ORRA celebrates its 2019 YPN "20 Under 40" Rising Stars in Real Estate

Published Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Update: 8/28/2019

Our YPN “20 Under 40” Rising Stars In Real Estate Awards recipients for 2019 were celebrated in August at a packed "Garden Party" fete inside The Abbey in downtown Orlando.

Catch the excitement of these up-and-coming REALTORS® at the video below, then enjoy clicking through the event photos on our Flickr gallery.



The ORRA Young Professionals Network’s “20 Under 40” Rising Stars In Real Estate Awards recipients for 2019. These notable young REALTORS® were selected from among more than 60 entries by a panel of judges.

“Our ‘20 Under 40’ Rising Star Awards honorees represent the future of our association and the real estate profession,” says ORRA President Jeffrey M. Fagan, Watson Realty Corp. “They demonstrate the ideals of traditional service to their clients and the community, while proving to be eager adapters of the technology that is revolutionizing the industry. We look forward to our award recipients’ influence in the years to come through their leadership skills and commitment.”

The 2019 ORRA Young Professionals Network "20 Under 40” Rising Stars In Real Estate Awards recipients are:

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Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association se complace en anunciar los recipientes de ORRA Young Professionals Network’s “20 Under 40” Rising Stars In Real Estate Awards 2019.

"Los galardonados con el premio '20 Under 40’ Rising Star representan el futuro de nuestra asociación y la profesión de bienes raíces", dijo el presidente de ORRA Jeffrey M. Fagan, de Watson Realty Corp."Ellos demuestran los ideales del tradicional servicio a sus clientes y la comunidad, al mismo tiempo que prueban adaptarse rápidamente a la tecnología que está revolucionando la industria. Esperamos la influencia de nuestros galardonados en los próximos años a través de sus habilidades de liderazgo y compromiso". 

La veitena de ganadores serán premiados durante el YPN "20 Under 40" Rising Stars in Real Estate 'Garden Party' que se llevará a cabo en The Abbey el 28 de agosto de 2019. 

Los ganadores del ORRA Young Professionals Network "20 Under 40” Rising Stars In Real Estate Awards 2019 lo son: 

Bianca Botelho
RE/MAX Assured

 Bianca credits hard work along with her long-standing reputation for honesty and transparency as the primary drivers for her success in real estate. She takes particular efforts to keep the process as pain-free – and even fun! – as possible. Bianca also believes in the hand-in-hand dynamic between real estate and community and is big on volunteer service.

She cites her favorite transaction as one involving a disabled veteran and her personal efforts to convince the investor-seller to select her buyer’s VA offer amongst a host of cash offers.


Alexis Bristol
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

Alexis is a true believer in real estate who loves everything about it: the architecture, landscaping, outdoor living spaces. She brings a wealth of new-home construction knowledge to her buyers and sellers, who benefit from her expertise in areas such as remodeling, pool design, and staging.

Alexis finds working with non-referred strangers to be her biggest challenge in the business. She seeks to build rapport with prospective clients via call, text, and e-mail prior to meeting in person, and always adheres to REALTOR® best practices to ensure her safety.


Jennifer Rose Courson
Premier Sotheby's International Realty

Jennifer has been in the real estate re-sale business for two years, following a decade in new-home construction. Her strategy starts with being customer centric, and she strives to achieve a partnership with agents on the other side. In addition, she makes extensive use of social media for both lead generation and property marketing.

Jennifer is a strong proponent of collaboration theory. She is excited to put theory into practice and empower team members in her new role as manager of the Luu Courson Signature Group.


Jenelle Ferrer
Waypointe Realty

 Jenelle grew up watching her mother practice real estate with a passion but vowed never to go into the business. Of course, with age comes a change in perspective and when Jenelle moved to Orlando in 2011 she turned to a familiar industry. Now she loves the satisfaction of educating and guiding customers through their transactions.

Jenelle cites her experience on the ORRA Grievance Committee and resulting insights into the REALTOR® Code of Ethics as invaluable sources of information and value-added service to her clients.


Tara Lynn Garkowski
Keller Williams Advantage Realty

Tara’s real estate inspiration came from a friend’s mother during her teenage years, and she combines that with her own mother’s work ethic. She is devoted to inspiring, leading, developing, and growing like-minded colleagues who dream of financial wealth and freedom for themselves and homeownership for the families they assist.

Tara considers her four years of employment with a national new-home builder to be the foundation of her career. She and her team continue that thread by specializing in nurturing partnerships with local builders.


Wael Georgey
Properties In Town

Wael makes optimal use of the most sophisticated technology available to reach thousands of customers a year and to manage and organize his company’s ever-growing database of prospects and clients. In addition, Wael recognizes the powerful influence of online reviews as a new-business generator. He always asks customers to provide a review following the completion of their transaction in order to build his online reputation.

Wael also owns a property management company and an investment property company; over the past few years he has flipped nearly 20 houses.


Valerie Herrel
Coldwell Banker Residential RE

Valerie purchased her first home at 21 with the knowledge that it was a step toward a financially secure future. She also knew – through less-than-stellar service from her agent – that if she ever became a real estate professional, she would strive to epitomize the best in customer care from the first showing to post-closing.

Valerie’s customer-centric approach stems from her previous experience in retail. Early on she decided to embrace service as her business model and to eliminate online leads; today she works solely from referrals by satisfied customers.


Ferris Kassar
Preferred Real Estate Brokers

 Ferris credits his two years in time-share sales as the source of his success in real estate, because it taught him to endure a great deal of rudeness without taking it personally. As a result, he had the confidence to knock on doors and to seek appointments with owners of expired and withdrawn listings, and even FSBOs.

