NAREE History 1989 Through 2010
The National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) was foundedas The National Conference of Real Estate Editors in 1929 by a group ofreporters and editors meeting in Birmingham, Ala. The organization hassurvived 75 years of some of the cyclical ups and downs - not unlikewhat has occurred in the real estate industry covered by its members.Although the past decade has had its bumps, NAREE fortunes are on theupswing. We entered the new millennium with substantial financialreserves, a strong board, and a talented executive director. Thefollowing brief look at what NAREE has focused on since the beginningof the last decade and beyond.
1989-1990: June Fletcher becomes president. NAREE conducted asurvey of its 653 members. The survey provided an overview of members'opinions about the organization's services and policies. NAREE hiresits first professional manager, Bill Mullen of Phoenix, to beresponsible for day-to-day operations. On June 14, 1990, 55 peopleattended NAREE's first regional seminar in Chicago. The Board voted todiscontinue the Charles Evans Fellowship and Scholarship Awards.
1990-1991: Following a successful Seattle Conference in 1992,NAREE President Steve Kerch announced the organization had $22,000 inreserves. But a slump in the real estate market caused newsorganizations to cut their budgets. This affects the professionalmembership and travel plans of many NAREE members, causing a 30 percentdrop in membership. The board is forced to cut the budget by more than10 percent.
1991-1992: President Brad Inman began thetradition of the NAREE President's Award for Outstanding Service byhonoring Max Roberts, Home and Design Editor of The Miami Herald, forheroic coverage in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. NAREE received arecord 146 entries in the 41st annual journalism competition. Acontinuing slump in membership and resulting loss of revenue, causesNAREE to cancel its spring seminar in Cleveland. It was replaced bythree regional one-day workshops in San Francisco, Washington, D.C. andOrlando, Fla. Each had more than 50 people in attendance.
1992-1993: President John Harding presented the President's Award to MaryDoyle-Kimball for service above and beyond in pulling off NAREE's MiamiConference despite a serious auto accident in her 8th month ofpregnancy. The recession recedes and NAREE returns to a growth modewith 463 members. The board approves optional "lifetime membershippayments for active and associate members.
1993-1994: Undeterred by Hurricane Andrew, an auto accidentand the birth of her son, Mary Doyle-Kimball becomes NAREE president.She expanded the awards program, then called the President's Awards forOutstanding Service to include awards at two NAREE meetings and tocontinue to foster associate recognition. The National Institute ofComputer Assisted Reporting at the University of Missouri JournalismSchool presents a seminar at NAREE's Portland Conference under theauspices of the newly formed Membership Benefits Committee headed bymember H. Jane. Lehman "Ask Me About NAREE" buttons, the brainchild ofNAREE associate Betty Christy, are sported by members at NAHB's LasVegas convention to raise awareness and boost membership recruitment.An "early bird" discount is introduced to further increase membership.NAREE eases onto the information super highway via the slow lanethrough a test affiliation with America On-Line.
1994-1995: Glenn Fischer becomes president. The 1995 springconference in Washington D.C. takes members to the White House wherePresident Clinton, Vice President Al Gore and HUD Secretary Henry G.Cisneros unveiled the administration's "National HomeownershipStrategy" designed to create 8 million new home owners. Although theWashington Conference drew a number of attendees, cost-overruns pushedNAREE's budget into the red. Mary Doyle-Kimball is hired as NAREEexecutive director. The Journalism competition is expanded to includenew categories in an effort to increase participation. NAREEheadquarters move to Boca Raton, Fla.
1995-1996: RalphBivins takes the helm of NAREE's ship and launches a major recruitmenteffort to rebuild membership. Members responded enthusiastically to thelure of a free conference registration for the most new recruits.Membership rises to over 530. NAREE graduates to its own web pagethanks to the machinations of Brad Inman of Inman News. The NAREE Newsgets a design overhaul. The 1996 spring conference is held in Orlando,where members were treated to a backlot tour of Disney World and theMouse's new housing venture: Celebration.
1996-1997:President Ellen James Martin presents "100 Best Real Estate CoverageIdeas at NAHB in Houston. NAREE take a gamble on Las Vegas for thespring conference and come up a winner with 115 attendees. NAREElaunches "Meet the Press.
