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.

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.

Session One:

  • January 10th at 10am, MAR Headquarters
  • This introductory session will review the goals for the Leadership Academy, its sessions and a brief overview of the REALTOR® organization.
  • There will be an interactive session about personality types; how to identify them and work with various types.
  • The session will end by 5pm. Dinner will follow with an overnight accommodation for anyone who would like one.
  • January 11th
      • 9am – 10am at MAR Headquarters
      • Introduction of the Group Projects


Session Two:

  • March 7th – 10am -3pm, MAR Headquarters
  • Deep dive into the REALTOR organizations – 3-way agreement

Learn about the incredible resources and brand recognition that the REALTOR® organization provides and evaluate which areas spark your passion.


Session Three:

  • May 15th – 16th – 2pm start on Monday then full day Tuesday
  • Afternoon on Monday, May 15th
    • Advocacy everywhere: Federal, State and Local issues
    • Deep dive into what is going on at the state house
    • Dinner and overnight accommodation available
  • Morning, May 16th
      • MAR Board meeting overview
      • Robert’s Rules
      • Time to work on group projects
      • In the afternoon, observe the Board meeting which is scheduled for 1pm – 4pm
      • Happy hour reception with the past presidents


Session Four:

  • July 10th – 10am – 3pm, MAR Headquarters
  • Shari Harley, Candid Culture:
  • Presentation skills, Leadership skills, How to have a difficult conversation


Session Five:

  • Sept 12th – 9am – Noon
  • Conversation on work/life balance with Dr. Robyn Buckley
  • Noon – Lunch
  • 1pm – 4pm – Observe the MAR Board meeting
  • Presentation of Group Projects:
  • Oct 17th at Noon, MAR Headquarters

Presentation of Group Projects to Executive Committee


Session Six:

  • November 8th – 10am – 3pm
  • Media training
  • What’s next after graduation? A conversation with NAR First Vice President, Kevin Sears
  •  Installation/Graduation
  • Dec 6th at 6pm, Location TBD

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.

Applications for 2024 Leadership Academy Deans are being accepted until May 1, 2023. Deans will be selected as part of the MAR Committee Selection process. Download application now.

2023 Leadership Academy

Jamie Thompson

Greater Boston Association of REALTORS®

Jason Pincomb

REALTOR® Association of Central MA

Jean Rubin

North Central MA Association of REALTORS®

Jenny Cote

REALTOR® Association of Central MA

Julie Ochs

Greater Boston Real Estate Board

Justin Ray

Greater Boston Real Estate Board

Kristen Keegan

Northeast Association of REALTORS®

Lisa Hayford

North Shore REALTORS®

Tanisha Salmon

Greater Boston Real Estate Board

Zantia Seda

REALTOR® Association of Central MA


Dawn Ruffini

Kimberly Allard

2022 Leadership Academy

Arlene Castellano

REALTOR® Association of Pioneer Valley

Ryan Cook

REALTOR® Association of Southeastern Massachusetts

Donna Davids

REALTOR® Association of Southeastern Massachusetts

Eileen Duff

North Shore REALTORS®

Lee Joseph

REALTOR® Association of Central Massachusetts

Krista Matthews

Greater Boston Association of REALTORS®

Christine McLellan

South Shore REALTORS®

Nick Pelletier

North Central Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®

Sara Presti

Greater Boston Association of REALTORS®

Kamryn Willis-DuBois

REALTOR® Association of Southeastern Massachusetts