News & Events

GADFly Newsletter – August 2021

Hello GAD Nation!

It has been nearly a month (can you believe it?) since GAD Institute! Thank you to everyone who attended, participated, presented, and networked for three straight days in Denver. Your 2021 GAD Advisory Group led by Chairwoman Kelli Walker Starrett, gave everyone phenomenal content and an Institute to be remembered.

GAD Institute 2021: Denver by the numbers:

70 New or First Time GAD Attendees
280 Total Registered Attendees
30 Sessions
75 Speakers
4 Receptions

None of this would have been possible without the extraordinary work of your GAD Advisory Group!

It is now our pleasure to introduce to you your 2022 Chair and Vice Chair of the GAD Advisory Group:

Chairman Brad Ward
A person smiling for the camera Description automatically generated with low confidenceVice President of Public Policy and Legal Affairs for the Michigan REALTORS®. He has been with the association since 2001, earning his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University, and law degree from Wayne State University.


Vice Chairman Brent Swander
A person in a suit and tie Description automatically generated with medium confidenceBrent Swander currently serves as Vice President of Government Affairs for Columbus REALTORS®, a position he’s held since May 2013. Brent is responsible for advocating Columbus REALTORS® public policy agenda and managing Central Ohio REALTORS® Political Action Committee (CORPAC), the political arm of Columbus REALTORS®.

Prior to joining the REALTORS®, Brent worked in Federal politics for over 10 years.

The Campaign Services staff at NAR is looking forward to working with Brad and Brent and the Advisory Group members to bring you an amazing Institute in Philly!

-The Campaign Services Team

Community Outreach

Add Community Outreach to Your Association’s Government Affairs Committee Agenda
Would you like to have the Community Outreach team present virtually at one of your upcoming meetings? You and your leadership can learn ways to address affordable housing challenges, community planning and development issues, revitalization opportunities and fair housing initiatives using a Housing Opportunity, Smart Growth, Placemaking, Rural Outreach and/or Fair Housing grant.  For more information and to schedule, contact Christine Windle or call 202/383-1135.

Revitalization Series Continues
Register to join an Aug. 17, 1 p.m. CT, webinar: Land Banks: A Tool for Recovery and Stabilization. It’s the fifth session in a six-part series: Policy, Practice, Process: Transforming Neighborhoods through Equitable Revitalization. This session will explore the role land banks play in transforming vacant and abandoned properties and how they can help communities provide new or preserve affordable homeownership opportunities. Questions? Contact Wendy Penn.

Expert Advocacy Help When You Need It
Often legislative and regulatory proposals that may do harm to property rights arise quickly and require expert analysis.   The Land Use Initiative will analyze and provide talking points for proposed planning and zoning related measures that impact the transfer of real property. Review measures submitted by associations during Q2 2021 and search key word, issue, date and state to read submitted measures by associations since 1999. Questions? Contact Holly Moskerintz.

How Can Your Association Address the Lack of Affordable Housing?
Organize a summit, host a class, engage an expert, hold a housing fair, or partner with elected officials. Housing Opportunity Grants support a wide range of initiatives to raise awareness and increase the availability of affordable housing options to build stronger, healthier, and more vibrant communities. To learn more, download the Housing Opportunity Toolkit and contact Wendy Penn, 202/383-7504.

Placemaking Projects are Winning Propositions for Your Association!
These projects create community gathering spots, bring people into the community, build relationships with public officials, bolster REALTOR® pride, and benefit your members by boosting business with the boon they bring to the local economy. Bring these wins to your association by applying for a Placemaking Grant and make your community a better place. To learn more visit, contact Holly Moskerintz, 202/383-1157.

Build Smarter and Stronger Communities
Smart growth focuses on improving communities, making them more livable, sustainable, healthy, and prosperous. Through planned economic and community development, it allows for a range of housing opportunities, transportation choices, unique places for all to enjoy, and ample open space and natural areas. Your association can apply for a Smart Growth Grant to support advocacy for better land use, underwrite a transportation study, promote downtown revitalization or historic preservation, enhance walkability, and so much more. Search “Smart Growth” with REALTOR Party Success Stories for ideas and inspiration. To learn more, contact Holly Moskerintz, 202/383-1157.

Take the Lead in Revitalizing Downtown
Many downtowns have been negatively impacted by COVID and will need to renew and initiate revitalization strategies. The Smart Growth Grant can be used to bring in a consultant to survey/tour the downtown; meet with stake holders and property owners and produced a set of recommendations.  Another option is to organize a Better Block where residents will put into action (activate vacant storefronts; paint crosswalks/bike lanes; set up outdoor dining; install a parklet or play area, etc.) the vision for their neighborhood during a 1-2 day event. See Main Street® Downtown Assessment How-To Guide and Better Block Guide for Associations. To learn more, contact Holly Moskerintz, 202/383-1157.

Smart Growth Grant Updates for 2021
The Smart Growth Grant funding criteria has been expanded under Level 1 to increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability and wayfinding to provide for a more walkable community and provides a new Level 3.  The Level 3 would support a more comprehensive land-use, growth or transportation initiative, involve multiple community partners and/or stakeholders and include a plan of action to use the outcomes of the activity in an advocacy effort.  These initiatives could include a Downtown Mainstreet AssessmentWalkable Community WorkshopBetter Block or  Fiscal Impact Land Use Analyses – such as provided by Urban-3.   Funds must be used by end of 2021.  Apply today.

