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Over the past several years, RISMedia has honored many industry icons for their important contributions to the real estate industry during its annual Power Broker Dinner held in conjunction with the National Association of REALTORS® Conference & Expo. This past Friday, RISMedia and its award sponsors inducted four more executive leaders into its elite group of honorees during its broker gala held in New Orleans during the NAR annual event.

The four awards were: RISMedia’s National Homeownership Award, sponsored by Bank of America Home Loans; the ‘On the Shoulders of Giants’ Award, sponsored by RE/MAX, LLC; RISMedia’s Real Estate Leadership Award, sponsored by Buffini & Company; and RISMedia’s Tech Titan Award, sponsored by Dell. The 2014 distinguished award winners were as follows:

RISMedia’s National Homeownership Award, sponsored by Bank of America Home Loans

RISMedia's John Featherston, 2014 National Homeownership Award Winner, Ebby Halliday, REALTORS' Mary Frances Burleson, and Tim Owens, retail sales executive for award sponsor Bank of America Home Loans
RISMedia’s John Featherston, 2014 National Homeownership Award Winner, Ebby Halliday, REALTORS’ Mary Frances Burleson, and Tim Owens, retail sales executive for award sponsor Bank of America Home Loans

Presented this year by Tim Owens, retail sales executive for Bank of America Home Loans, the National Homeownership Award is bestowed upon a member of the real estate community who continuously demonstrates extraordinary contributions toward increasing homeownership and building better communities.

This year’s award recipient, Mary Frances Burleson, president and CEO of Ebby Halliday REALTORS® in Dallas, embodies those qualities and more, Owens said. “[Burleson] is a true industry icon who has devoted decades of service to this industry,” he said presenting her the award. Burleson has been a part of Ebby Halliday REALTORS® since 1958, and has helped grow the company from three offices to more than 30 with 1,600 staff and sales associates. Burleson said she was “extremely honored” to receive the award and did so on behalf of the company, in particular, its founder, Ebby Halliday, now 103, who Burleson credited as helping “hundreds of thousands of people” with their homeownership needs.

RISMedia’s ‘On the Shoulders of Giants’ Award, sponsored by RE/MAX

Jack Kreider, VP of Region Development for RE/MAX LLC, sponsors of the 2014 'On the Shoulders of Giants' Award, award winner,  Houston Association of Realtors' Bob Hale, and RISMedia President & CEO John Featherston
Jack Kreider, VP of Region Development for RE/MAX LLC, sponsors of the 2014 ‘On the Shoulders of Giants’ Award, award winner,
Houston Association of Realtors’ Bob Hale, and RISMedia President & CEO John Featherston

The ‘On the Shoulders of Giants’ Award was created to recognize those individuals whose efforts, works, deeds and character exemplify superior achievements in and for the real estate industry, yet whose efforts often go unnoticed.

This year’s ‘On the Shoulders of Giants’ award was presented by Jack Kreider, VP Region Development for RE/MAX, to Bob Hale, president and CEO of the Houston Association of REALTORS®. “To say Bob Hale has an understanding of the real estate business is an understatement of Texas-sized proportion,” Kreider said. “He has remained in the top 25 most-influential people in real estate for many years.”

Hale praised the executive leadership of industry icons including Dave Liniger for his support of HAR.com and perspective on and support for sharing data. “We have to stop thinking ‘us versus them,’ and start thinking of how we can work together,” said Hale.

Buffini & Company Chairman & Founder Brian Buffini, and CEO Dermot Buffini, sponsors of RISMedia's 2014 Real Estate Leadership Award, with award winner Gino Blefari, CEO of HSF Affiliates LLC, and RISMedia President & CEO John Featherston
Buffini & Company Chairman & Founder Brian Buffini, and CEO Dermot Buffini, sponsors of RISMedia’s 2014 Real Estate Leadership Award, with award winner Gino Blefari, CEO of HSF Affiliates LLC, and RISMedia President & CEO John Featherston

RISMedia’s Real Estate Leadership Award sponsored by Buffini & Company

Presented this year by Brian Buffini, chairman and founder of Buffini & Company, the Real Estate Leadership Award is designed to honor an industry visionary who embraces innovation and exercises resilience to blaze new paths to success for real estate professionals and consumers alike.

Calling his leadership style, “roll-up-your-sleeves-type leadership,” Buffini presented this year’s award to Gino Blefari, CEO of HSF Affiliates, adding, “Investing in the local real estate office is the future of the industry and Gino is the type of leader who rolls up his sleeves and gets to work, taking an interest in agents’ productivity and knowing that if the agent is profitable, everything will go well.” “It’s an honor to be here,” Blefari remarked, thanking Buffini and the RISMedia team.

RISMedia's John Featherston with RISMedia's 2014 Tech Titan Award winner CENTURY 21 Award's David Romero, and Michael Ceparano with award sponsor Dell Services
RISMedia’s John Featherston with RISMedia’s 2014 Tech Titan Award winner CENTURY 21 Award’s David Romero, and Michael Ceparano with award sponsor Dell Services

RISMedia’s Tech Titan Award, sponsored by Dell

Finally, RISMedia’s Tech Titan award, presented this year by Michael Ceparano, business development senior consultant for Dell, was given to David Romero, president and CEO of Century 21 Award in southern California.

The Tech Titan Award is presented to brokerage leaders who have demonstrated an exceptional ability to adapt and integrate new and innovative tools and services within their organization to improve and enhance the overall consumer experience.

“I’m proud and honored to accept this recognition,” Romero said. “This is about our team and I’m so proud of our team.”

Stay tuned for more coverage of RISMedia’s 19th annual Power Broker Forum, Reception & Dinner in the coming days. To see our complete Power Broker Event photo album, please visit our Facebook page.

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