ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 29, 2015 – Bill Martin, the chief executive officer of Michigan Realtors® is joining Florida Realtors® as its new CEO, beginning March 23, 2015.
Martin, 61, will be based at Florida Realtors’ Orlando headquarters. He holds the Realtor association Certified Executive (RCE) designation, earning recognition for specialized industry knowledge as well as association achievements and experience.
“This opportunity is very exciting and I look forward to joining a high-performance and high-powered organization like Florida Realtors,” Martin says. “Florida Realtors is internationally recognized and anyone would want to work with such a stellar group.”
2015 Florida Realtors President Andrew Barbar, a broker with Keller Williams Realty Services in Boca Raton, welcomes the new CEO to the state association. “His knowledge, skills and expertise will be invaluable to Florida Realtors and our members across the state,” Barbar says. “We’re ready to put him to work!”
Martin has been CEO of the Michigan association for the past 14 years. His extensive resume includes serving in the U.S. Army with the famed 101st Airborne Division, then as a trooper with the Michigan State Police. In 1987, Martin was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives serving Calhoun County; a position he held for four terms. In 1995, then-Michigan Governor John Engler appointed him Commissioner of the Michigan State Lottery; and in 1999 appointed him director and CEO of the state’s largest department, the Michigan Department of Corrections. In that position, Martin managed 19,000 employees and oversaw a $1.7-billion budget.
When he heard about the top job opening at Michigan Realtors, he jumped at the chance. Why?
“It was an opportunity for me and my family to develop lifelong friendships across the country,” Martin says. “There were two times in my earlier life where Realtors were important. One was when I was a state trooper, and a Realtor was vital to a criminal case. And in my pre-election life, the Realtors were the first organization to endorse me. My first fundraiser was a complete bust – no one came – but when the Realtors endorsed my campaign, they helped to launch my political success.”
2015 Michigan Realtors President Gene Szpeinski says Florida Realtors will benefit from Martin’s talents and leadership. “We have been blessed to have Bill as our leader since 2002,” he says. “He’s been magnificent for our organization – not only has he helped to create our position and our presence in the state, he has elevated our presence and reputation at the national level.”
Martin is a past board member of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Habitat for Humanity and a Trustee Emeritus at Western Michigan University, his alma mater. In 2014, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder appointed him to the State Officers Compensation Commission. Also in 2014, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) honored Martin with the William R. Magel Award of Excellence, which is a highly coveted award presented annually to an individual who has truly excelled as an association executive.
He and his wife of 36 years, Denise, have two adult daughters, Haley and Brittany, and three grandchildren. Martin says he’s certain that their new Florida home will be a welcome destination for his family and friends, especially the grandkids.
“I’ve gotten to know a number of Florida Realtors’ leaders over the years and there are quite a few Realtors and friends from Michigan with homes in Florida,” he says. “In fact, my mother lives there!”
Plus, the weather in Lansing, Michigan today was icy and had a low of about 19 degrees, Martin says. Meanwhile, today’s low temperature in Orlando is expected to be around 49 degrees.
Bill Martin, chief executive officer
Hobbies: Hunting, fishing, playing golf, running and biking. Spending time with family is at the top of the list, but of course, that’s not a hobby!
Sports fanatic or science/tech geek? Sports fanatic – my teams are the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions and the Redwings; as well as Michigan football and Michigan State basketball
Favorite color: Blue
Favorite food: Fried chicken and sweet tea
Favorite movie: It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart
Favorite music: 60’s rock and country music
What are you reading now? Mostly political publications, not currently involved in a book
Best business advice you ever received? Two things: Keep it simple, and “make sure your men have clean socks” – SSgt. (Staff Sergeant) Pineau
What inspires you? My wife, my family, my friends and my faith