Leadership Academy

For questions about this program, please contact Marqué Bressler (614) 498-1016.

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2018-19 Leadership Academy Class

The Columbus REALTORS® Leadership Academy aligns with the association's commitment to strengthening central Ohio’s real estate community by building highly skilled leaders within the industry and community. The Academy curriculum consists of nine sessions, seven of which are intensely focused full-day programs designed to help students develop their expertise in business, public speaking, leadership, government, outreach and, of course, the real estate industry. Selection announcement. Graduation announcementProgram photos. More information on the Leadership Academy.

Leadership Academy Class of 2018-2019

Diane Cheatham, Coldwell Banker King Thompson

With a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics Education from The Ohio State University, Diane has been a licensed agent since 2010 and has also earned the MRP (Military Relocation Professional) designation. Prior to her real estate career, Diane was a teacher in Whitehall and Southwest Licking Schools. She currently serves as a community volunteer with the Harmony Project and with Habitat for Humanity MidOhio. Diane is a member of the Midtown Association of REALTORS®, OHIO REALTORS®, and Columbus Tourism Ambassador. When she’s not showing homes, Diane enjoys anything athletic and outside, photography and singing.

"Leadership Academy provided an opportunity to go out into the community and lean how we can make a difference. This experience allowed me to focus on how I can be a better person."

Sue French, RE/MAX Impact

Licensed since 2014, Susan has earned the ABR (Accredited Buyer's Representative) designation and in her short time in real estate joined the Columbus REALTORS® One Million Dollar Sales Award Club. She is also a Certified Tourism Ambassador and Certified Professional Property Stager REA Consultant. Susan is an active member of the Builder/REALTOR® Alliance Committee and Westerville Area Realty Association. She is also actively involved with Phi Beta Psi, a sorority that raises money for cancer research. Outside of real estate, Susan likes interior decorating, gardening, shopping and spending time with family and friends.

"This class is phenomenal! An experience you would only get going through this class, meeting and listening to so many accomplished leaders in our community."

Justin Gwinn, e-Merge Real Estate

A graduate of The Ohio State University with a degree in Real Estate & Urban Analysis, Justin has been a licensed agent since 2000. He has earned the GRI (Graduate Real Estate Institute) and SRS (Seller Representative Specialist) designations and was also a 2018 honoree of the Columbus REALTORS® Young Professionals Network 10 Under 40 award. Justin has been a partner agent with e-Merge Real Estate since 2012 and currently participates on the Builder REALTOR® Alliance and Recognition and Sales Award Committees at Columbus REALTORS®. In the community, he serves as President and Head Coach of Columbus Bucks Youth Football Organization as well as head coach for CYAA Saints Youth Football Organization, Vice President of the Gwinn/Glenn Foundation, board member of Voices for Ohio’s Children and a member of the John Maxwell Leadership Mastermind.

"The only way to know about what Leadership Academy truly is, you have to experience it."

Joe Herban, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PlusReal

Licensed since 2005, Joe has earned the CISS and CNS (Certified Neighborhood Specialist) designations while also specializing in home inspections, relocation and luxury and investment properties. He is a graduate of Kenyon College with a degree in English. Joe currently serves as the Communications Director and board member for the Woods at Josephinum, is a board member of Scott Seller’s Memorial Fund, and is a member of Worthington Episcopal Church. In his free time, he enjoys renovating houses, fishing exercising and socializing with friends. 

"Only apply to Leadership Academy if you want to improve yourself and your life."                          

Denisa Hiles, RE/MAX Connection

Denisa originally hails from the Czech Republic and has been licensed since 2014. She specializes in residential real estate, holds the Military Housing Specialist Certification from USA Cares, and is interested in commercial development. Denisa serves on Columbus REALTORS® CORPAC and REALTOR® Care Day Committees and is an active member of its Young Professionals Network as well as the Gahanna Area Realty Association. When she’s not selling homes, Denisa enjoys acting, tennis, traveling, skydiving, food, wine and time with family.

