Outstanding Corporate Citizenship Award Nominee Q&A

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Ryan Conrad
CEO, Northern Virginia Association of Realtors®
Emerging Leader Nominee

1. Why do you believe CSR is an important part of your personal brand?
I am proud to be a part of an organization that actively supports the American dream of homeownership.  As CEO of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors®, I have seen first-hand the impact that our industry and Realtors® have on people and communities. Realtors® are in the business of creating sustainable homeownership, which in many ways forms the backbone of social responsibility within a community. While my leadership style stems from a responsibility to drive value, innovation and impact for a membership of nearly 13,000 real estate professionals and the consumers they serve, I aim to implement those organizational goals with an eye towards our commitment to the communities of Northern Virginia.  

2. Do you believe that the CSR work you participate in should be affiliated with the work you/your company does? 
In our industry, participating in projects that support homeownership is a natural fit.  For example, we frequently participate in Habitat for Humanity build days to create and improve houses for aspiring homeowners.  But that is not the exclusive reach of our CSR initiatives. We have an active NVAR Cares Committee, comprised of extremely dedicated and community-focused Realtors®, that vets many worthwhile causes and organizations, with a stated mission to support those related to housing, education, health or well-being.

3. Do you believe contributing back to the community allows you to have a deeper connection with your clients/customers?
The support that we and our members offer to the Northern Virginia region certainly creates a positive connection with homeowners, as well as prospective home buyers. Our involvement reinforces the commitment that Realtors® have to maintaining strong, vital communities that will continue to attract future residents and sustain our region’s appeal as place to live, play and work.

4. What are some events or causes that inspire you?
In addition to being inspired by the dedication and caring nature of our Realtor® members, I am particularly inspired by our staff team who annually participates in charitable activities during the holidays.  Rather than a gift exchange amongst ourselves, our staff team focuses on how we can help those in need.  We work with local food pantries and other organizations, like the Embrey Rucker Community Shelter in Reston, to provide meals for families and children.  It feels good to know we are providing nutritious meals for those who need it most, especially during the holidays.

5. What advice would you give to individuals trying to find a cause in which to participate?
Follow your passion! Participating in charitable causes should stem from a genuine belief in the mission, and not a sense of obligation. You will know it’s right if it brings a sense of joy and fulfillment.