 100 will be the true test. REALTORS® are adaptable, resilient, and essential. They are the heart of the real estate transaction, and our job as REALTORS® is to promote the profession, protect private property rights, and provide service to our clients, community, and profession. We must be ready to take on challenges, be nimble and adaptable toward change, and be aware of transitions going on in our industry. We cannot be afraid to take chances or effect change.

Be yourself, own your mistakes, and try to do better. We all have faults, but if you pretend to be someone different to please everyone, people will know. You are who you are. Own it, move forward, be genuine, and make a difference. — Russell Berry

Travis Kessler
Texas | RCE, CAE

Years with REALTOR® organization: 42

Key volunteer roles and honors

Texas REALTORS® Leadership Team; RPAC Fundraising Trustees; REALTORS® Relief Foundation; RPR Advisory Council; Swanepoel Power 200

How is association leadership able to make such good decisions on behalf of more than 126,000 members?

Making the best decisions for members requires maximizing input from three areas. The first is strategic planning: knowing what our path is going to be. The vision of where we want to be and why we want to be there is very important. Second, you look at the budget process and the resources available. The plan drives the budget; the budget drives the resources. If decision making follows that path, we’ll be ahead of the game and looking toward the future and where we need to be. Third, as CEO, I listen to staff, volunteer leaders, and members. Member input is critical to effective decision making.

What does the centennial of Texas REALTORS®
mean to you?

This year, we celebrate 100 years of making a difference in the success of REALTORS® and the lives of Texans. Throughout all real estate cycles, this organization has persevered and become a cornerstone for professionalism, service, advocacy, and relevance. Texas REALTORS® was formed with seven local real estate boards, and now we celebrate our milestone in collaboration with 75 local REALTOR® associations, representing more than 126,000 members. And those members take pride in working together to enhance REALTOR® service and success. They surpass the needs and expectations of their clients.

No other state can match the passion for member service and involvement that Texas has. — Travis Kessler