ARKANSAS REALTORS® ASSOCIATION
11224 Executive Center Drive, Little Rock, AR 72211
Contact: Juli Gates, Arkansas REALTORS® Association 501-225-2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
(Little Rock, 9/27/17) – The Arkansas Realtors® Association held their 93rd Annual Convention September 18-20, 2017 at The Marriott Hotel in Little Rock. The theme for this year’s Convention was “Be About It”!
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 Ryan Stewman, CEO and Founder of Hardcore Closer and Break Free Academy, Arkansas’ local hero and North Little Rock Police Officer Tommy Norman, Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Allen Kerr, Mark Given, Terry Watson, Carl Carter Jr., Chris H. Olsen, Valerie Garcia, Mark Given, Blake Townsend and Sean Tappe, and Tim Grooms, of Quattlebaum Grooms & Tull, PLLC.,. The Convention also included an Awards Luncheon, Realtor® of the Year celebration and Inaugural Banquet.
The annual Kick Off Social was held at Dickey Stephens Park. Hearts and Homes of Arkansas, INC. held a silent auction to raise funds. Hearts and Homes of Arkansas is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and is the charitable arm of the Arkansas Realtors® Association. Through this organization, Arkansas REALTORS® are able to assist Arkansans who have lost their home, their office, their ability to pay for their home and/or their livelihood through a natural disaster or other catastrophic events. A minx coat was donated for a Live Auction at the event to benefit Special Olympics Arkansas. The coat went for $500.00 and all of the money went to Special Olympics Arkansas.
In the Opening Session members heard from Arkansas’ own Hometown Hero and North Little Rock Police Officer, Tommy Norman, and Keynote Speaker Ryan Stewman. Each speaker gave insight on how to go out and “Be About It” in all that you do!
William B. Olson of Batesville was named 2017 Arkansas Realtor® of the Year at the Realtor® of the Year banquet on Tuesday evening. All Local Board Realtors® of the Year were recognized at the banquet as well. 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 20, 2017, honored members and local boards for outstanding accomplishments in 2017. Awards for boards that excelled in raising funds for Special Olympics Arkansas were presented at this luncheon. The Special Olympics Arkansas (SOAR) Awards that were presented went to the boards that raised the most amount of money for SOAR. The Paragould 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® received an award for the most funds raised per member while the Faulkner County Board of Realtors® received an award for the highest increase in fundraising over last year. For 32 years, Arkansas Realtors® have been fundraising for Special Olympics Arkansas and to date have raised more than 2 and a half million dollars for the organization. Jill Whitworth of Paragould was awarded the L. Wayne Camp award which is awarded to recognize continuing and outstanding volunteerism by a Realtor® for Special Olympics Arkansas.
The 2017 Graduate Realtor® Leadership Academy (GRLA) program members were honored and given their graduate plaques at the Awards Luncheon. The GRLA Class includes Tami Davis of Faulkner County, Cassie Elwonger of Fort Smith, Kelly Thomason of Hot Springs, Sharon Tremor of Hot Springs, Shane McBride of Northeast Arkansas, Halie Norris of Northeast Arkansas, Don McNaughton of Northwest Arkansas, Chris Chronister of Russellville, and Amy Eden of South Central Arkansas. Paulette Richie of the South Central Arkansas REALTORS® Association received the Omega Tau Rho medal of service.
The Inaugural Banquet celebrated the installation of the incoming 2018 Arkansas Realtors® Association President, Velda Lueders of Conway, as well as all incoming 2018 Officers and Directors. Maurice Taylor, 2017 Arkansas Realtors® Association President introduced Andy Schaus, Arkansas REALTORS® Association 1988 Past President and past CEO of the Arkansas REALTORS® Association, to carry out the induction. The incoming Officers include President-Elect Angie Johnson, Benton; Secretary-Treasurer Carolyn Cobb, Little Rock; Immediate Past President Maurice Taylor, North Little Rock; District 1 Vice President Bob Dodson, Harrison; and District 4 Vice President Paulette Richie, Bryant.
The incoming Directors include Richard Rolfingsmeyer, Bentonville; Suzett Sparks, Rogers; Chrissie Wright, Jonesboro; Glee Cosner, Fort Smith; Nancy Wright, Mena; Kathleen Sumbles, Little Rock; Daniel Gray, Jacksonville; Dale Carlton, Greers Ferry; Keith Montgomery, North Little Rock. Karen Crowson of Benton was installed as an NAR Director and Jonathan Moore of Rogers was installed as an ARA Director. Committee Chairmen installed were Spencer Hawks, Conway; Jennifer Welch, Springdale; Cindy Meyers, Hot Springs; Sommer Salgaonkar, North Little Rock; Jeff Hathaway, Little Rock; Doug Smith, Little Rock; Morgan Horton, Conway; Lori Quinn, Conway; Debbie Rawls, Paragould; Robert (Bob) Walker, North Little Rock; Ronald B. Stinchcomb, Fayetteville; Karen Crowson, Benton.