Pat Bybee, who served for 27 years as president and CEO of the Denver-area multiple listing service Metrolist Inc., died Wednesday afternoon in a head-on traffic collision on the outskirts of Denver. She was 61.

Bybee was the founding president and CEO of Metrolist when it began in 1984 and stepped down from the position in 2011.

According to the Colorado State Patrol, Bybee was driving solo in her two-door Jaguar convertible south on a two-lane highway at about 4:20 p.m. yesterday when a 21-year-old man in a northbound 2009 Subaru Outback attempted to pass another northbound vehicle in a no-passing zone. The driver, who may face criminal charges, aborted the attempt but struck the car ahead of him as he tried to return to the lane and then struck Bybee’s car head on. Bybee died at the scene.

"She took Metrolist from basically a one-person operation to one of the leading MLSs in the country," said Greg Zadel, who served for 14 years on Metrolist’s board of directors, seven as chairman.

"Losing her is very much a shock," Zadel said.

Bybee was an effective leader, Zadel remembers. With her at the helm, "we could get more out of a team than we could have gotten individually," he said.

"She was a leader in the MLS family," said longtime MLS exec Peter Shuttleworth, who has known Bybee since 1985. She’s someone that was trusted and very respected, he said.

As such a long-time leader in the industry, she touched a lot of people.

"She was an early adopter, conscientious, and a real supporter of the brokers and agents she worked for over many years," said Saul Klein, senior vice president of listing syndication platform Point2. "What a tragedy."

"Pat was a strong woman and I learned how to please a tough customer at an early age," said Gregg Larson, CEO of real estate consulting firm Clareity Consulting. Bybee, he said, was his first MLS customer. "We often joked about that."

"(Pat) did a lot for RETS (Real Estate Transaction Standard) and RESO (Real Estate Standards Organization)," wrote Kristen Couglin Carr, a marketing manager with Realtors Property Resource, in a Facebook comment on a post commemorating Bybee. "She was hard and tough but also fun, funny, kind," she wrote. "The last time we were together we walked back to the Conrad in Chicago after dinner and talked about the great value of scarves."

"We will miss Pat who was an industry leader who sought out innovative new ideas as she aptly navigated the conservative world of real estate association politics," said Inman News publisher Brad Inman.

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