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Instructor of the Year Award Recipients

The Joseph L. MacKinnon Instructor of the Year award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to and exemplified leadership and service in real estate education. Following are the award recipients for the Columbus REALTORS®.

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

2016 - Sherry Courtney
2015 - Rosemarie Rossetti, PhD
2014 - Lorri Molnar
2013 - Buzz Thomas
2012 - Bill Fergus
2011 - Kristin Rosan
2010 - Dennis Swartz
2009 - Jack Wiese
2008 - Donald S. Roberts
2007 - Lorri Molnar
2006 - Kathy Chiero 

2005 - Jack D'Aurora
2004 - Bill Clifford and James A. Zitesman
2003 - Jeff Auker and Joe Barone
2002 - Belinda Ohlinger
2001 - Chris Davis
2000 - Carl Hemmeler
1999 - Peg Ritenour
1998 - Joe MacKinnon

Back to Awards Programs

2016 Joseph L. MacKinnon Instructor of the Year -- Sherry Courtney

Sherry Courtney is a licensed, full-time real estate professional with Sibcy Cline, REALTORS® in Cincinnati Ohio and has over 30 years of experience in commercial and residential real estate.

Since 2013, Sherry has been a certified REALTOR® Property Resource (RPR) instructor and began teaching the one-hour RPR course for Columbus REALTORS® in 2016. She also teaches the series, “Using Your iPad as a Business Tool” course (Basic, Intermediate and Advance) several times a year.

For the Cincinnati Area Board of REALTORS®, Sherry has served on the Midwest Tech Summit Committee, the Lawyer Committee and on the Business Technology Committee.

Sherry is owner and CEO of The Courtney Enterprises Center (The CE Center), and teaches classes at the Cincinnati Area Board of REALTORS®, Northern Kentucky Association of REALTORS®, Sibcy Cline, REALTORS®, and for REALTORS® Property Resource -- a subsidiary of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

Sherry currently volunteers for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

2015 Joseph L. MacKinnon Instructor of the Year -- Rosemarie Rossetti, PhD
Rosemarie has developed a course entitled “Designing Homes that Make Life Easier,” featuring a presentation and tour of the Universal Design Living Laboratory, which is also her home. The 3,500 square foot ranch-style home is designed and built to specifications that fulfill universal design principles, and the use of “green” features. Columbus REALTORS® offered this course twice in 2015, and anticipates including the course in this year’s curriculum.

Rosemarie is president of Rossetti Enterprises Inc., and has eight years of experience in sales and marketing as vice-president of an interior landscaping company. She has served as a member of the Board of Trustees at the Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, is a member of the National Speakers Association (NSA), and has served on the board of directors for the NSA Ohio Chapter.

She has received numerous accolades for her work, including the Unsung Hero Humanitarian Award in New York City from the People of Distinction Foundation, was honored as one of “20 Outstanding Women You Should Know” in central Ohio, and was selected as a national “Roll Model” on the runway in a New York City fashion show for a spinal cord injury fundraiser sponsored by Discovery through Design.

Rosemary has a Ph.D., Master of Science, and Bachelor of Science degrees from The Ohio State University in agricultural education.

2014 Joseph L. MacKinnon Instructor of the Year -- Lorri Molnar
Lorri is a sales associate with RE/MAX Affiliates and has been a member of Columbus REALTORS® for 27 years, and a REALTOR® for 38 years. She holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Dayton and the Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), the Certified Residential Brokerage Manager (CRB), the Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI), and the Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designations from the Ohio and National associations of REALTORS®.

She has chaired and is currently a member of the Columbus REALTORS® Leadership Academy Advisory Board and the Residential Education Committee, and is in her first year of a three-year term on the Professional Standards Committee. She is also a Columbus REALTORS® Ten Million Dollar Sales Award Club member.

In the past, she has served on Columbus REALTORS® Board of Directors, chaired its Grievance Committee. She was selected Instructor of the Year in 2007, and honored again this year for developing an interactive ethics course entitled, “Ethics: What Would YOU Do?

Lorri was an instructor at Columbus State Community College, a recipient of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame Award, and a longtime member of Twigs for Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and an Eucharistic Minister for St. Brigid of Kildare Church.

