Dale Stinton, a National Association of Realtors insider who will serve as the next CEO for the 1.2 million-member trade group, is a good choice for the job, say those who are familiar with his work.

The association announced Stinton’s selection Wednesday – about six months after current CEO Terrence McDermott announced he would be stepping down from the position. Stinton, a 24-year association veteran who now serves as CFO and chief information officer, will enter his new role Nov. 1.

Bob Hale, president and CEO for the Houston Association of Realtors, said, “I’ve known Dale for years. I consider him a good friend. I think the search committee and officers made a wise decision. He understands the culture and the issues.”

Stinton will face some very pressing issues as CEO: The U.S. Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against the Realtor group earlier this month after investigating its policies for the online display of property listings.

The association has also stepped up efforts to thwart online intermediaries that seek to profit from using real estate listings data; several state Realtor groups have backed legislation that bans certain types of discount, limited-service real estate business models, prompting opposition from federal antitrust officials; and Realtor-owned MLSs in several markets have worked to block some types of real estate listings from reaching home-search Web sites such as Realtor.com.

Clark Wallace, a former president for the National Association of Realtors who is a Realtor in Orinda, Calif., said that Stinton may not have a deep background in the politics, policies and players of Washington, D.C., but the association already has other staff in place with deep experience in the nation’s capital. Some industry sources had speculated that the new CEO, like McDermott, would be an outside candidate who is experienced in the ways of Washington.

“He grew up with me in NAR and he’s a spectacular choice,” Wallace said. “Without being a party to the decision, my sense is that it’s a real time to come inside (the organization)…to our roots.” Stinton “has been involved in all of the decisions that sooner or later cross into the budgetary and financial aspects,” and this knowledge of the organization’s financial matters should serve him well, Wallace added.

“He is cool, calm and very intelligent and has the respect of not only the staff that he is charged with leading, but obviously he has the respect of the member leadership. You need somebody who understands your roots, you need someone who is well organized, and he is the epitome of that.”

Al Mansell, association president, said in a statement, “Dale brings outstanding leadership skills, exceptional knowledge of the real estate industry and proven abilities to the most important job at NAR.”

Stinton works in the association’s Chicago headquarters. He became the group’s CFO in 1991, and he served as acting CEO and executive vice president in 1996. In 1998 he took on the dual role of CFO/CIO. He has served on several association committees, including the Finance Committee, Strategic Planning Committee and Real Property Operations Committee.

He has played a role in the construction of a new association building near Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and in several technology initiatives, including the push to develop standards for paperless, Internet-based real estate transaction platforms.

Stinton also has worked with association leaders to establish relief funds following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the international tsunami disaster and Hurricane Katrina.

Prior to working for the association, Stinton worked for seven years in accounting, financial and management capacities at Memorex Corp. and U.S. Steel Corp.

McDermott, meanwhile, had held the top post at the American Institute of Architects prior to joining the Realtor trade group, and he had formerly spent 27 years in the publishing industry and served as president and COO for Cahners Publishing Co., a business and special-interest magazine publisher, from 1987-93. He has served as CEO for the Realtors trade group since 1997.

Joel Singer, executive vice president for the 180,000-member California Association of Realtors, said, “I think Dale is well-qualified and will do a great job in this new role. We in California look forward to working with him even more closely in the future.”

And Steve Ozonian, national home-ownership executive for Bank of America, said, “Dale is a seasoned professional who knows the challenges NAR faces and how to navigate the landmines of this industry. The challenges ahead, both in Washington and with the membership, will require a 24/7 personality, and having worked directly with Dale I believe he has the backbone to tackle the future.”

The Realtor association’s search committee for a new CEO was led by Mike Brodie, a Realtor in Plano, Texas, who is also the trade group’s treasurer.

Other search-committee members included: Bruce Aydt, Prudential Alliance, Realtors, Chesterfield, Mo.; Virginia Cook, CEO of Virginia Cook, Realtors, Dallas; Bill Malkasian, executive officer of the Wisconsin Realtors Association, Madison, Wis.; Charles “Chip” Roach Jr., of Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors, Devon, Pa.; Cynthia Shelton, vice president of acquisitions, Commercial Net Lease Realty Inc., Orlando, Fla.; Martin Edwards Jr., of Memphis, Tenn., past president of the national association; Thomas M. Stevens, Vienna, Va., of NRT Inc. and NAR president-elect; and Gary Thomas, president of RE/MAX Real Estate Services, Aliso Viejo, Calif.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to glenn@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 137.

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