Consumer Outreach

Consumer Voices Makes Your Advocacy Efforts Stronger
Does your Association have a legislative or policy issue that consumers need to be educated on? The Consumer Advocacy Outreach grant offers your association the ability to apply for money up to $25,000 to engage with a powerful collective of consumers in your community and advocate for public policy issues that impact homeownership and property rights. Apply now or contact Erin Murphy at 202-383-1079 or

Independent Expenditures

The clock is ticking. Election Day is fast approaching. If you want mail or online ads to help a candidate, we need applications submitted by September 13. So if you have REALTOR Champions you’d like to support for state or local office, please contact Mitchell Norton at to discuss a possible independent expenditure campaign.

RPAC Fundraising

2021 President’s Circle Deadline
All four President’s Circle rounds have now launched for 2021! The full $2,000 investment is due by September 30, 2021, but please encourage your members not to wait to complete their commitment! View the current President’s Circle Roster online. For more information regarding President’s Circle, contact Avery Walker (202-383-1268).

President’s Circle Conference Update
The President’s Circle Conference will be held at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar in the Bahamas from February 24-27, 2022. Registration will open in two phases this year:

  • Wednesday, September 8: Early bird registration opens to all 2021 President’s Circle members who have completed their $2,000 investment by August 31. These registrants have first access to a limited number of hotel rooms available on the nights before and after the conference.
  • Wednesday, October 6: General registration opens to all 2021 President’s Circle members who have completed their $2,000 investment by the September 30 program deadline.

Contact Avery Walker at 202-383-1268 for questions regarding the President’s Circle program.

Contact Patricia Tarhon at 202-383-1119 for questions regarding registration for the 2021 President’s Circle Conference.

Deadline: RPAC Major Investor Recognition
Make sure you and your members are recognized as RPAC Major Investors in time for the 2021 REALTORS® Conference & Expo! RPAC investments must be submitted to the NAR Finance Office no later than Wednesday, October 20, 2021 to meet this deadline. Click here for more information or contact Jackie Zaporowski.

Save the Date: RPAC Major Investor Reception
The RPAC Major Investor Reception will be held Saturday, November 13 from 6:30pm to 9:30pm during the REALTORS® Conference & Expo. We’ll be taking over Belmont Park, San Diego’s beachfront amusement park. Please keep in mind, the deadline to have Major Investor funds processed to be invited to this event is Wednesday, October 20th. We hope to see you and your fellow 2021 Major Investors there!

Contact Beth Brittingham at 202-383-1209

NAR Research and Recent Publications

Key Dates

New GAD/AE Orientation
Location: Virtual Live Stream from NAR Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Dates: October 7th and 8th
Time: Both half-day sessions will be from 12:00 to 4:00 EST.
Registration Link

NAR Annual Conference and Governance Meetings Official & Government Affairs Director Meetings in San Diego, CA
Saturday, November 13th 10:30 – 1:30

  • GAD General Business Meeting
  • GAD Professional Development Session
  • GAD State/Local Breakout Sessions

Brad Ward
GAD Chair
Michigan REALTORS®

A person smiling for the camera Description automatically generated with low confidenceMy first order of business as the new Chair is to thank our immediate Past-Chair Kelli Walker Starrett, the 2020-2021 members of the GAD Advisory Group, NAR staff, and our hosts the Colorado Association and the city of Denver.  The 2021 GAD Institute is certainly one for the memory books, not just for the excellent programing and awesome keynotes (Michael Steele, Tom Perez, and the inspirational Carlotta Walls LaNier) but the unmatched feeling of being together again in-person and the fresh reminder that GAD Nation is a strong and amazing community.

I humbly begin my role as Chair this year, knowing that I have some big shoes to fill from Kelli and our past Chairpersons of the Advisory Group.  I also look forward to working with my friend and Co-Chair, Brent Swander from Columbus REALTORS® and the new members of the GAD Advisory Group on putting together a meaningful and memorable institute in Philadelphia next year.

This brings me to my second order of business, recruiting talented GADs from across the nation to serve on the 2021-2022 Advisory Group. This is your opportunity to make your voice heard in the professional and personal development of GADs. If you liked the programing at this previous institute, felt topics were missing, have ideas on new formats, or just plain love planning a party – we want you!  The institute is only as successful as the dedication and desires of the committee.  The REALTOR® organization’s strength comes from the commitment of our volunteers and the AG is no exception. I want you to be like the rock star volunteer we all have and want more of on the committee we oversee in our respective associations. Apply Here!

Lastly, this fall is going to bring us all challenges.  COVID remains a health threat and the Delta variant is already triggering new/old policy decisions at the state and local level.  Many of us have elections and ballot issues to gear up for in November.  We also have issues before our state houses and local councils that impact the way our members do business.  I challenge you to tap into that experience from the institute last month and apply a new program.  Approach a communication differently.  Push a new issue or look at one in a different way.  At the very least, reach out to someone that you met on an issue that you are facing, even if it’s just for moral support.  This is an amazing community that we have, please rely on it to help you in any way, because you’re not alone in this job.


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