Gary L. Clayton, CAE, RCE, chief executive officer of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® was named the 2011 recipient of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) William R. Magel Award of Excellence at the Association Executives Committee meeting at NAR Midyear in Washington, D.C. today.

The award 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, Clayton joins the elite membership of the Dr. Almon R. (Bud) Smith, RCE, AE Leadership Society. He will receive his award this fall at the NAR Conference.

Clayton has served as CEO for the Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR) since 1987 and is an official spokesperson and lobbyist for the association. He serves on the 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.

He holds the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership as well as NAR’s REALTOR® Association Certified Executive (RCE) designation.

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. He received his 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.