Women In Housing-2015

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Th e M Rep o RT | 31 Power Players Special Section T here may be no better illustration of rising through the ranks than Mary Frances Burleson's career at Ebby Halliday Real Estate, Inc. Ebby Halliday was founded in 1945 as a one-woman, one- office company, and Mary Frances' first experience with the organization was in 1958, when a temp agency sent her to fill a part-time secretary and receptionist position. From the start, the office culture of Ebby Halliday inspired her. She saw sales associates who were thriv- ing in their careers. "My hus- band said that I had looked over the garden wall when I started working for Ebby Halliday and that I was never the same again. Ebby has mentored and helped many, many people to find their career path and I was one of the fortunate ones," said Mary Frances. The rest, as they say, is history. Today, Mary Frances is proud to serve as president and CEO of the Ebby Halliday Companies, which has grown to include three real estate brands with 31 offices and 1,700 sales as- sociates, and affiliated mortgage, insurance, and title companies. In addition to Ebby Halliday herself, Mary Frances counts her grade-school teachers as early female inspirations. "Outstanding teachers, teachers who were knowledgeable and shared that knowledge with their students, were early role models for me and stirred my love of learning," Mary Frances said. In particular, Mary Frances fondly recalls her sixth grade history teacher, Mrs. Beck. "She piqued my curiosity to learn. I later earned 33 hours of history credit at Southern Methodist University and I give Mrs. Beck a great deal of credit for initiating my interest in his- tory," said Mary Frances. In her professional life, Mary Frances strives to live up to the three points of service Ebby Halliday was founded on: service to the customer, service to the industry, and service to the com- munity. Expounding on what this mission means to her personally, Mary Frances says, "I have sought to continue in the footsteps Ebby provided for us. Part of being a leader is providing inspiration to others. We have an obligation when we have had mentors to become mentors. I have an obliga- tion to serve others." As the head of Ebby Halliday, Mary Frances has worked to ensure women have equal op- portunities within the com- pany. Regarding challenges that women still face in business, Mary Frances says, "Some people do not appreciate women in the boardroom. Sometimes those people are blinded by their belief that women can't make unemo- tional decisions. Needless to say, at Ebby Halliday, we don't subscribe to this belief. We hire the best person–whether a man or a woman–for the job." Mary Frances advises others wanting to follow in her footsteps to keep the client as the No. 1 priority. "You have to approach these professions as the opportunity to provide exceptional service to clients. We are servants and must keep our clients' needs foremost in our work. If clients see dollar signs in your eyes, you've got a problem. You must continue to learn, attend seminars, read, listen to leadership CDs and podcasts, and always grow!" While Mary Frances is proud to be a female trailblazer, she doesn't let that facet alone define her. Among her professional achievements, Mary Frances is proud to have had the privilege of serving as the chair of the Texas Association of Realtors and on the board of the National Association of Realtors. "When I was inducted into the Realtors Political Action Committee Hall of Fame, I was pleased to be the first Texan, rather than the first woman, inducted," she quips. Mary Frances Burleson "When I was inducted into the Realtors Political Action Committee Hall of Fame, I was pleased to be the first Texan, rather than the first woman, inducted." President and CeO Of ebby Halliday real estate, inC.

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