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Affiliate of the Year Award Recipients

The Affiliate of the Year award recognizes one Affiliate member annually for their exemplary business experience, conduct, civic activity and industry involvement. Following are the award recipients for the Columbus REALTORS®.

For more information, or to nominate yourself or someone else, please click here.

2017 - Marie Smith
2016 - Gary Anderson
2015 - Kristin Collins
2014 - Melissa Friermood
2013 - Tricia Nunemaker
2012 - Joe Barone
2011 - Joyce Rhinehart
2010 - Linda Beckner
2009 - Jamie Sutton
2008 - David McKee
2007 - Kim McCutchen
2006 - Dave Dewey 

2005 - Bonnie Lustnauer
2004 - Debbie King
2003 - Jon Sadler
2002 - Steve Wagner
2001 - Jack Wiese
2000 - Marianne McCarty
1999 - Andi Brown
1998 - Donna Stevenson
1997 - Laural Flanagan

Back to Awards Programs

2017 Affiliate of the Year -- Marie Smith

Marie Smith, Director of Sales for Kingdom Title Columbus, began her career in the title industry as a receptionist in 1996, and was promoted within six months to the title department, then to processing in 1998 and to sales in 2002. She was instrumental in bringing the Kingdom Title brand to Columbus in 2015.

Marie has been a Columbus REALTORS® member for three years and currently serves on the Central Ohio REALTORS® Political Action (CORPAC) Committee, the Foundation Fundraising Committee, and is a past co-chair of the Columbus REALTORS® Blood Drive Committee and a past member of the Builder/ REALTOR® Alliance Committee. She has also been a REALTOR® Care Day participant since 2005.

Marie is an active member of the Greater Dublin and Hilliard area realty associations and a past member of the Columbus Southwest Area Realty Association.

In the community, she volunteers with the American Red Cross, Life Care Alliance and Meals on Wheels. She also has served on the Grove City Chamber Board of Directors; volunteered with the Short North Business Association Gallery Hop; and served as a volunteer with the Beacon Elementary PTA and a parent volunteer with the Hilliard Bears Rugby team.

2016 Affiliate of the Year -- Gary Anderson
Gary is a sales representative with Borror Properties/Truberry Custom Homes and has been in new home construction sales for 31 years and a licensed REALTOR® for 21 years. He holds the Certified New Home Sales Professional (CSP), Certified New Home Marketing Professional (CMP) and the Graduate, REALTOR® Institute designations. In 2015, he was awarded the Building Industry Association (BIA) Ten Million Dollar Sales Award, ranking among top 10 new home representatives.

He currently serves as co-chair of the Columbus REALTORS® Builder/REALTOR® Alliance Committee (BRAC), and is a past member of its Central Ohio REALTORS® Political Action Committee (CORPAC) and of the Governmental Affairs Committee.

He also serves as vice president of the Westerville Area Realty Association, coordinates its REALTOR® Care Day project, and is a member of the Greater Dublin, Midtown, Hilliard and Southern Delaware County area realty associations.

Gary is a blood and bone marrow donor, State Pro-Life Director of Ohio Knights of Columbus and has served for several years as a board member of Ohio Right to Life, and as a past president of Greater Columbus Right to Life. He’s also a former board member of St. Johns Learning Center and Mater Dei Academy and a volunteer with Holy Family Soup Kitchen in Franklinton and at the Homeless Families Foundation.

2015 Affiliate of the Year -- Kristin Collins
Kristin is a sales representative with Fischer Homes and has been in new home construction sales for 12 years and a member of Columbus REALTORS®.

She currently serves as co-chair of the Builder/REALTOR® Alliance Committee (BRAC), is a past co-chair of the Central Ohio REALTORS® Political Action Committee (CORPAC); a current member of the Foundation Fundraising Committee; and a REALTOR® Care Day participant since 2008.

Kristin is an active and long-time member of the Greater Dublin Realty Association, the Hilliard Area Realty Association and the West/Southwest Area Realty Association.

In the community, Kristin is a “Clause for Paws” volunteer and contributes to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, SPCA and the Franklin Animal Shelter. She also raises funds for area food pantries.

2014 Affiliate of the Year -- Melissa Friermood

Melissa has been a sales representative with Northwest Title Family of Companies since 2006. She started in the title business in 2004, and has been a member of Columbus REALTORS® for the past five years.

She currently serves as the Affiliate representative on the Columbus REALTORS® Board of Directors, is vice chair of the REALTOR® Care Day Committee and is a member of the Young Professionals Network (YPN). In the past, she has served as a member of the Foundation Advisory Board, the CORPAC Governing Board, and as chair of both the Foundation and CORPAC Fundraising committees.

Melissa is also an officer and active member of the Greater Dublin Realty Association, Greater Worthington Area Real Estate Association, the North Area Real Estate Association, and of the Southern Delaware County Realty Association. She has also been a member and officer of the Hilliard Area Realty Association and the West/Southwest Area Realty Association.
In the community, Melissa volunteers with the Clintonville Homes Tour, Furniture Bank of Central Ohio, Habitat for Humanity, Homeport, Keller Williams Red Day, Parade of Homes, and St. Andrews Church. She is also a CRC Holiday shopper. She contributes to the American Cancer Society, the American Red Cross, Bishop Watterson High School, Charity Newsies and to the Neighborhood Service, Dublin and Worthington food pantries.
 

2013 Affiliate of the Year, Tricia Nunemaker, Chicago Title Insurance Company

Tricia, an associate with Chicago Title Insurance Company, has been in the title profession for the past 21 years and an active member of CBR for the past nine years.

She currently serves as vice chair of the CBR Foundation Fundraising Committee and has co-chaired CBR’s CORPAC Fundraising and the Affordable Housing committees. She has also served as a member of the REALTOR® Care Day Committee, where she helped plan and actively participated in various Board restoration projects. She is a recipient of CBR’s “100 Acts of Kindness” Award and a four time George Award recipient for outstanding production.

Tricia currently serves as a member of the Independent Brokers Association (IBA), the Northeast/Westerville, and Southern Delaware County real estate associations, and of the Licking and Delaware County Boards of REALTORS® (DCBR). She was named DCBR’s Affiliate of the Year in 2010, and has served on DCBR’s Public Relations Committee and chaired its Right to Read week.

In the community, Tricia is involved with Epiphany Lutheran Church, Lutheran Social Services Food Pantry, Fairy Goodmothers, KW Cares Annual Red Day, and is a Mothers of Dancers fundraising volunteer. She has also served as a volleyball coach for Canal Winchester and for the Columbus Volleyball Academy.

2012 Affiliate of the Year -- Joe Barone, Talon Title Agency of Central Ohio

The Columbus Board of REALTORS® (CBR) has awarded Westerville resident and Attorney Joe Barone its 2012 Affiliate of the Year award for his outstanding business experience and his willingness to share his expertise with his industry colleagues.

Barone is presently in private practice with Magnuson & Barone in Westerville, and is the manager of Talon Title Agency of Central Ohio.

For CBR, Barone has served on the Board of Directors and was a member of the Board’s Escrow Closing Task Force. He speaks weekly at real estate offices on issues relating to buyer and seller representation and is approved to teach seven different continuing education courses. In 2003, he was a recipient of CBR’s Instructor of the Year award.

Barone resides in Westerville and is a member of the Westerville Rotary Club, where he has served as president and as a member of its Board of Directors. He participated on the committee that developed the plan and oversaw the construction of the “Harris-Askins” House – a 60-apartment HUD funded senior housing project located in the heart of Westerville.

He was also involved in the development of the Westerville Community Center, has volunteered time to assist in the amendment of the city charter; and participates in election seminars sponsored by the city of Westerville for potential candidates. 

In addition, Barone has served as treasurer for five successful Westerville City Council candidates and for a fire levy. He provides legal services pro bono on a regular basis to seniors and financially-trouble clients in need of legal services, and is active with the Lee Slater/Scott Bell Christmas Wish Program, which provides Christmas for families who have children with cancer.

Barone agrees, “Appreciating the people we cherish the most -- family, friends and colleagues -- is what’s most important. Their support makes doing my work all the more rewarding. Thank you for this recognition.”

2011 Affiliate of the Year -- Joyce Rhinehart, First American Home Buyers Protection

Thirty some-odd years ago, when the world was trading in its bell-bottoms for shoulder pads, a young, ambitious but naïve Joyce Rhinehart gently tip-toed her way into a downtown Chicago title office as a part-time receptionist. Little did she know this part-time job would lead to a lifetime of both personal and professional growth as well as lifelong friendships.

During her years in the title business, Joyce held many interesting positions at various title companies. Starting out answering phones, Joyce quickly moved up to “on foot” delivery person; getting all the payoffs to banks, picking up closing packages, and delivering the shipped packages to the lenders in the downtown area.  Life was good for the unfledged Joyce, but just as any hatchling gets ready to leave its nest, the leap was inevitable.

