Associations Hold Installations, Award Honors, Raises Money

Lance Evans

In December, the Jefferson-Lewis and St. Lawrence County Boards of Realtors hold their annual meetings. Included in these are thanking the present Boards of Directors and committee chairs for their service, recognizing milestone years of membership, electing and installing the officers for the next year, announcing award winners, and raising money for various charities. 

    The Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors held their Holiday Gift of Giving dinner on Dec. 5. Outgoing President Alfred Netto was honored for his service leading the association in 2019. In 2020, he will begin a three-year term as director. Leaving the Board is 2014-2015 President Elizabeth Miller after serving in various capacities on the Board of Directors for the past decade. 

    The 2020 president will be Britt Abbey. He was installed by 2019 NYS Association of Realtors (NYSAR) President Moses Seuram. 

    The rest of the officers and directors were sworn in by 2019 NYSAR Secretary-Treasurer David Legaz. They include Desiree Roberts (president-elect), Katherine Dickson (vice president), Mary Adair (treasurer), Nancy Rome (recording secretary), and Daniel Bossuot (corresponding secretary). In addition to Mr. Netto, the other four directors are three-year directors Cindy Moyer and Vickie Staie and one-year directors Michael Hall and Terry O’Brien. Walt Christensen will serve as Jefferson-Lewis’ representative on NYSAR’s Board of Directors along with Mr. Abbey. 

    Two special awards were given out. Al Romano, Community Bank, was recognized as Affiliate of the Year. In the nomination, he was lauded for his professionalism, willingness to assist Realtors and buyers, and community involvement. 

    The Association’s highest honor, Realtor of the Year, was given to Desiree Roberts of Lake Ontario Realty. In addition to her work on the Board of Directors, she was cited for her positive attitude, enthusiasm, and having a passion for real estate. Ms. Roberts, a Top Producer for the past four years, coaches youth sports and chairs several charity events in addition to her real estate work. 

    The evening ended with a silent and live auction conducted by Realtor Tyler McDonald. Overall, the Community Service Fund raised over $4,000 this year for area charities. 

    The next day, the St. Lawrence County Board of Realtors held its annual Holiday Lunch and Installation. Sponsored by Seacomm Federal Credit Union, the lunch was attended by Realtors and affiliate members. 

    Richard Wood, the 2019 president, was thanked for his two years as president. He will continue to serve on the Board of Directors as the immediate past president. 

    In 2020, the association will be led by Brittany Matott. She was installed by Jennifer Stevenson, the current NYSAR president-elect. In 2020, Ms. Stevenson will be the president of the state association, the first member of the St. Lawrence County Board to be serve in that capacity. 

    The remainder of the officers and directors on the Board of Directors were sworn in by 2019 NYSAR President Seuram. The officers installed include Wendy Jane Smith (vice president), Doug Hawkins (secretary), and Elizabeth Trego (treasurer). In addition to Mr. Wood, the remainder of the governing board will be, as directors, Gail Abplanalp, Tracy Bernard, and Lucille Kassian, with Debbie Gilson serving as St. Lawrence County’s representative on NYSAR’s Board of Directors with Ms. Matott. 

    For the second year, the association bestowed Affiliate of the Year and Realtor of the Year honors. The 2019 Affiliate of the Year is Randy Deshaies of Elite Home Inspections. He was cited for his knowledge, wit, thoroughness, and positive attitude. Mr. Deshaies supports numerous Realtor related events such as the annual Agent Day and the WCR Top Producer event. 

    The Association’s Realtor of the Year honoree is Joel Howie, owner of JC Howie Appraisals. Mr. Howie’s nominators noted his quiet, efficient, and cheerful manner. While he has served on the association’s Board of Directors for three years, it was also noted that he has been on the Canton Day Care Board as well as other community organizations. He is an owner of Canton Apples, a farm specializing in heirloom and uncommon apple and pear varieties. 

    Over $3,700 was raised for St. Lawrence County food pantries during an auction led by Scott Boyer. 

    The Women’s Council of Realtors Tri-County Network elected its 2020 officers recently. Linda Fields will serve as president. Rounding out the leadership team will be Amanda Mattimore (president-elect), Mary Adair (treasurer), Jennifer Flynn (membership director) and Lisa L’Huillier (rogram director). 

Why Homeownership Matters

Lance Evans

June was National Homeownership Month which recognizes the value of homeownership and its positive impact on families, communities and the nation’s economy.   An annual celebration, it allows a time to celebrate and promote the American Dream of homeownership and identify the many benefits of owning that roof over your head.

                “Most consumers know that homeownership is among the most sound investments an individual can make to begin building their personal wealth. However, owning a home is not just in the best interest of the homeowner. Homeownership provides social stability, builds communities and is a driving force for the national economy,” said Richard J. Wood, St. Lawrence County Board of Realtors president.

                Surveys back this up.   Recently, the National Association of Realtors released its Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey for the second quarter.  It showed that a high number of Americans, 75 percent, believe that now is a good time to sell a house, while 68 percent think it is a good time to buy.   The survey also found that a majority of consumers believe prices have and will continue to increase and that homeownership strengthens our nation’s communities.   In fact, two-thirds of consumers said that homeownership strengthened communities a great deal. Only 10 percent responded “not really.”

                Below are some of the benefits of reaching the American Dream:

  • Social stability: Improved educational performance, lower crime rates and improved health are a few social benefits linked to homeownership. “Homeownership allows households to accumulate wealth, which opens doors to more engagement in communities through volunteer work, involvement in social activities and electoral participation,” observed Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors President Vickie Staie.
  • Strong communities: Homeowners tend to stay in their homes longer than renters, dedicate more money to improve their home and are more engaged in enhancing their community. Mr. Wood added that “homeowners are often more invested in their home and their surroundings, which leads to stronger neighborhoods and communities and increased interaction between neighbors.”
  • Economic force: Being a homeowner also has a positive local and national economic impact. That is because homeownership creates jobs through remodeling, landscaping, lawn service, furniture and appliances, home improvement and real estate services. When a home is sold in the United States, the income generated from real estate-related industries is over $20,000 and additional expenditures on consumer items is about $4,500, which aids the economy.
  • Brings families together: Along with being more involved in their communities, homeowners are often active and connected to their own families. Family dinners and game nights at home could mean a more-connected, happier family.

                Ms. Staie remarked that “home is where people make memories and feel comfortable and secure.  Celebrating homeownership is an opportunity to reiterate that anyone who is able and willing to assume the responsibilities of owning a home should have the opportunity to pursue that dream and enjoy the many benefits that come along with it.”

                For more information about buying or selling a home, visit www.slcmls.com (St. Lawrence County Board of Realtors) or www.nnymls.com (Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors).   Both list the member Realtors in our area.


                The Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors recently launched a new version of its public website.   This is the first major overhaul in several years and brings new functionality to the search for a property in our area including the ability to search listings by a variety of methods including map tools, filtering by geography and features, searching by listing agent, etc.   Users can also access the websites of area school districts, read real estate news, and find many helpful links. 

                St. Lawrence County Board of Realtor members have a new tool to assist them in working with clients.   The Association recently signed on with ZipForms, a provider of digital real estate forms.   ZipForms allow agents to seamlessly integrate and manage all the documents needed for a transaction from listing to the closing.   These can be shared with clients, customers, other real estate professionals, loan officers, and attorneys.   The documents can be signed electronically, also. 

LANCE M. EVANS is the executive officer of the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors and the St. Lawrence County Board of Realtors. Contact him at levans@nnymls.com. His column appears monthly in NNY Business.