This year’s 2015 ACAR Expo – with a Halloween-themed exhibit hall – was a great success with nearly 40 vendors and more than 150 Realtor attendees haunting the John S. Knight Center in downtown Akron.
The Expo kicked off with a continental breakfast and refreshments in the exhibit hall where exhibitors where welcoming guests in their ghastly and amusing costumes – from a safari-themed booth to the cartoon character Marge Simpson. After the coffee fully kicked in and energy was building, attendees migrated to the main hall to hear ACAR President Sally Johnson welcome the crowd.
She then introduced the event’s keynote speaker, Jeff Hoffman. Jeff is a tenured CEO, Hollywood film producer, and one of the founders of Priceline.com. He spoke about branding, marketing and innovation in a congested marketplace and how to stand out through building a powerful brand. He exclaimed “A brand is a promise… a brand is your business’s personality!”
After the morning break, the event commenced with the General Membership Meeting luncheon where Sally Johnson thanked members and volunteers for their continued support, service, professionalism and ethics. She also mentioned the recognition ACAR, and select members received from the Ohio Association of REALTORS®, including:
- James O’Neil – Named Tomorrow’s Leader Today for displaying leadership potential and ongoing interest in serving the association
- John Lynch – Recipient of the Vincent T. Aveni Lifetime Achievement Award and was elected 2018 NAR Region 6 vice president
- Cyndi Kane – Recognized as ACAR’s 2014 REALTOR® of the Year
- Jennie Chiccola – Received a Resolution honoring her 100th birthday and longevity as a REALTOR®
- ACAR – Won a Merit Award for its work with Rebuilding Together and was recognized for meeting 100 percent of it RPAC goals
Sandy Naragon, ACAR’s CEO, also provided a brief update on some of the great accomplishments and successes the association had during the past year. One major highlight to note is that the ACAR Consumer Outreach Campaign generated more than 1.9 million audience impressions locally, raising the public profile of REALTORS® – assisting in the growth of more than 446 new REALTOR® members since Oct. 15, 2014.
Another luncheon highlight was the announcement of the 2015 award recipients for Affiliate of the Year and REALTOR® of the Year. Mike Bankowski from NLC Loans was the recipient of the Affiliate of the Year award for his tireless work and stewardship in the community – through his volunteerism for ACAR, involvement in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland, the Pancreatic Cancer Walk, Habitat for Humanity and organizer of an Edgewater Beach Cleanup for Earth Day, among his many other contributions.
The 2015 REALTOR® of the Year recipient, one of the highest honors bestowed upon a REALTOR® member, was Joanne Zettl. Her dedication to the REALTOR® community, through advocating for REALTOR® rights, volunteering on numerous committees, on the ACAR Board of Directors, attending state and national conferences and serving her community in a myriad of ways, showcases why she was named this year’s REALTOR® of the Year.
Sally concluded the luncheon meeting by announcing 2015 Director election results. The following people will begin their three-terms in January 2016:
- Kris Burdick
- Tony Deluke
- Jim Fox
- Cyndi Kane
- Tara Kleckner
The day continued with afternoon education courses on “Statistics and the MLSs: How to Use and Interpret the Data,” “Legislative Updates and Private Property Owners,” “The Current and Future State of Oil & Gas,” and “Legacy Cities.”
With an array of speakers from various organizations and backgrounds, members received high-quality education they could immediately apply in their professional lives.
The Expo also held a variety of contests – from an individual $250 cash prize to booth winners for themes and costumes. The winner of the $250 cash prize was Peggi Flowers. The following were the booth winners:
- Best Overall – Kingdom Title Solutions
- Most Creative – Chicago Title
- Best Costumes – Ohio Savings Bank
- Best Theme – Service Master by Disaster Recon
ACAR, its Board of Directors and all of the volunteers and sponsors would like to thank you for attending this year’s Expo! Have a spook-ta-cular October!
We look forward to seeing you next year!
Check out our Facebook Album for more event photos!