President's Corner: Heartfelt Thank You for Helping Transform My Vision Into Reality
Marcene Hedayati | December 2016
This is my last column before we usher in our new President, Dorothy Botsoe and her team. So for this reason, I would like to thank you all for giving me the opportunity to serve this association and experience the sense of fulfillment that comes with working with positive, conscientious and innovative individuals.
These individuals allowed me to take my vision and see it become reality. In my installation speech, I called for more meaningful and broader outreach programs by improving this association’s communication with its members. I believed that if we did a better job of speaking all the languages of our membership, whether it be the language of e-mail or social media or at face-to-face events, they would come to realize the true value of this organization and use the tools and resources we have worked so hard to create.
I couldn’t be more pleased with what we have accomplished.
We have taken our new website to another level by providing our members with their own personalized member portal so that when you log into our MLS, you are brought to your own page from which you can access all the services we have to offer—all from one location. In fact, this concept is so forward thinking that NAR is now following suit and designing a similar program.
We have brought, HGAR’s official trade publication, on line so that the many articles about our industry can be searched and read at a click of your mouse
We expanded the activities of the newly launched Realtor Foundation so that in this year alone the entity handed out $55,000 to 17 local charities.
Our Education Council launched our Lunch and Learn program and now that New York State has approved one-hour CE classes, it is sure to become one of our most well attended classes.
From a day with the Yankees to Levity Live, our RPAC Committee worked hard to raise funds that help protect our industry, and I’m very pleased to report that thanks to their commitment and your participation, HGAR met its dollar goal. This went hand-in-hand with the determination of our Legislative Council, staff and members who rallied and fought the proposed increase in the transfer tax in the City of Yonkers, or the move to adopt a Cease and Desist zone in Rockland County.
When Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his Fair Housing Enforcement Program, to protect our members, the association, through committee, arranged an educational session for our managers and broker owners on the challenges of helping their agents navigate real life encounters with the consumer.
Finally, we executed another merger with a neighboring board, the Manhattan Board of Realtors, to create the Manhattan Chapter of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, reinforcing our commitment to grow our membership and offer more opportunities for our members to enhance their business.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the fact that while we worked diligently to tackle our long list of initiatives this year, the staff at HGAR was also able to move our offices to our new location. Our new headquarters is indeed an impressive space and is well worth a trip to those members and affiliates who have not visited as yet.
2016 was truly a year where the services we provide our members were elevated to reflect the progressive and innovative association we can all be so proud to be a part of. I thank you all and I am humbled to have been given the once in a lifetime opportunity to lead this organization.