July 1 marked the beginning of the second half of my term as your 2019 president.
It’s hard to believe we’re already halfway through the year until I reflect on all the things we’ve accomplished during the first six months.
One of my favorite highlights was seeing President Donald J. Trump addressing a select group of Realtors from across the nation, and I was honored to attend afirst-of-its-kind meeting with the president along with CEO Keith Dean while attending the NAR Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.
We started off the year with nearly 100 new members joining in the Navarre/Santa Rosa area and, as of June 30, we have more members than any other time in our history, now at just over 4,000 members.
We had strong representation at the Florida Realtors winter conference, with Keith Wood serving as chair of FR Public Policy and Dawn Johnson serving as chair and Cathy Alley as vice-chair of the Forms Committee. Michele Bailey was selected for the leadership program. In addition, Dean gave updates on customary use to multiple committees.
For the third year in a row, we had our highest attendance ever at GARD in Tallahassee, with nearly 70 attendees. We enjoyed representing our industry, our communities and meeting with and seeing our local state legislators in action.
One of the unexpected privileges of serving has been working alongside so many of you, learning more about your service to our community. I’ve been pleased to learn of so many examples of our members giving back, such as Allison Richard’s great accomplishment of 10 years of service to Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
Rachel Simerly has served for nine years as a Guardian Ad Litem advocate. Craig Baranowski hosted the 30A Thanksgiving Race, which awarded $90,000 this year alone to Girls Inc., Anchorage Children Center, Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance and the Cultural Arts Alliance. And our very own Cathy Alley is running a very different kind of race: her first race for political office for the Niceville City Council.
At our recent Annual Member Meeting, we enjoyed coming together as an association and learning about important topics from industry leaders, such as Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance Board President Stephen Young and the local sheriff’s department on the importance of Realtor safety.
ECAR also had the recent pleasure of hosting Rep. Mel Ponder and his wife, Mona, and Florida Home Builders Association CEO and Chief Lobbyist Rusty Payton at our 2019 State of Florida Legislative Wrap-Up.
I am equally excited about things to come in the second half of this year: the inaugural class of the new, ECAR-sponsored Public Service Institute, which will inform and encourage business-minded professionals from all industries to pursue public office, the FR conference and convention in Orlando and the NAR annual meeting in San Francisco.
I look forward to seeing how ECAR members make an even greater difference in people’s lives through the ever-anticipated and impactfulSoldiers on the Water Tournament for combat-wounded veterans.I know the exciting event will be a great success!
I appreciate your membership, the honor to serve as your president and look forward to working with each of you over the next six months to continue to make our association strong.