Top 100 Most Influential Women in Real Estate

Aliso Viejo, CA 10/02/2008 01:29 AM GMT (TransWorldNews)

With 3,460 respondents casting 6,099 votes, the real estate professional community has decided who the Top 25 Most Influential Women are. And what an incredible list of powerful women this list represents.


Nine months ago when the 2008 edition of the Swanepoel TRENDS Report was published, the demographics that included women, youth and minorities were identified as key drivers in the future of the residential real estate brokerage industry. In the Trend titled “Shattered Glass” it was detailed how many women had reached leadership positions at national levels.


This trend lit the match to initiate a nationwide flame in search of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in leadership roles in the Real Estate Industry.


A blog post on ActiveRain by best selling author Stefan Swanepoel attracted over 11,000 views. Continued interest fanned the flames that soon expanded to other real estate social networks such as RealTown and Inman Community.


Though the survey was not billed as warranting scientific rigidity, the tremendous response rate and distribution of over 6,000 votes speaks to a strength in collective wisdom about the relative placement of the most influential women in the Top 100 list.  Hence the results are being presented in alphabetical order within four group rankings.  The Top 25, Top 50 and so on. 


Top 25


The top 25 Most Influential Women include a power list of Who’s Who in real estate such as former National Association of REALTORS® Presidents, Dorcas Helfant-Browning (1992) and Sharon Millett (1999); co-founders of large real estate franchises and companies such as Gail Liniger (of REMAX International), Ebby Halliday (of Ebby Halliday Realtors) and Barbara Corcoran (of Corcoran in NY).  Also featuring prominently are current presidents and senior executives of large real estate firms such as Helen Hanna Casey (of Howard Hanna Real Estate), Michael Saunders (of Michael Saunders Real Estate) and Virginia Cook (of Virginia Cook Realtors).


The top 25 list, however, also comprises a variety of interesting female leaders that deal with all different walks of the industry such as Avis Wukasch (Board member of the Texas Real Estate Commission), Susie Hale (Frogpond Publishing) and Leslie Appelton-Young (chief economist of the California Association of Realtors). For a photo and full details of all of the Top 25 Most Influential Women click on each person’s name in the list.


Here are the Top 25 in alphabetical order:


Ann Defries

Avis Wukasch

Barbara Corcoran

Blanche Evans

Bonnie Mays

Danielle Kennedy

Dorcas Helfant-Browning

Ebby Halliday

Gail Liniger

Helen Hanna-Casey

Joeann Fossland

Judy Ladeur

Kelli Todd

Laurie Janick

Leslie Appleton-Young

Margaret Kelly

Mary Frances Burleson

Mary Tennant

Michael Saunders

Mo Anderson

Niki Rapattoni

Rita Santamaria

Sharon Millett

Susie Hale

Virginia Cook


Top 50


The next group of 25 women rounding out the top 50 includes numerous household names in the industry featuring esteemed authors such as Carla Cross and Bernice Ross and well known speakers and trainers such as Laurie Moore-Moore, Barb Schwartz and Dianna Kokoszka. The list is also adorned with numerous presidents of large real estate companies including Kaira Sturdivant Rouda (Real Living), Sherry Chris (Better Homes & Gardens) and Dottie Herman (Prudential Douglas Elliman).


Former NAR past presidents Cathy Whatley (2003) and Pat Vredevoogd Combs (2007), as well as incoming president for 2010, Vicki Cox also made the top 50 list.


The Top 50 (in alphabetical order) are:


Adorna Carroll

Amy Chorew

Andy Capelluto

Ann Bailey

Anne Randolph

Barb Schwarz

Bernice Ross

Carla Cross

Cathy Whatley

Darity Wesley

Dianna Kokoszka

Dottie Herman

Frances Flynn Thorsen

Kaira Sturdivant Rouda

Kim Ades

Laurie Moore-Moore

Lenn Harley

Marilyn Wilson

Pam O'Connor

Pat Vredevoogd Combs

Patti Kouri

Shari Chase

Sherry Chris

Terry Murphy

Vicki Cox


Top 100


Rounding out the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Real Estate Leadership are (in alphabetical order by first name): Betty Graham, Beverly Faull, Bonnie Erikson, Brenda Casserly, Brenda Shipplett, Carmen Multhauf, Carol Clarke, Claudia Wicks, Darlene Lyons, Debbie Campagnola, Debra Ashwer, Donna Lee Laue, Edith Lank, Frances Martinez Myers, Ilyce Glink, Janet Branton, Jennifer Cummings, Joyce Bea Sterling, Joyce Paron, Judy Moses, Judy Stark, Karel Murray, Kimberly Gorsuch-Bradbury, Laurie Keenan, Lee Pappa, Lois Weis, Lorna Borenstein, Margaret Dixon, Maria Patterson, Mary Doyle Kimball, Mary Umberger, Maureen Mccabe, Nina Cottrell, Pamela Alexander, Pamela Geurds Kabati, Pamela Leibman, Pat Jensen, Patricia Choi, Robin Mueck, Ruth Ann Pepple, Sarah Shoemaker, Sharon Simms, Shelia Bair, Stacey Moncrieff, Sue Doerfler, Susan Johnson, Sylvia Shelnutt, Tami Bonnell and Tara-Nicholle Nelson. Bios of many of the finalists are also listed at


The timing of this list coincides not only with the upcoming 2008 Presidential election but also the recently published report by Forbes Magazine, “The 100 Most Powerful Women.” This list was headed up by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, followed by Americans Sheila Bair (Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp) and Indra Nooyki (CEO, PepsiCo).


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