PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Efforts That Deserve a ‘WOW!’

Barry Kramer | May 2018

When I became president of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors in January one of my goals was to expand member participation and to personally express my gratitude to individuals who raise the bar in their commitment to association activities. One way that I’ve done this is by establishing a WOW! Award. The award recipient has been personally chosen by me and given out at every HGAR board meeting this year. It recognizes members who have exceeded expectations and have gone above and beyond in their participation. They deserve a shout out, and the WOW! Award recognizes them!

These WOW! Awards are informal and are not meant to take away from the dedicated work of our Recognition Committee, which diligently selects award recipients presented at Member’s Day in October. Awards like Realtor of the Year and others are based on dedicated service to the Association. They are an integral part of our Member’s Day event, and I look forward to hear this year’s selections.

In January, Irene Guanill of Meet the Sellers, and Rey Hollingsworth Falu of Hollingsworth Real Estate Group, received the first WOW! Award. Rey and Irene are both on the HGAR Board this year. They were recognized for their work as co-chairs of the Broker-Owner-Manager Committee and for enthusiastically planning our initial program, which involved an informative presentation about the recent Tax Reform and Jobs Act legislation. Faster than I could say IRS, they had selected speakers, a venue and planned the whole event. They’re now working on another event for June 12th about teams. It’s a not-to-be-missed program, and a hot topic in our industry today.

In March I was pleased to present a WOW! Award to Emi Cacace of Portico Realty Group, and to Crystal Hawkins Syska of Keller Williams NY Realty. Emi and Crystal have been passionate about Fair Housing this year and have developed videos and programs to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. They’re in the process of planning a major event for July 12th at the Doubletree in Tarrytown. The event will feature representatives from many of our Realtor Fair Housing Affiliates as well as local Fair Housing representatives. They’ve been working hard to advance our legislative agenda and have been advocating for the Fairness in Cooperative Ownership Law, one of my priorities as this year’s president.

Robert Shandley of Better Homes and Garden Rand Realty started asking me about creating a Global Council back at the end of last year. It seemed fitting that Bob receive a WOW! Award when the Board recently voted to establish this Council. Bob lobbied for this and took the lead by becoming familiar with other Global Councils and attending events throughout the region. He deserved credit for his initiative and willingness to serve as its first chairperson. Bob is now working on the Global Summit set for October 22nd in New York. We’re so lucky to have Bob’s expertise in growing HGAR’s global presence.

May’s WOW! Award was given to all of the trustees and committee members of the Realtor Foundation. Bonnie Koff of William Raveis Legends Realty, as chair, and Aimee DeCesare of RE/MAX Distinguished Homes and Properties, along with other members of the Fundraising Committee, did a fantastic job in planning a successful and fun Las Vegas Night on May 8th at Glen Island. Not only was this a fun evening, but of course all the proceeds go to great causes. Bonnie, Aimee and all the trustees and committees go above and beyond in their work and dedication to the foundation. They care about helping great causes and charities, and this drives their team to success. I know they have lots more planned for 2018 and I’m sure we’ll be wowed again.

I appreciate everyone who signed up for committees earlier this year. We have more committee members than ever, and I applaud the hard work by everyone that helps our association thrive. It’s never too late, and if a committee or council interests you, please let me know.

I’ll continue to have new WOW! Awards at each HGAR Board meeting. I know the hours that all of you put into our association takes away valuable time from your family and business—and it is deeply appreciated. Truth be told, I’ve been wowed by so much of the hard work of our volunteers and staff that I could give out far more awards than time will allow. Your commitment has wowed me!

Barry Kramer
Barry Kramer is 2018 President of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc