– Donna Gland, NAR’s head of human resources, will retire at the end of the year after calls for her removal from some NAR staff and members.
– Some NAR employees demanded Gland’s resignation, along with the resignations of NAR CEO Bob Goldberg and NAR Chief Legal Officer Katie Johnson, due to allegations of protecting those accused of creating a toxic work environment.
– NAR declined to comment on the allegations against Gland and did not specify if she was asked to resign.
– NAR announced Goldberg’s early retirement after losing a class action antitrust case and facing demands for new leadership.
– The NAR Accountability Project called for the release of women with sexual harassment allegations from non-disclosure agreements.
– Former Chicago Sun-Times CEO Nykia Wright will replace Goldberg as interim CEO.
– NAR declined to comment on the possibility of more executive resignations before the end of the year.
Some NAR staffers and members had called for Gland’s resignation, alleging she allowed a toxic work environment to flourish.
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Another top National Association of Realtors executive is leaving the trade group under a cloud of ignominy. Donna Gland, NAR’s head of human resources, will retire at the end of the year after calls for her removal from some NAR staff and members.
Gland joined NAR nearly four decades ago in May 1985, according to her LinkedIn profile. From 2017-2021, NAR paid her $2.5 million in compensation, including $565,322 in 2021, according to the latest public tax filings available.
“After 38 years with NAR, Donna Gland, Senior Vice President of Talent Development and Resources, has made the personal decision to retire,” Wes Shaw told Inman in a brief emailed statement.
“Donna has helped to shape NAR’s talent development function and played a key role in keeping staff safe during COVID. NAR thanks Donna for her contributions.”
NAR declined to say when Gland’s last day at NAR will be and if she was asked to resign. In September, some NAR employees demanded Gland’s resignation as well as the resignations of NAR CEO Bob Goldberg and NAR Chief Legal Officer Katie Johnson. The employees alleged the executives protected those accused of creating a toxic work environment, including former NAR President Kenny Parcell, who was accused of sexual harassment among other allegations at least as far back as March 2022. NAR declined to comment on the allegations against Gland.
Parcell resigned in August two days after a New York Times exposé was published. After initially throwing its support behind Goldberg, NAR announced Goldberg’s early retirement last week on Nov. 2, two days after the nearly 1.6-million member trade group lost a class action antitrust case, Sitzer/Burnett, in which the jury awarded the homeseller plaintiffs nearly $1.8 billion in damages that will be automatically tripled to nearly $5.4 billion under the law.
Jason Haber, founder of the NAR Accountability Project, which sprang up after the association became mired in scandal and who called for the replacement of NAR’s top leaders, including Gland, told Inman changes to the trade group’s leaders was a “step in the right direction” and reiterated a demand that NAR release women who have come forward with sexual harassment allegations from non-disclosure agreements prohibiting them from talking about their experiences.
“From failing its members in the courtroom, to not protecting its staff in the workplace, we all know it’s time for a new NAR,” Haber said in a statement.
“Changes to the leadership team is a vital step in the right direction. More such changes should follow. We wish Donna well in her upcoming retirement, and we wish NAR well as it continues its evolution. At the NAR Accountability Project, three of our four demands have been met, but it won’t truly be a new NAR until women are released from their NDAs and allowed to speak their truth.”
NAR declined to comment on the NAR Accountability Project’s demand.
In an email sent to NAR staffers Thursday informing them of Gland’s retirement, Goldberg praised Gland’s work, highlighting her “passion, commitment and kindness” and saying she “has always put the people at NAR first.”
Former Chicago Sun-Times CEO Nykia Wright will replace Goldberg as interim CEO on Nov. 20, following the trade group’s annual conference, NAR NXT.
NAR declined to comment on whether more executive resignations were in the offing before the end of the year.
Property Chomp's Take:
In yet another blow to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Donna Gland, the organization's head of human resources, has announced her retirement following calls for her removal from some NAR staff and members. Gland, who has been with NAR for nearly four decades, will step down at the end of the year.
The decision to retire comes after several NAR employees demanded Gland's resignation, along with the resignations of NAR CEO Bob Goldberg and NAR Chief Legal Officer Katie Johnson. These employees alleged that the executives protected individuals accused of creating a toxic work environment, including former NAR President Kenny Parcell, who faced allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct.
While NAR declined to comment on the specific allegations against Gland, it is clear that the organization is undergoing significant changes. Goldberg recently announced his early retirement, and NAR lost a class action antitrust case that resulted in nearly $5.4 billion in damages awarded to the plaintiffs. These events, along with the ongoing calls for accountability and transparency, have prompted NAR to take action and make changes to its leadership team.
Jason Haber, founder of the NAR Accountability Project, expressed support for the leadership changes but emphasized the need for further action. Haber called for the release of women who have come forward with sexual harassment allegations from non-disclosure agreements, allowing them to share their experiences openly.
NAR has appointed Nykia Wright, former CEO of the Chicago Sun-Times, as interim CEO following Goldberg's departure. It remains to be seen if more executive resignations will occur before the end of the year.
As the NAR undergoes this period of transition and reevaluation, it is clear that the old way of doing business is no longer acceptable. The organization must address the allegations of a toxic work environment and prioritize the safety and well-being of its staff. Only by embracing change and holding individuals accountable can the NAR truly move forward and rebuild trust among its members and the wider community.
The verdict is in – the real estate industry demands a new NAR that is transparent, inclusive, and committed to fostering a healthy and supportive work environment. The challenges ahead are significant, but with the right leadership and a genuine commitment to change, the NAR can emerge stronger and better equipped to serve its members in the future. The time for transformation is now.