Author Archives: Savino James

Two Realtors® Honored As 2012 Humanitarians of Year

ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 27, 2012— Florida Realtors® has named two outstanding Realtors as co-recipients of its 2012 Humanitarian of the Year award: John Castelli, a member of the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Lauderdale (RAGFL), and Phillip Wilson, a member of the Punta Gorda-Port Charlotte-North Port Association of Realtors. Wilson is broker-owner of Wilson Realty in Port Charlotte, Fla., while Castelli is broker-owner of Castelli Real Estate Services in Wilton Manors, Fla.

The awards were presented during the state association’s recent 96th annual Convention & Trade Expo at the Marriott World Center in Orlando, Fla. The two Humanitarian of the Year award winners prove that Realtors make a difference in communities.

John Castelli

2012 Florida Realtors President Summer Greene presents one of two Humanitarian of the Year awards to John Castelli, a Broward County Realtor, during the recent Florida Realtors Convention & Trade Expo.

Castelli has devoted numerous volunteer hours to helping both children and the elderly. For the past two years, he has been president of RAGFL’s Charitable Foundation, established in 1987 to help people with specific needs that cannot be met by any other source. He led the foundation’s largest fundraiser in history – attracting the most attendees and raising the most money.

For many years, the foundation has hosted a Christmas party for children of families staying at the Broward Partnership for the Homeless, a 57,000-square-foot 200-bed residential facility. These kids know Castelli as Santa – wearing his own Santa suit and a professional wig and beard to play the part convincingly. Last year, the children were encouraged to write letters to Santa with their wish lists. Even though he had just been in the hospital, Castelli gave the performance of a lifetime: 29 children, from toddlers to teenagers, were given hope and trust along with the toys, shoes and clothing on their lists.

 

He was instrumental in obtaining a wheelchair for a young athlete involved in a near-fatal car accident. The custom-designed chair enables the young man to act on his dream of playing wheelchair tennis. And, in his spare time, Castelli volunteers at Sunserve, a not-for-profit community foundation that provides the elderly with day care, recreational activities and medical services.

Phil Wilson’s volunteer efforts in his community span more than two decades: He’s served as the community auctioneer for the American Cancer Society for 25 years. Wilson has used his skills as a professional auctioneer to help raise funds for nearly every community group in Charlotte County, including the YMCA, Red Cross, Boy Scouts, 4H Club, Rotary Club, American Heart Association, Center for Abuse and Rape Emergencies, Leukemia Cup Race, Future Farmers of America, Kiwanis Clubs, high schools, churches, medical centers and many others.

Phil WIlson

Phil Wilson, a co-recipient of this year’s Humanitarian of the Year award from Florida Realtors, receives congratulations from 2012 President Summer Greene during Florida Realtors recent Convention & Trade Expo.

He was instrumental in the county historical society’s “Save The Courthouse” project. A talented fiddle and saxophone player, Wilson has played fundraisers for nursing homes, the Salvation Army and the Military Heritage Museum among others. He also helped coach Little League baseball for many years, and sells hot dogs every fall to raise money for the Charlotte Tarpons varsity football team.

No stranger to winning awards for his giving nature and kind heart, Wilson received his local Realtor association President’s Award for Outstanding Community Service, and also won the Rotarian of the Year Eagle and “Service Above Self” awards. The Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce recognized Wilson and his wife Linda with its 2011 “Pacesetter” award for community excellence

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 63 boards/associations.
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Orlando Realtor® Wins Commercial Realtor Achievement Award

Orlando Realtor® Wins Commercial Realtor Achievement Award

Florida Realtors President Summer Greene, left, congratulates Cynthia Shelton, president of Florida Realtors in 2009 and a Realtor from Orlando, on receiving the 2012 Commercial Realtor Achievement award.

ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 27, 2012 — Florida Realtors® has honored Cynthia Shelton, 2009 president of Florida Realtors and a member of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association (ORRA), with its 2012 Commercial Realtor Achievement Award. The award was presented at the state association’s recent 96th annual Convention & Trade Expo at the Marriott World Center in Orlando, Fla.

Shelton, CCIM, CRE, CIPS, is director of investment sales for Colliers International Central Florida in Orlando, Fla. CCIM stands for Certified Commercial Investment Member, CRE is the Counselor of Real Estate designation and CIPS stands for Certified International Property Specialist.

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

Shelton has continuously demonstrated a strong commitment to the commercial activities of her local association. She served as a board member of the Commercial Society of ORRA and was an active member of its Commercial Overlay Board and the Retail Subcommittee. Prior to her ORRA membership, Shelton was a member of the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors (GTAR) and served as its president in 1994.