1997-1998: James McAlexanderbecomes president and the board votes to move the association's annualjournalism awards ceremony to the spring meeting starting with the 1999conference in Chicago. The journalism awards were traditionally heldduring the board's fall meeting at the National Association of RealtorsConvention. Dues for new associate members are raised to $150 from $110- the first dues increase since 1991. Membership climbs to 657. Thanksto David Goswick, NAREE 2nd VP, naree.org is born.
1998-1999: Under President Judy Stark, NAREE co-sponsored amarketing survey on home product trends with Dragonnette Inc. Thesurvey is released to a packed news conference at NAHB in Dallas. TheNAREE Sourcebook with its 400 sources and a list of 600-plus NAREEmembers appears. The journalism awards ceremony highlights the 1999Chicago Conference. After significantly expanding awards categories,NAREE received 258 entries for the 49th annual competition. Boardmember Clay Richards, real estate editor at Newsday, conducts a surveyon the state of real estate coverage in the media for editors,reporters and columnists presented at the fall Real Estate JournalismSummit in Washington D.C.
1999-2000: President Earni Young oversees record attendance atthe annual conference in New Orleans headed by Greg Thomas of theTimes-Picayune. With entries continuing to climb, NAREE celebrates the50th anniversary of the Real Estate Journalism Contest. The Best YoungJournalist category is funded by the past president James D. Carper.NAREE holds its second annual Summit, this time in San Francisco.Corrie Anders, former NAREE Vice President teams up with Richard Paoliof the San Francisco Chronicle. Sue Doerfler of the Arizona Republicreceives the President’s Award for Outstanding Service.
2000-2001: PresidentDick Barnes, editor of Inman News Features and former editor of the LosAngeles Times Real Estate section, starts off his year working on thecreation of the NAREE Bivins Fellowship program, which he continues tohead as of this printing.
In January, members gather in Atlanta with a “Miningthe US Census” reception/seminar after hours at the InternationalBuilders Show. The confab was organized by Mary Shanklin of the OrlandoSentinel. About 50 members came to the reception and 20 stayed for theseminar.
In June, conference is at the Hotel Monaco in SaltLake City, Utah and are shuttled to Park City and other mountain resortareas to see the ground work for the 2002 Olympics and innovative “skiin/ski out” luxury properties. Former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros isthe keynote speaker. Ralph Bivins of the Houston Chronicle is theconference chair with Mark Benhard of One Pipeline.com as the co-chairand Dave Myers returning to active NAREE duty as a hands on scout forNAREE since no active was on the ground there.
After the Sept. 11 attacks, NAREE called off itsFall Summit, scheduled to be held in October in Boston during the UrbanLand Institute Meeting. Elections were held by mailedballot. Executive Director Mary Doyle-Kimball brings in NAREEmembers Robyn Friedman, freelance writer in Boca Raton and Patty Doyleof Patty Doyle Public Relations, Ft. Lauderdale to count the ballots.Installation was conducted by board teleconference and later in personwhen Dick Barnes passed the gavel officially to Carl Larsen while theymet in Pasadena.
One copy of the NAREE News with Boston on the coverwent to press quickly replaced by a photo depicting the scale ofdestruction at Ground Zero with an insert of NAREE members visitingFairleigh Dickinson University in 1970 and seeing a scale model of theWorld Trade Center. (NAREE visited the World Trade Center during its1980 conference.)
2001-2002: NAREE’s 74th year begins with a “Get to the Heartof the New York” story reception as members gather to cover theNational Association of Home Builders Show in Atlanta with 60 membersin attendance, including Lois Weiss, columnist for the New York Post,and Michael G. Desiato, editor-in-chief of Real Estate Forum magazine.Both flew in to tell their stories about what it was like to be ajournalist in New York after Sept. 11.
In June, members met at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel inNew York City for the group’s 36th annual conference. Field tripsto Ground Zero and the New York Stock Exchange, Harlem and the historicApollo Theater were among the conference highlights. Featured speakersincluded Donald Trump, Deputy N.Y. Mayor Dan Doctoroff andseveral homebuilder CEOs.
President Carl Larsen, Homes Section Editor of theSan Diego Union-Tribune, presents the President’s Award for OutstandingService to Michael G. Desiato for heading up the NAREE conference,along with co-chair Bob Burgess of Bloomberg News and vice chair RickMatthews of Trizec Properties.
