2012 Good Neighbor Awards Finalists Announced

Ten finalists in REALTOR® Magazine's 2012 Good Neighbor Awards have been announced. Learn more about their good works and the program itself, now in its 13th year.

August 29, 2012

REALTORS® are the backbone of a community, often times supporting local causes large and small, helping people realize their dreams of homeownership and volunteering their time to help improve the communities in which they live. Ten such REALTORS® were recognized by the National Association of REALTORS® as finalists for REALTOR® Magazine’s 2012 Good Neighbor Awards.  

This year marks the 13th year the Good Neighbor Awards program has recognized REALTORS® who improve the quality of life in their communities through volunteer work. The real estate professionals acknowledged by this program over the years donate their time, money and passion to creating a positive impact and addressing critical needs in the community.

In October five winners will be selected from among the ten finalists and will receive travel expenses to the 2012 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla., where they will receive their awards. Winners will also receive national media exposure and a $10,000 grant for their community cause. The five honorable mentions will receive a $2,500 grant. The winners will be featured in the November/December issue of REALTOR® Magazine.

“REALTORS® are an integral part to a successful community,” said NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami. “The Good Neighbor Awards reminds us of that, as well as recognizes NAR members who spend their time and energy to better the lives of those in need. I am proud to honor these ten REALTORS® and help them grow their efforts so they can help even more people through their selfless work.”

The 10 REALTOR® Magazine Good Neighbor Awards finalists are:

  • Rocco "Rocky" Balsamo is the founding board member and volunteer executive director for Center for FaithJustice, a nonprofit that promotes volunteerism among teens and young adults.
  • Charlene M. Brennan, CRS, GRI, is the volunteer coordinator for the Rotary District 6510's Belizean Children's Program.
  • Georgia L. Butterfield, SRES, leads the nonprofit Adopt An Angel program, which provides holiday gifts for more than 8,000 of the country's most needy children.
  • Michael Ray Campbell, CRS, is the president of the nonprofit Hearth Foundation, which provides transitional housing for low-income families, typically women with young children.
  • Regina C. "Ginger" Dowdle, co-founder of The Shepherd’s Watch Ministries, which offers summer camp to the community, as well as a year-round residential program for at-risk youths ages 13-18, in foster care, on her 60-acre farm.
  • Ortrud "Trudy" Harsh, GRI, founded The Brain Foundation, which addresses the growing need for affordable housing for mentally ill adults who might otherwise be homeless.
  • Geoffrey W. Lavell, SFR, is a survivor of childhood cancer and co-director of Camp Cartwheel, a summer overnight camp for children with cancer or other catastrophic diseases and their siblings.
  • Patti M. Miller, founder and president of Real Wishes Foundation, which has granted home repair wishes for the elderly and disabled as well as other wishes throughout their community.
  • Kathleen Peck, GRI, co-founded Lighthouse of Collier, Inc, which provides services to help people who are blind gain more independence.
  • Sally Rudloff, CRS, is the volunteer president of the Alameda Boys & Girls Club, where she ran a $10 million capital campaign that allowed the Alameda Boys & Girls Club to build a brand new facility and reach more children.

REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Awards is sponsored by Lowe’s and HouseLogic.

HouseLogic is a free source of information and tools from the National Association of REALTORS® that can help homeowners make smart and timely decisions about their home. With content covering home improvement, maintenance, taxes, finance, insurance, and even ways to get involved in and enrich their community, HouseLogic can help homeowners increase and protect the value of their home by helping them make confident decisions.

Lowe’s is a natural partner for and proud supporter of the Good Neighbor Awards.  The company supports other groups, such as Habitat for Humanity International, American Red Cross, SkillsUSA, The Nature Conservancy, and more. In 2011, Lowe’s and the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation together contributed more than $30 million to support community and education projects in North America. Lowe’s also encourages volunteerism through the Lowe’s Heroes program, a company-wide employee volunteer initiative. Lowe’s also participates in NAR’s REALTOR Benefits® Program. In addition to the grant awards, each of the Good Neighbor Award winners will receive a $2,000 Lowe’s gift card, and each of the honorable mentions will receive a $1,000 Lowe’s gift card.

Nominees were judged on their personal contribution of time, as well as financial and material contributions, to benefit their cause. To be eligible, nominees must be NAR members in good standing. To learn more, see the program's About Us page.

Update: The Lowe’s Program for REALTORS® is no longer available through the REALTOR Benefits® Program. For questions, please call NAR’s REALTOR Benefits® Help Line at 800-627-5233.

Sara Geimer is the manager of REALTOR® Magazine's Good Neighbor Awards and a former senior editor with the magazine.