The Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame, established seven years ago at the University of St. Thomas’ Opus College of Business, has three new members — Ralph Burnet, Jack Rice and Howard Shenehon — to be honored on Nov. 8 at the Golden Valley Golf and Country Club.

Here’s a little background on each from the college’s Shenehon Center for Real Estate:


Ralph Burnet began his real estate career at Bermel Smaby Realtors. He later started 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 seven 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 by merging with Prudential Preferred Properties of Chicago. Two years later, Burnet Realty merged with Coldwell Banker. Today, Coldwell Banker Burnet is one of the largest residential real estate companies in the United States. Beyond real estate, Burnet is on the board of the Hennepin Theatre Trust and is a limited partner of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Bernard (Jack) Rice Jr., son of a 2011 inductee, followed in his father’s footsteps in real estate after graduating from the University of Minnesota. Rice worked at Towle, Eberhardt and Dayton Hudson Corp. where Rice played a major role in the developing some of the 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 firm and brokerage called the Rice Co.

In 1986, Rice served as the executive director of the Downtown Development Task Force. 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. Rice is a member of the Real Estate Advisory Boards of the University of St. Thomas and the University of Minnesota Foundation.

Howard Shenehon was a 1936 graduate of the University of Minnesota who began his career at the Shenehon Co., which was founded in 1929 by his father. By 1941, Shenehon transitioned out of real estate into productivity assessment at Honeywell. He returned to real estate in 1950 after his father’s retirement and helped turn the Shenehon Co. to an appraisal entity.

Through this work, Shenehon was an early advocate for equitable housing and real estate education and a frequent guest lecturer at the University of Minnesota and Macalester College on the topic of real estate education. His philanthropic efforts focused on developing affordable housing and educating communities about diversity in real estate.