We are excited to introduce a new feature in our weekly Monday Morning Report newsletter to showcase our highest-level members. Leaders You Should Know highlights community leaders who are making a notable impact in the Nashville region.

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Tell us about yourself?

I am a Middle Tennessee native. I attended Battle Ground Academy and have a degree in Communications & Public Relations from the University of Alabama. I received my JD from the Nashville School of Law. I hold the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation, the highest designation in the association industry provided by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) as well as the REALTORS® Certified Executive (RCE), the only professional designation designed specifically for REALTORS® association executives by NAR.

I am married to Jennie Rebecca. I am the youngest of three boys and is also a father of four boys, Battle, Hayes, Gray and Hyde. I am in my 25th year of my association management career. My career began at the Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Store Association in 1999 as the Communications Director and I later served as Vice President. I served as the President and CEO from 2005-2014. I was hired as CEO of Greater Nashville REALTORS® in 2014.

Tell us about your business/industry?

Greater Nashville REALTORS® was founded in 1891 and the mission has remained consistent over the 133-year history by providing real estate professionals a structured organization that works toward uniting members to exert a beneficial influence on the profession and to promote and maintain high standards of professional conduct.

Greater Nashville REALTORS® promotes the highest standard of ethics and professionalism in the practice of real estate and is the advocate for private property rights and the interests of REALTORS® and the communities we serve.

The four fundamental services provided by the association at its beginning remain the fundamental services it provides today, including:
1. Education and Professional Development Opportunities.
2. Legislative involvement and advocacy at the local, regional, state and national levels.
3. REALTOR® Code of Ethics and arbitration dispute resolution for members and those they serve.
4. Communication and Networking
Greater Nashville REALTORS® provides members with prestige and professionalism through a long-standing institution and the largest local REALTORS® association in Tennessee. Greater Nashville REALTORS® vision is to be recognized as the trusted voice of real estate and is respected as an essential partner in shaping healthy, dynamic neighborhoods in which all individuals, families and businesses can thrive.

What should we know about you?

Much of my recreation time over the past 15 years has been spent running marathons and ultra marathons. I have completed three 100 mile ultras and I lost count of the number of marathons, 50k and 50-milers I have completed. For me, its a social sport that allows me time with friends, a way to unwind and to compete and challenge myself. Ultras provide opportunities to push through mental and physical barriers that cannot be replicated in any other way.

How did you get to your current position?

My first job in association management was with the Homebuilders Assoc. in Tuscaloosa, AL in college. That led me to networking through the Tennessee Society of Association Executives when I returned home. I was hired by the TN Grocers & Convenience Store Association and had several opportunities there, ultimately serving as the President & CEO. Greater Nashville REALTORS® was seeking a new CEO in 2013 and the search firm helping the association sought me to help them network within the association management community. Soon after beginning to help, they asked if I would be interested in the position. I listened and learned more about the opportunity, was hired, began in Feb. 2014

What value do you see in Chamber involvement?

The chamber is critical to the community’s success. For me, the partnership we have with the chamber on legislative issues is crucial. Networking with business leaders is also highly valuable. Our region’s success belongs to all of us and I know the work of the chamber is benefiting our REALTORS® because this area is attractive and is a great place to live, work and play.

What is your leadership style? How does that motivate you and your team?

Consistency and by example. My favorite attribute for anyone to have, and one I try to model, is consistency. It is valuable for others to know what they are going to get when they work with you. There are many more popular “leadership” traits that are usually highlighted, but day in and day out, a leader has to show up, perform and show others that consistency always wins long term. I know how I influence those around me. Your team will rise to where you are, especially if they see you consistently hitting the mark. Maybe that’s why I like long-distance running :)…consistency is crucial in that sport; can’t fake it – got to put the miles in regularly.

What local non-profit has a mission that resonates with you?

Faithfully Restored is a non-profit that was founded by four women, one is my wife Jennie Rebecca. It started around our dining room table and has blossomed like I never imagined through the hard work of the founders and so many women that have been blessed by the work the group does and those that have volunteered to support the group.

Faithfully Restored started after the founders came together, each feeling a deep longing to give back and provide hope to other women in need. Everyone has experienced trials that rock your world and challenge your faith, and the founders recognized God had placed people in their lives that lifted them up and supported them during their darkest days. They want everyone to experience that sense of support and community in the midst of their own trials and their hope is that Faithfully Restored can provide that to women in need.

It hits home because the trial my wife and I faced was losing our son Hayes in a car accident in 2016. He was seven years old. This opened our eyes to so much and it is a blessing that this group of founders, who have each faced similar tragic events, turned these horrible circumstances into positive and supportive moments for others.

What advice would you give a student about entering the workforce?

My advice for students and those early in their career is an analogy to baseball.
In a baseball game, a defensive player must practice and work hard on their position and be ready for a ball to be hit to them in whatever scenario might be in play. They have to get into position before every pitch even though the ball will not likely come to them, but it might.

In building a career, a person needs to grow their network, get the education needed and constantly be ready for an opportunity. Just like that baseball player is practicing and getting in position and being ready. But the job may not come, but it might.

You cannot control the opportunity to make a play because you do not control if the batter hits the ball. Just like you do not control when and if the job opportunity is available. All you can control is if you will be prepared to catch the opportunity when it does come your way. How are you learning, networking and preparing yourself and making that glove as big as possible, so you will catch the ball and not let an opportunity slip by you?

What is the best advice you have received?

“Be where you are supposed to be, doing what you are supposed to be doing.”
This was the mantra of my high school principal Dr. Lucas Boyd at Battle Ground Academy. There really isn’t any further advice anyone needs. The older I get, the more I appreciate the simplicity and power of this.