While the annual recognition of real estate’s “who’s who” carries a longstanding tradition of being a gathering place for the industry’s top performing brokers, this year’s gala event held a larger significance, as we dove back into live events after a period of uncertainty, loss and challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The atmosphere was lively with a sense of renewed hope and resilience as we celebrated not only our 2021 Power Brokers, but those who ranked in 2020 as well and RISMedia’s Real Estate Newsmakers, officially inducting the newest members of the Hall of Fame.
John Featherston, RISMedia founder, president and CEO, kicked things off at the dinner following a picturesque cocktail reception on the terrace of the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, overlooking the city’s mountainscape and sunset-painted marina.
“A lot has happened since we were all together last. It has been a trying time, but as an industry, we should be proud of what we have done to keep our business thriving and to serve our communities in a way we haven’t had to serve them in the past,” said Featherston. “We were real estate professionals. We were counselors. We were neighbors. You deserve a round of applause for a job well done. Thank you and welcome to our 25th Power Broker Reception and Dinner.”
Audience members also heard from the National Association of REALTORS’® Cindy Ariosa, 2021 liaison for Large Firms & Industry Relations, who introduced the incoming Broker Relations Liaison Chris Kelly.
During the gala, as is tradition, we granted several awards, with the industry’s leading organizations helping us to recognize individuals who have made significant strides in their careers and communities.
RISMedia’s Real Estate Tech Titan Award—presented to brokerage leaders who have demonstrated an exceptional ability to adapt and integrate new and innovative tools and services within their organization to improve and enhance the overall consumer experience—was presented by Homes.com and Homesnap to Joan Docktor, president, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) Fox & Roach, REALTORS®, who accepted the award on behalf of Larry Flick V, CEO, BHHS Fox & Roach, REALTORS® and The Trident Group.
“Thank you everyone and thank you Homesnap,” said Docktor. “We’re really proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish with our partnership with you and we look forward to more years of success.”
Rocket Mortgage sponsored the National Homeownership Award—bestowed upon a member of the real estate community who continuously demonstrates extraordinary contributions toward increasing homeownership and building better communities—with Jes Fields, executive vice president and channel revenue officer of Rocket Mortgage presenting it to Phil McBride, company operating officer at John L. Scott Real Estate.
“The tools that we have that we’ve built with Amazon have really allowed us to have conversations about getting past the past and start looking toward the future to make some really serious changes in the way things are done,” said McBride.
Dermot Buffini, CEO of Buffini & Company, presented the Real Estate Leadership Award, sponsored by Buffini & Company—designed to honor an industry visionary who embraces innovation and exercises resilience to blaze new paths to success for real estate professionals and consumers alike—to JB Goodwin, CEO of JB Goodwin REALTORS®.
“In our company, we try to talk about leadership at every level and talk about how we deal with people one home at a time,” said Goodwin. “We really get involved in the community but we do it belly to belly, nose to nose, one buyer at a time.”
Lastly, the “On the Shoulders of Giants” award, presented by Nick Bailey, president of RE/MAX, LLC—created to recognize individuals whose efforts, works, deeds and character exemplify superior achievements in and for the real estate industry—was awarded to Gary Acosta, president and co-founder of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals.
“Latino immigrants don’t come to this country because they don’t like where they come from, or don’t like the people or the music or the food,” said Acosta. “They come to this country because there are economic opportunities and they have a chance to build a better life for themselves and their family. Homeownership is at the center of that objective and goal and that experience. It’s a very family-centric community and the home is at the center of the community.”
At the gala, Featherston also officially inducted several members of the Real Estate Newsmakers Hall of Fame:
– Cameron Merage, Owner & CEO of First Team Real Estate
– Craig Cheatham, President & CEO, the Realty Alliance
– Joan Docktor, President, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS®
– Dan Forsman, President & CEO, Berkshire HathawayHomeService Georgia Properties
– J. Lennox Scott, Chairman & CEO, John L. Scott Real Estate
– Vinnie Tracey, President, Realty ONE Group
– Rosey Koberlein, Chairperson, Long Companies
– Sherry Chris, President & CEO, Realogy Expansion Brands
– Allan Dalton, Chief Executive Officer, Real Living Real Estate; Senior Vice President, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
– Stuart Elsea, President, Financial Services, Real Estate One Family of Companies
– Brian Buffini, Chairman and Founder, Buffini & Company