Illinois Realtors to forgo president in 2019

by Rincey Abraham

After Illinois Realtors president-elect Dan Wagner announced his resignation in August, many wondered who would be taking over the top spot next year. But the Illinois Realtors have announced that the president’s position will remain vacant in 2019.

In a blog post, Illinois Realtors reviewed possible options moving forward including moving Sue Miller from treasurer to president-elect and to have Ed Neaves to move from president-elect to president in October. However, both declined and said they would rather maintain the positions that were planned for family and business reasons.

Additionally, Matt Difanis, current president, is unable to serve for another year due to limitations in the Illinois Realtor bylaws.

“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 in a recent video. “That’s because every other alternative scenario, we believe, carries with it some significant downsides.”

He also shared some of the other reasons the Executive Committee chose to forgo a president including the fact that the association’s bylaws require the 2019 nominating committee to submit a slate of officers for consideration 45 days ahead of the annual meeting. With the resignation coming in on Aug. 13, there was not time to interview and vet new candidates to present to the board of directors.

While the bylaws do allow the board to choose someone to fill in a vacancy, the executive committee chose not to go that route as they did not want to “facionalize” the board and having a new member join the executive committee could cause problems for the next year.

“The person would drop in and serve with a team that had never served with the new chair of the Executive Committee,” Difanis said. “Any president which would get dropped in for 2019 would also not have any role in the literally years of planning that the Executive Committee has been doing for 2019. That doesn’t make sense.”

Instead the executive committee has decided to split the duties of the president amongst the team as the bylaws allow remaining officers to chair meetings in the absence of a president.

“When it comes to the many, many duties of president, this leadership team is 100 percent committed to dividing and conquering those duties,” Difanis said.

Wagner resigned from his position on Aug. 13 citing the time demands of the position and his desire to spend more time with his family and focus on his work.

“Being involved on many levels with the Realtors has placed a burden on me that makes it difficult to find enough time for my family and my job,” Wagner wrote in his resignation letter. “Accordingly, my wife and I have been taking a hard look at our lives, our choices, our family needs and my obligations as a father and husband.”