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At the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® virtual installation ceremony on Feb. 4, the association recognized members for their valuable contribution to the association and community in the past year. The 2020 SILVAR Appreciation Awards were presented by 2020 SILVAR President Mary Kay Groth and CEO Paul Cardus.

Mary Kay Groth, a REALTOR® with Sereno Los Gatos and resident of the town, was named 2020 REALTOR® of the Year. The prestigious award is bestowed on a member who continually demonstrates skills, competency, knowledge and selfless service to the public, clients and to SILVAR.

Presenting the award to Groth, Cardus noted 2020, the 25th anniversary of SILVAR, was a year unlike any other. “The worldwide global pandemic and a national reckoning with injustice and inequality reached deep into the Realtor family. It tested bonds, but ultimately underscored the tenacity, spirit and commitment of Realtors who embraced the challenges at hand.”

Cardus praised Groth for her “gracious servant leadership, her authenticity, empathy and compassion.” He said as 2020 president of SILVAR, Groth “showed resilience in the face of adversity and trailblazing leadership by listening and responding to the needs of our members, communities and association. She found strength and inspiration in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., ‘everybody can be great…because anybody can serve… You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.'”

Recognized by Groth were Kyle Chuang, Affiliate of the Year; Brian Chancellor, Spirit of SILVAR. Eileen Giorgi received the President’s award.

Groth said Chuang, a Farmers Insurance agent, is a regular sponsor and participant in association events, where he shares his knowledge and updates on the changing world of insurance. She described Chuang as a “hardworking, hands-on leader and a great proponent of our association.”

“His willingness to help where needed enhances the image of our association and our Realtor and affiliated professional members. ‘Treat people how you want to be treated’ is his personal motto,” said Groth.

The Spirit of SILVAR award is bestowed to a REALTOR® who reflects the association’s commitment to supporting and contributing to the communities it serves. Groth described Chancellor, who is vice president of Experience at Sereno Palo Alto, as “a man of great integrity.” She said Chancellor’s continued community service activities have proven his dedication to making the community a better place.

Chancellor served nine years on the board of Child Advocates of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties and six years on the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation board. He has served as a mentor (initially through the Big Brother and Big Sister Program) for young African American males in East Palo Alto without fathers and continues to stay in touch with and support them today. He is serving his fifth year on the Palo Alto Community Fund board and in the Leadership Circle of donors to Partners in Education.

“Through his service, actions and support, he provides a voice to those in our communities who we too often don’t hear, engage or respect,” said Groth.

The President’s award is presented to an individual whose service to the association is worthy of special thanks and recognition. Groth said Giorgi, a REALTOR® with Sereno Los Gatos, has been an integral part of volunteer work at SILVAR for many years, serving in various capacities, as a board director, president of the association’s charitable foundation, chair of the REALTOR® Volunteer Service Program, and on the Los Gatos-Saratoga district council.

“As I became involved with SILVAR, she was a discreet cheerleader and encourager, a good sounding board and one who always served without expectation of recognition. Her heart is one that gives willingly and selflessly,” said Groth.

In the local real estate association’s first-ever virtual ceremony, the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® 2021 leadership team was installed on Feb. 4 on Zoom. National Association of REALTORS® 2020 President Vince Malta administered the oath of office to 2021 SILVAR President Joanne Fraser, and California Association of REALTORS® 2021 President Dave Walsh installed SILVAR’s 2021 officers and board directors. Compass Executive Vice President and Regional Office Manager Jeff Barnett served as master of ceremonies. SILVAR REALTOR® Robert Reid led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance, Joey Hallatt, a REALTOR® from Phoenix, Ariz., sang “God Bless America,” and 2021 NAR Vice President of Advocacy Leigh Brown delivered the Inspiration Message.

SILVAR’s 2021 officers are Fraser, a REALTOR® with Compass, Los Altos; Brett Caviness, a REALTOR® with Compass, Menlo Park, President-elect; and Jeff Bell, broker manager of Coldwell Banker Realty, Cupertino, Treasurer.

