The Ebby Halliday Companies announced today that Chris Kelly has been named the chief executive officer. Mary Frances Burleson, longtime president, and CEO, will now focus on the Ebby Halliday Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to honor the legacy and philanthropic commitment of the company’s namesake, Ebby Halliday. Ebby Halliday Companies is owned by HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate and the nation’s second-largest residential real estate brokerage company.
Kelly joined ReeceNichols Real Estate, HomeServices’ wholly-owned company based in Kansas City, in 2007 and served as corporate legal counsel before being promoted to chief administrative officer of ReeceNichols Real Estate, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kansas City Realty, Kansas City Title, and its other affiliated businesses and services in 2013. In this role, Kelly was actively engaged in virtually all aspects of brokerage operations and as a licensed broker, Kelly provided guidance and direction to the company’s 2,600 licensed REALTORS®. In 2017, Kelly joined HomeServices as Senior Counsel where he supported the company’s acquisitions and technology initiatives.
As CEO of the Ebby Halliday Companies, Kelly will shape the company’s strategy and direct operations with a focus on driving future growth while preserving Ebby’s legacy of exceeding clients’ expectations. “Mary Frances and her exceptional leadership team set an incredible level of excellence for the company,” Kelly said. “I am thrilled to join this team of immensely talented agents, sales managers, employees and lending and title professionals. The opportunity to help lead this iconic company to its next level of growth and performance is both humbling and exciting.”
“I am pleased to welcome Chris as CEO of the Ebby Halliday Companies,” said Ron Peltier, chairman, and CEO of HomeServices.
“Chris understands the real estate business from all perspectives and is keenly aware of the opportunities and challenges faced every day in brokerage offices. He is the right leader to grow the company and help position the agents for even greater success.”
Mary Frances joined the Ebby Halliday Companies in 1958 and held numerous leadership positions before being named president and CEO in 1989. Throughout her career, she has instilled the Ebby Halliday culture of delivering exceptional service through teamwork, market knowledge, empathy for others and integrity as she has set the strategy and led the company’s expansion and day-to-day operations for more than 1,700 sales associates.
“I am proud of everyone at Ebby Halliday and what we have achieved,” said Burleson. “Honoring Ebby’s legacy of service to the client, service to the industry and service to the community has always been a top priority for me. Chris has shown himself to be a leader with impeccable business ethics, personal sincerity and a deep understanding of the real estate business — all values that align with our heritage while pointing to an exciting future. I believe that Ebby would agree that with Chris at the helm, the future of Ebby Halliday couldn’t be brighter.”
“Chris brings extensive industry knowledge to the Ebby Halliday Companies and the HomeServices executive team. I am confident that under his leadership, the Ebby Halliday Companies are well-positioned for future growth,” concluded Peltier. “Mary Frances helped guide Ebby Halliday to become one of the country’s foremost real estate companies. On behalf of HomeServices, we thank Mary Frances for her years of service and her vision and leadership, which helped the Ebby Halliday Companies achieve the market-leading position they enjoy today.”