Honoring

Past Presidents

Under all is the Land.

The Missoula Organization of REALTORS® has a long history of leadership dating all the way back to 1948 when the Association was first created. Each year since then individuals are elected to provide outstanding leadership, service, passion, and hard work to support the Real Estate industry. We are forever grateful for the service Past Presidents provided, paving the way for the Association we know today.

Visit our Board of Directors page to learn more about our current leadership team. 

1948    Henry T. Murray*
1949    H. H. Ottman*
1950    Pat Sullivan*
1951    Robert L. Deschamps*
1952    Mary F. Walker*
1953    A.J. Mosby*
1954    Swain Mydral*
1955    M.C. Sayer

1956    E.W. Thomas
1957    H. H. Ottman
1958    Fred Barclay
1959    Robert Clark
1960    Jay McAfee
1961    Dale S. Gillespie
1962    Martin Eitel
1963    O.A. Sokoloski

1964    Roy Rodenberger
1965    Robert L. Deschamps
1966    Vernon Beattie
1967    George Lambros
1968    John D. Weidenfeller
1969    M.A. Jurasek
1970    Bryce C. Putnam
1971    T. Hurly Carey

1972    T. Hurly Carey
1973    Henry J. Hukill
1974    Ettabel Aasheim
1975    Ettabel Aasheim
1976    Richard Stenger
1977    Helen Jeakins
1978    Bryce Bondurant
1979    C.E. Abramson

A glimpse into the past.

1980-1999

1999 Bob Kelly


What was business/market like the year you were President? The market was good, but not as strong as today.

What were the major issues that you were dealing with as President? Proper pronunciation of REALTOR®

What were some of the main issues in the community at that time? Growth - Smart Growth

What were the major challenges to you in your term as President? I was not a strong leader.

How did you balance business obligations and leadership obligations? Leadership involves a commitment of time. I was overwhelmed and I neglected my business.

What is the biggest change you see in the market since your term and since you entered real estate? Technology has had a huge impact. Paragon has been a great asset.

How has the Association changed since you were President? The growth in membership numbers and new franchises

What advice would you have for people anticipating getting into Leadership?

Make sure you are up to the job by educating yourself to the task. I was asked to get involved but was not prepared.




1998 Tim Evans


Business / Market in 1998. Business was solid. After the explosion around 93, the market remained strong and continued through my term in 1998.

Major Issues. Affordable housing always seems to be an issue and ‘98 was no different. I seem to recall occupancy standards (# in a house) as a major issue downtown. Of course, growth management was an ongoing discussion. Politically the “New Party” was introduced and we were getting used to their views (affordable housing, living wage, etc.). We worked with them on some issues and didn’t on others.

Presidential Challenges. The biggest challenge is to keep the boat from sinking! Anytime you are challenged with leadership, you never want to be the one that screws it up.

Balancing Business and Leadership. This was a personal challenge. Still, what I did was managed to place my leadership obligations between client demands. I would focus on Leadership when the buyer and sellers were not so active. You can’t really tell a client when the right time to buy or sell is, it’s when they are ready. Still it remained a challenge to keep the lights on and uphold my leadership responsibilities, but overall it was a great experience.

Biggest change since entering Real Estate. Since 1982 when I entered RE and since my term in ‘98, the biggest change has been the Internet. Up until ‘95 or so, folks would call you up to look at properties and set appt’s; now they just log on, and the role of the agent has changed. You need to have a web presence either via the web, MOR site, and at the very least have an email address. It will be interesting how the Internet and technology continue to change the industry.

Changes in the Association. Some Staff and their roles have changed but the productivity has always remained high. You rely heavily up staff during your leadership. The biggest change has been governance and less monthly meetings; which is not good or bad. Membership has increased from 375 or so when I was president and therefore the association had to change. I admire the direction Mae has taken and adjusting to meet the needs of the ever-changing market.

Advice for those getting into Leadership. I think after you have been in the business long enough, one must start to look to give back and also protect your livelihoods. The best way to do that is through Leadership. It’s a great way to give back to the industry that has helped you. Some one did it for me prior to 1982 and I returned the favor numerous times over the years. It would be great to see more younger folks start to consider leadership as their repayment plan.




1997 John Brauer


What was business/market like the year you were President? The Market was strong and was a Seller’s market.

What were the major issues that you were dealing with as President? Agency, strategic planning, and the REALTOR® bus tour. REALTOR® image and growth.

What were some of the main issues in the community at that time? Main issues in the community and city hall were growth and annexation.

What were the major challenges to you in your term as President? The development of the Strategic Plan for the association and the decision to eliminate the Bus Tour.

How did you balance business obligations and leadership obligations? Balancing your responsibility is all about Time Management. I found it was necessary to attend all of the committee meetings in order to stay informed on the business of the association. This was a big challenge.

What is the biggest change you see in the market since your term and since you entered real estate? The development of our web based Multiple Listing Service. I never could have imagined that we would come so far so fast.

How has the Association changed since you were President? Biggest change is Agency.

What advice would you have for people anticipating getting into Leadership? JUST DO IT. Although leadership can be a challenging and frustrating short term endeavor, the rewards and sense of accomplishment last a lifetime.




1996 John Zimorino


What was the business/market like the year you were President? We had just gotten through the 92-93 season and market leveled off. It was more of a fair market. People were getting a fair price but you couldn’t steal a house by low balling an offer. It was good for both buyers and sellers.

Major issues that you were dealing with as President: Electronic lock boxes. Everyone complained about cost but it turned out to be a pretty neat system.

Main issues in the community at the time: From ‘94 until almost ‘97, I was the Co-Chair on the Miller Creek Comprehensive Plan Committee. We could have had it done faster, but with the city’s help it took us 2½ years! Lots of talk about comprehensive plan, density bonuses, etc. It was a time of transition. Missoula had first started out with small lots in the University district, then larger lots to the south and west; then Linda Vista was half acres. This was a transition time to think about smaller lots again.

Challenges in your term as President: Time Management. I decided I wasn’t going to go to every meeting. We had a monthly meeting of all committee chairs and I went to that one but not to all the committee meetings. I spent more time in Helena than I ever had; and more time doing Missoula stuff.

