Barry Kramer Named Realtor of the Year at HGAR Annual Meeting

John Jordan | November 2, 2017

From left: Dorothy Botsoe, HGAR President; Richard Haggerty, HGAR CEO; Barry Kramer, HGAR Realtor of the Year and Terri Crozier, Awards Chairman. PHOTO BY JOHN VECCHIOLLA

Stephanie Liggio Wins Affiliate of the Year Award

TARRYTOWN—More than 1,000 members of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors participated in the HGAR’s 101st Annual Meeting held on Oct. 30th at the DoubleTree Hotel in Tarrytown.

Stephanie Liggio, HGAR Affiliate of the Year.

The business portion of the all-day event was highlighted by the election of HGAR Officers and Directors, who will be led by HGAR President-Elect Barry Kramer, principal broker of Westchester Choice Realty, which has offices in Scarsdale and Hartsdale. Renee Zurlo of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty will once again serve as 2018 President of the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service, Inc.

In addition, the membership also approved several by-laws modifications, including one proposal to restructure the Board of Directors from its current 34 directors total to 26. The membership approved the new structure that will now reduce the existing Executive Committee from nine to six members: President, President-Elect, Treasurer, Secretary, Past President and MLS President.

The composition of the HGAR Board of Directors will also change from 24 Directors with staggered three-year terms and one Manhattan Representative with a one-year term to: five Regional Directors with one-year terms: Manhattan Representative, Orange Representative, Putnam Representative, Rockland Representative and Westchester Representative and 15 Directors with staggered three-year terms. The bylaw changes go into effect in 2019.

At the Annual Meeting the membership unanimously elected the following Class 1 Directors: Pamela Jones, Robert Shandley, Michael Shapot, Richard Herska, Sarah A. Hughes, Angelo Ponzi, Aimee G. DeCesare and Irene G. Guanill. Elected to serve as Class 3 Directors were: Marcene Hedayati and Katheryn E. DeClerck. Tony L. D’Anzica was re-elected Manhattan Chapter Representative with a term expiring at the end of 2018.

HGAR President Botsoe said she believes her administration in 2017 has accomplished its main goal of inclusion and also providing better communication to its members and specifically to the respective counties HGAR services.

“Moving forward, I want to thank you for your support,” Botsoe said. “I have met a lot of people from Orange, Rockland, Putnam and Westchester counties, as well as from the Bronx and Manhattan. I have gone all over the place and have gotten out of my comfort zone… I want to thank you for the opportunity and hopefully we will keep it moving forward.”

HGMLS President Zurlo discussed a host of new products now being offered, including InfoSparks and FastStats products that are enjoying increased usage by the membership. In addition two additional mobile applications were introduced as well as the recently launched Instanet, the new documents and transaction management system for HGMLS members.

HGAR and HGMLS Board of Directors

One of the more widely anticipated parts of the Annual Meeting program was the presentation of major awards for 2017 that were handed out by Awards Chairperson Terri Crozier, HGAR President Dorothy Botsoe and HGAR CEO Richard Haggerty.

The affable Barry Kramer, who will serve as 2018 HGAR President, was named 2017 Realtor of the Year, while Stephanie Liggio, director, business development at Judicial Title Insurance Agency of Rye Brook was selected as the 2017 Affiliate of the Year.

Kramer told Real Estate In-Depth after receiving the Realtor of the Year honor, “I am very excited. I am very happy that after working almost 20 years as a Realtor and working on behalf of the organization to receive this honor from HGAR.”

Liggio reacted, “This is a fabulous award and it was totally unexpected. I truly do enjoy every moment I spend helping Bonnie (Koff) to help fundraise for the Realtor Foundation and it is really a privilege to work alongside the Realtor community.”

Other major award winners included: Spirit Award: Robert Shandley of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty; the Extra Mile Award: Debra Budetti of ERA Insite Realty; the President’s Award: Pamela Jones of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage; the Stephanie Crispinelli Humanitarian Award: Matt Rand of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty; the Albert P. Schatz Legislative Advocacy Award: Clayton Livingston of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage and the Up and Coming Award: Aimee DeCesare of Sotheby’s International Realty and Angie Primus Gilford of PrimFord Homes in the Bronx.

HGAR also acknowledged Scott Clark, Information & Member Services Coordinator, Goshen, and Emily Jackson, Information & Member Services Coordinator & Lockbox Manager, White Plains for their 10 years of service to the organization.

