Zeke Morris Begins CAR Presidency Ahead of Schedule

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Zeke Morris, the managing broker for Keller Williams Realty in Hyde Park, is the new president of the Chicago Association of Realtors.

Zeke Morris has begun his presidency of the Chicago Association of Realtors (CAR) a couple months early, replacing former president Bob Floss with the support of the association’s board of directors.

Morris, the operating principal and managing broker for Keller Williams Realty, CCG in Hyde Park, had been in line to replace Floss in September at CAR’s 129th Annual Inaugural Gala, but according to Barbara Matthopoulos, the senior director of communications and media relations for CAR, the board opted for a “change in direction” and put Morris in charge early.

“The board just decided to take a different direction,” Matthopoulos said, adding that it is within the board’s power to make such decisions and they approved Morris’ presidency by a majority vote.

Morris, who has been a broker since 1991 and specializes in property management, residential new construction and rehab development, will serve out the rest of Floss’ term and will begin his own term in September.

Floss, who is the broker/owner of Bob Floss & Son Realty in Countryside and was recently featured in Chicago Agent‘s “Who’s Who in Chicagoland Real Estate 2012,” said in an interview with Chicago Agent that he did not resign from his presidency, and he has communicated with both Moe Veissi, the president of the National Association of Realtors, and Laurie Janik, the general counsel for NAR, on resolving what happened with CAR through the Realtor system.

“I’m really optimistic this can be worked out within the Realtor family,” Floss said. “I bet this will be resolved by the end of this week.”

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  • It is a sad day for the Realtor association when a local board chooses to vote out a president for working towards the best interest of the membership which is what his fiduciary responsibility should be first and foremost.

    As a past board member and someone who has continued to serve on committees for the association, it appears to come down to staff and certain leadership being scared of full disclosure to it’s dues paying members.

    What really amazes me is that this board did not seem to find issue with or take any action when it’s 2011 president, Mabel Guzman, was not licensed of for a period of 21 days in her last month in office where she held member meetings and board meetings where votes where taken and represented herself as a Realtor. Staff did not disclose this to the membership or it’s officers and board of directors until a later time after she was out of office.

    What should one think of a board who so easily removes a president for doing the right thing?

  • Curious says:

    What “change of direction” was so important they couldn’t wait two months?

  • Bill Flemming says:

    Great to see you in this position Zeke – You have always been a fair and responsive progressive thinker. I am confident that the association will be as strong as ever under your watch.

  • Peggy Kayser says:

    Congratulations, Zeke – you are a true asset to the Chicago Association of Realtors!

  • Arthur Rubalcaba says:

    Apparently the board has the right to usurp the member’ rights. It seems that the board can rid an elected officer when it so deems. If there is any reason for the board to take such action I would think that due process is required.

  • Jane Wenger says:

    This is extremely odd to me. What happened? What will be resolved? What’s going on? I want to know. I’m not interested in a boilerplate response. The Board owes us a complete explanation.

    Jane Wenger
    Wenger Properties

  • Shiree Booker says:

    Congratulations Zeke!! Thank you for you dedication and hard work; it is true you are an asset to the Chicago Association of Realtors!!

  • Have faith in those how volunteer thier time says:

    I think it is very important to believe that the board acted in the best interest of the membership. Often boards take controversial actions that outwardly appear inept. However, it is also generally in the best interest of the individual’s involved to not publically acknowledge the specifics of every situation.

    It is entirely possible that the board is protecting the image of an individual who is not worthy of thier favor based on thier actions. It also surprises me that people tend to look through the lens of conspiracy without having any substantial data.

    Andrea, you should be ashamed at your sophomoric attempts to melign those that volunteer their time to be of service to the members of CAR. You are evidencing the fact that you are a small narrow minded mouse of a woman. Your use of technology as your personal soapbox only shows how ill informed and ill intended you are. Get some solid information and use it to better the organization, armchair quarterbacking is the hobby of a true follower. Which you are my dear.

    I can also say with near certainty that the board certainly would’ve preferred to move forward business as usual for the next two months. However, the actions of an individual are powerful enough to damage an entire organization. And it is the courageous thing to do create conflict when it is In the best interest of the entire membership.

    Zeke, you are a prince… We should all be grateful for your presence.

