As 2019 draws to a close, it’s a good time to reflect on what your Association has accomplished on your behalf this past year.
It’s been a very busy and successful year for RAHB and our members. We saw our membership increase to an all-time high. We currently serve over 3,250 REALTORS®, and it continues to climb. This is a reflection of the services we provide, and the business available in the RAHB market area.
RAHB members came out to our many events throughout the year. We started 2019 with our Annual Awards and Recognition Gala, where we honoured our long service members and our dedicated volunteers, as well as enjoyed the company of our fellow professionals.
This year we hosted the RCN Breakfast for our Commercial REALTORS® at the Scottish Rite, a Nine and Dine golf tournament at Heron Point Golf Links, as well as our Grimsby, Caledonia and Dunnville Open Forums. We also hosted Open Forums in Hamilton and Burlington, where we welcomed Mayor Marianne Meed Ward to provide an update on all things Burlington. Additionally, this fall we hosted ProDev Plus in Burlington, where we welcomed more than 200 REALTORS® and partners for a day of education, a boutique trade show and networking. It was wonderful to see so many engaged members at our events this year, having discussions that help further the goals of our Association.
In November we celebrated our 31st Annual Charity Auction at Michelangelo’s, where we welcomed over 400 REALTORS®, friends and partners, in support of the Children’s Fund. We are delighted to announce that the event raised $87,500.
Speaking of donations, through the Home Ownership Affordability Program, RAHB was pleased to donate over $30,000 to Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga, and over $70,000 to Habitat for Humanity Hamilton. Along with these donations, RAHB members had the opportunity to participate in several on-site builds for Habitat, and we look forward to continuing the relationship with these wonderful organizations.
We saw some change this year. In the spring we undertook a search for a new CEO, and began the process to select a new leader for the Association. We are very happy to have Carol Ann Burrell with us as our new CEO. We know she will lead the Association into the future, helping to empower RAHB REALTORS® to succeed.
This summer we extended our data-sharing agreement with ORTIS to ensure that our partnership will continue once ORTIS and the Ontario Collective officially join forces to provide MLS® to their member boards and associations. Our arrangement with ORTIS has worked well for our members over the last few years, and we are very pleased to see it will continue. Once ORTIS and the OC become one entity, our data-sharing agreement will be extended to the OC, ultimately providing RAHB members with uninterrupted access to region-wide data of 23 boards and associations for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, RAHB members now have access to the OC data through IntraMatrix.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank all RAHB members for your patience and support during our discussions with ORTIS. I am also grateful to ORTIS and the OC for continuing our partnership. This agreement reflects a well-established, industry-wide consensus on the importance of data-sharing. We will continue to investigate data sharing options that will benefit our members and your business.
Although my year as President is coming to a close, I am proud of the work we have done together. Thank you to my fellow Directors for your dedication this year – your contributions have been essential. I’d also like to thank Donna Bacher and Lou Piriano, who stepped in this year to fill two vacancies on the Board – your efforts are greatly appreciated. I would be remiss if I did not specifically thank Kathy Della-Nebbia for stepping into the role of President-Elect this year. I can assure you that the board will be in good hands next year.
Thanks also go to our amazing RAHB staff for another successful year advancing our Association and the profession, as well as supporting our own members. I’d like to specifically highlight Carolyn Infurnari and Kim Sanders, who acted as CEO while we were without one, and who worked diligently to ensure RAHB members did not experience any gaps in service during this time.
Last, and certainly not least, I want to thank all RAHB members for your involvement in our Association, and for putting your faith in me as President this year.
Please watch for more information about what your Board of Directors and Association accomplished for you in the 2019 Annual Report, coming your way in the first quarter of 2020.
I would like to wish each of you and your families a very Merry Christmas and all the best for the Holiday Season. Happy New Year and best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
Bob Van de Vrande, B.Comm., M.B.A., B.Ed.
2019 RAHB President
REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington