Nestor R. Weigand Jr., who served as president of the National Association of REALTORS® in 1988 during a monumental moment in real estate, died Nov. 2. He was 84.
Weigand led the association when the Fair Housing Act of 1988 was signed into law, extending discrimination protections to people with disabilities and families with children. “To be in the Rose Garden of the White House with people who had never perceived that we could be part of the solution, because they had put us in the category as part of the problem, was a tremendous honor for me,” Weigand said at the time.
The mission of his presidency was to get REALTORS® more invested in politics through a program called “Team ’88,” which saw more than 270 REALTORS® assume positions as delegates or alternates to the Democratic and Republican national conventions that year. Weigand also was hugely instrumental in transforming the NAR budget, implementing the “zero-based budgeting” concept and making NAR an even more member-driven organization. “Nestor was right in the middle of creating the kind of positive change that was beneficial to the long-term democracy of NAR,” recalls NAR Past President Clark E. Wallace, who served in 1986.
Weigand, whom his peers recall as a force in the real estate industry, also served as chairman and CEO of J.P. Weigand & Sons, a pre-eminent real estate firm in Kansas. Born in 1939, he was a third-generation REALTOR® who joined his father and grandfather’s company, spending more than six decades working in real estate. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BBA in finance in 1960. Before getting into real estate, he enlisted in the Army, serving as a first lieutenant and captain.
Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) issued a statement following Weigand’s passing, acknowledging him as a real estate “giant” and a Wichita, Kan., community leader who “made a huge difference in people’s lives and understood the people of Kansas.”
Weigand was deeply involved in his local and state real estate boards, both of which named him REALTOR® of the Year in 1972. He became president of the Wichita Board of REALTORS® in 1974 and president of the Kansas Association of REALTORS® in 1978. But he still created time to give back to his community as he climbed the ranks of the REALTOR® organization.
Weigand served on the boards of many philanthropic foundations, including the Wesley Medical Center, Music Theater of Wichita, Wichita Symphony Society, Wichita Area Chamber of Commerce and Fourth National Bank. As a testament to his dedication and political acumen, Weigand was appointed by the governor to the Kansas State Highway Commission and the Kansas State Bicentennial Commission in 1973 and 1974, respectively.
Weigand was elected to NAR’s Board of Directors in 1978, where he served for seven years. He became president-elect in 1987 and led a delegation of REALTORS® to Tokyo for the North American Real Estate Exhibition. Weigand was officially inaugurated as NAR’s president on Nov. 14, 1987, in Honolulu.
After his presidency, Weigand ran in the Republican primary for governor of Kansas in 1990. The same year, he served as the chairman of the Advisory Council of Fannie Mae. In 1992, he was installed as deputy world president of the Americas for the Paris-based International Real Estate Federation, known by its French acronym, FIABCI. He was then elected as FIABCI’s world president for the 2001-02 term, a feat achieved by only three other NAR presidents.
In 2001, Weigand became chairman of the board at J.P. Weigand & Sons, in addition to his position as CEO. He held both positions at the company until his death. Weigand is survived by his three sons, Nes, Stephen and Johnathan; his former wife, Luann; four grandchildren; and 10 nieces and nephews.
Richard Mendenhall, who served as NAR president in 2001, remembers Weigand as humble, passionate, hardworking and loyal. Wallace remembers Weigand as warm, friendly and a leader who left an indelible mark. “Nestor was unique in his outward friendliness, and it only grew as he grew in the job,” Wallace says.