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NAR names interim CEO – what are the implications?

As NAR selects their interim CEO, it subtly reveals what’s next for the association (and we’ve all been waiting for that).

nykia wright

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has named Nykia Wright as interim Chief Executive Officer, effective November 20th of this year.

In June, current CEO Bob Goldberg announced his retirement plans, triggering an intensive search for a permanent CEO. Goldberg will serve as an executive consultant to help the trade group (and Wright) transition to the org’s long-term leader.

Wright is experienced in transitional leadership, having led the Chicago Sun-Times as CEO during their merger with WBEZ (Chicago Public Media) and is being tapped for her experience as a strategy and business transformation consultant who has advised companies on performance and operational improvement.

Also of note is Wright’s MBA from Dartmouth (not to mention her Lean Six Sigma Green Belt) and depth of volunteer experience enriching her community from the Better Government Association and American Cancer Society to the Music of the Baroque. She co-founded SonicMESSENGER, a software startup offering smart audio that measures audience engagement.

NAR President weighs in

“We are delighted to welcome Nykia as interim CEO,” said NAR President Tracy Kasper, a Realtor® from Nampa, Idaho, and broker-owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Silverhawk Realty. “Her deep experience driving organizational transformation positions her well to advance our strategy, vision and culture initiatives. I look forward to working with her, in partnership with our Leadership Team and staff, to continue strengthening our organization. 

“We are immensely grateful for Bob’s leadership and decades-long service to NAR,” Kasper added.  “It has been a privilege to work with him in expanding and strengthening our organization, and we congratulate him on his well-deserved retirement. His contributions to our association and our industry have been tremendous.”

Wright’s first public statement as NAR’s interim CEO

“NAR advocates for and empowers people who help families across America realize the dream of homeownership,” Wright said in a statement. “I am honored to join the organization at this important moment, when the opportunity to make a difference in the evolving real estate landscape has never been greater. I look forward to getting to work and partnering closely with NAR’s talented staff in the months ahead.”

Goldberg passes the torch

Goldberg said, After announcing my decision to retire earlier this year, and as I reflected on my 30 years at NAR, I determined last month that now is the right time for this extraordinary organization to look to the future. 

“Nykia’s strategic expertise and forward-looking perspective are exactly what NAR needs to continue advancing its mission in an ever-changing world. I am grateful for the privilege of leading NAR and confident that the association will continue delivering incredible value to its members for generations to come.” 

So what does all of this mean?

This has been a historic year for NAR for countless reasons, so the industry has waited for an announcement like this for months so they can weigh in. Some will applaud Wright as an industry outsider and others will push back – it’s inevitable.

What you must know about this leadership announcement is that change is coming. Studying Wright for even 30 seconds will show you that her name could quite literally be equated with the word change.

What will that change mean in the context of an interim CEO teeing up the chair for a permanent CEO? We believe that this specific choice of leader means the executive search committees and members nationwide see this as a pivotal moment for the nation’s largest trade group, and there is a thirst for change in a landscape filled with industry threats unlike any time before.

Everyone has a different idea of what that new path looks like or what will be needed, so under Goldberg’s leadership, NAR has called in the big guns to strengthen the inevitable shift.

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.


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