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The National Association of Realtors President Kenny Parcell has resigned.
The former president’s resignation comes a mere two days after The New York Times’ scathing exposé that included the accounts of 29 current and former NAR employees and leaders, detailed claims from 19 members who said they endured sexual harassment on the job and depicted an overall culture of harassment, retaliation and evasion.
The majority of the claims focused on Parcell, who allegedly invited female employees to late-night meetings, sent inappropriate pictures of his crotch, and made sexually suggestive comments.
NAR and Parcell faced scrutiny in June when Janelle Brevard, a former NAR employee, said she was fired after ending a consensual relationship with Parcell. Brevard said she wasn’t the only woman to have a relationship with Parcell; however, she was the only one to lose her job — something Brevard said happened because she’s Black.
Brevard dropped the suit in June and received a settlement of $107,000, according to NYT‘s reporting.
The calls for Parcell’s resignation intensified over the weekend, as a growing number of industry leaders called on NAR to hold Parcell accountable for his actions. Anywhere Brands President and CEO Sue Yannaccone was one of the first high-ranking brokerage leaders to make a statement, with her Monday LinkedIn post garnering increasing attention throughout Monday afternoon.
“I was very disturbed to read The New York Times report on the brazen attitudes and alleged behaviors of leaders at the National Association of Realtors,” Yannaccone said. “Given our predominantly female industry, I am incredibly disappointed by the reporter’s allegations as NAR is supposed to be a guidepost for our industry.”
“Today, I reached out to NAR CEO Bob Goldberg to better understand what the organization is doing to not only properly investigate but also take immediate action against all bad actors,” she added. “I am also calling for an urgent update to NAR’s policies and practices on sexual harassment and discrimination.”
Several sources told Inman NAR was holding an emergency meeting today. The sources said they were unaware of the exact details of the meeting; however, one of them sent Parcell’s resignation letter around 4 p.m. EST.
Here’s the letter, in full:
Executive Committee and Board of Directors,
This letter serves as my resignation as President of the National Association of Realtors. Being elected to this position has been a highlight in my career.
My resignation comes after a series of accusations against me that are categorically false. I am deeply troubled by those looking to tarnish my character and mischaracterize my well-intended actions. During this experience, I’ve opened myself to listening and looking for ways to improve myself, but all I can do is tell the truth. I’ve been shocked by these false accusations, hurtful words, whispers, and character assassination.
Putting the organization and the Brand first comes with the title of President. Leadership is about making tough choices; this resignation signifies that I will put the organization’s needs first to move forward above my own personal needs to stay in this position. I truly appreciate the support and true friendships that I have made during my volunteering at NAR.
Roughly two hours after news of Parcell’s resignation permeated the industry, NAR said President-Elect Tracy Kasper would immediately take Parcell’s place.
Kasper led the Idaho Association of Realtors in 2016 and has been on the NAR Board of Directors for seven years. She has also served in several groups, including the RPAC Implementation Group, the Future of the REALTOR Party Presidential Advisory Group (PAG), and the RPAC State Fundraising Partnership Goal PAG.
“We look forward to the value of the experience and capabilities that Tracy will bring to her role as President,” an NAR spokesperson said.
In her first statement as president, Kasper apologized for “what’s led us here” and acknowledged the “concern, anger and disappointment” stemming from Parcell’s alleged misconduct.
“We recognize there is lots of concern, anger and disappointment, and we want to acknowledge the people who have come forward and shared their stories and those of you who have shared your perspective over the past few days,” she said in a written statement. “We have taken everything we have heard to heart. Our commitment to our staff and our members is unwavering, and we will continue to enhance the way we foster a welcoming, safe and respectful workplace.”
“We will work to ensure the relationship between staff and members acknowledges not only staff expertise and their commitment to the association in addition to the members,” she added. “The Culture Presidential Advisory Group we announced is one step forward in that. Bob Goldberg and his team also will be working in parallel with staff on their own culture council. We are looking to make lasting and positive change and to do so as quickly as possible.”
Kasper said she hopes her tenure will lead to a “culture of comradery” that enables NAR employees and members to freely speak when issues arise.
“This is a really hard time for our association. But I know this is an opportunity to really listen and grow together,” she said. “As your president, I take the responsibility of rebuilding very seriously. Know I’m here for you, as is the entire leadership team, and we will get through this together.”