IAR Staff: CEO Gary Clayton

Gary Clayton, CEO, Illinois Association of REALTORS


Gary L. Clayton, CAE, RCE, is Chief Executive Officer of the Illinois Association of REALTORS®, a voluntary business organization founded in 1916 which serves over 44,000 members engaged in all facets of the real estate industry.

He has served in this position since December of 1987 and is an official spokesperson and lobbyist for the association.

He serves on the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Board of Directors and is the association executive appointed to the NAR Executive Committee. He is vice chair of the Realtors Property Resource Advisory Board and past chair of the NAR Association Executives Committee.

In 2011, Gary was awarded the prestigious national William R. Magel Award of Excellence, which honors an individual who has truly excelled in his or her role as an association executive of a local or state REALTOR® association. With this honor, he joins the elite membership of the Dr. Almon R. (Bud) Smith, RCE, AE Leadership Society.

He holds the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership as well as the REALTOR® Association Certified Executive (RCE) designation from the National Association of REALTORS®.

Before coming to IAR, he served for eight years as Director of the Illinois Department of Registration and Education. Prior, he was Deputy Director of the Illinois Department of Law Enforcement's Internal Investigation Division and a Postal Inspector for the U.S. Postal Service in Chicago.

Gary has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Southeast Missouri State University and a master’s degree in Social Justice Administration from the University of Illinois at Springfield.