Realtors celebrate name change with a party!

Chris Hauck, left, and Jim Oakley at the celebration.

Lord knows I am friends with enough Realtors to know that they enjoy a good party! But, in this case, the celebration they held this past Tuesday was for a special cause. The Knoxville Area Association of Realtors unveiled its new name: East Tennessee Realtors, reflecting the fact that the group’s membership today spans 12 counties.

The Knoxville Area Association of Realtors has been in existence since 1912 when the Real Estate Board of Knoxville was chartered. In 1941, the name was changed to Knoxville Board of Realtors. In 1991, it became the Knoxville Association of Realtors and in 2003, the name was updated to Knoxville Area Association of Realtors to reflect its merger with the Anderson County Board of Realtors and the Cumberland County Association of Realtors.

Twenty years later, this past May, the National Association of Realtors approved the name change to East Tennessee Realtors at its national conference in Washington, D.C.

Lyle Irish, the CEO of East Tennessee Realtors, told the assembled members at the group’s headquarters on North Weisgarber Road that of the organization’s 6,000 members, fewer than half actually live in Knoxville. “East Tennessee Realtors reflects the broader scope of our organization,” he explained to a robust round of applause.

“As both the real estate industry and the East Tennessee market continue to grow and evolve, so must our association,” said the group’s 2023 president, Ryan Levenson. “The name change to East Tennessee Realtors better reflects the mission, vision, reach and impact of our organization.”

The group’s logo will remain the same. Its new website will be

East Tennessee Realtors has members from these 12 counties: Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Cumberland, Fentress, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott and Union.

From left, Gail Hardy, Tonya Estevez, Dawn Titsworth, Beth Stewart and Sarah Richards.

From left, Rachel Wright, Justin Bailey and Denise King.

Music was by Frog & Toad’s Dixie Quartet, although there were only three of them there on Tuesday. Ha.

From left, Mason Easter, Jennifer Saltsgaver, Laura “Sunshine” Thompson, Jan Maness, Lyle Irish, Marian Epps and Rich Levenson.

From left, Nikita Hudson, James Holden and Brandi Crass.

From left, Sandra Parsons, Mateo Andres and Kathy Wuethrich.

Great nibbles were from All Occasions. Clockwise from top left, mini crab cakes, bruschetta bites, mini beef Wellingtons and smoked salmon on cucumber slices.

From left, Susan Hicks, Linda Meese, Cheri Spinazzola and Jeff Grebe.

From left, Marian Epps, Tina Collins-Hefner, Patti Whalen, Chris Morton and Tracie Morton.

From left, Lyle Irish, Hancen Sale and Kaley Katz.

From left, Andrew McGranaghan, Dylan Martin and Zach Sale.

Mingling prior to the program. Folks didn’t know why they were invited to the association headquarters. Only that there would be “an important announcement.”

Cindy Kraus, left, and Marian Epps.

Daniel Park, left, and Amanda Woods.

Lyle Irish, left, and Kimberly Bell.

Mason Easter and Jennifer Saltsgaver.

Brothers Hancen, left, and Zach Sale.

Announcement time!

Board President Ryan Levenson.

CEO Lyle Irish giving away a door prize.

Jinger Kelson was one of the winners!

Staff members of the newly named East Tennessee Realtors pose in front of the new sign at the organization’s headquarters Tuesday. From left, Lauri Figueroa, professional development director; Catrin Latham, governmental affairs and policy specialist; Hancen Sale, governmental affairs and policy director; Jordan Scott, member services coordinator; Jeff Fyke, communications director; James Holden, chief operating officer; Jared Hencke, MLS coordinator; and Lyle Irish, CEO and executive vice president.


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One Response to Realtors celebrate name change with a party!

  1. Georgiana Vines, on June 23rd, 2023 at 9:31 pm said:

    Thanks for update.

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