HGAR Makes History With Dorothy Botsoe Installation

John Jordan | January 2017

HGMLS President Renee Zurlo and HGAR President Dorothy Botsoe at Installation Dinner

Renee Zurlo to Lead HGMLS for Second Term

TARRYTOWN—On Jan. 19, the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors achieved another significant milestone in its storied 101-year history with the installation of its first black President, veteran Realtor Dorothy Botsoe.

Catherine Amabile installs Dorothy Botsoe as HGAR's 2017 President
Catherine Amabile installs Dorothy Botsoe as HGAR’s 2017 President

The Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors held its annual Installation Gala at Abigail Kirsch at Tappan Hill Mansion and the highlight of the evening’s festivities was the installation of Botsoe, the broker-owner of Dorothy Jensen Realty Inc. of White Plains, as the association’s 2017 President. The program also featured the installation of Renee Zurlo to her second term of office as President of the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service, as well as the swearing-in of other officers and directors of HGAR and HGMLS.

In an interview with Real Estate In-Depth, the milestone of being the first black president elected to lead HGAR and its predecessor organizations that first began operations in 1916 was not lost on the affable 49-year-old.

A mother of three children, Molly, Chloe Renee and Eugene, ages 27, 25 and 24, said that the membership of HGAR is diverse and her mission as president will be to foster inclusion in all Board operations and services. The native of Ghana, West Africa, said that the makeup and membership of HGAR is changing and “I believe that we have to change with that too. And we have to include everyone in the process, making sure that the voices of our membership are heard,” she noted.

Botsoe, a Realtor since 1989, stressed that her main goal is to ensure that HGAR reflects its diverse geographic and demographic membership, as well as the varied real estate interests of the membership, be it commercial and residential brokerage, land ownership, or support services for example.

While HGAR has made great strides in advancing better communication with its membership via social media-Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for example, she related, “I think it remains incumbent upon us as members of the Board of Directors and people in leadership positions to reach out and touch our members. We really need to hear what they are saying. We need to hear their concerns and try to address them.”

Dorothy Botsoe with her family
Dorothy Botsoe with her family

Botsoe, who estimated that about 20 family members from around the world came to Westchester to attend her installation, said that upon taking office she plans to visit one HGAR regional office (White Plains, Goshen, West Nyack and Manhattan) each month and invite the membership there to meet with her and staff to discuss their issues and concerns.

Former NYSAR and WCBR President J.P. Endres installed the officers and directors of the two organizations. Botsoe’s daughter Molly Jensen was the mistress of ceremonies at the Installation event. Robert Pair recited the Pledge of Allegiance and Realtor Eydie Lopez gave a stirring invocation.

Richard Haggerty swears in HGMLS President Renee Zurlo
Richard Haggerty swears in HGMLS President Renee Zurlo

Long-time Realtor Catherine Amabile installed Botsoe as HGAR President, while HGAR Chief Executive Officer Richard Haggerty presided over the swearing in of HGMLS President Zurlo.

HGAR also recognized the major association award winners including Realtor of the Year Gary Leogrande of Keller Williams NY Realty and Affiliate of the Year JoAnne Murray, owner and president of Allan M. Block Agency.

Also taking office officially on Jan. 19 were HGAR and HGMLS Officers and directors. The 2017 Officers now serving HGAR are: President: Dorothy Botsoe; President-Elect: John Lease III; Regional VP/Westchester/Putnam: Clayton Livingston; Regional VP/Westchester/Putnam: Barry Kramer; Regional VP/Orange: Kathleen Milich; Regional VP/Rockland: Jennifer Mallory; Secretary Treasurer: Pamela Jones; Immediate Past President: Marcene Hedayati; and HGMLS President: Renee Zurlo. The 2017 HGMLS Officers are: President: Renee Zurlo; VP: Nancy Kennedy; Treasurer: Chirag P. Shah; Secretary: Louise R. Colona; Immediate Past President: Leah Caro and HGAR President: Dorothy Botsoe.

J.P. Endres swears in HGAR/HGMLS Officers
J.P. Endres swears in HGAR/HGMLS Officers

Major sponsors of the event were: World Sponsor: Associated Mortgage Bankers; Hemisphere Sponsors: Citi and Trustco Bank; Intercontinental-Chocolate Fountain Sponsor: Judicial Title (Stephanie Liggio and Cathy Massaregli); International-Photo Booth Sponsor: A.S.A.P. Mortgage Corp.; and Global-Centerpiece Sponsor: Dolgetta Law PLLC.

Other sponsors of the event included: Continental Sponsors: CoreLogic, Parkway Pest Services, Prospect Mortgage, Residential Home Funding, Richard O’Donnell, Tax Consultant, ShowingTime and Supra. Nation Sponsors of the program were: Allan M. Block Agency, Inc., Business of Your Business LLC, Capital One, Doonan, Graves & Longoria, LLC, Emigrant Mortgage Company, Journal News Media Group, Korth and Shannahan Painting and Carpentry, Lighthouse Environmental Consultants, Mark’s Inspections, Richard Haggerty, HGAR CEO and Zillow Group Inc. Dale Akinla of Morgan Stanley sponsored the Music Conservator of Westchester’s Children’s Choir, which performed at the gala.

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John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth