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Change is in the air!  A new year, a new decade, and of course changes at TREC too.  I start the year and this new position as TREC’s executive director with great expectations and excitement for the future.  My predecessor, Doug Oldmixon’s presence will continue through March, which is very helpful to me and our agency through this leadership transition.  I am grateful for the gradual transition and Doug’s willingness to impart his knowledge.  Doug will leave behind a legacy of strong leadership and strategic vision.  I am honored to follow in his footsteps.  

As I shift from the “new general counsel” to the “new executive director” I hope to ride the wave of claiming newness for another round.  I am pleased to announce the newest member of our team, Vanessa Burgess as the new general counsel, who will start with the agency on February 3.  She will be joined by Mark Moore, who I recently named as a deputy general counsel.  Previously, he served as director of enforcement.  

On February 8, Scott Kesner, TREC’s chair, and I will participate in Texas Realtors® winter meeting with a session titled “Moving forward with TREC: Strategies for the changing marketplace.”  This session is intended to offer license holders attending the winter meeting with an opportunity for a conversation about the direction of the agency.  We will provide some of our ideas for the future and hear from license holders about their expectations and needs of the agency.  This is intended to be a two-way conversation, and the first of many similar conversations around the state.  Over the course of the spring, we will travel the state to hear from as many of you as are willing to come and chat.  This provides both Chair Kesner and me with a way to meet many folks, hear your dreams and concerns, and it is one of many mechanisms we will use to formulate the agency’s strategic planning for the years to come.  We also plan to schedule a few live events on Facebook to catch those who are unable to visit in person.

Our license holder community has exceeded the 200,000 mark across all license types (including the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board community).  With this growth comes an exceeding need to provide opportunities for self-service and increase process efficiencies.  This has been a focus for the last several months that will continue in the foreseeable future.  We look forward to increasing the opportunities for license holders to upload documents to our website to ease in license renewals, completing the transition of our criminal background check process to an automated process that reduces renewal fees, and finding new and different ways to simplify and enrich your interactions with TREC. Our mission is to protect consumers while facilitating economic growth and opportunity across Texas.  One way of fulfilling this mission is to equip you to do your job well and ease any burden you experience when needing to interact with our agency.  We have successfully reduced hold times in our call center, launched new online tools, streamlined processes and eliminated fees, but we won’t stop there.  You have my word.