Author Archives: Savino James

Longwood Realtor® Wins 2019 Humanitarian Award

Longwood Realtor® Wins 2019 Humanitarian Award

Bob Caldwell, left, accepts his 2019 Humanitarian Award from Florida Realtors President Eric Sain during the awards luncheon at the recent convention.

ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 10, 2019 — Proving that Realtors® make a difference in their communities, Robert W. “Bob” Caldwell III, a member of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, has received Florida Realtors®’ 2019 Humanitarian Award. The award was presented during the state association’s recent annual Convention & Trade Expo at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla.

Prior to becoming a Realtor, Caldwell was a certified fireman and emergency medical technician (EMT). For years, he has been the Realtor to call when it comes to the aftermath of hurricanes and other natural disasters. He’s one of the first to respond and run to the area to see how he and other Realtors can help: He rallies the troops, picks up supplies, helps with cleanup and whatever else is needed in the recovery efforts.

Within the first days after Hurricane Michael hit the Panhandle on Oct. 10, 2018, Caldwell was packing his truck and calling Realtor volunteers to join him in taking relief supplies to the area. He and the other volunteers drove seven hours to offer their help, remaining in the area for four days with little sleep and virtually no access to electricity.

Once he returned to Orlando, Caldwell knew help was still needed, so he organized a second trip to the Panhandle to help Floridians there who were homeless, had no power and no access to clean water.

After that second trip, Debbie Ashbrook, CEO of the Central Panhandle Association of Realtors, wrote the following: “Bob Caldwell is a true humanitarian. I had the pleasure of meeting Bob when he came to my area to help with relief efforts following Hurricane Michael. He is the true picture of personal sacrifice. He even slept in the parking lot in between doing all the work to help hurricane victims.”

Caldwell also volunteered with recovery efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and was instrumental in organizing the National Association of Realtors’ Habitat for Humanity build of 52 homes in New Orleans just before the NAR annual convention there during the same year. In the past, he has served as a trustee on Florida Realtors Disaster Relief Fund and is currently in his second term as a trustee for NAR’s Realtor Relief Foundation.

He currently serves as chair of his local Realtor association’s charitable foundation and has long been a supporter of Habitat for Humanity. He also has been a Little League baseball coach, umpire and board member for 12 years, a member of the North Orange County Development Association for 24 years and a member of the Committee of 100 for Orange County. He volunteers with Relay for Life and is a multiple Gallon Club member for the Florida Blood Bank. Caldwell also was awarded the U.S. Coast Guard’s Merit Award for Bravery – an honor he holds dear.

Florida Realtors® serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 187,000 members in 51 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.

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Winter Haven Realtor® Wins Commercial Realtor Achievement Award

ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 10, 2019 — Florida Realtors® has honored Benjamin Crosby, a member of the East Polk County Association of Realtors, with its 2019 Commercial Realtor Achievement Award. The award was presented at the state association’s recent  annual Convention & Trade Expo at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla.

Benjamin “Ben” Crosby

Benjamin “Ben” Crosby received Florida Realtors 2019 Commercial Realtor Achievement Award at the recent convention and trade expo.

The Commercial Realtor Achievement Award honors a Realtor’s lifetime of contributions to commercial activities at the local, state, national and community levels.

He also is a member of the Central Florida Commercial Association of Realtors and the Florida Gulf Coast Commercial Association of Realtors, as well as the Greater Lake and Sumter Counties, Osceola County and Tallahassee associations. Crosby has earned the Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) and Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designations from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

With 37 years in the real estate industry, Crosby has served his local association in numerous ways, from teaching courses to chairing its Commercial, RPAC and Professional Standards committees, and serving as a former president of the organization.

On the state level, he teaches for the Land Institute and developed several courses for continuing education (CE) credit used by various local associations. In 2010, he received the Realtors Land Institute’s Florida Land Realtor of the Year Award as well as its Excellence in Instruction Award. He served as president of the Florida CCIM Chapter in 2012, and has been a trustee for Florida Realtors Political Action Committee.

A long-time and passionate supporter of RPAC (the Realtors Political Action Committee) on the local, state and national levels, Crosby’s name appears on NAR’s “RPAC Hall of Fame” in Washington, D.C.

Florida Realtors® serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 187,000 members in 51 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.

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Naples Realtor® Wins 2019 Newcomer Award

Naples Realtor® Wins 2019 Newcomer Award

Patricia “P.J” Smith accepts the 2019 Newcomer Award from Florida Realtors President Eric Sain at the awards lunch during the recent convention.

ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 10, 2019 — Patricia J. “P.J.” Smith, a member of the Naples Area Board of Realtors (NABOR), has received Florida Realtors® 2019 Newcomer Award. The award was presented during the state association’s recent annual Convention & Trade Expo at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla.

The Newcomer Award recognizes an outstanding individual who has entered the Realtor profession within the past three years or less, and during that time has made notable contributions to the local and state associations, as well as to his or her community.

