The Realtors Association of Southern Kentucky has replaced experience with experience in the organization’s chief executive position.

Meg Manning, who spent the past 29 years as RASK’s executive director, retired last month and has been replaced by Jim DeMaio, who brings a wealth of real estate experience to the CEO position.

DeMaio, who started with RASK on May 4, spent the previous two years as director of the Greater Owensboro Realtor Association and was a Realtor in the Owensboro area for 16 years before that.

“I love this job because I’m helping other people do what I loved doing,” DeMaio said. “I know what they go through every day.”

As chief executive, DeMaio will be involved in maintaining the local Multiple Listing Service along with government relations and community service for an association that has more than 600 members.

DeMaio said Manning has made the transition easy.

“I’ve known Meg for 10 or 12 years now,” he said. “She has always been helpful. One of the best things she leaves is a great legacy. She wants to see the association continue to grow. She’s a heck of a resource.”

Manning said she saw many changes during nearly three decades with RASK as she helped shepherd the association into the internet age.

“When I started, we had to physically mail pictures to the publishing company that printed our MLS book,” she said. “Now everything is online and at the fingertips of Realtors and consumers.”

Manning, who said she stepped down because of her desire to spend more time with family, is proud that RASK is “well-respected around the state.”

“I hope I played a small part in that,” she said.

Current RASK President Stacey Fergerson said Manning played a key role in making the association valuable for its members and the community.

“Meg was very highly respected,” Fergerson said. “I’m sure we’ll still call on her from time to time. We’ll truly miss her leadership, but it was time for her to go on to a new path. We were a well-run organization under Meg, and I don’t see anything changing. We’re lucky to have someone with Jim’s experience.”

DeMaio, despite coming to RASK during a time when the coronavirus pandemic has handcuffed the economy, said the local real estate market hasn’t been hurt as badly as some sectors of the economy.

“We’ve seen maybe a 10 percent drop-off in sales,” he said. “The government allowed the real estate business to be an essential service, so it hasn’t been hit nearly as bad as you’d think.

“The low interest rates are causing people to want to buy homes. The biggest issue in the local market is lack of inventory.”

– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit bgdailynews.com.

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