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C.A.R. Board of Directors and Committees

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A new, all about connections and interactions, California REALTOR® event.

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Evelyn Arnold

Evelyn Arnold, Broker/Co-Owner, Excellence Realty
Evelyn has been licensed since 1965 and obtained her Broker license in 1967.  Served as President of Compton-Lynwood Board of REALTORS® in 1976 & 1980 and President of RSAOR in 1994 named REALTOR® of the Year in 1981 & most distinguished REALTOR® in 1988.  Inducted into the NAR Hall of Fame in 2015. Presently hold the distinction of C.A.R. Director for Life and REALTOR® Emeritus.  Member of the NAR Golden “R” and the “President Circle Club”. She presently serves as the Federal Coordinator of the National Association to Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Key Contact to State Senator Steven Bradford. A member of the Board of Directors of a non-profit founded by her son, LeFrancis Arnold, now deceased, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Apartment Association California Southern Cities in Long Beach. Co-owner of Excellence Realty in Lynwood with her grandson Jason Arnold.

Leslie Appleton-Young, Senior Vice President & Chief Economist, C.A.R.
Leslie Appleton-Young is Senior Vice President and Chief Economist for the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.), a statewide trade organization with more than 180,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. Leslie directs the activities of the Association's Member Information Team.  She oversees the analysis of housing market and brokerage industry trends, broker relations, and membership development activities.  She is also closely involved in the Association's strategic planning efforts and is a well-known speaker in California’s real estate community. Before joining C.A.R. in 1984, Leslie was a consultant with Telesis Inc. in Rhode Island.  She also spent several years working as a research associate at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and as an instructor at the University of Pennsylvania.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and her Masters from the University of Pennsylvania.

Colleen Badagliacco

Colleen Badagliacco, Broker/Owner, Legacy Real Estate & Associates
Colleen is a 9th generation Californian, a graduate of Santa Clara University, and earned a Master’s degree from San Diego State University. Originally an educator, she transitioned into real estate when her children were small, drawn by the flexibility and earnings potential. After two years as an agent for a major franchise in the San Jose area, Colleen formed a boutique real estate firm, Valley Properties, with a (female) partner; the firm was an independent for about 15 years, then joined a national franchise. The firm grew to over 100 agents. After about another 15 years,   the company became an independent again and rebranded as Altera Real Estate.  Altera RE soon developed a franchise model, grew to about 10 franchisees, and had a short term partnership with Harcourts RE of Australia and New Zealand, thus exploring all models: independent, franchisee, and franchisor.  Colleen and her husband/business partner, Dennis, merged Altera RE into Legacy RE and Assoc. in   2012. The Legacy RE and Associates currently has offices in Alameda and Santa Clara County. Colleen has served as President of the Santa Clara Co. AOR, as Treasurer and President of the California AOR, a 2016 Regional Vice-President of NAR and Chair of its Strategic Thinking and Advisory Committee (2015) and will be the 2018 VP of Association Affairs for NAR. She has served on numerous committees at all levels. Additionally she served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Barbara Betts

Barbara Betts, Broker Associate/REALTOR®/CEO, The Betts Team, Keller Williams Pacific Estates
Barbara Betts, has been a licensed REALTOR® since 2003.  Together with her husband they are nown as The Betts Team.  For her entire career, she has had a philosophy of “Real Estate by Relationship” and working primarily by referral. Working by referral allows her to take care of the people closest to her while relying on referrals to their friends, family, and associates. Recognized as a top producer, her true joy is in helping their clients reach their real estate goals, whether buying, selling, or investing.  She has a passion for her industry and gives back by teaching and coaching other REALTORS® and is highly involved at the local and state levels.  In her spare time, you can find her at a dance event with her daughter or supporting her son in his professional baseball career.    

Vanessa Bergmark

Vanessa Bergmark, Owner, Red Oak Realty
A native New Yorker, Vanessa started her career in real estate in 2003 as a sales agent, moving into management just one year later.  For three years she ran a large franchise, growing it to the #2 in profitability in the Northern CA region.  In the 2007 downturn she left to manage a small, independent brokerage, one year later becoming General Manager of the entire company, and ultimately acquiring the 35 year old brokerage with her partner in 2010.  Since then, she has rebranded and reshaped the entire organization, moving it from 12th in market share to number 3 in just 4 years.  Presently, she oversees the 100 sales agents in two offices located in Berkeley and Oakland, CA.  She has spoken about branding, culture and agent retention at several organizations and conferences including ICSF, ICNY, NAR, CAR and Who's Who in Luxury.  In 2013 she was named as one of Inman's 100 Most Influential Leaders in Real Estate. She currently resides in Oakland, CA with her husband and two young children. 

Diana Bull

Diana Bull, Broker Associate, Pacific Crest Realty 
REALTORS® Emeritus, CRB, GRI, NAR Hall of Fame
“Many consider Diana Bull, a ‘role model’ REALTOR®. Over the years, she has opened many doors for women in business and real estate,” says Staci Caplan, a Santa Barbara REALTOR® and her daughter. Diana began her real estate career at the age of 22 by helping Veterans, who were returning from the Vietnam War, to buy homes in the Santa Barbara communities.  She raised a family, married a top real estate attorney, built businesses and enjoys numerous referrals from clients and colleagues. According to Staci, “My mother has earned an excellent reputation for always giving 110% to clients and her profession.  She has excellent communication skills, pays attention to details, maximizes technology, and delivers results with enthusiasm.” Diana Bull was the first female Treasurer and a Past President of the California Association of REALTORS® - with over 192,000 members.  Also, she has held many respected positions with the National Association of REALTORS®. Diana Bull is acknowledged in “Who’s Who of American Women”; honored as a “Mentor/Business Leader” by the Santa Barbara Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; named among the “Top 50 Women in Business” by the Pacific Coast Business Times and earned the “Santa Barbara and California REALTOR® of the Year” awards. Diana is a Broker-Associate and Corporate Financial Officer  with Pacific Crest Realty. 

Sandy Darling

Sandy Darling, Manager, Guarantee Real Estate
Attended UCLA from 1962-1966 with a major in Business Administration and a specialization in Marketing Management. She became a REALTOR® in 1973. In 1986, she went to work for her current firm, Guarantee Real Estate as a Sales Associate. She has manage that office since 1995. Her office consists of 41 amazing female sales associates. They are the only all-woman office in their market area, and as such have a special reputation. They have over 800 years of real estate experience in the office. In the last 10 years, her agents have closed over 1 Billion dollars, and that is during a time when the median sales price has been around $225,000 and during the mortgage meltdown!  Sandy also served in leadership positions at her local association and at CAR, as well as on committees at NAR. 

Elizabeth Do....

Elizabeth Do, Listing Specialist & Team Leader, The Elizabeth Do Team, Keller Williams Realty
Earning accolades as one of the National Association of REALTORS®’ top agents is no small victory; for Elizabeth Do, being recognized as one of the organization’s “Top 30 Under 30″ is the result of a dedicated approach to cultivating a thriving, client-centric business. The graduate of California State University, Fullerton applies a background in finance, a thorough market knowledge and outstanding customer relations skills to provide her clients with exceptional real estate experiences. Despite a shifting market, Elizabeth has consistently earned recognition as a top producing agent. She notes that, since launching her career in 2005, she has closed upwards of $300 million in residential, residential investment and commercial transactions throughout Orange County and the surrounding regions. Adaptability is a critical component in a real estate agent’s long-term success, and Elizabeth has proven her mettle through thoughtful and creative business. Her top producer status requires an extraordinary commitment to her profession, but with the support of her team Elizabeth is also able to enjoy time outside of the business. She enjoys traveling with her family, which includes her husband Dave, her parents and brother, and her in-laws. The family typically seeks out tropical destinations for downtime. A task-oriented professional who is adept at handling a range of transactions including probate sales, equity sales and purchases and distressed properties, Elizabeth looks forward to continued growth and success.

Lydia Gable

Lydia Gable, Founder/Group Leader, Lydia Gable Realty Group
Lydia Gable is founder and group leader of Lydia Gable Realty Group, located in Westlake Village, CA.  With over 12 years in real estate, she is a Top 10 Producer in the Conejo Valley among local agents (2013-present), as well as consistently ranked in the top three in Keller Williams for Top Performing Teams. Lydia is exceptionally well-respected in Westlake Village and surrounding areas for her savvy negotiations skills, high-level of customer satisfaction (88 5-star Zillow reviews) and leading marketing. Co-founder and organizer of the Coats for Casa Pacifica Drive, now in its 8th annual year, this non-profit event has donated more than 10,000 coats to local kids and families in need. Lydia graduated with a B.S. degree in Business from the University of Minnesota and has 15 years of marketing/management experience as VP of Marketing for Sega America and other senior positions at major retailers such as Mattel and Target.