During her tenure as president of the state association, she helped create the Florida Realtors Education Foundation, which provides real estate-related educational scholarships. And, Shelton was instrumental in the implementation of a branding campaign for Florida Realtors, the first of its kind in the history of the association.

At the national level, she has been deeply involved in NAR’s commercial activities for 25 years. She has served on NAR’s Board of Directors for many years, most recently from 1997 to the present. Realizing the importance of advocacy for the real estate industry, she has contributed to Florida Realtors PAC as a Golden R since 2002 to support public policy issues. Last year, Shelton was NAR Region 5 Regional Vice President.

Her efforts on behalf of the commercial real estate industry extend to other organizations; in 2002, she served as the national president of the CCIM Institute, the largest network for commercial real estate professionals. She also is a faculty member for CCIM Institute and was honored with the Hank Thompson Award, Florida CCIM Member of the Year. In 2011, the Central Florida Commercial Association of Realtors awarded her with the Wilbur Strickland Award in recognition of her dedication and support. Shelton has been an active member of the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) organization since 1999.

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 63 boards/associations.
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Destin Realtor® Wins 2012 Realtor Achievement Award

Destin Realtor® Wins 2012 Realtor Achievement Award

Dale Peterson, winner of Florida Realtors 2012 Realtor Achievement award and a Realtor from Destin, proudly poses with Florida Realtors President Summer Greene following the Awards Luncheon at the recent Florida Realtors Convention & Trade Expo.

ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 27, 2012 — Dale Peterson, a member of the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors (ECAR), has been recognized by Florida Realtors® as the winner of its 2012 Realtor Achievement Award. The award was presented during the state association’s recent 96th annual Convention & Trade Expo at the Marriott World Center in Orlando, Fla. Peterson is the broker-owner of Dale E. Peterson Vacations and Realty Inc. in Destin, 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.

On the local level, Peterson is the current treasurer for ECAR, while also serving on its Budget and Finance Committee. His expertise and guidance in fiscal matters is highly respected, according to fellow members of ECAR. A longtime major investor in Florida Realtors PAC (Political Action Committee), Peterson believes in supporting public policy issues vital to the real estate profession and his support helps with Florida Realtors PAC fundraisers around the state.

At the state level, Peterson has long been a fixture at Florida Realtors, but increased his participation in recent years. Last year, he chaired the Property Management Council. He’s an active member of the Resort and Second Specialist Forum and the current District 9 Vice President. Nationally, he was an NAR director in 2010 and 2011, and also served on NAR’s Resort and Second Home Real Estate Committee.

Within the community, Peterson’s commitment to the local economy includes founding a local fishing fleet. He’s also a trustee of the Okaloosa County Economic Development Council, which he chaired in 2011. For his contributions to the real estate profession and the community, Dale Peterson has been honored with one of the state association’s top awards.

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 63 boards/associations.
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Jupiter Realtor® Honored As 2012 Associate Realtor of Year

Jupiter Realtor® Honored As 2012 Associate Realtor of Year

Florida Realtors President Summer Greene, left, congratulates Joan Alipo,a Realtor from Jupiter,
on receiving the 2012 Associate Realtor of the Year award at Florida Realtors’ recent Convention & Trade Expo in Orlando.

ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 27, 2012 — Florida Realtors® honored Joan Alipo, a member of the Jupiter-Tequesta-Hobe Sound Association of Realtors (JTHS), as its 2012 Associate Realtor of the Year. Alipo is a sales associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate/Jupiter Beach. The award was presented at the state association’s recent 96th annual Convention & Trade Expo at the Marriott World Center in Orlando, Fla.

“Wow – all I can say is honestly, I’m so proud and so overwhelmed by receiving this award,” said Alipo. “I just want to thank everyone, really, and my husband for always supporting me at every Florida Realtors and NAR event!”

Florida Realtors® has presented Realtor of the Year and Associate Realtor of the Year awards for more than 50 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 former president of her local association, Alipo was named JTHS Realtor of the Year in 2005, is a member of its Honor Society and has achieved the Lifetime Professional Achievement Award. Since joining her local association, she has served on most of its committees, including the screening task force interviewing candidates for elected office. As an example of her positive leadership, Alipo was instrumental in forming a partnership between JTHS and the town of Jupiter on several housing initiatives, which resulted in her local association receiving NAR’s prestigious “Ambassador for Cities” Award in 2009

She is the current vice chair of Florida Realtors’ Global Business Committee, and served as District 3 Vice President in 2011; as DVP, she advocated for the  “Paws For Patriots” program and continues to promote it through her email and website.

