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NKY native Steve Stevens leaving Kentucky Realtors Association after six years, is ready for next step

A tireless advocate for real estate professionals and increasing homeownership for Kentuckians is departing the state’s leading industry group after nearly 6 years.

Northern Kentucky native Steve Stevens, Kentucky REALTORS® (Association) Chief Executive Officer, will depart the organization in January.

Stevens spent more than two decades as the top executive for chambers of commerce and economic development organizations both in Kentucky and Spokane, Washington before returning to Kentucky to run the state association of REALTORS®.

Steve Stevens

“I’ve truly appreciated the opportunity to serve the state REALTOR® association along with so many terrific leaders, volunteers, and staff members,” Stevens said. “This job has been very rewarding for me. Working on behalf of such a strong industry sector has given me a tremendous sense of pride. I do feel that it is time, however, for me to move on to my next professional opportunity.”

Stevens is a triathlete and marathon runner and has finished a dozen marathons.

“For most long-distance runners, the moment of truth typically comes around the 20-mile mark when we think one of two things: ‘I have it in me to finish this race’ or ‘What was I thinking?’”, he said. “I realize now is the time to catch my second wind and pursue other professional endeavors I have been considering so that I can look back and smile when I cross the finish line at the end of my professional life.”

Outgoing KYR President Charles Hinckley, a broker at Network Realty in Elizabethtown, says that Stevens is one of the key reasons the association has been so successful in recent years.

“His professionalism and attention to improving our staff and processes have taken us to a whole new level”, he said. “Steve is a leader who cares deeply about the success of REALTORS® and improving us at all levels. He is also a dedicated husband and father, and a good friend to so many in the business community”, he added. “While I am sad to see him leave the state association, I am excited for him personally and professionally and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

The Kentucky REALTORS®, which marks its Centennial year in 2022, will conduct a national search for Stevens’ successor.

A few of the major accomplishments the association achieved during Stevens’ tenure include:

•           Winning its first-ever National Association of REALTORS® Presidents Cup – awarded to fewer than 20 states annually for achieving goals in advocacy and political action.  In 2021, the association won its fifth consecutive Presidents’ Cup.

•           Achieving legislative wins that included shaping the re-organization of the Kentucky Real Estate Commission and defending the real estate industry from taxes on real estate-related services.

•           Creating a multi-product health insurance program for KYR’s nearly 13,000 members

•           Offering expanded continuing educational opportunities for real estate professionals delivered through KYR’s REALTOR® Institute.

•           Conducting a comprehensive demographic study of KYR’s 13,000 members of the real estate industry to support the creation of the association’s first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program.

•           Securing an unprecedented $1.5 million in disaster relief grants for Kentuckians affected by the December 2021 tornado outbreak.

Stevens, who graduated from the University of Kentucky, began his career at the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce in 1991, when he was hired to develop a small business division and worked in government affairs for the state Chamber. He joined the Northern Kentucky Chamber in 1994 to manage government affairs and served as the Chamber’s legislative agent in Frankfort before becoming the organization’s Chief Executive Officer where he served for eight more years.

After 20 years at the Northern Kentucky Chamber, he became the CEO of Greater Spokane Incorporated – a combined chamber and economic development corporation in eastern Washington state.

Stevens says he and his wife, Marilyn, live in Georgetown and are basically “empty nesters”. Their son, Stewart, lives in Lexington and is a commercial appraiser, and their younger son, Logan, works for a major GIS software firm in Charlotte, NC.

“Kentucky is our home and where I have deep roots, strong friendships, and a true appreciation for the quality of life that few Americans get the chance to experience,” he said. “That’s impossible to replace. I’ve appreciated my time at the REALTORS® association.”­

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One Comment

  1. Having been named Realtor/Broker Emitertus by the Northern Kentucky Realtors Association and Kentucky and National Associations I can say that my 51st year has seen some of the most difficult times for all of our Kentucky citizens.
    Steve Stephens has been a excellent leader for our Association and a great asset for Northern Kentucky as well as Kentucky. Having traveled doing the History of all 120 counties I have had the opportunity to work with Steve and before that Walt Dunlevy in bringing Northern Kentucky University into existence. The Chambers leaders and Realtors Leadership work in harmony for the growth and development of Northern Kentucky and Kentucky as a whole economic system. Good luck and may God watch over you and your family in your new adventures.
    Dr. John Stephenson Former Superintendent of Education for the Commonwealth of Kentucky

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