Joyce was falling in love with the industry, but the pay of an office runner wasn’t enough to sustain herself and her two small children. She needed to make more money, and as any ambitious-by-nature individual would do, Joyce turned in her resignation to her then boss Phil Brown to seek out new opportunities.

However, because of Joyce’s strong drive and industry intelligence, Mr. Brown went to his business partner George Henry and recommended that Joyce be hired as a second sales rep for Title First Agency.

“I was told to go cold call on real estate agents, what does that mean!” Joyce exclaimed.

“I was as green as they come, and this was when green wasn’t popular. As a single parent on a commission only job, it was sink or swim” she said.

In May of 1987, Joyce attended her first REALTOR® meeting at the MCL cafeteria in Upper Arlington. Joyce explains, “My boss met me there and told me my job was to get to know every person in the room and get their business. That was my training!”

“This proved to be very challenging but I stuck with it for many years and managed to get a good following of wonderful, loyal agents who, today, I consider more than my customers…..they are my good friends. From receptionist, to delivery person, to sales rep, to Vice President of sales and marketing, I had gained so much wonderful experience.”

In 2001, Joyce was offered a position with First American Home Buyers Protection.

“I was thrilled to get on board with a National Fortune 500 company and utilize my skills and contacts that I worked so hard to obtain during the last couple of decades.”

Joyce is now going on 10 years with First American and continues to win awards every year. Since her first year with the company, Joyce has won Rookie of the Year, Sales Achievement, Outstanding Sales Achievement, and two-time President’s club.

In March 2010, Joyce was recognized at the First American Divisional conference in Ft. Lauderdale with the prestigious Lifetime President’s Club Award.

 “I truly feel honored to represent this company as they treat their employees with such respect, and I know I offer the best warranty in the market. I really enjoy my job as it is rewarding, challenging, and I get to see my friends on a daily basis,” Joyce said.

Joyce resides in Upper Arlington with her husband Wayne and their latest shelter dog, Bosko.  As a single mother for 17 years, Joyce is proud to say she raised two wonderful children during the many adverse years of working in the industry. Her daughter LeAnne is a manager in the mortgage division with JP Morgan Chase, and her son Steve is going on his third year as a Columbus Police Officer.                 

2010 Affiliate of the Year - Linda Beckner

Linda Beckner of Columbus Title Agency of Westerville has been in the title business for 16 years. A member of several area realty associations and many CBR committees, Linda was chosen as WCR’s Affiliate of the Year in 2009 in addition to receiving Captain’s Club, Ohio and RPAC Capital Club Awards and CBR’s “100 Acts of Kindness” Award.

Her community service includes volunteering for the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce, the American Cancer Society and Habitat for Humanity, among others. For 25 years, Linda has served on two auxiliaries at Children’s Hospital.

A Columbus native, she resides in Westerville with Dick, her husband of 40 years. They have two daughters.

2009 Affiliate of the Year - Jamie Sutton

The mortgage business came accidentally to Jamie Sutton, who said she never planned to make it her career when she started in banking in 1979.

Over the last 30 years, the 2009 Affiliate of the Year has worked in nearly every aspect of loan servicing and production -- from escrow account management, investor relations and collections to foreclosure, processing, closing and compliance.

Sutton became a mortgage loan officer in 1984 and after moving to Columbus in 1986, became involved in her community, and her profession. An active volunteer with several community organizations, including Worthington Arts Council and Worthington Schools, Sutton is also active in several area realty associations, the Columbus Mortgage Bankers and the CBR.

The best part of her job, Sutton said, is helping people achieve homeownership and make responsible decisions about their finances. "I'm proud to say that I've helped thousands of people get money to buy properties when they may not have otherwise been able to," Sutton said. "I consider many of my REALTOR® friends more like family."

The author of two books on mortgages, Sutton has been a member of the Wells Fargo Leader's Club for more than 10 years. She lives in Worthington with her husband and two children.

2008 Affiliate of the Year - David McKee

David McKee is vice president and partner with Priority Mortgage Corporation, where he manages origination staff and originates residential mortgage loans using Conventional, FHA and VA financing.David has been in banking since 1978, and has been active in the industry and in the community. He is currently serving his second consecutive year on the Ohio Mortgage Bankers Association Board of Trustees and has been a member of the Columbus Mortgage Bankers Association for 24 years.

David joined the Board in 1989, where he has served as a CBR affiliate trustee and as a member of the Board's Governmental Affairs Committee and Escrow Closing Task Force. He is a CORPAC Captain's Club member and also an active participant in the CORPAC Golf Outing, Celebrity Waiters Luncheon and REALTOR ® Care Day.