Balancing business and leadership obligations? You have to make time for your business; you can’t neglect it. Being President was fun and I would do it again.

Biggest change in the market: When I came into the business we had the bus tour. It was really neat; you got to meet everyone and knew the market. Everyone was too busy and attendance dropped off, then they did a lot of business by cell phone. Cell phones are a wonderful thing but they took away the camaraderie; we spent too much time on phone but can’t do business without one. There used to be a closer feeling, it felt a little chillier as time went on. There were only about 400. The golf tournament was always screwy—even crappy teams should stand a chance to win. You’ve got to have things like that but have it fun for everyone.

Changes in the association since you were President: We’ve been very fortunate because we’ve always had a great staff. I was in Missoula almost 18 years and there were never any staff problems. That’s a huge bonus; if you have problems with staff then how much time does being President take? Missoula REALTORS® treat each other fairly. We get people out there that pass license exam but they aren’t trained before they go out into the market—have to keep people trained.

Advice for those entering Leadership: Do it. Do your time. But don’t make a career of it. Always need change. Everyone should take a turn. It takes commitment and it may cost some money, but you learn a lot more than you lost. You do get to know a lot more of the offices and a lot more of the REALTORS®. You go to meetings out of town and talk with REALTORS® from other areas, and just say “Thank God I’m in Missoula!”.




1995 Dixie Dalton


What was business/market like the year you were President? The market was good. Prices were increasing. I believe they had doubled in about a 4 year period at that time

What were the major issues that you were dealing with as President? The lock box change from the key system to the electronic system.

What were some of the main issues in the community at that time? The only one I remember was Clean Water Issues.

What were the major challenges to you in your term as President? The Lock Box switch and MLS Books

How did you balance business obligations and leadership obligations? I spent more time with leadership obligations but it worked out fine.

What is the biggest change you see in the market since your term and since you entered real estate? The new REALTOR® is computer literate at the time they enter the business. It doesn’t seem to me like people are willing to work as hard for their clients as they used to be.

How has the Association changed since you were President? It has grown so much and I have somewhat isolated myself so I don’t know all the people in the business anymore.

What advice would you have for people anticipating getting into Leadership?

Prepare to work hard and spent lots of time at it.




1994 Judy Wahlberg


What was the business/market like the year you were President? In 1994 I was anticipating changing offices and opening my own company, so lots of levels of my business life were busy. As I recall the market was very active then, too, and prices were going up. In 2006 our market was very active, prices were going up and there were many pressures on our profession nationally that were negative toward REALTORS®. I saw an advent of more town homes/condos being built and two new golf course communities came on line. The Internet continued to grow in our business and consumers also were making their needs known; thus nudging REALTORS® to invest in or update their technology skills.

What were some of the main issues you were dealing with? Community issues? Issues at City Hall? Sewer hook-ups, Subdivisions, Internet, Housing Affordability.

What were the major challenges to you in your term as President? 1994—A new MLS System. 2006—Integrating younger agents in to MOR Leadership.

How did you balance business obligations and leadership obligations? My team and their support. Great leadership support from the MOR Staff.

What is the biggest change you see in the market since your term/since you entered real estate? Negative attacks on the housing industry.

How has the association changed since you were President? Larger number of members. The Association is much more politically plugged in.

What advice would you have for people anticipating getting into Leadership?

Embrace the challenge to learn and grow and impact your chosen profession. Have fun, make new friends, and form bonds with your peers! Enjoy your opportunity to the fullest as it is extremely enriching.




1993 Rick Robinson


What was the business/market like the year you were President? There was a good balance of buyers and sellers. Prices were increasing. Most agents knew each other. We still had the bus tour.

What were the major issues that you were dealing with as President? Someone fire bombed the Blue Mountain Clinic which was next door to the REALTOR® Office. We had to shut down for repairs.

What were some of the main issues in the community at the time, and major challenges to you in your term as President?

Education of agency relationships. We were just starting to represent “Buyers”, not just the “Sellers”.

What is the biggest change you see in the market since your term/since you entered real estate? The biggest change I see is a tremendous increase in listings; our Multiple Listing Service covers a much larger area.

How has the association changed since you were President? So many more agents. Computers were not essential. We still had a two-page Buy/Sell.

What advice would you have for people anticipating getting into Leadership?

Find an area of Leadership that you enjoy, and become involved.




1992 Robin Campbell


When Robin Campbell was President of the Association in 1992, there were 302 dues-paying members. Robin brought the first Leadership Training Program forward. Members participated and volunteered locally, on a state level, and nationally. 23 members of leadership attended the Montana/Idaho Convention.

Notes from the state of the Association, 1992:

“We are the only association that has established a pattern of exceeding the RPAC contribution goal set for us by state; and once again this year, after setting our own goal that was higher than state set for us, we even exceeded our own goal!

“We got excellent participation in the blood drawing and other community involvement projects that our Media and Promotions Committee set up for us. We have outstanding continuing participation in the MEDC contributions.

“Looking Ahead: Please continue the good cooperation and team feeling that sets this association apart from so many others. This enables both volunteer and paid personnel to use their time for more constructive projects than resolving disputes.

“Missoula is growing and changing, and we are going to have to be a part of that if what we love most about Missoula is to be retained. Participate in 20/20 and in other ways to help this change be the best it can be.

“Agency changes are coming, as well as other changes, in the way we do business. We will have to make a very great effort to keep informed as these changes take place. Broker-owners will want to take full advantage of the education offered locally, and on state and national levels so that they keep their sales staffs’ informed. Going to the national conventions provide an excellent opportunity to get an advanced look at things coming our way.

“These changes represent challenges and opportunities for growth—not just the turmoil that is inevitably a part of major change. We have an outstanding association; I know that we can handle anything that comes our way!”

-Robin Campbell, 1992, MCAR state of the Association




1991 Collin Bangs


What was the business/market like the year you were President? I was President in 1991. The market was flat. We hadn't seen any appreciation to speak of in 10 years.

What were some of the main issues in the community at the time? Issues at City Hall?

Our main issue at City Hall was they ignored us. Subdivision law changes were big at the state level.

What were the major challenges to you in your term as President? Making a living. I don't remember any major challenges with MCAR.

How did you balance business obligations and leadership obligations? It was more a question of how I balanced volunteer time with play time. It wasn't hard to keep up with business. There wasn't that much going on.