Eva Garcia

Eva Garcia, Owner, Garcia Realty
Eva began her real estate business in 1965, after working with a Helen Hoshino, a Woman broker, for the first few years of her career. She decided to begin her brokerage because she saw the flexibility it gave her to take care of her family while being able to provide for her family. Also, it gave her the ability to help minority buyers purchase homes when other brokerages would not sell to minority buyers. Garcia Realty was the first Hispanic brokerage in the region. After going it alone for the first few years, her husband Frank decided to quit his job at McClellan Air Force Base to join the firm. By 1972, they had built the business to 3 offices and 80 agents.  Eva sold one of the first homes with FHA financing in 1974 to a single woman. During this time, a woman needed a man's signature, co signor, to purchase a home. Eva threatened to take FHA to Court if they did not grant her buyer the loan, as she was more qualified than most men at that time, working as a news anchor at a local television station. Well she got the loan for her client and the rest is history. Eva has been actively involved in her local association and CAR since she began her career. Currently she is a member of CREPAC and is an NAR Director. She also was honored with REALTOR® Emeritus status in 2014. Eva was an elected official and appointee of Gov Jerry Brown his first time as Governor. She was the first Latina appointed and elected to the Sacramento School board and the Sacramento City Council.  She also served on the CA State Board of Education. She has been the recipient of countless awards too many to name but most recently Sacramento Business Journal's Women Who Mean Business Award. In addition to all of this she and her husband, were founding members of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and she has sat on many board of directors for local non profits. She continues to serve on a few boards but mostly she is enjoying the fruits of her labor by traveling all over the world, enjoying her grandchildren, and having the good fortune of her two children running and working in her business.

Valerie Garcia

Valerie Garcia, Chief Encouragement Officer, ValerieGarcia.com
Valerie is truly passionate about helping others embrace change. As an international Real Estate speaker and consultant, she is known for delivering encouragement and truth with her signature straightforward style and sense of humor. By focusing on the importance of overcoming fear, adapting to new ideas, and putting the customer first, Valerie’s sessions speak to the very heart of our industry. Valerie has had the privilege of working with Real Estate brands such as RE/MAX, Century 21, Royal LePage, and others in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia, and has spent over 17 years educating and teaching Real Estate professionals. In her previous role as Director of Training for RE/MAX INTEGRA, she created and delivered education initiatives for tens of thousands of associates across North America. Named as both an Inman Top 100 Influencer, as well as a Top 20 Social Influencer on the Swanepoel Power 200, Valerie is considered to be a key voice in the Real Estate industry.

Annette Graw

Annette Graw, Broker/Associate, Vista Sotheby's International
Annette Graw has been an active REALTOR® since 1974, got her brokers license in 1977. South Bay Board of REALTORS® President 1980 & 1981. Management experience since 1979. Founded South Bay Brokers in 1985. Honorary Director for Life for California Association of REALTORS® 1997. President South Bay Free Clinic Board of Directors 1997-2001. Involved member and Lay Minister for St. Bede's Episcopal Church. Secretary of the Corporation of the Diocese of Los Angeles. Honorary Canon for the Diocese of Los Angeles. Mediation Training from Pepperdine University. Master Instructor for GRI and California Association of REALTORS®. 2003 California Distinguished REALTOR® Award. REALTOR® Emeritus for NAR 2016. Annette loves her four grandchildren, and two great grandchildren, the Beach, her garden in Annapolis, travel and theater.

Sarah Kosasky

Sarah Ribnick Kosasky, Founding Partner/Manager, Partner's Trust Malibu
Sarah is a Founding Partner and Manager of the Malibu office of Partner's Trust, a brokerage that topped $2.5 billion in sales in 2016 alone, Sarah Kosasky demonstrates poise, expert knowledge, and a penchant for collaboration to all who perform under her leadership. Her vast strategic marketing background, coupled with her tenacious spirit, is instrumental in the continued growth and market position the Malibu office has achieved. Named 2015 REALTOR® of the Year by the Malibu Association of REALTORS®, Sarah is not only a leading force in Malibu real estate but continues to recruit elite talent, many of which are now top-performing associates in Partners Trust and Los Angeles. After graduating from The University of California at Davis Sarah returned to Los Angeles to begin a career in advertising where she worked to develop successful campaigns for numerous Fortune 500 companies. In 2006, Sarah was hired by a privately owned real estate company as their marketing director, overseeing everything from corporate branding to website development.  As an entrepreneur with a love for learning and professional growth, Sarah got her broker’s license and parlayed her experience to later start her own brokerage in 2009, Arete Estates, which would be acquired by Partners Trust in the summer of 2014.  

