2018 Florida Realtors President Christine Hansen presents Mike Dooley with his award as the 2018 Realtor of the Year during the awards luncheon at the recent convention and trade expo.
Mike Dooley Named 2018 Realtor of the Year
ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 16, 2018 – Florida Realtors® recognized Michael A. “Mike” Dooley, 2006 Florida Realtors president, as its 2018 Realtor of the Year. The award – one of several – was presented Thursday during the state association’s annual Convention & Trade Expo at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla.
“The first thing that comes into my mind is – what were you guys thinking?!” Dooley told the appreciative audience of applauding Realtors. “I’m speechless, and that doesn’t happen very often. I don’t really know what to say … I so humbly and graciously accept this. And I accept it on behalf of all the Realtors who are here in Orlando doing the good work and all Realtors around the state. Because as far as I’m concerned, this award belongs to each and every one of us. Thank you.”
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 Realtor board, community, state association and the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Over a career that spans 40 years, Dooley has worked diligently to enhance the Realtor brand, promote the profession and advance the real estate industry. He is fond of saying, “Leadership is not about making a big splash, it’s about getting the job done.”
As a leader in regional, state and national real estate organizations, Dooley has served his local association in every imaginable capacity, from committees to all officer positions, from the time it was the Jupiter-Tequesta-Hobe Sound Association of Realtors to present day. He was instrumental in making the Jupiter-Tequesta-Hobe Sound (JTHS) Council of the Miami Association of Realtors a successful reality. He helped establish the Regional Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and worked for years to hone its effectiveness for members. Dooley has received many accolades for his dedication and service to his local association, including receiving the local Realtor Associate and Realtor of the Year awards.
At the state level, not only has Dooley served as a Florida Realtors director and District vice president, but he has also served in every officer position, including as 2006 Florida Realtors president. During his year as president, he was instrumental in accomplishing the necessary but time-consuming task of revamping and revitalizing the state association’s policies and bylaws.
Perhaps Dooley’s biggest accomplishment as 2006 Florida Realtors president was the creation of a new Florida specialty license plate, “Support Homeownership for All,” with proceeds going to help fund affordable housing programs in the state. He remains involved in the program’s operations as the “godfather” for the plate, according to Brad Monroe, 2018 chair of Homeownership for All Inc. The license plate program recently reached a milestone with more than $1 million raised to date.
By the end of July 2018, 40,141 Florida automobiles sported the “Support Homeownership for All” license plate and $1,003,525 dollars had been raised since the program’s inception. To date, $817,013 has been disbursed to affordable housing programs across the state.
In addition to standard state license fees, drivers who want the “Support Homeownership for All” plate pay $25 at the time of purchase and each year after that. Almost 100 percent of the money, minus a small amount used to promote license plate sales, goes directly to help struggling homeowners since Florida Realtors provides the organizational work without charge. The program is a 501(c)(3) charity.
Dooley has always served as a strong advocate for the Realtor profession in the public policy and legislative arena. He was a key legislative contact for state Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, who recently announced he would retire from his Senate seat Nov. 6, the day his term as Florida Senate president ends.
When he and his family moved to Hobe Sound, he quickly became involved in the community and in surrounding Martin County. He served on the Martin County Planning and Zoning Board for many years and has been active in the Hobe Sound Chamber of Commerce, serving as a past president. Dooley has volunteered his time and talents to numerous community charities and organizations. He is a sponsor of the Hobe Sound Art Festival and the Hobe Sound Christmas Parade, among other events.
Associate Realtor of the Year
Florida Realtors honored Thomas “Tom” Scaglione of Greater Tampa Realtors (GTR) as Associate Realtor of the Year. He has worked in real estate sales and as a real estate counselor since 1987, and prior to that, was a certified residential designer with the Florida Residential Designers Association for more than 20 years.
He has been an active participant with his local board for more than 25 years, with experience on virtually all committees as either a member or a chair. For his continued dedication and service to Greater Tampa Realtors, he received the Edward T. Starr Award for outstanding leadership and committee accomplishments in 1997, its Educator of the Year award in 1998, the La Barbera & Associates Award for Exemplary Service in 2003, and Realtor of the Year in 2012.
Leaders at GTR say Scaglione is “an example of what a dedicated Realtor should be. He is there early to set up for events and stays late to help ensure things are done correctly.”
