In a move aimed at fostering deeper connections with business partners, operator Move Inc. has hired two industry veterans from outside the company and promoted a third from within to expand its industry relations team in the wake of the departure of two key execs to Zillow in March.

Russ Cofano

Russ Cofano

Missouri Association of Realtors CEO Russ Cofano has been named senior vice president for industry relations, where he will be responsible for communicating with agents, brokerages, franchisors, Realtor associations, multiple listing services, the broader technology community and the news media to strengthen the position of Move’s businesses, the company said.

Rhett Damon, vice president of Realtor relations at the mortgage firm Guaranteed Rate, has been named Move’s vice president of industry relations. Damon will be responsible for bringing new multiple listing services to Move’s listing syndication platform, ListHub, and deepening relationships with brokerages that use it.

Move’s national spokesman, Max Pigman, has been promoted to senior vice president and chief ambassador, and will focus on Move’s relationships with the National Association of Realtors and more than 800 MLSs that feed listings to

“By combining Russ’s stellar record of MLS leadership and years of counsel for associations and tech startups, Rhett’s depth of knowledge about portals and their diverse audiences and needs and Max’s deep personal connections with real estate professionals and leaders in all 50 states, we have developed a powerful and dynamic team that’s unmatched in its qualifications and commitment to the industry,” said Luke Glass, Move’s executive vice president of industry platforms, in a statement.

Glass was the general manager of ListHub before he and two other Move executives were promoted last month, following the abrupt departures of two longtime Move executives — Errol Samuelson and Curt Beardsley — to Zillow in March.

Celeste Starchild, formerly Move’s vice president of sales and marketing, took over as general manager for ListHub. Michael Kane, Move’s former chief of staff and general manager of Move’s TigerLead Solutions business, was promoted to senior vice president of Move’s software-as-a-service businesses.

Cofano, Damon and Pigman will take on their new roles at the end of June.

Before being appointed to lead the 18,000-member Missouri Association of Realtors in 2011, Cofano served as vice president and general counsel for Issaquah, Washington-based John L. Scott Real Estate. He’s considered a legal expert on MLS and real estate intellectual property issues, contributing ideas that have been incorporated into real estate legislation. He’s also served as an adviser to Realtor associations including the Washington Association of Realtors, and led customer relationship management startup BeCentric for a year as CEO in 1999.

Damon has been a licensed real estate broker and agent in Illinois and Texas, going on to hold strategic development and executive roles for Leading Real Estate Companies of the World and HomeFinder.

Pigman has been a broker, certified instructor, MLS board member and national spokesperson for Move and Move credits him with having identified “several key technologies for integration or acquisition,” and contributing to product development as a test participant for Move products and apps.

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