What is the biggest change you see in the market since your term/since you entered real estate? Price. The first house I bought for $19,500 in 1972 would sell for $195,000 now. Affordability. We qualified for an 80% loan before I started selling real estate. Jeannette asked me if I was sure I could make the $175.00 per month house payment. I told her I wasn't, but I was sure it would take them longer to kick us out if we owned a house instead of rented one.

How has the association changed since you were President? Growth in the Association. There were 258 agents in 1991. Technology. There were no laptops, cell phones or internet.

What advice would you have for people anticipating getting into Leadership? Anyone who plans to make real estate a career is a fool not to get into leadership. It's the best way to learn what's going on in the industry. If you want to be successful you need to know what is happening. Bender - "If you're not the lead dog the view never changes."




1989, 1990 Cynthia Bryan


Cynthia was President-elect in 1988-89 when the President moved from the area and she agreed to begin a two-year term. Cynthia credits Ken Allen as Treasurer for his key role in handling association finances during that time.

Cynthia encourages members considering leadership positions to be well-established in the business. It’s easy to get so involved in volunteering that business suffers. Cynthia had been in the business 15+ years before she became President, although she had held a number of volunteer positions in the association and the community. She took over as President at the same time that she was establishing herself as the Broker/Owner of Gillespie Realty.

It was a time of other transitions as well. The MLS had been purchased by the REALTOR® association two years earlier and the details of that transition were still playing out. The MLS also was transitioning to a new computer software system. Cynthia noted that the title of a video provided by NAR and played at one of the Board meetings summed up things up pretty well: From Buyer Beware to Broker Take Care. The movement toward a consumer-centric market was underway.

Some of the events that have become standards for MOR were finding their stride during Cynthia’s tenure. The charity contribution was to the All Children’s Park championed by the late Forrest Bourquin, who was very passionate about REALTORS® involvement. His legacy lives on in the success of today’s LiveMissoula! Festival. The voluntary contributions to MAEDC were also an important part of the association’s community involvement.

Cynthia was supportive then, and still thinks it would be a good program to have in place.

(Note: This was a partnership between the REALTORS® and Affiliates. REALTORS® voluntarily had $10 withheld at the time of closing which the Affiliates collected and submitted directly to MAEDC. The combined efforts of all the members made the association one of the largest contributors to economic development for many years through this program.)

Everyone worked for the seller during Cynthia’s tenure. It’s different now with other representation options. Like all businesses, real estate is highly computer oriented. “You just have to be techie,” Cynthia believes, and Missoula has a tradition of being forward thinking. Cynthia credits John Greathouse for his leadership in bringing forward-thinking ideas when he came into the market in the mid-70s. She also credits some incredible people that worked with her on the Board of Directors for contributing so much to her Leadership experience.




1988 John Greathouse


What was business/market like the year you were President? The Real Estate market was transitional and improving with great hopes for the future.

What were the major issues that you were dealing with as President? Development of a Member Driven Strategic plan based on Member needs.

What were some of the main issues in the community at the time? Hot issues at City Hall? One of the issues in the community at the time of my Presidency was educating the public with a positive REALTOR® image through REALTOR® programs. Hot issues at City Hall were zoning and planning.

What were the major challenges to you in your term as President? One of the major challenges was continuing to bring the MLS Broker Participants and the REALTOR® Board members together.

How did you balance business obligations and leadership obligations? By delegating and follow up.

What is the biggest change you see in the market since your term/since you entered real estate? Advanced technology available today that was not available when I served as President. Another important change is the tremendous increase in property values.

How has the association changed since you were President? Increase in membership because of fast market conditions.

Advice for people anticipating getting into Leadership? Be willing. Get started and continue. Serve on a Committee. Attend meetings. Do a good job. Work overtime.




1987 Sandra McCafferty


What was the business/market like the year you were President? I was President 1986-87...the market was slow...but the interest rates were coming down from the high of 21% in 1981. It was a very good year.

Major issues. One of the major issues is that we were buying out the old privately owned MLS and converting it to a REALTOR® MLS. I had to sign for the loan and that was quite an experience.

Main issues in the community. The main issues in the community at that time...and the time before and the time after was an unfriendly attitude towards growth of Missoula.

Major challenges. One of the major challenges during my term as president was that we had to hire an executive secretary. The search took time and was not easy. We eventually hired Mae.

Balancing business and leadership obligations? I balanced business obligations and leadership obligations by being very organized and not sleeping more than six hours.

Biggest change in the market since entering real estate. When I entered the market in 1981, interest rates made it almost impossible to sell a home that had a conventional, non-assumable loan on it. Until interest rates "fell" to 12%, it was very difficult to qualify buyers for even a $40,000 home (in the early 80's those were homes that are now selling for $200,000 and up). When interest rates dropped below 10% we were thrilled. Now, when people complain that they are almost 7%...I wonder what they would have done back then!!!

How the Association has changed. Through the years, the "community of REALTORS®" has become almost non existent. Although we were strong competitors....we had strong bonds and friendships....we had fun at meetings… we laughed at ourselves...we were professional and helped out the new fellows. Something was lost when the competition heated up to a frenzy and it was sad.

Advice for those entering Leadership. My advice to people getting into Leadership positions is that they are professionals...this is a professional organization...we serve as professionals...we give time and in return, hopefully become more professional.




1986 Jeri Fisher


What was business/market like the year you were President? Market was suffering from high interest rates. Sharp decline in home values. Many sellers were losing huge amounts of equity. With $5,000 one could buy almost any home in Missoula with Seller financing and easy terms.

Major issues that you were dealing with as President? Broker Owned MLS was seen as holding control of the market and the “real” business of real estate; while the REALTORS® were sometimes viewed as the social part of real estate. A series of meetings led to the conclusion that it was in the best interest of the MLS board to join the REALTORS®…the day they voted to join with us and form a REALTOR® owned MLS was self-satisfying for our officers and members of the Board. Looking back we have come very far as an organization and a successful MLS.

Main issues in the community at that time? Many of the same issues that exist today…problems with the Planning Department, unrealistic expectations, and no growth advocates controlling.

