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Illinois Realtors celebrate 100-year history; launch new name, introduce new executive VP


From Illinois Business Journal news services

SPRINGFIELD. — At an anniversary reception on April 4 celebrating 100 years of service and industry leadership, the Illinois Association of Realtors unveiled its new name, Illinois Realtors, and introduced the association’s new Executive Vice President Luke Bell.

“The last 100 years have been a time of momentous change for the state’s real estate industry and Illinois Realtors have been at the forefront, advocating for a more regulated and professional industry that benefits real estate professionals and the clients they serve,” said 2016 President Mike Drews. “Now we look to the future with a more modern and less formal name, but with the same goals and mission in mind, promoting advocacy, education and ethics in the profession.”

Illinois Realtors, which represents more than 44,000 members engaged in all facets of the real estate business, was founded on April 25, 1916. The association’s visionary founders recognized that the state’s Realtors needed a statewide presence and over the last century, the organization has grown and emerged as the leading voice for real estate and private property rights in Illinois.

The April 4 anniversary reception at the association’s Springfield headquarters highlighted that historical legacy and recognized the leadership team, local associations and members who have been an integral part of its success. National Association of Realtors Immediate Past President Chris Polychron attended as well as federal, state and local elected officials.

In conjunction with the 100th anniversary, the association’s board of directors voted last year to change the organization’s name to Illinois Realtors, a more modern name that conveys who Illinois Realtors are, where they live and what they do.

Illinois Realtors was among the first in the country to form a state Realtors association. It is now the sixth-largest state Realtors association in the country and one of the largest trade associations in Illinois.

Since its earliest days, the association’s mission has always been to serve as a collective voice and committed advocate for the state’s real estate industry and the issues it faces.

The association was the earliest champion of a real estate license law in Illinois and continues to lead efforts to promote the highest standards and ethics in the profession. The governmental affairs program is a leader in the industry and fights for the best interests of the real estate industry and property owners in every corner of the state. And the association’s licensing and training center makes it easier than ever for Illinois Realtors to take the courses and training they need to better serve consumers.

As the association’s new executive vice president, Bell is in line to succeed Illinois Realtors CEO Gary L. Clayton, CAE, RCE, who has led the association since 1987.

Learn more about Illinois Realtors at

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