ALAres 2020: Agents of Change

The Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE) and Birmingham Association of REALTORS (BAR) are pleased to announce that the fourth annual residential real estate conference and expo, ALAres, will be held on Thursday, February 6, 2020, at The Club in Birmingham. The 2020 conference theme is “Agents of Change.”

“Change is necessary for growth to meet our maximum potential,” said ACRE Director of Education, Marketing and Communications Cherie Moman. “The ALAres 2020 theme embraces the benefits of change through a clear vision, persistence, knowledge, passion and taking action. In the spirit of change, we are excited to partner with BAR this year to take ALAres to the next level.”

ALAres’ theme is reflected in the line-up of speakers and presentations including:
Marki Lemon Ryhal, ReMarkiTable LLC
Marki Lemon Ryhal will deliver the opening keynote at ALAres 2020. She is a licensed managing broker and REALTOR® and has earned several sales awards. She holds an MBA degree from Saint Xavier University and has over 50 certifications, designations, and licenses in social media and real estate. She travels the country teaching social media courses for the National Association REALTORS®, REBAC, ASI, and others. She is a six-time REALTOR® Conference and Expo featured attendee, one of 100 speakers selected to speak the REALTOR® Conference and Expo six times, and an Inman closing keynote speaker. Her ALAres keynote “Change Your Business Trajectory with Social Media and Technology” will show REALTORS how to earn up to a 2,682% ROI on their marketing dollars, implementing FREE and low-cost social media strategies.

Russ Ward – University of Alabama Huntsville
Russ Ward is the Chief Information Security Officer at The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Russ has been engaged in cybersecurity for the last 18 years, including academic, government, corporate and legal domains. He focuses on a holistic security approach including architecture, design, implementation, incident handling/response, forensics, code analysis, web applications testing, auditing and training. Throughout his career Russ has trained college students, law enforcement and DoD personnel, while conducting security operations and research. Russ is currently 1 of 232 people that hold GIAC’s most prestigious certifications, GIAC Security Expert (GSE). In addition, he also holds 12 other profession certifications. He will discuss current cyber threats along with ways to mitigate the risks and protect data.

Lexi Edwards – University of Alabama
Lexi Edwards is a marketing professor at the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Business and is also a director of the college’s sales program. In that role, she teaches the advanced sales courses and manages the relationships with corporate partners. The Program teaches over 1,500 students each year, engages more than 100 stakeholders, and provides upwards of $300,000 in student scholarships annually. Her session will describe the preferences, goals and experiences of Gen Z and introduce sales techniques that will improve agents’ ability to work with the Gen Z home buyers.

Stuart Norton – Alabama Center for Real Estate
As research coordinator, Stuart Norton manages ACRE’s residential market research, producing monthly, quarterly and yearly sales reports on 26 residential markets across the state, monthly new construction reports that track new construction building permits and housing starts, and the center’s Alabama housing affordability index. He will review trends from 2019 and provide a 2020 forecast for inventory and sales.

Early bird registration is now open for ALAres 2020 on the website at For information about conference sponsorships or registration, contact Cherie Moman at 205.348.3324 or

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