Thanks to You!

Being a REALTOR® comes with the chance to help others daily. President Elizabeth Mendenhall reflects on the power of giving and gratitude.
NAR’s president, left, met with REALTORS® and others hurt by the devastating flooding on Kauai in the spring.

© Courtesy of Kauai Board of REALTORS®

NAR’s president, left, met with REALTORS® and others hurt by the devastating flooding on Kauai in the spring.

The 2018 Good Neighbor Award winners exemplify generosity at the purest levels. What does this NAR program mean to you?

When we take ownership of our roles and our actions, change happens, and when we bring our unique gifts to the table, we make a difference. Winners of the National Association of REALTORS® Good Neighbor Awards embody the “REALTORS® Own It” spirit. I am so proud of this program because it shines the spotlight on REALTORS® doing extraordinary work. While the focus of the Good Neighbors’ work lies clearly on helping those in need—in many cases, saving lives—their actions also serve all of us, making the world a better place. Their commitment to helping communities elevates the REALTOR® value proposition. And the program is one way the REALTOR® community can say “thank you.”

Tell us about your recent experience in Kauai, Hawaii, which was devastated by landslides and flooding. How did NAR help?

In April, unprecedented rains and flooding resulted in nearly $11 million in damage, including more than 350 homes damaged or destroyed. Reading or watching the news, it is hard to comprehend the hardship resulting from disasters like this. Seeing the aftermath firsthand and meeting with families who’ve lost everything is an experience that will stay with me for life. As NAR president, I’ve had the opportunity to witness how REALTORS®’ generosity provides hope and changes lives. Working with the REALTORS® Relief Foundation and the Kauai Board of REALTORS®, we provided housing assistance to many in distress, helping people with mortgage expenses or covering rental costs due to displacement.

Why is NAR leadership dedicated to relief efforts like this? These ongoing crises affect local markets across the country and around the globe. This year so far, the foundation has contributed $1.5 million in relief aid for nine disasters and $29 million since 2001.

As your presidential term winds down, what are you most grateful for? Serving as the 2018 president of the greatest association in the world has been the opportunity of a lifetime. I am grateful for the support I’ve received from REALTORS® nationwide and NAR staff, and I owe a world of thanks to my colleagues on the 2018 Leadership Team. I am proud of the work we’ve accomplished in support of our fellow REALTORS®, our industry, property owners, and communities. This has been a pivotal year for NAR. With the support of CEO Bob Goldberg and NAR’s staff, our association has made great strides to become a more member-centric and dynamic organization. No doubt, the momentum we have built will continue in 2019. Thanks for helping me Own It!