At the state level, Scaglione’s involvement includes more than 20 different positions of service with various Florida Realtors committees and the Mid-Florida Regional Multiple Listing Service (MLS). A member of Florida Realtors (and the National Association of Realtors) since 1988, he served as Florida Realtors District 6 vice president in 2001 and as chairman of the Business Trends and Technology Committee in 2003. He was president of the Mid-Florida Regional MLS from 2006-2007.
Scaglione has long been active on the national level, participating in numerous NAR Leadership and MLS Committee workshops over the years. He has been a member of the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC) since 1999.
Giving back to the community is important to Scaglione, who volunteers his time and expertise to assist with affordable housing programs and projects, including as a past president of Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay and through his local association’s Realtor Cares Foundation. That foundation has helped more than 80 families in the Tampa Bay area achieve homeownership through downpayment assistance.
In addition, he has worked with the city of Tampa as a housing design consultant to develop low-cost affordable housing that meets all the requirements of the state’s standard building codes, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
Realtor Achievement Award
Jason Jakus, a member of the Royal Palm Coast Realtor Association, was named the winner of Florida Realtors 2018 Realtor 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.
After working many years as an executive in retail, Jakus decided to pursue a career in real estate. He moved to Fort Myers in 2009, starting his first brokerage firm in 2011. His drive and commitment to the profession meant he quickly became involved in his local association and Florida Realtors. Jakus has served and chaired many local committees over the years; in 2015, he served as president of the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers & the Beach. As president, he was an integral part of a 2016 merger with a neighboring association that resulted in the Royal Palm Coast Association of Realtors.
At the state level, he has served on many Florida Realtors committees, including as chair of the Property Management Forum, as well as Business Trends and Technology. He graduated from Florida Realtors Leadership Academy in 2011 and started serving on the state association’s Board of Directors that same year. He was Florida Realtors District 5 vice president in 2016. He is the current Florida president of the Real Estate Business Institute.
Jakus is a real estate instructor who has authored several courses and is approved to teach Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI) courses for the state association as well as the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council Safety Course for the National Association of Realtors (NAR). He has been a director for NAR since 2014 and serves on its Membership Policy and Board Jurisdiction Committee.
A passionate supporter of his community, Jakus advocates for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Organization. He volunteers his time and also raises money for the Mid-West Flood Bank, a hub for 60 percent of food donations for shelters in Lee County. And, he is a member of the Horizon Council, the Southwest Florida Chamber of Commerce and Tiger Bay Club of Southwest Florida.
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. Andy Joe Scaglione, a member of the Greater Tampa Realtors, received the 2018 Commercial Realtor Achievement Award.
A member of the Greater Tampa Realtors since 1986, he served as president in 2016 and was named its 2017 Realtor of the Year. He received the local Edward T. Starr Award for outstanding leadership and committee accomplishments in 2009. In addition to serving on or chairing many local committees, he is a founding member of the Florida Gulf Coast Commercial Association of Realtors (FGAR), from 1994 to present day.
Scaglione has served as a member of Florida Realtors Board of Directors since 2013. He has been a member of the state association’s Commercial Alliance Committee and has served as a key contact for state lawmakers. He is active with the National Association of Realtors (NAR), currently serving on its 2018 State and Local Issues Policy Committee, and is a past member of the NAR Board of Directors.
In the community, Scaglione is a member of the Tampa Sports Authority Board of Directors, having served as chairman in 2015. His extensive commercial real estate knowledge caught the attention of area banking industry leaders, prompting his service on two community bank boards of directors: for USAmeriBank and the Central Bank of Tampa.
He is vice chair of the Carollwood Day School trustees and a past vice president of the West Tampa Chamber of Commerce. Scaglione also previously served six years as the board chairman for the City of Tampa Channelside Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA).
Humanitarian of the Year
Proving that Realtors make a difference, Jodi M. Avery, a member of the Pinellas Suncoast Association of Realtors, was named the 2018 Humanitarian of the Year by Florida Realtors.
In 2017, Avery founded the “Giving Matters Initiative,” which pairs common household goods with local charities in need. What was her inspiration for the initiative? After 20 years of working in the real estate profession, Avery often encountered buyers and sellers with a surplus of stuff – things they no longer needed, but they didn’t know what to do with all the items. Often her clients would prefer to give away belongings they formerly cherished rather than dispose of them. Thus, the Giving Matters Initiative was born as a way to help Avery’s clients purge their unwanted belongings as well as give back to the community.
