REALTOR of the Year Announced

The Cleveland Area Board of REALTORS® (CABOR) announced its REALTOR® of the Year award recipient, Judy Gorbett Darwal, at the organization’s annual Northeast Ohio Real Estate Convention on October 16, 2013.

Judy Gorbett Darwal

Darwal is the broker/owner of RE/MAX Trinity and has been a member of CABOR since 1995. The REALTOR® of the Year award is the highest honor offered by CABOR, which recognizes an active Board member who has provided outstanding service to the profession and the community. Darwal is active on the Government Affairs Committee and is a trustee of the local REALTORS® Political Action Committee. Judy encourages her agents and others to participate and have a voice in promoting and protecting home ownership, and helps educate hundreds of real estate professionals about issues impacting the industry.

Darwal shared her appreciation and noted, “I would encourage more members to get involved and be a part of this great organization.”

Brant Smith

The organization also awarded Brant Smith, Lake Erie Real Estate Co., with its Commercial REALTOR® of the Year honor. This award is given to an active Board member who has provided outstanding service to the commercial real estate profession and the community. In addition to his membership with CABOR and participation on its Commercial Alliance, Brant is the 2013 President of the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) Northern Ohio Chapter, an affiliate organization of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). He is a champion for collaboration between various commercial real estate organizations and offered tremendous support for CABOR’s commercial focused activities.

On being a Commercial REALTOR®, Smith said he believes, “Commercial REALTORS® in Cleveland continually push our industry, profession, and city forward and into the future with their hard work and effort.”

Jason Hilliard

Jason Hilliard, Keller Williams Greater Cleveland (Strongsville), was named the organization’s Residential Rookie of the Year, which recognizes an active Board member who has been a CABOR member less than three years and has provided outstanding service to the profession and the community. Since joining CABOR in 2012, in addition representing buyers and sellers for commercial and residential properties, Jason has been an active member of the Young Professionals Network (YPN) Committee.

Hilliard said, “It is truly an honor and pleasure to serve the families, businesses and communities of the greater Cleveland area.  I’m very grateful and thankful to all those I’ve been able to help with their commercial and residential needs.  There is nothing more fulfilling than to know you have made someone’s life just a little bit easier.”

Dave Iammarino

Receiving the organization’s highest honor for its affiliate members, Affiliate of the Year, was Dave Iammarino, Ohio Real Title Agency. Since joining CABOR in 2001, Iammarino has been an active member on the Affiliates Council, and was instrumental in planning and generating support for various events, including this year’s golf outing and charity.

“I’m happy to have been selected for this award, and have enjoyed working with the staff and members of CABOR. It is truly rewarding to work on the various charitable events, specifically this year’s Bedding for Cleveland Kids program,” said Iammarino.

The J. Howard Battle Equal Opportunity in Housing Award was presented to The Housing Center: Housing Research & Advocacy Center. Its mission is to ensure, through research, educational programs, public policy, and enforcement activities, that all residents are guaranteed equal access to housing.

CABOR Chair-Elect Seth Task also presented a special award to outgoing Chair Joanne Zettl for her dedication and hard work to the organization.

The Northeast Ohio Real Estate Convention is a regional event that brings together professionals from all areas of the real estate industry for a day of learning, collaborating and networking. This year’s event featured keynote presentations by former Congressman Steve LaTourette, and Steve Brown, 2014 President of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

LaTourette discussed with the group what is wrong in the nation’s capital, and what can be done. Steve Brown commended the organization and its leaders for their efforts on the merger of the CABOR and the Akron Area Board of REALTORS® (AABOR), which became effective October 15th.  Brown also gave the group an update on various issues impacting the real estate business and the work being done at the national level on everyone’s behalf.

“What a tremendous day for REALTORS® and real estate professionals in Northeast Ohio to hear from our organization’s national leader, as well as so many well respected leaders from our industry,” said Task.

Other speakers included: Thomas Fitzpatrick (Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland), Carl DeMusz (President and CEO of the Northern Ohio Regional MLS), Heidi Ewing (NORMLS), Mike Caputo (Director of Government Affairs, McDonald Hopkins, LLC), Bob Fletcher (Senior Vice President, Ohio Association of REALTORSR®), Alec Pacella (Senior Vice President, NAI Daus), David Browning (Managing Director, CBRE, Inc.), Roby Simons (Professor/Faculty Advisor for the Certificate Program in Real Estate Development & Finance at Cleveland State University), Chris Ronayne (President, University Circle Inc.), Denise Scolaro (Associate Vice President, Cleveland Home Title), Matthew Koch (Senior Vice President, Fifth Third Bank), and Lee Chilcote (Managing Partner, The Chilcote Law Firm).

For information or to find a REALTOR®, visit or call (216) 901-0130.


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