Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, December 16, 2016

Women’s Council of Realtors celebrates 2016, looks to new year

Susan Stout of Coldwell Banker, right, WCR Chattanooga 2016 Realtor of the Year, with President Susan Barnette. - Photograph by David Laprad

The local Women’s Council of Realtors (WCR) is turning a new page in its 60-year history.

Previously known as the Chattanooga Chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors, the group is now known as Women’s Council of Realtors Chattanooga. In addition, WCR Chattanooga will no longer be called a “chapter” but a “network.”

The change come via a directive from the national organization, which is hoping to promote the business benefits of being a member of the WCR.

President Susan Barnette of Crye-Leike delivered the news at the WCR’s monthly business networking luncheon, which took place Dec. 8 at the Choo Choo Hotel. Additional changes included the removal of standing committees, the implementation of team leaders and task forces, new bylaws and a restructuring of the governing board – but not an increase in member dues.

Barnette encouraged local members to embrace the amendments and move forward. “We don’t need to question or dread these changes,” she said. “We need to remember that every ending gives us a new beginning.”

Before WCR Chattanooga looked to the future, its members spent a few minutes thinking back on 2016.

Throughout the year, the theme of teamwork emerged as WCR Chattanooga nurtured its members and held events intended to make a difference in the community.

Barnette offered a glimpse at the scope of the organization’s work throughout 2016.

“As a team, we built the membership to its current level. As a team, we re-established the fashion show, Rock the Runway, which was a huge success,” she says. “As a team, we planned and enjoyed each other’s company at several Sip ‘n’ Stroll events during the summer. As a team, we sent our leaders to training events.

“As a team, we held a wonderful Bras for a Cause event, which will allow us to double the number of scholarships we’ll be giving to local children whose parents have suffered from cancer. As a team, we donated hats, gloves and socks to children that need them and personal care items to Community Kitchen.

“And as a team, we broadened our businesses by attending several business networking meetings, built up our social media presence, and increased recognition of our organization among other Realtors and affiliates by participating in events at the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors.”

Barnett said WCR Chattanooga will carry the theme of teamwork into 2017 as it seeks to help women Realtors to build their businesses, become more widely known in the community and nurture future leaders.

During the meeting, WCR Chattanooga also bestowed two awards: Realtor of the Year Award and Affiliate of the Year.

Susan Stout of Coldwell Banker was honored as Realtor of the Year. Stout served as chairman of the Ways and Means committee in 2016 and spearheaded Bras for a Cause.

“She’s been a great asset for us,” said Realtor Jennifer Grayson of Crye-Leike, who gave the presentation. “We appreciate everything she’s done.”

Melanie Reeves, marketing director at First Choice Title, was honored as Affiliate of the Year.

“She stood out for everything she did with the fashion show and Bras for a Cause,” said Jill McLean of Synovus, who presented the award.

A member of WCR Chattanooga since the 1970s, Reeves said she has enjoyed watching the organization grow and change. “With the leadership we had this year, I watched it soar,” she said. “New members came in who didn’t even know about us at the beginning of this year.

“We need to keep our door open so we can continue to grow.”

After the awards, Grayson installed the officers for 2017. Sworn in were Stout, treasurer; Christi Doll of Exit Realty Scenic City, secretary; Connie Brewer of Keller Williams, vice-president of membership; and Debbie Radford of RE/MAX, as president-elect.

“You are entering a new phase of service, cooperation and leadership,” said Grayson. “You will exemplify the best that Realtors have to offer their profession. Guard this trust carefully and give the full measure of your time and qualities to your council and fellow members so we can continue to grow in service to our profession.”

Grayson also re-installed Barnette, who will serve a second consecutive term as president as WCR Chattanooga.

“You are honored to be installed in the highest office the Women’s Council of Realtors Chattanooga can bestow,” said Grayson. “We will look to you for leadership and know you will bring us great success and harmony in all we undertake.”

In closing, Barnett thanked every Realtor member and affiliate for their contributions. “This network is growing by leaps and bounds because of you,” she said. “We appreciate everyone and are looking forward to working with you in the year ahead.”

For more information about Women’s Council of Realtors Chattanooga, visit www.wcr.org/chapter-sites/tennessee/chattanooga.   v