Just moments after hearing that she’d been selected as the recipient of the 2016 Rhino Award, Dallas Hancock says, “Honestly, you could have knocked me over with a feather. After I caught my breath, I felt extremely proud because the award came from my peers. There is nothing more rewarding than peer recognition.”
Hancock, CEO for the Peoria Area Association of REALTORS® (PAAR), received the award from the Illinois REALTORS® earlier this month at a statewide gathering of local association executives. The annual award honors an executive for longstanding leadership, service, strength and loyalty to the profession. In 1985, Hancock joined the local association as the director of computer services and became the CEO six months later.
She says several factors have kept the job interesting during that span. “The industry is always changing and evolving, and I’ve been fortunate the leadership of PAAR has been forward thinking, committed to staying on the cutting edge. Regardless of the membership numbers, PAAR’s strategic vision has always been that of a much larger association; just scaled to accommodate the budget and available staff resources.”
Keeping the professional needs of the members and the relevancy of the association as top priorities have enabled her and other members of the PAAR leadership team to grow and evolve together over the years.
Mentors have also played important roles for her. “First and foremost, my father had a tremendous influence and has always provided great business insights,” says Hancock. “Even at almost 90 years old, I call upon him for advice and draw upon his experiences in business/association management. Chris Strachota with PRC Realty Systems was the first business person to have an influence on my career. Terry Penza was a friend and mentor in the AE world from the beginning, and Pam Krieter and I have had a mutual admiration for many, many years; brainstorming and sharing ideas! And of course, Gary Clayton is certainly someone I have always admired and learned from.”
Hancock was a 2012 inductee into the National Association of REALTORS® Dr. Almon R. “Bud” Smith Association Executive Leadership Society. That award is one of the highest honors an association executive can receive in the REALTOR® community. She now has two prestigious awards.