Kenny Parcell resigns from NAR after sexual harassment claims

New York Times investigation detailed president’s pattern of misconduct at organization

NAR’s Kenny Parcell Resigns After Sexual Harassment Claims
Kenny Parcell (NAR, Getty)

Kenny Parcell has resigned from his position as president of the National Association of Realtors.

Parcell denied wrongdoing in his resignation letter, obtained by RISMedia, which he penned days after The New York Times reported accounts from three women accusing the executive of sexual harassment.

In the letter to NAR’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors, Parcell said he was “deeply troubled by those looking to tarnish my character and mischaracterize my well-intended actions,” according to RISMedia.

The Times investigation was based on accounts from 29 employees and former executives. 

The report pointed to a sexual and racial discrimination lawsuit filed earlier this summer against the organization by Janelle Brevard, who worked as NAR chief storyteller. The lawsuit, which claimed that Parcell harassed and fired Brevard for breaking off a consensual relationship, did not name Parcell as a defendant and Brevard dropped the suit three weeks after filing it. 

Three women currently employed by NAR alleged a similar pattern of inappropriate behavior by Parcell, according to the Times report, and said the organization failed to stop it when informed. 

Stephanie Quinn, NAR’s former director of business meetings and events, said Parcell often sought physical contact and late-night meetings with younger colleagues. She said he questioned her authority when she refused his advances. 

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Amy Swida, the organization’s current director of business meetings and events, said she filed a sexual harassment or gender discrimination complaint against Parcell, alleging he was cruel and condescending to her after she became pregnant. 

“I’m scared every day coming to work,” Swida told the Times. 

Jennifer Braun, NAR’s senior events producer, said Parcell put his hands down his pants in front of her. Parcell sent two other women a photo of his crotch, according to a memo Braun sent to a senior vice president. 

The NAR told RISMedia that it does not allow discrimination, harassment or retaliation and follows “clear reporting procedures to investigate any issue of concern brought to our attention.”

Parcell, who has denied wrongdoing throughout, said his decision to resign was intended to save the organization from further embarrassment. 

“I’ve been shocked by these false accusations, hurtful words, whispers, and character assassination,” wrote Parcell. “Putting the organization and the Brand first comes with the title of President. Leadership is about making tough choices; this resignation signifies that I will put the organization’s needs first to move forward above my own personal needs to stay in this position.”

— Harrison Connery

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