The Giving Matters Initiative recycles common household goods, clothing and furniture, turning them into impactful donations to charities in need in the Tampa Bay area. Avery met with more than 50 local nonprofit organizations, narrowing her focus to 22 charities that could benefit the most from the program.
For example, she recently organized and delivered significant donations to the Mattie Williams Neighborhood Center, which helps families meet a variety of needs from food to clothing to family support services, and to Dress for Success Tampa Bay, which provides professional clothing, support and career development tools to help women thrive in work and life.
Other organizations helped by the Giving Matters Initiative include: GFWC North Pinellas Women’s Club, seeking books for newborns to teens; the Answered Prayers Project, in need of art supplies, canvas or fabric; the Centre for Women, in need of women’s clothing, computers and learning games for children; the Adonai Foundation, seeking yard equipment, tools, washers and dryers; and the Humane Society of Pinellas County, in need of crates, bowls, toys or treats. And that’s only a sampling of the community causes that have benefitted from Avery’s program. Through the Giving Matters Initiative, the saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” has taken on new meaning in the Tampa Bay area.
Education Volunteer of the Year
In its second year, the Education Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes members who volunteered their time and energy to advance professional development for Realtors.
This year’s Education Volunteer of the Year winner is Mary Waller from the Naples Area Board of Realtors (NABOR). Waller is passionate about professional development and promotes its benefits to colleagues wherever she goes. She assists in new member orientation at her local board, monitors education classes, promotes the benefits of NABOR, Florida Realtors and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) at various member appreciation events, helps market education classes and has been a chair/vice chair of her local Professional Development Committee.
Currently, she is a member of NABOR’s Professional Development, Governmental Issues and Global committees, as well as its Magazine Task Force. NABOR has honored Waller as its Citizen of the Year for her efforts in promoting education and professional development.
At the state and national level, she is a member of Florida Realtors’ Communications and Realtor Party Member Involvement committees, and its Legislative Think Tank group. She currently serves on NAR’s Resort & Second Home Committee.
Waller believes in giving back to her community and supporting efforts that help others. As a member of the Collier County Affordable Housing Committee, Waller is helping to develop policy and procedures to identify underlying issues affecting housing affordability, as well as implement solutions offering more housing opportunities for all. She serves on the board of directors for the Hunger and Homeless Coalition of Collier County. The extensive list of volunteer organizations she supports includes Habitat for Humanity, Meals of Hope, St. Matthews House, Sunshine Kids, Boys and Girls Clubs, Youth Haven and the National Cancer Association’s Relay for Life, to name just a few.
Her credo: “When I volunteer to help others, I am educating the community on real estate professionals, who and what we are. We make things happen.”
Educator of the Year
This year’s winner of Florida Realtors Educator of the Year is Gonzalo Mejia, a member of the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors (NEFAR). A passionate proponent of the value of education and professional development, Mejia is always willing to go the extra mile for NEFAR and his fellow members, says NEFAR Education Director Cindy Foley.
In addition to teaching education classes at his local board, he also serves as an instructor during New Member Orientation, helping rookie members learn about antitrust issues, fair housing regulations, the Realtor Code of Ethics and the benefits of Realtor membership. Mejia assisted in restructuring NEFAR’s Code of Ethics course and was named as NEFAR’s Educator of the Year in 2014.
At the state level, Mejia helped create a Spanish version of the Code of Ethics class for Florida Realtors. He teaches Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI) topics such as professional standards, law, finance, brokerage and international business. He is a member of the state association’s Professional Development, Diversity and Global Business committees, as well as the YPN (Young Professionals Network) Advisory Group. He graduated from Florida Realtors Leadership Academy in 2012 and currently serves as the 2018 chairman for the program.
Mejia also is an instructor for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), teaching designation/certification courses including REBAC (Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council), ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative), Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA) and Investments. Not only has he served as speaker at NAR’s latest annual convention, he also taught a social media class for NAR at the Camara Inmobiliaria Uruguaya (CIU) in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Florida Realtor magazine awards
Florida Realtor Magazine Best Article: Josh Marzucco, Naples Area Board of Realtors, for the article, “Mentoring Sales Associates,” June 2017
Florida Realtor Magazine Editorial Excellence: Laureen Trent, Realtors of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale, for the article “Homes for the Brave,” November/December 2017