2013 Instructor of the Year -- Buzz Thomas

Buzz Thomas is a sales associate with Coldwell Banker King Thompson and has been a member of Columbus REALTORS® for 30 years. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a degree in Business. He holds the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR) and the Accredited Staging Professional (ASP) designations.

He currently serves on Columbus REALTORS® Board of Directors, is a member of the Grievance, Governmental Affairs and Member Services committees, and is a past co-chair and current member of the Affordable Housing Committee. He is also a member of Columbus REALTORS® 2013/2014 Leadership Academy.

In the past, he has served as a member of the CORPAC Governing Board and as a member of the Builder/REALTOR® Alliance Committee (BRAC). Buzz is the Columbus REALTORS® continuing education instructor for its Olde Town East Bus Tour, serves as an Ohio Association of REALTORS® Director and is a past president of the Midtown Area Real Estate Association.

In the community, he serves on the Board of Directors of Southeast Community Health and of the United Services for Effective Parenting, and is a Lay Leader at Livingston United Methodist Church. Buzz is also a member of the City of Columbus’s Homebuyer Education Advisory Committee, and has coached Little League Baseball and St. Mary’s Middle School Basketball.

2012 Instructor of the Year -- William “Bill” Fergus, Jr.

Bill is an attorney with Peterson, Conners, Fergus & Peer, LLP, and an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Specialist in the area of Residential Real Property Law. He practices in the areas of residential and commercial real estate law, homeowner association law, auction law, business law, and estate planning and probate law. He is also a frequent speaker and writer on these topics. His experience includes service as corporate counsel for a variety of companies, including a large independent land title agency and two communications companies.

He currently chairs the Columbus Bar Association’s (CBA) Real Property Committee, and is the CBA’s liaison to the CBR Standard Forms Committee. He has been teaching CBR’s
“Understanding the Residential Real Estate Purchase Contract” course at least two times a year for the past three years.

Bill holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University, a master’s degree from The Ohio State University, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Capital University Law School, where he graduated magna cum laude.

Bill is active in community affairs both in Columbus and Worthington.

2011 Instructor of the Year -- Kristin Rosan, Madison & Rosan, LLP

The Columbus Board of REALTORS® (CBR) recently honored Gahanna resident and Columbus attorney Kristin Rosan with its 2011 Joseph L. MacKinnon Instructor of the Year for her commitment to professionalism and advanced education. As only one award is made annually in this category, this esteemed award is recognized as a sign of excellence throughout the real estate industry.

For CBR, Rosan developed a 3-hour CE course on rental agreements and shortly thereafter, was asked to teach the commercial ethics class. Both classes have garnered excellent reviews.

In her law practice, she focuses on real estate brokerage compliance, general real estate law, zoning/land issues, and condominium law and litigation. Rosan was also formerly Chief Legal Counsel for the Ohio Division of Real Estate.

Rosan is a member of the city of Gahanna Planning Commission, the Ohio State and Columbus Bar Associations and is an affiliate member of CBR. She also serves as a volunteer debate coach for the Gahanna Lincoln High School Speech and Debate team.

Rosan says, “I am tremendously humbled by this honor. I have had several mentors throughout my career, including REALOR® Bob Weiler, and my first job with the Ohio Division of Real Estate. Lessons learned from Bob and the experience I received working at the commission have taught me how to be a good lawyer and teacher.”

Rosan holds a B.A. degree from Ohio University and her Juris Doctorate from Capital University Law School.

2010 Instructor of the Year -- Dennis Swartz, First Service Residential Realty

The Joseph L. MacKinnon Instructor of the Year award is given each year in recognition of excellence in education and service to the real estate industry.  The award for service to the Columbus Board of Realtors in 2010 is given to Dennis Swartz.

For several years and in 2010, Dennis has taught the Fair Housing/Civil Rights required classes for CBR: Fair Housing for the Information Age (4 times a year).  And just last Friday, Dennis debuted his new Civil Rights class entitled, Fair Housing for Today’s Real Estate.

With an A.S. in Business Management from Columbus State Community College, a B.S. in Management from Franklin University (where he was awarded the Leadership Scholarship, graduating with a 4.0 GPA) and an MBA in Marketing from the University of North Alabama, Dennis truly believes in education, and especially education for the real estate industry.

