After an impressive 44 years, Glenda Puryear is hanging up her hat as Virginia REALTORS® conference specialist. Though that is her current title, Glenda has served VAR in almost every department over the years, making her the go-to person for anything about the association.
Travel back to September, 1978 in downtown Richmond, Virginia. Glenda started her work as a receptionist in the former headquarters on 6th and Cary Street. A lover of people and hard work, she was eager to offer her expertise to the REALTORS® in Virginia. As she remembers back to that first office, her favorite memories include the conversations with the few people in the office and the ability to walk to local shops and restaurants after work hours.
As the association grew and changed, so did Glenda’s role with VAR. She transitioned into administrative work, then joined the education team, worked with all our meetings and events throughout the year, and now works closely with Amy in membership. “A lot has changed. We have computers. Our old computers were unreal. If you looked at it now, you’d say what do I do with this? Everything had to be printed. Every convention, we had a book, and we had to collate that book and bind it. We don’t run off stuff anymore.” Though computers have been the biggest change in her career, the effort and passion she puts into helping at VAR remains the same.
When asked about any challenging times throughout the years, she had nothing to speak of and said everything has always run pretty smoothly. The favorite or funny memories, however, are endless. She absolutely loved all of the trips and out of town meetings she would go on with the association. “Banquets were fun—bands would play, people would wear their gowns.” Glenda has been everywhere with the association, from Bermuda, to Montreal, to the Homestead and Greenbriar. “What I cherished a lot was everybody was so friendly, and we all got together and worked on things together—mailings together, chit chat and caught up with what was going on and all that and that was a lot of fun.”
Glenda has been an essential part of Virginia REALTORS® and will be sorely missed upon her retirement at the end of July. Though she had many favorite moments, she narrowed down her favorite part about working with the association over the years to “being able to be more educated in real estate and meeting all the different REALTORS® and everything. That was a lot of fun. I’m a people person.”
Laura Benjamin, Roanoke Valley Association of REALTORS® CEO, states about Glenda, “I remember working together with Glenda 40 years ago, preparing for VAR conventions without any technology–other than an electric typewriter and very slow copier. So many changes have occurred during Glenda’s tenure. Though volunteer leaders and other VAR staff have come and gone over the years, Glenda has been a constant. Throughout the years, Glenda has been known for her smile and white glove service.”
When Glenda is finished acting as the conference and membership expert for the association, she will spend more time gardening and working on projects around her house. Thank you so much, Glenda, for all your time, knowledge, and friendliness over the years.