News & Information: Orlando REALTOR® magazine - Special Feature

Sharing Testimony - Words of Wisdom from Committee Volunteers

Wednesday, October 30, 2013  
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Orlando REALTOR® | November/December 2013

ORRA Committee Service:

Listen up as ORRA committee volunteers offer why they do it, what they get out of it, and why you should do it, too.

Sign up for a 2015 ORRA committee

Sure, we could give you a nice list of theoretical reasons why you should volunteer on an ORRA committee: for skill development, for networking, for giving back to your profession. But why not hear it straight from the horse’s mouth? Here’s a sampling of what some actual committee members have to say:


Sherrie Bavec
Tolaris Realty Group, LLC

I choose to volunteer because ORRA is so much more than an MLS and a key, and because the real estate business is how my husband and I make our living. From a practical standpoint, I often apply what I learn through serving on the Communications Committee to the marketing strategies of my own businesses.


Nick Russo
Sky Realty

We all know that being a REALTOR® is a tough job due to ever-changing markets, laws, contracts, etc. Serving on a committee and being part of our REALTOR® community is the perfect way to stay on top of changes.


Edward Hru
Century 21 Roo Realty

I have been on the Professional Standards Committee for more than a decade, and was on the Grievance Committee prior to that. Even after all this time, I still learn something new at every hearing that I can share with agents to keep them on their toes and away from the "dark side."


Susan Baker Banden
Prudential The Property Place

I learn so much at each committee meeting that it is like having free education classes.


Sunny Pabla
Keller Williams Classic Realty

As a YPN Advisory Board member, I was able to pitch my favorite charitable organization as a beneficiary of a YPN community service project. It's wonderful to be working alongside my peers and fellow REALTORS® on the wonderful causes YPN supports.


Kim Meredith-Hampton
Hampton & Hampton Management & Leasing, Inc

I've served on nearly every imaginable committee at both ORRA and Florida REALTORS®. Doing so keeps me aware of local and state issues that affect my brokerage, plus I have made wonderful friends with people who share my love of this crazy business!


Bob Caldwell
Caldwell Realty Services

I have been a REALTOR® since 1972 and being a member of a committee gives me the opportunity to give back to our profession. We are the protectors of private property rights, so we all need to be part of the process and not let someone else do it for us.


Dee Toohey
Innovative Realty Solutions Group

Since volunteering for the Professional Development Forum, I have learned how ORRA works and why it depends on volunteers to enhance the REALTOR® experience. Without a constant influx of volunteers, ORRA would not be able to provide members with the types of tools and training that have made a difference in my real estate career.


Jeannie Wilson
Prudential Florida Realty

I choose to volunteer my time at ORRA because I believe in keeping the professional bar high for the real estate industry. On a personal level, I have learned many lessons as a committee member. For example, through serving on the Budget and Finance Committee I learned how to work on a tight budget and to minimize unnecessary expenses!


Eugene Weatherspoon
Weatherspoon Realty

The value of networking with other REALTORS® through committee service is tangible; it's certainly helped my referral business to grow. In addition, I have gotten to know those in ORRA's leadership positions and benefitted from their explanations of the decision-making process at the association.


Richard Bavec
Tolaris Realty Group, LLC, Lake Forest Realty, Inc.

Serving on the Grievance Committee has made me a more informed owner-broker and has therefore made our associates more professional, confident, and successful. Our profession has become so litigious and complicated that you can no longer be a "part-time" REALTOR®. ORRA and the various committees offer a great way to stay informed.


Joe Adkins
The Realty Factor

I plan on being in real estate for a long time, so it makes sense to be involved in the organization that makes this business possible. Not only have I met great people on the committees, it's improved my real estate business knowing that I'm on the cutting edge of current events, new laws, and fresh ideas.


Pitt Warner
Winter Park Land Company

I volunteer on the Governmental Affairs Committee to be a part of the positive influence ORRA has on our elected leaders. If you've ever complained about "typical politicians" join the Governmental Affairs Committee. You will be surprised at what you'll learn!


Gonzalo Senior
IRM, Investments, Real Estate & Management, LLC

I decided to volunteer on an ORRA committee to be proactive in the decisions that are made in our REALTOR® community and that affect our occupation. I would feel guilty to criticize ORRA decisions if I don't participate and collaborate in matters that are important to every REALTOR®.


Riva Wallace
Keller Williams Realty

I choose to volunteer because real estate has provided a good life for me and my family — as a single mother I could not have provided as I did without it.  But my "giving back" has actually given more back to me, in terms of learning better business practices that have resulted in higher earnings and lower risk.


Kathi Adkins
The Realty Factor, Inc.

I had often wondered how the REALTORS® organizations spent my dues. My mom taught me that if I had concerns about an organization, then I had to volunteer with that organization or lose the right to complain. Now I serve on the Risk Management Committee, and the knowledge and the friends I've gained are more than I could ask for.


