Canopy Realtor® Association Promotes VP of Education Karyn Lindsey, Hires LaToya Simms as Canopy Real Estate Institute Director

April 18, 2022

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Canopy Realtor® Association, is pleased to announce that Karyn Lindsey, has been promoted to vice president of education, diversity and inclusion. 

In Lindsey’s expanded role, she will focus on broadening Realtor® education and professional development and growing the association’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, which include leadership development, education and community outreach. Lindsey will work with Realtor®-led committees to expand member opportunities and cultivate community partnerships for Canopy. 

Lindsey also will continue to oversee Canopy Real Estate Institute (CREI), the official school of the Canopy Realtor® Association , where she has been the director for 19 years, in addition to being vice president of education. LaToya Simms, who has more than 20 years with the North Carolina Real Estate Commission (NCREC), has been hired as CREI’s director and will report directly to Lindsey. 

“LaToya’s strong background in real estate education and licensing will further enhance CREI’s reputation as a quality provider of affordable real estate education,” Lindsey said. “We are excited that LaToya will be a major part of delivering and growing CREI.” 

Anne Marie DeCatsye, CEO of Canopy Realtor® Association and Canopy MLS said, “The hiring of LaToya Simms as our dedicated institute director will greatly assist Canopy under the direction of Karyn Lindsey to develop and further expand educational offerings to our members. The addition of Simms, allows Lindsey to take an even greater role leading the association’s diversity and inclusion initiatives and cultivating partnerships within the community.” 

Before leaving NCREC in 2019, Simms worked in multiple areas, including licensing, programming, legal, events and school/instructor support. She has also worked as a broker for Keller Williams Elite Realty, in Durham, N.C. 

When COVID-19 hit, Simms helped multiple North Carolina real estate schools with the transition to virtual classes and taught virtual continuing-education courses. Her areas of specialization include Realtor® Code of Ethics, agency relationships, consumer advocacy, regulatory compliance and instructor development. 

At CREI, Simms will report to Lindsey and be responsible for day-to-day operations and management of the institute — including prelicensing, postlicensing and continuing-education courses, as well as National Association of Realtors® designation classes and certification courses. She also will be responsible for continuing the expansion of the institute’s technology tools and resources to strengthen CREI’s online and virtual offerings. 

During Lindsey’s tenure as institute director, she oversaw the design of classrooms and related features and amenities when Canopy Realtor® Association built its new headquarters, which opened in 2019. Lindsey also was at the helm during COVID-19, successfully and quickly pivoting to implement virtual and on-demand learning when in-person learning was not possible.

Canopy Real Estate Institute, whose parent entity is Canopy Realtor® Association, is one of the oldest and most successful real estate prelicensing schools in North Carolina. Its prelicensing, postlicensing and continuing-education courses are approved by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission and the South Carolina Real Estate Commission.

For more information on CREI, Canopy Realtor® Association or Canopy MLS, please contact Kim Walker at

Original Publish Date: 4/18/2022