How did you balance business obligations and leadership obligations? By working hard in both and having the support of many of my officers. One of my other goals was to have fun as an organization and we were successful, many of us still have good memories of the fun times we had as REALTORS® and how hard we worked to make our organization better.

The biggest change you see in the market since you entered real estate? The market has improved astronomically since the 1980s and Missoula has experienced growth beyond our wildest dreams in the mid 1980s. Small two bedroom homes that sold for $39,000 then; now sell for $290,000. Homes that sold for $250,000 then; now sell for $800,000.

How has the Association changed since you were President? Today we are viewed as a more professional organization. Membership in the REALTORS® is important to new agents and brokers. We are not the “real” business of real estate.

What advice would you have for people anticipating getting into Leadership? Have a goal that is important to you and to the members. Most of all Have Fun. Serving the REALTORS® is a great experience.




1985 John Clawson


John was first licensed in real estate in May of 1978. One of the things that he remembers of real estate in those years was the amount of time it took him to update his listing information. MLS staff recorded property information on an individual sheet for each and every property, hand recorded any changes to the property, and delivered pages with any changes to the members. Each member removed old pages and inserted the pages with changes into their listing binder.

John served as President in 1985 during a period when there were a number of changes. There had been paid staff for MLS for a long time, but there had only been paid staff for Association activities for a couple of years. The first Board Executive Officer was finally hired that year (Theresa Harmon) who was with the Board for two years.

The discussions were underway regarding the purchase of the independent Missoula Multiple Listing Service by the Missoula County Board of REALTORS®. (The name wouldn't be changed to Association until 1992).

One thing that wasn't changing was the cooperation and the willingness of agents to help each other out. Everyone worked for the seller. It wasn't unusual for an agent to write up a buy/sell for an agent in a different office if the buyer wanted to make an offer and the agent wasn't available.

Computers have made the business more efficient, John says, but some of the personal connections have been sacrificed in the process.




1984 Vicki Greathouse


What was business/market like the year you were President? It was a slow market the year that I served as President of the Board. The market was starting to improve but interest rates were still high.


What were the major issues you were dealing with as President? The Board did not have an Executive Officer or an office. Multiple Listing and the REALTORS® were two separate entities. An important issue was for the membership to increase local dues so we could hire an Executive Officer and set up an office.

Main issues in the community at the time? One of the issues was working with the community to enhance the REALTOR® image through the Safety Through Songs program which was a safety program for school age children. Issues at City Hall? The Board moved to work with the REALTOR® Membership and Leadership to monitor all Legislative meetings to stay on top of what was happening in the City and County Government meetings.

Major challenges to you in your term as President? One of the major Challenges was keeping all of the REALTOR® files and information in my Real Estate Office and having my Real Estate Secretary also serve as the REALTOR® Secretary. Another major challenge was completing, with the help of the local Leaders, a book of job descriptions for each Leadership position in our Local Board. A copy of these job descriptions was given to each Leader so they could better serve the REALTOR® Members.

How did you balance business obligations and leadership obligations? The busier I got the more I found I accomplished. I organized by making separate lists and working those lists. I worked the two C's, Commitment and Consistency.

What is the biggest change you see in the market since your term/since you entered real estate? The biggest change is technology including fax machines, computers, cell phones, pagers, etc. How we survived without the advanced technology I don't know, but we did.

How has the association changed since your Presidency? There are many more members now. When I was President the membership was around 220.

Advice for people anticipating getting into Leadership? My advice to anyone getting into a Leadership role is to get in. Become a Leader. As a Professional, it is imperative to give to our REALTOR® Association and give 100%. The more you give, the more you receive. You will be amazed what positive things will happen to your career as you take a Leadership position.




1983 Merilynn Foss


What was business/market like the year you were President? Recession, Interest rates on 30 yr loans were 12-14%. Many foreclosed properties on the market. Lengthy days on market.

What were the major issues that you were dealing with as President? The economy. NAR had a campaign where we sent house keys to the White House to try to get the administration to acknowledge the terrible toll its policies where having on the housing market.

What were some of the main issues in the community at that time? Many commercial locations were vacant. Downtown had a high vacancy factor. The stores on North Reserve didn’t exist so this was the central commercial economy that was hurting.

What were the major challenges to you in your term as President? Members had no money. The MCAR staff was my office secretary and me. Volunteers did everything. The Association did not own or operate the MLS and the MLS had policies that did not comply with NAR guidelines.

How did you balance business obligations and leadership obligations? Not well. I was working many, many hours on my business and association business.

What is the biggest change you see in the market since your term and since you entered real estate? The economy! Missoula is now a thriving city. The Association is well staffed. Volunteers do less for the Association.

How has the Association changed since you were President? Association well staffed and volunteers do less.

What advice would you have for people anticipating getting into Leadership? Be involved, don’t rely on staff to do it all for you. Take ownership of the projects you choose to work on. Produce a product that you can be proud of. Invest in the Association – financing (RPAC, IMF), professionally (Code of Ethics, education) and personally (do volunteer work with the same dedication you do your business).




1982 Cynthia Lanier


What was the business / market like the year you were President? Challenges? The biggest challenge in 1982 was high interest rates. People couldn’t afford to buy. If someone bought a house in ‘81 with the maximum loan amount, and had to sell it in ‘82, a lot of sellers had to bring cash to the table because the market was down.

What were the major issues that you were dealing with as President? The need for improving the REALTOR® image in the eyes of the public. I did TV, radio, and newspaper interviews answering the question “Why use a REALTOR®”, and what a REALTOR® stands for. Due to these meetings, the Missoulian began publishing the “Homes Today” section, donating 25% of the section space. We also established a Liaison Committee of 5 members for REALTOR® input at the Board of Realty Regulations meetings, and reporting back to the membership. We worked at improving relationships with city and county government, as well.

What is the biggest change you see in the market since your term / since you entered real estate? In those days, the Association was a close-knit family, with smaller numbers. There was no backbiting, and we were “fun competitors”. We planned a lot of activities together – ski trips, parades, etc. There doesn’t seem to be the camaraderie there used to be – mostly because of the drastic increase in the numbers of members.

How has the Association changed since you were President? The Association has made tremendous strides within the community, with the LiveMissoula! Program.

