Teens experiencing suicidal thoughts have found support and hope to continue living and reaching for their dreams. Victims of domestic violence and people recovering from drug addiction have been able to start their lives anew. And young adults with disabilities have discovered their purpose with jobs growing fresh produce for their community.
These are some of the life-changing accomplishments that wouldn’t be possible without the five real estate professionals whom the National Association of REALTORS® named Tuesday as its 2020 Good Neighbor Award winners. The Good Neighbor program, now in its 21st year, spotlights practitioners’ impact on their communities through volunteer work. Five honorable mentions also have been named.
This year, the winners represent an even more extraordinary commitment to good works given the unparalleled obstacles of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our Good Neighbor Award winners leave a remarkable impact in their communities every year, but in 2020, everything these REALTORS® have done is even more impressive and more commendable,” NAR President Vince Malta said in a statement. “This year has brought unprecedented challenges, but the 2020 Good Neighbor Award winners have been a force for good during the most difficult and unique times, and they continue to inspire all of us by showing how one person can make a difference.”
Each of the five winners, who were selected through a multistage judging process, will receive a $10,000 grant for their charity. They will be featured in the November-December issue of REALTOR® Magazine and will be honored on Thursday, Nov. 5, at 4 p.m. Central time as part of the virtual REALTORS® Conference & Expo, where their five winner videos will debut.
Meet the Winners
Linda K. Brown
Amax Real Estate
Co-founder of Eden Village, Linda Brown transforms abandoned mobile home properties into villages of tiny homes that provide permanent housing to the chronically disabled homeless. To date, Brown and her husband have raised $4.75 million to place 36 tiny homes, with the goal of making their hometown a city “where no one sleeps outside.”
Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty
After losing several friends to suicide, Jeff Fields, past board president of Teen Lifeline, is committed to saving teens from what he calls “the most preventable death.” Under Fields’ leadership, the organization serves more than 28,000 youth through a peer-to-peer teen crisis hotline while providing community education on suicide prevention.
To honor her son’s memory, Tamara House raised $3.6 million to co-found Grant’s House, an after-school and summer program for children with special needs. House used her real estate experience and relationships with contractors to renovate the 50,000-square-foot building, which now features 20 rooms with various activities and recreation opportunities for children with disabilities.
Cancer survivor Vickie Lobo founded Knock Knock Angels to help people start over after they’ve faced and overcome difficult situations such as domestic violence, homelessness, and drug addiction. Lobo partners with local philanthropic and community organization to furnish new apartments with donated furniture, dishes, towels, and anything else these individuals would need to begin their new life.
Coldwell Banker Realty, Washington, D.C.
and Atoka Properties, Purcellville, Va.
Greg Masucci and his wife founded A Farm Less Ordinary, a nonprofit that employs young adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. These young men and women learn to grow produce from seed to harvest, attend farmers markets as ambassadors for people with disabilities, and enjoy an environment that builds their skills and confidence.
Five Honorable Mentions
Five REALTORS® also will be recognized as Good Neighbor honorable mentions. They will each receive a $2,500 grant for their charities. This year’s honorable mentions are:
Eric and Janet Baucom
Janice Ash Sialiano
Linda Trinkle Wolf
Web Choice Winners
The public also was able to vote for their favorite among the Good Neighbor finalists and select “Web Choice Favorites.” Each of the favorites will receive additional money for their charity, funded by realtor.com®. The top vote getters for the Web Choice Favorites are:
- Eric and Janet Baucom, who will receive an additional $2,500 for Project Bicycle Love.
- Sandra Nardoci, who will receive an additional $1,250 for Capital District YMCA’s Circle of Champs.
- Janice Ash Sialiano, who will receive an additional $1,250 for Community Christmas Dinner.
The National Association of REALTORS®’ Good Neighbor Awards program is supported by primary sponsor realtor.com® and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.