This Just In: RISMedia Celebrates Newsmakers in Washington

May 17, 2019 by

Standing with Darryl MacPherson, executive vice president of RISMedia, far left, and John Featherston, CEO and Publisher of RISMedia, far right, is RISMedia’s 2019 Newsmakers Hall of Fame Class, from l-r, first row: Gino Blefari, CEO of HomeServices of America, Mary Lynn Stone, president and co-owner of NM Management, Inc.; CENTURY 21 New Millennium, Carl Carter, Jr., REALTOR® with RE/MAX Elite in North Little Rock, AR and founder of the Beverly Carter Foundation; David Charron, president of MRIS Investors, Inc. From l-r, middle row: William E. Brown, founder of Investment Properties and past president of the National Association of REALTORS®; Rei Mesa, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty. From l-r, third row: Michael Saunders, founder and CEO of Michael Saunders & Company; Todd Hetherington, CEO and co-owner of NM Management, Inc.; CENTURY 21 New Millennium; Mike Ryan, senior advisor to RE/MAX LLC, executive officers and the board of directors; Diane M. Ramirez, chairman and CEO of Halstead Real Estate. (Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

In celebration of RISMedia’s 2019 Class of Real Estate Newsmakers, more than 225 convened at the Real Estate Newsmakers Reception & Dinner, held May 16 during the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C.

Against the backdrop of the National Press Club—”The Place Where News Happens”—RISMedia applauded the more than 230 Newsmakers recognized this year, as well as 10 Hall of Fame inductees. The Class of Newsmakers is comprised of Achievers, Crusaders, Futurists, Influencers, Inspirations, Luminaries, Trailblazers and Trendsetters, each of which were spotlighted on stage.

(Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

As each member of the 2019 Hall of Fame Class was inducted yesterday, they shared the following thoughts:

Gino Blefari, CEO, HomeServices of America

“This award here really could be ‘the shoulders of giants.’ I made a list of the shoulder of giants I’ve stood on, and some of you have probably stood on these same shoulders, [including] Tommy Hopkins, Mike Ferry…Og Mandino, Jim Rohn and Zig Ziglar…Brian Tracy, Allan Dalton, Bob Becker…Alain Pinel…Tom Ferry…Brian Buffini…Larry Kendall…Chris Stuart…and Ron Peltier, who gave me the opportunity to be the CEO of HSF Affiliates and now again as HomeServices of America. On behalf of all those giants and RISMedia, thank you very much.”

(Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

William E. Brown, Founder, Investment Properties; Co-Founder, Springhill Real Estate Partners

“I’m very blessed to be here as a second-generation REALTOR®. NAR is there to help our members make money in terms of controlling their finances as it relates to their investments, and fighting for our members on the Hill, and everywhere else. Thank you all for this evening.”

Carl Carter, Jr., REALTOR®, RE/MAX Elite; Founder/Executive Director, Beverly Carter Foundation

(Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

 “This is the highest honor of my life. This isn’t about me; this is an acknowledgement from an industry powerhouse, and the news source that we trust, that safety is a real concern and a conversation worth having, and that people that have been victimized like my precious mom didn’t die in vain. Since losing my mom, I’ve been very blessed by the people in this room that have given me opportunities to talk to your staff and agents to say, be smart when you’re out there selling. I thank you for every opportunity.”

(Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

David Charron, President, MRIS Investors, Inc.

“As leaders, I believe that we have a collective responsibility to shepherd those that are inexperienced but have the right attitude, the smarts and the will. It’s up to us as leaders in the industry to help these folks find their voice, put them under a grow light and give them the opportunities to succeed, and occasionally fail, but always pick themselves up and move forward. It’s my hope that the future recipients of this award in the years to come will look back on the 2018 and 2019 recipients and Newsmakers and look to us and say ‘Thanks a lot. You helped me. You inspired me.’ I hope we pay it forward in that way today, tomorrow, and in the years to come.”

(Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

Todd Hetherington, CEO, CENTURY 21 New Millennium

“Normally Mary Lynn hates to get in front of the podium, and because of that in the last 20 years I’ve been the one that’s been getting the lion’s share of the limelight. I’m very pleased tonight that my business partner is the one that’s getting the limelight. Thank you.”

(Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

Rei Mesa, President/CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty

“I am honored and humbled by this recognition. I am a very, very grateful individual that I get to do this, and get to do what I love and with people I love to do it with.”

Diane M. Ramirez, Chairman/CEO, Halstead

(Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

“To be among the people who are being acknowledged at all levels is truly an honor. This has been a great journey that I hope to continue doing for many, many years into the future. Leading Halstead and watching its growth from its birth and a vision of the East Side, West Side and Downtown of Manhattan to now having 38 offices and 1,300 agents and loving each and every one of them…I cannot tell you how much it means to me.”

(Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

Mike Ryan, Senior Advisor, RE/MAX, LLC

“Newsmakers this year, and future Newsmakers, I hope we have some open-mindedness about what’s happening today and cut through the noise. There’s a lot of new business plans and new technologies to help better the professionals in our industry. The best headlines are ahead for us today.”

(Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

Michael Saunders, Founder/CEO, Michael Saunders & Company

“As I look around this room, I see people that really have helped me become all that I am. I thank you, I thank everyone back in Sarasota that this honor goes to. Forty-three years ago, I never believed that my journey would lead me to this stage and in front of you. I am proud, I am humbled, and I am very, very thankful.”

(Credit: AJ Canaria of PlanOmatic)

Mary Lynn Stone, President, CENTURY 21 New Millennium

“I am honored and truly amazed to be standing here amongst all of you, being recognized as a leader in a room filled with absolutely some of the best of the best in our industry. I’ve always been very surprised at where life can take you. I assure you that when I was a student at the University of Maryland working part-time in my family’s real estate office, I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be standing here being honored and recognized as a leader and being inducted into this prestigious Hall of Fame of Newsmakers. Growing and building a company that gives opportunities to people and individuals to build careers where they are able to help families find a home that they could live and love each other in is a very, very honorable and rewarding profession. I hope this evening and the reason I’m standing in front of all of you is because of that, so thank you very much.”

The event was presented by Master Sponsors American Home Shield, HSA Home Warranty, Real Estate Webmasters and Realty ONE Group; Host Sponsors Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, HMS Home Warranty, PlanOmatic, Quicken Loans, Realtors Property Resource®, Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting and Updater; and Event Sponsors Adwerx, DocuSign, Local Logic, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors and RE/MAX LLC.

Earlier on May 16, RISMedia hosted the Annual Power Broker & Real Estate Newsmakers Forum, “Are You Ready for the Next Wave? Mastering Market, Tech and Competitive Challenges,” co-moderated by Featherston and Ramirez, and featuring Hetherington and Saunders, as well as Mike Huff, broker/owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties, and Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, as panelists. Coverage of the Forum will be released shortly.

Look for news from the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo on

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Network with the Newsmakers: Limited Seats Available for RISMedia Midyear Event May 16

Apr 30, 2019 by


RISMedia is proud to present the 2019 RISMedia Real Estate Newsmakers Reception & Dinner. This annual event will host more than 225 of the nation’s leading brokers and other real estate executives to honor RISMedia’s 2019 Newsmakers—individuals who made headlines for their newsworthy contributions to the real estate industry and the communities and consumers they serve.

This exclusive invitation only-event will be held on Thursday, May 16, 2019, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

You should have received a personal email invitation from RISMedia to attend this exclusive event! There are a very limited amount of seats left to attend. Responses will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Please respond to the emailed invitation, or for any questions, you can email Cindi Gallucci at

The RISMedia Real Estate Newsmakers Reception & Dinner honors all of the 2019 recipients, as well as this year’s Hall of Fame Class, which is led by: Gino Blefari • William E. Brown • Carl Carter Jr. • David Charron • Todd Hetherington • Rei Mesa • Diane M. Ramirez • Mike Ryan • Michael Saunders • Mary Lynn Stone.

