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January 2015

REALTORS® in King County Honor 10 For Special Achievements During 2014

January 2015 - NWREporter

Ten members of SEATTLE King County REALTORS® (SKCR) shared the spotlight for special achievements at a sold out industry event held last month. The occasion also featured the installation of the organization's 2015 leaders and fundraising for a scholarship program.

Joining together for the celebrations were members, affiliates and guests of SEATTLE King County REALTORS®, the Women's Council of REALTORS®, and SKCR's Young Professionals Network (YPN).

SKCR's top honor, the Realtor® of the Year award, went to Patti Hill, whose industry involvement encompasses national, state and local associations, with a particular interest in local issues and politics. She is a managing broker at the Ballard office of Windermere Real Estate Northwest and has been a director with the Washington Realtors since 2009. Hill earned her real estate license in 2000 and is completing a term as vice present of governmental and public affairs for the Association. In 2015, in addition to serving as that association's president-elect, the Seattle resident will also serve on various Political Action Committees at the national level.

A special President's Award went to Roni Strupat for decades of service as chair of the Seattle-King County First Citizens Awards program. In singling her out, Larry Christensen, the outgoing president of SKCR spoke of Strupat's tireless commitment to the program, which has a 76-year history of honoring community leadership, volunteerism and civic engagement that enhances the region's quality of life. Strupat is a broker at RE/MAX Performance Plus in Renton.

Other 2014 recipients of SKCR awards include (listed alphabetically by award name)

  • Affiliate of the Year - Luis Hernandez, Banner Bank, Capitol Hill Branch, Seattle
  • Government Affairs Volunteer of the Year - David Irons, Coldwell Banker Bain, Issaquah
  • Instructor of the Year - Larry Christensen, RE/MAX Performance Plus, Kent
  • One to Watch - Trish Englund, Windermere RE/East Inc., Yarrow Bay (Kirkland)
  • Outstanding Professional - Johna Beall, Real Living Northwest, Bothell
  • Pacesetter Award - Washington Association of Mortgage Professionals
  • REALTOR® Achievement - Sam DeBord, Coldwell Banker Danforth, Seattle
  • REALTOR® Community Service - Tom Bernard, Windermere Real Estate Northwest, Ballard

Luis Hernandez, a residential loan officer with Banner Bank's Capitol Hill Branch, was honored for his volunteer service to SKCR's Affiliate Council, which he chaired in 2014, and other community activities. He serves on the Association's board of directors, and volunteered at its annual habitat restoration project and legislative "Hill Day." Hernandez also helped organize and sponsor free quarterly forums for Realtors. The Puerto Rican native also volunteers with Entre Hermanos, a nonprofit organization that works to improve the health and well-being of the LGBTQ Latino community.

SKCR's Government Affairs Volunteer of the Year honors went to David Irons, who served as 2014 vice president-elect of Governmental and Public Affairs and chair of its Political Action Committee (PAC). In his PAC role he is credited with significant increases in both the number of investors and amounts invested. The former King County Councilmember serves the Association as a key contact to four state legislators and volunteered on several candidate interview panels. He is a broker at the Issaquah office of Coldwell Bank Bain.

Larry Christensen, the outgoing president of SKCR and a state certified instructor, was named Instructor of the Year. He has been a real estate professional since 1968 and an Association volunteer since 1986, during which time he has served on numerous committees. After managing an office of 50-plus agents, he started his own real estate school and began instructing full time in 2001. Along with teaching, he is the author of several state approved real estate courses. Christensen, who is affiliated with RE/MAX Performance Plus in Kent, is also an approved ethics instructor for Realtor associations in several counties around Washington state.

The Realtors honored Trish Englund with its "One to Watch Award" for young professionals. She is affiliated with the Yarrow Bay office of Windermere Real Estate/East, which she joined in 2007, initially in an administrative position. In 2012 she became a licensed broker and the following year earned a business degree from Northwest University. She also serves as a new construction specialist with Lockwood-Lozier Custom Homes. In 2015 Englund will chair the Association's Young Professionals Network and serve on SKCR's board of directors. The award recognizes members under age 35 who demonstrate ingenuity, leadership and community involvement. Englund supports several nonprofit organizations, including overseas missions and local groups.

"Outstanding Professional" honors went to Johna Beall, managing broker at Real Living NW Realtors in Bothell and the founder/instructor at HomeOwnershipU. Since the beginning of her real estate career in 1998, Beall has been a dedicated volunteer instructor for the Washington State Housing Finance Commission where she teaches free classes for first-time buyers to help them avoid predatory lending and other costly mistakes. She is the incoming state chapter president of the Women's Council of Realtors® (WCR). Beall is a past president of the Seattle Chapter of WCR and helped start that organization's first Masquerade Ball fundraiser. Its efforts benefit Brettler Family Place, a Sand Point Housing program for formerly homeless families with young children. Beall, a graduate of UC Berkeley, has a master's degree in psychology as well as several professional designations.

Sam DeBord was honored with the Realtor Achievement Award in recognition of outstanding service to the local and state Realtor associations, and to the community. He is a managing broker at Coldwell Banker Danforth and part of the Seattle Homes Group team. DeBord authors content for several real estate and technology news outlets, both nationally and locally. His background includes web development and consulting for tech startups - skills he applies to SeattleHome.com, one of the region's most powerful and popular real estate platforms. In addition to serving as a director for both SKCR and Washington Realtors, DeBord has been active on several committees for both associations, plus Presidential Advisory Groups for the national organization.

For outstanding contributions to the industry, SKCR presented its Pacesetter Award to the Washington Association of Mortgage Professionals. The Bellevue-based trade association serves licensed mortgage professionals and consumers. Through education, events, communications, and public affairs, WAMP promotes professionalism and high ethical standards for loan officers. As part of its efforts to promote a competitive and informed marketplace and to foster home ownership, WAMP is committed to working with Realtors and other industry partners.

Tom Bernard from Windermere's Ballard office was singled out for the 2014 Realtor Community Service Award. Among his volunteer activities, he is involved with the Ballard Food Bank, where he serves on the board, and with Compass Housing's "Road to Housing" program. The longtime Ballard resident coordinates grocery retrieval every Monday morning for the Food Bank. His service to the Compass Housing Alliance is focused on its "Road to Housing" program, which provides 24/7 access to safe parking, bathroom facilities and a microwave for men, women and families who are forced by circumstances to live in their cars.

As part of the evening's festivities, banquet attendees participated in a 50/50 raffle and dessert auction to raise funds for the Seattle First Citizen Scholarship Foundation. Nearly $5,000 was raised for scholarships, which are awarded in part for good citizenship and community involvement.

The SEATTLE KingCounty REALTORS®, with more 5,700 members, is a local board of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Its members adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and participate in matters at all levels of government that affect private property rights, housing supplies, affordability and homeownership opportunities. Membership is voluntary, and only members may use the term REALTOR®, which is a licensed collective trademark.