The Annual Meeting, in addition to featuring 66 booth holders, offered a host of informative presentations covering such topics as Fair Housing, Realtor Safety, Personal Branding and Technology.

Mel Robbins, CNN Analyst and Dorothy Botsoe, HGAR President

The keynote speaker at the Annual Meeting was Mel Robbins, an award winning on-air analyst for CNN and author, who shared her groundbreaking “Five Second Rule” technique to enhance your life and career. Robbins, a wife and mother of three, credits employing the Five Second Rule (counting down Five, Four, Three to One, Go) before taking action as helping turn around her marriage and her family’s fortunes.

Robbins very personal and at times self-deprecating story had many of the hundreds of Realtors in attendance saying they planned to try the Five Second Rule for themselves.

David McKay Wilson, Tax Watch Columnist for the Journal News and, shared at the RPAC Luncheon event some of the stories he has chronicled on his beat that has exposed wasteful spending throughout the region as well as property tax inequities.

Other presenters at the Annual Meeting included Leon Cameron, HGAR Director of Legal Services and Leah Caro, HGMLS Director, who gave a presentation on Fair and Ethical Housing. Carl Carter, the son of Beverly Carter, an Executive Broker in North Little Rock, AK, who was kidnapped and murdered in 2014 while showing a house, spoke on the pressing issue of Realtor Safety. Bruce Mishkin and Bruce Apar of Pinpoint Marketing and Design led a seminar entitled “How to Make Google Your Best Friend, or Your Worst Enemy,” and Stacey Cohen, owner of marketing firm Co-Communications, led a very well attended program: “Uniquely You: Building a Winning Personal Brand for Realtors.”

Zillow was the Premier Sponsor and A.S.A.P. Mortgage was the sponsor of the Cocktail Hour program held after the Annual Meeting concluded.

The 2018 HGAR Board of Directors


Barry Kramer
Westchester Choice Realty, Inc.
105 Garth Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583-3745

President Elect

Ronald Garafalo
John J. Lease REALTORS Inc.
495 Schutt Rd Ext
Middletown, NY 10940

Regional Vice President/Westchester-Putnam

Clayton C. Livingston
Coldwell Banker Res. Brokerage
1392 Albany Post Rd
Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520-1506

Regional Vice President/Westchester-Putnam

Myriam Ramos
Keller Williams Realty Partner
2 Old Tomahawk St.
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598

Regional Vice President/Orange

John R Olivero
Griffith Olivero
226 Main St
Goshen, NY 10924

Regional Vice President/Rockland

Jennifer Mallory
Keller Williams Hudson Valley
18 Laurel Rd
New City, NY 10956


Gail Fattizzi
Westchester Real Estate Inc.
358 Route 202, Suite 2
Somers, NY 10589

Immediate Past President

Dorothy Botsoe
Dorothy Jensen Realty, Inc.
20 Haarlem Ave., Suite 406
White Plains, NY 10603

HGMLS President

Renee Zurlo
BHG Rand Realty
229 Route 32
Central Valley, NY 10917

Class 1 Directors

Pamela Jones
Coldwell Banker Res. Brokerage
278 Mamaroneck Ave
White Plains, NY 10605

Robert Shandley
BHG Rand Realty
222 Bloomingdale Rd., Ste. 114
White Plains, NY 10605

Michael Shapot
Keller Williams NYC
1155 Avenue of Americas
New York, NY 10036

Richard Herska
BHG Rand Realty
46 S Broadway
Nyack, NY 10960

Sarah A. Hughes
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
1197 Pleasantville Rd.
Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510

Angelo Ponzi
PLI Realty
111 Brook St.
Scarsdale, NY 10583

Aimee G. DeCesare
North Country Sotheby’s International Realty
2 Croton Point Ave
Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520-3025

Irene G. Guanill
Meet The Sellers
3431 Bruckner Blvd., Suite 1
Bronx, NY 10461

Class 3 Directors

Marcene Hedayati
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
37 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY 10591

Katheryn E. DeClerck
BHG Rand Realty
300 Canal Street
Goshen, NY 10924

Manhattan Chapter Representative

Tony L. D’Anzica
DynaMax Realty NYC, Inc.
419 Lafayette Street
New York, New York 10003

More photo’s from the day

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth