Texas REALTORS® celebrated 100 years of progress and professionalism, engaged in forums on a variety of topics, heard from top-notch speakers in the industry and government, and attended continuing education courses—all in a format unlike any conference of the past.

Members took part in lively and engaging festivities and meetings via computer screens across Texas and from six continents after the coronavirus pandemic shuttered a planned San Antonio event.

A record-breaking 4,200-plus Texas REALTORS® participated in the 33-session conference.

“We are the proud result of our founders’ vision of thousands of dedicated professionals working as one to protect Texas consumers and preserve real estate markets,” said 2020 Chairman Cindi Bulla.

Association Business

2014 Texas REALTORS® Chairman Dan Hatfield swore in Marvin Jolly to be the association’s 2021 chairman. Russell Berry will be 2021 chairman-elect and Marcus Phipps will be 2021 secretary/treasurer. New regional vice presidents were also sworn in. In his acceptance speech, Jolly listed all the ways in which Texas REALTORS® are united around shared goals and values.

“Texas REALTORS® are together even when at first we don’t agree,” Jolly said. “We are together even when we have opposing views of a situation. … Texas REALTORS® are together not by default; we’re together by design and by choice.”

The Board of Directors approved the $5 annual Legal Fund assessment and $30 annual Issues Mobilization/Political Advocacy Fund assessment for the 2021 budget. The association’s annual member dues, not including assessments, stayed at $117.

Leslie Rouda Smith, 2016 Texas REALTORS® chairman and NAR 2020 first vice president, and Charlie Oppler, 2020 NAR president-elect, gave updates on NAR’s advocacy during the pandemic and new priorities, including nationwide remote notarization and liability protections for businesses.

TREC Chairman Scott Kesner reported that TREC oversees 208,000 licensees, an all-time high number, and that 85% are members of the REALTOR® organization.Members met in caucuses to discuss policy updates and business for each of the association’s 16 regions.

Unity and Politics

Unity was a major theme of the #ShapingTexas Conference. In his opening keynote, former U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy talked about how his friendship with U.S. Sen. Tim Scott led to them co-writing a book about unity. He and Scott were both Republicans from South Carolina but had different outlooks on life, experiences, and family backgrounds.

Gowdy challenged REALTORS® to seek out friendships with people who have different beliefs or life experiences. Doing so introduces new points of view and helps foster healthy dialogue instead of conflict.

The Politics, Policy, and a Pandemic session provided a deep-dive discussion into the state’s future. Political reporters from The Texas Tribune discussed complexities surrounding the November election. Rep. Joe Moody, who serves as speaker pro tem of the Texas House of Representatives, offered his insight into the 2021 legislative session.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn shared an update on important federal legislation. “Thank you for fighting tooth and nail for the real estate industry in our state,” he said.

History and Diversity

The centennial celebration featured musical performances from REALTORS®, a short film about the association’s history, and profiles of Acts of Kindness award winners, honored for making outstanding contributions in their communities.

Continuing Education credits were available for courses covering fair housing, diversity, the Code of Ethics, and contracts.

The association’s Diversity Committee sponsored Let’s Talk About Race: How to Have Uncomfortable Conversations for Personal and Professional Development. Panel members discussed how historical discrimination has shaped cities and generational wealth, how prejudice continues to affect real estate, and what associations can do to foster diversity within their own ranks.

The association joined forces with AMPI, NAR’s bilateral partner in Mexico, to present a session entirely in Spanish. The session offered advice and tools to succeed in the American and Mexican real estate markets.

The Board of Directors heard an update on translating contracts, contract addenda, and legal notices into Vietnamese, the third most spoken language in Texas behind English and Spanish.

Community and the Future

The conference was a chance for the REALTOR® community to connect and network virtually. The Diversity and Young Professionals Network committees hosted a REALTORS® Night In networking event that featured a mixologist, live music, and magic. The 2020 REALTORS® to Watch Honorees were also announced at the event.

During the TREPAC Lone Starry Night event, REALTORS® enjoyed a night of laughs with comedian Sinbad while raising funds through the largest-ever online auction benefiting TREPAC.

Jim Gaines, chief economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, offered a detailed overview of the Texas economy in the first half of 2020 and predictions through the first quarter of 2021.

The sessions Walking the Tightrope in Turbulent Times and Real Estate Success in a Virtual Environment spoke to today’s pressing issues. Panel members discussed updating social media policies, strategies for producing better video tours, and coronavirus safety protocols.