Francisco Nieves-Taranto
CT Homes Realty Corp

When first I decided to volunteer with ORRA, I was looking to make things better in our industry. I soon realized that my involvement not only helped others but significantly helped me. There are so many opportunities to contribute, particularly in the education-related committees, that there is no excuse not to become part of the process.


Sharon Backe
Watson Realty Corp.

As a REALTOR® of 35 years, I have always believed that association involvement will give you far more in return than you will give in the time you volunteer. What I've learned on the grievance and professional standards committees has benefitted me, the associates who work with me, and the public.


Rick Saucier
Home Delivery Real Estate

I firmly believe in paying it forward and since I have had a successful career in real estate, I felt like serving on a committee was something I should do. It has been rewarding, and a few hours each month is not too much to give back in return for such a wonderful career.


Gil Ramos
Exit Real Estate Gallery

Being involved in the Grievance Committee has made me a better REALTOR®. I am more focused on following the REALTOR® Code of Ethics and on helping the agents around me better understand the rules.


Michael Joynt
Homestead Realty, Inc.

By being on a committee, you can make a difference or even be the one to generate a policy change that benefits all of us. Your input could be the idea that takes us all to a new level.


Susan Logan,
Logan Land & Homes, Inc.

I have enjoyed my time serving on committees at ORRA. It is a great exchange of information between real estate professionals and keeps one in the know of what is affecting our industry and how we can address the various situations at hand.


Michiyo Hoshino
Infinity Real Estate Group

I came to love our association through the committee service.



Dan Lopez
Legends Realty

I've always been interested in remaining as educated, aware, and informed as I possibly can be on all real estate matters. This is best accomplished by being active with various committees . It's not only helped me grow as a professional, but has also given me the opportunity to significantly contribute to the success of other members and our profession.


Bruce Elliott
Regal Real Estate Professionals, LLC

Volunteering is a great way to put faces to the names we see in the multiple listing service! Plus, ORRA is there for the members. If we don't have committee volunteers to make critical decisions, then those decisions will be made for us.


Tansey Soderstrom
Stirling Sotheby's International Realty

Serving as a member of various ORRA committees over the years has enabled me to make many life-long friends and business acquaintances. I have also learned how important ORRA is to the community and how it is able to make a difference through many of the special programs it supports.


Kathy Pasha
Warner Quinlan

I am convinced that the continuing education is one of the most important services offered by our association, and I am proud to help put together the education modules offered by the Property Management Subcommittee.


Stephen Baker
RE/MAX Central Realty

I've learned and grown both personally and professionally through my volunteer time at ORRA. It's also given me the opportunity to contribute to my profession, the industry, and our community. From the outside looking in you ask, "Why?" Once you get involved, you ask, "Why doesn't everyone?"


Theodora Uniken Venema
Downtown Brokers, LLC

Volunteerism is crucial to our REALTOR® business. In any ORRA committee, you can fight for the causes most dear to your heart. It's the ultimate accomplishment for a REALTOR® and it promotes the longevity of your business forever and ever!


Cindy Egeli
Elite Real Estate Professionals

I volunteer because I believe we have a responsibility to give back in all aspects of our lives.

Dean Vanderpool
Devan Realty & Development Corp

Committee service one of ORRA's most valuable member benefits . Through my committee service I have worked with professional instructors, seasoned agents, and brokers. I've had the opportunity to mentor new agents. And finally, through committee service I have earned recognition as an industry leader from both within ORRA and outside.




Dana Ward,
Real Estate Closing Solutions

If you want to grow your talents and business networks you must engage! The time I have spent at ORRA in committee work has proven invaluable and has given me a greater appreciation for its broad base of REALTOR® and affiliate services. In addition, I have had the privilege of meeting and working with some of the strongest leaders in our industry.


Tara Corriveau
North American Title Company

Giving my time to support our industry serving as a committee member at ORRA has enriched my life both personally and professionally. It is an honor to work with fellow real estate professionals to sustain and improve our industry. Like many of us I love my job because I am able to help others reach their goals and live their dreams.


Lisa Bennett
Quality Title & Escrow LLC

I volunteer because it helps me learn about the membership's direction and about upcoming changes in our industry. In addition, my ORRA committee work has enhanced my business in many areas, from managing risk to improving my knowledge base to better serve my clients. Plus, doing so has increased my business substantially!


Dominique Buhot
Green's Environmental Services

Through the Governmental Affairs Committee, I've learned firsthand how REALTORS® select and then support a candidate for public office. Let's not forget that the REALTOR® associations make up the country's biggest lobby, and our influence is due to both the sheer size of the members and local, everyday contact with the political community.


Leslie Zimmerly
Fidelity National Title of Florida

I volunteer on ORRA committees because it's a fun and effective way to support REALTORS® and build relationships with fellow affiliates. Plus, I now an arsenal of experts that I have worked with on committees and that I trust to give out as referrals. Volunteering with ORRA is a win-win both personally and professionally.

ORRA Partners
ORRA would like to thank our Partners for their continuing support.
View the full list of ORRA Partners.