The Arkansas REALTORS® Association held their 89th Annual Convention September 23-25, 2013 at Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, MO. The theme for this year’s Convention was “Above & Beyond.”
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 Meagan Johnson, Karel Murray, Trista Curzyldo, Walter Sanford, Verl Workman, Tim Grooms, of Quattlebaum Grooms, Tull & Burrow, PLLC., Arkansas Commissioner of Lands, John Thurston, and Gary Isom & Andrea Alford, of the Arkansas Real Estate Commission. The Convention also included an awards luncheon, REALTOR® of the Year celebration and Inaugural banquet.
In the Opening Session before members heard from speaker Meagan Johnson, Karen Crowson, of Crye-Leike REALTORS® in Benton,
spoke about the work that members have done for our first statewide Habitat for Humanity Build. The home that REALTORS® sponsored and helped build was dedicated to its owner, Navy Veteran Susan Meyers, on September 11, 2013. Felicia Johnson, of Coldwell Banker Village Communities in Jonesboro, facilitated a skit on Fair Housing and the 2013 Graduate Realtor® Leadership Academy Class debuted their “Credit Crunch” video.
Larry Kelly was named 2013 Arkansas Realtor® of the Year at the Realtor® of the Year banquet on Tuesday evening. The REALTORS® 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 REALTORS® organizations, and application of the principles of the Golden Rule in all life situations.
The Awards luncheon on Wednesday September 25, 2013, honored members and local boards for outstanding accomplishments in 2013. Awards for boards that excelled in raising funds for Arkansas REALTORS® Political Action Committee (ARPAC) and Special Olympics Arkansas were presented at this luncheon. The ARPAC awards that were presented recognized the Northwest Arkansas Board of REALTORS® for “Most Dollars Raised”, the Pine Bluff Board of REALTORS® for “Highest Percentage of Participants,” the Phillips County Board of REALTORS® for “Highest Percent Over Goal” and the Hot Springs Board of REALTORS® for “Most Dollars Raised Over Goal.” The Special Olympics Arkansas (SOAR) Awards that were presented went to the boards 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 an award for the most funds raised per member while the Benton/Bryant REALTORS® Association received an award for the highest increase in fundraising over last year. For almost 30 years, Arkansas REALTORS® have been fundraising for Special Olympics Arkansas and to date have raised more than 2 million dollars for the organization.
The 2013 Graduate REALTORS® Leadership Academy (GRLA) program members were honored and given their graduate plaques at the awards luncheon. The GRLA Class includes Kayla Ross, Hot Springs, Kristyn Cooley, Hot Springs, Dianne Mitchell, Harrison, Jennifer Welch, Siloam Springs, Patrick Sullenger, Little Rock, Mikki Dennis, Russellville, Cheryl Dunson, Conway, Ray Johnson, Little Rock, Stephanie McDaniel, Jonesboro. The Shaddox Award, a new award that honors a member who exceeds normal definitions of kind, caring, compassionate, generous, and committed to working with Hearts & Homes of Arkansas, was awarded to Bill Ladd, Russellville. Carolyn Cobb and Dana Parent, both of Little Rock, both received Omega Tau Rho medals of service.
The Inaugural Banquet celebrated the installation of the incoming Arkansas REALTORS® Association President Bill Ladd, Russellville, as well as all
incoming 2014 Officers and Directors. Bill Olson, 2013 Arkansas REALTORS® Association President introduced Dorwin Shaddox, 2000 Arkansas REALTORS® Association President to carry out the induction. The incoming Officers include President-Elect Jonathan Moore, Rogers, Secretary-Treasurer Ronald B. Stinchcomb, Fayetteville, Immediate Past President Bill Olson, Batesville, District 2 Vice President Deanna Dial, Rogers, District 4 Vice President Angie Johnson, Benton.