GBBR head resigns amid board conflicts Personality clashes were part of problem

April 19, 1997|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,SUN STAFF

After nearly three years marked by downsizing and technological change in the real estate industry, the head of Baltimore's largest Realtors trade group has abruptly resigned.

Christine A. Vasiliou stepped down as executive vice president of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors amid conflicts with the board of directors over management style, board officials said yesterday.

In September 1994, Vasiliou was given the task of boosting shrinking membership and improving educational services for agents and brokers.

As a full-time employee, Vasiliou led day-to-day operations, reporting to the elected board of directors and its executive committee.

But, during Vasiliou's tenure, the board has had to deal with a multitude of other issues: losing thousands of Realtors statewide, a lawsuit that successfully sought non-Realtor access the multiple listing service, the conversion of that service from a local to a regional system and the advent of home selling on the Internet.

Some in the industry believed Vasiliou was taking the board in the right direction. For instance, she oversaw the opening of a new office in Howard County as a way to attract more members and fostered communication between the executive board and committees on topics such as mortgage finance and political affairs.

"The biggest task ahead of us is finding somebody of the caliber that can fill her shoes," said Bill Cassidy of Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. who served on the board during most of Vasiliou's tenure. "I thought she was doing an outstanding job."

The resignation followed a tumultuous couple of weeks during which many staff members either resigned or were fired, prompting the executive committee, headed by board President Gayle Briscoe, to bring in a mediator.

Several staff members returned, and the board gave Vasiliou the option of leaving, one board member said.

"There were some real personality problems that existed down there, and some people became unhappy with how things were going and they resigned," said a broker and active GBBR member, who asked not to be identified. "When [the board] had a talk with her, it became evident that the best thing was for her to resign."

Pub Date: 4/19/97

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