WASHINGTON (October 2, 2019) – Over the last 20 years, the Good Neighbor Awards program has recognized Realtors® who make an extraordinary impact on their communities through devoted volunteer work. The impact of those 200 Good Neighbors has been remarkable: working in 40 states, 15 countries and in Puerto Rico. In total, those efforts have served more than 41 million meals to the hungry, sheltered nearly 300,000 people in need and raised hundreds of millions of dollars for various causes, including more than $104 million to fund medical research and healthcare.
The five individuals named this year’s National Association of Realtors® Good Neighbor Award winners serve as an example of how Realtors® roll up their sleeves and step forward to make their communities a better place. The 2019 Good Neighbor Award winners are:
- Bruce Johnson, RE/MAX of Wasaga Beach, Inc., Wasaga Beach, Ontario; for SickKids Foundation/Children’s Miracle Network;
- Mark Solomon, Keller Williams 1st Realty, Longmont, Colorado; for Veterans Community Project;
- Kimberly Strub, Coldwell Banker, Mill Valley, California; for Schurig Center for Brain Injury Recovery;
- Dale Taylor, RE/MAX 10, New Lenox, Illinois; for South Surburban PADS; and
- Paul Wyman, The Wyman Group, Kokomo, Indiana; for Turning Point.
“This year marks the 20-year milestone of the Good Neighbor Awards Program,” said NAR President John Smaby, a second generation Realtor® from Edina, Minnesota. “We celebrate these selfless individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make a difference in the lives of others.”
Each of the five winners – selected by a multi-stage, criteria-based judging process – will receive a $10,000 grant for their charity and be featured in the November-December issue of Realtor® Magazine. The recipients will also be presented with crystal trophies on Saturday, November 9, during the 2019 Realtors®Conference & Expo in San Francisco.
Read the winner profiles and watch the videos at nar.realtor/gna or through the links below:
Bruce Johnson, RE/MAX of Wasaga Beach, Inc.; Wasaga Beach, Ontario
In memory of his daughter, Alyssa, who died in 1998 at 20 days old, Johnson has traveled more than 37,000 miles across North and South America on his motorcycle. Johnson’s long-distance motorcycle ride fundraisers benefit the Children's Miracle Network's 170 children's hospitals in the U.S. and Canada. Johnson's longest ride came in 2018, when he and his 19-year-old daughter, Holly, rode from the northernmost point in Canada to the southern tip of South America--a six-month-long, 16,000-mile journey. Johnson has raised more than $600,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network to date. Watch Bruce's video.
Mark Solomon, Keller Williams 1st Realty; Kansas City, Missouri, and Longmont, Colorado
Solomon co-founded Veterans Community Project, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Kansas City that fights veteran homelessness through “tiny house” developments. The Kansas City neighborhood includes an outreach center where veterans can secure medical and mental health referrals, employment assistance and addiction counseling and treatment. With the Kansas City location nearly complete, Solomon is helping to expand the cause nationwide. Watch Mark's video.
Kimberly Strub, Coldwell Banker; Mill Valley, California
Strub chairs the board of the Schurig Center for Brain Injury Recovery, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of people with brain injuries and their families through rehabilitation therapy, recreational activities and support groups. In a decade, she has raised $700,000, tripled both the organization’s reach and annual budget and helped establish a concussion protocol for children in the Marin County school district. Watch Kim's video.
Dale Taylor, RE/MAX 10; Lenox, Illinois
For the past 19 years, Taylor has spent nearly every Monday night with 35 homeless men who gather at the shelter site he manages just south of Chicago. From serving food and mopping floors to making decisions as a board member and raising nearly $3 million for the cause, Taylor calls his volunteerism a “divine calling.” Watch Dale's video.
Paul Wyman, The Wyman Group; Kokomo, Indiana
In 2017, when he saw his community struggling with opioid addiction, Wyman called a county-wide summit to find solutions. This summit led Wyman to found a nonprofit that connects people affected by addiction with critical, potentially life-saving resources and services. Last year alone, Turning Point helped 1,400 people struggling with addiction and rehabilitation. Watch Paul's video.
In addition to the winners, five Realtors® have been recognized as Good Neighbor Award honorable mentions and will each receive $2,500 grants:
- Sabrina Cohen, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Miami Beach, Florida; founder of The Sabrina Cohen Foundation;
- Rosemary Dutter, Century 21 Affiliated, Beloit, Wisconsin; founder of Dutter House, Inc;
- Nora Partlow, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Alexandria, Virginia; Neighborhood Health;
- Kristy Payne, Keller Williams, Edmond, Oklahoma; founder of Foster Sweet Dreams Foundation; and
- Bahar Soomekh, Nourmand & Associates, Beverly Hills, California; cofounder of Angel City Sports.
Public voting also allows voters to select their favorite Good Neighbor Award finalist, with the winners crowned as this year’s “Web Choice Favorites.” This year’s winners are:
- Paul Wyman, who will receive an additional $2,500 bonus donation for Turning Point;
- Mark Solomon, who will receive an additional $1,250 for Veterans Community Project; and
- Bruce Johnson, who will receive an additional $1,250 for SickKids Hospital/Children’s Miracle Network.
The National Association of Realtors®' Good Neighbor Awards program is supported by primary sponsor realtor.com® and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Nominees were judged on their personal investment of time, as well as their financial and material contributions to benefit their cause.
“Congratulations to all of this year’s Good Neighbor Award recipients,” said Tracey Fellows, acting CEO of realtor.com®. “All of us at realtor.com® are very proud to support Realtors® and the causes they champion in the spirit of building better communities. Given that this year marks 20 years of the program, this recognition is particularly special.”
Good Neighbor Awards have been granted annually since 2000. More than $1.3 million in grants have been awarded to 200 Realtor®-led charities. More information about the program is available at nar.realtor/gna.
The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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Wells Fargo Home Lending is one of the nation’s leading originators and the leading servicer of residential mortgages, offering home loans to consumers through the country’s largest network of mortgage locations and bank branches, online, and via phone. With more than 4,400 Home Mortgage Consultants across the country, expanded digital capabilities, and products and programs for today’s market, Wells Fargo is committed to meeting Realtor® expectations and homebuyer needs. Focused on paving a path to stability and financial success for underserved communities, Wells Fargo is a proud sponsor of both the Good Neighbor Awards program and Volunteering Works, both of which recognize the extraordinary contributions made by Realtors® in the communities where we, together, live and serve.