These honorees join last year’s recipients, many of whom will be on hand to present the Hall of Fame honors to this year’s inductees. Hall of Fame members attending this year include, Helen Hanna Casey • Bob Goldberg • Teresa Palacios Smith • Matt Widdows • Joseph Rand.

This year our Newsmakers event is sponsored by: Master: American Home Shield, HSA Home Warranty, Real Estate Webmasters, Realty One Group, Host: Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate, HMS Home Warranty, Planomatic, Quicken Loans, RPR, Sherri Johnson, Updater, Event: Adwerx, DocuSign, Local Logic.

For more information, visit our Newsmakers Event page.

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Women in Real Estate: Business-Building Insights From RISMedia’s 2019 Newsmakers

Feb 3, 2019 by

A considerable number of this year’s RISMedia Real Estate Newsmakers are women who are making waves in the industry, advancing their businesses and significantly contributing to their communities. What’s the secret to their success? Strategies range from a focus on mentorship and coaching to relationship marketing and community involvement. Here are their approaches and insights on how fellow women in real estate can advance their business and reach their goals:

Mary Lee Blaylock
President/CEO – Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties
2019 RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker, Luminaries 

“Being hands-on allows me to better understand and fully respect the job of each agent and employee in the enterprise. No one is more important than another. We are all equal human beings with complimenting roles all working toward a single goal: to bring our customers home,” says Blaylock.

Blaylock also reminds real estate professionals to remain honest and ethical when making decisions to reach long-term success. Additionally, Blaylock emphasizes that women should stay confident.

“Put the natural self-doubt aside that we as women have and focus on if the job is the right fit for you,” adds Blaylock. “Make a sound business decision for you and your family. Obtain the input you need and then simply go for it. Remain agile in all you do and remember to respect all people, including yourself!”

Katie Clancy
Team Lead, REALTOR®, Speaker, Trainer – The Cape House Team, William Raveis
2019 RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker, Futurists  

“Achieving balance over the course of a day or week, especially with children, is impossible. As a mother, especially, I recommend that you strive for balance over the course of years instead,” says Clancy. “Intense, time-consuming, distracting motherhood is a season. Also, be patient. Stop fretting over your success like you have to achieve massive goals before you’re 40. In my early 40s, I was destitute, depressed and almost divorced. Now almost 10 years later, I’m enjoying success, happiness and (mostly) balance at levels I never thought possible.”

In terms of gauging success, it’s subjective. Many don’t fully understand the barometer for their impact—a fact represented by Clancy’s inner circle of inspiration.

“I have a ‘Board of Advisors’ which consists of people from all parts of my life and the country. Some of them don’t even know they’re on it. They’re all the people whom I try to emulate for certain things: confidence, sales, leadership, style, marriage, parenting, etc.,” says Clancy. 

Cheryl Eidinger-Taylor
COO/President – ERA Key Real Estate
2019 RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker, Achievers

“I strive to make sure that each of my employees and agents knows that I care about them, both personally and professionally,” says Eidinger-Taylor.

In order to reach business success, she recommends that real estate professionals: 

  • Never stop learning
  • Read business books, self-improvement books and industry-related news, and listen to podcasts
  • Take the time to care for themselves so they can be of assistance to others
  • Spend 10-20 minutes per day in reflection/meditation or prayer—great ideas need to percolate
  • Walk the talk and lead by example
  • Listen twice as much as they speak
  • Practice compassion
  • Give their time, talent and treasure to others less fortunate

“If we all strive for these major things, then we are valuable to our clients and customers, and we keep their best interests in the forefront. Serving others is a gift that gives back because it creates a feeling of fulfillment and purpose,” says Eidinger-Taylor.