Two-hundred twenty-five entries were received in the51st annual journalism contest, with the LA Times winning Best SectionOver 200,000 circulation and Matt Pacenza of City Limits magazinewinning a $1,000 cash award for “Best Overall Report.” This wasthe first time in a number of years that presented an overall award.Elections were held in New Orleans during the National Association ofRealtors convention, where the first NAREE Bivins Fellowship Award waspresented to freelance writer Kathy Price-Robinson, who pursuedexpertise in green building as she writes her column “Pardon Our Dust”for the Los Angeles Times.
2002-2003: Greg Thomas of the Times-Picayuneis installed as President at the Fall Summit he chaired in New Orleansand sets a goal of creating an interactive website. NAREE holds areception at The Aladdin in Las Vegas. About 80 people attend. Members meet in San Diego for the Annual Conference and journey intoMexico. About 100 members attend. NAREE closes the year with its AnnualSummit Dinner in San Francisco with about 60.
2003-2004:Michael G. Desiato of Real Estate Media Inc. is elected presidentand begins the year team building to foster new member orientation,building momentum for the 55th Annual Real Estate JournalismCompetition, taking a fresh look at NAREE's Bylaws and making plans forthe future of NAREE's Job Bank.
More than 60 Actives and a total of 150 membersattend NAREE's Diamond Jubilee Conference, "The World Comes toHouston." A past presidents reunion draws 17 NAREE presidents. Gerald Hines and Henry Cisneros are among the headliners. Ralph Bivinsand Robin Martin co-chair the conference. The NAREE office is stressedby two hurricanes, losing power for 8 days.
A final 75th Anniversary celebration is held at theNYC04 Summit with Lois Weiss at the helm. 81 people attend the dinnerat P.J.Clarke's on the West Side. We tour the newly opened Time WarnerCenter and a panel of NAREE past presidents speak to 3500 Urban LandInstitute registrants at its NYC04 Fall Meeting.
2004-2005:Sue Doerfler of the Arizona Republic is installed as president in NYCin Nov. 2004 and ushers in 2005 as a year of success with membeshiprising past the 638 mark. In January, members met at the Peabody Hotelwhere home builder David Weekley Homes took questions on his projectsshowcased at the International Builders Show in Orlando.
NAREE’s 39th Annual Spring Conference was held inD.C. Headquartered at the Hilton Embassy Row, conference co-chairs wereMaryann Haggerty, Washington Post; Ken Harney, Washington PostWriters’ Group; and Lew Sichelman, United Features Syndicate.Prominent speakers included former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, HUDSecretary Alphonso Jackson and Edward Gramlich of the Federal ReserveBoard. NAREE beefed up professional development with a session on“Going from Journalist to Author,” and a video presentation byBrad Inman, past president and founder of Inman News on“podcasting.” Best Overall Award went to Carrie Alexander,Orlando Sentinel.
At NAREE’s dinner during the NAR convention in SanFrancisco in the fall, Doerfler gave special recognition awards to KenHarney and Jeff Lubar of MICA. Lisa Selin Davis of New York wasawarded the NAREE Bivins Fellowship. Bob Brennan, NAREE president in1967, and NAREE’s executive secretary for many years, passed away.
Hurricane destruction was a significant concern in both2004 and 2005. NAREE member Holden Lewis of Bankrate wrote a nice piecefor NAREE News about how Hurricane destruction in Florida had changedhis life. NAREE headquarters operated on gasoline generated powerthanks to David Kimball, and Past President Greg Thomas of The Times-Picayune was invited to discuss coverage challenges after HurricaneKatrina at the media reception NAREE planned for during theInternational Builders’ Show in 2006. Making new members feel a part ofNAREE, and the job bank were also key priorities in 2005.
2005-2006: Al Heavens of the Philadelphia Inquirer was sworn into the president's office in San Francisco in Oct. of 2005. At IBS in Orlando in January, past president Greg Thomas delivered a moving a personal account on how he and 14 other reporters were evacuated in a newspaper delivery truck in the post Hurricane Katrina flooding. Nearly 150 NAREE members heard him speak at the Peabody Hotel. Thomas' T-shirt from the Times-Picayune saying: "We publish come hell AND high water," was auctioned off to benefit poor children in New Orleans. NAREE's 40th annual real estate journalism conference: "High Points of Real Estate and Design" was held in Charlotte, NC. on April 26-29, 2006. Allen Norwood, Charlotte Observer and Sue Doerfler, Arizona Republic led the planning team which also included president Heavens, Ralph Bivins, RealtyNewsReport.com and Liz Urquhart, AIG United Guaranty. Greg Thomas received the 5th Annual NAREE Bivins Fellowship at the HerbSaint restaurant in New Orleans during the Fall Summit after NAREE toured the post-Katrina devastation.