Bernice Ledbetter

Bernice Ledbetter, Ed. D., Director of Pepperdine Center for Women in Leadership
 Dr. Bernice Ledbetter is the Director of the Pepperdine Center for Women in Leadership, she is a recognized expert on the topic of women in leadership. She is a regular contributor on the Huffington post Blog, offering practical advice to women in leadership, and quoted in several local news outlets including the Los Angeles Times, LA Business Journal, Long Beach Press Telegram, and Los Angeles Daily News.  Dr. Ledbetter is a frequent key note speaker on advancing women in leadership to industry groups and large organizations including Fortune 500 and international audiences. Dr. Ledbetter serves as Chair of the Master of Science in Management & Leadership degree program at the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University, where she teaches graduate-level courses across a range of leadership topics. She is an award winning teacher, and recipient of the Howard A. White Award for Teaching Excellence, the George Award for Outstanding Faculty Member, and the Graziadio Alumni Network Leadership Council “Above and Beyond” Faculty Award. Dr. Ledbetter holds a bachelor of arts degree I liberal studies from California State University, Fresno; a master of divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA; and a doctorate in education with an emphasis in organizational Leadership from the Graduate School of Education and Psychology at Pepperdine University. Dr. Ledbetter’s professional background includes serving as a Vice President at Right Management Consultants, internationally known career transition and organizational consulting firm, and co-founding the De Pree Leadership Center dedicated to promoting values-based leading. Dr. Ledbetter serves on the Advisory Board for Women Network and the California Women’s Conference, and the Host Committee for 2020 Women on Boards. She is an active member of the International Leadership Association and regularly presents research at academic conferences. In her research, Dr. Ledbetter explores three themes: women in leadership; peace leadership; and spirituality and leadership. She has authored several articles and book chapters and co-authored the book, Reviewing Leadership: An Evaluation of Current Approaches (2016), and her recent article “A Values Approach to Advancing Women in Leadership: Using Talent Management to Change the Equation” appeared in the Graziadio Business Review.

Mary Maloney

Mary Maloney, Owner/Founder, Hometown Realty
Mary Maloney ventured into real estate in 2003 not to sell homes, but to build communities. Five years later, she founded Hometown Realty, a boutique realty firm, and today, along with a dynamic team, works with individuals and families to help them achieve their real estate needs. With a flagship office in San Marcos CA, and a second office in Oceanside, CA, Hometown Realty’s vision is quite simple, “Client focused. Community Driven.” Everything they do in business aligns with their core values of serving the community. Her background is diverse. A Desert Storm Veteran, she spent eight years in the US Navy. That dedication and leadership experience, coupled with a later role in corporate marketing, Mary is armed to fight for her clients and position her company for success. Having held the title of “Top Producer” her entire real estate career, she is nationally recognized as a leader in the industry. Her unique approach to marketing keeps her company and team on the forefront. Mary was named to the Inman 101 Top Real Estate Professionals and her team was named the #1 Team in North County San Diego by Real Trends in the Wall Street Journal in 2015. Mary’s commitment to the community is unmatched through her various charity work and sponsorships. She lives in the north San Diego County community of San Elijo Hills with her family and her dogs. 

Geoff McIntosh

Geoff McIntosh, 2017 C.A.R. President   
C.A.R. President Geoff McIntosh is a 30-year real estate veteran and broker in Southern California. Active in organized real estate since 1987, McIntosh is broker and co-owner of Main Street REALTORS® in Long Beach, Calif. He most recently served as C.A.R. president-elect and has served in other leadership positions for his local, state, and national associations of REALTORS®. He also served two years as the Association’s treasurer in 2014 and 2015. Previously, McIntosh served as president of the Pacific West Association of REALTORS®, the Greater Long Beach Association of REALTORS®, and the Apartment Association California Southern Cities. He also has served as an officer and member of the board of director of the California Regional Multiple Listing Services, Inc. (CRMLS). At the state level, he chaired C.A.R.’s Legislative Committee in 2013 and was Vice Chair of the committee in 2012. He also has served on numerous C.A.R. committees, including Strategic Planning and Finance, Executive, and EXPO Advisory. He was named C.A.R. Director-for-Life in 2010. At the national level, McIntosh has served on NAR’s Board of Directors since 2006.

Mia McLeod

Mia McLeod, President/Broker/Owner, McLeod & Associates
Mia believes in providing a service that is delivered so well that people cannot help themselves but to rave about it, creating “Raving Fans” for life. This philosophy garnered her to be recognized by the National Association of REALTORS® and by REALTOR® Magazine in 2008, at the seasoned age of 25, as one of the 30 Under 30 honorees. Mia’s mission is to provide every client with the same unparalleled quality representation, consistently delivering real estate and mortgage services through a People First versus profit philosophy. Having opened her company at the age of 22, freshly after graduating UC Berkeley in 2004, she recently celebrated the company’s 11th year anniversary.  She is currently in collaboration with Channel 18 KSCI’s Kababayan Today with Giselle Töngi for “The Real Estate Buzz”, a segment that helps educate viewers about relevant news and trends in the real estate and mortgage world. Mia’s social activism for the poor can be found through her involvement with one of her greatest passions: Gawad Kalinga (GK). 

Elizabeth Mendenhall....

Elizabeth Mendenhall, CEO, RE/MAX Boone Realty
Elizabeth Mendenhall, a REALTOR® from Columbia, Mo., is the 2017 President Elect of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR). NAR, “The Voice for Real Estate®,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million REALTORS® involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. Elizabeth is the CEO for RE/MAX Boone Realty in Columbia and has been a REALTOR® for 20 years. RE/MAX named her the “Mid-States Missouri Broker-Owner of the Year” in 2009 and the “International Broker Manager of the Year” in 2006.  She is a sixth-generation REALTOR®. She has received designations as an Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR®), Accredited Buyer Representative Manager (ABRM), Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers (CRB), Performance Management Network (PMN), e-PRO® specialist, Learning Certified Instructor (LCI), and is a Graduate of the REALTOR® Institute (GRI). She is a member of the Women’s Council of REALTORS® (WCR) and the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council. On the national level, Elizabeth currently serves on NAR’s Executive Committee, Board of Directors and Leadership Team.  She chaired the Strategic Planning Committee in 2012 and served as Vice President of Committees in 2011.  She was the NAR Liaison to Association Leadership in 2008. In 2010, the Missouri Association of REALTORS® elected Elizabeth president.  She also served as president of the Missouri WCR in 2004.  The Missouri WCR named her “Business Woman of the Year” and “Member of the Year,” in 2007. For her local association, the Columbia Board of REALTORS®, Elizabeth chaired the Professional Standards Committee in 2012.  She served as president and was named their “REALTOR® of the Year” in 2003. Active in her community, Elizabeth has served on the board of directors for the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, the local United Way, and Job Point.  She also founded and served as the first president of the Mid-Missouri Affiliate for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation.  In 2001, the Columbia Business Times named her in their “40 Under 40” inaugural class.

Penny Nathan

Penny Nathan, President/CEO, Ascent Real Estate, Inc.
As a Real Estate Broker Penny has been selling real estate in San Diego for 16 years. Co-founding Ascent Real Estate in 2005 broadened her focus into directing the stability, innovation and growth of her Company. This has provided the foundation of their culture which is based upon the importance of balance between business, personal growth and health, mutual respect, diversity and ethics. Ascent's dynamic real estate professional Sales Associates and Broker Associate team are committed to their culture which continues to have a positive impact on San Diego real estate. Ascent aspires to hire, develop and retain San Diego County's most professional and best trained agents. They collaborate from a spirit of business partnership with their associates providing on-going industry training, time management tips and business best-practice strategies. Ascent and Associates focus with gratitude on opportunities to serve and support relationships with each other, their clients and communities.

Heather Ozur

Heather Ozur, Team-Leader, The Ozur Group, Keller Williams
Heather Ozur, is a practicing REALTOR® for 18 years with Keller Williams, specializing in residential property.  Heather and her team focus on listing and selling properties in the Greater Palm Springs, CA area. Heather has been an active voice in the REALTOR® community since 2003 serving on various committees.  She has served in positions such as the 2010 & 2011 President of California Desert Association of REALTORS®, member of the 2011 – 2013 National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Strategic Planning Committee, 2012 NAR Leadership Academy graduate, and served as the 2014 President of the California State - Women’s Council of REALTORS®.  In 2014 Heather was inducted into the RPAC Hall of Fame for her lifetime contributions to RPAC. For 2017 Heather is serving as Secretary of Palm Springs Regional Association of REALTORS®, Vice Chair of Strategic Planning and Finance for the California Association of REALTORS®, Vice Chair – Strategic Thinking Advisory Committee for the National Association of REALTORS® and First Vice President for National Women’s Council of REALTORS®. With a passion for networking and sharing with others, Heather became a REALTOR®.  Using both social media and face-to-face networking, Heather has been able to network with REALTORS® and clients from around the global. She pulls from her understanding of technology, forward thinking ideas, and drive for real estate when working with others. Quickly you will see that Heather focuses on the 3 P’s – Passion, Professionalism and Personality! Heather is passionate, a life learner and a social entrepreneur.  In real life that means a Mom, wife, volunteer, speaker and REALTOR®. Let’s connect! 

Desiree Patno

Desiree Patno, President/CEO, Desiree Patno, Enterprises Inc.
Desirée Patno is the President and CEO of the National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses (NAWRB) and Desirée Patno Enterprises, Inc. (DPE). With over 25 years in real estate and championing gender equality, she brings insider knowledge to NAWRB’s mission of advocating on behalf of women and women-owned and small businesses in the housing ecosystem. As Vice Chairwoman of NAWRB’s Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council (NDILC), Patno is dedicated to growing the number of C-suite women, women's employment at all levels, and diverse spend in the housing ecosystem. Since 2010, NAWRB has raised awareness of the opportunities provided by the Office(s) of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) and worked to advance the diversity and inclusion (D&I) movement. Desirée resides on the Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) Leadership Advisory Council and Enterprising Women Advisory Board. In 2012, she won the prestigious Enterprising Women of the Year and HousingWire’s Women of Influence awards, receiving the HousingWire award again in 2016. Recently, she was selected the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Women in Business Champion of the Year, and NAWRB is honored to be one of only 11 organizations listed as a Women’s Entrepreneurship Partner for the SBA. 

