WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 5, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — The MAR Convention & Expo was again a huge hit with more than 715 attendees as well as a sold out expo hall with 295 exhibitor attendees who were “all aboard” the Cruise to Success at the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort. The three-day event was filled with over 25 fascinating and functional educational sessions, as well as social events, awards and a range of industry meetings providing something for everyone.
At the Grand Assembly, attendees were welcomed by 2013 & 100th MAR President, Bill Milliken, a Commercial Board of REALTORS® member. Nominees from across the state waited in anticipation for the presentation of the prestigious REALTOR® of the Year Award. The 2013 recipient was Gordon McCann, GRI, E-Pro, Associate Broker with Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel and member of the Greater Metropolitan Association of REALTORS®.
Gordon is a veteran REALTOR® and has also served Michigan’s real estate industry in many elected and appointed capacities. At MAR he was District 11 Director in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, chaired the Lock-Box Task Force for 2004-2005, was a member of the Technology Committee for 2002-2003 and the Building Task Force in 2005. He is currently a Golden R RPAC Investor, was appointed to the Finance Committee from 2009-2011 and was MAR liaison to the 2010 Brokers Summit and 2013 MAR Presidential PAG. At GMAR Gordon was also instrumental in the formation of the new association, has served on the Finance and Government Affairs committees and on the Building Task Force.
Accepting the Award, Gordon said, “I am very grateful and honored to be chosen by so many people that I know and admire to receive this award. I believe strongly that if each of us does our part, we will all prosper and I think our industry exemplifies that much more than most. It has been and will continue to be my pleasure to work with MAR, NAR, my local association, and many dedicated REALTORS® and I sincerely thank you for the opportunity.”
In addition, Gordon was the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Director for Michigan in 2009 and 2010 and the GMAR appointed NAR Director for2007-2008 and 2012-2013. He was also President of the Western Wayne and Oakland County Association of REALTORS® (WWOCAR) in 2007 and 2008, President-elect in 2006 and Treasurer in 2005. Over the years Gordon also participated in successful initiatives to address such things as restructuring association member dues and increasing awareness of REALTOR® Etiquette and Professional Courtesies and the creation of GMAR.
Together, Gordon and his wife Sharon have almost 40 years of real estate experience serving southeast Michigan. Gordon holds a B.S. in marketing from Ferris State University and an M.B.A. in marketing from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad School of Management. In addition to his real estate industry work he enjoys golfing, high-performance driver education, and autocross.
Following the award ceremony was the installation of Carol Griffith as the 2014 MAR President. Carol is co-owner of ERA Griffith Realty in Livingston County and a third-generation REALTOR®. Her career spans more than three decades and she has served MAR in many capacities including as current chair of Public Policy as Director, Treasurer Elect, RPAC trustee, finance committee member and is. In her business role she has twice been named Livingston County REALTOR® of the Year and has held many voluntary positions with her local Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Cleary University, and the Livingston County Hunger Council. Carol is also serving her second term as an elected Livingston County Commissioner.
“Sand Story” artist, Joe Castillo, then captivated the crowd with a memorable performance to lead attendees into the opening of the expo.
The 2013 REALTOR® Active in Politics Award ceremony took place during the Annual RPAC Investor Appreciation Breakfast following a keynote address by Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville who highlighted the fact that the housing market is making a strong comeback in Michigan. This year’s RAP Award recipient was Nanci Rands, an Associate Broker with Hall and Hunter, Christie’s Great Estates in Birmingham and an active REALTOR® for more than 40 years.
Nanci has been an integral part of industry politics for years, cultivating bi-partisan relationships on Capitol Hill with Senators and Representatives. She currently serves NAR in several capacities including as Chairman, National Trustees of the NAR Political Action Committee, liaison to Michigan Senator Carl Levin, RPAC Trustee, member of the Board of Directors, Federal Disbursement Committee Chair, Public Advocacy Advisory Group/CORE member, and Federal Independent Expenditure Advisory Board Chair.
In addition, she served as the MAR RPAC Chair in 2008, Major Donor Whip in 2009 and was the NAR RPAC Trustee representing District 6 (Michigan and Ohio) for 2010-2011. In 2006, Nanci was President of the Metropolitan Consolidated Association of REALTORS® (MCAR) and in 2007 was voted REALTOR® of the Year by both MAR and MCAR. She was also named to the Crain’s Detroit Business list of the “100 Most Influential Women,” and said she was “truly humbled” by the MAR award.
“I was thrilled to be recognized by my colleagues and MAR and I really enjoy being able to be a voice for our industry. I share this honor with so many REALTORS® across Michigan who care about preserving and promoting our business and property rights. I look forward to continuing to work on behalf of our very important interests in Michigan and Washington, D.C.”
Nanci is very involved in several community and charity organizations including as the immediate past National Chairman of Project Interchange, a non-profit organization that sends influential people from around the globe to Israel for educational and fact-finding seminars. She is also a member of the Board of Governors of the American Jewish Committee and has chaired events for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, the Eye Research Foundation and the Orchard Children’s Service. Nanci is a graduate of the University of Michigan and a six-year board member of the Franklin Hills Country Club.
In addition to winning the 2013 RAP Award, Nanci was elected as a 2014 NAR Director during the Delegate Body Meeting on Friday morning.
RPAC also held two other events, the Annual Silent Auction and the “REALTORS® of the Caribbean: An RPAC Photo Treasure Hunt” where teams vied to win fabulous prizes. Combined, the two events collected donations of more than $15,000 for the RPAC, exceeding last year’s contributions by more than $1,000!
In addition to these popular award events, members also had plenty of other entertainment choices to attend with friends and peers. These included the not-to-be-missed Welcome Reception, the Grand Gathering with keynote speaker and real estate coach Verl Workman, Happy Hour events in the Expo each day, and the REALTOR® Royale where everyone had a fun and relaxed evening just enjoying great company with drinks, music and dancing. Closing the show were two outstanding speakers, Doug Smith, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Government Affairs with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), and Jason Abrams, REALTOR® and host of HGTV’s Scoring the Deal.
As always, the Convention also offered a very diverse selection of Knowledge Sessions for members to gain new skills, learn how to maximize technology and earn essential continuing education credits. This year’s sessions were truly cutting edge and included extremely knowledgeable speakers discussing topics from successful marketing with Pinterest to 2014 business trends to utilizing the REALTORS Property Resource.