Prize-winning journalist is keynote speaker at Fair Housing luncheon
The Northeast Florida Association of Realtors® recognized recent Leadership Academy graduates and 2021 Florida Realtors® Honor Society members during its annual Fair Housing luncheon May 7 at the Jacksonville Marriott Hotel on Salisbury Road.
During the two-hour program, NEFAR President Missi Howell and NEFAR CEO William Glenn East announced that Northeast Florida Association of REALTORS® has donated $250,000 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the REALTORS® Relief Foundation, which is administered by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Cathy Whatley, a NEFAR member, is honorary chairman of the campaign.
Prize-winning author and investigative reporter Bill Dedman was the luncheon’s keynote speaker. Dedman was part of an investigative team from Newsday that exposed blatant discriminatory housing practices in New York. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for a series entitled, “The Color of Money,” that was printed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Dedman and his Newsday colleagues won the 2019 Peabody award for their series “Long Island Divided,” and the 40-minute documentary film, “Testing the Divide.” This investigative series was printed in Newsday in November 2019 and focused on the illegal steering of customers by real estate agents in New York. In response to the Newsday investigation, NAR added several training programs to its educational stable for REALTORS® including anti-bias training, and its online fair housing simulation, Fairhaven.
During his virtual presentation at the Fair Housing Luncheon, Dedman gave NEFAR members a virtual guided tour inside Newsday’s investigation that revealed Long Island’s dominant residential real estate brokerages were helping to reinforce racial segregation through the illegal steering of clients.
Prior to Dedman’s talk, 35 NEFAR members were inducted into of Florida Realtors® Honor Society for the year 2020. Included among the honorees were Lorri Reynolds and Cole Slate (1st year); Lisa Brannon, Katherine Karr-Garcia, and Scott Nyman (2nd year); DeDee Harper and Tiea Vincent (3rd year); Mario Gonzalez, Wanda McReynolds, Joyce Roberts, and Janna Thomas (4th year); Patricia Sherman (5th year); Jeanne Denton-Scheck (6th year); Diane Cook, Kimberly Knapp, and Mark Rosener (7th year); Diana Galavis, Marc Jernigan, and Gonzalo Mejia (8th year); Ronald P. Harris, Clark LaBlond, and Sally Suslak (9th year); Ben Bates, Jr. (10th year); Andrew Bell and Missi Howell (11th year); Rory Dubin, William A. Watson, Jr., and Carol Zingone (13th year); Millie Kanyar (15th year); Russell Grooms (20th year); Wendell Davis (25th year); and Lifetime Members Dee Bumbarger (27 years), William Glenn East (29 years), Beverly Garvin (32 years) and Cathy B. Whatley (32 years).
Also recognized during the luncheon were graduates from NEFAR’s 2020 Leadership Academy including Jatinda Bahn, Neil Bridgers, Kelly Burns, Nicole Carroll, Gary Davis, Denise Demico, Ethan Gregory, Samantha Heflin, Amanda Houser, Judy Morris, Christian Oliva, Lynne Parent, Laura Ranneklev, Kayla Tyer, and Karen Zambetti.
East also recognized the 2021 Leadership Academy candidates.
Early in the program, Howell introduced NEFAR’s 2021 Officers and Board of Directors as well as a long list of RPAC Major Investors.
Members were also reminded to place Friday, July 30, 2021, on their calendars as the date RPAC’s 2021 Auction will be held at the NEFAR Resource Center, 7801 Deercreek Club Rd., in Jacksonville.