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RISMEDIA, February 16, 2011Bay Area real estate industry veterans Ed Krafchow, Earl Shuttleworth and Gerrett Snedaker announced today the formation of Wine Country Group REALTORS® by Better Homes and Gardens, with nine offices and over 180 agents concentrated in northern California’s Wine Country.  Formerly associated with Frank Howard Allen, The Wine Country Group is merging with Krafchow’s Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate.

The company’s network of offices now consists of 40 offices and 2,000 real estate agents throughout Northern California and Northern Nevada. It ranked as the 19th largest real estate company in the country in 2009. (Source: REALTrends)

“We are truly excited with this new association,” said Snedaker, senior vice president, North Bay, Wine Country Group REALTORS®. “We are joining a powerhouse brokerage firm with a strong legacy; Mason-McDuffie dates back more than 120 years in the Bay Area. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate is a fresh, innovative lifestyle brand that is the real estate brand of the future,” he added.  “It provides our agents with a significant upgrade in technology and marketing services, and gives them the tools they need to speak to today’s consumer.”

According to Krafchow, Chairman of the Board of Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate, “All of the participants in this venture share a respect for tradition and a commitment to innovation.  Brokers need to focus on building companies of the future and not of the past.  We are working toward a re-emergence of the real estate market, so those who work on moving forward will thrive in the next market.”

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to partner with a highly regarded company with great leadership,” said Frank Richards, CEO, Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate. “The Wine Country Group has enjoyed success over a twelve year period and ranks as one of the most productive firms serving northern California’s wine region. This merger provides us with some strong momentum to grow even further into the region in the future.”

Shuttleworth and Snedaker will continue to run the company’s offices, and will take on a leadership role for the entire region. “We are excited that our entire staff will make this transition with us and will be a part of growing Wine Country Group REALTORS® into the future,” Shuttleworth, senior vice president, added.

“We are pleased to be reconnecting with Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate and their Luxury Real Estate web platform,” Snedaker added.  “We’re also excited about ‘Elegant Properties,’ Better Homes and Garden’s luxury real estate platform, which offers exceptional tools and exposure to attract buyers to Wine Country from all over the country and the world.  Additionally, our affiliation with Cartus, the industry leader in global mobility and workforce development support, will give us relocation services that are the best in the industry.”

The Healdsburg offices will be consolidated, and Mason-McDuffie agents and staff will move to the Wine Country Group REALTORS’® Healdsburg office.

Wine Country Group REALTORS® offices are in Sonoma, Healdsburg, Sebastopol, Cloverdale, Bodega Bay, Glen Ellen, Kenwood, Napa and St. Helena.  The firm expects to grow its footprint in other Sonoma and Napa County market areas moving forward.

For further information, contact Gerrett Snedaker at 707-939-2009.

About Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate
Our heritage began with the founding of Mason-McDuffie Real Estate in 1887. In 2009, the company was named the 19th largest real estate services firm in the nation, and Number One in the San Francisco East Bay. The company provides comprehensive solutions to home buyers and sellers, and handled more than 7,300 transactions in 2010, generating $2.9 billion in sales. Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate is independently owned and operated and includes joint ventures with partners J F Finnegan REALTORS®, Highland Partners in Piedmont, Wine Country Group REALTORS® in the North Bay, and Tri-Valley Realty in Pleasanton-Hopyard and Ruby Hill. The organization is comprised of more than 2,000 sales professionals in 40 offices. For more information, go to