Crystal Hawkins Syska Installed as 2021 HGAR President

John Jordan | February 17, 2021

"This year, we will strive to make this (the American Dream) more than just a dream. We have to sleep to dream and dreams are not realities until we make them so. For 2021, let's work to transform the "American Dream" into the "American Promise." —2021 HGAR President Crystal Hawkins Syska

WHITE PLAINS—In the 104 years the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors and its predecessor organizations have been in operation, one of the highlights each year has been the pomp and circumstance of the installation of the association’s officers and directors. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, while this year’s event was the first being staged on a virtual basis, the 2021 program successfully created the atmosphere of hope and good will of the more conventional installation programs of the past.

The Feb. 4th Zoom program not only featured the installation of 2021 HGAR President Crystal Hawkins Syska—the second African American to lead the organization—the HGAR Directors and Officers, but also included participation by the respective presidents of the National Association of Realtors and the New York State Association of Realtors.

NAR President Charlie Oppler installed the 2021 HGAR Officers— President Crystal Hawkins Syska of Keller Williams NY Realty of White Plains, as well as Anthony A. Domathoti of Exit Realty Premium of the Bronx as President-elect; Treasurer Carmen A. Bauman of Green Grass Real Estate Corp. of Bronxville; Secretary Tony L. D’Anzica of DynaMax Realty NYC, Inc. of New York City and Immediate Past President Gail Fattizzi of Westchester Real Estate, Inc. of Somers.

NYSAR President David Legaz installed the 2021 HGAR Board of Directors. Serving on the 2021 Board, in addition to the aforementioned 2021 HGAR Officers are: Previous Past President Ronald Garafalo of John J. Lease Realtors Inc. of Middletown; Regional Director and Chapter Representative Bronx County Vincent Buccieri of Today Realty Corp. of the Bronx; Regional Director and Chapter Representative New York County (i.e., Manhattan) Maurice Owen-Michaane of Capital Realty NY LLC of New Rochelle; Regional Director Putnam County Clayton C. Livingston of Grand Lux Realty, Inc. of Armonk; Regional Director Orange County Eydie Lopez of Keller Williams Hudson Valley United of Middletown; Regional Director Rockland County Roberta F. Bangs of Howard Hanna Rand Realty of New City and Regional Director Westchester County Carol Christiansen of Cafe Realty of Mount Kisco and newly installed directors: J. Philip Faranda of J. Philip Real Estate, LLC of Briarcliff Manor, Maryann A. Tercasio of Howard Hanna Rand Realty of Central Valley; Ismail S. Kolya of eXp Realty of Yonkers; Joseph Houlihan of Houlihan & O’Malley R. E. Services of Bronxville; Brian A. Phillips of Douglas Elliman Real Estate of the Bronx and Joseph Lippolis of BHHS River Towns Real Estate of Peekskill.

NAR’s Oppler, who noted that his installation was also held virtually back in November 2020, spoke of the key attributes of leadership. “To me, it’s always about doing something for somebody else. That’s why the Directors are here and that’s why the Officers are here. And leadership is about other people. It’s empowering other people, it’s enabling other people and it’s showing them what you believe in, whether it’s for the association or your community.” He also discussed his initiative to highlight Realtor volunteerism this year. (See HGAR CEO’s Richard Haggerty’s column for more details).

Newly installed 2021 HGAR President Syska credited John and Carol Kope, Gary Leogrande and Toni Chrystal as her mentors in her real estate career and discussed the various initiatives she has planned under the umbrella of her “The American Promise” platform.

The Zoom program began with 30-minute Mixer with breakout sessions. Leogrande invoked the Pledge of Allegiance while Freddie Vargas offered the Inspiration. HGAR CEO Richard Haggerty was the host of the program and introduced both NAR President Oppler and NYSAR President Legaz. Entertainment was provided by The Reminders.

The program was supported by a host of sponsors that included: Platinum Sponsors: A.S.A.P. Mortgage Corp. and the Law Office of Peter Spino Jr.; Gold Sponsors: Richard Haggerty, Daniels & O’Connell PC and Dolgetta Law PLLC and Silver Sponsors: Allan M. Block Agency, Inc., Clancy Relocation & Logistics, Elissa Grayer Interior Design, Robison Oil, Honey Do Men and Quintessential Mortgage Group.

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth