Minnesota Hall of Fame Inductees Announced!!! – Real Estate Matters
Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame

Minnesota Hall of Fame Inductees Announced!!!

The time has come, the 2017 Hall of Fame inductees have been announced. Congratulations to Ralph Burnet, Jack Rice, and Howard Shenehon!

Join in the recognition of the accomplishments Burnet, Rice and Shenehon have done for Minnesota real estate. Members of the Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame are chosen for their outstanding business performance, high standards of ethics and community activities. The three new members are:


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Ralph Burnet

Ralph began his real estate career at Bermel Smaby Realtors. After leaving Bermel Smaby Realtors, he started his own realty company, Burnet Gagner Realty and built it to the largest in the Twin Cities. In 1983, Burnet merged his company with Merrill Lynch and for the next 7 years Burnet served as its Eastern Regional President. But when Merrill Lynch Real Estate was sold to Prudential in 1990, Burnet and his partner Dar Reedy bought back the Minnesota-based company. In 1996, Burnet expanded into the Chicago market, merging with Prudential Preferred Properties of Chicago. By 1998, Burnet Realty had grown to the 4th largest residential brokerage in the United States, and expanded though merging with the Coldwell Banker name. Today, Coldwell Banker Burnet is one of the largest residential real estate companies in the United States today.

Beyond the Burnet Realty company, Ralph for years has been active in supporting the arts and professional athletics in Minnesota. He currently sits on the chair of the Hennepin Theatre Trust and is a limited partner of the Minnesota Timberwolves. His philanthropy for the arts community started with his hotel developments Le Meridian and The W, where Burnet displayed art and also created a gallery at Le Meridan to showcase local artists.


Jack Rice

Son of 2011 inductee Bernard Rice, Bernard (Jack) Rice Jr. began his career in his father’s footsteps after graduating in 1983 from the University of Minnesota. Jack held early roles at Towle, Eberhardt and Dayton – Hudson Corporation. At Dayton – Hudson Jack played a major role in the development of some of the very first Target stores. He was also very involved in the development of company owned property around Southdale Center in Edina. In 1975 he started his own consulting and brokerage called The Rice Company.

Jack has shown a passion for education, being a frequent speaker at the Realtors Institute, the University of Minnesota and trade associations such as NAIOP (National Association of Industrial and Office Parks) and NACORE (National Association of Corporate Real Estate Executives).

In 1986, Jack was asked to serve as the Executive Director of the Downtown Development Task Force, a group of Minneapolis-area businesses concerned about the future of the city’s downtown. He is also a former board member of the Minnesota affiliates of the Mortgage Bankers Association, Minnesota Land Use Committee and the Urban Council on Mobility. Jack is presently a member of the Real Estate Advisory Boards of The University of Saint Thomas and The University of Minnesota Foundation.

Much of Jack’s philanthropy has been in the Edina community. Most recently, he has enabled the school district acquire land for its transportation facility.

Howard Shenehon

A 1936 graduate of the University of Minnesota, Howard began his career at the Shenehon Company, which was founded in 1929 by his father. By 1941, Howard had transitioned to a non-real estate role for Honeywell in which he assessed productivity. He returned to real estate in 1950 after his father’s retirement, transitioning the Shenehon Company to an appraisal entity.

Through this work, Howard was an early advocate for equal housing and real estate education, and a frequent guest lecturer at the University of Minnesota and Macalester College for real estate education. His philanthropic efforts focused on developing affordable housing and educating communities that minority homeowners do not lower real estate values.


The Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame, established in 2010 by the Shenehon Center for Real Estate at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business, will add three new members in a morning ceremony Wednesday, Nov. 8, at the Golden Valley Golf and Country Club.

For more information please visit, Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame.

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