I’m pleased to provide the following in response to a call for a statement from the CEO regarding a leadership change and subsequent media and social media commentary.
RRC Website. We took our website offline on April 1 due to a technical incident still under investigation. We hoped to be back online by Monday, April 3, causing minimal interruptions to members. Unfortunately, it took longer to stabilize the site to ensure the security of membership data. All systems are now working well, and you should see no further interruptions or changes to your membership data. If we learn otherwise, we will report it in a timely manner. We apologize for the inconvenience of having the site offline for two business days.
Leadership changes. By now, I trust most of you are aware of the national leadership change. Three messages were sent to all members via email: an initial announcement on March 30th, a more detailed response on April 3, and a message from Tricia Nekota on April 4. Some members reported not receiving one or all. As is common with any mass email, messages can be waylaid by spam filters. These messages can be re-sent by request to email@example.com.
Media reports. There have been media reports concerning the leadership transition. The RRC will not comment on those reports, given the transition concerns confidential personnel matters involving its staff and non-members. I will only restate that its actions were proper and done with an opportunity for Ms. Ruggeroli and her lawyers to be heard and that the Board acted, and will continue to act, only in the best interests of the RRC. The previously issued statements and Q&A address this matter.
Social media. While our official social media page is facebook.com/thisisrrc (with 58,000 followers and 30,000 likes), we have kept a separate group active called WeAreCRS, intending to allow for an open forum of dialogue and information-sharing as a member service. Over the past week, a vocal group of members took to this platform, calling into question the Board’s actions and expressing dissatisfaction over the culmination of Council actions over the past seven years. I support a healthy dialogue and members’ right to voice their opinions; these perspectives have not been ignored. While the norms of civility in society are changing, false and harmful rhetoric towards members, leaders, staff, and the Board of Directors is unacceptable and in violation of group rules and terms and services of this page established long ago. RRC allowed for this open dialogue despite violations of such terms, but we will address any ongoing online bullying behavior that defames the organization and its individuals. This will be done thoughtfully and fairly - enforcing rules members agreed to adhere to.
We are a membership organization, and as your CEO, I will not hide behind closed doors. If I see actions that don’t follow bylaws, policies, and procedures, or Illinois non-profit law, I won’t hesitate to speak up and address them. It is an honor and privilege to serve REALTORS® for over 23 years, and I truly value your membership, leadership, and service. I look forward to seeing you at the meetings and interacting with you in a productive, collaborative, and mutually respectful fashion.
Jeff Hornberger, CAE, RCE
Chief Executive Officer
Residential Real Estate Council