SILVAR’s 2021 board directors are Mary Kay Groth (Sereno), Past President; Alan Barbic (Sereno), Region 9 Chair; Jim Hamilton (Compass), NAR Director; District Chairs Katherine Frey (Independent Broker), Los Altos-Mountain View;  Elizabeth Doyle (Sereno), Los Gatos-Saratoga; Selena Young (Coldwell Banker), Menlo Park-Atherton; Pat Kapowich (Independent Broker), Cupertino-Sunnyvale; Lori Buecheler (Compass), Palo Alto; and Directors At-large Ketan Jashapara (Compass), Karen Trolan (Sereno), Suzanne Yost (Compass), and Eileen Giorgi (Sereno).

A former nurse for 14 years, a REALTOR® for 43 years and a world traveler, Fraser has a lifetime of experiences. She told friends, colleagues, and family who watched the ceremony on Zoom and FacebookLive that she wants to give back to SILVAR and the real estate community.

Fraser moved to Mountain View from Maryland in 1970, and worked as an RN in the emergency room, critical care, medical and surgical at Stanford and El Camino hospitals until she decided to change careers. She took real estate courses at night and received her license in 1977.

A Certified Residential Specialist and member of the Residential Real Estate Council (formerly CRS), Fraser served as 2007 president of the CRS NorCal chapter, was regional vice president, and served on the national RRC board and various committees. She was the 2006 and 2016 CRS of the Year and received the 2012 CRS Medallion award for her volunteer service.

Fraser has achieved NAR Emeritus status, served on NAR’s Global Business & Alliances Committee and Certified International Property Specialist Advisory Board. At SILVAR, Fraser has served as president of the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation, chair of the Global Busines Council, a board director and member of many committees.

Sharing her excitement for the upcoming year, Fraser said she wants to move on from a pandemic year. “It’s the time to turn the page; it’s not going to be the same old thing,” she said.

Fraser urged members to get more involved in association activities and share her passion for leadership. “Leadership is having a vision and looking for the future … I’m truly looking forward to building a team, people who want to work together for a common goal, so that we can make SILVAR the best association in the Bay Area.”

Sponsors of the installation ceremony include Presenting Sponsor Compass, TourFactory, JCP-LGS Hazard Disclosures, and Water Tower Creative.

The 22nd annual Silicon Valley REALTORS® Scholars Program for graduating seniors from 18 public high schools in Silicon Valley is underway. The scholars program is sponsored by the Charitable Foundation of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®, a professional trade organization representing 5,000 REALTORS® and affiliate members engaged in the real estate business on the Peninsula and in the South Bay.

The REALTOR® scholars program is a partnership with local public high schools in Silicon Valley. The scholars from the Class of 2021 will be selected from high schools in thecommunities served by members of the local REALTOR® association. Principals and faculty at 18 participating high schools nominate three exceptional graduating seniors. Final selections will be made by a committee that includes representatives from the local business community and the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®.

The Charitable Foundation will award $1,500 to one nominee from each school in recognition of their exemplary record, outstanding academic performance and community spirit. Since its inception, the program has awarded over $380,000 to graduating high school seniors in Silicon Valley.

 “The annual Silicon Valley Scholars Program is our members’ way of showing our support for our students, schools and communities. We see value in supporting our youth and investing in their future, especially at a time when their academic life has been much altered by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Nina Yamaguchi, chair of the scholars program of the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation. “Our excellent educational institutions are a major reason why Silicon Valley is a top housing market. For this we thank the students, teachers, administrators and school board members in our communities for their hard work and dedication in making the schools in our communities among the best in in the nation.”

The participating schools include Leigh High School and Lynbrook High School in San Jose; Westmont High School in Campbell; Fremont High School in Sunnyvale; Los Altos High School in Los Altos; Los Gatos High School in Los Gatos; Gunn High School and Palo Alto High School in Palo Alto; Menlo-Atherton High School in Atherton; Santa Clara High School and Wilcox High School in Santa Clara; Cupertino High School, Homestead High School and Monta Vista High School in Cupertino; Prospect High School and Saratoga High School in Saratoga; Mountain View High School in Mountain View; and Woodside High School in Woodside.

The scholarship is open to graduating seniors from the above-mentioned high schools who plan to attend a four-year U.S. college or university in the fall. Scholarship applications and a list of other requirements may be obtained from the student’s school guidance or career counselor.

The completed application must be returned to the high school’s principal or counselor by Friday, March 5 for submission to the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation. For further information, please contact Nina Yamaguchi at (408) 861-8822 or nyamaguchi@cbnorcal.com.

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