In December, RISMedia honored more than 230 real estate professionals as RISMedia's 2019 Real Estate Newsmakers. Each of these individuals—separated into eight categories—was either nominated by you, the RISMedia reader, or chosen by the publication’s editors.
These folks made newsworthy contributions within their own communities and/or the housing industry as a whole. Here, we highlight several honorees who were chosen as Newsmakers in the Crusaders category:
When Carl Carter, Jr.’s mother, Beverly Carter, was kidnapped and murdered by a pair of clients in 2014 while working as a REALTOR®, it inspired him to found the Beverly Carter Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to providing real estate agents with information and tools to enable them to return home safely at the end of each day.
"My mom was an angel among us; I strive to honor her life and her legacy with everything I do and I want all real estate professionals to join me," says Carter. "Let’s fight on!"
Karen Cooper has 17 years of experience in the industry, currently managing and supporting her team, which is composed of 24 women. She is the founder of Empowering Women in Real Estate, an industry initiative for women, which has more than 8,000 members nationwide.
"Let your faith be bigger than your fear," says Cooper.
Cheryl D'Anna is one of the top luxury agents in North Scottsdale, Ariz. D'Anna's career spans two decades.. She has also pledged to donate a portion of her commissions to Golf Fore Africa, an organization founded by LPGA Hall of Fame golfer Betsy King that hopes to positively impact the lives of children and families living in extreme poverty in Africa.
"Seeing the sickness firsthand and learning about the tragedies in Zambian villages that I visited has helped me to understand the need for more wells to be funded, which brings clean water to so many in need," says D'Anna. "One well changes the lives for the entire village forever."
Nearly two years ago, Dan Spransy, broker/owner at Realty Executives Cooper Spransy in Madison, Wis., launched Before 16. The 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation matches host families with international orphans who are almost 16 years old—the age at which most adolescents around the world are forced out of the adoption system.
"When these kids are hosted, the chance of them finding a family goes from around 1 percent to upwards of 70 percent," says Spransy.
Chris Trapani founded Sereno Group with his childhood friend Ryan Iwanaga in 2006 with a goal to break from the large-scale agency model in favor of offering every client the personalized service that would make a positive difference in their real estate experience. Today, the firm has 365 agents in eight locations doing $3.5 billion in annual sales.
"We set a very high bar for character, quality and professionalism," says Trapani.