Isatou Ceesay
Broker – isatouproperties, CENTURY 21 Real Estate Center
2019 RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker, Crusaders

“Determination is the key to success in real estate, in my opinion. Clients will not have the confidence in you if you are not passionate with what you do for them,” says Ceesay. “Women should not be intimidated by any assignment. You will always have someone to work you through the hurdles. You are not alone.”

This includes not being afraid to pursue leadership roles in business segments that often have few females in charge.

“Commercial real estate comes to my mind right away. It is dominated by men and I don’t know why,” says Ceesay.

Nicole Lopez
Team Leader – The PR Group, Intero Real Estate Services
2019 RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker, Trendsetters

“I’ve always felt a distinct urge to help women who have a passion but might lack direction. Passion for the industry is something you can’t teach; however, I can help equip them with the tools needed to elevate and enhance my agents’ careers and lives. It is the most fulfilling aspect of what we do within the team,” says Lopez.

“I believe that in any sales profession, attaining and keeping the consumer’s attention is a large factor to achieving success within the field. We strive daily to come up with creative ideas to gain and maintain the consumer’s attention. This has helped us retain agents, listings and buyers,” adds Lopez.

Her “$ 250 in Free Tacos” promotion for her listings is one example of this, becoming a huge success after it gained national-level exposure.

“We love creating memorable experiences that keep our current and past clients engaged in our business and referrals coming. It’s truly the small things and attention to detail that will help keep your business booming for years to come,” she says.

Kiesha Curtis
Senior Buyer/Seller Specialist, REALTOR® – Realty Kings Properties
2019 RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker, Inspirations 

“A major key is being a student of my craft. I study real estate! In order to be an expert in this field or any field, you must know it and be able to convey your expertise to others in a way they can understand,” says Curtis. “Another key is understanding purpose…why you do what you do. Define that for yourself, because that is what will keep you going when nothing seems to be working.”

Overall, Curtis believes real estate professionals should place others first, valuing relationships over transactions.

“Make sure those you serve know that you can take care of business—the rest will take care of itself,” says Curtis. “You’ll be overflowing with repeat business and referrals.”

Jerri Udelson
Master Certified Coach – Entrepreneurial Coaching & Consulting
2019 RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker, Influencers

“As a coach, I partner with my clients, helping them create a vision for themselves and their business, acting as a sounding board and offering ideas and input when appropriate,” says Udelson. “I am often the cheerleader for clients who have no one else with whom they can feel comfortable and vulnerable in a highly-competitive environment.”

“Coaching has been key for women who have chosen to step up and start their own agencies or take their businesses to the next level by growing their teams,” adds Udelson.

The ideal atmosphere in which women thrive, according to Udelson? One of support and encouragement.

Know a Newsmaker? For information on nominating or becoming a 2020 RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker, please email our executive editor, Maria Patterson, at

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at

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RISMedia Launches Video News Platform to Showcase Newsmakers, Power Brokers and Industry Leaders

Jan 31, 2019 by

New platform will support editorial content with video spotlights and behind-the-scenes interviews with real estate changemakers

RISMedia is excited to announce the launch of a new video news format that will showcase industry leaders, such as RISMedia’s Real Estate Newsmakers and Power Brokers, as well as support its ongoing editorial coverage of industry changemakers, news and events regularly covered in Real Estate magazine monthly and online daily at

Readers will find the new format included among RISMedia’s various news delivery systems, such as its daily e-News, news and video alerts, trending stories, blog updates and its social media sites. The videos will feature quick, one- to two-minute spotlights on Real Estate Newsmakers and Power Brokers, as well as behind-the-scenes looks at its monthly cover stories, feature stories and industry interviews with brokers, agents and service providers.

“Video is an extremely powerful and important communications medium in today’s world. Over the next few months, RISMedia is looking forward to incorporating more video news and information into all of our news and social media platforms,” says John Featherston, CEO and publisher of RISMedia. “From the Power Brokers to the Newsmakers, as well as the leading agents and agent teams we survey and profile, going forward, video will be playing an increased and important role in bringing our readers the news and information to help them effectively and profitably grow their businesses.”