2006-2007: Lois Weiss, New York Post columnist, was installed aspresident in New Orleans in Nov. of 2006. NAREE's 41st annual realestate journalism conference, "Sizzle in the City," was held inPhiladelphia May 30 to June 2, 2007. Board Chairman Alan Heavens,Philadelphia Inquirer headed the conference committee which includedpast presidents Earni Young, PFR Consulting, Philadelphia; RalphBivins, RealtyNewsReport.com and Sue Doerfler, Arizona Republic; andactive board members Holden Lewis, Bankrate.com and Jean Dimeo,Building Products magazine. Associate members Jeff Lubar, MICA andEmilymarie Romin, Philadelphia's Housing & Community Developmentalso served on the committee. Damon Thomas,CasaNuevaHouston.com was theConference Program Book biographies editor. At NAREE's Fall Summit inLas Vegas, a tribute was held for the late Bob Bruss, a former boardmember and membership chair. Leigh Robinson and his wife, Ivy, createdand are funding a Book Awards program in Bob's honor. Al Heavens andfreelancer Jane Hodges won the NAREE Bivins Fellowship, announced atthe Annual Dinner at the Venetian Hotel. Lois Weiss honored thevolunteer leadership of Leigh Robinson and Earni Young at the dinner. Ken Harney of the Washington Post Writers Group was installed aspresident.
2007-2008: Ken Harney, Washington Post Writers Group columnist, was installed as president in Las Vegas in Nov. of 2007. NAREE's 42nd annual real estate journalism conference, "Exploring the Urban West" was held in Dallas/Fort Worth, TX May 7 to May 10, 2008. A trip to the Perot Ranch was among the highlights. Past President Ralph Bivins headed the Conference Committee which included Conference Vice Chair Kyle Crews, Allie Beth Urban; Past Board Member Steve Brown, Dallas Morning News; Board Member Andrea Jarvis; Candace Evans, D Magazine; Sue Doerfler, Arizona Republic and David Pelletier, Hillwood. Damon Thomas, CasaNuevaHouston.com was the Conference Program Book biographies editor. The overall winner of NAREE’s annual journalism competition was Jeanne Jones, Puget Sound Business Journal. At NAREE's Fall Summit in Orlando, Board member, Leigh Robinson, Express Publishing, who created and funded the Bruss Book Awards program awarded the first ever Gold Award to author, Sheri Koones, for her book, “Prefabulous.” Past president Brad Inman, Inman News was also honored for providing underwriting for the book awards in memory of the late NAREE leader, Bob Bruss. Jeff Ostrowski, Palm Beach Post and freelancer Lisa Prevost who writes for the Boston Globe and New York Times among others, won the NAREE Bivins Fellowship. Ken Harney honored the volunteer leadership of Bivins, Brown and Robinson and many others. Holden Lewis of Bankrate.com was installed as 2009 president.
2008-2009: Holden Lewis, of Bankrate.com was installed as president in Orlando, Fla. in Nov. 2008 as members met during NAR. In his first NAREE News column he said while the country is deep in red ink, real estate journalism is going increasingly green, i. e. reporters are writing more about finance and staffers, themselves, are greener as seasoned reporters are being cast off in cost cutting measures. Lewis said NAREE will stress real estate industry education for those new to the beat, and online broadcast/blogging and book proposal writing skill building for mid career journalists. To that end, NAREE members met in Las Vegas during the International Builders Show in Jan. of 09 for a reception on breaking into multi media and for an organizing session in the President's Suite to plan NAREE's freelancers forum in DC.
Two member milestones: Member, Jon Rebchook, became a freelancer after he watched his paper, the Rocky Mountain News, close in February. Member Aubrey Cohen witnessed his paper, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, morph from the printed page to an online news outlet in March.
