VIDEO: RPAC Hall of Fame and Illinois REALTOR® of the Year ceremonies

At this week’s June business meetings, Illinois REALTORS® honored several of its members in two ceremonies.

Monday, eight REALTORS® were inducted into the RPAC Hall of Fame for attaining a lifetime giving level of $25,000. Six additional RPAC Hall of Fame inductees achieved $50,000 in lifetime giving. Additionally, Illinois REALTORS® CEO Gary Clayton was honored for achieving the $75,000 threshold.

Tuesday night was the Illinois REALTOR® of the Year banquet at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Sue Miller, Managing Broker of Coldwell Banker-the Real Estate Group in McHenry, Illinois, was named Illinois REALTOR® of the Year. Along with Miller, 24 other REALTORS® of the Year from local associations throughout Illinois were recognized.

Fundraising, Bicentennial Plaza, REEF provide good news for Illinois REALTORS®

Doug Carpenter (left) and Matt Difanis ask the board to vote on a recommendation of Mike Drews as 2019 Region 7 Vice President.

The Illinois REALTORS® Board of Directors backed Immediate Past President Mike Drews as its choice to become Region VII Vice President in 2019. The three-state region covers Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

The vote was unanimous, and came at a meeting where board members heard updates on progress on a high-profile Bicentennial project and successes in reaching investment goals with the REALTORS® Political Action Committee.

Illinois REALTORS® CEO Gary Clayton told the board that an old bank branch building likely will be demolished in August, clearing the way for work to begin on the Bicentennial Plaza, a REALTOR® Community partnership.

The Bicentennial Plaza is part of a larger redevelopment plan for the Jackson Street corridor which would ultimately link the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, the Bicentennial Park, the Executive Mansion and the state Capitol.

President Doug Carpenter reported that 31 of 47 Illinois REALTORS® committees have 100 percent of their members investing in RPAC. Sonia Anaya, speaking for the RPAC Major Investors Working Group, said every member of the Board of Directors is an RPAC Major Investor. Also, the program has already surpassed the annual goal of 439 and now has 493. Finally, with 52 members committed to be in the President’s Circle, the group has exceeded its goal and is fourth in the nation for most in the President’s Circle.

2017 Illinois Real Estate Educational Foundation (REEF) President Sue Miller reported 65 people received scholarships in 2016, totaling $52,800. Since the year 2000, REEF has awarded $569,100 in scholarships.

Phil Chiles reported that the Illinois REALTORS® Relief Foundation (IRRF), one of the charitable arms of the Illinois REALTORS®, raised $133,000 in contributions and awarded $5,500 in aid to 11 individuals in 2016.

In 2017, IRRF has received $1,500 in contributions, giving the foundation $170,000 in cash reserves. To assist the tornado victims of the late February early March storms, $25,000 of this was set aside. To date, IRRF has awarded 18 grants to individuals for a total of $8,800. Additionally, IRRF reached out to NAR and was awarded $25,000 to provide REALTOR® Relief Assistance. The committee has awarded one RRF grant to date and will continue to receive applications for this disaster through July 1.

Illinois REALTORS® advocacy provides recap of recent efforts and successes

(l to r) Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Julie Sullivan, Member Involvement Group Chair Ginger Sreenan, Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs Greg St. Aubin, and Jeff Baker and Jim Morphew with Sorling Northrup Attorneys

Despite the ongoing lack of a state budget or much political consensus, Illinois REALTORS® and their lobbying efforts can be counted on to fight for the perennial, core issues that are important to the industry and private property owners.

“We’ve still got our 50 or 60 key bills that we’re lobbying year in and year out,” said Illinois REALTORS® Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs Greg St. Aubin. “It would be nice if we could fix the big picture issues, but that’s not primarily what we do.”

During the Public Policy and Governmental Affairs Member Involvement Group meeting at this week’s Illinois REALTORS® Business Meetings, the association’s state and local lobbying teams recapped their recent legislative and advocacy efforts.

Some of the highlights included:

  • Successfully opposed Home Rule pushes in several Illinois communities
  • Worked with legislators to improve legislation to eliminate REALTOR® concerns
  • Lobbied against bills and measures that would be detrimental (such as fire sprinkler mandates, changing existing rent control measures and more).





28 local REALTOR association ‘legacy projects’ identified for the Illinois Bicentennial celebrations

Chicago REALTORS Sonia Anaya and Zeke Morris, members of the Illinois Bicentennial Task Force, show off the bicentennial selfie sticks available through the Illinois REALTORS Bicentennial store.

“Not only do we dream big but we come through in a big way,” said Bicentennial Task Force Chair Vicky Turner, of Dixon, Tuesday at the Illinois REALTORS® June Business Meetings in Springfield.

Illinois REALTORS® are planning “legacy projects” across the state including “adopting” a historic home or property in our local REALTOR® association communities as well as downtown Springfield, in the block shared by the Illinois REALTORS® headquarters.

Our theme “Illinois REALTORS®, working with heart in every community” underscores how REALTORS® are leaders in their local communities, supporting local charities and causes, promoting economic development and a strong economy all while helping real estate buyers and sellers achieve the American Dream.

“Our advocacy efforts have earned us a good name,” said Jim Kinney of Chicago, a task force member and a member of the Illinois Bicentennial Commission. “The Bicentennial project fits our mission so well. I love our mission statement, ‘Illinois REALTORS® — working with heart in every community.’ Our efforts will open doors. The outreach will last a lot longer than our initial efforts.”

While sharing a description of community historical projects that local associations have identified, task force Vice Chair Sheryl Grider Whitehurst of Peoria says REALTORS® represent citizens who have enthusiasm for the communities they live. “There are people who are proud of Illinois. This is our home state and we’re proud to take care of it,” she stated.

Illinois REALTORS® Chief Executive Officer Gary Clayton gave an update on the The Bicentennial Plaza – a REALTOR® Community Project, which is expected to be completed summer 2018, the same time as the Governor’s Mansion Restoration project.  The Plaza has been designated a “Legacy Project” by the Illinois Bicentennial Commission, which oversees the state’s plans for the milestone birthday. When completed summer 2018, the Plaza will feature historical murals depicting the history of the Civil Rights Movement, history of Illinois Executive Mansions and the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act.

“This plaza will be a significant landmark for Springfield,” Clayton said.

The Illinois State Bicentennial officially begins on Dec. 3, 2017 with kick-off events in Springfield and Chicago. Dec. 3 marks the day in 1818 that Illinois became the 21st state in the Union.

“The rest of this year and 2018 will be an exciting time for our association,” said Grider-Whitehurst.
Follow the latest bicentennial news by following the state Bicentennial Facebook page and the Ilinois Realtors Bicentennial Facebook page. Use the hashtags #illinoisproud and #REALTORSworkingwithHeart.

See you in Springfield at June Business Meetings

Illinois REALTORS® headed for the June Business Meetings next week at the President Abraham Lincoln Springfield DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel can review the online schedule.

Tuesday’s sessions include the:

  • Board Leadership Forum,
  • Commercial-Industrial-Investment Committee,
  • Professional Standards Committee,
  • Bicentennial Task Force,
  • Professional Development Major Investors Group (MIG) and
  • Public Policy & Government Affairs MIG.

The final event of the day is the REALTOR® of the Year Banquet at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. The guest of honor will be Illinois REALTOR® of the Year Sue Miller, managing broker for Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group, in McHenry. The reception begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:15 p.m.

Wednesday’s sessions include the Board of Directors Meeting and the Future Leaders Workshop.