I just returned from the California Association of Realtors (CAR) fall meeting in Long Beach. There was a lot of good information to come out of the three days of meetings, and I will be covering that in next week’s article.
This week, however, I would like to spotlight two amazing individuals who went above and beyond their normal Herculean efforts to earn the prestigious CAR Leadership Award.
This honor is bestowed sparingly each year by the president of the California Association of Realtors, and is given to people who exemplify the highest standards of excellence and effort for their fellow CAR members and the people they serve in the community.
This year two locals, Krista Pleiser, the government affairs director for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors (SBAOR); and Marta Golding-Brown, government affairs director for the Ventura County Coastal Association of Realtors (VCCAR) were so honored.
They were presented with the award by Otto Catrina, 2022 CAR president, for their efforts in helping form Smart Coast California.
Krista and Marta knew that all coastal Realtors associations were dealing with similar issues when it came to sea level rising, dealing with the California Coastal Commission, coastal zone constraints, and many more issues.
Unfortunately, there was no coordinated effort on behalf of all these individual associations on how best to tackle what seemed like a daunting challenge. But Krista and Marta decided to change that.
They took the “talk’ that was out there, took action and helped form Smart Coast California, a nonprofit dedicated to ensure the best interests of all the stakeholders in preserving our valuable coastline were heard.
Smart Coast California was started to deal with the negative effects of climate change, which if left unchecked would endanger the beautiful 1,200 mile coastline we all enjoy and count on for valuable resources.
Smart Coast California now works hand-in-hand with local and state agencies to ensure our rights as property owners and visitors are protected. Using multiple strategies (because no one size fits all will work) to adapt to this ever-changing climate, which is causing sea-level rise, ensures all parties (property owners, local governments, businesses and visitors) can enjoy our precious coastline for generations to come.
Smart Coast California encourages local municipalities and state agencies to listen to all parties and understand there are strategies that can prove successful, other than simply “retreat” when the sea level rises.
For if we do just “retreat,” and abandon our coastline, where will we live? Where will our harbors and ports go? How will millions of Californians and countless visitors from elsewhere be able to dip their toes in the California sand?
We desperately need to make sure we keep our coastline beautiful and pristine with smart land use policies for generations to come.
Smart Coast California now has a staff, a full board of directors, and grant funding that has allowed it to expand beyond the initial contributions of the local associations of Realtors. All of this, and more, is a result of the vision, passion, dedication, and tireless hard work of Krista and Marta.
Krista and Marta are two shining examples of our local association staffs that support all Realtors each and every day. They work diligently behind the scenes for the people who live in our communities.
They should be congratulated for a job well done, as well as a big thank you to the California Association of Realtors for recognizing the incredible job they have done, and giving them the CAR Leadership Award.
Bob Walsmsith Jr. is the 2022 president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors (SBAOR). He is a California licensed real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties here in Santa Barbara. He has served on and chaired several committees within the SBAOR, and served on its board of directors for the past five years. Bob can be reached at 805.720.5362 and firstname.lastname@example.org.