Honoring Beverly Carter
October 30 - November 5, 2017
By Kara Lee Ford
Since 2014, Oct. 4 has been an emotional day for Carl Carter Jr. That’s the day his mother, a real estate agent in North Little Rock – was laid to rest after being murdered. Oct. 4 this year found Carter in Stillwater, Okla., for a speaking engagement at the Oklahoma Association of Realtors’ annual convention.
He was there to inform Oklahoma Realtors about the Beverly Carter Foundation, which he established earlier this year to honor his mother and to provide resources to keep real estate agents safe. Carter is working to turn the senseless kidnapping and murder of his mother into something positive. The mission of the foundation is to create a lasting, substantive, positive impact on safety that every agent needs and deserves.
Carter, who has become a licensed real estate agent himself since his mother’s death, said he wants to provide scientifically based research, information, consulting, training and support at no charge to every MLS, association, brokerage and agent.
“Our fundraising is going well. We are excited that we just reached $50,000. It’s a blessing, but to do everything we’d like to do, we need to raise more,” Carter said.
He spends a lot of time traveling in Arkansas and across the United States to speak to groups and associations about his message of making sure all real estate agents get home safely to their families each night – something his mother wasn’t able to do on Sept. 25, 2014.
Long-term goals of the foundation include hiring an executive director and expanding the safety message to other industries.
“I’m a staff of one right now, but I have a job and a family,” he said. “So it would be great to hire someone to handle the day-to-day business of the foundation. Plus, safety training is also needed in other types of jobs like car salespersons, traveling nurses and Avon saleswomen – anyone who might find themselves alone with a client.
“We envision multiple, nationwide programs to address the current state of safety in the real estate industry. All of our safety programs are grounded in research around behavioral science, predator profiling and real-world tools to prevent and deter crime.”
The foundation’s Board of Directors consists of real estate people from across the United States:
Doyle Yates, executive vice president for Coldwell Banker Harris McHaney Faucette and chairman of the Arkansas Real Estate Commission.
Brenda Barnhardt, executive vice president of the Realtors Association of Northwestern Wisconsin since 2012.
J. Philip Faranda, broker and owner of J. Philip Real Estate in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.
Keith Pike, owner of Re/Max Elite in Little Rock, Conway and Bryant as well as Re/Max Infinity in Overland Park, Kan.
Brenda Rhoads, principal broker with Crye-Leike Realtors in North Little Rock since 2013.
Lisa Tyler, senior vice president and national escrow administrator for the Fidelity Family of Companies in Las Vegas and Napa, Calif.
Mabel Guzman, broker at @properties – Chicago’s top real estate brokerage.
Carter and the foundation have received a great deal of support from the real estate community in Central Arkansas. The Faulkner County Board of Realtors made a donation to the foundation in September, which is Realtor Safety Month.
Kristen Kennon, owner of iRealty with offices in Little Rock and Saline County, is an enthusiastic volunteer for the foundation.
“I want to help in any way I can. I helped with a promo video that was shown at the Arkansas Realtors Association’s state convention last month,” Kennon said. “I also worked on the foundation’s fashion show held recently.
“My company has adopted the foundation’s safety guidelines. We cover safety in our weekly staff meetings. I definitely think the foundation is making a difference, and it is being embraced in Central Arkansas. We strive on collaboration. I think the more we talk about it the better.”
The Arkansas Realtors Association has established a Safety Task Force that challenges every real estate office to keep safety in the forefront of real estate business at all times. The task force also encourages every real estate company and office to become a Beverly Carter Safety Certified Office. Applications are available through the association.
Carter will continue his travels and speaking when he addresses the Realtors Conference and Chicago Expo the first week in November.
For more information about the Beverly Carter Foundation or to donate, visit beverlycarterfoundation.org. Donations can also be mailed to Beverly Carter Foundation, P.O. Box 94156, North Little Rock, AR 72190.