2018 ARELLO President - David Raphael

President David Raphael

[The following is the text of the installation address delivered by 2018 ARELLO President David Raphael during the 2017 Annual Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii.]

Thank you for your support, I am grateful to be here with you this evening in this paradise of Hawaii. I would like to thank Kathy Sweeten for making the trip from Vermont to install me, Andrea Alford and MiChell Bird for all their hard work to give us this amazing evening, Susan Gilpin and all the ARELLO and Verde Events staff for all they do to give us an amazing conference, my wife, Nicole, for her unwavering support, our close friends Mark and Missy for making the 5,000 mile trip to be here, and each of you for sharing in this evening. A long distance thank you to Bob Kinniebrew, who is dearly missed, and congratulations to all of the officers and Directors who have willingly given of their time and talent to our organization. 

I am fortunate to be serving at a time when our membership is vibrant, our financial footing solid, our reserves healthy, and our programs and services relevant. Our association is strong! The stewardship of our past and present leadership is serving us well. We continue to be the standard for programs such as education and instructor certification, Commissioner College, investigator training, the disciplinary action database, and the timeshare registry. We are a member driven organization and the countless hours and expertise you bring is evident in the work we produce. Recent accomplishments with the creation of the leadership development and mentoring programs, revisions to our by-laws, policies and procedures, and updates to our distance education certification standards, policies and procedures are the result of your hard work and gifts. Thank you! 

Gratefulness and awareness come for each of us in different ways and at different times. I had the privilege of visiting Pearl Harbor earlier this week. It’s been about 12 years since I was last at the Arizona Memorial, a beautiful floating tribute to those who lost their lives on that fateful morning of December 7, 1941. Lots of emotions came over me, as they have on previous visits, as I thought about the events of that morning and the days and weeks that followed. Experiences like these can ground us and bring our current world into perspective, helping us remember not to “sweat the small stuff” and that, for the most part, it’s all small stuff.

I like to think about our changing world and all that comes with technological and scientific advances. Change is a guaranteed part of life. If years ago someone had told you that the automotive industry would be disrupted by electric vehicles, that instead of a large lot with rows of cars, you could go to a showroom with a couple of cars and order your Tesla using a touchscreen, would you have believed them?

We too are experiencing disruptions that are calling into question how we do business. New real estate business models are challenging our laws and administrative rules. Scams and wire fraud are on the rise, leaving consumers at risk of losing large sums of money. The Internet continues to evolve, erasing geographic boundaries and furthering a global marketplace. Technology is moving faster and faster, bringing new ideas and different ways of doing the same things. Amazon’s Alexa is now offering to help consumers find homes to buy or rent, challenging traditional models and our licensure requirements. Recent court decisions coupled with Federal Trade Commission and White House positions have called into question the need for occupational licensing. There is a growing contingent of those who are advocating for greater license portability and even deregulating many types of licensure.

To say we are at odds or in a battle for control could lead us away from the opportunities these disruptions provide. We find ourselves in a conversation. With any good conversation, we have an opportunity to listen to others and to share our thoughts and positions. When we are open, we also have the opportunity to change, to revisit the way we think or have done something and to perhaps improve upon it.

I desire for us to have a conversation this next year. As we honor this amazing organization that each of you has helped to build, let’s talk about our products and services and how to stay relevant in this environment amid all the disruptions. How do we invest in our offerings through investing in our technology and people? How do we create new opportunities that keep us relevant? I promise to work hard to listen and understand.

Building on the thoughtful work of all our past Presidents and, especially for me, President Craig Coffee and President Miriam Baer, we can continue to add value with the good work we do. I need your help to challenge me and our organization. ARELLO also needs your expertise and talents.

I was searching for a fitting definition relating to gratefulness and came across this: “Grateful living is a way of life which asks us to notice all that is already present and abundant-from the tiniest things of beauty to the grandest of our blessings-and in so doing, to take nothing for granted.” 

I want to finish where I began, with a thank you to each of you for your commitment to our organization and professions. Thank you for trusting in me to help start some conversations as we embrace the next year. I am grateful for each of you and all you share.

Good night and safe travels home.