2019-2020 Leadership Academy Class

Leadership Academy - Columbus REALTORS

The Columbus REALTORS® Leadership Academy aligns with the association's commitment to strengthening central Ohio’s real estate community by building highly skilled leaders within the industry and community. The Academy curriculum consists of nine sessions, seven of which are intensely focused full-day programs designed to help students develop their expertise in business, public speaking, leadership, government, outreach and, of course, the real estate industry. Program photosMore information on the Leadership Academy.


Leadership Academy Class of 2019-2020

Cody Butler, Coldwell Banker King Thompson

Born and raised in Hilton Head Island, SC, Cody has called Columbus home for the past six years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Management Economics from The Ohio State University, earned his real estate license in 2015 and specializes in residential real estate. In his short tenure in real estate, Cody was selected by his peers to serve as president of the Midtown Area Realty Association. He is in his second year at the helm of the Association. He is a graduate of the Coldwell Banker King Thompson Leadership Program and a member of its Sales Advisory Committee. He’s also very active in the community, where he currently serves as a member of the Short North Rotary, participates in the Pelotonia Rider/Fundraiser and volunteers with Community for New Directions. An avid outdoorsman, Cody enjoys golfing, kayaking and hiking. 

Eric Cliffel, Keller Williams Classic Properties Realty

Eric was born in Cleveland, raised in Columbus Ohio. He majored in Marketing at Eastern Michigan University and holds a bachelor’s degree in Consumer Affairs from The Ohio State University. He was licensed in 2004 and is a member of Columbus REALTORS® Foundation Scholarship Committee as well as the Northwest Area and Midtown Area Realty associations. He ran varsity track and field in high school and has coached middle school cross country and high school cross country and track and field. He also participates in Pelotonia fundraisers, REALTOR® Care Day, Keller Williams Red Day and is a member of the USA Triathlon Association and First Community Church. In his spare time, Eric enjoys running, swimming, biking, triathlons, live music. traveling and playing with his kids. 

Ryan Conway, Keller Williams Consultants Realty

A life-long Ohio resident, Ryan currently resides in Powell. He graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Psychology. He received his real estate license in 2007 and was selected as a recipient of Columbus REALTORS® 10 Under 40 award in 2014, just prior to his 30th birthday. He serves on the Keller Williams Consultants Agent Leadership Council where he chairs the Technology Committee and is the office technology ambassador. He is also a member of the Greater Dublin, Powell and Greater Worthington Area Realty associations. Ryan volunteers with AmSpirit Business Connections, Dublin chapter, serves as networking director of the Columbus Young Professionals club and is a member of the 100 Men that Give a Damn. In his spare time, he enjoys golf, his jeep wrangler, smoking meats and playing with his children. 

Jeffrey Cotner, Key Realty

Jeff was born and raised in Lancaster Ohio and, prior to his real estate career, spent 27 years as a firefighter/paramedic in the Bloom Township Fire Department. He earned his real estate license in 2009 and is a founding member and 2019 co-chair of the Columbus REALTORS® Diversity and Inclusion Committee. He also serves on the Ohio REALTORS® Equal Opportunity & Diversity Forum and on its Board of Directors. Jeff is a member of the Tri-County Real Estate Association and the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP). In addition, he is a recipient of the Knights of Columbus Blue Coat Award and the 2012 Box 15 Larry Parlett Distinguished County Firefighter of the Year Award. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Wagnalls Memorial Foundation/Library. Jeff enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and going to the gym when time permits. 

Lisa Evelinn, Keller Williams Consultants Realty


A native of Columbus, Lisa earned her real estate license in 2016 and now holds the Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), Real Estate Negotiation Expert (RENE), Seller Representative Specialist (SRS) and the Accredited Staging Professional (ASP/RE) designations. She’s also served on the Association’s Government Affairs Forum and the Education and Standard Forms committees and serves on the Keller Williams Consultants Agent Leadership Council Education and Finance committees. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys spending time with her children and reading.  


Carie Igel, Fathom Realty Ohio

Licensed in 2006, Carie is a residential real estate agent, mentor and, in 2017, became a District Director with her company. A graduate of The Ohio State University with a degree in textile sciences, Carie received the OSU Homecoming Honors Award in 1997. She serves on the Associations’ Sustainability Task Force, is an RPAC Major Investor, REALTOR® Care Day volunteer and is recipient of the $5 Million Dollar Sales award. Carie is also very active with WCR (Women’s Council of REALTORS®). She volunteers with the Ridgewood Elementary PTO, Heart to Heart Food Pantry and is president of the Scioto Run Civic Association. In her spare time, Carie loves to cook, garden, entertain and be adventurous with family and friends.  

