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Awards / Honors

College of Business awards honorary degrees to founders of RE/MAX

May 15, 2013

Dave and Gail Liniger are being honored in recognition of their many contributions to our state and countless philanthropic organizations, and for building a global business on a foundation of ingenuity, inspiration and integrity.

Dave and Gail Liniger, founders of RE/MAX International Inc.Colorado State University will confer honorary doctoral degrees on Dave and Gail Liniger, founders of RE/MAX International Inc., at the College of Business commencement ceremony at 8 a.m. May 18 at Moby Arena. The degrees will be presented by Chancellor Emeritus of the Colorado State University System Joe B. Blake.

The Linigers are being honored in recognition of their many contributions to our state and countless philanthropic organizations, and for building a global business on a foundation of ingenuity, inspiration and integrity.

Real estate maximums

When Dave and Gail Liniger founded RE/MAX in Denver in 1973, it revolutionized the way real estate companies were structured by allowing those who work for the company to create wealth previously not possible for agents. Expanding from its Colorado beginnings, RE/MAX International Inc. has transformed the real estate industry and become the largest privately owned real estate franchising company in the world.

Dave and Gail currently serve as Chairman and Vice Chair of the company, still based in Colorado. They spoke of the personal challenges they both faced – first, after Gail's near fatal plane crash in 1983, and in 2012, when Dave was stricken with a life-threatening illness  – during the Colorado State University Business Day in April 2013.

Dave Liniger coined the name “RE/MAX” from the words “real estate” and “maximums.” The RE/MAX business model combines a maximum commission concept with world-class support services, including custom-designed computer software, advanced training and education, and national advertising. The RE/MAX balloon is one of the most recognized logos in the world. RE/MAX agents have a voice in running the office, and as a result are the most productive in the industry.

Gail Main joined the firm in 1973 as office manager - and its first employee. She and Dave worked together to build the new company. In 1975 the company opened its first franchise outside of Colorado; by 1978, the company had eight offices and was ranked number one in Denver.  In 1994, RE/MAX opened its first offices outside North America and three years later was the number one real estate company in the world. Today, RE/MAX has more than 90,000 agents in 88 countries.

Corporate culture of giving

This phenomenal growth has been guided by the Linigers’ vision that has created a corporate culture of collaboration, productivity, gratitude and giving. They are widely credited with improving conditions for everyone employed in the real estate industry with their business philosophy and by pushing for governmental housing reforms that helped speed the housing recovery from the Great Recession in 2009. Many of those proposals have been adopted and the results can be seen in the market today.

The Linigers have set a tone of philanthropy since the early days of RE/MAX, and this culture of giving attracts professionals who care about making a difference in their communities. As just one example, in 2011, Dave and Gail accepted the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Founder’s Award on behalf of the RE/MAX network, which has raised more than $115 million for local children’s hospitals.

The Linigers also developed and own the Sanctuary Golf Course in Sedalia, Colo., devoted primarily to charity golf tournaments. The private course has raised more than $60 million for hundreds of organizations since opening in 1997.

They are also the co-founders of The Wildlife Experience, which promotes wildlife, its conservation, the many forms of art that celebrate it, and a variety of educational tools to learn about it. The 14-acre, 111,000-square-foot facility is designed as a quality venue for exceptional cultural exhibits, an educational center for all ages and an ideal gathering place for social, civic and business activities.