Since earning her real estate license and joining her local association in 2016, Smith has participated in more than 86 training, educational and business meeting sessions at NABOR, including MLS Advanced Training, Multiple Contract classes and Competencies in Professional Standards. She is vice chair of her local RPAC Committee and a Sterling R major investor in RPAC, plus a member of NABOR’s Safety Task Force and its Budget and Finance Committee. A graduate of her local board’s Leadership Academy in 2018, she also has been selected to serve on its Board of Directors beginning in 2020.

Smith was honored with NABOR’s Rising Star Award in 2019 and was a NABOR Circle of Excellence recipient in 2018.

In the community, she is a member of the Naples Women’s Club, the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, Naples Botanical Gardens and Artis Naples. Smith volunteers with Habitat for Humanity of Collier County and is an ambassador for the BlueZones Project of Southwest Florida, as well as a current appointee to the City of Naples Design Review Board.

Florida Realtors® serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 187,000 members in 51 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.

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Naples Realtor® Wins 2019 Realtor Achievement Award

Naples Realtor® Wins 2019 Realtor Achievement Award

2019 Florida Realtors President Eric Sain congratulates Brenda Fioretti on receiving the 2019 Realtor Achievement Award at this year’s convention and trade expo.

ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 10, 2019 — Brenda Fioretti, a member of the Naples Area Board of Realtors (NABOR), was named the winner of Florida Realtors 2019 Realtor Achievement Award. The award was presented during the state association’s recent annual Convention & Trade Expo at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla.

The Realtor Achievement Award honors one Realtor serving in the capacity of manager, broker of record or officer of their company. This award covers the previous three years’ contributions to the community, local, state and national Realtor associations.

Fioretti was NABOR president in 2010 and 2011, having previously served as its treasurer in 2009. She launched her local board’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) chapter in 2011 and also started its Ombudsman program that year, which helped save the board money. She has chaired numerous local committees, including the Economic Summit Task Force multiple times. The board now hosts an annual Economic Summit with 400 members attending the event. Fioretti also served NABOR’s Dean of Orientation from 2012-2018 and was instrumental in revamping the orientation for new members.

At the state level, she served on many Florida Realtors committees, including as chair of the Research Advisory Board and of the Legislative & Regulatory Research Breakout Session. She has served on the state association’s Board of Directors from 2006-2011, and from 2014 to the present. Fioretti currently is a member of Florida Realtors Education Foundation Board of Directors.

On the national level, she has served on the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Professional Standards Committee, the Interpretations and Procedures Advisory Board, Board of Directors, and is a current member of the Research Committee. She was named a Realtor Emeritus by NAR in 2013.

A passionate supporter of her community, Fioretti has organized and chaired the annual Sunshine Kids Foundation charity event in Naples for the past 17 years. The event has generated nearly $100,000 every year, raising funds to help children fighting cancer.

Florida Realtors® serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 187,000 members in 51 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.

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Tampa Realtor® Honored As 2019 Associate Realtor of Year

Tampa Realtor® Honored As 2019 Associate Realtor of Year

2019 Associate Realtor of the Year Barbara S. Jordan accepts her award from Florida Realtors President Eric Sain at this year’s convention and trade expo in Orlando.

ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 10, 2019 — Florida Realtors honored Barbara S. Jordan of Greater Tampa Realtors (GTR) as Associate Realtor of the Year. The award was presented at the state association’s recent annual Convention & Trade Expo at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla.

Florida Realtors has presented Realtor of the Year and Associate Realtor of the Year awards for more than 65 years. Winners are honored as the greatest individual lifetime contributors to their local board, community, state association and the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

A leader with her local board, Jordan has served on many different committees, including as chair of its Strategic Planning, Finance, Nominating, and Fair Housing committees, plus the International Real Estate Council and the Leadership Academy.

She was president of GTR in 2015, having served previously in other officer positions. She is a founding member and former chair of her local board’s Realtors Care Foundation, also serving on its current board of directors. In 2018, she was honored as GTR’s Realtor of the Year.

At the state level, Jordan has been a member of Florida Realtors Board of Directors since 2006. She is the current vice chair for the state association’s Insurance Subcommittee and serves as the legislative key contact to state Rep. Susan Valdes. She served as District 6 vice president for Florida Realtors in 2017 and is a 2016 graduate of the state association’s Leadership Academy.

A strong advocate for the Realtors Political Action Committee (RPAC), Jordan has been an RPAC investor since 1995 and a major investor since 2012. She has also served as a director for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and on its Global and Housing Opportunities committees.

Giving back to the community is important to Jordan, who has been vice president of the Sickles High School PTA and a leader with both the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts organizations. She has been a member of the Carrollwood Village Phase 3 Board of Directors as well as vice president, treasurer and secretary. During her term as president of her local association, she connected Tampa area Realtors with the local Salvation Army for outreach and volunteer efforts, which continues today.

Florida Realtors® serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 187,000 members in 51 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.

