7801 Deercreek Club Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32256
In a glittering night-time event, the Northeast Florida Association of REALTORS® welcomed its new administration and recognized 18 annual award winners amidst much fanfare January 12 at the Marriott Jacksonville Hotel on Salisbury Road.
Nearly 300 NEFAR members enjoyed a delicious buffet dinner during the 2022 Annual Installation and Awards Gala. Included in the program was a graduation ceremony for NEFAR’s 2021 Leadership Academy class, an announcement of the five charter members of NEFAR’s new professional society EDGE™ (Ethics, Diversity, Goals, Excellence), an installation ceremony for NEFAR’s new officers and the newly elected directors for both the REALTOR® association and realMLS, and a special gavel-passing ceremony that featured 22 past presidents of NEFAR as an innovative way to welcome 2022 President Mark Rosener into the fold.
After an invocation presented by Reginald “Reggie” Robinson of Watson Realty Corp., and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Gonzalo Mejia of Watson Realty Corp., 2011 and 2012 NEFAR President Dane Leslie presided over the installation of Rosener and his new leadership team as well as the new realMLS directors. Joining Rosener on the board of directors in 2022 are President-elect Diana Galavis, Treasurer Rory Dubin, and Secretary Tiea Vincent. Newly elected directors for NEFAR, Lisa Brannon, Gonzalo Mejia, Scott Nyman, Christian Oliva, and Lauren Rohman were installed, and they will join Andrew Bell, Sonny Downey, Mario Gonzalez, Delmas “DeDee” Harper, Samantha Heflin, Jeannette “Jan” Jenkins, Audrey Lackie, Susan Severson, Cole Slate, and Jennifer Tossavainen on the board this year. Installed as new directors on the realMLS board were Jennifer Tossavainen, president, Janna Thomas, Howard Flaschen, and Paula Givler.
Past Presidents who joined the line-up to pass Rosener the gavel were: William Watson, Jr.; Sam Folds; Russell Grooms; Martha Dickerson; Cathy Whatley; Dee Bumbarger; Clare Berry, Selby Kaiser; Bonnie Siecker; Jeanell Wilson; Millie Kanyar; Dane Leslie; Carol Zingone; Linda McMorrow; Sally Suslak; Terrell Newberry; Marc Jernigan; Jeanne Denton-Scheck; Ron Harris; Missi Howell, Wendell Davis; and Beverly Garvin.
2021 NEFAR President Missi Howell presented certificates to graduates of its 2021 Leadership Academy. Donning graduation caps as they came forward to receive their certificates were: Clifford A. Baker of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate; Tara Braithwaite of Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty; Eric Cavanaugh of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners; Margarita Cavanagh of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners; Akime Deering of Navy to Navy Homes; Theron “Ben” Glynn of Round Table Realty; April Hall-Lloyd of Residential Movement Real Estate Group; Helen M. Jones of EXIT Real Estate Gallery; Clark LaBlond of The Legends of Real Estate; Tina Minshall of Shoe Realty; David Phan of EXIT Real Estate Gallery; Reginald “Reggie” Robinson of Watson Realty Group; Shelly Sharp of Watson Realty Group; Debbie Strickland of Heth Realty; Anthony Stroud of Navy to Navy Homes; Canard Thomas of Residential Movement Real Estate Group; and Marc Wiggins of EXIT Real Estate Gallery.
Serving as Master of Ceremonies for the event was William Glenn East. After the Leadership Academy graduation ceremony, East introduced the candidates of NEFAR’s 2022 Leadership Academy, which will be led by Tiea Vincent and Clark LaBlond. The candidates are: Kelsey Ackerman of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners; Elizabeth Barletta of ACES Title Agency; Jacquelyn Boyd of Residential Movement Real Estate Group; Neal Brown of IHeart Realty; Cornilus Burr of Florida Homes Realty and Mortgage; Charisma Bythwood of Watson Realty Corp.; Craig Clear of Watson Realty Corp.; Deanna Foerman of Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty; Mary Henton of Navy to Navy Homes; Nikki Holm of Herron Real Estate; Cynthia Kaneer of Minding Your Assets; Cherrae “Rae” Laws of Farrell International Realty; Quntra Love of Navy to Navy Homes; Philip Scarborough of Elite Realty; India Vance of Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty; Daisy Vernoy of Watson Realty Corp.; Danielle Wolbert of Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty; Carray Young of Watson Realty Corp.
