The Arkansas Realtors® Association held their 92nd Annual Convention September 19-21, 2016 at The Chancellor Hotel & Fayetteville Town Center. The theme for this year’s Convention was “Time to Celebrate!”

The three-day program included committee meetings, the annual membership meeting, recognition luncheons and banquets, and nationally-recognized speakers who covered legal, technological, motivational, and operational subjects. Speakers included Arkansas Razorback Basketball Head Coach Mike Anderson, Molly Cox, Beth Ziesenis, Eric Rittmeyer, Paula Mothofer, EksAyn Anderson, Ed Hatch and Tim Grooms, of Quattlebaum Grooms & Tull, PLLC.,. The Convention also included an awards luncheon, Realtor® of the Year celebration and Inaugural banquet.

Fundraisers and speakers

During the Kick Off Social, caricature drawings were sold and a silent auction was held to raise money for Hearts and Homes of Arkansas, Inc. Hearts and Homes of Arkansas is the charitable arm of the Arkansas Realtors® Association. Through this organization, we are able to assist Arkansas citizens who have lost their home, their office, their ability to pay for their home and/or their livelihood through a natural disaster or other catastrophic events. We also held a Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament to benefit Special Olympics Arkansas. Twelve of our local boards help competitions to send one competitor to our state competition. The entry fee at the state competition was $100 and all of the money went to Special Olympics Arkansas. The bragging rights winner was Bob England of Chuck Fawcett Realty-Van Buren.

In the Opening Session members heard from Arkansas’ own Mike Anderson, and Keynote Speaker Molly Cox. The 2016 Graduate Realtor® Leadership Academy Class also informed Realtor® members on how they can get involved with the Association on local, state and national levels.

Realtor® of the year

Paulette Richie of Bryant was named 2016 Arkansas Realtor® of the Year at the Realtor® of the Year banquet on Tuesday evening. All Local Board Realtors® of the Year were recognized at the banquet as well. The Realtor® of the Year is a peer award based on point-system criteria set by the National Association of Realtors® and the Arkansas Realtors® Association that includes community service, service to the local, State and National Realtor® organizations, and application of the principles of the Golden Rule in all life situations.

Other awards and honors

The Awards luncheon on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, honored members and local boards for outstanding accomplishments in 2016. Awards for boards that excelled in raising funds for Arkansas Realtor® Political Action Committee (ARPAC) and Special Olympics Arkansas were presented at this luncheon. The ARPAC awards that were presented recognized the Northwest Arkansas Board of Realtors® for “Most Dollars Raised,” the Southeast Arkansas Board of Realtors® for “Highest Percentage of Participants,” the Paragould Board of Realtors® for “Highest Percent Over Goal” and the Northwest Arkansas Board of Realtors® for “Most Dollars Raised Over Goal.” The Special Olympics Arkansas (SOAR) Awards that were presented went to the boards that raised the most amount of money for SOAR. The Texarkana Board of Realtors®, Fort Smith Board of Realtors®, and the Northwest Arkansas Board of Realtors® all won first place for the small, medium, and large board categories, respectively. The Texarkana Board of Realtors® also received an award for the most funds raised per member while the North Pulaski Board of Realtors® received an award for the highest increase in fundraising over last year. For 31 years, Arkansas Realtors® have been fundraising for Special Olympics Arkansas and to date have raised more than
$2 million for the organization. Tom & Margaret Cannava of Fort Smith were awarded the L. Wayne Camp award, which is awarded to recognize continuing and outstanding volunteerism by a Realtor® for Special Olympics Arkansas.

The 2016 Graduate Realtor® Leadership Academy (GRLA) program members were honored and given their graduate plaques at the awards luncheon. The GRLA Class includes Lori Quinn, Faulkner County, Jan Dyer, Fort Smith, Allison Moore, Fort Smith, John DeWitt, Harrison District, Melissa Leal, Harrison District, Corbett Dison, Little Rock, Denise Wilson, North Pulaski, Linzey Meyers, Northeast Arkansas, Dawn Yates, Northwest Arkansas, Chase Tipton, Northwest Arkansas, and Beverly DePew, Paragould. Jonathan Moore of Rogers, and Becky Griffey of Morrilton, received Omega Tau Rho medals of service. Chuck Fawcett of Fort Smith was honored with Distinguished Service Awards for his dedication to the Arkansas Realtors® Association.

2017 officers and directors

The Inaugural Banquet celebrated the installation of the incoming Arkansas Realtors® Association President Maurice Taylor, Little Rock, as well as all incoming 2017 Officers and Directors. Ronald B. Stinchcomb, 2016 Arkansas Realtors® Association President, introduced Chris Polychron of Hot Springs, 2015 President of the National Association of Realtors® to carry out the induction. The incoming Officers include President-Elect Velda Lueders, Conway; Secretary-Treasurer Angie Johnson, Conway; Immediate Past President Ronald B. Stinchcomb, Fayetteville; District 1 Vice President Sandra Kelley, Paragould, and District 3 Vice Nanette Wemhaner, Van Buren.

The incoming Directors include Chrissie Wright, Jonesboro; Jan Barrow, Conway; Jennifer Welch, Siloam Springs; Jan Dyer, Fort Smith; Susan Vaught, North Little Rock; Lynda Jaggers, Pine Bluff; Patrick Sullenger, Little Rock; Paulette Richie, Bryant; Leslie Sample, Bryant; Kim Minor, Bentonville; Edward Loveless, Little Rock; and Shane McBride, Jonesboro. Bill Olson, Batesville; Sharla Lau, Fort Smith; and Jonathan Moore, Rogers were installed as a Past Presidents Directors, and Karen Crowson of Benton was installed as Region 9 Vice President. Committee Chairmen installed were Derick Brooks, Sherwood; Becky Finney, Little Rock; Janice Johnson, North Little Rock; Kerri Jones, Jonesboro; Andy Meyers, Hot Springs; Linzey Meyers, Jonesboro; Dana Parent, Little Rock; and Robert Richardson, Little Rock.