How did you balance business obligations and leadership obligations? I was a soccer coach that year, as well as having 2 young children at home. Organization was key in balancing home life with work life. I made sure to keep my family obligations. People understand and respect this. A greater happiness comes from keeping this balance, professionally and personally.

What advice would you have for people anticipating getting in to Leadership? People are afraid if they get in to leadership that they are going to make less money. I have found that the more involved I am, I make more money, not less money… but you must be organized. And it really is FUN! The friendships you will make are life-long.




1981 Dan Worrell


Business / Market in 1981. Loans were extremely high interest, the market was very stagnant to declining. Not many people survived and not a good time to be in the business. There were approximately 150-200 local association members.

Major Issues. High interest rates, somewhere around 18%. “Due on sale clause” - houses weren’t worth what was owed to the banks. There was a banking crash, rates were so high that folks were trying to give them back to banks and government said no, you can’t do that. Homes were lower in value and it was very difficult to get loans.

Major Challenges. Remember this was waaaaay before cells, emails, internet, faxes, and pagers. The major challenge was finding ways to communicate with local/state/natl. members, lenders, title companies and clients. Without communication it was difficult to find solutions to problems in housing in the 80’s poor market. The best and really only form of effective communication was ‘face time’ and we held many monthly meetings with those folks. As I mentioned the market was not good, people were walking in and handing a check to banks for far less of what they paid for it, and the deed in lieu of foreclosure was an issue. I recall a number of people lost their home and it was very ugly!!! It was the first year the Assoc. sent both president and president elect to the Natl. Convention. It gave time to prepare and implement for next year before the presidential term was over.

Balancing business and leadership obligations: It was very hard to maintain balance and I had two full time jobs. I had very little help to speak of and, in a time when emotions ran high, issues were intense, and I had to run a business. My office assistant/secretary was the administrative manager and did many things that a CEO would do. The Board held many discussions on hiring a fulltime Executive Officer to dedicate to association issues, so we could run our businesses. Later in the year, we decided to have a full time person for EO.

Biggest change in the market: Interest rates have come down considerably. Convincing folks to buy and sell has become easier with popularity of Montana, especially Missoula, and the safe environment which it provides. The office staff of MAR and MOR have allowed us (members) to free up time to do business and get better. With communication changing with the internet, cell phones, email, etc. The face time has decreased and getting information is much easier. I don’t think the networking and interaction is as strong now because of getting information at one’s leisure on-line. Those old meeting were intense, I would compare the tone to the “Standards” meeting discussion of 2004.

Changes in the Association: By adding professional staff, the association is much more efficient. I really like that we have added layers of professionalism, and crucial time is dedicated to issues of importance.

Advice for those getting into Leadership. Make a commitment, get involved, see what is going on in the market and, most importantly, follow through with commitment. Go to meetings to meet people, get involved and volunteer. Make sure you use your ears not your mouth---pay attention to what others are saying, less talking. Do make the commitment and show up; no matter how many hours it requires, it’s well worth it.




1979, 1980 C.E. Abramson


What was the business / market like the year you were President? My focus was always on commercial real estate. When Southgate Mall opened up, there were lots of opportunities for commercial spaces in downtown Missoula. Interest rates were just starting to climb.

Major issues you were dealing with as President? Our major issue at the time was promoting the idea of bringing the MLS in to the REALTOR® organization. At that time, they were two separate entities. I also established the REALTOR® Awards – then it was called “The Top Rookie Award”, the “Top Lender Award”, and the “Top Titleperson Award”. Continuing Education for real estate licensees was an idea who’s time had come, as well.

Major challenges to you in your term as President? The biggest challenge was the separateness of the MLS and the REALTOR® organization. This caused a myriad of problems – the REALTOR® organization and the MLS were working against each other in a lot of ways.

How did you balance business obligations and leadership obligations? Not very well. It was extremely difficult. A small and mostly volunteer staff was not enough to be able to support the Officers and all of the administrative duties necessary.

What is the biggest change in the market since your term or since you entered real estate? The biggest change I see in real estate and doing business is Technology and the Internet. Everything was paper. No online information at your fingertips.

How has the Association changed since your term as President? The Association has become more involved in initiating and supporting new licensees in to the Missoula real estate industry. Relationships with all levels of government – city, county, state, and national – have improved.

What advice do you have for those anticipating getting in to Leadership? My advice is to enter Leadership early in your real estate career. Get involved now. Rely on the MOR staff. Help identify and bring the next group of leaders along.





2000- Present

2004    Judy Gudgel


What was the business/market like the year you were President? It was a strong, growing market in sales. 1280 homes sold in Missoula and Lolo areas, up from 1156 in 2003. The average price of a home was $223,381 and the median price was $185,450.

Major issues that you were dealing with as President? We were in the face of growth and change ourselves. There were changes in staff due to the retirement of Trish Hochhalter and the hiring of a Government/Public Affairs director for the association.

Main issues in the community at the time? Issues at City Hall? Neighborhood cluster developments pros and cons, how and if infill should be allowed, affordable housing, discussions on the “Broadway Road Diet”. There was much debate on how to deal with growth in our community.

Major challenges to you in your term as President? Working on the restructure of the Association, trying to build value in the process of becoming a consumer centric Association. Trying to help the membership understand what was going on, change is difficult and the structure was looking very different.

How did you balance business and leadership obligations? I went into the year with being honored at serving and planning that I was going to fully enjoy the experience. My plate was pretty full, but it is amazing what all you can get done and how much you can do if you have to and plan for it. You “just do it”!

The biggest change you see in the market since your term/since you entered real estate? More and more paperwork and more and more agents coming into the business!

How has the association changed since you were President? We have become a valuable presence in our community by having a voice with our local government through the tools of our Public Affairs Director and our Government Affairs Committee.

Advice for people anticipating getting into Leadership? I would say embrace and enjoy the opportunity to be involved. It is a rewarding, beneficial experience. Get out of your box and grow. You develop tools and friendships you can’t even imagine.




2003    Germaine Haberman


What was the business/market like the year you were President? A very strong and active market. Great interest rates!! Everyone was purchasing property.

What were the major issues that you were dealing with as President? Not so much an issue, but a challenge to help membership become knowledgeable about the transitions the real estate business across the nation was going through (still is) and how to embrace those changes.