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Fort Lauderdale Realtor® Honored As 2019 Realtor of Year

Fort Lauderdale Realtor® Honored As 2019 Realtor of Year

2019 Florida Realtors President Eric Sain presents Christine Hansen with her award as the 2019 Realtor of the Year during the awards luncheon at the recent convention and trade expo. Hansen was president of Florida Realtors in 2018.

ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 10, 2019 – Florida Realtors® honored Christine Hansen, 2018 president of the state association, as its 2019 Realtor of the Year. The Realtor of the Year award was presented at the state association’s recent annual Convention & Trade Expo at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla.

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Florida Realtors® Honors Award Winners at Convention:

Florida Realtors® Honors Award Winners at Convention:

2019 Florida Realtors President Eric Sain presents Christine Hansen with her award as the 2019 Realtor of the Year during the awards luncheon at the recent convention and trade expo. Hansen was president of Florida Realtors in 2018.

Christine Hansen Named 2019 Realtor of the Year

ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 10, 2019 — Florida Realtors® recognized Christine Hansen, 2018 Florida Realtors president, as its 2019 Realtor of the Year. The award – one of several – was presented during the state association’s recent Convention & Trade Expo at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla.

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Florida’s Realtors® Now Hold a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® Title

Florida’s Realtors® Now Hold a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® Title

ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 9, 2019 – In one for the record books, 314 Florida Realtors® members successfully earned the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS ® title for largest human image of a key at the recent 2019 Florida Realtors Convention & Trade Expo at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando.

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Realtor® Kara Zeder Rosen: Helping Children Heal Through Kristi House

Realtor® Kara Zeder Rosen: Helping Children Heal Through Kristi House

MIAMI – When Kara Zeder Rosen was in college, her mom invited her to a luncheon for Kristi House. “My mom was on the board, but at that time I wasn’t involved in the charity,” says Zeder Rosen, a sales associate with The Jills Zeder Group of Coldwell Banker in Miami.

That all changed once she heard the luncheon’s keynote speaker, a sex abuse victim who was helped by Kristi House Inc., a non-profit in Miami dedicated to healing and eradicating child sexual abuse and sex trafficking.

Zeder Rosen recalls: “It was there that I learned about the horrors of child sexual abuse, its pervasiveness, one in four girls, one in seven boys, and the toll it takes on a family. But it was also at that lunch, when hearing one of our child victims share her story, that I realized the young girl speaking was no longer a victim but a survivor, standing in front of hundreds of strangers telling her story of triumph. Yes, it was heart-wrenching. Yes, I had tears and couldn’t believe what this poor child had been through – but at the end of the day, there was hope, not only for her but for all victims. It was clear to me that Kristi House was her light at the end of the tunnel; we were her unicorn.”

From that day on, she was hooked.

“The more I learned, the more I wanted to help,” she says. “I learned sexual abuse was a cancer, but that Kristi House had the cure. While we can’t change a child’s past, we can change their future. So, I went to work doing what I could with incredible support from my family, friends, amazing board members, and most of all, the extremely dedicated angels at Kristi House.”

That was in 2012.

“I’ve been president of the board since 2015,” Zeder Rosen says. As president, she says, ensuring services to help those in need has been her priority. Kristi House has a $4.4 million budget and has been operating for 24 years out of six locations.

She adds, “We saw over 1,400 children and their families last year at no cost to them, and Project Gold helped 45 girls heal from the complex trauma of child sex trafficking.”

All of Kristi House’s services are entirely free.

“No one pays a dime, so, fundraising is a huge portion of what we do on the board,” she says.

The group is also extremely involved in outreach and education, according to Zeder Rosen.

She notes, “It’s a topic that people aren’t comfortable talking about, but we want to educate parents, teachers, everyone. The more that we’re learning about child sexual abuse, the more tools we can give children to learn about what’s appropriate and what’s not. The more they know, hopefully, the more you can prevent it.”

While Zeder Rosen says she would love to work with the victims that the Kristi House serves one-on-one, “We [board members] don’t interact with our clients because we respect the privacy of those who are there [at Kristi House.] Many have cases that are going to court, so the board members are dealing with the state attorney or police.”

All of those who come to Kristi House inspire her, Zeder Rosen says. “When I walk into the lobby, and children are waiting to be seen, and you know they are in the right place, it inspires you to keep working to serve as many people as you can. The work I’m doing behind the scenes is helping them,” she says. “Honestly, it’s changing their lives forever for the better. They’re going from victim to survivor. And, I’m proud of that.”

Want to know more about Kristi House, or possibly make a donation? Go to http://www.kristihouse.org/.

Florida Realtors® serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 187,000 members in 51 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.

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Fla.’s Housing Market: Closed Sales, Pending Sales, Median Prices Up in July 2019

Fla.’s Housing Market: Closed Sales, Pending Sales, Median Prices Up in July 2019

ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 21, 2019 – Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales, more pending sales and higher median prices in July compared to a year ago, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 28,142 last month, up 10.4% from July 2018.

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