Four members of the Sarasota Association of Realtors® were recognized at SAR’s Installation and Holiday Luncheon on December 5th at Michael’s on East. The four recipients were nominated by their peers for their unique and valuable contributions to SAR and to the community.
William “Bill” Geller, 2012 Realtor® of the Year
The Realtor® of the Year award is chosen based upon the SAR member’s lifetime contributions to SAR, Florida Realtors®, plus service to the community and business accomplishments. Bill Geller, an agent with RE/MAX Platinum Realty, was chosen as the 2012 Realtor® of the Year.
Bill has been a resident of Sarasota since 1980 and a Realtor® for more than 20 years. He is a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) and holds a Transnational Referral Certification (TRC).
Bill was President of the Sarasota Association of Realtors® in 2009. This year he chaired the Global Business Council. He has been a member of SARPAAT for the past three years, a member of the Public Policy and Grievance committees, and has served as board treasurer and as a member of the SAR executive committee for four years.
Bill has also served on the Board of Directors of Florida Realtors®, and was a member of the International Operations Committee, International Forum Committee and Business Trends & Technology Forum and 2002 International Steering Committee Chair for SAR.
Bill is past-president and board member of the Brazil-Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce, served as a three-term president of the Siesta Key Association and is past-president of the Rotary Club of Sarasota, Sunset. He currently volunteers as an instructor of small business classes at the Women’s Resource Center, and is also involved with other local community organizations.
Bill has also served as a key contact for State Rep. Ray Pilon and prior to that a key contact for Rep. Keith Fitzgerald. He was a member of the National Association of Realtors® board of directors in 2009 and served on the CIPS Advisory Board for two years. Bill currently serves as president of the River Preserve Condo Association, has served on Board of Trustees for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota, and also served on the board of ALSO Out Youth, a local LGBT advocacy organization.
Ron Gordon – 2012 Humanitarian of the Year
The Humanitarian of the Year award is given to an SAR Realtor® member for significant contributions as a volunteer for an organization(s) or project(s) in the community. This year’s award goes to Ron Gordon, an agent with Xena Vallone Realty.
Ron always had a special place in his heart for the helpless animals among us who are totally dependent on the generosity of people in order to survive. In 2005, Ron approached the director of the Humane Society and told her that he would like to start an annual golf tournament to benefit the Humane Society of Sarasota County. In the past eight years, the event has raised more than $60,000 and helped find homes for over 4,000 abandoned pets.
Originally from Maryland, Ron served as a Navy Hospital Corpsman during the Vietnam War and received a bachelor’s degree in business from Florida State University. He spent 30 years in the retail food industry in Maryland before moving to Sarasota and getting into real estate.
Roger Piro – 2012 Meritorious Service Award
The Meritorious Service Award is given to a Realtor® whose service to SAR and his/her fellow members has been of such effectiveness and quality to deserve special recognition. This year’s award goes to Roger M. Piro, broker with Town and Country Real Estate.
Roger has most recently guided SAR’s efforts to locate a suitable site and develop a new headquarters facility. The major endeavor was years in the making, and will finally culminate in the spring of 2013 with the completion of the new flagship SAR headquarters.
In addition to his leadership of the Facility Task Force, Roger is the SAR President-Elect, and will assume the President’s post in 2013. He is a past chair of the SAR Grievance Committee, and has also served on the Realtor®-Attorney Joint Committee. In previous years he has served on the Membership Committee, the Professional Development Committee, and was chair of the Professional Standards Committee in 2010 and 2011. He is currently on the SAR Executive Committee.
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Roger moved to Sarasota in 1978. He became a licensed real estate agent in 1994 and immediately joined SAR and began his involvement in the organization. He was previously with Century 21 Advantage for 12 years. During this time, Roger was involved with educating and mentoring many agents, leading them to more productive careers. He started his own brokerage in 2003.
Michael Davenport – 2012 President’s Award Winner
The President’s Award is a special honor bestowed by the current SAR President to an SAR Realtor® member who best embodies the Realtor® spirit and has contributed to and supported the President’s goals for the past year. This year, the award was presented to Michael Davenport, broker of King Realty Associates, and instructor with the Sarasota School of Real Estate.
In presenting the award, SAR President, Laura Benson, said that SAR had identified a need to establish a real estate school, and Mike stepped up. Through his help and enthusiasm, it became a reality and has been successful. Mike has instilled in the students an excitement about volunteering at the Association they join and many of his “graduates” are now filling vital roles in SAR committees.
When SAR needed a leader to organize and present a Tech Expo, Mike again accepted the challenge. He established an enthusiastic committee of volunteers and put together a successful program. His commitment to the success of agents in our community is why Michael Davenport was honored with the President’s Award.
Michael is a licensed real estate broker and a multi-licensed instructor in Florida with a distinguished resume that includes over 40 years of sales and management experience. He has earned numerous educational credentials, and is a current member of the SAR Board of Directors. He has also served three years on SAR’s Professional Development Committee.