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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Kevin Jackson, Peter Silva

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Realtor(R) Heroes Keep the Dream of Homeownership Alive

ORLANDO, FL -- (Marketwire) -- 11/10/12 -- Realtors® know that homeownership matters to individuals, families and communities. That's one of the reasons they are devoted to keeping the dream of homeownership alive for all Americans. Five Realtors® that demonstrate these qualities and represent the good works of Realtors® everywhere are being recognized as "Realtor® Heroes" at this week's 2012 Realtor® Conference and Expo in Orlando.

As part of its Homeownership Matters Campaign, the National Association of Realtors®' identified five Realtors® from across the country that work tirelessly to strengthen homeownership and housing opportunities in their communities. The Realtor® Heroes are Wayne Curtis, RE/MAX Advantage Realty, Baltimore, Md.; Connie Johnson, Coldwell Banker Real Estate, Tampa, Fla.; Nick Manis, Manis Realtors®, Newark, N.J.; Ken Rosberg, Cedar Creek Realty, Olathe, Kan.; and Bob Sorey, Best Real Estate Advisors, Mt. Juliet, Tenn.

"Homeownership matters -- it strengthens families, communities and our nation's economy," said NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami. "Realtors® work tirelessly to improve the quality of life for those in their communities whether it's through homeownership or other acts of kindness and generosity. While all Realtors® demonstrate these qualities, these five inspirational members truly represent what it means to be a Realtor®. I am honored to recognize these individuals and hope they will inspire others to fight for homeownership like they have."

Curtis was tapped by city officials to help perform a public function, the revitalization of the central part of Baltimore. The program was called Selling City Owned Properties Efficiently, otherwise known as the SCOPE Program. City officials looked to Curtis and other Realtors® in the area to help sell the vacant city-owned property. Through Curtis' leadership and determination to make Baltimore a great place to live, public officials began to appreciate and understand that real estate practitioners can be partners in solving critical housing issues.

Johnson is extremely active in her local community, whether she's helping rebuild homes or working with homeowners and their pets. In 2009 she was president of Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay, an organization that repairs homes for those in need. RTTB typically remodels or rebuilds approximately 30 homes a year, but Johnson decided she could do even more when she was president and remodeled 72 homes during her term. Johnson is also the 2012 president of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay and understands that homeowners cherish their four-legged family members. During the real estate downturn, she helped families who were losing their homes to foreclosure find new shelter that would take them along with their dogs and cats.

Manis is co-founder and a member of the board of directors for the G.I. Go Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization that supports returning veterans in their transition back to civilian life. Manis assists veterans when it comes to homeownership; whether they are facing foreclosure or are homeless, Manis works to find them safe and secure housing. Through a partnership with Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the G.I. Go Fund created a first-in-the-nation City Hall Veterans Center in Newark City Hall, providing the opportunity to reach thousands of veterans with their innovative approach to veterans' services.

When Rosberg turned 50 he created a bucket list of projects he wanted to accomplish in his life, and one of those was to make a jazz record. After collaborating with other Kansas City jazz musicians and writing his own songs, Rosberg produced the CD "Jazz for Joplin: Just Follow Your Heart!". As a Realtor®, Rosberg felt for the victims of the 2011 Joplin tornado that were left homeless and wanted to find a way to help. In addition to volunteering his efforts with the Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity, he also decided to donate the proceeds of his CD to the tornado victims to rebuild their homes and lives. Recently he presented the Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity with a check for $1,000, all of which were proceeds from his CD.

Sorey, a principal broker with Best Real Estate Advisors, helps homeowners in distress whether they are facing illness, job loss, foreclosure or in some instances, all of the above. He works upwards of 20 files at a time with distressed homeowners, many referred to him by other agents and attorneys who didn't think their clients' homes could be saved. Sorey has overturned two foreclosures at the local courthouse steps, as well as formally prevented two additional foreclosures from occurring in his community. All of those homeowners are still in their homes today. Sorey also spends much of his time counseling clients to determine their real goal of homeownership -- whether it's a temporary rental or a smaller home, he advocates for sustainable, responsible homeownership.

The five Realtor® Heroes were recognized with a video during NAR's opening session at the 2012 Realtors® Conference & Expo this week. The video featuring the honorees and their work will also be shown at the NAR booth on the trade expo floor, as well as on the hotel in-room cable channel for NAR conference attendees, and on Conference Live.

The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. This and other news releases are posted in the "News, Blogs and Video" tab on the website.

For further information contact:
Leanne Jernigan
202-383-1290
Email Contact

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