What were some of the main issues in the community at the time? Issues at City Hall? As I recollect……impact fees.

What were the major challenges to you in your term as President? Educating and guiding membership through the transition of our association … no more Thursday meetings, presidential luncheons, hiring Jeremy Conaway, no more committees. A big change and members were not comfortable with some of the changes. Now, they see the benefit of those changes.

How did you balance business obligations and leadership obligations? It was tough for me, as I did not have an assistant. I relied on Mae and staff for everything. I did not attend all committee meetings, I trusted those in charge to do their work and I would get the information.

What is the biggest change you see in the market since your term/since you entered real estate? Since I entered the business…technology has changed everything! Since my term…..the vast increase in people getting into the business….and that has a definite affect not on the market, but on how we do our business.

How has the association changed since you were President? Our association is on the ‘Leading Edge’ and always has been. The changes have put us in the community as ‘The Source’ for knowledge, leadership and visionary progressiveness.

What advice would you have for people anticipating getting into Leadership? The most growth I have ever experienced in my career both personally and professionally. Just do it!




2002    Matt Rosbarsky


What was business/market like the year you were President? It was more of a Seller’s Market with multiple offers being very common. It was also the first time I’d seen bidding periods where sealed offers would be reviewed on a certain day.

What were the major issues that you were dealing with as President? Our big issue was the occupancy standard the University Homeowners Association pushed through the city council.

What were some of the main issues in the community at that time? Dealing with the old committee structure where ideas and issues would be debated in a committee, then moved up and debated again in the Board of Directors.

What were the major challenges to you in your term as President? It was easy to balance business and leadership because staff helped with the Association stuff.

How did you balance business obligations and leadership obligations? The biggest market change has been a slow down where there aren’t many multiple offer situations, buyers can actually shop around and sellers can’t ask whatever price they want..

What is the biggest change you see in the market since your term and since you entered real estate? Members aren’t as familiar with each other. With the explosive growth in membership, I find myself working in transactions where I haven’t ever met the other agent.

What advice would you have for people anticipating getting into Leadership? I would tell them it is a great way to get to know other members and even have a positive impact on their own bottom line.




2000, 2001, 2011 Diane Beck


What was the business/market like the year you were President? In 2000 & 2001, the real estate market was very strong. I believe that sales had hit an all time high.

What were the major issues that you were dealing with as President? Change....as Leadership we knew that our Association had to “change with the times” and be proactive about the way we do business. Traveling to NAR meetings was an eye opening experience as we had the ability to hear what was going on around the country. We knew that MCAR, as we knew it, needed to restructure to better serve its customers…the members.

What were some of the main issues in the community at the time? Issues at City Hall? Growth Management, In-fill development and traffic.

What were the major challenges to you in your term as President? The only real challenge was when the President – Elect decided to move to Iowa…..what to do???

How did you balance business obligations and leadership obligations? I have always had really good support both at home and in the office. My business continued to grow during this time and I really didn’t have too many issues.

What is the biggest change you see in the market since your term/since you entered real estate? Prices….the price of real estate has skyrocketed from the early 1990’s.

How has the association changed since you were President? New face, new logo, new structure….you name it … it has changed!

What advice would you have for people anticipating getting into Leadership? Remember that you are representing the members’ interests….not your own personal agenda. Always consider new ideas and think “outside the box” when making decisions. The actions you take today will affect many people and make sure that your decisions will stand up to the possible controversy.




2005, 2013    John Herring


Business/Market. 2005 We were in the third year of record breaking home sales and a 10+ year trend of an upward market here in the Missoula area. Home sales were booming with prices slowly appreciating. The number of new agents was astounding! Where were they coming from? We saw a substantial increase in new agents.

Major Issues. We were at the beginning of reinventing and redefining our association. We went from MCAR to MOR. We were endeavoring to be a more member-centric organization. It was probably the biggest change in the Organization that I've seen in 15+ years in the market. The issue of Standards was coming to the forefront as different business models slowly started to come into play in our market. Our organization was starting to get more active politically by hiring a full time staff member dedicated to Public Affairs for the association.

Community Issues. Infill in existing neighborhoods was a big issue. The city council was divided on this and it proved to be a big issue in the election process. Affordable housing was a great catch word but was used by both sides to substantiate their beliefs. Our hiring of a Govt Affairs staff person was vital for a “seat at the table” in political discussions in our community.

Presidential Challenges. Trying to deal with our new business model was challenging but doable with an experienced staff and great Board of Directors. The biggest issue was the Standards debate where the membership overrode the Board of Directors decision to adopt the Standards Policy. Trying to maintain civility in a highly debated dialog proved challenging. I think in the end we as an Organization grew together and that both sides were able to express their views and concerns. Through this debate the Organization was able to adopt the current "Guideline for Missoula Business Practices". This I'm proud of.

Balancing Business and Leadership. I've always said, "If you want to get something done, give it to the busiest person". The obligations of leadership (while I did gripe once in a while) actually helped me grow my business. I had one of my best business years ever, served as President, a husband and dad to two kids, built a new office, traveled extensively; all without an assistant. Being involved has been great for my business, especially being in a small office.

Biggest change in market. Not much has changed in the one year I've been out. The market is still good. There are many new agents, proportionately more than the number of new sides (sales). There has been an assumption, perpetuated mostly by the media that "the sky is falling", but the local market is showing that assumption to be wrong.

Change in the Organization. I'm starting to see younger members become more involved which is great. I think this is due to the increasing numbers of new young agents as well as our Organization’s attempts to communicate with them in a better medium, one they appreciate and comprehend. I'm excited that the plans we laid a year or so ago for a new office location are coming to fruition. I'm also glad that after a year of advising staff that they needed to hire more help, that we finally have a dedicated receptionist.

Advice for future leadership. Jump in head first. You don't need to actively participate at first, just go, the details will follow. We have a great staff that guides our volunteers and makes it easy. It's a great way to get to know others in this business. I came from the days before fax machines and computers, knowing the other agents made a big difference. Now it is common for us to do transactions without ever seeing the other agent. Being involved in leadership can help you establish wonderful business relationships both within our business and without. What you put in, you get back double. It's a great "life experience".




2006    Judy Wahlberg


What was the business/market like the year you were President? In 1994 I was anticipating changing offices and opening my own company, so lots of levels of my business life were busy. As I recall the market was very active then, too, and prices were going up. In 2006 our market was very active, prices were going up and there were many pressures on our profession nationally that were negative toward REALTORS®. I saw an advent of more town homes/condos being built and two new golf course communities came on line. The Internet continued to grow in our business and consumers also were making their needs known; thus nudging REALTORS® to invest in or update their technology skills.

What were some of the main issues you were dealing with? Community issues? Issues at City Hall? Sewer hook-ups, Subdivisions, Internet, Housing Affordability.

What were the major challenges to you in your term as President? 1994—A new MLS System. 2006—Integrating younger agents in to MOR Leadership.

How did you balance business obligations and leadership obligations? My team and their support. Great leadership support from the MOR Staff.

What is the biggest change you see in the market since your term/since you entered real estate? Negative attacks on the housing industry.

How has the association changed since you were President? Larger number of members. The Association is much more politically plugged in.

What advice would you have for people anticipating getting into Leadership? Embrace the challenge to learn and grow and impact your chosen profession. Have fun, make new friends, and form bonds with your peers! Enjoy your opportunity to the fullest as it is extremely enriching.




2007    Mary Marry





2008    Susan Liane


What was the business/market like the year you were President? By January 2008, the meltdown of recession was already in progress and our members were beginning to question their futures in real estate.

What were the major issues that you were dealing with as President? Of course, the economy as a whole, downsizing by large employers, unemployment, etc.

What were some of the main issues in the community at that time? The implementation of city safety inspections, subdivision review/rejections and also the “roundabouts” were big issues.

What were the major challenges to you in your term as President? Keeping educated through National meetings so I could share the national perspective/outlook with the membership. Budget issues within the association were challenging. Cutbacks were necessary, but difficult.

How did you balance business obligations and leadership obligations? I set priorities and utilized organizational skills to meet commitments at all levels. Personal obligations, with the guardianship of my grandson, came in between other obligations but everything worked well, with focus.

What is the biggest change you see in the market since your term and since you entered real estate? Technology, technology, technology !!! Prospective sellers and buyers are so much more “savvy” than they were even in 1995. The internet, with thousands of resources and social media networking, has exploded.

How has the association changed since you were President? Membership numbers have declined, but I have noticed that more members are willing to engage in leadership and committee work.

What advice would you have for people anticipating getting into leadership? The opportunity was educational, rewarding, thought provoking and fun. Leadership roles are fulfilling and true confidence builders. The experience was one I completely embraced, enjoyed and will treasure.




2009     Bryan Flaherty


What was the business/market like the year you were President? We were in the middle of a major negative market adjustment. The housing bubble had burst in 2007-2008 and I was President in 2009.

What were the major issues that you were dealing with as President? There was a membership decline and a dues increase. There were a lot of agents who had never worked in a “down” market so there was also a lot of anxiety in the market place.

What were some of the main issues in the community at that time? The biggest issue was the significant uptick in foreclosure activity as well as a lot of property owners realizing they owed more than their houses were worth and worth less than the last appraisal.

What were the major challenges to you in your term as President? The market transition and a lot of budget issues to address with membership decline.

How did you balance business obligations and leadership obligations? You just figure it out … you put more hours in where you need to.

What is the biggest change you see in the market since your term and since you entered real estate? Since my term — the market continued to soften, hopefully reaching stability.
Since I entered real estate — the market is always cyclical. In the past, peaks and valleys were not as severe and they didn’t last as long.

How has the association changed since you were President? We have continued to modernize and mechanize as well as streamline our products and services.

What advice would you have for people anticipating getting into leadership? You get as much out as you put in. If you make the commitment, there are rewards through satisfaction of participating in leadership. It hones your skills to work with and for people and you make very good friends while working in difficult situations.




2010, 2014 Brint Wahlberg


How did you balance your business obligations and leadership obligations? I had integrated work and volunteerism really early into my career so it wasn’t ever too much of a challenge to balance it once into leadership. Of course I worked in a team with my mother at the time and having her to assist with client needs was a major help too. I also pretty quickly made sure to remind myself to delegate, not say yes to every request, and sometimes prioritize business obligations. I would vocalize this with staff and other volunteers and it would always be understood and never an issue. How was the real estate market the year you were president? My first term of 2010 it was pretty bad, we were headed to the bottom of the real estate bubble, the home buyer tax credits were expiring, and our membership levels were shrinking. About 12% of all Missoula sales were REO or short sales and nearly 1/3 of surrounding area (Missoula county or Bitterroot) sales were distressed. My second term of 2014 things were getting better, the economy was in full recovery and we were finally not doing a lot of short sales. Rates were low, pricing was still fairly low compared to where it is now, and sellers were making good equity gains. What would you consider the major challenges in the industry when you served? In 2010 it was survival mode. We all had plenty of listings, but no buyers – pretty much the inverse of where we are now. With so many vacant and distressed homes at the time home inspections were a nightmare because the houses were winterized and usually the banks did no work or credits if more damage was found. In 2014 lending regulations had changed and many times we were hitting issues with buyers getting denied loans due to short sales or foreclosures that were too recent. Each market was really different, one was just tough to get buyers in the door, we wouldn’t get showings for weeks after a new listing in 2010. We had to heavily incentivize listings to both the buyers and buyers agents (gas cards, gifts, extra commissions, closing costs, etc). In 2014 the market was expanding yet in Missoula two of our major areas that were rapidly providing entry-level new builds (Pleasant View and Windsor Park) were just finishing up with new builds. In hindsight it was start of the housing crunch locally that we’re currently in. What do you consider the biggest change to the industry since you were president? Internally, it’s the personal aspect of this industry. In both 2010 and 2014 you usually knew the other agent you worked with, the sale was typically no adversarial. You would have worked together many times before, or worked on a committee together, or talked at a social event. While that still occurs in this market it’s a much smaller population of our industry that know each other before they put a transaction together. Externally, the craziness and pace of the market, in 2014 same-day sales were still not really a thing, multiple offers certainly weren’t. In 2010 if you had a showing the first week or two of a listing, let alone an offer, you were ecstatic. Do you have any advice for members anticipating getting into leadership on the association level? MOR leadership is probably the single most rewarding Realtor-based volunteerism I’ve done, the connections I’ve made with agents around the state and with local staff are something I’ve always appreciated. I think a lot of people thinking of leadership are possibly intimidated by the job but many don’t realize that being board president isn’t one size fits all. As board president you have the ability to lead in the way you best want to and can delegate or direct portions of the job to staff or volunteers that you aren’t comfortable with. I would certainly say as well, make sure you have solid time management skills and have previously been able to balance work, life, and volunteering – it greatly helps you when serving as president.




