RISMedia’s 2020 Real Estate Newsmakers: Meet the Crusaders

Posted on Apr 8 2020 - 3:42pm by Jameson Doris
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In January, RISMedia named some 300 real estate professionals as 2020 Real Estate Newsmakers. Each of these individuals—separated into eight categories—was either nominated by you, the RISMedia reader, or chosen by our editors.

These people made great contributions within their own communities and the industry as a whole. They've dedicated their lives to a better real estate process. Here, we highlight five honorees who were chosen as Newsmakers in the Crusaders category:

Denee Evans, CEO at Council of Multiple Listing Services

As CEO of the Council of Multiple Listing Services (CMLS), Denee Evans has emerged as an industry champion for the progression of MLSs to better serve brokers and agents by meeting the needs of the consumer. In 2018, she led CMLS's involvement in a U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission inquiry into industry competition, submitting a "Data and Choices Breed Competition" white paper.

"Don't settle for best, be better," says Evans. "Demand excellence."

Bahar Soomekh, REALTOR® at Nourmand & Associates

At Nourmand & Associates, Bahar Soomekh focuses on the Southern California luxury home market and has built trusted relationships throughout the entertainment industry. In 2013, she co-founded Angel City Sports, which hosts the Angel City Games, a family-friendly event that celebrates the talents and strengths of adaptive athletes.

"We've committed everything to helping the disabled community be able to enjoy, learn, engage and thrive through Angel City Sports," says Soomekh.

Rei Mesa, President & CEO at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty

With Rei Mesa at the helm, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty kicked off 2019 by being acquired by HomeServices of America. The brokerage serves 21 counties throughout Florida with over 40 locations and some 1,800 sales professionals. With more than 30 years of experience, Mesa's responsible for managing all aspects of the brokerage.

"My passion fuels the vision and commitment to drive our industry forward to make decisions that have positive impacts on homeownership throughout the country," says Mesa.

Anthony Vulin, Broker/Owner & CEO at The Collective, Realty

Anthony Vulin, broker/owner and CEO of The Collective, Realty in Los Angeles, is determined to narrow the gap in homeownership rates within the LGBT community. According to Vulin, discrimination against members of the LGBT community in the home-buying process is legal in half the country. Vulin advocates with federal legislators to change that.

"Homeownership is the American dream, but the homeownership rate for the LGBT community is 16 percent below the national average, and I'm not OK with this," says Vulin.

Marilyn Wilson, Founding Partner at WAV Group

Under Marilyn Wilson's guidance, WAV Group provides strategic insights and consumer research for the real estate industry. The company provides thought leadership and objectively evaluates complex issues for technology companies in North and South America and Europe. Last year, Wilson led an effort to create a statewide, broker-owned and -managed MLS in Louisiana.

"In the waves of change we find our true direction," she says. "I like to educate the industry on the waves of change that are coming so we can surf the changes and become ever stronger as an industry."