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Meet the 2017 OAR Leadership Academy class

OARLA logo

By Pete Kopf, OAR President

The Ohio Association of REALTORS is pleased to announce the 12-member 2017 Leadership Academy class. These REALTORS will embark on an intense self discovery program focused on goal-setting, communication, business relationships and personal growth. Congratulations to:

Cole Cannon

Cole CannonColumbus REALTORS

Top Industry Challenge: Educating consumers on REALTORS being a trusted source for real estate information.

Top OAR Challenge: One issue facing the Ohio Association of REALTORS is portraying to its members the value they provide. Many things the association does for it’s members is done behind scenes, so letting members know the work going on will become more and more important.


Rich Cosgrove

Richard CosgroveStark County Association of REALTORS

Top Industry Challenge: In our market place one the current challenges facing the real estate profession is the shortage of available housing based on the number of buyers ready willing and able to buy.

Top OAR Challenge: REALTOR Safety — We live in a world were the safety of real estate agents going into vacant houses and meeting new clients can be very dangerous. This issue is not just an issue facing Ohio REALTORS but across the nation.


Deborah Hafner

Debbie HaffnerToledo Regional Association of REALTORS

Top Industry Challenge: Professionalism in our industry. We all need to take more pride in our appearances, attitudes to fellow agents and brokerages,  and respect. And more professionalism with our customers and clients…Change peoples perspective on what a real estate agent is all about.

Top OAR Challenge: RPAC doesn’t seem to get through to the agents…how important RPAC is to our Industry. OAR fights hard for our rights as REALTORS and we should all work hard to get the word out to all agents to contribute!


Amanda Hitchcock

Guernsey-Muskingum Valley Association of REALTORS

Top Industry Challenge: Technology: our society has grown more and more dependent upon technology. Keeping up with the rapid growth can be a full-time endeavor. Technology can be both an enhancer for real estate, or a distractor from fundamental work. Finding the right balance and/or the appropriate technologies that further our goals is key.

Top OAR Challenge: Juxtaposition: Trying to maintain a personalized service while having discounted, distant services buying into the Board/MLS.


Brenda Kilburn

Brenda KilburnToledo Regional Association of REALTORS

Top Industry Challenge: To build community awareness of the importance of the role of a real estate agent in transactions and to validate our worth.

Top OAR Challenge: To demonstrate the importance of involvement at the local and state and national levels to incoming REALTORS.



Rachel Lewitt

rachel lewittButler-Warren Association of REALTORS

Top Industry Challenge: Economic development is the cornerstone to building and sustaining healthy communities. Real estate is in its most productive use when there is job diversity, opportunities for successful business retention and attraction, higher standards for quality of life issues, revitalization incentives, and public-private projects. Healthy communities balance these and other aspects of city and community development which in turn helps create the best mix of housing and commercial real estate. Many cities across the country face difficult challenges in rebuilding their communities. Significant challenges include additional foreclosures, lack of investment, and blighted neighborhoods and business districts. The state of the economy significantly impacts our profession. However, if we shift the perspective and participate we find that our profession is instrumental in driving the economy upwards.

Top OAR Challenge: Membership benefits and participation are significant issues facing OAR. It seems about 10 percent of members participate. This may be a common theme in volunteer work. If OAR membership benefits are better understood then they will be more highly valued. The REALTOR Party is a benefit that may be undervalued. OAR’s success in protecting private property rights, our livelihoods, and communities is an impactful result from membership participation and excellent staff. We are now working in an uncertain regulatory environment. What will this administration propose? A serious concern is the potential resurgence of the state tax on services, including real estate commissions. If the State reintroduces this bill, it will take the full force of OAR and similar groups to defeat. Therefore, understanding the impact of the REALTOR Party and legislative benefits is essential. If there is more participation and therefore increased awareness of membership value-added benefits known at the local level, OAR will soar to even greater heights.


Amy Marinello

Amy MarinelloWayne-Holmes Association of REALTORS

Top Industry Challenge: Public Education. I think it is difficult to educate buyers and sellers on how exactly the real estate world works. From both the initial contact and keeping them loyal without a Buyers Agreement to actually walking them through the transaction and making them understand what steps are actually important.

Top OAR Challenge: Education. I think the new legislation that is coming into play in April will help with this, however, I feel you can never stop learning.


Anthony May

Anthony MayAkron Cleveland Association of REALTORS

Top Industry Challenge: Individuals considering the real estate profession. I would support a symposium to provide those individuals considering this profession with real-life scenarios to be a successful REALTOR. What I personally thought of the real estate profession prior to becoming a REALTOR vs. the actual life of a REALTOR, are distinctly two separate beasts. Specifically, cost to become a REALTOR, time commitment once you’re licensed, and work/life balance.

Top OAR Challenge: Simply put, knowledge of OAR and its primary purpose/role. Initially as a new REALTOR, I knew OAR as the entity formed for REALTORS, no more no less.


Dawn Mueller

Dawn MuellerLake Geauga Area Association of REALTORS

Top Industry Challenge: Proving value as a profession as a whole. I believe the internet makes it challenging in regards to “For Sale by Owner” sites. As professionals, we need to prove our value by educating the public on the services we provide, and what really goes into a transaction.

Top OAR Challenge: The main reason I want to participate is because I want to learn about OAR and all of the issues we are facing.


Traci Pauley

Traci PauleyWayne-Holmes Association of REALTORS

Top Industry Challenge: I think one of the major challenges facing the real estate industry is the change in our recent political forecast. The country is unsure of their future. This may affect how the market raises and lowers over the next few years. This uncertainty will lead to lower consumer confidence.

Top OAR Challenge: A big issue facing OAR in the near future will be the growing need for listings.


Joanne Zettl

Joanne ZettlAkron Cleveland Association of REALTORS

Top Industry Challenge: The Danger Report is one of the most valuable tools our industry has to identify the challenges faced by all. Although the Danger Report complied the research, many of our members could have complied the list. The Danger Reports gives those “feelings” credibility. Only five categories were indexed at 100 percent. We need to look no further.

Top OAR Challenge: Again, we need not overlook the challenges the Danger Report identified. It would be prudent for OAR to study the 10 challenges and indemnify our strengths and weaknesses in dealing with each category. 1. Leaders Not in Unison with Fast-Paced World; 2. Too Many Uninformed Decisions are Taken;  3. Broad Resistance to Consolidation;  4. The Lowest Common Denominator Impediment; 5. The Unwieldy Governance Structure; 6. Reluctance of Leaders to Step Up; 7. Loss of Primary Revenue Source; 8. Changing of the Old Guard; 9. Local Association Charter Revoked; and 10. The Dues Disconnect.


Heather Zimmaro

Dayton Area Board of REALTORS

Top Industry Challenge: Showing buyers and sellers why they need a REALTOR, an expert in real estate in a world, where they can access so much information online.

Top OAR Challenge: Engaging more REALTORS more often with what is happening on a state level.

Tags: Association news