The Texas REALTORS® Public Policy Oversight Committee hosted state lawmakers Rep. Sarah Davis, Rep. Mary González, and Rep. James White to discuss priority issues for the 87th legislative session in 2021.

REALTOR® Pat Strong was honored with the 2020 Distinguished Service Award. Texas REALTORS® President and CEO Travis Kessler recognized Jason Sanchez, CEO of the El Paso Board of REALTORS®, for earning the REALTOR® Association Certified Executive designation.

Closing keynote speaker Stefan Swanepoel listed seven trends that will shape the real estate market in the months and years to come. He said the digitization of the homebuying process, video conferencing, and technology itself will continue to affect the industry and that these trends that were already in place are just being sped up by the pandemic.

In the closing message of the conference, Gov. Greg Abbott congratulated Texas REALTORS® on its centennial anniversary and for advocating for private property rights in the state.

“Your industry will be vital as Texas recovers from this pandemic and revitalizes our tremendous economy,” he said.

Chairman Bulla also wrapped up the conference with a message for a strong future: “For the last 100 years, despite our countless differences, we have managed to build a Texas REALTORS® legacy by speaking with one voice,” Bulla said. “One day, another generation will celebrate the Texas REALTORS® bicentennial. Can you imagine all they will have to talk about from 2020?”

You can watch many of this year’s sessions on demand at texasrealestate.com/conference.

Honoring Acts of Kindness

During its centennial festivities, Texas REALTORS® celebrated members who have gone the extra mile in their communities. The Acts of Kindness Award honors individuals, brokerages, and associations that are helping others and leading by example.

“These stories are inspiring, and they serve as a good reminder to all of us that REALTORS® make a difference,” 2020 Chairman Cindi Bulla said. “Many thanks to all of those who shared their stories with us through this year’s Acts of Kindness recognition initiative.”


  1. Ace Tejada, Houston
  2. Amanda Lehman, Houston
  3. Andra Beatty, Greater Fort Worth
  4. Andrea Wollenzin, San Antonio
  5. Angela Casiano, Laredo
  6. Ann Jones, San Antonio
  7. Annie Chen, Houston
  8. Ashley M. Collier, Uvalde
  9. Audra Smolinski, Greater Lewisville
  10. Bahman F. Davani, Collin County
  11. Bailey Funke, Collin County
  12. Becky Vardeman-Murphy, Waco
  13. Bet Jennings, Houston
  14. Beth Lovell, Houston
  15. Bob McCranie, Collin County
  16. Cameron Mai, North Texas Commercial
  17. Candace Cooke, Williamson County
  18. Cathy Heshmat, San Antonio
  19. Celine Crestin, Austin
  20. Chrissy Mallouf, Greater Denton/Wise County
  21. Christie Rhine, Greater Denton/Wise County
  22. Christina Boston, Houston
  23. Christine Morse, San Antonio
  24. Christopher Jacobs, San Antonio
  25. Christy Gessler, Williamson County
  26. Coco Fontao, MetroTex
  27. Cord Shiflet, Austin
  28. Corey Guerrero, Houston
  29. Cyndi Cummings, Austin
  30. Cyndi De Palermo, Houston
  31. Cynthia Lott, Collin County
  32. Dan Goon, Houston
  33. David Alan Cox, Collin County
  34. David Atkins, Houston
  35. David Cruz, San Antonio
  36. David L. Cook, Williamson County
  37. Dianne Field, Austin
  38. Diane Seal, Longview Area
  39. Douglas Van Nortwick, Greater El Paso
  40. Eddie Elaine Sacks, MetroTex
  41. Elaine Byrne, Williamson County
  42. Elizabeth O’Conor, Laredo
  43. Emily Dieckmann, Austin
  44. Emily Huynh, Collin County
  45. Felipe Cobarruvias, San Antonio
  46. Frances Frost, Amarillo
  47. Greg Jones, San Antonio
  48. Heather Lange, Beaumont
  49. Inga Gonzalez, Greater Lewisville
  50. Ishmael Omondi, MetroTex
  51. Jamar Johnson, Collin County
  52. Jami Mumley, Collin County
  53. Jamuna Thill, Collin County
  54. Jan Poscovsky, Houston
  55. Jean Shine, Fort Hood Area
  56. Jeannette Spinelli, Austin
  57. Jennifer Knott, Greater Texoma
  58. Jenny Mangrum, Four Rivers
  59. Jerry Winnett, Austin
  60. Johnny Mowad, MetroTex
  61. Jonathan Coffey, MetroTex
  62. Juan Zane Crawford, Houston
  63. Judith Rivers, San Antonio
  64. Julie Alexander, San Antonio
  65. Julie Yau Tam, Houston
  66. Karen Cuskey-Hartman, MetroTex
  67. Karen Lairsen Jones, San Antonio
  68. Kathleen Wheeler, Greater Fort Worth
  69. Kavitha Baratakke, Austin
  70. Kevin Phelps, Austin
  71. Kimberly Johnson, South Central
  72. Kimberly Vo, Arlington
  73. Kristi Fox Satsky, Bryan College Station
  74. Kyla Dieterich, Waco
  75. LaConda Davies McDonald, MetroTex
  76. Larry W. Brooks, Houston
  77. Laura Hayes, Collin County
  78. Laura Lyons Sales, Permian Basin
  79. Laurie Lujan, Houston
  80. Leonard Seiple, Greater Lewisville
  81. Lillianne Garcia, MetroTex
  82. Linda Niehuus, South Central
  83. Linda Sykes, Austin
  84. Lisa Elbjorn, Greater El Paso
  85. Liz Carla, Collin County
  86. Lorrie Westberry Kennedy, Williamson County
  87. Mary Leidy, Collin County
  88. Megan Jarrard Bradshaw, Austin
  89. Michael DeLuna, Beaumont
  90. Michael Wong, Houston
  91. Missy Barry, MetroTex
  92. Myssie Cardenas Barajas, Greater McAllen
  93. Nancy Highers, Collin County
  94. Neera Truong, MetroTex
  95. Nicole Lopez, Houston
  96. Nika Arastoupour, MetroTex
  97. Nikki Watson, MetroTex
  98. Patricia Meadows, Waco
  99. Patrick Abell, MetroTex
  100. Rahul Luthra, MetroTex
  101. Rebecca Byers, San Antonio
  102. Ro Williams, Houston
  103. Robert Blaase, Henderson County
  104. Ryan Jockers, Houston
  105. Sarah Faynan, Abilene
  106. Scott Vann, Houston
  107. Shannon Gladen, Greater Texoma
  108. Shelby Kimball, Greater Fort Worth
  109. Soozi Finkelstein, Collin County
  110. Stephen Lester, Collin County
  111. Susanne Marco, San Antonio
  112. Tammy Regian, Waco
  113. Terry Cox, Corpus Christi
  114. Tia Brooks, Houston
  115. Tiffany Russell, Austin
  116. Tom Schwenk, Galveston
  117. Troy Giles, South Padre Island
  118. Veronica Alonzo, Greater McAllen
  119. Veronica Barefield, Houston
  120. Vivian Vance, MetroTex
  121. Zac Barger, Austin

  123. CB&A, REALTORS®, Houston
  124. CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company, Greater Denton/Wise County
  125. City Group Properties, Houston
  126. Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper REALTORS®, San Antonio
  127. Damron Group REALTORS®, Four Rivers
  128. Dave Perry-Miller InTown Office, MetroTex
  129. Engel & Völkers Dallas and Fort Worth, MetroTex and Fort Worth
  130. Fox Realty, Austin
  131. Golden Real Estate, Greater El Paso
  132. House Hunters NB Realty, Four Rivers
  133. Insight Realty Network, MetroTex
  134. Keller Williams Advantage, Waco
  135. Keller Williams Realty Midland, Permian Basin
  136. Loves Realty, Greater Lewisville
  137. Motif Boutique Brokerage, San Antonio
  138. Murphy Team, Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS®, San Antonio
  139. Real Property Management One Source, Collin County
  140. Realty Austin, Austin
  141. RE/MAX Trinity, Greater Fort Worth
  142. Sage Street Realty, Collin County
  143. Schmitz and Smith Group, KW – Austin Portfolio Real Estate, Austin
  144. Team Ensinia, Arlington
  145. Texas Best Properties, MetroTex
  146. The Real Estate Gals, Dumas
  147. ThisIsLivin Properties, Houston
  148. Todd Tramonte Home Selling Team,Market Experts Realty, MetroTex
  149. Vivian Real Estate Group, MetroTex

  151. Amarillo
  152. Austin
  153. Collin County
  154. Granbury
  155. Greater Lewisville
  156. Greater McAllen
  157. Laredo
  158. MetroTex
  159. Odessa

The recipient list and several videos can be found at texasrealestate.com/100