2012     Jennifer Taylor


How did you balance you business obligations and leadership obligations? Having a support system is critical when you are in Leadership. Help watching over your normal business while you are in lots of meetings & traveling. We watched the birth of the team concept become a norm in the industry. I believe that the survivors of the Ice age of Real Estate were involved in Leadership. Leaders were getting the education of what was happening Nationally and were able to return to Missoula and share what we observed and what we learned with our fellow agents.

Everyone manages differently, I worked with the Committee chairs and the Board of Directors directly and was not a "regular" at the monthly committee meetings for the association. I was confident we had strong committee chairs. I did monitor what was happening in committee meetings but in my humble opinion micromanaging was not productive. Having agents & affiliates feel free to engage, complain, improve, overcome objections and strive to create a new path in the community was amazing.

How was the real estate market the year you were president? We were just climbing out of the market crash in 2012. As I mentioned I called it the ice age of Real Estate . Realtor numbers were low. The association had lost almost half of the membership . Morale was very low in the industry. Few Realtors were having fun working in Real Estate. Sellers were vulnerable and Buyers were large & incharge. Working Mobile was not the norm yet and new tools were being developed at the National & State levels like Bluetooth for WiFi , Hot Spots, Docusign & Authentisign with our State forms.

What would you consider the major challenges in the industry when you served? Non Dues Revenue was essential! Building morale and defining the Value of a Realtor for ourselves & the public was critical. Tools to help navigate the muddy waters of the Real Estate Market. And learning the new tools that were in the pipeline.

What do you consider the biggest change to the industry since you were president? Once the public corrected the credit drama of foreclosures & short sales the market leveled out for a few years. Seasoned agents & leaders in the industry knew there would be a housing shortage. The inventory was going to be a concern due to lack of building during the ice age of Real Estate, there were very restrictive building & subdivision policies at the city & county level plus irrational impact fees too. And the desirability of living in Missoula was being promoted nationally. We were getting a bunch of attention about the lifestyle in Missoula. Best of lists, 10 top etc...

Do you have any advice for members anticipating getting into leadership on the association level? I worked in Real Estate as a Broker/ Agent for almost 18 years. I know the reason I lasted that long, grew in the business and was successful in Real Estate was largely due to my Broker pushing/ preaching and rewarding involvement in Leadership. It was helpful when I was competing for a listing to be knowledgeable about the market, the trends, the tools and what was happening in state & local government. I believe that involvement in Leadership directly affects the Real Estate Industry as well as your business in Real Estate.

I know that the relationships you build in Leadership with essentially your competitors has also contributed to being successful in Real Estate. When you work side by side to overcome issues, laugh together, solve problems, educate colleagues and other association members you build bonds that are life changing. I personally believe that you have to give back and you have to work to make the world a better place. Being in Leadership was not a question, it was a practice.




2015    Mike Nugent


How did you balance your business obligations and leadership obligations?

Some years you are just busier than others. We rebranded dour brokerage the same year I was MOR President, so there was a lot going on. I found the benefit of being involved and being in leadership was worth the time and felt like we were doing things that really mattered for our business, especially focusing on the future of the MLS.

How was the real estate market the year you were president?

Good. We were in the recovery from the Great Recession, membership was starting to grow again, and there was optimism. We had signs of the inventory issues that were going to challenge us for years, and competition began to heat up.

What would you consider the major challenges in the industry when you served?

The biggest challenge was helping members recognize that our industry post recession was not going to be the same. Technology, both beneficial and disruptive was here to stay. MOR has always been an association that tries to be out in front of the trends, and helping educate members on syndication and technology was at the forefront.

What do you consider the biggest change to the industry since you were president?

There is tremendous pressure on the home buying process from people who think they can do it better. That is not to say our industry isn’t due for some modernization, but there is no simple solution. I have always I have always said some people need out help, and others might not, but we need to be professional and competent always. As the market has gotten increasingly hotter, I worry we are over-saturated with Realtors. This is not a hobby or a part time job, and this is doing our industry a great disservice. What good Realtors offer is invaluable, but over saturation waters the industry down. We need to work to raise the bar so those who aren’t doing right by their clients won’t be tolerated.

Do you have any advice for members anticipating getting into leadership on the association level?

Do it. I sometimes think there is a rush to get brand new members heavily involved, but I feel there is nothing more important when you are new than doing the right things to establish your business. If that includes serving on a committee, great. Once agents have found their stride and a comfort level in the industry, I believe leadership is nothing but beneficial for your business. You have a front row seat to discuss current issues and events, sometimes learning about trends before they hit our markets in Western Montana. That experience is hard to match as an agent.




2017    Lynnette Robinson





2018    Melissa Mooney





2019    Jolene Tatum


How did you balance your business obligations and leadership obligations? At times, this gets difficult, but putting in a few extra hours goes a long way. I also learned to delegate on the association level. As president, great staff and volunteers are worth their weight in gold! How was the real estate market the year you were president? The market was strong, rates were great, and things were plugging along in a positive way. What would you consider the major challenges in the industry when you served? I would say outdated infrastructure on a national level, as well as affordable housing. There was also a lot of conversation around Fair Housing and some new events surrounding that concern. What do you consider the biggest change to the industry since you were president? Lack of inventory, COVID, Material Costs Do you have any advice for members anticipating getting into leadership on the association level? I would tell anyone that getting involved in Leadership is rewarding. You meet new people, have new networking opportunities, and it gives you a solid sense of how our Association is operated on the local, state, and national level. It takes a village to keep tabs on all of the issues and decisions made, on behalf of the entire industry. Just tap in where you feel comfortable and assist where needed. You will not regret it!




2020    Derek "DJ" Smith