"Very humbling, educational, inspiring, emotional and unforgettable experience that introduced some of the true leaders from all over the United States and in our own community. I would recommend this program to anyone who thinks of themselves as a leader and who wants to make a difference and be part of great promising tomorrow! We all can do better!"

Ann Otte Hunger, Keller Williams Greater Columbus

Licensed since 1988, Ann has earned the Certified Real Estate Mentor (CREM) designation and specializes in residential home sales. Ann currently serves as co-chair of the Foundation Fundraising Committee, is actively involved with CORPAC, as well as Northwest Midtown and Westerville Area Real Estate Associations. She is also a longtime volunteer with Nationwide Children’s Hospital through the Memorial Tournament, Kinder Key, TWIG and Women’s Auxiliary Council. In Ann’s free time, she enjoys swimming and reading.

"Leadership Academy is one of those once in lifetime experiences! You will never experience anything else that compares and I feel extremely privileged and fortunate to have been chosen as a candidate for the 2018-2019 Class!"

Philip "Tony" Macaluso, Coldwell Banker King Thompson

A business school graduate of Ohio University, Tony has been licensed since 2004 and has earned the Certified Neighborhood Specialist Designation (CNS). He is actively involved with Powell, Hilliard, Greater Dublin Realty Associations and has also served as President of the Northwest Area Realty Association. Tony is currently a director with the Upper Arlington Civic Association, has served as a board member for the Arlington Areas Chamber of Commerce, coached Upper Arlington Little League and Youth Football and served as a Rotarian with Tri-Village Rotary. In his free time, Tony enjoys spending time with this family and golfing.

"Leadership Academy will connect you to our City in a way that no other program can."

Meghan Martin, Keller Williams Capital Partners

Licensed in 2012, Meghan is also a graduate of The Ohio State University with a degree in Education.  She specializes in residential real estate and has earned the Certified Real Estate Mentor (CREM) designation. She is a 2017 10 Under 40 honoree, volunteers with the Girl Scouts of America, the Smoky Row Children's Center, and Saint Edward's Catholic School and Preschool. When she’s not selling homes, she enjoys gardening, boating and RVing.

"Leadership Academy is well worth the time, money and commitment. I feel honored to be a part of everything and know that I will continue to use my experiences in my personal life and career forever! Thank you, Leadership Academy, for the amazing and life changing experience!"

Jeff Osborn, Keller Williams Consultants

Licensed since 2006, Jeffrey specializes in selling residential real estate and is a team leader. Jeffrey actively participates as a senior patrol leader with the Boys Scouts of America and is a soccer coach with the Worthington Youth Boosters. In his free time, Jeffrey enjoys golfing, boating, wakeboarding and snowboarding. 

"It’s about more than leadership. It’s an opportunity to grow personally and professionally."

Travis Shaw, HER, Realtors®

With a degree in Criminal Justice from Indiana University-Purdue University, Travis has been licensed in real estate since 2002 and has earned the Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR®) designation and has been active with his Sales Advisory. He also has a background as a Certified Financial Advisor. Travis is an active member of CORPAC, coaches Columbus Youth Hockey and soccer, as well as participates in adult hockey. When he’s not working with buyers and sellers, Travis enjoys participating in triathlons, and boating with his family.

"Leadership Academy brings it all together!"

Karen Smith, Keller Williams Capital Partners

A residential agent since 2015, Karen has earned the SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist) and CNE (Certified Negotiation Expert) designations. She is an active member on the REALTOR® Care Day Committee, the Agent Leadership Council for Keller Williams Capital Partners, volunteer classroom assistant at Scioto Ridge Elementary and coach of her children’s basketball and tee ball teams. In Karen’s free time, she enjoys reading, running and playing sports outdoors with her kids.

"Leadership Academy is the best experience for Realtors, and the best kept secret. Apply – you won’t regret it."

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