After its president-elect resigned earlier this month, Illinois Realtors will likely do without a president for the 2019 term.
Dan Wagner, president-elect of the nearly 50,000-member state association, resigned suddenly on August 13, citing “the need to spend more time with family and focus on his job” in his resignation letter. He was originally scheduled to take the reins as president, a volunteer position, on October 4 for the entirety of a one-year term.
In a blog post, Illinois Realtors said the executive committee of its 28-member board of directors had considered moving up IR’s leadership ladder by one step — making the incoming treasurer, Sue Miller, the president-elect instead and making the incoming president-elect, Ed Neaves, the president instead. But both Miller and Neaves said that for business and family reasons they preferred to serve as president in the years they originally intended, the association said.
According to the post, Illinois Realtors’ bylaws prevent current president Matt Difanis from continuing in the post in 2019.
In a video message for IR’s board of directors, Difanis outlined why the committee had decided to keep the role of president vacant in the coming year — a recommendation IR’s board will consider at its meeting on October 4.
“The leadership is 100 percent united behind keeping the president vacant for 2019, because we firmly believe that is in the best interest of our organization,” Difanis said. “That’s because every other alternative scenario, we believe, carries with it some significant downsides.”
He noted that the appointing a past president to fill the role could result in “jockeying” among candidates for the position which would “factionalize” the board. “That would do little to foster the continuity needed in what is seen as an unprecedented occurrence in the association’s 102-year history,” IR said.
IR’s president serves as the chair of the executive committee. Appointing someone new would also mean the existing leadership team would not have worked with their new chair before and that person would not have had any role in the years of planning the committee has been doing for 2019, according to Difanis. “That doesn’t make sense,” he said.
Difanis, Miller and Neaves plan to do “whatever it takes to fill the void left by Wagner’s resignation,” IR said. Difanis noted that under the association’s bylaws, the president-elect can chair meetings in the absence of the president and Neaves stands ready to do so.
“When it comes to the many, many duties of president, this leadership team is 100 percent committed to dividing and conquering those duties and making sure we don’t miss a beat,” Difanis said.
“We’ve got this. Our leadership team has never been more unified.”