Marla Martin, Communications Manager, or Jeff Zipper, Vice President of Communications 407/438-1400, ext. 2326 or 2314
Florida Realtors® Honors Award Winners at Convention:
Wendell Davis Named 2011 Realtor of the Year
ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 31, 2011 -- Florida Realtors® recognized Wendell Davis, the 2010 president of the state Realtor association, as its 2011 Realtor of the Year. The award – one of several – was presented during Florida Realtors’ recent 95th annual Convention & Trade Expo at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be among the elite, and it’s brought about by you – all the members of this great organization,” said Davis upon accepting the award. “I’m proud to have had the privilege of serving you.”
On the local level, Davis is very active within his home Realtor organization, the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors (NEFAR). In fact, 16 years ago, he led the task force that paved the way for the merger of four local associations to become NEFAR, and his proven leadership prompted members to choose him as the association’s inaugural president in 1996.
A broker and regional vice president with Watson Realty Corp. in Jacksonville, Davis is a charter member and former president of the Northeast Florida Association of Residential Property Managers (NEFARPM); and also served as treasurer and a director for the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM). Some of the numerous local honors he has received include Property Management Member of the Year, 1999; Property Manager of the Year, 2004; and Presidential Lifetime Service Award, 2006. On the national level, Davis has been an active member of NAR for many years, serving on its Board of Directors since 2001.
As Florida Realtors president, Davis was instrumental in establishing Florida Realtors first statewide open house: During 2010 Florida Open House Weekend, more than 1,600 open houses took place in communities across Florida. His support of the Realtors USO Phone Card program raised $50,000 to help U.S. troops connect with their families. On the political front, he spearheaded the effort in 2010 to protect Florida’s economy by defeating Amendment 4, the anti-growth measure that would have required voter approval for all changes to local comprehensive land use plans.
Davis is just as dedicated to his community as he is to his profession: He is a current Clay County commissioner and served as chairman in 2010. A past chairman of his local March of Dimes campaign and past president of the local Chamber of Commerce, he was a teacher and football coach for 23 years. He also served as an officer in the U.S. Army and fought in the Korean War.
Associate Realtor of the Year
Florida Realtors honored John Mike, a Realtor with RE/MAX Prestige Realty in West Palm Beach, as Associate Realtor of the Year. A former president of the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches (RAPB), he was named its Realtor of the Year in 2003; International Realtor of the Year in 2009; and received its President’s Award in 2009. On behalf of RAPB, Mike led four real estate trade missions to the United Kingdom.
He took part in Florida Realtors’ trade mission to the UK in 2008 and served on its inbound trade mission work group in 2010. Mike has served on numerous committees for Florida Realtors, and will chair its state convention in 2012. On the national level, he has made substantial contributions to NAR, including serving as the NAR President’s Liaison to the United Kingdom for the past five years. He recently earned a Lifetime Honorary Membership in the National Association of Estate Agents in the UK.
In his spare time, Mike gives back to his community. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Emmaus Residence for People Living with AIDS, Catholic Charities; and as a board member for the World Trade Center Palm Beach.
Realtor Achievement Award
Florida Realtors honored Andrew Barbar, broker-owner with Keller Williams Realty Service in Boca Raton, with the 2011 Achievement Award, which recognizes a Realtor who serves as manager, broker of record, or officer in his or her company. The award acknowledges the winner’s previous three years’ contributions to the community, local, state and national Realtor associations.
A member of the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches (RAPB), Barbar was instrumental in the merger of two local Realtor organizations into what became RAPB, as well as the reorganization of the Regional MLS of Florida. In 2006, he was honored as his local association’s Realtor of the Year.
On the local, state and national level, Barbar has served on or chaired numerous committees. He is the current chair of Florida Realtors’ Local Board President Information Exchange, and has been a member of NAR’s Board of Directors since 2003.
A dedication to his community also defines Barbar. Some of the groups benefiting from his energy and generosity include: Sheridan House, Habitat for Humanity, Home Safe of Palm Beach County, Boca Helping Hands and 4Kids Foster Care.
Commercial Realtor Achievement Award
The Commercial Realtor Achievement Award honors a Realtor’s lifetime of contributions to commercial activities at the local, state, national and community levels. Receiving the 2011 Commercial Realtor Achievement Award is Claudette Bruck, broker-owner of Multiple Choice Realty Investments Inc. and a 35-year member of the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Lauderdale (RAGFL).
Bruck is a past president of her local association’s Realtors Commercial Alliance, as well as a founding member and past president of the RAGFL Charitable Foundation. She was honored by RAGFL as its Realtor of the Year in 1987 and was named its Humanitarian of the Year in 2003. She was named the first recipient of the Realtors Commercial Alliance Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.
Bruck shared her time and professional expertise with the state association, too. She was recognized as Florida Realtors’ Humanitarian of the Year not once – but twice – in 2000 and 2008. A long-time member of NAR’s Realtors Commercial Alliance, she has served as a NAR director and participated in numerous committees on the national level.
A long list of civic, community and charitable organizations have benefited from Bruck’s compassion and dedication, including the Broward Partnership for the Homeless and the Citizens Emergency Response Team. She was elected to the Coral Springs Commission in 2006, a seat she still holds today. But Bruck is best known for her 27 years of volunteering as a Guardian ad Litem for the State of Florida, where she represents abandoned, neglected and abused children. Her work on behalf of children prompted former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and the Florida Supreme Court to name her “Child Advocate of the Year.”
Humanitarian of the Year Award
The 2011 Humanitarian of the Year award winner Richard “Rick” MacDonald, a Realtor with The Legends of Real Estate in Jacksonville, proves that Realtors make a difference in communities. A member of the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors, MacDonald has devoted numerous volunteer hours to Metro Kids Konnection, a community effort he first heard about in 2002. That year, MacDonald and his children visited an after-school program in a low-to-no-income housing project suffering from poverty and crime; what he saw there inspired him to become personally involved.
After that 2002 Kids Konnection visit, MacDonald helped to substantially grow the organization and how it helps children in desperate need. For the past nine years, he has led the way in fundraising for the program; he’s also been chairman of its volunteer board for the past several years.
In 2010, MacDonald broke ground on a 4,200 square-foot facility and playground for Metro Kids Konnection. Children now benefit from tutoring, sports, recreation, hot meals and a variety of activities designed to help them dream beyond their circumstances and achieve success.
Since the 1996 founding of Metro Kids Konnection, juvenile arrests in the community have dropped 79 percent, according to organizers. Before Metro Kids Konnection existed, almost none of the children made it to high school, much less graduation – and less than 60 percent were even promoted to the next grade. Today, more than 93 percent of Metro Kids participants are promoted.
Other Florida Realtor award winners this year:
- Individual Achievement:
Patricia Pitocchi, Naples Area Board of Realtors
- Realtor Institute Scholastic Achievement:
John F. Holland, GRI, Jupiter-Tequesta-Hobe Sound Association of Realtors
- Florida Realtor Magazine Best Article:
Patrick Stracuzzi, Realtor Association of Martin County, for the article, “The Dream Catcher”
- Florida Realtor Magazine Editorial Excellence:
Chris Collins, Emerald Coast Association of Realtors, for the article, “Military Marketing”
Florida Realtors®, formerly known as the Florida Association of Realtors®, serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 115,000 members in 64 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.