Greg Kullman, Street Sotheby's International

A lifelong resident of Columbus, Greg earned his bachelor's in Economics Management from Ohio Wesleyan University and his MBA with a concentration in Marketing from The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. Prior to getting his real estate license in 2014, he coached men's soccer at Bexley High School for 11 years and retired in 2013 as the Varsity Head Coach to focus on his career. Greg served as the Association's YPN Chair in 2018 and 2019 chair of the MLS Committee as well as vice president of Northwest Area Realty Association. In his spare time, Greg supports the Columbus Crew, Browns and his beloved Buckeyes. But, his favorite pastime is spending time with his wife, Kiki, and their twin boys, Cam & Kyle.

Betsy McCloskey, HER, Realtors®

Born and raised in Columbus, Betsy holds a bachelor’s degree in History from The Ohio State University. She was licensed in 1985 and specializes in residential and investment real estate. Betsy has earned the Columbus REALTORS® Five Million Dollar Sales award and is a recipient of the Ohio REALTORS® President’s Sales Award. She has served on Columbus REALTORS® Affordable Housing Committee and the Governmental Affairs Forum and is a CORPAC and Red Wagon donor. She’s also very involved in the community chairing or serving as a board member with numerous charities, including the Short North Rotary, Columbus Panhellenic Association, Columbus Academy Mothers Association and Habitat for Humanity. In her spare time, Betsy enjoys cooking, reading and taking walks. 

Fred Rector, Keller Williams Capital Partners

A life-long resident of Columbus Ohio, Fred graduated from Westerville High School and Otterbein University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Minor in Art. He got his real estate license in 1978 and has since earned the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation, is a multi-year recipient of the Ohio REALTORS® President’s Club and a recipient of the Columbus REALTORS® 25 Million Dollar sale award. Fred is a member of the Midtown, Dublin and Westerville Area Realty associations and actively involved in numerous charitable organizations, including the Short North Civic Association, the HRC/Human Rights Campaign, and the Memorial Tournament. Fred is an avid golfer, foodie, aspiring chef and gardener. He also enjoys designing and working with rehab contractors and clients, traveling, and mentoring new agents.

Stephanie Rucinski, Cutler Real Estate

Stephanie holds both a law degree and an MBA from The Ohio State University, a graduate degree in international negotiations from Erasmus University, The Netherlands, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology and management from Boston College. Prior to real estate, she was a stockbroker, software engineer, yoga instructor and public relations consultant and has owned her own business consulting firm and software firm. Since getting her real estate license in 2015, Stephanie has earned the e-Pro designation and the Association’s Five Million Dollar sales award and 2018 Rising Star of the Year award. She is a recipient of the Columbus Business First “Forty Under 40” award, an Ernst and Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” nominee and a Columbus Tourism “Ambassador of the Year” finalist. In the community, Stephanie has been an active participant with the New Albany Chamber of Commerce Mentorship Program, the New Albany Citizens Police Academy, VIPS (Volunteers in Public Safety Service) which is a division of the Department of Homeland Security, the AgriPower Leadership Development Program, Columbus Foundation, Experience Columbus, Habitat for Humanity and the Columbus Food Bank. In her spare time, Stephanie likes reading, hiking and cooking.             

Vanessa Simmons, Coldwell Banker King Thompson

A resident of Pickerington, Vanessa received her BA from Philander Smith College and her Master’s in Public Administration from Bowling Green. After receiving her real estate license in 2005, she worked as an agent for nine years and then moved into management. Vanessa holds the Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) designation and the Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR®) certification. She is on the Diversity committee for her company and will serve as 2020 co-chair of the Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Vanessa has been President and an active Pickerington PTA member, and volunteers for the Columbus Housing Partnership and the Columbus Urban League. Outside of business, she enjoys reading, swimming and traveling.  

Marc Van Steyn, RE/MAX Premier Choice

Marc is a life-long resident of Columbus Ohio and a second-generation REALTOR®. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from The Ohio State University and a Culinary Arts degree from the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY. He was licensed in 2004, holds the Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR) designation and has earned the Columbus REALTORS® 25 Million Dollar Sales Award. Marc is the team leader for Van Steyn Partner and is responsible for managing team members and working with buyers and sellers. A wine connoisseur, Marc enjoys cooking, surfing, exercising and golf in his spare time. 


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