Gretchen Pearson

Gretchen Pearson, President/CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties 
Gretchen is the President/CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties with 35 offices and 900 sales professionals throughout Northern California and Nevada. She has over 30 years of real estate experience and leads the fastest-growing, full-service real estate company in California and Nevada. She was honored with the 2016 Most Influential Business-woman award, NAR’s Top 40 Under 40, and Entrepreneur of the Year. Gretchen is the founder of the Drysdale Community Foundation – a non-profit organization that provides grants to local charities that provide aid to the community. Additionally, Gretchen sits on the board for Special Olympics Northern Nevada, sponsors many industry events and has been a keynote speaker at a wide variety of events throughout the nation.

Courtney Poulos

Courtney Poulos, Broker/Owner, ACME Real Estate
Courtney hails from the East Coast, graduated college with a degree in Journalism/Public Relations from the esteemed Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland at College Park, and spent 9 years working in arts and entertainment public relations prior to entering real estate. Courtney has been selling real estate for nearly 10 years. She recently was the host of FYI Networks, “My City’s Just Not That Into Me,” where she played real estate matchmaker with buyers and sellers and cities nationwide. In 2011, Courtney formed ACME Real Estate, a design-savvy boutique brokerage focusing on brand marketing and real estate sales. As co-founder of the Northeast Los Angeles Business Culture, Courtney brought together over 50 small business owners in a transitional area to create community and cross promote, applying social media marketing and outreach. With her keystone client, bettershelter, Courtney has created a home design solution for savvy buyers throughout Los Angeles. In 2015, Courtney launched a second brokerage, Evolution Real Estate, with Adam Levin, ranked in top 5% of Southern California attorneys. Evolution focuses on luxury high end real estate on West side of Los Angeles. In her free time, she enjoys being a mama, maintaining the brokerage website for design, rehab + real estate: acme-re.com, singing karaoke at dive bars, and military-style workouts.

Ross Ramone

Ross Ramone, SoulCycle
A lifelong swimmer, Ross competed at the national and NCAA Division 1 levels. After graduating from Columbia, Ross fell in love with coaching, working with everyone from developmental swimmers to Olympic athletes. When his acting career brought him to LA, Ross quickly discovered Soul. With the belief that what's true on the bike is true in life, the #ROSSRIDERS are all about creating a culture of courage. By attaching purpose to every pedal stroke, Ross's athletic and inspiring class asks riders to step out of their comfort zone and into their courage zone, one brave choice at a time.

Heidi Rickerd Rizzo

Heidi Rickerd-Rizzo, Co-Founder, Terra Firma Global Partners
With over 34 years of real estate experience, Heidi has an extensive background in property management, investment sales, exchanges, commercial and residential leasing, residential resale and relocation. She was a founding partner and President of Bayside Management in Marin County for 20 years and is currently the Vice President/Principal of Terra Firma Global Partners with offices in Napa, Sonoma and Marin Counties.  Heidi was also a Broker Associate and the SVP/Regional Manager Wine Country for Pacific Union real estate in Marin and Napa Valley prior to launching Terra Firma Global Partners. Her long career in the industry is reflective of her skill set, respect in the real estate community and her satisfied client experiences.  Committed to growing and learning in the industry at all times, Heidi is an avid organized real estate participant which allows her to be in front of trends and industry standards, laws and consumer issues both locally, state wide and nationally. She was the youngest Chair in history of CAR’s Legislative Committee in 1993.  With three decades of business and transaction experience she is well qualified in all aspects of risk management, transaction strategies and effective negotiations.  Heidi has received both REALTOR® of the Year and Distinguished Service Awards from the Marin Association of REALTORS®, is an Honorary Director for Life for the California Association of REALTORS® and has been Director since 1985 and recently served on the REB’s (Real Estate Business Subsidiary to CAR) Board of Directors.

Eileen Rivera 

Eileen Rivera, Owner/Founder, The Rivera Group, GE Dean and Associates
There are many qualities and skills that go into being an excellent real estate professional – integrity, in-depth community and market knowledge, marketing savvy, effective negotiation skills and a high-quality professional network, all of which are hallmarks of Eileen works. Eileen is a Long Beach real estate professional, that provides the very best service by putting her clients first. This by keeping herself accessible, being a good listener as well as a good communicator, and responding quickly to her clients needs. This “client first” philosophy has always been her approach and it requires her to continually improve her skills and ways of doing business. In addition, she found that the latest technologies are enabling her to do everything she normally does, only much more efficiently. They’ve also helped her to extend the range of services she provides to her clients.

Bernice L. Ross, Ph.D.

