The Arkansas Realtors® Association held their 88th Annual Convention September 10-12, 2012 at the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock. The theme for this year’s Convention was Inspiration + Innovation = Profit.
The three day program included committee meetings, the annual membership meeting, recognition luncheons and banquets, and nationally-recognized speakers who covered legal, technological, motivational, and operational subjects. Speakers included Connie Podesta, Terry Watson, Michael Tritthart, Robert Morris, Georgia Alpizar, Tim Grooms, and Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors®. The Convention also included an awards luncheon and Realtor® of the Year celebration and Inaugural banquet. “The focus of our convention speakers this year was definitely on understanding different personality types. We were given the tools to achieve success with clients/customers as well as in our personal lives!” said 2012 Convention Committee Chairman Kathe Sumbles.
In the Opening Session before members heard from speaker Connie Podesta, the 2012 Arkansas Realtors® Association President Dana Powell honored Carolyn Cahill by presenting her with the Carolyn Cahill Legacy Award. Carolyn has worked at the Arkansas Realtors® Association for 43 years and chose to retire this year. With this being her last Convention as a staff member, members felt there was no better time than now to honor her for her years of dedication and service.
Carolyn Cobb was named 2012 Arkansas Realtor® of the Year at the Realtor® of the Year banquet on Tuesday evening. The Realtor® of the Year is a peer award based on point-system criteria set by the National Association of Realtors® and the Arkansas Realtors® Association that includes community service, service to the local, State and National Realtor® organizations, and application of the principles of the Golden Rule in all life situations.
The Awards luncheon on Wednesday September 12, 2012, honored members and local boards for outstanding accomplishments in 2012. Awards for boards that excelled in raising funds for Arkansas Realtor® Political Action Committee (ARPAC) and Special Olympics Arkansas were presented at this luncheon. The ARPAC awards that were presented were for “Most Dollars Raised” to the Northwest Arkansas Board of Realtors®, “Highest Percentage of Participants” to the Pine Bluff Board of Realtors® and “Most Over Goal” to the Phillips County Board of Realtors®. The Special Olympics Arkansas (SOAR) Awards that were presented went to the board that raised the most amount of money for SOAR. Texarkana Board of Realtors®, Fort Smith Board of Realtors®, and the Northwest Arkansas Board of Realtors® all won first place for the small, medium, and large board categories respectively. The Texarkana Board of Realtors® also received awards for the highest increase in fundraising over last year as well as for the most funds raised per member. The Arkansas Realtors® has raised more than 2 million dollars for Special Olympics Arkansas over more than two decades. G. I. Ochs was honored with the L. Wayne Camp Award, which recognizes continuing and outstanding volunteerism by a Realtor® for Arkansas Special Olympics.
The 2012 Graduate Realtor® Leadership Academy (GRLA) program members were honored and given their graduate plaques at the awards luncheon. The GRLA Class includes Bob Dodson, Harrison, Lisa O’Neal, Crittenden County, Robert Richardson, Little Rock, David Dunlap, Little Rock, Serethia Crawford, Hot Springs, Landra Bench, Northwest Arkansas, Gary Jones, Russellville, Jackie Keene, Northwest Arkansas, and Amber Gill, Paragould. The GRLA class also presented the Shaddox Award, a new award for Arkansas Hearts & Homes, Inc. that honors kindness, compassion, caring, generosity, and commitment, attributes that were always displayed by Dorwin and Patsy Shaddox, of whom the award is named after. The 2012 recipient of the Hearts & Homes Shaddox Award is Dorwin Shaddox, Harrison. Kent Dover, Hot Springs, and Larry Lau, Fort Smith, both received Omega Tau Rho medals of service.
The Inaugural Banquet celebrated the installation of the incoming Arkansas Realtors® Association President Bill Olson, of Batesville, as well as all incoming 2013 Officers and Directors. Dana Powell, 2012 Arkansas Realtors® Association President introduced Martin Edwards, past president of the National Association of Realtors® to carry out the induction. The incoming Officers include President-Elect Bill Ladd, Russellville, Secretary-Treasurer, Jonathan Moore, Rogers, Immediate Past President, Dana Powell, Little Rock, District 1 Vice President, Velda Lueders, Conway, District 3 Vice President, Cindy Meyers, Hot Springs.
The incoming Directors include Sandra Kelley, Paragould, C. Michael Stout, Conway, Jody Hendrix, Fayetteville, Sandy Ebel, Bentonville, Randy Moore, Harrison, Wes Freeman, Russellville, Bennie Estelle, Texarkana, Carolyn Cobb, Little Rock, and Mitch Hart, Conway. Incoming Directors-At-Large are Laurie Rushing, Hot Springs, and Bob Dodson, Harrison, and Felicia Johnson, Jonesboro. Bob Walker, North Little Rock, and Doyle Yates, Fayetteville were inducted as 2013 National Association of Realtors® Directors and Mike Ford, West Memphis as Past President Director.
“It was my goal that our members leave the convention inspired, motivated, and refreshed and that is exactly what happened!” said 2012 President Dana Powell.