East also announced the winning real estate firms of the 100% RPAC Participation Challenge: Slate Real Estate; Buck & Buck, Inc.; AJ Realty Group Florida, Inc.; Heth Realty, and Berry & Company Real Estate.
The five charter members of NEFAR’s new professional society, EDGE™, (Ethics, Diversity, Goals, Excellence) were also announced: Rory Dubin of EXIT Real Estate Gallery; Neil Bridgers of Watson Realty Corp.; Fresa Alejo-Jones of Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage; Missi Howell of The Legends of Real Estate; and William Glenn East, CEO of the Northeast Florida Association of REALTORS®. These charter members have completed specific certifications – At Home With Diversity, C2EX, NAR’s Implicit Bias Training; NAR’s Fairhaven simulation; and NEFAR’s Gold Key – Excellence in Professionalism certification as well as their Ethics training, which is required to join the society.
Long-time NEFAR Attorney Jeff Marks, who retired in December 2021, was recognized for his 38 years of faithful service to the association.
During the awards portion of the ceremony, NEFAR honored 18 members, adding several new recognitions of service to the association this year.
The Affiliate-Business Partner of the Year was Wally Conway of Florida HomePro Inspections for his outstanding support and service to the association during 2021.
Three former NEFAR Presidents – Millie Kanyar of Watson Realty Corp., Dane Leslie, an independent real estate consultant, and Terrell Newbery of Century 21 – were selected as Circle of Honor winners for their significant contributions to the community, state, and real estate profession.
Paul Ellsworth of Florida Homes Realty and Mortgage was recognized as the winner of the new Diversity Award for his work with a diverse clientele that includes members of the LGBTQIA community, various races, religions, political affiliations, and varying nationalities as well as customers between the ages of 18 and 80 and combat war veterans with PTSD and other disabilities. Ellsworth also holds the At Home with Diversity designation and has completed NAR’s fair housing on-line tools Implicit Bias and the Fairhaven video.
Rory Dubin of EXIT Real Estate Gallery was the recipient of NEFAR’s new Global Involvement Award that recognizes a member who holds the Certified International Property Specialist designation, is active on NEFAR’s Global Council, and has shown participation in international real estate at the local, state, national or international levels.
Audrey Lackie, owner of The Legends of Real Estate and a member of NEFAR for 36 years, was awarded the Golden R award for her faithful long-time service to the association in many capacities.
Dunia Taylor of REMI Realty was the winner of NEFAR’s new Guiding Light award, which takes the place of the former Educator of the Year award. The award criterion has been expanded to include a REALTOR® member who has either done an exemplary job of educating NEFAR members in the classroom or has mentored less-experienced agents in ways that go above and beyond what is required by their paid position in their real estate firm. Taylor held regular “how-to” meetings to instruct and support the agents in her brokerage and was always a phone call or text away if someone needed her help or assistance.
The NEFAR Humanitarian Award was renamed this year to become the Good Neighbor Award to fall in line with honors presented by the National Association of REALTORS® and Florida Realtors®. Rose Lampe of eXp Realty was the winner for her efforts in making and distributing “Blessing Bags” to the homeless in Northeast Florida. Lampe also raised money for the Humane Society and helped fulfill the Christmas wish lists for Daniel Kids as a member of Womenade. She also supported Shari’s Kidz and has donated to Jax Beach Brothers’ Keepers by Tracy Gebeaux, who drives around the beaches on Sundays bringing food and drinks to the homeless. Her favorite quote is “Help PEOPLE, even if you know they can’t help you back!”
NEFAR’s Newcomer of the Year was Akime Deering of Navy to Navy Homes. As a neophyte REALTOR who has been in the business no longer than three years, Deering has shown active participation in NEFAR through her educational accomplishments as well as committee, council, and task force work. An active sales agent for two years, Deering orchestrated the first annual “Blessing the Block” event where she gathered women’s clothing to help women in underserved communities dress for success in job interviews. She also partnered with other businesses to provide job interview training for women. Deering donates 25% of every commission to Hero buyers and sellers through the Homes for Heroes program plus another 5% to help additional Heroes in need. She is also a graduate of NEFAR’s 2021 Leadership Academy.