In addition, Dennis is a part of the adjunct faculty at Columbus State Community College, teaching real estate classes as needed.  He developed, implemented and taught Columbus State’s Real Estate Department’s first online class in real estate investing.  He also assisted the Department Chair in textbook evaluation, course development, and various special projects to promote real estate classes on campus.  Dennis was also an instructor for Hondros College of Business where he was responsible for teaching pre-license, post-license and continuing education to adult real estate students, as well as, developing curriculum and textbooks.  Dennis has been a teacher for REBAC, teaching the ABR certification from the National Association of REALTORS®.  For Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Dennis has been a national instructor, and is listed in the Who’s Who in Residential Real Estate.

With nearly 25 years as a professional marketing director and 17 years as a college level instructor, Dennis has had to keep a close eye on the evolution of real estate, “I was part of the original ‘face to facebook’; when people actually met in person and the ‘Gold Jacket’ was my everyday social marketing tool.”

With today’s modern technology society, Dennis has had to adapt his way of teaching with the more ‘modern’ tools of technology and unfortunately, get rid of the Gold Jacket.

Service to the real estate industry and to CBR in particular also includes membership on various committees; including serving as the immediate past chair of the Residential Education Committee and as chair of the Grievance Committee for 2011. He has served on the Communication, Member Services, Membership, and Awards Night Committees. In addition to being the Chair of the Grievance Committee, Dennis serves on the Residential Education, Scholarship and the MLS Committees.

2009 Instructor of the Year - Jack Wiese

Jack Wiese is an attorney and manager for the Upper Arlington office of the Talon Group. With 40 years experience in the legal profession and more than 25 in the real estate industry, he is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association and the Columbus Bar Association and was awarded CBR’s Affiliate of the Year award in 2001.

Wiese donates many hours to lecturing on real estate law and title insurance for continuing education courses. He is active with his church and serves on numerous committees.

Wiese and his wife Kari raised three daughters in Dublin, their current home.

2008 Instructor of the Year - Donald S. Roberts

The 2008 Joseph L. MacKinnon Instructor of the Year Award was given to Don Roberts, CB Richard Ellis.

Roberts received the award for his 2008 class, Selling Investment Properties in Today's Market, which he personally developed and taught. More than 60 people took the class, which got rave reviews.

This award was named for Joseph L. MacKinnon, past president of the Columbus Board of REALTORS®, and long-time instructor for CBR, who taught the NAR Code of Ethics program for the New Member Orientation for more than 30 years. Joe began the standard of excellence as an educator that CBR strives for when choosing instructors and programs.

The 2007 award winner Lorri Molnar presented the honor, saying that "CBR strives to live up to Joe's example of excellence when presenting this award."

Roberts is no stranger to CBR awards, having received several C/I honors including the Largest C/I Transaction Award in 2005, 2007 and 2008. He has also taught commercial property sales at the Ohio State University's Fisher School of Business Masters program. Roberts is a graduate of Youngstown State University and lives in Westerville with his family.

2007 Instructor of the Year - Lorri Molnar

Licensed in 1977, Lorri began her career with the Delaware County Board of REALTORS®. By 1981, she had obtained her broker license, earned the Graduate REALTORS®, Institute (GRI) designation, and was managing and training over 30 sales associates. She later began managing two other offices with 50 agents.

Lorri was instrumental in bringing the Delaware County Board into the Columbus Board Multiple Listing Service. She earned the CRB designation in 1985, and was honored as "REALTOR® of the Year" for the Delaware County Board of REALTORS in 1987.

Lorri's love of training and teaching led to her position as an adjunct real estate faculty member at Columbus State Community College, where from 1994-2007, she taught "Principles and Practices" to well over 1,000 prospective agents. In 2007, Lorri began teaching CBR's "Ethics" portion of the new member orientation, and our Basic Training for New Agents Course.

Lorri and her husband, Ken, have two grown children and are the proud grandparents of five. She is a Twig for Nationwide Children's Hospital and a Eucharistic Minister for St. Brigid Church in Dublin.

"I am very honored to receive this award. My 31 years as a REALTOR® has been very fulfilling but that fulfillment has been multiplied many times over in being able to "give back" in teaching new or prospective REALTORS®. They will in turn teach others, and that is what it ultimately means to me."

