Inside the WRA: Goodbye and Good Luck

 Bill Malkasian  |    October 05, 2011

There is always a moment in time that you have to face when leaving something you truly love and enjoy. And my time has come to leave the WRA after 36 years of service and move on to the National Association of REALTORS® to begin a new adventure in helping other associations build their political and community skill sets to another level of competency.

The decision was actually easier than I thought as I believe in fate as it was March 15, 1975 that I was hired by Darwin Scoon, the former Executive Vice President, at the age of 23 to be the political lobbyist for the WRA, and now 36 years later, I leave the WRA one day after my 60th birthday, October 17, 2011.

When looking back on your career, you realize that not many spend an entire career with one company or organization any more.

Naturally for me, it was easy to stay because the REALTOR® leadership was progressive enough to believe in me and my ideas to make the WRA the best state association in the country. My staff over the years matured into a well-oiled machine with such great talent that gave the WRA a national reputation of excellence throughout the country. To my staff of all the years, I say thank you for believing in me, and I owe you my success.

On the volunteer side, I was fortunate enough to work with 33 REALTOR® Presidents, now known as the Chairmen of the Board. Each of them were like a family to me in that we grew close and I learned something from each of them and will cherish their friendship for a lifetime.

To the local organizations, including volunteers and staff, I can’t say enough of how you helped me, personally, and the WRA grow into a great association. We are truly a leader in building effective partnerships in programming for our membership.

And to the members, I met thousands of you over the years - and I mean thousands! As I said last month at the WRA Convention looking into the audience, thank you for your support and belief in me that I could take this organization with its volunteers and move it to a national model. Your dedication to the WRA by supporting it through dues and programs has made a huge difference. Stay the course with the WRA.

You don’t get anywhere without the support of your family and close friends. My family has always been there for me through thick and thin, and this column would not be complete without saying thank you to them for all their support over the years. They backed me and kept me going and growing every day.

So as we pass the torch of leadership on to Mike Theo, your new President, let me assure you that Mike is the guy you want as the next President. He is talented beyond me in many ways and will move the ship forward to another level of performance. It’s what he should do as the Malkasian legacy has ended and a new one has begun. Support him like you did me and you will get results that will transform into new programs and directions for the WRA.

To all of you reading this column and to all the members, thank you for the memories and giving me the job of a lifetime.

Oh and by the way, my new e-mail address is

And I’ll see you at next year’s Convention!


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