The longtime top executive of Charleston Trident Association of Realtors plans to retire next year, ending a 26-year run at one the region’s largest trade organizations.

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Terry Hyde Ketchem announced that she will be retiring as chief executive officer on March 31, the end of the association’s first quarter.

A search committee has been formed to find a replacement, officials announced Tuesday.

Ketchem manages a staff of 13 and oversees a $4 million annual budget for the North Charleston-based group, which has 3,600 members who work in various aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

The association is largely known for its Multiple Listing Service sales database and its monthly housing reports for Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. It also serves as an advocate for the industry in legislative and other governmental matters.

“As I begin planning my departure, you can be certain about one thing — the future of your association is bright,” Ketchem wrote in a letter posted on the group’s website. “We have an excellent staff, which is dedicated to providing you with the best services, resources and programs available.”

A native of Richmond, Va., she owned a real estate brokerage in Vermont before joining the South Carolina Association of Realtors in Columbia.

Ketchem, 66, replaced Roy Curry as the Charleston group’s top staffer in late 1986. She has touted achievements during her decades as CEO, including creation of a real estate school in 1987 and upgrading the Multiple Listing Service with new technology.

The search committee is seeking candidates with nonprofit management and business development experience.

Reach Tyrone Richardson at 937-5550 and follow him on Twitter @tyrichardsonPC.