22 REALTOR® JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 REALTORMAG.REALTOR.ORG E
same point a year earlier. He shared his
views on everything from the menu options
for the firm’s approaching Oktoberfest
social gathering for agents and business
partners to the details of an upcoming fair
housing class for Irongate agents.
Colleagues are full of praise for his ability to stay on top of day-to-day business
operations and personal sales along with
his NAR duties. “He doesn’t put himself
on a pedestal. He always knows what’s
going on in the o;ces,” says Dell Kaser,
co-manager of his Centerville o;ce.
“With everything else he has going
on,” says his assistant Lisa Corral, “he’s
able to recall the phone number of clients
he hasn’t spoken to in two months.
“He has the highest expectations of
everyone around him,” Corral adds. Apparently, that includes himself. Keeping
up his commitment to lifelong learning,
he has earned four designations in recent
years: ABR, CIPS, CRS, and GREEN.
Brown vows to stay in touch with his
clients during his presidency. At the start
of his term, he had close to 20 active
listings; Corral and his other assistant,
Andrea Guernsey, o;er critical help in
managing his work these days, he says.
Home as a Haven
Lately, a vacation for Brown is being at
home for a week at a time. He lives in a
stone house on the oldest lane in Dayton,
which he shares with his partner of 24
years, Mark Stokoe, 58. The four-acre
property is set on a hillside amid lush
woodlands and a bubbling creek. Stokoe,
a former teacher, runs his own graphic
design business that handles marketing
and advertising for Irongate.
The two moved into the home in 1996
after overseeing a gut rehab. On a recent
stroll among the sugar maple and beech
trees behind the house, Brown describes
his passion for the sacredness of the
environment. “Defending property rights
goes hand in hand with defending the
well-being of the Earth. If we don’t protect
the environment, then we leave it to ex-
treme groups on both sides of the issue—
the people who claim they can do whatever
they want to the environment and those
who condemn cutting down a single tree.”
When he’s home, Brown is rarely sitting
idle. Three times a week, he and Stokoe
go to the gym for a high-intensity session
with their trainer. Pre-dawn visits to hotel
gyms are a stand-in when he’s traveling.
Exercise is a form of stress relief for
Brown; so are his dog Busby, a Lhasa
Apso, and feline housemate Baxter.
“Sometimes I look at them and think, no
matter how I did that day, all they want is
love,” he says. “I can see the world as all
good from their eyes.”
Brown also finds joy tending to the
plants and flowers around his home.
When he’s working his own land any time
of year, he can’t help but notice how life
changes along Little Sugar Creek. Moss
crops up in new places and the pesky
honeysuckle reappears each spring
despite his best e;orts to tame it. “I have
learned a lot from watching the wood-
lands change. At first when we moved
here, I found myself resenting the change,
wanting the same beauty always,” Brown
says. “I have learned there is beauty in
change. You can’t control it all.”
That realization may have been part of
what led him to the helm of NAR. The dis-
ruptive e;ects of the housing crisis, along
with technological advances and rising con-
sumer expectations, have spawned a sense
of urgency within the association. NAR’s
Board of Directors in November approved
a strategic plan that highlights innovation
and reinvention as maxims going forward.
In Brown, NAR has a leader who
recognizes that change is something to
embrace, not fear. “As an association,
we are no longer just reacting to change.
We are initiating change,” the new pres-
ident told members at his inaugural in
San Francisco. “The time is now for us to
plant for the future.” The stakes may be
high, but as Brown sees it, the potential
rewards are nothing but bountiful.
Brown’s appointed liaisons represent the leadership team on key NAR committees. Convening in San Francisco were, from left: David Wluka, Cynthia
Shelton, Adrian Arriaga, Iona Harrison, Sharon Keating, Steve A. Brown, Vice President JoAnne Poole, Brian Copeland, Brown, Vice President Beth
Peerce, Rei Mesa, Linda Lee, Pamela Monroe, Linda St. Peter, John Flor, Summer Greene, and Ti;any Curry.