Local real estate professionals will lead two of the nation's most prominent and influential real estate trade associations in 2017.
Bill Brown of Alamo, a second-generation Realtor, will serve as the 2017 president of the National Association of Realtors. Sherri Souza of Livermore will serve as the 2017 president of the Women's Council of Realtors.
"We are so proud of everything both Bill and Sherri have accomplished at the local, state and national levels. Their service to the real estate profession starting in the East Bay is a great foundation for the important work they will do in 2017," said Kim Ott, 2016 president of the Bay East Association of Realtors.
Brown and Souza are members of the Pleasanton-based professional organization, which represents more than 5,500 local real estate professionals.
Brown has been active in organized real estate for more than 35 years. He was president of the Oakland Association of Realtors in 1984 and president of the California Association of Realtors in 2008.
"The experience I gained starting my real estate career in Alameda County served me well as I've progressed through various leadership positions in the Realtor community," Brown said. "The real estate issues I've had to deal with throughout the East Bay -- including housing affordability, rent control, land use issues, and government regulation of real estate transactions -- prepared me to understand what Realtors across the country face every day."
Brown has supported Realtor advocacy efforts throughout his leadership career; an interest and passion he will carry into his National Association of Realtors presidency.
"Home ownership and property rights are a big issue in the East Bay, and the whole country," Brown said. "I look forward to working with the more than 1.2 million Realtors to help make the American dream possible."
"The National Association of Realtors will be busy in 2017 educating both a new President and Congress about the important role home ownership plays in the national economy," he added.
The National Association of Realtors is the largest trade association in the United States. Its members include brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counselors and others engaged in all aspects of residential and commercial real estate who are pledged to a strict code of ethics and standards of practice.
Livermore's Souza will lead the Women's Council of Realtors (WCR), a nationwide community of 11,000 real estate professionals. The WCR network includes more than 300 local and state networks with volunteer managers trained to position their groups as a business resource in their Realtor communities.
Souza has been a Realtor for 15 years and is a broker/owner with Broker In Trust Real Estate, a network of independent brokers with a shared interest of elevating the level of professionalism in real estate for the consumer. She is a Livermore resident and helps home buyers and sellers throughout the Bay Area.
She was president of the California Women's Council of Realtors in 2011 and president of the Southern Alameda County Women's Council of Realtors in 2005.
"When this journey began I didn't know where it would lead," Souza said of her path to the WCR presidency. "I wanted to help other women become more than they ever dreamed possible. I actually witnessed the growth of the women around me."
Her leadership experience also includes serving as a member of the California Association of Realtors' Board of Directors and as member of the Bay East Association of Realtors' Board of Directors. She is a 2011 graduate of the National Association of Realtors Leadership Academy.
Souza said "the desire to help others be successful in what they're passionate about" continues to drive her commitment to WCR and the Realtor community.
"Women's Council of Realtors is still essential and much needed in the real estate industry, perhaps more now than ever before," she added. "As women evolve and aspire to bigger, greater roles in the world there is a need for trained leaders who volunteer in many different facets of leadership within organized real estate, locally, statewide and nationally, and outside organized real estate, too."