Record Crowd Attends 102nd Annual HGAR Annual Meeting and Members’ Day Event

John Jordan | November 1, 2018

HGMLS President, Renee Zurlo, Keynote Speaker, Ryan Estis, HGAR CEO, Richard Haggerty, HGAR President, Barry Kramer

TARRYTOWN—A record crowd of approximately 1,500 members and affiliates attended the 102nd Annual Meeting and Member’s Day of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors held on Oct. 29 at the Doubletree Hotel in Tarrytown.

During the association business portion of the program, HGAR membership elected the 2019 slate of HGAR directors that will be headed by 2019 HGAR President Ron Garafalo. Members also approved some bylaws amendments in connection with the pending formation of a new regional Multiple Listing Service that will be co-owned by HGAR and the Long Island Board of Realtors, Inc.

Other HGAR officers that will serve the association in 2019 are: President-elect Gail Fattizzi; Treasurer Irene Guanill Elukowich; Secretary Crystal Hawkins Syska and Immediate Past President Barry Kramer.

The day-long event featured educational seminars and compelling presentations covering Realtor safety, ethics, economic development and marketing, highlighted by keynote speaker and top performing sales professional and leader Ryan Estis, who gave a spirited talk before a standing-room-only crowd of HGAR members.

Terri Crozier, HGAR Recognition Committee Chair, and Renee Zurlo, HGAR’s 2018 “Realtor of the Year”

The HGAR Recognition Committee, chaired by Terri Crozier, also revealed the association’s top award winners that included its 2018 Realtor of the Year Renee Zurlo of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty in Central Valley and 2018 Affiliate of the Year William Jansz, senior officer, branch administration of Trustco Bank. Zurlo is currently the president of the HGMLS and will continue in that role in 2019 until the new and yet-to-be-named Multiple Listing Service is officially formed and in operation.

Zurlo has been a Realtor for almost 25 years and has served as president of the HGMLS for the past three years. She has been very active in the association for many years, serving on several councils and committees. She is also a certified New York State real estate instructor.

Before entering the world of real estate, she was a full-time mom for 10 years. After joining a Hudson Valley firm in 1994, her entrepreneurial spirit led her to open her own agency, which eventually grew to more than 40 agents. A few years later, she became part of the BHG Rand family of real estate offices.

William Jansz, Trustco Bank, HGAR’s “Affiliate Member of the Year” and Terri Crozier, HGAR Recognition Committee Chair

Jansz has been a continuous supporter of HGAR over the years, sponsoring and attending countless association events. Jansz has worked with Trusto Bank for more than 15 years and oversees branch operations throughout the lower Hudson Valley. Opening its first branch in upstate New York in 1902, Trustco now has 148 branch locations on the East Coast and 20 branch locations throughout Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland and Orange counties.

Other association award winners announced by the Recognition Committee included:

Spirit Awards: Crystal Hawkins Syska of Keller Williams New York Realty in White Plains and Emi Cacace of Portico Realty Group in Scarsdale and Manhattan. Both are co-chairs of HGAR’s Fair Housing & Cultural Diversity Committee.

Extra Mile Awards: Ray Hollingsworth Falu of Hollingsworth Real Estate in White Plains and Irene Guanill of Meet the Sellers in the Bronx. Both co-chair HGAR’s Broker/Owner/Manager Committee.

President’s Award: Gail Fattizzi of Westchester Real Estate Inc. in Somers. Fattizzi, who serves as Secretary/Treasurer for the HGAR Board of Directors, was chosen by HGAR President Barry Kramer for her hard work and dedication throughout the year.

Albert P. Schatz Legislative Advocacy Award: Leah Caro of Park Sterling Realty in Bronxville. Caro has been instrumental in Realtor legislative affairs and planning of “Lobby Day” in Albany. She was a two-time past president of HGAR, the 2011 HGAR “Realtor of the Year” and a current co-chair of the Board of Directors for Westchester Residential Opportunities

Stephanie Crispinelli Humanitarian Award: Christopher Greco of Richard Greco Real Estate in the Bronx. Greco founded Christopher’s Voice, a non-for-profit organization created to help families of autistic children. He is also a decorated police detective, president of the Police Association of New Rochelle, and the recipient many police awards.

