It was a picture-perfect day, and more than 200 guests enjoyed socializing outside amid views of the ocean and the Channel Islands before the luncheon and formal presentations in the ballroom.
Master of ceremonies Paul Hurst welcomed the assembled crowd and acknowledged the date as being Pearl Harbor Day. He then proceeded with the introduction of former U.S. Navy aviator Larry Boline, who led the invocation and Pledge of Allegiance. A Vietnam War veteran, Boline invoked a moment of silence in honor of the members of the armed forces who died at Pearl Harbor and in other conflicts in service of our country.
The Santa Barbara Association of Realtors represents 1,200 members from all real estate specialties, including residential sales, commercial sales, development, property management and appraisals, as well as affiliated businesses. Members are also dedicated to enhancing members’ ability to conduct real estate business by providing education, tools and resources. The organization promotes ethical standards and a spirit of cooperation within a professional, competitive environment.
While guests were enjoying the Caesar salad, Hurst invited the elected officials who were present to go up to the podium. Fresh from her swearing-in ceremony in Sacramento, state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson noted that it was great to come back to her beautiful district.
“What could be better than driving on the 101 freeway and see dolphins jumping in the surf?” she said.
Other officials who presented congratulatory proclamations were Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Janet Wolf and Hillary Blackerby, representing Assemblyman Das Williams.
Following a leisurely lunch of roasted chicken and vegetables, the program resumed with outgoing president James Caldwell remarking on his year at the helm. Chuck and Sylvia Butler were recognized for their time and efforts during his tenure, as well as his wife, Nancy.
“SBAOR remains steady with 1,000 Realtor members and 1,400 MLS members, even though we have been through some pretty tough economic times,” Caldwell said. “Financially, we ended the year in positive numbers. We leased out some underutilized space in the back of our building. Our Fiesta Party has grown to be the big kickoff event for Fiesta week. We also had a successful Membership Appreciation Party. As part of giving back to the community, we donated $20,000 to Hugs for Cubs and plan to raise $10,000 for Unity Shoppe.”
Caldwell then presented his President’s Award to SBAOR controller Mary Cantello.
“She keeps all our pieces going,” Caldwell well.
“This award is a complete surprise,” Cantello said.
From the stage she then spotted her father, Laurence Haskett, in the crowd, which added to her surprise. Haskett was asked to stand to be recognized for his military service during World War II.
Bob Hart, 2002 board president, was then brought to the stage to officially recognize, then dismiss, the 2012 outgoing Board of Directors. He then installed and swore in the 2013 Board of Directors, which includes president Laurel Abbott, president-elect Ed Fuller, vice president Alec Bruice, secretary/treasurer Reyne Stapelmann, Parker Beatty, Staci Caplan, Gary Goldberg, Eddie Madrigalm, Bridget Murphy, Doug Van Pelt, David Kim, JJ Lambert, affiliate director Austin Lampson and immediate past president Caldwell.
Caldwell then officially passed the ornate wooden gavel to Abbott. The energetic Abbott said she is looking forward to a productive year and encouraged members to get involved on committees to further the work of the association.
Realtor Carla Reeves opened the awards section of the program. The 2012 honorees included Jack Kelley Exchange Award recipient and Realtor Brody Loring; Howard Gates Award recipient and Realtor Brook Ashley, Good Neighbor Award recipient Monica Spear, executive director of Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara; Distinguished Service Award recipient and Realtor Ed Heron; Affiliate of the Year Steve Gaither; Realtor of the Year Eddie Madrigal; and Honorary Member for Life Bob Curtis.