Virginia “Ginger” Downs is the chief executive officer of the Chicago Association of Realtors, responsible for leading and maintaining the association’s national standing as a premiere Realtor organization. Downs was appointed to her current role in October 2005, having served as a manager of Realtor associations since 1983. Prior to her role with CAR, she was executive vice president of the Seattle-King County Association of Realtors (Kirkland, Washington) for more than a decade. Her range of professional engagement includes managing a commercial real estate overlay association and serving as a representative/spokesperson for several community housing coalitions.
Downs was appointed to serve as the 2011 vice-chair of the National Association of Realtors Association Executives Committee, and will advance to chair in 2012. This continues her history of leadership positions with NAR, the Washington Association of Realtors and both the American Society and Washington Society of Association Executives. Her professional recognitions include honors as the Washington Association of Realtors Association Executive of the Year in 2004, the Washington Society of Association Executives President’s Award (Rhinoceros Award) in 2003, the Washington Society of Association Executives Association Executive of the Year in 2002, the Seattle-King Co. Association of Realtors President’s Award in 2002 and 1996, and appointment to the NAR “Bud Smith” AE Leadership Society in 2002.
“Together with our staff and board of directors, we’ve raised the bar for what Realtor members expect of their association. Whether it’s working to enhance services and reduce dues by $30 this year, or teaming with groups like Realtors to the Rescue or WCR Chicago to help promote their initiatives, we’re committed to our members’ success. Our networking opportunities and voice to media and politicians have garnered tremendous recognition throughout Chicagoland and nationally. We represent Chicago Realtors and their business on residential and commercial policy and industry issues. At CAR, the Chicago difference is seen in the commitment of our members to their industry, and it is my honor to serve them.”
Terry Penza, North Shore-Barrington Association of Realtors; Gerri Keating, Oak Park Area Association of Realtors