PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Behind the Scenes and the Success of HGAR
Gail Fattizzi | October 2020
I had the distinct pleasure recently to listen in on the second session of our Leadership Accelerator program. This session was an in-depth look at our association—its history, evolution, mission, organizational structure and a personal introduction to many of the key HGAR staff members. At the end of the session, Facilitator Katheryn DeClerck asked the class for their takeaways. Many of them commented on their newfound appreciation for the vast wealth of knowledge, skills and overall talent our staff brings to the organization, as well as how many roles each staff member fills.
Particularly this year in my role as HGAR President, I am immensely reliant on our staff to help me execute on many of the initiatives, projects, communications and tasks that I couldn’t possibly accomplish otherwise. While I try to be very conscious of never taking their assistance for granted, I also probably don’t say “Thank you” nearly enough.
While I can’t give you the same in-depth introductions that the Leadership class heard, I would like to give you a brief summary and highlights of how our staff can and do assist the average member on a daily basis. Here are some of the routine needs of our members and who to go to for assistance:
Are you interested in volunteering for a committee? Jana Currier, Director of Member Engagement, is your contact. She’ll learn what your interests are, make suggestions, and connect you with the appropriate committee chair(s). Maybe you have a suggestion for one of our weekly “Shout Out” features in Connections? Or want to learn more about the Leadership Accelerator program? Once again, Jana is your go-to!
Do you have a question about paying your dues, accessing MLS, or how to sign up for a class? Calling the main phone number for HGAR will connect you with LaVerne Brown-Williams, Manager of MLS Support & HGAR Member Success, or one of the eight members of the Success Team. The team members are all cross-trained to answer the most commonly asked questions so you only need one point of contact. In the few instances your question is more complex, they will put you in touch with a content expert to further assist you.
Maybe you have a suggestion for a new CE class, or want to know how to become an instructor for our School of Real Estate? Vicki D’Agostino, Director or Professional Development, will be happy to hear your suggestions, advise on becoming an instructor, or otherwise discuss any of your education questions.
Do you have a question about procuring cause, the process for filing an ethics complaint, the nuances of dual agency, new “Coming Soon” rules in MLS, or any other legal or ethical questions? Brian Levine, Esq. is HGAR’s in-house Legal Counsel and Professional Standards Administrator. Brian is one of our most in-demand staff members. He is available to guide you, answer questions, advise on issues of cooperation, and share relevant information on laws and rules pertaining to real estate.
Maybe you’ve heard talk that your municipality is considering imposing a new transfer tax. What can you do? Contact Philip Weiden, Government Affairs Director, who is the liaison to our RPAC Committee and Legislative Council. Phil will actively pursue conversations with local political powers and mobilize the Legislative Council into action to combat legislation or taxes that negatively impact homeownership and our industry.
Are you an Affiliate member interested in sponsoring an HGAR program or event, or promoting your product or service through our Real Estate In-Depth newspaper? Mary Prenon, our Director of Communications, is your contact here. She is responsible for scheduling our “Breakfast with Benefits” series, planning Members’ Day, serving as liaison to the Awards & Recognition Committee, advertising, and writing feature articles for Real Estate In-Depth.
Want to join our CID (Commercial Investment Division) or Global Council? Cathleen Stack, Director of Marketing, is staff liaison to both of these subsidiaries. She also supports our HG Realtor Foundation fundraising committee, adds content to our HGAR Facebook page, works directly with our website developer on updates, along with multiple other initiatives.
If you have a complicated MLS question or issue, you will most likely be directed to Gary Connolly, Director MLS and Information Systems. And if you’ve ever attended an in-person event at the HGAR offices in White Plains, you’ve likely encountered Gary as the consummate host and greeter!
These are only some of our amazing staff members, and a fraction of the ways they assist and support our members. They truly contribute to our commitment to being a world-class Realtor organization and to our mission of helping our members succeed. Next time you have a chance, please take a moment to thank them for everything they do!