February 15, 2022 — Austin
Texas REALTORS® recognized outstanding members and local REALTOR® associations during its annual Texas REALTORS® Winter Meeting, which took place Feb. 11-15 in Austin.
“With 150,000 members, our association has many, many REALTORS® who make a big difference in their communities and our industry,” said Russell Berry, chairman of Texas REALTORS®. “These awards honor those who went above and beyond—the shining examples who worked tirelessly to teach, motivate, inspire, effect change, and give back.”
Carmen Williams of Fort Worth received the Texas REALTOR® Good Neighbor Award, which honors a Realtor who has demonstrated outstanding community involvement and volunteerism. Williams was recognized for her hard work and her avid fundraising and volunteer efforts with Habitat for Humanity, where she has provided an estimated $1.1 million in resources. Williams also led teams for the “Cowtown Brush Up” event where she and other individuals clean, paint and provide landscaping for families that may need a hand.
Michica Guillory of Houston was named the 2021 Educator of the Year. A senior instructor with Texas REALTORS®, Guillory teaches both the Graduate REALTOR® Institute and Texas Accredited Commercial Specialist courses. Alongside this role, she is an author of several other courses on topics covering commercial leasing, commercial property management, hemp laws in real estate, letters of intent, how not to practice law using commercial and residential forms, and media training.
Cesar Cepeda received the 2021 William C. Jennings Award for the outstanding commercial real estate transaction of the year. The award is based on the transaction’s contribution to the community, merit, creativity and application of commercial principles. Cepeda worked diligently to find a tenant for a highly specialized facility in McAllen, and within five months, a prospective tenant submitted a letter of intent. Once he leased the property, Cepeda marketed it for sale, finding a buyer in three months and successfully negotiating the sale.
The San Antonio Board of REALTORS® received the 2021 Mark Lehman Governmental Affairs Achievement Award. The honor recognizes a local REALTOR® association that has demonstrated excellence in fundraising, grassroots involvement and other local governmental affairs initiatives for the year. The San Antonio Board of REALTORS® promoted property rights, hosted several voter registration drives, successfully tackled numerous local public policy issues. The board conducted 150 candidate interviews and had more than 130 members participate in the Texas REALTORS® Virtual Day at the Capitol.
The Texas REALTORS® Grassroots Advocate of the Year award was presented to Socar Chatmon-Thomas of the Austin Board of REALTORS®. The Texas REALTORS® Grassroots Advocate of the Year award honors one individual from the year’s full list of Texas REALTORS® Strike Force Award winners. Chatmon-Thomas was recognized for her work as a key REALTOR® contact with federal and state elected officials, organizing political fundraisers, leading grassroots efforts such as block walks for candidates and for mentoring many other REALTORS® in grassroots advocacy.
The Tom D. Morton Association Executive of the Year award—given to REALTOR® association executives with a long track record of service to their local association—was presented to Monica Peña with the Greater McAllen Association of REALTORS®. In her role as association executive, Peña has been integral and instrumental in growing the association’s membership and improving the its continuing education programs and MLS services. She has served on several task forces at the state and national levels of the REALTOR® association. She is also a leader in her community, working with the Comfort House and the local college.
Finally, Texas REALTORS® honored three local associations that launched innovative programs and educational courses that kept REALTORS® up to date with legal, marketing and industry trends. The Education Program of the Year awards were given to:
- Austin Board of REALTORS® in the legal category
- Austin Board of REALTORS® in the series or short program category
- Houston Association of REALTORS® in the marketing category
- MetroTex Association REALTORS® in the innovation category