Bernice L. Ross, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Psychology and CEO of RealEstateCoach.com
Bernice is an international author, speaker, and trainer who couples her expertise as a Master Certified Coach with over 30 years of real estate sales experience. With over 1,000 published articles to her credit, Inman News called Bernice “America’s top real estate coach” and named her as one of the 150 most influential people in real estate for 2017. She is also the author of three real estate books, plus her new self-help book on persistence, The PQ Factor, Stop Resisting and Start Persisting. Her online new agent sales training programs have been white-labeled by the Alabama, California, Iowa, and Texas Associations of REALTORS®. Bernice also hosts the annual Awesome Females in Real Estate Conference which is dedicated to supporting and mentoring women who hold leadership positions in the real estate industry.

Joel Singer

Joel Singer, C.A.R. CEO and State Secretary
Joel Singer has held the Association's top staff position since November 1989 after serving as C.A.R.'s chief economist and heading the Association's public affairs department. He was instrumental in developing Real Estate Business Services Inc. (REBS), C.A.R.'s for-profit subsidiary, and serves as its president. He also is president and chief executive officer of zipLogix®, where he was influential in the recent transaction between the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) and zipLogixTM to provide zipForm Plus® and zipTMSTM as a free member benefit to all NAR members. In 2015 and 2016, Singer was named to Swanepoel’s Power 200 list, which identifies the 200 leaders that have the most power and influence to impact the residential real estate brokerage industry. He was named to the 2015 Inman 101 list of real estate industry doers “whose ingenuity, outspokenness, strength, conviction, power, and persistence are driving change.”

Sherri Souza

Sherri Souza, Broker/Owner, Independent Women Brokers
Sherri has been a REALTOR® for 16 years and is the Broker/Owner of Independent Women Brokers located in the San Francisco East Bay Area specifically Livermore, CA, specializing in residential real estate. Sherri currently serves as the 2017 Women’s Council of REALTORS® National President. Her contributions at the National level of Women’s Council of REALTORS® include contributions on all national committees and as Leadership Academy Faculty over the last 10 years. She is honored to be a 2011 graduate of the National Association of REALTORS® Leadership Academy. Sherri served as the 2011 President for the California Women’s Council of REALTORS®. Her experience includes 6 years of service as a Director for the California Association of REALTORS®. This year she serves as Issues Chair for the Transaction & Regulatory Committee at CAR. She has served 7 years as a Director, Foundation President and Trustee, Professional Standards Committee Chair, Leadership Development Committee, and was 2011 REALTOR® of the Year for her local association of REALTORS®, Bay East Association. Sherri has also established a local mastermind network of Independent Brokers that meet monthly. She finds time to volunteer for her local downtown Association and serves as Secretary on her local Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Community is important to Sherri and she enjoys being a contributing member. Sherri is a native Californian, a single mother of 2 young adults and a first time grandmother of a beautiful 18 month old, Jackson. Sherri is an avid hiker, she loves a challenge and is an aspiring epicurean, she loves preparing a fantastic meal for friends and family, paired with a glass of excellent champagne. Her desire to be a lifelong learner and her eagerness to help women find their highest self, fuels her passion for assisting others for success in real estate, their communities and on their leadership paths.

Tamara Ski Suminski....

Tamara Suminski, Broker/Owner, Beach Real Estate Group 
Tamara Suminski is the Broker-Owner of BEACH REAL ESTATE GROUP in Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles. She is a third generation REALTOR® and prior to joining real estate, she was a successful hotelier - perfecting the art of delivering exceptional customer service. Tamara has been dedicated to improving the real estate experience through continuous innovation and the highest standards of service and she has great passion for educating real estate professionals across the United States and globally. As an International Speaker and Trainer, Tamara has developed and shared courses and keynote sessions to fellow REALTORS® on Technology, REALTOR® Safety, Negotiation, Relationship Selling, Consumer Reviews, Strategic Planning and Political Advocacy just to name a few. Tamara was chosen to facilitate the National Association of REALTORS® REThink program to thousands of REALTORS® throughout the country, helping launch the program at NAR’s Leadership Summit in Chicago. Tamara is earning her Masters of Business Administration from Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business. She firmly believes in continuous education and she holds the following designations and certifications: ABR, CRS, GRI, ePRO, SRS, RENE, CDPE, ASP and QSC. Tamara was 2014 President of South Bay Association of REALTORS®, where she earned 2010 REALTOR® of the Year for her professionalism and commitment to the real estate industry. Tamara is among an elite group of real estate professionals who graduated from the Leadership Academy at the National Association of REALTORS®. Tamara has served on CAR’s Executive Committee and Strategic Planning & Finance Committee. Currently Tamara serves as Federal Political Coordinator to Congressman Ted Lieu and as a director for C.A.R. And NAR. When she’s not working, you can find Tamara enjoying the surf and sand, traveling or spending time with her sweet boy, Sebastian.

