NEW ORLEANS (November 10, 2014) – James Helsel, Jr., a Realtor® from Lemoyne, Penn., has received the National Association of Realtors® 2014 Distinguished Service Award. The honor is presented yearly to no more than two of NAR’s 1 million members. Winners were announced during the 2014 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in New Orleans.
NAR established the DSA in 1979 to honor Realtors® who have made outstanding contributions to the real estate industry and are recognized as leaders in their local communities. The award is considered the highest honor an NAR member can receive; recipients must be active at the local, state and national association levels, but must not have served as NAR president. NAR President Steve Brown presented the award to Helsel.
“Jim Helsel is a prime example of someone who has not only excelled at his job but has also become an integral part of his community,” said Brown, co-owner of Irongate Inc. in Dayton, Ohio. “Jim is an active member of the Realtor® family and has devoted his life to making a difference to his clients, his fellow Realtors® and his community in the greater Harrisburg area. Jim is truly deserving of this award, and Realtors® thank him for his tireless work within and outside of the real estate field.”
Helsel has been a Realtor® for 41 years and is the president of Helsel, Inc., Realtors® as well as senior managing director of KW Commercial, Realtors®. He focuses mainly on commercial/industrial sales and leasing but is also involved in property management and real estate investment analysis.
“I am honored and grateful to receive the Distinguished Service Award,” Helsel said. “Being a Realtor® is a privilege and responsibility I do not take lightly. We help our clients shape their futures and build their communities, so it is important to also become active members of those communities. I am so proud to be a part of the Realtor® family and thank everyone for their support, not just in receiving this award but throughout my four-decade journey in this industry.”
An active NAR member, Helsel served as treasurer of the organization from 2008 through 2010 and as a 2001 regional vice president for Region II (which includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York). Helsel has been on the association’s board of directors for nearly three decades and has chaired various committees and Presidential Advisory Groups at NAR, including the Finance Committee, Commercial and Investment Committee, Real Property Operations Committee, and the Strategic Investments Reserve Advisory Board. He was chair of the Real Property Operations Committee when NAR built its award winning building in Washington, D.C.
Aside from his national contributions, Helsel has also been active in his local and state Realtor® associations. At the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors®, Helsel served as president in 1994 and on the association’s board of directors for 24 years while also leading several committees and groups. Additionally, he was the recipient of the state association’s REALTOR® of the Year in 2001, Distinguished Service Award in 2008, and Realtors® Active in Politics Award in 2013. Locally, Helsel served as president of the Greater Harrisburg Board of Realtors® in 1983, was honored as REALTOR® of the Year in 1985, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009, among many other awards and recognitions.
Helsel joined Helsel, Inc., Realtors® in 1975 upon graduation from Lycoming College that year with Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration. The business, now experiencing its fourth generation of Helsels, was founded in 1929 and is the oldest industrial and commercial real estate firm in Harrisburg.
While his professional commitments take up much of his day, Helsel devotes plenty of time and energy to outside causes and interests. He currently serves as a member of the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority Board, a trustee of the Cornwall Manor Foundation (a continuing care facility for the elderly), a member of the Government Affairs Committee of the Harrisburg Area Regional Chamber of Commerce, and with the United Way of the Capital Region. Prior to these activities, Helsel was also involved with the Harrisburg Rotary Club, the Capital Region Economic Development Corporation, and the American Heart Association.
The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.