National Women’s History Month Spotlight: Maren Brisson-Kuester

What leadership roles do/did you hold in the real estate industry?

Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association President (2015-16)
Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association Executive Committee (2014-2017)
National Association of Realtors® Board of Directors (2014-2017)
NC REALTORS® Executive Committee (2017-present)
NC REALTORS® Board of Directors, Region 8 (2006-present)
Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association RPAC Chair (2016-17)
Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association Board of Directors (2014-17)
Carolina Multiple Listing Services, Inc. (CarolinaMLS) Board of Directors (2006-present)
Housing Opportunity Foundation Board of Directors (2014-2017)
RPAC Trustee (2018)

What leadership roles do/did you hold in NC REALTORS®?

NC REALTORS® Executive Committee (2017-present)
NC REALTORS® Board of Directors, Region 8 (2006-present)
RPAC Trustee (2018)

What is your role in the industry today?


What is your role in NC REALTORS® today?

Active leadership role

What years were you active in the industry?


What years were you active in NC REALTORS®?


What do you consider your greatest accomplishment in the industry?

Getting more people involved. I love when people tell me that I’ve inspired them to get engaged in leadership, especially when it’s people who always felt like they didn’t fit the typical leadership mold and who never felt like they belonged. I have such a passion for our profession and what we do, and I love that I’ve been able to make others feel that same love that I have for the industry. We need to grow and expand the depths of the people involved in our industry to stay relevant going forward, and finding and encouraging new leaders is always a priority for me.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as an NC REALTOR®?

I’d say it’s raising more than anyone ever has in the state for RPAC, and getting people engaged in NC REALTORS® who never would have been involved in the past. We have members who have never been engaged at the state political level who now are. I think that’s my job – to get people engaged, and to make people realize that their voice matters and that this stuff affects us all. Everyone needs to be engaged. I’m a no one from nowhere and now our state’s political leaders know who I am and what I think because I got engaged. If I can do it, anyone can!

What were the greatest challenges you faced in the industry?

Probably the same challenges that a lot of our members have had: Starting from scratch and trying to make a living. I was a young, single woman starting out on my own with no money in the bank. I know the extreme hard work that’s necessary to build your own business from nothing, and the pressures that come from having to support your family both emotionally and financially. The struggles were real, and I’ve had to earn everything I’ve ever gotten through a lot of hard work.

What were the greatest challenges you faced as an NC REALTOR®?

Feeling legitimized. I’m a young woman from Charlotte, and that hasn’t made things easy. It’s been hard to feel respected when you have those three characteristics – young, female and from Charlotte – and then add being a mother to that! It’s taken over a decade for me to feel like I’m finally taken seriously, and I’ve accomplished that through persistence. I cared too much to give up, and I just kept hanging around, kept my head down and my chin up, ignored the naysayers, kept a smile on my face and kept doing what I was doing.

Have you been inspired by other NC REALTOR® women throughout the years? Please name them here and briefly describe how they have impacted you, the industry or the association.

The three women who immediately come to mind are Cindy Chandler, Anne Marie DeCatsye and Andrea Bushnell. I’ve also been inspired by all of our female presidents. There has been immense value to me in seeing powerful southern women rise and prevail in leadership roles. It probably sounds funny to people who aren’t from here, but it’s not commonplace to see women in these positions of power who have been able to balance being great moms with being great at their careers. They’ve really shown me that it’s possible to do it all – you can be a mom, you can be a professional, you can run your own career, and you can give back to your community and the industry.

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