People on the Move
Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News

People on the Move: Promotions at JPAR, Realty ONE; MLS Now names CEO 

JPAR president Laura O’Conner adds chief operating officer to her title; David Romero takes on chief customer officer role at Realty ONE + more role changes.

Updated April 6, 2024
5 minutes

Editor's note: As an industry with millions of agents and over 100,000 brokerage companies, new leaders rise to the top every day. Here we highlight executives and other notable leaders who've recently taken on, or stepped away from, roles that influence the residential real estate landscape. 

JPAR strengthens leadership team

Texas-based JPAR Real Estate has announced a number of recent executive promotions and appointments as it looks to continue its nationwide expansion.

Laura O'Conner, who joined JPAR in 2021 as president of the firm's affiliated network, has added chief operating officer to her title. In addition to overseeing the national franchise division, she will now lead all operational aspects of the Texas brokerage business. 

Prior to JPAR, O'Conner was VP of franchise development at Anywhere Real Estate, and was recognized this year on the Swanepoel Power 200 list as one of the most influential people in real estate. 

Tiffani Marroquin now leads franchise expansion efforts and will focus on strategic growth — specifically, a "higher quality, lower quantity approach to expansion" — as the brand increases its visibility and reach. Marroquin has been with JPAR since 2020.

Howard Ashkinos was named VP of strategic initiatives, leading growth and operational initiatives for the company's Texas brokerage operations. He has been with JPAR since 2016.

Lisa Sennstrom was promoted to VP of operations for the JPAR affiliated network and will focus on optimizing and streamlining processes across the network. She joined JPAR in 2022. 

Scott Schafer was named VP of technology for JPAR Real Estate and will be tasked with leveraging technology to enhance the firm's operations and support agents with the right tech tools.

Anissa Kalbasky was promoted to the role of creative director after working in marketing and design at JPAR since 2020.

"These appointments represent not just a shift in roles but a bold statement of our commitment to excellence, innovation and unparalleled service," said Chris Sears, president of JPAR Real Estate. "With this exceptional team in place, we are poised to enter into a new era of growth, solidifying our position as a leader in the real estate industry."

JPAR is currently home to more than 3,800 agents across 75 offices in the U.S.

Realty ONE promotes chief customer officer, VPs

Realty ONE, which announced a series of promotions last month, is continuing to support internal advancement with its latest leadership announcements. 

David Romero, who joined the brokerage in 2023 as EVP of growth, is being promoted to chief customer officer where he will lead growth, business development and learning. Romero previously spent more than 30 years as CEO and president of two large Century 21 affiliates based in California. 

Along with Romero and the recent promotions of five women leaders, Realty ONE highlighted three additional promotions:

  • Arkadiusz Halaj promoted to VP of technology  

  • Sevag Sarkissian promoted to VP of digital marketing

  • Daniel Hernandez promoted to VP of international support

"These are extraordinarily exciting times for our global brand, and I strongly believe we have the best leadership dream team in the industry that will rocket us into the next era of our growth and success, " said Kuba Jewgieniew, CEO and founder of Realty ONE Group International. 

The global brokerage supports nearly 20,000 real estate professionals in more than 400 locations across 20 countries, the company stated.

A new CEO for MLS Now

Garry Marsoubian has been named CEO of MLS Now, which serves more than 14,000 real estate professionals in Ohio and West Virginia. Marsoubian, a veteran of Bright MLS and Greater Tulsa MLS, brings technical as well as executive experience to the role.

"Garry's outstanding leadership abilities and his progressive stance on technology position him as the ideal candidate to lead MLS Now into a future marked by innovation, ensuring our real estate professionals have access to cutting-edge tools and resources to best serve home buying and selling consumers," said Lenny Lawrence, who chairs the Board of Directors of MLS Now.

Marsoubian said he is looking forward to exploring "new avenues for sustained success, particularly leveraging advancements in enterprise data management, security, and artificial intelligence."

Coldwell Banker brings acclaimed leader to the Dallas/Fort Worth area

Nykea Pippion McGriff, the first Black woman to serve as president of the Chicago Association of Realtors, is moving to Texas, where she will be regional vice president for the Dallas/Fort Worth region.

Pippion McGriff is coming from the competitive Chicago market, where she had been vice president of growth and co-led five offices and almost 900 agents. She was named Realtor of the Year by the Chicago association in 2022.

In her new role, she will oversee 9 offices and nearly 1,000 agents. "The passion and commitment to the service of our agents and clients in the DFW market is contagious," she said in a statement.

"We're thrilled to have Nykea take on this expanded leadership role with Coldwell Banker. Her extensive real estate experience and commitment to growth make her an invaluable addition to our DFW region," stated Ayoub Rabah, Coldwell Banker Realty regional president, Midwest.

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