This Just In: RISMedia Celebrates Newsmakers in Washington

Posted on May 20 2019 - 11:28am by Housecall

In celebration of RISMedia’s 2019 Class of Real Estate Newsmakers, more than 225 convened at the Real Estate Newsmakers Reception & Dinner, held May 16 during the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C.

Against the backdrop of the National Press Club—”The Place Where News Happens”—RISMedia applauded the more than 230 Newsmakers recognized this year, as well as 10 Hall of Fame inductees. The Class of Newsmakers is comprised of Achievers, Crusaders, Futurists, Influencers, Inspirations, Luminaries, Trailblazers and Trendsetters, each of which were spotlighted on stage.

(Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

As each member of the 2019 Hall of Fame Class was inducted yesterday, they shared the following thoughts:

Gino Blefari, CEO, HomeServices of America

“This award here really could be ‘the shoulders of giants.’ I made a list of the shoulder of giants I’ve stood on, and some of you have probably stood on these same shoulders, [including] Tommy Hopkins, Mike Ferry…Og Mandino, Jim Rohn and Zig Ziglar…Brian Tracy, Allan Dalton, Bob Becker…Alain Pinel…Tom Ferry…Brian Buffini…Larry Kendall…Chris Stuart…and Ron Peltier, who gave me the opportunity to be the CEO of HSF Affiliates and now again as HomeServices of America. On behalf of all those giants and RISMedia, thank you very much.”

(Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

William E. Brown, Founder, Investment Properties; Co-Founder, Springhill Real Estate Partners

“I’m very blessed to be here as a second-generation REALTOR®. NAR is there to help our members make money in terms of controlling their finances as it relates to their investments, and fighting for our members on the Hill, and everywhere else. Thank you all for this evening.”

Carl Carter, Jr., REALTOR®, RE/MAX Elite; Founder/Executive Director, Beverly Carter Foundation

(Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

 “This is the highest honor of my life. This isn’t about me; this is an acknowledgement from an industry powerhouse, and the news source that we trust, that safety is a real concern and a conversation worth having, and that people that have been victimized like my precious mom didn’t die in vain. Since losing my mom, I’ve been very blessed by the people in this room that have given me opportunities to talk to your staff and agents to say, be smart when you’re out there selling. I thank you for every opportunity.”

(Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

David Charron, President, MRIS Investors, Inc.

“As leaders, I believe that we have a collective responsibility to shepherd those that are inexperienced but have the right attitude, the smarts and the will. It’s up to us as leaders in the industry to help these folks find their voice, put them under a grow light and give them the opportunities to succeed, and occasionally fail, but always pick themselves up and move forward. It’s my hope that the future recipients of this award in the years to come will look back on the 2018 and 2019 recipients and Newsmakers and look to us and say ‘Thanks a lot. You helped me. You inspired me.’ I hope we pay it forward in that way today, tomorrow, and in the years to come.”

(Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

Todd Hetherington, CEO, CENTURY 21 New Millennium

“Normally Mary Lynn hates to get in front of the podium, and because of that in the last 20 years I’ve been the one that’s been getting the lion’s share of the limelight. I’m very pleased tonight that my business partner is the one that’s getting the limelight. Thank you.”

(Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

Rei Mesa, President/CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty

“I am honored and humbled by this recognition. I am a very, very grateful individual that I get to do this, and get to do what I love and with people I love to do it with.”

Diane M. Ramirez, Chairman/CEO, Halstead

(Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

“To be among the people who are being acknowledged at all levels is truly an honor. This has been a great journey that I hope to continue doing for many, many years into the future. Leading Halstead and watching its growth from its birth and a vision of the East Side, West Side and Downtown of Manhattan to now having 38 offices and 1,300 agents and loving each and every one of them…I cannot tell you how much it means to me.”

(Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

Mike Ryan, Senior Advisor, RE/MAX, LLC

“Newsmakers this year, and future Newsmakers, I hope we have some open-mindedness about what’s happening today and cut through the noise. There’s a lot of new business plans and new technologies to help better the professionals in our industry. The best headlines are ahead for us today.”

(Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

Michael Saunders, Founder/CEO, Michael Saunders & Company

“As I look around this room, I see people that really have helped me become all that I am. I thank you, I thank everyone back in Sarasota that this honor goes to. Forty-three years ago, I never believed that my journey would lead me to this stage and in front of you. I am proud, I am humbled, and I am very, very thankful.”

(Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

Mary Lynn Stone, President, CENTURY 21 New Millennium

“I am honored and truly amazed to be standing here amongst all of you, being recognized as a leader in a room filled with absolutely some of the best of the best in our industry. I’ve always been very surprised at where life can take you. I assure you that when I was a student at the University of Maryland working part-time in my family’s real estate office, I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be standing here being honored and recognized as a leader and being inducted into this prestigious Hall of Fame of Newsmakers. Growing and building a company that gives opportunities to people and individuals to build careers where they are able to help families find a home that they could live and love each other in is a very, very honorable and rewarding profession. I hope this evening and the reason I’m standing in front of all of you is because of that, so thank you very much.”

The event was presented by Master Sponsors American Home Shield, HSA Home Warranty, Real Estate Webmasters and Realty ONE Group; Host Sponsors Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, HMS Home Warranty, PlanOmatic, Quicken Loans, Realtors Property Resource®, Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting and Updater; and Event Sponsors Adwerx, DocuSign, Local Logic, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors and RE/MAX LLC.

Earlier on May 16, RISMedia hosted the Annual Power Broker & Real Estate Newsmakers Forum, “Are You Ready for the Next Wave? Mastering Market, Tech and Competitive Challenges,” co-moderated by Featherston and Ramirez, and featuring Hetherington and Saunders, as well as Mike Huff, broker/owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties, and Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, as panelists. Coverage of the Forum will be released shortly.

Look for news from the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo on


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