I’m here in Fort Worth celebrating the installation of Leslie Rouda Smith, voted in as the Chairman of the Board of the Texas Association of Realtors for 2016.
Last night was the installation dinner and celebration, and let me tell you, it was a gala dinner. The Fort Worth Omni Convention Center and Hotel was loaded with politicos from Austin and D.C., from the National Association of Realtors and a slew of past presidents and officers, including Dallas’ Mary Frances Burleson of Ebby Halliday, and Mike Brodie of Keller Williams. Charles McMillan was the charming emcee who kept the mic alive, and Channel 4’s Richard Ray gave the invocation.
Not only did the wine and food flow, the Collin County Association of Realtors brought out the bubbly for a champagne toast. Since no party is ever a party without Realtors (or bloggers) dancing on tables, we moved to the music of Hudson & Saleeby, a piano duo from Memphis, who were kind enough to give us music groupies sounds till the wee hours.
Here’s a little bit about Leslie Rouda Smith who is with Dave Perry-Miller & Associates: She is married to Brian Smith, who does farm & ranch real estate, and they have two children, Kristin and Austin, who are BOTH in real estate. Like I said, the First Family of Real Estate in Texas. Turns out Leslie’s father, Harley Rouda, was also a Realtor — pronounced “ReeL-tor” as she told us — in Ohio, where she grew up as one of four children, the only girl. Harley founded HER Realtors. Leslie Rouda moved to Texas and met her future husband, Brian, at Champions School of Real Estate. He says he saw her on a break and the rest is history. The two have been happily married for more than 30 years. Daughter Kristin said that her mom is a loving, caring, super high energy lady that will be like having the Dalai Lama at the helm of the TAR.
Leslie IS high energy, and nothing could be more frustrating to her than the throne she had for last night’s event: a wheel chair. Turns out one of her lower back discs got herniated just in time for this event. Hopefully that will get fixed soon and she’ll be sprinting by the time her term begins December 31.
With Leslie Smith guiding the Texas Association of Realtors right from Dallas, we hope to be tuning in with her for more important political news. I learned last night there are more than 100,000 Realtors — “You don’t say Doc-a-tor,” said Leslie, “It’s “Reel-tor!” — in Texas and the National Association of Realtors is the largest lobbying group in the work, over one million strong. Sounds like Realtors have some strong voices not just in Texas but everywhere. We will try our best to keep in touch with their work, and parties.