In the community, David serves as a member of the Dublin AM Rotary and Dublin Chamber of Commerce and, in the past, has served as a member of Dublin AM Foundation Board, coached a Dublin Soccer team, volunteered for the St. Brigid Track team, and has served as the track representative for the Bishop Watterson Athletic Association.

He has also served numerous years as a City of Dublin Parade Marshal and as a volunteer for the Dublin Irish Festival. He is currently the president of Coventry Woods Homeownership Association. David holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Otterbein College in Westerville and is a member of St. Brigid of Kildare Catholic Church.

"I am honored to be the recipient of the 2008 Affiliate of the Year Award. Looking at past award winners as well as all of the other professionals who are being honored this year, I know I am in great company. It is with gratitude and pride that I accept this award. I appreciate the recognition that the Columbus Board of REALTORS® has bestowed upon me. I also want to thank the team at Priority Mortgage who has supported my career for almost 25 years. In addition, there are many REALTORS®, builders and title professionals that have been an integral part of my business and personal life. I accept this award knowing and appreciating that all of these people have helped me along the way."

2007 Affiliate of the Year - Kim McCutchen

Kim McCutchen is the Columbus Southwest Regional manager for Valmer Land Title and a "country girl at heart". She lives on a mini farm in Groveport Ohio, called The Seven Acres, named for her Grandfather.

Kim's Board activities includes serving as the Affiliate Director, chairing the Affiliate Liaison Committee, co-chairing CORPAC and serving as a member of the Foundation Fundraising Committee. She is also a two-time Crystal "R" recipient for her contributions to the Central Ohio REALTORS® Political Action Committee. In addition, she has served in several leadership positions for the Southwest, West and West/ Southwest area realty associations.

For the community, Kim is currently serving a twoyear term as director of the Grove City Chamber and has served as a member of Grove City Sertoma. She is also a co-founder of the Grove City Girls' Club, which is an organization that assists children in the Southwest area with the little extras in life, such as paying for senior pictures, sending students to camp and assisting families in need with help in paying utility and hospital/doctor bills.

Kim was born in Columbus and raised in a small city in New Mexico. She returned to Columbus in 1980, and attended The Ohio State University. She also attended Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, New Mexico, and is a graduate of Manzano High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Kim loves spending time with her family and living on the farm that she affectionately refers to as her grandkids playground. She gets her strong work ethic from her grandfather who she credits with being her rock and the biggest influence in her life.

Kim said, "On learning that I had been selected for this award, I experienced a variety of emotions. I was shocked, honored, almost speechless, and truly humbled by this amazing recognition from my peers. To me, I can only compare it to what it must feel like to win an Oscar at the academy awards. This recognition will truly be cherished as one of the many high points of my career."

2006 Affiliate of the Year - David Dewey

David Dewey is an assistant vice president and area manager for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and CBR's 2006 Affiliate of the Year. As a vice president and manager for Wells Fargo, he is in charge of loan originations and manages seven loan production offices in Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton and NW Ohio markets.

David has been a member of CBR for 24 years, where he has served as a member of the Board of Directors, chair of the Affiliate Liaison Committee, vice chair of the CORPAC Committee and he is a CORPAC Life Member. He also has served as a member of the Affordable Housing, Education and Residential Standard Forms committees. David has been very active with the Columbus Mortgage Bankers Association, having served as its director, president, treasurer and secretary.

In the community, David has served as a Youth Advisor for both the Northwest Methodist Church and the Upper Arlington Lutheran Church, director of the Upper Arlington Rotary, director of the Upper Arlington Jaycees and president of the Upper Arlington Booster Association. He has also served as captain for the Upper Arlington High School Stadium and Field fundraiser and as a member of the Upper Arlington High School Search Committee for both a strength trainer and football coach.

2005 Affiliate of the Year - Bonnie Lustnauer

Bonnie Lustnauer is an associate with The Talon Group and CBR?s 2005 Affiliate of the Year.

Bonnie attributes her success in this business to building relationships and becoming close friends with her customers. She advises those new to the business not to be afraid to ask questions. Be patient and enjoy what you do. You get to help people fulfill one of their dreams?buying a home!

Her most memorable experience in the business was pre-signing first time home-buyers in the hospital right after they delivered their first child. The buyer went into labor a few weeks early and right before the closing. The news media was there to film the big event, 1st baby, 11st home, and 1st mortgage!

Bonnie currently serves as a member of the Womens Counsel of REALTORS® (WCR), and of the Dublin, Hilliard and Northwest area real estate associations, where she helps plan social events, golf outings, and holiday parties. She also shops and delivers gift baskets to needy families during the holidays.

