First Good Neighbor Awards Finalists Named

REALTOR® Magazine, the official publication of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, has announced the names of the 12 finalists in its first Good Neighbor Awards program.

The Good Neighbor Awards recognize the ongoing efforts of individual REALTORS® who are making exceptional contributions to improve the quality of life in their communities. Among the activities that qualify for consideration are involvement in affordable housing issues, improving the quality of education in an area, supporting initiatives aimed at a community's youth, and work on any other community-based programs.

Five winners will be selected. Winners will receive a $2,500 grant in the name of their community project, and earn the right to use the Good Neighbor Awards logo on their Web site and promotional materials. Recipients and a guest also will receive travel expenses to attend REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco in November, where they will receive their awards.

“We created these awards to reward REALTORS® for contributing to their communities, something so many of them do without any recognition," said REALTOR® Magazine Editor Stacey Moncrieff. "By spotlighting these exceptional Good Neighbors, we hope to show the world at large the positive difference REALTORS® make and to inspire REALTORS® around the country to give back in to their communities."

NAR President Dennis R. Cronk said REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Award program offers an incentive for REALTORS® to work with community groups to solve quality-of-life issues within their communities, including housing-related problems. "The Good Neighbor Awards also serve to further recognize our REALTORS® who are willing to give of themselves so that others might enjoy a higher quality of life," Cronk said. "The program validates the fact that REALTORS® don't just sell homes. We sell communities," he added.

REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Award program is sponsored by eNeighborhoods, the fastest growing real estate software in the country. Developed by iPlace, eNeighborhoods software enables real estate professionals to provide their clients with timely and accurate information on every neighborhood in the country—from recent home sales data to crime rates, from school rankings to neighborhood demographics.

"We're proud to be able focus the strength of 750,000 real estate professionals to improve their communities through eNeighborhoods' sponsorship of the Good Neighbor Awards," says Stu Siegel, president of iPlace and a Good Neighbor judge. "The response from REALTORS® has been tremendous, and selecting the finalists was a very difficult task."

Nominees were judged on their level of personal contribution of time, as well as financial and material contributions to benefit their cause. To be eligible, nominees had to be members in good standing of NAR.

The following REALTORS® were named finalists in the Good Neighbor program:

  • Linda Booker,Glendale, Ariz. Founder, Christmas Angels, which gave 25,000 needy children food, toys and clothing in 1999.
  • Oral Lee Brown, Oakland, Calif. Founder, Oral Lee Brown Foundation, which provides college scholarships and youth mentoring.
  • Jean Clary, South Hill, Va. Founder, Children Are Really Extra Special (CARES), which provides college scholarships and youth mentoring.
  • Elizabeth Demaray, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Rotary Club, 2000-2001 District Governor.
  • Gil Gillenwater, Scottsdale, Ariz. Founder, Rancho Feliz orphanage and soup kitchen.
  • Joy Silber Gouyd, Jupiter, Fla. Lighthouse Habitat for Humanity, 1999 Board president.
  • Howard Hoffman, Indianapolis, Ind. Cofounder, Friends of Holliday Park, a revitalization project.
  • Linda W. Norton, Ft. Collins, Colo. Funding Partners for Housing Solutions, president.
  • Joseph Pitts, West Palm Beach, Fla. West Gate Elementary School, advisor, fundraiser, and volunteer.
  • Jill Rich, Tucson, Ariz. American Red Cross, Southern Arizona Chapter, volunteer
  • Kenneth Rosen, Coral Gables, Fla. State of Florida Guardian Ad Litem Program, advocate for abused and neglected children.
  • Matthew Schrum, Holland, Penn. Northampton Township volunteer fire fighter.

Winners will be announced in the November issue of REALTOR® Magazine.