Naples Area Board of REALTORS® Honors Members at Annual Awards Night
NAPLES, FL (July 6, 2021) – Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®) held its annual Night of Honors celebration on Saturday, June 26, 2021, at The Club at Olde Cypress. Chartered in 1949, the 6,000+ professional member organization of REALTORS® in Collier County recognized the accomplishments of many of its members who volunteer their time and talents to better the organization, industry and community in 2020.
The highest honor – REALTOR® of the Year, which recognizes a member who has distinguished themselves through outstanding contributions in the community, and local, state, and national association level – was awarded to Paula Angelopoulos Urbinati, who has been an active member since 1990 and served on the Board of Directors as well as on over 10 important NABOR® committees. Urbinati is a major RPAC investor, a President’s Circle member, a 20-year Honor Society member, 2011 graduate of NABOR® Leadership Academy, and 2012 graduate of the Florida Realtors® Leadership Academy. Her assistance and friendly guidance at NABOR®’s new member orientations earned her the Florida REALTORS® Education Volunteer of the Year award. Further community support efforts with a smile and good spirits also helped Urbinati achieve the NABOR® Citizen of the Year award. She is also a former treasurer and president of Florida Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Board of Directors and served on the Florida Realtors’® Board of Directors, Global Networking Forum, Global Business Committee, and Professional Development Committee. Urbinati’s community work extends outside the REALTOR® industry to include positions of leadership at the Greek Orthodox Church (current chairman of the annual Greek Fest), Harry Chapin Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Naples Junior Woman’s Club, Greater Naples YMCA, and American Cancer Society. Urbinati always participates in beach cleanups and donates blood every 56 days.
A remarkable 23 members were inducted into the NABOR® and/or Florida Realtors® Honor Society. Honor Society members provide participation at the local, state, and national levels to include activity in NAR®’s institutes, societies and councils, designations earned; educational activities; and political involvement. The members were: Paula Angelopoulos Urbinati, Rick Baranski, Ryan Bleggi, Nick Bobzien, Brett Brown, Joanne Chando, Christine Citrano, Brenda Fioretti, Rick Fioretti, Spencer Haynes, Mike Hughes, Jeff Jones, Corey McCloskey, Dominic Pallini, Jim Pilon, Pat Pitocchi, Bill Poteet, Cheryl Poteet, Marcie Roggow, PJ Smith, Terrilyn VanGorder, Mary Waller, and Izabela Wright.
NABOR® Emeritus Status is awarded in recognition of 40 cumulative years of membership in the National Association of REALTORS® and in recognition of valuable and lasting contribution to the real estate profession in the community. Members who reached Emeritus Status in 2020 included Gail Flagel and Bruce Jorgensen (not pictured).
The prestigious Ad Miller Award was presented to NABOR® member and 2020 President Lauren Melo. This NABOR® award recognizes an individual who works to enhance and/or preserve private property rights, ownership and transferability, and the preservation of the free enterprise system. Melo, who is the current Representative for District 80 in the Florida House of Representatives, has been a NABOR® member for over a decade. During her presidential acceptance speech in December 2019, Melo tasked members to “get involved in community improvement projects, and to keep her and her fellow board members accountable to the pledge they made to protect homeownership and the real estate profession.” When COVID-19 struck the community in March 2020, those presidential comments came front and center as Melo led the charge to keep real estate in Naples designated as an essential service. She also dedicated nearly every minute of her presidency to the NABOR® Helps program to support and recognize the work of Collier County’s first responders and front-line healthcare workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Out of dire community necessity, the program expanded quickly to include delivery of fresh produce and food drive items to Collier County organizations that supply meals to residents in need, donations of school supplies to children in Immokalee, payment to ship bicycles and office supplies to those impacted by a hurricane in the Bahamas, and inspiring members to participate in local water clean-up efforts as part of NABOR®’s ongoing water quality improvement initiative.
The 2020 NABOR® Commercial REALTOR® Achievement Award was presented to 1981 President John T. (Jack) Conroy, Jr., who relocated from Chicago to begin his long career in Naples real estate as supervisor of construction on the Edgewater Beach Hotel. A NABOR® member since 1970, he founded Investment Property Corporation (IPC), a large commercial real estate firm in 1976, and was the first REALTOR® in Naples to receive the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation. Upon receiving the award, Conroy stated, “Being with this group of people softens my heart.”
NABOR® unveiled a new award in 2020: the Global Achievement Award, which was presented to Izabela Wright for her impressive work on the Global Business Committee to include doubling the number of classes offered in 2020, spearheading collaborations with global partners, and initiating the first Code of Ethics and Core Law classes in Spanish. Wright is a current member of the National Association of REALTORS®’s Global Business Committee.
The following NABOR® members were also recognized with awards: