John Geha is moving home to Ohio after working in several high-profile Canadian positions for the last 10 years. He will start his new job as CEO of Columbus Realtors on Jan. 2.
Geha is currently the CEO of the London and St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR). He came to Canada as the president of Canadian operations for Coldwell Banker in 2009. He also served in senior positions at Century 21 Canada and Prudential Real Estate Affiliates.
Geha is from the Toledo area. Before coming to Canada to live, he operated a consulting business from his Ohio home base.
Although he says he’s thrilled to be taking on the job in Columbus, Geha says, “It took me a long time to accept this job” because it will be tough leaving the “dedicated, committed and skilled” people he has worked with in this country.
He has high praise for the staff at LSTAR as well as colleagues at the Ontario Real Estate Association. He says he’s particularly proud of the progress that organized real estate has made in government relations, which in Ontario has been key in getting a new real estate act that will benefit both consumers and Realtors. He also points to a joint education and training initiative that LSTAR forged with Fanshaw College as a major board accomplishment.
Geha had a chance to move to an executive position in Chicago before he took the LSTAR job. It would have been ideal, he says, because his wife Susan is a flight attendant who flies out of Chicago. But after the couple talked it over, they both decided they would rather stay in Canada.
Now, however, the new job challenge is too good to refuse, Geha says.
In Columbus, “The CEO search process started this summer and included stakeholder engagement, a nationwide search and review of hundreds of organizations and leadership profiles,” says Andy Mills, 2020 president of Columbus Realtors, in a news release. “We were looking for an individual who offered visionary leadership when it comes to organizational effectiveness, financial responsibility, advocacy outreach, external relations, sustainability and board engagement. We’ve found all of these qualities in John Geha.”
LSTAR has now launched a search for its next CEO.