2006 Instructor of the Year - Kathy Chiero

Kathy Chiero has been selected as the Columbus Board of REALTORS®' Joseph L. MacKinnon Instructor of the Year for 2006.

Kathy was chosen from a long list of distinguished instructors that CBR uses for our continuing education classes. Kathy teaches the "Train the Trainer: Consumer Education for the Affordable Housing Market." This course teaches REALTORS® how to develop a homebuying seminar for the affordable housing market. Kathy has consistently garnered outstanding evaluations from the students who have taken this course.

Kathy received her license in 1996. Prior to that, Kathy had lived and worked in Virginia Beach for the Fox/Family Cable Network, reporting news and producing television programming. After moving to Columbus, she decided to get her real estate license and to further her passion for training and teaching. She worked with new agents as a part of informal training for HER and continues to do so for RE/MAX. She realized that she enjoyed teaching and training as much or even more than selling.

Within the industry, Kathy has a number of achievements (Member of CBR's 25 Million Dollar Club; RE/MAX Platinum Club; RE/MAX #2 Top Selling Team in Central Ohio in 2004, and a nomination for the RE/MAX Hall of Fame Award 2007).

Kathy is married to Jim and they have three children (Jordan -- 17; Lindsay -- 15; and Christian -- 13). Kathy says, "My passion is still about teaching and, training and providing other agents in skills necessary to succeed in real estate."

2005 Instructor of the Year - Jack D'Aurora

Jack D'Aurora, attorney at law, Luper Neidenthal & Logan, has been selected as the recipient of the 2005 Joseph L. MacKinnon Instructor of the Year award. This award is given each year in recognition of excellence in education and service to CBR and the real estate industry.

For several years and in 2005, Jack has taught classes for CBR on procuring cause, fair housing, core law and the commercial purchase contract. In addition, Jack is the substitute instructor for the NAR Code of Ethics portion of CBR's New Member Orientation.

Service to the real estate industry and to CBR in particular includes membership on various committees including the Commercial Standard Forms and Grievance committees. He is currently serving an appointed term on the Professional Standards Committee.

Jack has contributed to the culture of the CBR family by displaying his photographs in the Robert Weiler Gallery in the lobby of CBR as one of the recurring art displays.

Jack is a past president of the Notre Dame Club of Columbus and the Upper Arlington Area Chamber of Commerce. He has also chaired the Downtown YMCA Consulting Board and the Salvation Army, West Mound Street Corps.

He is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, the Columbus Bar Association, real property law committee, the Joint Organization for Inner City Needs and is a member of the Lawyer for Justice Program, which handles pro bono cases.

2004 Instructors of the Year - Bill Clifford and James A. Zitesman

For the past two years, Bill Clifford and Jamie Zitesman have worked with the CBR Standard Forms Committee to revise the Residential Purchase contract. Once completed, Bill and Jamie held marathon training sessions on the new Purchase Contact, teaching 12 classes in two-week period. For their committment to educating CBR members on the new purchase contract revisions and their stamina, the Education Committee selected them CBR's 2004 Instructors of the Year.

Jamie has been a sole practitioner in private practice since 1993, where a majority of his practice is devoted to representing consumers in residential real estate transactions and litigation in the central Ohio area. He attributes his success in real estate to doing what he enjoys. Jamie feels that real estate is an exciting area of practice because every situation is different. Success comes from being involved both at the Columbus Bar Association and at the Columbus Board of REALTORS®.

His most beneficial community involvement has been in serving as the CBA Real Property Law Committee representative to the CBR Standard Forms Committee during the major overhaul of the Residential Purchase Contract, which he feels has benefited the entire residential real estate community. He feels that it has been a privilege to have played a part in the process and, while challenging and time consuming, it is very gratifying to see the fruits of the labor in use everyday.

On receiving his award, Jamie thanked his wife for helping him become the person he is, and the CBA for the opportunity to represent the Real Property Law Committee. He also thanked CBR for allowing him the opportunity to be a part of the Standard Forms Committee and for being able to teach the Contract course to so many members over the past year.

Bill, on accepting the Instructor of the Year Award, thanked: Lucy Hadley and the Education Committee for the award; Jamie for the hours he spent working on the contract and teaching the classes; and Kathy Elliott for her unending work, time in meetings and dedication.

