Illinois REALTORS® is overseen by a leadership team of a 28-member Board of Directors, which includes four officers: the president, president-elect, treasurer and immediate past president.
Meet our leadership team
REALTOR® Matt Difanis, ABR, CIPS, GRI, of Mahomet, is the 2018 President of Illinois REALTORS®. He is a co-owner of RE/MAX Realty Associates, with offices in Champaign, Mahomet and Monticello.
Difanis took his real estate pre-licensing coursework in 1998 while still an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He subsequently worked full-time as a REALTOR® while attending the University of Illinois College of Law and chose to remain in the real estate industry after earning his Juris Doctor degree. He was featured in REALTOR® Magazine’s 2004 Class of “30 Under 30.”
Difanis was president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS® in 2012 and was honored as its REALTOR® of the Year in 2013. Nationally, he is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Board of Directors.
At the state level, he has chaired a variety of committees, working groups and task forces and, in 2018 will lead the Illinois REALTORS®’ Executive Committee and Board of Directors. He has chaired ethics and arbitration hearing panels all over the state and has served as an ombudsman with the Illinois REALTORS®’ Ombudsman Program since its inception. He is a Golden “R” Major Investor in the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) and a member of NAR’s President’s Circle.
Difanis is active in his local community, serving in leadership roles with the Mahomet Area Youth Club, as the past official photographer for the Central Illinois Honor Flight and volunteering with a variety of other community charities and events. In 2015, Difanis was named Central Illinois Business Magazine’s “Forty Under 40” Man of the Year. He and his wife, Angelle, live in Mahomet and are the parents of two children, Gabriel and Isabelle. His wife is a nurse practitioner, who treats patients in a convenient care clinic.
REALTOR® Ed Neaves, of Bloomington, is the 2018 Treasurer of Illinois REALTORS®. He is the managing broker of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Snyder Real Estate in Bloomington.
Licensed in real estate since 1976, Neaves served as the 2017 president of the Bloomington-Normal Association of REALTORS® and was honored as his local association’s REALTOR® of the Year in 2011. He was awarded his local association’s Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. On the national level, Neaves has served repeated terms on the REALTOR® Party Member Involvement Committee for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).
At the state level, Neaves serves on the Illinois REALTORS®’ Board of Directors and has chaired a number of working groups and committees. He is the Federal Political Coordinator for Congressman Adam Kinzinger and is among an elite group of REALTORS® nationwide who have been inducted into the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) Hall of Fame for lifetime contributions of at least $25,000. He was honored for his political leadership with the 2015 Illinois REALTORS® Political Involvement Award.
Neaves is also an entrepreneur who has owned and operated restaurants and radio stations in central Illinois. He a past president of the Bloomington-Normal Area Home Builders Association, McLean County Humane Society and the Bloomington-Normal Jaycees. He has served on the boards of the McLean County Chamber of Commerce, United Way of McLean County and currently serves on the Miller Park Zoological Society Board of Directors.
Neaves graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy and served in the Air Force until 1978. He has an MBA degree from Illinois State University. He and his wife, Amanda Wycoff Neaves, who also is a REALTOR®, live in Normal with their son Edwin James.
REALTOR® Doug Carpenter, ABR, AHWD, GRI, SFR, of Mokena is the 2018 Immediate Past President of Illinois REALTORS®. He is the managing broker of Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group in Mokena.
Active in the real estate industry since 1985, Carpenter has been involved in all levels of the REALTOR® organization. He twice served as president of his local association and his industry experience also includes serving as CEO of the Three Rivers Association of REALTORS®. He currently is a member of the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS®.
At the state level, Carpenter has served on numerous committees, working groups and task forces with a particular emphasis on professional standards, governmental affairs, advocacy and education. He is a longtime member of the Illinois REALTORS® Board of Directors and was the 2009 recipient of the Illinois REALTORS® Distinguished Service Award. He served as president of the Real Estate Educational Foundation, a not-for-profit organization established to aid and promote the work of real estate education throughout Illinois, in 2009 and 2010.
Nationally, Carpenter is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Board of Directors. He is among an elite group of REALTOR® association members nationwide whose monetary contributions have earned them a spot on the RPAC Hall of Fame in NAR’s Washington, D.C., offices. In 2002, he was the first REALTOR® from Illinois to earn such an honor.