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Members of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) were in Washington, D.C. this week attending the National Association of REALTORS®’ (NAR) REALTOR® Party Convention & Trade Expo, with nearly 8,500 other REALTORS® from across the country, advocating policies that impact the residential and commercial real estate markets. REALTORS® met with legislators, congressional and regulatory staff, as well as top industry executives.

This year’s convention focused on critical real estate issues such as preserving the mission and accessibility of the Federal Housing Administration’s loan programs, protecting real estate-related tax policies, and reforming the secondary mortgage market.

“This week is important, not only because REALTORS® want to ensure their points-of-view on important real estate issues are heard, but also to remind our country’s leaders of the vital role that real estate plays in both the long- and short-term health of this nation,” said NAR President Steve Brown.

SILVAR members attended U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s weekly constituent breakfast and met with staff of U.S. Representatives Anna Eshoo, Jackie Speier and Mike Honda. During meetings on Capitol Hill, SILVAR REALTORS® urged support for legislation to reinstate the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, which expired at the end of 2013; preservation of the mortgage interest deduction and the property tax deduction; and not to pass legislation that will weaken and ultimately eliminate Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA.

SILVAR members also participated in a number of NAR meetings. David Barca, California Association of REALTORS® Federal Committee chair, briefed California NAR Directors on legislative issues. SILVAR Executive Officer Paul Cardus shared information on SILVAR’s global program with other REALTOR® associations at the State and Local Forum on Global Business.

Suzanne Barnett (left), host of "The Better Part" gets ready to interview RSVP co-founder David Barca and RSVP Chair Eileen Giorgi. Watch the feature on RSVP on cablecast and on the Internet next week.

Suzanne Barnett (left), host of “The Better Part” gets ready to interview RSVP co-founder David Barca and RSVP Chair Eileen Giorgi. Watch the feature on RSVP on cablecast and on the Internet next week.

SILVAR’s REALTOR® Service Volunteer Program (RSVP) will be featured on public television and on the Internet next week, with interviews with RSVP co-founder David Barca, RSVP chair Eileen Giorgi, RSVP District Chairs, volunteers and senior homeowners from local communities.

The program about Silicon Valley REALTORS® helping seniors and the homebound with household tasks will telecast September 1 – 7 throughout Silicon Valley on “The Better Part,” a public access television program produced by seniors from the Cupertino Senior Center. In the show, both Barca and Giorgi are interviewed by host Suzanne Barnett.

Each year during a designated week in May, teams of REALTOR® and affiliate volunteers provide senior citizens who are physically or financially challenged free assistance with household tasks they can no longer perform on their own. Such tasks include replacing light bulbs, changing furnace filters, cleaning windows, flipping mattresses, or installing new smoke detector batteries.

“For homeowners or renters who are advanced in years and are physically and financially challenged, some household tasks can pose a major challenge,” said Barca.

Barca, together with members of SILVAR’s Palo Alto and Menlo Park/Atherton districts, started the program in 2001. RSVP was adopted as an official association community outreach project the following year, with REALTORS® and affiliates helping seniors living in SILVAR’s five districts. RSVP has since spread throughout the Peninsula and South Bay, involving members of SILVAR, the San Mateo County Association of REALTORS®, Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS®, and Santa Cruz County Association of REALTORS®. Since its inception, RSVP has served over 4,000 seniors. This year 447 RSVP volunteers from these associations helped 297 senior households in their communities; 241 volunteers from SILVAR assisted 118 seniors.

“As REALTORS®, we sell the benefits and aspirations of our communities,” said Giorgi. “We are also neighbors and know about local needs. We share the desire for our communities to be great places to live and are committed to give back to those who have built our communities. This program enables us to help seniors and the homebound enjoy their homes in the community for a longer time.”

Producing the show was an eye-opening experience for Diane Sparks, executive producer of “The Better Part.” “When I learned of the program, I thought it was worthwhile to show our communities that REALTORS® don’t just sell houses; they also do a lot of good work for our communities,” said Sparks. “Filming the volunteers helping the seniors and witnessing the appreciation among the seniors, showed me what a difference the program has made in their lives.”