RISMedia is excited to launch its first video news spotlights with two members of its recently published Real Estate Newsmakers showcase: 2019 RISMedia Newsmaker Angel Piontek, associate broker and VP of Marketing for Coldwell Banker Elite and 2019 RISMedia Newsmaker Morgan Carey, CEO of Real Estate Webmasters.

Watch Angel’s spotlight video here:

See Morgan’s video here:

Watch for more Newsmakers to be recognized through our video news series, where you will get unique insights into what makes some of the most influential people in the residential real estate industry operate on such an inspirational level.

Our soon-to-be released Power Broker Spotlight video series will offer a look into some of the top-performing brokerages in the U.S., their core values, and what makes them perform a cut above the rest!

Don’t forget to Like and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn so you don’t miss these insightful spotlights on our industry leaders. As always, we appreciate your feedback. Contact RISMedia editors at

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Making Waves in More Ways Than One: Newsmakers in the Spotlight

Dec 9, 2018 by

Whether for commendable growth or inventive thinking, many of RISMedia’s 2019 Real Estate Newsmakers garnered headlines for more than one reason this year. Here, we highlight a selection of stories, with claims to fame that include increased marketshare, an IPO, and a pivotal rebrand.

Brian Bair (Trailblazer)
CEO & Co-Founder, Offerpad

  • In May 2018, Offerpad earned $ 150 million in a financing round.
  • In July, the company expanded its leadership team, adding a new chief of staff/COO and a new chief product and analytics officer. In September, the company hired a new CTO.

Adam Contos (Futurist)

  • In February 2018, RE/MAX acquired booj, developer of lead gen systems, websites, and more.
  • In July, the company was named one of the top 10 “Global Franchises” by Entrepreneur. In October, the company was named one of the top 10 franchises by Franchise Times. In the second quarter of the year, agent count hit a new record: over 123,000 worldwide.

Dean deTonnancourt (Achiever)
CEO & President, HomeSmart Professionals Real Estate

  • In 2018, HomeSmart Professionals Real Estate expanded into Maine, its second marketplace in New England. The brokerage—HomeSmart International’s first franchise on the East Coast—was established in Rhode Island.
  • DeTonnancourt was named 2019 president of the Rhode Island Association of REALTORS® this year.

Cheryl Eidinger-Taylor (Achiever)
COO & President, ERA Key Realty Services

  • In February 2018, ERA Key Realty Services merged with HUNT Real Estate ERA, combining 1,600 agents and more than 50 locations in New England and New York.
  • In July, Eidinger-Taylor was awarded the Banker & Tradesman Women of FIRE award.

Georg Gerstenfeld (Trailblazer)
General Manager of Global Real Estate Solutions, DocuSign

  • In May 2018, DocuSign went public.
  • In October, the company debuted DocuSign Rooms for Mortgage, and in November, in conjunction with the National Association of REALTORS®, launched the “Go Digital” program for associations.

Daisy Lopez-Cid (Crusader)
Broker/Owner, RE/MAX Premier Properties

  • Lopez-Cid is the 2018 president of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP).
  • In January, she was named Humanitarian of the Year by the Osceola County Association of REALTORS® for her efforts following Hurricane Maria. In November, she was the recipient of RISMedia’s “On the Shoulders of Giants” award.

Diane Ramirez (Luminary)
CEO & Chairman, Halstead

  • In April 2018, Halstead Property rebranded to Halstead Real Estate, complete with a fresh logo, positioning and website.
  • Ramirez was named the 2019 chair of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® this year.

For the complete list of Newsmakers this year, browse our directory at

For more information on RISMedia’s Real Estate Newsmakers, please visit

Know a Newsmaker? For information on nominating or becoming a 2020 RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker, please email our executive editor, Maria Patterson, at Nominations will be accepted in early 2019.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark

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