Up & Coming Award: Richard Herska of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty in Nyack. Herska is co-chair of HGAR’s RPAC Committee (Realtors Political Action Committee).

Edward I. Sumber Memorial Award: (The award was created this year in memory of Ed Sumber, who served as the Association’s legal counsel from 1975 to 2015. Ed passed away in June 2018.) John Dolgetta of Dolgetta Law in White Plains. Dolgetta was Sumber’s partner and now serves as HGAR’s outside Counsel.

During the Annual Meeting, HGAR officials gave special recognition to NAR Emeritus Members for 40 years of service—Marilyn Light, Pat Held and Linda Clark—as well as HGAR staff who have reached significant milestones of service to the association.

Those staff members included:

Jennifer Andriach, HGMLS Accounting Manager, 10 years; Kristine DiFrancesco, Director of MLS Training, 10 years; Lisa Andrade, Education Coordinator, 20 years and Leah Warncke, HGAR Accounting Coordinator, 25 years.

The event also featured association updates provided by HGAR President Kramer, CEO Richard Haggerty and HGMLS President Zurlo. The association thanked Premier Sponsor O’Donnell & Cullen Property Tax Consultants and Cocktail Party Sponsor A.S.A.P. Mortgage Corp. for their support of Member’s Day, as well as the 67 exhibitors that participated at the event.

For further coverage of the 102nd HGAR Annual Meeting and Member’s Day see the November print edition of Real Estate In-Depth.

The following are the officers and directors of HGAR that will serve the association in 2019:


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

President Elect

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


Irene G. Guanill
Meet The Sellers
3451 E. Tremont Ave., 2nd Fl.
Bronx, NY 10465


Crystal Hawkins Syska
Keller Williams NY Realty
120 Bloomingdale Rd., Suite 101
White Plains, NY 10605

Immediate Past President

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

Regional Director New York County (i.e., Manhattan) and Chapter Representative Manhattan

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

Regional Director Putnam County

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

Regional Director Orange County

Eydie Lopez
Keller Williams Hudson Valley United
9 Bert Crawford Rd., Suite 104
Middletown, NY 10940

Regional Director Rockland County

Roberta F. Bangs
BHG Rand Realty
268 S. Main St.
New City, NY 10956

Regional Director Westchester County

Aimee G. DeCesare
RE/MAX Distinguished Homes & Properties
52 Pondfield Rd. West
Bronxville, NY 10708

Class 1 Directors

Maria D. Weiss
Houlihan Lawrence Inc.
237 Mamaroneck Ave.
White Plains, NY 10605

Maryann A. Tercasio
BHG Rand Realty
229 Route 32
Central Valley, NY 10917

Anthony A. Domathoti
Exit Realty Premium
813 Morris Park Ave.
Bronx, NY 10462

Theresa Crozier
Houlihan Lawrence Inc.
55 E Grassy Sprain Rd., Suite 102
Yonkers, NY 10710

Rey Hollingsworth Falu
Hollingsworth Real Estate Group
75 S. Broadway, 4th Fl.
White Plains, NY 10601

Class 2 Directors

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

Alvis Smith
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
1331A North Ave.
New Rochelle, NY 10804

Maurice Owen-Michaane
Capital Realty NY LLC
175 Huguenot St., Ste. 200
New Rochelle, NY 10801

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

Carmen A. Bauman
Green Grass Real Estate Corp.
66 Palmer Ave Suite 49C
Bronxville, NY 10708

Class 3 Directors

Debra Budetti
ERA Insite Realty Services
600 N. Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603-2411

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

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

Tammy Teresa Belmore
Keller Williams NY Realty
120 Bloomingdale Rd., Suite 101
White Plains, NY 10605-1500

Mark J. Seiden
Mark Seiden Real Estate Team
1238 Pleasantville Rd.
Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510

The Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors is a not-for-profit trade association covering more than 11,000 real estate professionals doing business in Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, and Orange counties, as well as the Bronx and Manhattan. It is the second largest Realtor Association in New York, and one of the largest in the country. The Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service (HGMLS), owned and operated by HGAR, offers some 24,000 properties in the Bronx, Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties. It is among the top 50 largest MLSs in the country.

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth