Williams, Wagner honored with achievement awards

REALTOR® Frank Williams speaks at the inaugural banquet for the Chicago Association of REALTORS® on Monday, Oct. 9, 2017. Photo by Matt Difanis.

Several Illinois REALTORS® were honored Monday night with awards at the inaugural of the Chicago Association of REALTORS®.

  • Frank Williams, a pioneer in the fair housing movement in Chicago, was honored with induction into the CAR Hall of Fame. He’s the founder of FJ Williams Realty, and served as the association’s president in 1990.
  • Dan Wagner, former CAR president and 2018 Illinois REALTORS® president-elect, was named REALTOR® of the Year for the Chicago association. Wagner is senior vice president for government relations at the Inland Real Estate Group of Companies.

Illinois REALTORS® board member Rebecca Thomson was installed as CAR’s 2018 president at the event held at the Radisson Blue Aqua Hotel in Chicago.

Barricades go up; visible sign of progress on Bicentennial Plaza

Construction crews have installed barricades along South Fifth Street in Springfield in preparation for work on the Bicentennial Plaza, A REALTOR® Community Partnership. Photo: Scott Moomaw

One of the first visible public signs that work was beginning on a plaza adjoining Illinois REALTORS® Springfield headquarters took place Thursday with the installation of construction barricades.

The fencing is hardly the first step in the process to build Bicentennial Plaza,  A REALTOR® Community Partnership. Planning behind the scenes has been ongoing for more than a year as planners work out utility relocation, drainage issues and other design elements.

The barricades will allow construction to begin the transformation of a parking lot on the north side of the Illinois REALTORS® building to a pedestrian-friendly walkway which will feature interpretive panels showcasing the city’s history. Once completed next year, the plaza will serve as a centerpiece for the celebration of Illinois’ 200th birthday.

The Bicentennial Plaza is part of a long-planned vision of a pedestrian corridor which will link the Abraham Lincoln Home National Historic Site with the Executive Mansion and the Illinois Capitol.

Illinois REALTORS® donates $50,000 to help with Florida hurricane recovery efforts

Illinois REALTORS® is contributing $50,000 to victims who sustained property damage during Hurricane Irma.
The money will go to the association’s sister organization, Florida REALTORS®, which will be in charge of distributing the funds.
This is the second sizeable donation the 47,000-member Illinois REALTORS® has made this month. Another $50,000 donation was made to the Texas Association of REALTORS® to help Hurricane Harvey victims.
In all, Illinois REALTORS® has donated nearly $1 million since 1997 to help victims of disasters in and outside of Illinois.

Doug Carpenter

“Illinois REALTORS®’ members take pride in being among the first to provide assistance to those recovering from a catastrophe,” said association President Doug Carpenter. “Our members know the peace of mind which comes from having a safe place to call home, so we’re particularly sensitive to making sure we do our part to help homeowners.”  

In addition to responding to the hurricanes, Illinois REALTORS® is in the middle of an effort to help those affected by severe flooding this summer in Northern Illinois. The association, through its non-profit Illinois REALTORS® Relief Foundation, has distributed nearly $30,000 for flood victims.
Illinois REALTORS®’ disaster relief foundation also partners with the National Association of REALTORS® Relief Foundation to in order to get more money to Illinois disaster victims.
Illinois REALTORS® donated $100,000 and members helped build a Habitat for Humanity home on the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Donations were also made after hurricanes Floyd and Sandy.
To learn more about Illinois REALTORS® Relief Foundation, or obtain information about assistance for victims of Northern Illinois flooding, visit the website

Inaugural festivities honoring 101st President Matt Difanis will have a fun new format

Join us for a lively experience at the Illinois REALTORS® 101st Inaugural Gala, October 12, 2017 in the Grand Ballroom of the Chicago Marriott Naperville!

This year’s Gala will be something special, and you will be delighted by its new features! Without spoiling all of the surprises, here are some things to look forward to. Forego the formalwear and relax; dress code is business attire, not black tie! Guests will groove to acoustic music from one of President-elect Matt Difanis’s favorite hometown bands, Love Sign, while they mix and mingle during the hors d’eovres and reception. Rather than a plated dinner, this event will feature international cuisine at a variety of food stations offering delectable fare.

Traditionally, Inaugural serves as the installation ceremony for Illinois REALTORS® Leadership. This year, we will also welcome and install our new board of directors. Meet our new leadership team and help us start the year off right!
Tickets are $95. Purchase at www.illinoisrealtors.org/inaugural by the reservation deadline of October 3. Everyone should be there to see what’s in store for 2018.