2016 Year in Review

2016 President Mike Culat is proud of the phenomenal year Lakes Area REALTORS(R) Association has experienced and expresses his deep gratitude to the volunteers who have stepped up to serve and the CEO, as sole staff member. Outgoing President Culat is pleased to share the following recap of 2016:

2016 Year in Review

February – We established that our Affiliate members would like to be referred to as Business Partners and launched a sub-committee of the Membership Committee. In 2017 Affiliate Members/Business Partners will be collaborating with REALTOR® members on committees. (Chair: Amy Giovannoni)

 March – We rented a bus for REALTOR & Government Day in Madison with excellent attendance (~30) and feedback. (Chair: Rick Geaslen)

The LARA YPN sponsored a Happy Hour at Champ’s in Lake Geneva. Members and guests (~30) enjoyed casual networking. (Chair: Tom Keefe)

Our CEO earned her RCE Designation, bringing LARA national leadership attention.

April – We ran a series that covered all 18 required Continuing Education credits and had enough students to cover all costs and even result in profit. (D. Schultz)

We successfully obtained our 501(c)6 tax exemption, independent of the WRA. (D. Schultz)

May – We combined our annual Legislative Update, DR meeting and RPAC fundraiser into one lakeside event, including all members. Our local Senator, several Assembly legislators, and WRA leaders joined almost 100 of our members for an informative afternoon at Pier 290 and a lovely sunset cruise on the Lady of the Lake. We raised $3,000 for RPAC. (Chair: Becky Merwin)

We held our first bowling event at Lake Geneva Lanes with pizza ordered from Next Door Pub. 7 teams and a group of spectators enjoyed a fun evening of affordable bowling, pizza and networking. (Chair: Andy Szymanskyj)

June – We printed a 2016 version of our Lakes Area Map, increasing the order by 5,000 due to demand. We traded $750 in ad space with local tourism partners who gave in kind gift certificates to be used in our RPAC auction, still resulting in $2800 profit and increased distribution through their locations. (D. Schultz)

After conducting a survey of our members regarding the location and image of the LARA office, we updated the current office by donating outdated furniture and unneeded supplies to Twin Oaks Shelter for the Homeless and to a fundraiser for the Association for the Prevention of Family Violence. Modular furniture allows us to provide more flexible and professional seating for meeting or classroom set ups. (Chair: Rick Geaslen)

We successfully certified compliance of NAR Core Standards requirements for this cycle. (D. Schultz)

We held a very successful General Membership Meeting at Inspiration Retreat Center, bringing Professional Standards, WRA and MLS updates to our members. (Chair: Margaret Labus)

We provided gift bags with Studio wine, homemade truffles, lake shore path walking guides and our LARA map to all WRA Board members and AEs when they met at the Grand Geneva. We also collaborated with Rock-Green Association to provide beer, wine and snacks in a hospitality suite between their meeting and dinner. WRA leaders appreciated this hospitality.  (Leadership Team)

August – Our annual golf outing brought 80 golfers and sponsoring business partners together at Hawk’s View for a successful day which raised $400 for RPAC and $1500 for the Twin Oaks Shelter for the Homeless. The result was $2900 profit and a positive experience for all members who participated. (Chair: Andy Szymanskyj)

September – We reached 500 REALTOR members for the first time since before 2010.

We hosted a hospitality suite at the annual WRA Convention at the Kalahari. The LARA YPN hosted the first evening and the LARA president hosted the second. Members and friends were able to enjoy appetizers and beverages between events. (Chair: Andy Szymanskyj)

We offered a $5 Starbucks gift card to any member paying dues in September. We sent 101 of them and response was very appreciative. (Leadership Team)

Our CEO was appointed the Chair of the state WRA AE Council, a position on the national NAR AE YPN Advisory Board, and will be a panel member at a national meeting featuring “Small but Mighty Associations,” promoting Lakes Area leadership successes.

October – We held a very successful inter-board event at Rosewood with approximately 100 people in attendance. Our YPN presented a top producer panel with 5 agents from 5 different REALTOR® associations, which we streamed on Facebook Live. We raised $650 for our local Boys & Girls Club and all feedback was extremely positive. (Chair: Tom Keefe)

We ran another series that covered all 18 required Continuing Education credits and had enough students to cover all costs and result in profit. (D. Schultz)

November – We held our planning our annual Strategic Planning session at Inspiration Retreat Center.  (Chair: Sue Miller)

We delivered generous amounts of donated non-perishable foods to Twin Oaks Shelter for the Homeless in Walworth County, Love, Inc. in Western Racine County and The Sharing Center in Western Kenosha County. (Chair: Molly Elsbury)

December – We’ve surpassed 2016 RPAC fundraising goals by over $5,000. (Chair: Becky Merwin)

THANK YOU to all who helped support our efforts in 2016 in any way and we look forward to serving you and working together with you in 2017!