Become a Leader in Business, Your Personal Life,
and the REALTOR® Organization

About the Leadership Academy

The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) Leadership Academy was established in 2004 and created to nurture and train individuals who aspire to become active volunteer leaders in the REALTOR® association, and/or civic and charitable organizations. The deans of the Leadership Academy are Kimberly Allard and Dawn Ruffini.

Throughout the program, Leadership Academy participants will get an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at how the REALTOR® organization operates. Many of the same principles that guide the staff and leadership of this 1,300,000+ member organization can be applied to how you run your business and make decisions that impact your everyday life. Graduates of the MAR Leadership Academy will have the tools to guide the REALTOR® organization through the 21st Century.

Download Application

MAR Leadership Academy participants will work together in a training course that combines individual study, group sessions, team-building exercises, goal setting, personal profile analysis, network building, and communication skills. This year-long learning experience is designed to train, nurture and inspire tomorrow’s leaders. During the sessions, a series of respected national and regional instructors and leadership volunteers will guide you through the fundamentals of what every good leader needs to know.

2024 Deans:

David McCarthy and Kimberly Allard

Session One:

  • January 16th & 17th
    • Afternoon – January 16th
      • Welcome by the Dean
      • Review goals for the program, introduction of the group project
    • Review of the overall “REALTOR®” organization
    • Local, state and national
      • Dinner and overnight
    • Full Day – January 17th 9am – 3pm
      • Markey Read, personality types and interaction styles


Session Two:

  • March 26th 10am – 4pm
  • Deep dive into the REALTOR® organizations – 3-way agreement
    • NAR: learn more about the brand with NAR marketing team presentation, history of the org, the power of the trademark, initiatives, governance, how to get involved/why to get involved
    • MAR: committee structure, board, exec, staff, etc. Review programming and initiatives and strategic plan
    • Local: explain the role of the local organizations, dues billing, advocacy
    • NERC
    • Past Presidents Luncheon


Session Three:

  • May 13th & 14th
    • Afternoon – Monday, May 13th
      • Advocacy initiatives – MAR advocacy team
      • Meeting with an elected official to explain the importance from their perspective.
      • Deeper dive into what is going on at the State House – presentation by the Delaneys
    • Morning – May 14th
      • Board meeting overview
      • Robert’s Rules
      • How to make a motion, move it forward, etc. When and Why
      • Time to work on group projects
      • In the afternoon, observe the Board Meeting


Session Four:

  • July 11th
    • Shari Harley
      • Presentation skills
      • Leadership skills
      • How to have a difficult conversation


Session Five:

  • October 15th
    • Presentation of Group Projects to Executive Committee


Session Six:

  • December 3rd
    • Dr. Robin Buckley
  • Morning session, work/life balance
  • Diversity training
  • Media training
  • What’s next?
  • Kevin Sears


Applications for the MAR Leadership Academy are invited from interested Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® members. Approximately 15 individuals will be selected to participate in this program. Since the number of participants is limited, applicants who are not selected may be placed on a waiting list and are also encouraged to reapply in subsequent years. Commitment includes the completion of the application. Tuition for the program is $1,000 (includes all training sessions, some meals, all overnight accommodations, and instructional materials for the entire year’s sessions.) Additional costs to the participants will include transportation to and from the meeting sites and minimal expenses which may be incurred while on-site.

The MAR Leadership Academy Selection Committee will include past and current leaders of the REALTOR® organization. The Selection Committee will review applications and interview prospective candidates who may best serve as local, state, or national leaders in the future and are selected based on their business success, their track record of volunteer performance for their local board and/or civic organizations, and their personal integrity. Prospective participants are required to attend an in-person interview at the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® headquarters in Foxborough, MA.

2024 Leadership Academy

Andrew Romano

REALTOR® Association of Southeastern MA

Colleen Murphy

Northeast Association of REALTORS®

Cristina Coppola

Northeast Association of REALTORS®

Cyndi Deshaies

REALTOR® Association of Central MA

Erin Hovan

REALTOR® Association of Southeastern MA

Genesis Gonzalez

North Shore Association of REALTORS®

Joselin Malkhasian

Greater Boston Real Estate Board

Mark Vadala

North Shore Association of REALTORS®

Nate Daniel

REALTOR® Association of Central MA

Robyn Nasuti

REALTOR® Association of Central MA

Sarah Schouler

REALTOR® Association of Central MA

Stephanie Bayliss

REALTOR® Association of Central MA


David McCarthy

Kimberly Allard