See the schedule for days, times, cities and channels where the REALTOR® Service Volunteer Program will be televised. The program can also be accessed on YouTube under the topic “Cupertino City Productions” or go to REALTOR® Service Volunteer Program.

The 2012 leadership team of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS (SILVAR) was installed Jan. 12 at Villa Montalvo in Saratoga. California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) treasurer Chris Kutzkey administered the oath of office to the association’s 2012 president Suzanne Yost and the board of directors.

The Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® represents over 4,000 REALTORS® and affiliates engaged in the real estate business on the Peninsula and in the South Bay. SILVAR promotes the highest ethical standards of real estate practice, serves as an advocate for homeownership and homeowners, and represents the interests of property owners in Silicon Valley.

Yost is a broker associate with Alain Pinel Realtors, Los Gatos. Also on the leadership team are Carolyn Miller (RE/MAX Real Estate Services), president-elect, and Phyllis Carmichael (Coldwell Banker), treasurer.

In addition to the three lead officers, the following members sit on the 2012 board of directors: Gene Lentz (RE/MAX Distinctive Properties), past president; Jeff Bell (Coldwell Banker), Region 9 chair; Chris Isaacson (Coldwell Banker), Menlo Park/Atherton District chair; Cassie Maas (Luxor Real Estate Group), Los Gatos/Saratoga District chair; Niki Miller Maroko (RE/MAX Real Estate Services), Cupertino/Sunnyvale District chair; Jane Volpe (Midtown Realty), Palo Alto District chair; Denise Welsh (Intero Real Estate), Los Altos/Mountain View District chair; John Tripp (Foundation Trust), NAR director; David Barca (Alain Pinel Realtors), Bill Moody (Referral Realty), Bill Rehbock (Coldwell Banker), Bryan Robertson (Sereno Group), David Tonna (Alain Pinel Realtors), directors at-large; and Richard Miller (RateComb.com), affiliate chair.

A graduate of California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo and Santa Clara University School of Law, Yost was named REALTOR® of the Year in 2006 by the Santa Cruz Association of REALTORS®, Salesperson of the Year in 1982 by the San Luis Obispo Board of REALTORS®, and has served as director and chair of a number REALTOR® committees at the national and state level. She was SILVAR’s 2009 Professional Standards Committee chair, a 2010 board director, and 2011 co-chair of the Bay Area REALTOR® Leadership Academy. Yost is a Los Gatos resident.

The 2011 Appreciation Awards were presented to Julia Truesdale Keady (Alain Pinel Realtors), REALTOR® of the Year; Richard Miller (RateComb.com), Affiliate of the Year; Eileen Giorgi (Alain Pinel Realtors), Spirit of SILVAR; and SILVAR board attorney Dave Hamerslough (Rossi, Hamerslough, Reischl and Chuck) and Vickie Naidorf (legal counsel for Coldwell Banker), President’s Award.

As 2009 president, Keady spearheaded the Bay Area REALTOR® Leadership Academy, a leadership program designed to identify, train and develop existing and emerging leaders to serve and advance organized real estate. She was also recognized as 2011 C.A.R. Region 9 chair. Presenting the award, 2011 president Gene Lentz noted Keady “has performed in an exemplary fashion in every single committee or assignment that she has been given. They take huge effort and dedication.”

Affiliate of the Year Miller was recognized for “unequivocally embracing and adopting the principles, goals, and purposes of the association.”

As chair of the REALTOR® Service Volunteer Program (RSVP), a free REALTOR® service assisting senior homeowners with household tasks, Lentz said Giorgi, who also served as 2011 president of the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation Trust, “personifies the essence of this award, through her hard work in making RSVP the success it is today.”

Lentz thanked Hamerslough and Naidorf for educating REALTORS® on legal issues and for their efforts in updating the association’s PRDS Forms purchase contract and creating the counties’ advisory.

 

August 2022
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