Ferris also attributes success to his approach of providing service and assistance without expectation of anything in return. Since adopting that philosophy, more than 90 percent of his business has been generated through repeat customers and referrals.


Tiffany Licata
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Results Realty

 During her five years in the business, Tiffany has assisted more than 160 satisfied customers with their real estate transactions. She also assists one of our most vulnerable populations as a volunteer with the Osceola County Guardian Ad Litem program.

Tiffany prides herself on putting her clients’ needs first and makes herself available to them 24/7. She is living proof that prioritizing professionalism with simple acts of courtesy such as offering feedback and returning e-mails promptly keeps your name in good standing and keeps transactions running smoothly.


Steven J. Luppert
Rotenberger Land and Real Estate

 Steven made his way into real estate through previous experience in government and public education. He finds that the profession balances his passion for assisting, serving, and helping others with his entrepreneurial drive for success.

Part of Steve’s dedication to creating a positive impact includes participation in ORRA’s advocacy efforts. Steve held staffer stints in both the Florida House of Representative and the Florida Senate, and is now a member of the Governmental Relations Committee. His input helps ORRA with its strategies to advance the real estate profession.


Maria Nunez
The Agency

 Maria’s business model is to make certain that her clients get the best results, whether they are buyers or sellers. She speaks fluent Spanish and believes that there is great opportunity for REALTORS® to specialize in serving our Hispanic community.
Her favorite transaction this year was on behalf of a military veteran who now serves as a corrections officer.

Maria introduced him to the Orlando LIFT program, then armed with a $17,500 downpayment assistance successfully negotiated a contract with a lengthy closing period that accommodated the program’s requirements.


Andres Ospina Rivera
eXp Realty, LLC

 Andres’ business model is not focused just on selling houses. Rather, he aims to solve the affordable housing problem and to guide others toward financial freedom through real estate while implementing eco-friendly and sustainable methods that benefit the environment. In fact, he plans to address Orange County’s affordable housing situation by building multi-unit properties with an emphasis on sustainability and efficiency.

Andres cites helping his clients achieve financial freedom through real estate as another motivating factor, and enjoys the company of a special business partner, his wife.


Tiffany Pantozzi
Compass Florida LLC

 Tiffany’s favorite part of being a REALTOR® is the excitement of what new adventure each day brings, what new people she may meet, and what positive impact she may have on someone’s life for years to come with the sale or purchase of a new home.

She is a passionate proponent of social media and finds the medium ideal for adding a personal and human touch to her marketing initiatives. By constantly sharing valuable real estate information for free, she develops relationships and referrals through education and trust-building.


Justin Pekarek
Stockworth Realty Group

 Video plays a big role in Justin’s real estate business, which uses custom productions and studio TV to help customers learn about neighborhoods, homes, and aspects of the transactions. He spends eight to 10 hours on each video and in return has been named one of the country’s top video influencers by a video service provider.

Justin challenges all REALTORS®, especially YPNers, to roll up their sleeves and create their own unique video style so we can raise the standard of real estate in Orlando.


Barry Sovacool
Keller Williams At The Parks

For Barry, relationships are a REALTOR’S® number one asset, and the foundation that allows a business to grow and to prosper. In fact, he’s seen his own business experience real growth from as a result of his focus on nurturing client relationships.

Barry also enjoys mentoring and seeks to provide new agents with insights on developing a business plan and solutions for getting over those common early-career speed bumps. Barry served as vice chair of the ORRA Community Relations committee in 2018.


Victoria Stonebreaker
RE/MAX Town and Country Realty

 Victoria’s most challenging deal involved five acres and convincing the seller to accept her buyers’ lower, financed offer over a higher cash offer. The transaction closed after five months of delays, so she rewarded the seller for his patience with a goat named Creampuff.

Victoria says that nearly 70 percent of her business is platformed on technology, but that she is no stereotypical Millennial. She describes herself as just an agent who works with her mom, loves helping people, and treats clients as she would like to be treated.


Janay Thomas
Century 21 Alton Clark

 Janay incorporates real estate into several of her many community service projects, including hosting homebuying seminars at the Winter Park Library and participating in career fairs. She teaches young people that real estate offers the best of many worlds: being your own boss, making a difference in others’ lives, and achieving financial freedom with hard work.

Janay’s plans for the future include establishing a brokerage that operates under the values of kindness and consideration.


Priscila Triska
Florida Connexion Properties

Priscila earned her MBA through a program that allowed her to study in five countries and visit another 31… in one year! So it should come as no surprise that she is involved in international real estate and routinely assists clients from around the world, including Brazil, Ecuador, China, the United Kingdom

Priscila relies on technology to stay in communication with clients who are located far away and in other time zones, and also relies on the time-honored real estate values of service, delivery, ethics, and professionalism.


Kristin Vogt
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

 Kristin knew from working in her family’s small retail business that she wanted to be in sales in a big way. She got her start with the Ritz Carlton hospitality organization, which provided top-notch customer service training that she now extends to her real estate clients.

Kristin says that her initial challenge was educating clients in a way that earned their trust, but that same challenge has become her greatest strength. As a result, she is proud to be working on the third and even fourth transaction with the same clients.


Brittany Zapitz
eXp Realty, LLC

Brittany launched into real estate immediately after high school, by virtue of the fact that HUD contracts were handwritten at that time and she had better handwriting than her REALTOR® brother.

Brittany weathered the epic real estate crash between 2007 and 2012 and is proud to have compassionately assisted those in dire situations with a foreclosure. In fact, she is still in contact with many and feels blessed to have now helped them purchase a new home, find renewed joy in homeownership, and rebuild the American Dream. 


Celebrate with our Class of 2019 by sharing the post below!