The president of the National Association of Realtors, a powerful organization in real estate, has resigned. This comes two days after The New York Times ran an article detailing women’s complaints that he had a pattern of inappropriate touching and sending of lewd pictures and texts. According to interviews, lawsuits, and internal reports, several women have claimed that Kenny Parcell was harassing them or engaging in inappropriate behavior. Mr. Parcell denied the allegations in written responses sent to The Times.
N.A.R. Inman, an online real estate news website, reported Monday on Mr. Parcell’s resignation.
Mr. Parcell, a successful Realtor in Utah, rose up the ranks in the nonprofit organization. He held several senior positions in the organization before assuming the top position. Parcell’s one-year tenure as president wasn’t due to end until November. “My resignation is the result of a series false accusations made against me,” he wrote to N.A.R.’s executive committee. In an email, a N.A.R. representative said: “I’m deeply troubled by people who are trying to tarnish and mischaracterize the good intentions of my actions.”
In a statement sent via email, he stated that Tracy Kasper will take over Mr. Parcell’s position immediately. In an email statement, a representative for N.A.R. We want to thank everyone who has shared their stories, and we also want to thank those who have expressed their opinions over the last few days. Our commitment to our staff and our members is unwavering, and we will continue to enhance the way we foster a welcoming, safe and respectful workplace.”
The nonprofit, based in Chicago, has more than $1 billion in assets and owns the trademark to the word “Realtor.” It dominates the American real estate industry with 1.5 million dues-paying members, making it the largest professional organization in the country. The Times published an article about Mr. Parcell on Saturday. The next day, Jason Haber of Compass started a Change.org campaign demanding Mr. Parcell resign. When I searched online, I was expecting to see realty boards and brokerages releasing statements condemning the actions and calling for changes. But there were none,”
Mr. Haber explained why he created the petition. I asked representatives to cancel their speaking slots at their conferences. We were putting a lot of pressure on the organization.”
Complaints about Mr. Parcell began to surface after Janelle Brevard, a former employee who said she had had a consensual relationship with Mr. Parcell, sued the group for racial and sexual discrimination and harassment.
Ms. Brevard (Black) handled the group’s videos, podcasts, and marketing materials between 2019 and 2022. According to her lawsuit, she claimed that after the relationship ended, Mr. Parcell (who is white) threatened to fire her and excluded her from business meetings and trips. Brevard lost her job in September 2022 – a few months following the end of their relationship. She was the only woman fired out of the four who complained about Parcell to the independent investigator who was hired to investigate allegations of sexual harassment in the organization. Her lawsuit claimed that the other three women are white. She withdrew her lawsuit in early July after negotiating a settlement with N.A.R.
Jennifer Braun, N.A.R.’s senior events producer, filed an internal report to the human resources department about two encounters with Mr. Parcell. She told The Times at a conference in Washington, Mr. Parcell put his hands down his pants when he requested her help to fix his shirt. She said that on another occasion he mimicked ejaculation while telling her another colleague was masturbating inside his room. A senior vice president received a memo from an executive who said that she was aware of two employees describing an “inappropriate” invitation to stay the night in Mr. Parcell’s Utah home. According to the memo, he also sent photos of his crotch. The executive then shared the photos with the senior Vice President. The Times reviewed the photographs.
Mr. Parcell has denied all of the accusations. Within the organization and its affiliates, 29 employees and former leaders told The Times that N.A.R. Leaders failed to adequately address the culture of bad behaviour, despite Mr. Parcell’s and other leaders’ complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination.
Mr. Parcell’s resignation “is a step in the right direction,” said Mr. Haber who, along with other industry leaders, has been working to bring about change. “The toxic atmosphere that existed at N.A.R. The toxic environment that existed at N.A.R. was there before Kenny Parcell became president. It will remain so after his departure. This is not the end, but the beginning.