March 28, 2017
Members of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) paid tribute to outgoing President Ray Ferris at the annual general meeting and conference in Toronto recently. Ferris, who served as President in 2016, continues to serve on the OREA board of directors as Immediate Past President. Ettore Cardarelli of Mississauga was installed as the new president for 2017. (See accompanying article.)
During his installation, Cardarelli recognized the outgoing president for his time and dedication to OREA. “Ray, you did an amazing job over the past year,” said Cardarelli. “You were hard working, dedicated, and tireless in your efforts. You travelled around the province on our behalf, representing your fellow REALTORS® to millions of people in Ontario. You put in many long hours on behalf of OREA, and we thank you for everything.”
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In his outgoing speech at the Assembly meeting, Ferris said he wanted to express to all members his “heartfelt gratitude for the special time that you gave me to serve. When people referred to me as President of OREA, I always felt the need to correct them. You don’t become President of OREA. You are given temporary custody of the office, which belongs to 70,000 Ontario REALTORS®. For me, having temporary custody of this office has been an honour beyond words or measure.”
"For me, having temporary custody of this office has been an honour beyond words or measure.”
Over the past year, Ferris was at the helm for many significant achievements. He said that he is most proud of the following accomplishments during his tenure, when OREA:
- Lobbied for and won a doubling of the provincial land transfer tax rebate to first-time home buyers, from $2,000 to $4,000. This new rebate exempts young families from paying any tax on the first $368,000 of a home’s purchase price, saving first-time buyers a collective $100 million annually.
- Applauded the province for introducing legislation confirming it would not be allowing the municipal land transfer tax (MLTT) to be levied in cities or towns beyond Toronto, the culmination of an OREA mass advocacy campaign in 2015 to prevent the spread of the MLTT.
- Successfully lobbied the government to introduce legislation for mandated minimum education requirements for Ontario home inspectors, including training and licensing, a big victory for consumer protection.
- Recruited a new and talented Chief Executive Officer, Tim Hudak. This decision, in turn, has sparked a huge increase in media exposure to OREA on issues that matter to REALTORS® and consumers: home ownership, affordability and land transfer tax.
- Examined Governance practices and explored alternative structures and practices, including a Governance Day review at the OREA annual conference. This review focused on the board of directors and committees, composition, terms of reference and performance management. The team received incredibly positive feedback for this initiative and Ferris noted that “we will work to implement the changes you have supported, reflecting the consensus of members, and we will endeavour to address the many great perspectives we heard, in order to build a governance structure that works for you.” (See accompanying article.)
In his farewell speech, Ferris noted that “Last year at this time I told you that ‘Success in real estate depends a great deal on the ability to connect with others. So too must our association reach out to all of you.’ And that we did – big league.”
Ferris thanked all members, OREA staff, and volunteers. “Never for a moment think that you don’t contribute to the overall success of OREA,” he said. “You certainly contributed to my success. I was never alone when I was driving my truck to the far corners of Ontario… in fact I had 70,000 of you in my back seat.”
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