The Longest Day

Richard Haggerty | November 25, 2015

Richard Haggerty, HGAR Chief Executive Officer
Richard Haggerty,
HGAR Chief Executive Officer

On October 19th the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors conducted its Annual Member’s Day at the DoubleTree Hotel in Tarrytown. I’m always amazed by the amount of planning and work that goes into the preparation of that day. This year the Communications Council, co-chaired by Deb Budetti and Kathy Milich, decided to pull out all of the stops and planned a day packed with more content than ever before. This year we estimate more than 1,200 members attended some portion of the HGAR Annual Member Day, a new record! The day began before 8 a.m. with the exhibitors setting up their booths and didn’t end until almost 6 p.m. with the member cocktail party.

Historically, HGAR has always offered a three-hour continuing education course during the day. This year we offered two classes, an ethics and fair housing course and a Realtor safety course. Both courses were home runs. Don Cummins was excellent as always with his Ethics and Fair Housing class in front of several hundred members. The instructor who taught the Realtor Safety course, Robert Siciliano, also had a packed house and garnered rave reviews. In addition to the continuing education classes, the program also included presentations by Association Counsel Ed Sumber and industry expert Amy Chorew that were very well received.

Another new addition for our Annual Member Day was a RPAC lunch with Darryl Davis. The lunch was sold out and all of the attendees enjoyed Darryl’s presentation on the importance of a positive attitude. Given its success, expect to see the RPAC lunch at future Annual Member’s Days.

Every year the Communications Council seems to find more and more exciting and entertaining keynote speakers, and this year was no exception with John Giddings of HGTV’s “Curb Appeal” as the keynote presenter. In addition to providing excellent content and showing specific examples of how to improve a property’s curb appeal, John stayed after his presentation to interact personally with the members.

Our keynote speaker was followed by the Annual Meeting, which is when the business of the Association is conducted. The HGAR Directors for 2016 were approved by the general membership and the attendees acknowledged the incoming Officers for 2016; Marcene Hedayati as President, Dorothy Botsoe as President-elect, John Lease as Vice President Orange, Russ Woolley as Vice President, Rockland, Barry Kramer as Vice President of Westchester Putnam, Clayton Livingston as Vice President of Westchester Putnam, and Pam Jones as the Secretary Treasurer.

For me the highlight of the Annual Member’s Day is the announcement of the Associations awards. This years award recipients were Chirag Shah; the Spirit Award, Laurie DiFrancesco; the Albert P. Schatz Legislative Advocacy Award, Barry Kramer; the Extra Mile Award, Carol Cirieco; the Stephanie Crispinelli Humanitarian Award, Mike Graessle; President’s Award, Patsy Sposato; Affiliate of the Year Award, and Maryann Tercasio, the Realtor of the Year Award. Congratulations to all these well deserved award recipients.

The Annual Member’s Day doesn’t happen in a vacuum. As I indicated at the beginning of this article it’s the product of a tremendous amount of planning and organization. It’s also made possible by the participation of 75 exhibitors and the generous sponsorship of Prospect Mortgage for the keynote speaker and A.S.A.P. Mortgage for the cocktail party. The day would not be a success without the participation and support of our Affiliate members, and we truly appreciate their commitment to HGAR. Finally, a huge thank you to every member who attended Member’s Day—ultimately the day is all about you, the HGAR member.

Richard Haggerty