2019 Good Neighbor Award Winners Announced
October 2, 2019
The National Association of REALTORS® has named five real estate professionals as its 2019 Good Neighbor Award winners, spotlighting the practitioners’ impact on their communities through volunteer work. Five honorable mentions also have been named. The honorees represent many noble causes, from housing homeless military veterans to fundraising for new treatments for sick children.
This year marks the association’s 20th celebrating the Good Neighbor Awards, a milestone that speaks to the community heroism REALTORS® embody, NAR President John Smaby said in a statement. “We celebrate these selfless individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make a difference in the lives of others,” he said.
Each of the five winners, who were selected through a multistage judging process, will receive a $10,000 grant for their charity. They will be featured in the November-December issue of REALTOR® Magazine and will be honored on Nov. 9 at the General Session during the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco. This year’s Good Neighbors join a society of 200 past winners and honorable mentions.
Meet This Year’s Winners
RE/MAX of Wasaga Beach
Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada
In memory of his daughter, Alyssa, who died in 1998 at 20 days old, Johnson has traveled more than 37,000 miles across North and South America on his motorcycle. Johnson has raised more than $600,000 for Children’s Miracle Network, which benefits the SickKids hospital in Toronto where his daughter was treated, and a network of children’s hospitals.
Keller Williams 1st Realty
Kansas City, Mo., and Longmont, Colo.
Solomon co-founded Veterans Community Project, a nonprofit to help eliminate veteran homelessness through a “tiny house" development. The neighborhood includes an outreach center where any veteran can access medical and mental health referrals, employment assistance, and addiction counseling and treatment. With the Kansas City location nearly complete, Solomon is helping to expand the cause nationwide.
Mill Valley, Calif.
Strub leads Schurig Center for Brain Injury Recovery, a nonprofit that improves the lives of people with brain injuries and their families through therapy, support groups, and social and recreational activities. In a decade, she has raised $1 million, tripled both the annual budget and the number of people served, and helped to set up a concussion protocol for children in the Marin County schools network.
For 19 years, Taylor has spent nearly every Monday night with 35 homeless men who gather at the shelter site he manages just south of Chicago called South Suburban PADS. From serving food and mopping floors to making decisions as a board member and raising nearly $300,000, Taylor calls his volunteerism a “divine calling.”
The Wyman Group
When he saw his community struggling with opioid addiction, Wyman called a countywide summit to find solutions. This summit led Wyman to found a nonprofit that connects people affected by addiction with the services required for recovery. Instead of red tape, people now find a central resource to access help. Turning Point helped 1,400 clients during the last year.
Five Honorable Mentions
Five REALTORS® also will be recognized as Good Neighbor honorable mentions. They will each receive a $2,500 grant for their charities. This year’s honorable mentions are:
- Sabrina Cohen, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Miami Beach, Fla., founder of The Sabrina Cohen Foundation.
- Rosemary Dutter, Century 21 Affiliated, Beloit, Wis., founder of Dutter House Inc.
- Nora Partlow, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Alexandria, Va., of Neighborhood Health.
- Kristy Payne, Keller Williams, Edmond, Okla., founder of Foster Sweet Dreams Foundation.
- Bahar Soomekh, Nourmand & Associates, Beverly Hills, Calif., co-founder of Angel City Sports.
Web Choice Winners
The public also was able to vote for their favorite among the Good Neighbor finalists and select “Web Choice Favorites.” Each of the favorites will receive additional money to their charity. The top vote-getters for the Web Choice Favorites are:
- Paul Wyman, who will receive an additional $2,500 bonus donation for Turning Point.
- Mark Solomon, who will receive an additional $1,250 for Veterans Community Project.
- Bruce Johnson, who will receive an additional $1,250 for SickKids Hospital/Children's Miracle Network.
Updated: January 23, 2020