Supporting global business and international real estate opportunities is a cause near and dear to Alipo’s heart: She worked closely with NAR on behalf of JTHS, becoming the International Ambassador Association to Denmark in 2009, and represented her local association during the Embassy visit to Denmark during the NAR Midyear Meetings in Washington, D.C., in 2009; the Peru Embassy visit in 2011; and the Embassy visit to the Netherlands in 2012. Today, she works closely with the NAR president’s liaison to maintain communications and a healthy relationship with the CEO and president of Denmark.

A long list of community organizations benefit from Alipo’s efforts: She supports Easter and Christmas programs for underprivileged children, rolls up her sleeves for Habitat For Humanity projects and reaches for her wallet to support the military. She developed and organized the “Parade of Neighborhoods,” an affordable home project to help all citizens realize the dream of homeownership.

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 63 boards/associations.
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Fla.’s Housing Market Continues Positive Track in July 2012

Fla.’s Housing Market Continues Positive Track in July 2012

ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 22, 2012 – Pending sales, closed sales and median prices rose, while the inventory of homes and condos for sale dropped in Florida’s housing market in July, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

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Realtors® Mike and Betsy Owen: Humanitarian Aid to Those in Need

A picture is worth a thousand words: Mike and Betsy Owen, shown here giving polio immunization drops to children in slums in Chandigarh, India, or helping polio patients at a hospital in India. Also pictured, Betsy Owen helping to plant and replenish hardwood trees in Africa, on land donated for the effort near Dar es Saalam, Tanzania.

A picture is worth a thousand words: Mike and Betsy Owen, shown here giving polio immunization drops to children in slums in Chandigarh, India, or helping polio patients at a hospital in India. Also pictured, Betsy Owen helping to plant and replenish hardwood trees in Africa, on land donated for the effort near Dar es Saalam, Tanzania.

BOCA RATON, Fla. – At an age when most people are slowing down and considering retirement, Mike and Betsy Owen with Coldwell Banker Real Estate in Boca Raton decided to work harder than they’ve ever worked before in Khao Lak, Thailand—a place devastated by the tsunami of 2004.

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Fla.’s Housing Market Continues Positive Trends in June 2012

Fla.’s Housing Market Continues Positive Trends in June 2012

ORLANDO, Fla., July 19, 2012 – Florida’s housing market had increased pending sales, more closed sales, higher median prices and a reduced inventory of homes for sale in June, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

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Catch Waves of Business Opportunities:

Catch Waves of Business Opportunities:
Attend 2012 Florida Realtors® Convention for Latest Trends, Education Tips


ORLANDO, Fla., July 17, 2012
– Motivational advice from top industry trainers, the latest in high-tech devices and a chance to network with other real estate professionals: That’s what the Florida Realtors® 2012 Convention & Trade Expo has to offer – opportunities to increase business.

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Florida Realtors® Takes Part in Gov. Scott’s Business Mission to UK

Florida Realtors<sup>®</sup> Takes Part in Gov. Scott’s Business Mission to UK

LONDON, June 13, 2012 – Representing Florida’s Realtors and the interests of the state’s real estate industry, Florida Realtors® President Summer Greene and Senior Vice President of Public Policy John Sebree traveled to the United Kingdom this week with Gov. Rick Scott and other key business leaders to show British companies and individuals that “Florida is a great place to do business.”

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Realtor® Cathy Whatley: Leading with Heart

A former president of Florida Realtors® and the National Association of Realtors®, Cathy Whatley shows she is as adept at speaking to a group of colleagues as she is at taking care of business at Jacksonville-based Buck & Buck Inc., Realtors®, where she is broker-owner and president.

A former president of Florida Realtors® and the National Association of Realtors®, Cathy Whatley shows she is as adept at speaking to a group of colleagues as she is at taking care of business at Jacksonville-based Buck & Buck Inc., Realtors®, where she is broker-owner and president.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Third generation Realtor® Cathy Whatley subscribes to one simple belief: Do unto others as others would do unto you.

“The most important thing we do as real estate professionals is to best represent the buyer and seller to ensure the transaction will close,” says Whatley, broker-owner of Buck & Buck Inc., Realtors® in Jacksonville. “There are times when I will take on responsibility and not receive compensation for doing it and that’s OK, because what I’m doing is in the best interest of the buyer or seller.”

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