He also recognizes the work of the 2003 and 2004 Standard Forms Committee who spent endless hours bringing to discussion needed changes, debating issues and final drafting to bring CBR members an excellent contract.

2003 Instructors of the Year - Jeff Auker ad Joe Barone

Jeff Auker and Joe Barone co-teach the Core Law course on Legal Issues and are the first team to recieve the CBR Instructor of the Year award.

Jeff is Underwriting Counsel and Commercial Manager for the Columbus, Ohio offices of The Talon Group, Title and Settlement Services, a division of First American Title Insurance Company. He has made numerous presentations on real estate law and title insurance and is a frequent instructor for the Columbus Board of RealtorS® Continuing Education Committee.

Teaching since the 1980s, Jeff feels his success in the classroom is a direct result of the participation level of the REALTORS®. He continues, “By encouraging and receiving questions and fact patterns from REALTORS®, we are able to make the information more relevant and helpful for the students. My goal is to make the textbook material applicable to the everyday practice of representing buyers and sellers.”

Upon receiving CBR’s Instructor of Year award, Jeff expressed his appreciation to the members and talked about how very rewarding it is to be recognized by other professionals within the industry.

Joe, who was unable to attend the Awards Night banquet, is an Attorney with the Law Firm of Magnuson & Barone in Westerville, Ohio, where he has resided and practiced law since 1975. He also is the central Ohio Manager for The Talon Group. In the classroom, Joe tries to provide information that he would want to know if he were sitting in the classroom.

One of Joe’s most memorable classroom experiences was the joke he played on one of his fellow teachers, who was also a friend. According to Joe, this teacher had played a joke on me before the class started. “Since I went first, I taught his materials, which I had done before and announced that he -- my friend would be teaching the complicated Tax part of the presentation, which he had never taught before. The look on his face was priceless. He who laughs last ... “

Joe received his B.S. degree from Mount Union College and his J.D. degree Cum Laude from Capital University Law School. Joe, who born in Sicily, says that “He is an immigrant, living the American Dream . . . I love this Country!”

2002 Instructor of the Year - Belinda Ohlinger

Belinda Ohlinger has been selected as the 2003 recipient of the Joseph L. MacKinnon Instructor of the Year award for her commitment to professionalism and advanced education.

Belinda has been licensed as a real estate salesperson for 14 years and is a sales associate with Chuck Warner & Associates. She has been doing computer training and consulting for 27 years and has taught CBR computer courses for the last five years. When asked what she likes most about teaching, Belinda said, “it is helping people discover how easy it is to do what they want to do when they know how.”

In addition to her real estate and teaching careers, Belinda currently serves as an accredited mediator in Franklin County Domestic Court, Franklin County Small Claims Court, and Municipal Court and for the United State Postal Service. She is a member of the Academy of Family Mediators and The Ohio Mediation Association.

Belinda resides in Upper Arlington with her husband Mark and four children, David, Christin, Nathan and Joseph.

2001 Instructor of the Year - Chris Davis

Chris Davis was chosen to receive CBR's 2002 Joseph L. MacKinnon Instructor of the Year award for his commitment to professionalism and advanced education.

Chris has been a licensed real estate salesperson and auctioneer since 1985. Since childhood, he has worked in the family auction business. His 78-year old grandfather is still active in the business.

Chris currently serves as Auctioneer/Realtor® with Coldwell Banker King Thompson Auction Division. He has been teaching auction classes for 10 years, and has been an instructor with CBR for five years. In his career, he has conducted real estate, antiques, collectibles, farm equipment and industrial equipment auctions throughout Ohio. He also conducts quite a lot of benefit auctions, including auctions for Children's Hospital.

Chris is active in the Ohio Auctioneers Association, where he is currently serving as director of the Southeast District and is a member of the National Auctioneers Association, where he placed in the top 10 bid callers in 1999. In 1993, he won State Champion Bid Caller. Chris holds the following industry designations: Certified Auctioneers Institute (CAI) and Accredited Auctioneers of Real Estate (AARE).

In receiving the instruction award, Davis said, “I love what I do and, if you enjoy what you do, then it's natural. It's easy to tell people about it. I am blessed to be able to do what I do and have the ability to share it with other people.”