Welcome to the Team!

Dear SAR REALTOR®and Affiliate Members,

As many of you know, last year SAR’s long-time Chief Executive Officer Dave Tanner announced his retirement, set for this summer. After conducting a nationwide executive search with the assistance of consultant Leonard Pfeiffer & Co, I am so excited to share with you that SAR has hired a new CEO, Jessica Coates, who will begin August 1.

Jessica Coates has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Howard County Association of REALTORS® (HCAR – in the Columbia, Maryland metro area) since 2018, and has been responsible for the strategic direction, vision, growth and performance of the HCAR brand. At HCAR, she has worked directly with the Board of Directors and oversees all facets of the association. With over 15 years’ experience in association management and government relations, Jessica has proven her ability to drive brand growth, maximize operational excellence and exceed financial performance standards.

Before being named HCAR’s CEO in 2018, Jessica was the first woman to have served as the Vice President of Government and Community Affairs for the Birmingham Association of REALTORS®, where she served as its principal liaison to elected officials at all levels. With a Political Science and campaign management background, Jessica stumbled into the realm of real estate and has since been recognized by her real estate community in several media outlets for her work including, The Business Journal, National Association of REALTORS® Magazine, Columbia Lifestyle and Executive Leaders Radio.

Jessica is passionate about community relations and implementing strategies to enable growth through networking and building lasting partnerships. She currently serves as the 2022 Vice Chair of the National Association of REALTORS® Association Executives Committee, sits on the Executive Committee of the Junior League of Baltimore as the VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Maryland REALTORS® DEI Advisory Board, the Maryland REALTORS® Global Business Committee, and the Howard County Racial Task Force. In her free time, she enjoys spending quality time with friends and traveling abroad with her husband, LJ Coates, and daughter, Nadia Elizabeth.

I know I can speak for the Search Committee by saying we are absolutely thrilled with the outcome of this extensive and thorough search process. The experience and enthusiasm that Jessica Coates will bring to Sacramento and to her new role as SAR CEO will help to further advance SAR’s priorities and objectives.

The SAR Board of Directors formed its CEO Search Committee in late 2021.

    The members of the committee are:

  • Kellie Swayne, Dunnigan REALTORS® (Chair)
  • Randall Hom, Diversified Properties (Vice Chair)
  • Barbara Lebrecht, Galster Real Estate Group
  • Cherie Hunt, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate
  • Erin Stumpf, Coldwell Banker Realty
  • Franco Garcia, Garcia Realty
  • Judy Covington, Keller Williams Realty
  • Samantha Tov, Portfolio Real Estate
  • Ujjal “Breeze” Singh, Homesmart ICARE Realty

Please be sure to thank the search committee members for their considerable time spent toward this effort and please welcome Jessica Coates in August at our main membership meeting on 8/2!


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