  • Andrea Geller says:

    Dear “Have faith” who is too cowardly to use your really name”(one can only assume you are staff or one of the board of directors from the way your comment was worded. Actually kind of sounds like the writing of a certain CEO)

    I have spent most of my real career volunteering time to the Realtor organization because what they do for as a real estate professionals is important to our industry.

    Over the past few years in our local board I have noticed a pattern where all the sudden certain volunteer leadership is bad and suddenly gone. Have to wonder…. What is going on that certain people are afraid to come out.

    I have known Zeke for many years. It’s not really anything against Zeke. I think he was manipulated by others.

    After sitting on the CAR Board of Directors and it’s finance committee, I have to wonder about something that was in Mr. Rubalcaba’comment. Was their really due process ? If this staff/board followed due process we would not have had an unlicensed president.

    Being involved in CAR the last few years has disheartened me about the association. Why should’t staff and volunteer leadership be held to the same standards of the Code of Ethics that it’s members are?
    When did misrepresenting the truth become ok?

  • Jack Persin says:


    Congratulations and best of luck with the balance of the 2011-12 term as you prepare for your new term this September.


    Jack Persin
    Mainstreet Organization of Realtors.

  • Hugo Rodriguez says:

    Thank you Zeke for stepping into the fire for us. I appreciate anyone who is willing to take on more than what they bargained for.
    As for the board actions I prefer not to assume or speculate, but want to know what is going on. Why was an elected officer, our president, voted out? If the reason is strong and evident of wrong doing, let us know.
    This is very serious, and requires serious answers.
    BTW, please use your real names.

  • Peter Moulton says:

    Congratulations Zeke!

  • George Schultz says:

    Congratulations Zeke!

    My only comment to all above that want to discuss this issue is that I cannot imagine such action would have been taken if there was not cause.

    I have no idea what that cause is but I am sure that this is a matter of confidentiality as are many subjects discussed amongst the board.

    I find it disappointing that this would be the forum for such discussions or to bring issues from the past up.

    Is there precedence for the actions that were taken?
    I believe it has happened in the past so yes.

    Do we operate under the rules of precendence in our arbitration process?
    No. All cases are taken on a one by one presentation of the facts and then decided by a panel. All parties do not always agree.

    The panel in this situation was the Board and they decided this was the best course of action. We move on.

    There were no personal attacks in the article above. Why do we need to engage in them amongst ourselves?

    I don’t know about due process or any of the facts of this matter. I do know that this is a confidential situation that deserves our respect of that issue.

    It seems that there will be more on this internally as Bob mentions above. I am sure any due process will occur.

    Thanks for your service Bob. You spent many years giving of yourself and that should not be forgotton.

    I wish Bob all the best and welcome Zeke in the role he would be assuming soon anyway.

    Let’s get back to the business of doing business.

  • Piero Orsi says:

    Congratulations Keke!

    Knowing and respecting you as I do, you are the best Professional to be put into an unfortunate situation of which I have no knowledge of.
    Having worked with you in the past on different peojects I am completely aware of your Ethics,skills, knowlede and expertise.

    You are one of a kind and the Chicago Association of Realtors is lucky to have had you in place and ready to step in. I look forward to seeing you at your installation and various events throughout the year.

  • Piero Orsi says:

    Sorry Zeke for misspelling your name; you are still the best…any way that your name may be spelled!

  • Come clean says:

    Hey Andrea,

    Have faith sounds alot like CAR’s immediate past president. I can totally see the words being spoken from thy mouth.

    Congrats Zeke.

  • Monique S. Washington says:

    Congratulation Zeke, I know you will do an amazing job.

  • Andrea Geller says:

    So after receiving messages and phone calls from other Realtor members over the last days since I posted my initial comments, I have put together these thoughts:

    At the end of the day it is not about who is President and volunteer leadership that should matter to the members but the staff that is paid for by the members who are there day in and day out. Though quality volunteer leadership is key to the success of any association.

    Are they acting responsibly with the money that we pay to be a member of the association? Why is the CEO so frightened at the thought of her executive officers going through the detailed financials of all the entities that are related to CAR? What is she afraid of that will be found?

    Does staff pick and choose how they handle situations? Aren’t they paid to act in accordance of the bylaws? Doesn’t a president’s license have to be sponsored/active to conduct member and board meetings?

    When it all comes down to it, it’s about the money. Every member has right to know. Don’t be afraid to ask.

  • DavenportRealFineGuru says:

    Congrats Zeke. You are a great choice for CAR President.

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