Sara Sutachan

Sara Sutachan, Vice President, Industry Relations & Strategic Initiatives, C.A.R. 
Sara oversees industry relations, membership development and strategic initiatives for the Association. In this role she helps the Association establish vision, identify new and emerging opportunities and relationships and is responsible for implementing key strategic initiatives. Sara is closely involved in the Association’s strategic planning efforts and is a well-known speaker in California’s real estate community. Sara has a Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Northridge in Business Administration with concen¬trations in Finance and Real Estate and a Master’s degree in Economics from California State
University, Los Angeles. 

Valerie Torelli

Valerie Torelli, Owner/Founder, Torelli Realty
Valerie Torelli, is the owner and founder of Torelli Realty, a residential realty firm based in Costa Mesa, CA. For over 30 years Valerie has been engaged in the full time sale, lease and property management of residential real estate. With 10 full time agents and a support staff of 5, her firm has been the #1 real estate firm in Costa Mesa, dominating the Mesa Verde section of the city. Valerie has personally closed escrow on over 2,000 homes. With a combination of community events, new technology and “old school” communication the agents of Torelli Realty adhere to the 4 C’s (commitment, connection, compassion, community) and enjoy unparalleled success and sustainability in the marketplace. 

Debra Trappen

Debra Trappen, Head of Sass and Moxie, DebraTrappen.com
Debra Trappen is the owner, and Head of Sass and Moxie at d11.  She founded the firm to help growth-minded leaders FIRE UP, uncover who they are, and become their BEST SELF. This translates into a life, brand, business culture, and attitude that all shine online to attract ideal connections, grow influence, and build a prosperous business that fires them up! A sought-after speaker, educator, and author, Debra’s been spotlighted and interviewed on several platforms, publications, and podcasts across the globe. When she is not igniting an audience on stage or creating in her studio, you will find her walking her pups or traveling and wine tasting with her husband for her passion project, omenOnWine.TV. Her first book, Fire Up! Taking Your Life and Business to 11, is available on Amazon.com. 

Irma Vargas

Irma Vargas, Founder, Tierra Properties
Irma began working in a Real Estate office in 1972 right out of high school as a receptionist. That summer, her boss told her to get her license so she could start answering the phone and give information about listings.  Being fresh out of school, passing the exam was easy. By Nov of 1972 she had her real estate license.  
While working at the real estate office, she continued her college education obtaining her BS in Accounting from LMU.  By the time she graduated, she had already sold a few properties  and actually bought her first duplex.  This is when she decided not to go work for one of the “Big 8 “ Accounting firms but stay working at the Real estate office. 
By 1980, she was running the office for her boss, who had both sales and property management.  She actually asked if she could buy in, but to make a long story short, by 1986 she realized it was not going to happen, so she gave her 6 month notice and left and opened Tierra Properties, a Real Estate  Sales Company.  She also bought into her sister’s & brother-in laws property management company,  both whom worked for her in the previous company. Today, Tierra Properties is a boutique RE office on the Westside of LA and RST & Associates, manages over 250 locations in LA. 

Michele W Harrington

Michele Williams Harrington, Broker/CEO, Star Estates
Michele enlisted in the US Marine Corps at age 19 and became a C-130 aircraft mechanic at VMGR 352, MCAS El Toro.  After her enlistment Michele got her real estate license and started working for a local company in Orange County, California. She immediately became a top producing agent and an investor, owning over 100 units of rental properties in Southern California.  Michele wanted to help and teach other agents how to build sustainable careers in real estate and build wealth so she opened her brokerage up to hiring agents. That company has grown from 2 agents to 150 agents and has become the top producing office in Aliso Viejo.  She since then opened offices in Mission Viejo, San Clemente and Dana Point and owns an independent escrow company in Laguna Niguel as well as a mortgage company. Besides running her company Michele also coaches agents and broker/owners with the Tom Ferry Organization. Michele stays very involved in the community and the REALTOR® organization.  She has served as a director for the Orange County Association of REALTORS®, The California Association of REALTORS® as well as chairs Local Government Relations and is a Federal Political Coordinator for the National Association of REALTORS®.  Michele Recently authored her first book “From Zero to Hero” Achieve your Dreams Through the power of Self-Discipline.  Her book talks about using the disciplined learned in the Armed Forces in business.  The book is currently selling on Amazon From Zero to Hero.

Kendyl Young

Kendyl Young, Owner/Founder, DIGGS
Kendyl Young is the founder and owner of DIGGS, a residential boutique brokerage in Glendale CA.  Kendyl’s customer first, detail oriented style of business has led to 29 successful years of selling and the launch of her own brokerage.  DIGGS is designed to be super transparent, involved in the community, and to resonate with their core audience, The Urban Expat. While technology is at the core of everything behind the scenes at DIGGS, the consumer experiences an old fashioned trust relationship. Kendyl is named on Inman’s List of Influential Real Estate Leaders and is a popular writer, speaker and thought leader in the industry. 

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