She is a member of the Upper Arlington Lutheran church, counsels breast cancer patients, and volunteers for the Faith Mission, Bake for Cairos Prison Ministry, National Denim day, and the Adopt a Family.

2004 Affiliate of the Year - Debbie King

Debbie King has been selected as CBR’s 2004 Affiliate of the Year. She began her career in the Title industry in 1993, and is a licensed title insurance agent with Chicago Title. She attributes her success in this industry to taking the time to learn her business from start to finish. She also learned early on to make one more stop at the end of each business day, even when she didn’t want to.

Debbie’s advice to someone just starting in this industry is to be persistent, stay positive (smile) and focus. This business is about building long term relationships. Debbie and her husband both take great pleasure in being involved in their children’s school and sports activities. Debbie also enjoy gardening and going to antique flea markets.

In accepting this award, Debbie said, “I came to Columbus in 1993 knowing no one. After eleven years in the industry I can say quite honestly, I work with my best friends!”

2003 Affiliate of the Year - Jon Sadler

Jon Sadler started in the banking business immediately upon graduation from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. He was with State Savings for 17 years and moved to Fifth Third Bank in 1998 making this his 22nd year in the business.

This isn’t the first time Jon has been recognized by his peers. He has been a member of the 5th/3rd Bank President’s Club every year since its inception, United Way Leadership Circle for Young Executives, leadership Columbus graduate and was awarded 5th/3rd Bank’s Community Achievement Award in 2002.

His involvement in the REALTOR® organization has included serving and chairing several of the Board’s committees including Affordable Housing, Equal Opportunity, Residential Education, Builder/Realtor® Alliance, Commercial Membership and Affiliate Liaison. He also served on the Board of Trustees in 1998 and is currently on the Board of Directors.

Jon’s list of civic and community involvement is pretty extensive. He is or has been involved with the Human Rights campaign, North Central Mental Health Board, Development Advisory Board for Habitat for Humanity, AIDS Service Connection, and Broad Street United Methodist Church. Due to his interest in music, he was past music director of the East Columbus Christian Church, and has been involved in the Columbus Symphony Chorus, and Opera Columbus chorus.

However, Jon is very proud of his involvement with the Franklin County Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board, which he is chairing this year. ADAMH helps people with mental health and substance abuse issues, through 50+ service providers. Last year, ADAMH spent $114 million and served 35,000 people in our area. When you pay your Franklin County real estate taxes, part of it goes to the ADAMH.

Having been very involved in the Franklin County Community Shelter Board for the Homeless, Jon has heartfelt devotion to this cause. “My job and your job is more than sales. We bring together families and houses. And we need to do this for everyone – especially the homeless. They need our services, too. And we have a responsibility to our brethren and our community to help these people find acceptable housing.”

2002 Affiliate of the Year -- Steve Wagner

Steve Wagner was chosen as CBR's 2002 Affiliate of the Year for his outstanding business experience and his willingness to share his expertise with his industry colleagues.

Wagner is Vice President of Knight Wagner Mortgage Company. He currently serves as Treasurer of the Bexley-Eastmoor-Berwick Real Estate Association (BEB) and its Homeless Families Foundation Fundraiser and as Treasurer and Transportation Chair of the Clintonville/Beechwold Homes tour. In the past, he has served as Vice President of the Midtown Area Real Estate Association and as Treasurer of the Greater Worthington and North Area Real Estate Associations.

In the community, Steve has participated in the American Cancer Society Realtors' Daffodil sales and has coached both the Immaculate Conception Junior High Boys Volleyball and the Franklin County Special Olympics Volleyball teams.

Upon accepting this award, Steve said “I feel a great sense of obligation to pay back the local real estate community for contributing to our success. I hope that being enthusiastically active in supporting our Realtors®â helps to say ‘Thank You.' It's all about giving back.”

2001 – Affiliate of the Year – Jack Wiese

Jack Wiese received the Affiliate of the Year award for his outstanding business experience and his willingness to share his expertise with his industry colleagues.

Wiese has been an attorney with Chicago Title for 28 years and has participated in approximately 14,000+ residential real estate closings. He has served as a CBR affiliate trustee and a member of the Builder/REALTOR® Alliance (BRAC) Committee.

He is a member of the Columbus Bar Association, Ohio Bar Association, Upper Arlington Chamber of Commerce, Central Ohio Land Underwriters Association, and the Northwest Area Realty Association. Wiese also lectures for various continuing education seminars and has lectured for the Bar Association on real estate matters.