NAREE's 43rd annual real estate journalism conference, "Real Estate in the New Administration" was held in Washington, DC, June 18 to 21, 2009 at a Hilton near DuPont Circle. A trip to the House Financial Services Committee Chambers to hear committee head, Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) and others discuss the bailout and what it means to mortgages; a press conference with Housing & Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan on first-time buyer and foreclosure prevention initiatives; as well as a reception at the National Press Club with Washington Post Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli and a Q & A with White House Corespondent Association President, Jennifer Loven, Associated Press were among the highlights. Past President and Board Chair Kenneth Harney of the Washington Post Writers Group headed the Conference Committee which included Mary Umberger, Chicago Tribune Columnist, who organized the freelancers forum with tips on where to look for work and how to organize a freelance writing business. Board Treasurer Jean Dimeo of Building Products/EcoHome magazines put together a multi media skills sharpening panel. After that session, Harold Bubil of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune continued to volunteer his time tutoring members one-one-one on broadcast basics. Jeff Lubar of MICA, headed marketing efforts and Damon Thomas, CasaNuevaHouston.com was the Conference Program Book biographies editor.
The Best Overall Entry winner of NAREE’s 59th Annual Journalism Competition was Mara Der Hovanesian of BusinessWeek. Sharon Stangenes who writes for the Chicago Tribune won the Best Freelance Collection Award, and Polyana daCosta of the Daily Business Review in South Florida won the Best Young Journalist Award. March 1, 2010 is the new entry deadline.
The Board voted to retool NAREE's Bivins Fellowship to provide travel funds for journalists who no longer have travel budgets because of the news industry's financial crisis and the recession. Feb. 15 is the new deadline to apply for NAREE'S 8th Annual Fellowship grants.
Board member, Leigh Robinson, Express Publishing, who created and continues to fund the Bruss Book Awards program, addressed the group about the upcoming 3rd Annual Bruss Book Awards Program which has moved its deadline to February 1, 2010. Author Jim Randel won the Bruss Gold Award for his book, "The Skinny on the Housing Crisis." The Silver and New Author award went to Dan McGinn of Newsweek for his book, "House Lust." Richard Bitner won the Bronze for his book, "Confessions of a Subprime Lender." Past President Brad Inman, founder of Inman News, has also provided matching funds for the Book Awards program since it began.
2009-2010: Vice President Lauren Beale was elected and installed as 2009-2010 President in San Diego during NAR. She spoke to members on "Surviving Consolidations, Buyouts and Bankruptcies," at the Nov.13, 2009 Dinner Meeting which also toasted NAREE's 80th Anniversary. (Ironically, NAREE's 80th Anniversary fell in a year touted as the worst economically since 1929 -- the year of the Great Depression.) Beale honored the volunteer leadership of Ken Harney and Jeff Lubar for the Washington Conference, as well as past president Al Heavens of the Philadelphia Inquirer and associate board member Michael Tucker, NMHC, for their years of service on the board.
NAREE kicked off the new year with Media Reception in Las Vegas during IBS in January. NAREE's 44th Annual Real Estate Journalism Conference, held June 2-5, 2010 at the downtown Hilton Austin, set a new attendance record despite the recession, in part because of the availability of Bivins Fellowship travel stipends. Under the leadership of conference chair Ralph Bivins, NAREE expanded professional development with sessions on Commercial Real Estate Coverage, Philanthropic Funding of News Outlets, and New Web Platforms. The Annual Conference Program Book was revamped to include coverage tips for each aspect of real estate including commercial, mortgage finance, and residential. Jason Hidalgo of the Reno Gazette-Journal won NAREE's "Best Overall Entry by an Individual" award. President Lauren Beale, Los Angeles Times, honored two active board members for their volunteer service during the Texas Conference. Kudos went to Harold Bubil, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, for working tirelessly to provide broadcast training and video editing sessions in Austin and to Shonda Novak, Austin American-Statesman, for paving the way for the Statesman's terrific support, conference trips to green venues and securing industry panelists. NAREE Second Vice President Julie Reynolds was also honored for her work on the Austin conference.
Associate member Lucien Salvant of NAR received a President's Award for his help on Austin 2010 and during NAR in New Orleans. Leigh Robinson, Express Publishing, was elected President and installed into office in New Orleans at a dinner at Broussard's restaurant in the French Quarter on Nov 5, 2010.