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

People on the Move: KW promotes execs across 3 divisions 

The brokerage giant announced new leaders in its commercial and coaching divisions as well as its nonprofit, KW Cares; Tomo's co-founder steps down.

July 1, 2024
4 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. 

KW promotes leaders across commercial, coaching and nonprofit divisions

Keller Williams Realty has appointed four people into executive level positions:

  • Cynthia Lee is now president of KW Commercial

  • Alicia Shepherd is vice president of KW Commercial

  • Cody Gibson is vice president of KW MAPS Coaching

  • Rachel Elder is vice president of development, KW Cares

Cynthia Lee, Alicia Shepherd,
Clockwise from top left: Cynthia Lee, Alicia Shepherd, Cody Gibson, Rachel Elder. (Keller Williams)

Lee and Shepherd are moving up from other roles within KW Commercial, and they will continue to focus on the division's growth and marketing strategies as well as its training programs. 

Lee holds the Certified Commercial Investment Member designation and oversees KW's largest market center commercial division. She joined KW in 2012 and was previously a broker associate at Transwestern. Prior to her real estate career, Lee spent 16 years as a television news anchor and reporter. 

In addition to her role at KW, Shepherd also serves as CEO of Launch Commercial Real Estate Network, works as a MAPS coach for the commercial division, and is the founder of the commercial real estate training firm Nucleus Commercial.

"Commercial agents can now dream big and achieve a life by design," said Lee. "With us, agents go on a journey that maximizes their prosperity and productivity through unique training and live events, while fostering an atmosphere of accountability and the strong culture for which KW is known," said Lee.

Gibson is a real estate business and trainer with more than 20 years of experience, and he has been with KW since 2011. In addition to his KW coaching role, he is also the CEO of the Portland Real Estate Group and the United Home Group, which operate 125 offices in 26 states and two countries.

Elder has an extensive background in nonprofit leadership and fundraising, previously working as a consultant at Beacon Nonprofit Consulting. At KW Cares, she works in conjunction with the board and staff to develop new fundraising strategies. 

"Our efforts are making a transformative and enduring impact on lives," said Elder.

Tomo co-founder leaves COO role

Carrie Armstrong, who co-founded the tech-enabled mortgage company Tomo in 2020, announced on LinkedIn that she is stepping down from the executive leadership role. Armstrong will retain her co-founder title and remain as board director, she said. 

Carrie Armstrong, Co-Founder, Tomo.
Carrie Armstrong, Co-Founder, Tomo.

Armstrong and Greg Schwartz, both former Zillow executives, launched the mortgage startup — which recently expanded into the home search portal space — with the goal of automating and streamlining the lending process for consumers. "I love to radically simplify and improve things people don't even realize can be done differently," Armstrong said in her LinkedIn post.

Tomo struggled when mortgage rates began to rise, laying off a third of its staff in 2022, but Armstrong noted that "things are going well" now, and the company is planning to ramp up its staff — a prospect that made her feel "nauseous." 

"At heart I'm a tinkerer who loves to invent and experiment, not just a general looking to add another brigade to her army. Instead of leaning on the people in a creaky old process, I replace the process with one that doesn't require any people inputs at all," she wrote.

While Armstrong didn't provide details about her next move, she said she wanted to explore the intersection of housing on climate, transit and urbanism, and focus her energy on what fuels her most: "building something out of nothing."

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