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Updated: 02/18/2018 12:14:01PM

Realtors celebrate successful 2017

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Sara Pipal and Shelia Richards. Sara Pipal, from Coldwell Banker, received the 2017 Association Achiever Award. She also won the award the previous year.


Jeanne Warner presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Cheryl Brantley. Brantley, broker and owner of Brantley Properties, has sold real estate for 30 years, starting when she was just 18 years old.


Teresa Bock presented the coveted Realtor of the Year award to Sue Dean, from ReMax Realty Plus.


Gary Delatorre presented the President's Award to Rona Port, from Berkshire Hathaway. After breaking her hip, Port continued to sell real estate using a walker. Her resiliency in the face of adversity and her commitment to excellence impressed Delatorre.


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Real estate in Highlands County flourished during 2017, and the Mardi Gras-themed celebration at the annual Realtors’ banquet on Feb. 8 corresponded with the festive spirit of Realtors who rejoiced at the abundance of sales and the revival of the housing market. The annual banquet, held in February to recognize the previous year, serves as the official induction of the new officers and directors for the Heartland Association of Realtors Inc.

The attire at the banquet varied from business suits and dresses to purple and green Mardi Gras suits (similar to Christmas-themed suits) and clothes accessorized with flashing lights, beads and masks. Emcee Don Elwell announced that during 2017, 141 individual real estate agents in the county closed over $1 million in sales. Several Realtors at the banquet sold over $20 million in real estate. The crowd of approximately 200 members clapped and cheered as the results from the previous year were released, and they feasted on prime rib and chicken served by the Island View Restaurant as part of their festivities.

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