Four members of the Sarasota Association of Realtors® were recognized at SAR’s Installation and Holiday Luncheon on December 11th 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.
Donna Elmore, 2013 Realtor® of the Year
The Realtor® of the Year award is chosen based upon the SAR member’s lifetime contributions to SAR, Florida Realtors®, the National Association of Realtors®, plus service to the community and business accomplishments. Donna Elmore, broker with Herrli-Elmore Realty, was chosen as the 2013 Realtor® of the Year.
Known as “The Hat Lady,” Donna is a legend of local real estate. Still engaged and involved at age 83, Donna has been an active and successful Realtor® in Sarasota since 1975. She has served on numerous SAR and Florida Realtors® committees over the years, in addition to working with numerous local service, religious and cultural groups.
Sally Rackey – 2013 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 Sally Rackey, an agent with RE/MAX Platinum Realty.
Sally has devoted hundreds of hours over several years to the Paws for Patriots program at Southeastern Guide Dogs, which provides incredible support to local disabled veterans. The program holds a special place in Sally’s heart, and she has personally helped raise thousands of dollars for the program that provides seeing eye dogs for visually impaired service personnel, many of whom lost their sight while defending our freedom overseas.
Sally introduced the program to SAR members during an April 2010 MLS marketing session, along with Lieutenant Col. Kathy Champion, a wounded warrior who survived seven explosions, harsh sandstorms, severe living conditions and the loss of five soldiers in her Civil Affairs Unit in Iraq. Lt. Col. Champion returned home, surviving these numerous traumas only to lose her sight to a chronic viral infection that impaired her optic nerves.
Through the Paws for Patriots program, Lt. Col. Champion was provided with Angel, a guide dog that has become her constant companion. After hearing her story, Sally was compelled to bring the program to the attention of SAR members. Sally also supports the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and the Booker High School Food Bank for Students.
Michelle Crabtree – 2013 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 Michelle Crabtree, an agent with Michael Saunders & Company.
A Broker-Associate since 1982, Michelle Crabtree is a third-generation Sarasotan who loves sharing her knowledge of the area’s history and believes in giving back to the community. Michelle’s real estate involvement includes the SAR’s Board of Directors, (2008-2010). She currently serves on the Professional Development Committee (and is a past chair), and the Green Realtors® Alliance of Sarasota (GRAS). She has served on committees for Community Outreach, MLS, Social/Program; and she is involved in committee work with the Florida Realtors®.
Michelle is this year’s Women’s Council of Realtors® WCR Entrepreneur of the Year for the Sarasota Chapter, and was the 2007 Chapter President. She was recognized as WCR’s “Realtor® of the Year” in 2005. She also received the SAR Meritorious Service Award in 2007 and is a “Five Star Real Estate Agent – Best in Client Satisfaction” for five years. Michelle is also involved in her community as a member of the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, on the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance and the Junior League of Sarasota.
Fred Sieger – 2013 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 Fred Sieger, an agent with RE/MAX Alliance Group.
One of the truly universally liked members of SAR, Fred was also presented with the 2009 Humanitarian Award. This year’s recognition from President Roger Piro is for Fred’s untiring efforts to restore the popularity and effectiveness of the MLS Express Thursday morning program. The MLS Express Committee, which Fred chairs, rebranded the program and it has been a tremendous success, especially since SAR’s new facility opened in April.
His ever-present smile, embedded in a friendly, Santa Claus-like white beard, makes Fred an instantly recognizable figure at MLS Express and at many other SAR functions and events.
Fred remains very involved in the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranch, Bill Glass Champions For Life prison ministry, the Mayor’s Feed the Hungry program, Kids By the Sea (program for children with cancer), the Florida Center (early childhood services and therapies), the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, Bikers Raising Awareness (breast cancer), the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Child Protection Center of Sarasota, and Mission Ventures Int. (purchasing motorcycles for ministers in third-world countries).
Fred is often seen on his beloved Harley motorcycle, usually heading off to a charitable event or organization meeting.