April Hall-Lloyd of Residential Movement Real Estate Group won NEFAR’s Professional Development Award, which is presented to the NEFAR REALTOR® member who has excelled in their own professional development for the past two years by completing real estate courses and earning various certifications and designations on the local, state, and national level. In the short time Hall-Lloyd has been a NEFAR member, she has earned the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation, the Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) certification, and the Gold Key – Excellence in Professionalism certification. She is also well on the road to achieving her Graduate REALTOR® Institute designation. She has also completed many other CE courses through NEFAR and is a 2021 graduate of NEFAR’s Leadership Academy. In addition, she completed the Learning Center Instructor Workshop and auditioned for Florida Realtors® at the 2021 state convention where she was approved to become a real estate instructor.
Kelli King of Keller Williams Jacksonville was honored with NEFAR’s Silent Angel Award this year. The award recognizes REALTOR® members who, although they do not command a formal leadership role, go above and beyond to serve NEFAR through volunteer service or support in 2021. King supported the majority of Council events in person this year and was particularly supportive to the Northside Council, stepping in to help with administrative duties if the Council chair or vice chair were unable to attend.
NEFAR also recognized Tiea Vincent of Round Table Property Management with its Special Recognition Award for her efforts to support NEFAR’s special projects and events in 2021. Vincent helped organize several YPN events while not being officially on the YPN Committee. She also put together this year’s “Rally in Jville,” and started a weekly video campaign to raise awareness of what NEFAR offers via its councils at the beginning of the year when most members were adjusting to restraints due to COVID-19.
Lisa Schueneman of Shoe Realty was honored as NEFAR’s Property Manager of the Year. A property manager for 14 years, Schueneman was serving as the current president of the Jacksonville Chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers. She is a member of NEFAR’s Global Council and has earned the Residential Management Professional designation and is currently working to complete the Master Property Manager certification. She also manages 100 residential unit doors and is the managing broker for her realty.
NEFAR REALTOR® of the Year honors were bestowed on Marc Jernigan of EXIT Real Estate Gallery for his personal involvement and support of NEFAR through committee work and the real estate profession for the past three years. Jernigan has been willing to serve in any capacity when asked and is an active member of the Budget and Finance Committee and the Southwest Council, as well as serving as district vice president for Florida Realtors® and on the National Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors as a NEFAR representative.
William Watson, Jr., owner and founder of Watson Realty Corp., was the first recipient of NEFAR’s new Real Estate Icon Award, which is given to a REALTOR® who has made a significant mark within the profession of real estate in Northeast Florida. Watson’s name is highly recognizable within the community and is synonymous with exemplary ethical behavior and knowledgeable and compassionate service to clients in the real estate industry in Northeast Florida and beyond. He entered the real estate profession in 1960, opened his own firm in 1965 and watched it grow to 48 offices and nearly 1,400 sales associates through Northeast Florida, Central Florida, and southern Georgia.
Dane Leslie, an independent real estate consultant, received NEFAR’s Presidential Lifetime Service Award, the highest award a past president can receive. It is presented only to past presidents that remain active in the association through personal volunteerism and excellent leadership. Leslie is the only NEFAR president to serve in the top spot for two years, 2011 and 2012. Since the end of his last term, Leslie has been a member of several NEFAR committees and the board of directors. He has also served as a director for Florida Realtors® and NAR. He recently activated his real estate instructor’s license and plans to teach courses with the NEFAR School of Real Estate in 2022.
Walter L. Williams, who passed away in September 2020, was honored with NEFAR’s first Lifetime Legacy Award. His widow, Sherry Williams, was on hand to receive the honor. The award is given to a long-time REALTOR® member – living or deceased – who has made a significant mark on the Northeast Florida real estate industry. Williams was inspired by his father, who was in real estate, and entered the business expanding a one-room office on Cassat Avenue to 13 offices spanning the distance from Jacksonville to Palm Coast. He was the youngest member elected to the first City Council of Jacksonville’s newly consolidated government, and he served as the first chair until a president was elected. President of the Jacksonville Association of REALTORS® in 1986, he also served as chair of the JEA Board and received the Congressional Energy Efficiency Award for his work.
NEFAR also showed its appreciation to the 2021 chairpersons and vice chairpersons who served the association so diligently this year. Providing the music during the program and for the afterparty was the band, Str8Up.
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