After 30 years in the real estate business in the Bloomington-Normal area, Karen Stailey-Lander says she enjoys helping others more than ever. Of course, that means helping people buy and sell their homes but it also means training new REALTORS® about the business and volunteering for local charities and non-profit organizations.
“I really love what I’m doing in my office as a REALTOR® and as a training director,” she says. “But any way I can find to help someone is so rewarding.”
Early in her real estate career, Stailey-Lander was reminded of the value of giving back to the community through volunteering for the Public Relations Committee of the Bloomington-Normal Association of REALTORS® (BNAR). Among the projects was an educational fire safety program for children conducted by the Town of Normal and the Normal Fire Department. BNAR built their first portable “Survive Alive” house and provided support, too.
BNAR has continued to support that project over the years and it’s also helped a number of others, including:
- annual non-perishable food drives for the hungry and homeless;
- annual school supply drives for disadvantaged youth (Back-to-School Alliance);
- providing “buddies” for disabled youth baseball players in the Miracle League of Central Illinois; and
- Blood drives for the American Red Cross.
This year, Stailey-Lander, president of BNAR, is excited about their upcoming President’s Charity of Choice fundraising event on Sept. 7 with all funds going to the Illinois Heart & Lung Foundation’s Stayin’ Alive Defibrillator Drive. She says nearly all of the tickets have been sold for the event, which will include the Windy City Dueling Pianos, some local REALTOR® acts, a live auction and a silent auction. Proceeds from the event will help purchase and distribute more Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to McLean County and the Bloomington-Normal community.
“Since I’m the president, I was able to choose cause to support this year, and I’m really excited about the Defibrillator Drive,” says Stailey-Lander.
Outside of her charitable work through BNAR, she has volunteered through her church for a number of non-profit causes. She also enjoys helping at the annual Heart of Illinois Dog Show Cluster held on Memorial Day weekends. The event actually combines four dog shows in one long weekend, and it is similar to the Westminster dog shows televised in February.
Stailey-Lander, who has been president of BNAR twice (1994 and 2016), is a broker for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Snyder Real Estate. She has earned several industry designations – Graduate of the REALTORS Institute (GRI), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Certified Career Development Specialist (CCDS) and Accredited Staging Professional (ASP). Her awards include: REALTOR® Associate of the Year and REALTOR® of the Year by BNAR.
With the Illinois REALTORS®, she has served on numerous committees during her career, including three in 2016: the Professional Standards Committee, the REALTOR® Institute Working Group and the Senior Housing Working Group.
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