A volunteer is at the heart of many organizations. That’s why the efforts of volunteers across the province from the real estate community were recognized recently by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA).
At a ceremony at the annual OREA leadership conference in March, President Ray Ferris and Past President Patricia Verge presented various awards during a luncheon. The recognition event was held at Toronto’s Sheraton Centre hotel as part of the conference.
The winner of the OREA Volunteer Leader Award was Jeff Mahannah of the Oakville, Milton and District Real Estate Board (OMDREB), pictured here with OREA president Ray Ferris.
Mahannah was honoured for his “passion, time, energy and vision through his volunteer work,” according to the letter of nomination from OMDREB. “Words that come to mind in describing Jeff are professionalism, experience, integrity, patience, diplomacy, honesty, dependability, knowledge, dedication and loyalty. He never hesitates to share his knowledge, expertise or experience, whether the S.O.S. comes from a fellow member, a director, a member of staff, or one of his REALTOR® colleagues.”
The nomination states that, “in looking back at the body of his volunteer work, we realized just how often Jeff Mahannah had been instrumental in handling many of the most challenging issues that faced our board,” the letter states. “From replacing our legacy MLS® system to guiding us in a search for a new location, to resurrecting our charitable endeavours and contributions to our communities, to creating a long-term vision for the board, to responding to member concerns over the changes in our data exchanges with neighbouring boards and associations, to revamping and enhancing our finance procedures and policies... Jeff played a key role. His collaborative nature, diplomacy and sense of calm regardless of whether things are routine or major challenges, are all invaluable to his role as a leader in our board.”
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Other nominees for the above award were: Stan Adams of the Cambridge Association of REALTORS®; Julianne Green from the Windsor-Essex County Association of REALTORS®; Karen Pynn of the Ottawa Real Estate Board; and from the Toronto Real Estate Board, Eliza Cheung, Paul Etherington, Jin Jiang, and Marco DaSilva.
During the luncheon, Executive Officers from across the province were also honoured for milestone years of service working for their real estate boards. The Years of Service program recognizes EOs who have reached identified milestones, measured in five-year increments. OREA’s Association Executive Advisory Committee recommended the establishment of these milestone awards, which were first presented in 2012. “We know that the growth and success of our industry is largely dependent on having strong and capable Executive Officers,” OREA President Ray Ferris told the audience. “We want them to know that they are valued and appreciated, and that we recognize their unwavering contribution.”
Recognized for their milestones were the following EOs: Gwen Kirkpatrick of the Huron Perth Association of REALTORS® and Dana Yonemitsu of the Bancroft and Area Association of REALTORS®, both for 25 years of service; Sandy Raymer of the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® for 20 years of service; and Krista Del Gatto of the Windsor-Essex County Association of REALTORS® for 15 years of service. Recognized for five years of service were: Rhonda Fiddament of the North Bay Real Estate Board; Wendy Giroux of the Peterborough and the Kawarthas Association of REALTORS®; and Katrina Steffler of the Guelph & District Association of REALTORS®.
Also honoured were two retiring EOs, who were thanked for their many years of service. They were Betty Doré of the London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® and Susan Nish of the Kingston and Area Real Estate Association.
Read about other awards presented by the Ontario Real Estate Association and the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation at this year’s conference.
Story by Mary Ann Gratton
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