|District #1 Vice Presidents
4261 Morse Rd.
Gahanna, OH 43230
Cook Real Estate
123 W. 5th St.
Marysville, OH 43040
Ohio’s REALTORS gathered in mid-April to advance the interests of the profession and property owners across the state, tackle important governance issues to ensure the organization’s relevancy in the near- and long-term, strengthen the bond with our elected officials and elect its next generation of leaders.
The Ohio Association of REALTORS Annual Spring Legislative Conference, held April 24-26, featured a “who’s who” roster of legislative leaders, experts on the issues confronting Ohio communities and opportunities to move the organization forward. It even included a surprise visit from Dr. Benjamin Carson, Sr., Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, during the Board of Directors meeting.
Directors also adopted a series of motions that will move the organization forward – approving recommendations from the Communications Audit Task Force to rebrand, rename, and relaunch Ohio REALTORS.
The three-day gathering embodied the relevancy of REALTORS in protecting private property rights and creating a marketplace that makes attaining the American Dream possible. Ohio’s Spring Legislative Conference highlights include:
- Chris Reese, of Columbus, was elected by the Board of Directors to serve as the organization’s 2018 Treasurer. Reese will join the 2018 leadership team of President Tiffany Meyer, Ashland, and President-elect Anjanette Frye,
- The following were elected to serve as District Vice Presidents:
- District 1 – Dave Cook, Columbus
- District 2 – Sara Riesen, Firelands
- District 3 – Lenny Lawrence, Stark County
- District 4 – Rick DeLuca, East Central
- District 5 – Ralph Mantica, Dayton
- Don Freels, past OAR chief executive officer, presented a resolution honoring Past President Richard J. Fagan to members of his family that were in attendance. Past President Fagan passed away on Sept. 9, 2016.
- NAR First Vice President John Smaby provided Directors with an update of happenings at the national level, while urging REALTORS to get involved and make a positive difference in their community and REALTOR organization.
- Attendees were able to meet with their state lawmakers at a special reception in the Ohio State House Atrium.
Tim Lockwood, who has served as OAR’s vice president of professional development, was honored for his service to the organization. Lockwood, who has served the industry with distinction for 41 years, is retiring in May. Additionally, Chief Executive Officer Bob Fletcher thanked Sandi Blandzinski, RCE, who is retiring as executive officer of the Heartland Board, for her distinguished career of serving REALTORS.
- Cliff Rosenberger, Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, Larry Obhof, President of the Ohio Senate, Kenny Yuko, Minority Leader of the Ohio Senate, Joe Schiavoni, former Minority Leader of the Ohio Senate, and Fred Strahorn, Minority Leader of the Ohio House, shared insights on issues currently being considered by the Ohio General Assembly.
- Jacqueline Williams, director of the Ohio Department of Commerce, and Anne M. Petit, superintendent of the Ohio Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing provided an update on the implementation of Ohio’s new license law, as well as other details from the industry’s regulatory body.
- The leaders of Ohio’s Democratic and Republican parties conducted a lively session on the recent election and what lies ahead. David Pepper, Ohio Democratic Party chair, and Jane Timken, Ohio Republican chair, shared their thoughts and insights on the Buckeye State’s political scene.
- A panel of leading experts – J. Scott Stevenson, an attorney with Northwest Title, Megan Foos, chief executive officer of the Toledo Regional Association of REALTORS, Scott Williams, Ohio REALTORS vice president of public policy, and Peg Ritenour, Ohio REALTORS vice president of legal services/administration – hosted a wide-ranging session that explored Ohio House Bill 532, the implementation challenges of Ohio’s new “Good Funds” law, and lead-based paint concerns.
- The C/I Committee heard a panel discussion on Jobs Ohio featuring David Goodman, director of the Ohio Department of Development, Mike Capella, managing director of CBRE Columbus, Brian Hurtuk, managing director of Colliers International Cleveland, and Jill Rudler, of KW Excel Realty.
- A panel of Mayors – including David Berger of Lima, Luke Feeney of Chillicothe, and Scott Schertzer of Marion – discussed the issues facing cities across Ohio.
- OAR’s Business Technology and Young Professionals Network presented a Lunch Box Technology session on Smarthouse Technology. The session was also sponsored by the Council of Residential Specialists.
- REALTORS had an opportunity to participate in a special program designed to help Local Boards/Associations gain a better understanding of Ohio’s new Political Advocacy Fund.
- A number of motions were presented by the Communications Audit Task Force and approved by the Board of Directors. The motions – which implement outcomes from a comprehensive membership survey conducted in late 2015 – will create a consistent look and design of our communication offerings, develop a new logo, relaunch a mobile-friendly website, and establish a new name for the organization of Ohio REALTORS.
- The Legislative Committee presented a series of motions on a variety of public policy issues, including:
- Monitor House Bill 67 – Cognovit Clauses
- Monitor House Bill 75 – Granting Professional Licenses to Active Military & Spouses
- Oppose House Bill 112 – Lease termination for in-patient substance abuse treatment
- Support House Bill 118 – Prohibit dismissal of property tax complaint
- Support House Bill 160 – Prohibit discrimination for sexual orientation/gender identity
- Oppose a proposed increase in recordation fees to support the Ohio Housing Trust Fund
- Support legislation to pre-empt local ordinances from regulating lead paint testing and abatement for residential rental properties
- Support creation of a statewide study group to review Ohio’s current regulatory framework surrounding lead paint
- Oppose revision to Ohio real estate license law to provide an exemption to land men
- Support legislation to modernize Ohio’s Notary Public standards and adopt electronic notarization and witnessing of documents.
- Directors unanimously approved an update to the Strategic Plan – which strengthens the organization’s mission and vision statements, and enhances our goals and objectives to assure that we have a focused plan to support REALTORS, Local Boards, and protect private property rights.
- The Nominating Committee presented a slate of candidates for various offices, including Sara Calo, of Akron Cleveland, for 2018-2020 NAR Director, and Greg Hrabcak, of Columbus, for 2020 NAR Region 6 Vice President.
- Directors viewed the latest video of the “We Are Ohio REALTORS” professionalism series – Advocates – and approved funding to continue the series in 2018. The response from Ohio’s REALTOR community to the series has been remarkable and Directors unanimously decided to continue the effort to spotlight the important role REALTORS play in advancing the American Dream.
- The Association Executives Committee recommended that Lisa Yelichek, executive officer of the Stark County Association, serve as the 2018 vice chair.
As you can see, it was a highly productive Spring Legislative Conference. We appreciate the opportunity you have given to us to represent your interests at OAR.
Finally…mark your calendars for Sept. 24-27 and make plans to be a part of the 107th Annual Convention & Expo in Cincinnati. This will be a special gathering – as it will be a joint Convention with the Kentucky Association of REALTORS and feature the industry’s top instructors and world-class entertainment! For details visit www.oarconvention.com!