BOARDROOM REPORT: September 22, 2021

Real Estate In-Depth | December 15, 2021

Boardroom Report
Boards of Directors
Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc.
Sept. 22, 2021
HGAR offices, One Maple Ave, White Plains

HGAR Management, Financial & Membership Reports

President Crystal Hawkins-Syska presented the President’s Report. President Hawkins-Syska presented an overview of the past year and highlighted the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

CEO Haggerty presented the CEO’s Report, and introduced Michael Malone, the newly hired Director of Professional Development. CEO Haggerty also reported on key changes being made with respect to the accounting department. CEO Haggerty reported that HGAR would be engaging the firm of Bruin & Associates, a firm based in North Carolina that specializes in providing a variety of accounting services to Realtor Associations and Multiple Listing Services. Bruin will transition from Sage, the accounting software currently utilized by HGAR, to QuickBooks. CEO Haggerty also mentioned that HGAR will be changing its payment system from PayPal to NAR’s REALTOR Ecommerce Network, which is available at no charge to local and state associations, and includes modules for online dues invoicing, and other services. CEO Haggerty also noted that the system would allow for NAR and NYSAR dues to be paid directly to NAR and NYSAR, rather than through HGAR, eliminating the need to report same through HGAR’s accounting system and on HGAR’s monthly cash reports, and further, saving costs relating to the credit card fees incurred as a result of said dues payments.
Treasurer Carmen Bauman presented the Treasurer’s Reports as of July 1, 2021, August 1, 2021, and September 1, 2021, copies of which were provided to the Directors, and after discussion, the reports were approved for filing.

Immediate Past President Gail Fattizzi, as Nominating Committee Chair, presented the slate of 2022 Directors and Officers, advising that this is a non-voting item and that the nominated Directors would be voted on and approved by the membership at HGAR’s Annual Meeting. She also observed that the slate of Officers would be voted on and approved by the HGAR Directors at the next scheduled Board of Directors Meeting following the Annual Meeting.

Past President Fattizzi also presented the slate of NYSAR Directors proposed by the HGAR Nominating Committee to be voted on and approved by the HGAR Directors, and after discussion the Directors approved the proposed slate of NYSAR Directors.

CEO Haggerty then presented the proposed slate of HGAR and Outside Managers selected and presented by the Nominating Committee of OneKey MLS, LLC to fill positions on the OneKey Board of Managers for 2022. After discussion the Directors approved the proposed slate of HGAR and Outside Managers for 2022.

CEO Haggerty then introduced David Severance to continue discussions had at previous Board Meetings relating to corporate values and indicated that the remaining items on the agenda would be addressed after David Severance’s presentation. Severance reviewed in detail with the Officers and Directors, the HGAR Draft Corporate Values to be voted on and approved at this meeting. After discussions between Severance and the Directors and Officers, the HGAR Draft Corporate Values were then presented to the Board of Directors for approval, with one revision, which revision included the word “intently” in the following sentence contained in the section entitled “Respect”: “Listen intently without judgment.” After discussion the Directors approved the Corporate Values, as revised.

President Hawkins-Syska and CEO Haggerty then continued with the agenda items. CEO Haggerty reported that NYSAR had cancelled its in-person 2021 Fall Meetings at Turning Stone. CEO Haggerty discussed the necessary COVID-19 testing and mask protocols that need to be put in place for the following: HGAR’s 105th Member Appreciation Day and Annual Membership Meeting to be held on October 25th, and for all other events and meetings, including all Board of Directors Meetings and Executive Committee Meetings.

After discussion amongst the Directors relating to the Annual Membership Meeting, the Board approved a requirement that all attendees must provide proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test within 48 hours of the event in order to be granted access to the event, and that masks are to be worn at all times during the event, except when drinking or eating. The Board also discussed that, to the extent possible, certain segments of Members’ Day would be live-streamed for viewing purposes for those members who are not able to attend in person, but the live-stream option would not be valid for voting purposes at the Annual Meeting segment (which voting must be conducted in person or by proxy).

After discussion amongst the Directors relating to COVID-19 protocols for all other HGAR events, including Board Meetings and Executive Committee Meetings, the Board approved a requirement that all attendees must provide proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test within 48 hours of a scheduled meeting or event in order to be granted access to the meeting or event, and that masks are to be worn by all attendees at all times during the meeting or event, except when drinking or eating.

CEO Haggerty then reported that HGAR was working with the National Association of Realtors to provide relief through NAR’s Disaster Relief Fund in the form of monetary grants of up to $2,000 to individuals affected by Hurricane Ida. He indicated that the relief is available to all members of the public (not only Realtor members) but noted that the financial assistance would be limited only to covering mortgage or rental payments.

In-House Counsel Brian Levine, Esq. then presented a number of Ethics Decisions to the Board of Directors, designated as 275-E, 276-E, 277-E, 278-E, 279-E, 280-E, 281-E, 282-E, and 283-E. After individual review and discussion for each Ethics Decision, the Directors approved the recommendation of the Hearing Panels in separate votes for each Decision.

President Hawkins-Syska and DEI Officer Freddimir Garcia provided updates on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee initiatives as well as the Member-wide demographic survey that was recently conducted by HGAR. DEI Officer Garcia pointed out that the Report of the HGAR DEI Committee was also provided to the Directors in advance of the meeting. DEI Officer Garcia was pleased to announce that the staggered terms of the members of DEI Steering Committee were finalized and that the full DEI Committee (including both the Members at Large and Steering Committee Members) held its first meeting on July 29th. DEI Officer Garcia also reported on the recent demographic survey conducted by HGAR. He indicated that the results of the survey are being carefully reviewed and that a detailed report would be provided at the next Board of Directors Meeting in October.

Director Carol Christiansen and President Elect Anthony Domathoti presented the RPAC Committee report; Immediate Past President Gail Fattizzi reported on the Leadership Accelerator Program; Director of Marketing Cathleen Stack presented an update with regard to NAR’s C5 Event being held at the Marriot Marquis in New York City; Secretary Tony D’Anzica reported on the Global Summit being held on September 29th also at the Marriott Marquis in New York City; and Director Maryann Tercasio presented the report of the HG Realtor Foundation.

President Hawkins-Syska pointed out to the Directors that written reports of various Committees and Councils (i.e., Education Committee, Professional Standards Committee, DEI Committee, Fair Housing Committee, RPAC Committee, Global Business Council, Legislative Committee, Commercial and Investment Division, and HG Realtor Foundation) had also been provided to the Directors via e-mail prior to the meeting.