Get to Know CREA’s New Chair, James Mabey

In 2017, Andrew Peck, the first openly gay President of CREA’s Board of Directors, predicted James Mabey would be the next. This was manifested seven years later when Mabey, a REALTOR® and broker-manager from Edmonton, Alberta with almost 20 years’ experience, was installed as CREA’s 2024-2025 Chair.

“I feel exceptionally humbled and proud to represent a small piece of the diversity in the REALTOR® family, and go to work every day helping people achieve the dream of homeownership,” said Mabey.

When asked what he loves most about working in real estate, Mabey added, “Being there for my clients. As REALTORS® we sit at kitchen tables every day with our clients helping them achieve their dreams. We roll up our sleeves and solve problems, and I am proud of the value we bring,”

Mabey also underscored now more than ever, it’s a critical time to demonstrate that value.

“I’m going to be using my time as chair to showcase all that we have to be proud of,” Mabey continued. “REALTORS® act with integrity by adhering to our Code of Ethics, provide skilled and conscientious professional service, are community advocates for safe and affordable housing, are key drivers of the Canadian economy, and are a reflection of Canada’s diversity.”

Acknowledging the challenges facing the real estate industry, Mabey is confident that “as a community of REALTORS®, we can face adversity and achieve so much, because we do it for our clients everyday.”

Mabey has served on CREA’s Board of Directors since 2019, in various capacities. Reflecting on that time, Mabey said, “The Board is constantly evaluating the value CREA delivers to its members. We don’t shy away from bold ideas or courageous conversations. We have long recognized the need to disrupt ourselves.”

For Mabey, it’s important to reflect and celebrate accomplishments, but also think about the moves that need to happen to set REALTORS® and their clients up for success in the future.

“We can take comfort and pride in what has been built while thinking strategically about where we go from here.”

Did you know? As Chair-Elect, James Mabey appeared on CREA’s REAL TIME Podcast, where he shared tips to help REALTORS® build their names.

Fun facts about James Mabey

What’s your favourite meal?

I’m a fan of the classics, so roast chicken with gravy and mashed potatoes. My family actually has a full on battle for who makes the best gravy­—the politically correct answer is my mother, but really it’s me.

Who is someone, past or present, who you’d like to share a meal with?

For sure my parents Louise and Gayle Mabey. They inspired my leadership and real estate journey and taught me the value of volunteering. My first trip to Ottawa was during my mom’s time as Chair of the Canadian Dental Assistants Association, before she got into real estate. I was so proud to have them at the AGM to see me installed as Chair.

Aside from your home city of Edmonton, do you have a favourite place to travel in Canada?

Montreal. It’s my absolute favorite place to visit. I studied at McGill University for four years so it still feels like going home when my husband, Dylan, and I spend time there. Also, I now get to visit CREA’s Chair Elect, Valèrie Paquin when I visit, whom I am over the moon to work with.

What’s your favourite way to decompress or relax?

I love going to our cottage in Island Lake, Alberta, and spending time in front of the fireplace. The cottage has been in my family since 1983 so I basically grew up there. It’s a place that brings family together and my husband and I carry on that tradition.

If you weren’t in real estate, what do you think you would have done for a living?

Something in marketing or advertising. I have a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a major in marketing and communications. I really loved my time in school and when I worked in retail, I really enjoyed merchandising.

Do you have a show that you recommend we watch?

I am a huge Doctor Who fan and am so excited for the new premiere! I am aware it makes me a “Super Geek” but you could say I have diverse tastes because I also love Golden Girls.

Do you have a favourite Doctor?

Yes! Tom Baker (old school) or David Tennant (new school).

On that note, do you have a favourite Golden Girl?

Dorothy. She’s so witty and cutting. I mean who doesn’t love Bea Arthur? Also she was a huge advocate for LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness.

Leslie Kellestine is a Communications Advisor with CREA. Prior to joining CREA’s team, Leslie worked on Parliament Hill where she developed and executed communications plans for federal politicians. After work, Leslie loves to go horseback riding, hit the trails with her dog Effie and try out the newest cocktail lounge in town.

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