A smiling new face has been added to the staff of NEFAR’s membership department.
Claire Denning, whose office is located in the NEFAR Resource Center, is now working alongside long-time membership specialists Evonne Moody, Debbie Dermody, and Savannah Williams. Her duties include processing new-member applications, updating member records, handling member reinstatement issues, and selling lockboxes, among others. She has taken over for Deanna Sims and Kristy Walker, who are now heading up NEFAR’s Education Department.
Although she did not have a background in real estate prior to coming to NEFAR, Claire said she was attracted to the industry due to her association with her best friend, Brittney Gregson, who is a REALTOR® with the Broward, Palm Beach and St. Lucie REALTORS® Association. “Through Brittany, I became aware of the wonderful sense of comradery within the REALTOR community,” Denning said. “I love the upbeat environment that comes with working in this field.”
As part of a military family, Claire spent most of her childhood traveling throughout the world, and she has lived on Army bases in Germany, Texas, and outside of Washington D.C. It was during her college years at Florida State University in Tallahasse that she fell in love with the Sunshine State. At FSU, she majored in English education with a minor in Communication Sciences. It was also in Florida, while she was in college, that she met and fell in love with her husband, Cyril Loo.
Upon graduation, Claire embarked on a teaching career at schools in Tallahassee, Washington D.C., and Jacksonville. It was four years ago that she moved to Northeast Florida, where she lives with her husband, her dog Lucas, and three chickens, Popcorn, Nugget, and Princess. Prior to taking the job at NEFAR, she served as a fifth-grade teacher at Pickett Elementary in Jacksonville, which she enjoyed teaching, but also found it to be challenging due to restraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “I loved teaching in the classroom and the curriculum, but it was a challenge teaching the children virtually in the morning and then trying to keep the kids who wanted to come to school in-person safe in the classroom while having to enforce the new COVID procedures,” she said.
Claire left her teaching career at the end of this past school year to work at NEFAR. “I love the positivity of our members and the fast pace of work at the Resource Center!” she said.
When she isn’t working at the Resource Center, Claire spends her time exploring Jacksonville. “Even after four years, there is so much left to see around the city!” she said. With a cup of tea by her side, Denning enjoys spending her time off reading and writing at home, especially on rainy days. But when sun is out, so is she, enjoying the outdoors with her husband, either bicycling or kayaking on one of the First Coast’s numerous waterways.