Thousands of REALTORS® attended the 2019 Texas REALTORS® Conference & Trade Expo in Fort Worth, enjoying productive meetings, exciting speakers, CE opportunities, networking events, and more.

Get a recap of what you missed this year and motivation to start planning for next year’s Texas REALTORS® Conference in San Antonio. Members who attended this year’s event can use this fill-in-the-blank press release to publicize their participation and achievements.

Conference Gets Underway

Conference kicked off Thursday morning with the Global & Commercial Breakfast and Forum, where Engineered Tax Services CEO John McElwee spoke about opportunity zones. Mark Moore, director of TREC’s enforcement division, was at the Leasing & Property Management Forum to talk about one sure way for license holders to get in trouble: not responding to inquiries from TREC. If you don’t respond, you’re in violation of TREC rules.

Former Texas REALTORS® Chairman Shad Bogany gave a presentation at the Diversity Forum about his path to getting involved in the REALTOR® organization and pursuing leadership positions. He also spoke about the importance of the 2020 Census to the real estate industry and our communities—and how REALTORS® can play a role in getting the word out about the 2020 Census.

The Opening Session was headlined by former NBA player Walter Bond, who delivered the message that mastering the fundamentals of the business is key to success in real estate.

A representative of FEMA stands in front of a presentation in a meeting room at the 2019 Texas REALTORS® Conference in Fort Worth.
A representative of the Federal Emergency Management Agency teaches a class during the 2019 Texas REALTORS® Conference.

2020 Chairman Cindi Bulla Installed

The Chairman’s Installation was an evening filled not only with official ceremonies but also entertainment, as talented REALTORS® sang and played instruments to the delight of those in attendance. Cindi Bulla from Amarillo was installed as chairman of the board for the association’s centennial year in 2020. Also installed were Marvin Jolly of Plano as chairman-elect, Russell Berry of Dallas as secretary/treasurer, and incoming regional vice presidents for Texas REALTORS®.

Texas REALTORS® 2020 Chairman Cindi Bulla poses for a group photo with her family and guests before the Installation Dinner at the 2019 Texas REALTORS® Conference in Fort Worth.
Texas REALTORS® 2020 Chairman Cindi Bulla was joined by family and friends during her Installation.

Governmental Affairs Events Host Speakers and Award Honors

Government Affairs committees hosted informative discussions and recognized several REALTORS® and lawmakers as real estate advocates during the Conference.

The Political Involvement Committee bestowed the Texas REALTORS® Strike Force Award on Sid Thom and Melody Gillespie of the MetroTex Association of REALTORS® for their grassroots advocacy efforts.

The Public Policy Forum featured a panel discussion with state Sen. Kelly Hancock and state Rep. Craig Goldman. The lawmakers shared their insight into the 86th Texas Legislature, including the passage of property tax reform, school finance reform, and the end of forced annexation.

Members recognized Sen. Hancock with the Texas REALTORS® Legacy Award for his commitment to protecting private-property rights during his tenure in the Texas Legislature. And Rep. Craig Goldman received a certificate proclaiming his inclusion in the Texas REALTORS® 86th Texas Legislature Hall of Fame for his efforts on behalf of Texas real estate consumers. (See the full Hall of Fame in the July 2019 issue of Texas REALTOR® magazine.)

At the Governmental Affairs Forum, attendees learned about Texas history and culture from the keynote speaker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright. The forum also featured a panel of political journalists—Scott Braddock of Quorum Report, Bud Kennedy of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and Christopher Connelly of KERA-TV and KERA-FM—who shared their insights on Texas’s changing political climate in advance of the 2020 election.

The TREPAC Nominating Committee approved the following TREPAC Trustees to serve two-year terms starting Jan. 1, 2020:

  • Region 2: James “Aaron” Nelson
  • Region 3: Randi Reams
  • Region 4: Brenda Rogers, Jonathan Hitchcock
  • Region 9: Olivia Kiritsy
  • Region 10: Sue Cornell
  • Region 12: James Martin
  • Region 13: Lacy Hendricks, Marquis Williams
  • Region 14: Nicole Lopez, Michael Mengden, Jamila Winsey
  • Region 15: Dawn Lavka

The TREPAC Nominating Committee also approved 2020 leadership serving one-year terms beginning Jan. 1, 2020:

  • Chairman: Tony Lloyd
  • 1st Vice Chair: Bill Evans
  • 2nd Vice Chair: Nancy Garcia

The following regional vice presidents were installed for 2020 terms:

  • Region 1: Jinger White
  • Region 3: Michael Langford
  • Region 4: David Alan Cox
  • Region 4: Nick Kline
  • Region 8: Jack Stapleton
  • Region 10: Gail Robinson
  • Region 12: Bill Jordan
  • Region 12: Cathy Mitchell
  • Region 12: Sid Thom
  • Region 13: Mary Ann Jeffers
  • Region 13: Kim Young
  • Region 13: Jan Hicinbothom
  • Region 14: Shannon Cobb-Evans
  • Region 14: Jo Ann Stevens
  • Region 14: Richard Miranda
  • Region 14: Mario Arriaga
  • Region 14: Shae Cottar
  • Region 14: Chaille Ralph
  • Region 14: Cathy Trevino
  • Region 14: Troy Cothran
  • Region 15: Bill Evans
  • Region 15: Robert Wright
  • Region 15: Teresa Scott-Tibbs
  • Region 16: Jennifer Viescas

The following appointees to the Executive Board were installed:

  • Denise Price
  • Jef Conn
  • Missy Stagers
  • Elizabeth McCoy
  • Alberto Vasquez

Texas REALTORS® announced that Daniel Gonzalez, the association’s director of legislative affairs and chief lobbyist, is establishing an independent lobby firm and the association will be his primary client. The move is effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Executive Board Votes on MarketViewer

The Texas REALTORS® Executive Board approved changes to MarketViewer—the market statistics tool exclusively for Texas REALTORS®—that will make data available to members earlier than ever before.

Texas REALTORS® officially announced its endorsement of Kenny Parcell of Spanish Fork, Utah, for NAR 2021 first vice president.

Texas REALTORS® Endorses 3 State Ballot Propositions

There will be 10 propositions to amend the Texas Constitution on the November 5 ballot, and Texas REALTORS® has endorsed three of the measures because of their benefits for real estate consumers and property owners. The association has not taken a position on the other seven proposed amendments.

Texas REALTORS® endorses Proposition 2, which supports water infrastructure; Proposition 3, which provides a temporary property tax exemption to owners in areas declared disasters; and Proposition 8, which provides funding for flood mitigation infrastructure.

Members can learn more about the issues and candidates Texas REALTORS® supports in the September/October issue of Texas REALTOR® magazine.

1st Memorandums Signed in Program to Promote Cooperation with Mexico

As part of a program to encourage cooperation between Texas REALTORS® and Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals (AMPI), two memorandums of understanding were signed during the event. The Greater El Paso Association of REALTORS® signed one with AMPI Juarez, and Texas REALTORS® signed one with AMPI.

A group of Texas REALTORS® and representatives of the Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals (AMPI) gather around a table before signing Memorandums of Understanding.
Representatives of Texas REALTORS®, the Greater El Paso Association of REALTORS®, the Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals (AMPI), and AMPI Juarez met to sign agreements promoting cooperation between the associations.

Texas REALTORS® Honored at Board of Directors

At the Board of Directors meeting, Judy Jones of the MetroTex Association of REALTORS® and Howard Smith of the Amarillo Association of REALTORS® were presented with the association’s Distinguished Service Award. Monica Peña, CEO of the Greater McAllen Association of REALTORS®, was recognized for earning the REALTOR® Association Certified Executive (RCE) designation.

NAR President-Elect Vince Malta was joined by 2020 First Vice President and former Texas REALTORS® Chairman Leslie Rouda Smith and Region 10 Vice President Beth Cristina in presenting an update on important issues at the national level, including policy, technology, litigation, health care, and others.

Retiring Vice President of Governmental Affairs Mark Lehman received the Texas REALTORS® Legacy Award for his 21 years of service to the organization. An award for political affairs work at the local level will be named the Lehman Local Board Governmental Affairs Achievement Award in his honor.

You can watch Mark Lehman’s speech at the Board of Directors. 

The Board of Directors voted to continue the $5 annual Legal Fund Assessment and the $30 annual Issues Mobilization/Political Advocacy Fund Assessment. The collection of the Issues Mobilization/Political Advocacy Fund Assessment was temporary suspended in 2019. The association’s annual member dues, not inclusive of assessments, remained at $117.

Robert Wright was installed as the 2020-2021 Region 15 vice president for Texas REALTORS®.