New NAR President Promises Change In Aftermath of Harassment Scandal
John Jordan | September 19, 2023
CHICAGO—In a video message posted on Sept. 7, National Association of Realtors President Tracy Kasper acknowledged the pain caused by the charges of harassment and discrimination at NAR that led to the resignation of former NAR President Kenny Parcell on Aug. 28.
Kasper, who was named NAR President on Aug. 28, acknowledged that in the aftermath of the scandal that members and staff “are hurting right now. Their trust has been broken. It is upsetting to hear that some members and staff have not felt safe or respected and I want you to know that I hear you, the Leadership Team and the Executive Committee hears you. We must figure out what NAR needs to do to make sure that every member and every association staff person always feels respected and valued.”
In her video message, Kasper detailed a number of initiatives NAR has already undertaken to investigate how instances of discrimination and harassment were reported and addressed and how the association can make improvements to its operations, including better screening of volunteer association Board members. “I can promise you going forward, we will do and be better,” she said.
She related that NAR plans to hire outside experts to assess the process in which harassment reports are investigated and the outcomes of those probes. “We expect that there will be recommendations to implement new and better safeguards and procedures,” she related.
She also reported that NAR plans to take a hard look at how its leaders are selected, the power and control they now have and how they interact with the association’s staff of professionals.
Kasper said that one of the questions being asked by members in the aftermath of the Parcell resignation is even if the alleged behavior was not illegal, why wasn’t more done to stop it? She related that in the past year NAR has implemented a number of policies to address the conduct and behavior of volunteer leaders.
“But what we are seeing and experiencing show us is that those new policies and practices still are not enough,” Kasper said in the video message. “There is so much work that needs to be done.”
NAR is also in the process of assembling a “Culture PAG” (President’s Advisory Group) that will include contributions from NAR members, state and local association executives, as well as NAR staff members.
Kasper also revealed that NAR has retained Dr. Shaun Harper, a DEI expert, to guide the Culture PAG toward recommendations.
While stressing that NAR has taken quick actions to address the issues raised in days following the Parcell harassment claims and resignation, she noted, “We also want to get this right. We have to listen better, we have to take meaningful action, we have to do better by our members and our staff,” she said.
She concluded her remarks with a hopeful plea for unity. “Please, know that as hard as this moment is, I still very much have faith in this organization. There are so many people who care. So many people who want to do the right thing. You have the unwavering commitment of the Executive Committee, the leadership team and me to get this right.,” Kasper said. “Because no one should feel anything less than heard, empowered and able to do their work in an environment they feel safe and respected. And I need each and every member beside us on this, each and every member treating each other and every member of staff with dignity and respect.”
Kasper (AHWD, C2EX, CIPS, CRS, GRI, SFR), is a Realtor from Nampa, ID and the Broker-Owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Silverhawk Realty in the Boise Valley and a majority owner in two other Idaho real estate companies. With 30 years of experience in real estate, she still lists and sells both residential and commercial real estate in addition to her Broker-Owner duties.
At the national level, Kasper has served on the NAR Board of Directors since 2016 and has chaired the 50th Anniversary of the RPAC Implementation Group in 2018. She was a member of the Future of the REALTOR Party Presidential Advisory Group (PAG) in 2017 and the RPAC State Fundraising Partnership Goal PAG in 2016.
She has been a dedicated member of the Idaho Association of Realtors since 1997. She served as its president in 2016 and was selected as Realtor of the Year that same year. At the local level, Kasper belongs to five local Idaho associations. She is a past president of the Nampa Association of Realtors and is a past Realtor of the Year for both the Nampa (2001) and Caldwell (2011) boards.
She has served for many years on her local chamber, was Chairman of the Board for the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce in 2009 and is a former Honorary Commander for the Idaho Air National Guard in Boise. Kasper and her husband, Mike, have seven grown children, four of whom are married. Between them, they have six grandchildren. In her spare time, she has helped to raise more than $500,000 for a variety of youth charities in the Boise Valley.