2023 UCBR Annual Meeting
This past Friday, November 3rd, 2023, we celebrated the Ulster County Board of REALTORS® Annual Meeting at a breakfast buffet generously hosted by The Chateau in Kingston, NY. Our members began arriving at 8:30 am to check in and register for the annual meeting. They were escorted into one of the Chateau’s stunning ballrooms, where freshly brewed coffee and juices were available to begin their breakfast.
Members could spend the next 30 minutes engaging with one another and meeting old acquaintances and friends who are also members. The buffet opened at 9 am and featured an array of delicious treats such as croissants, mini muffins, and other breakfast pastries. Members also had the choice of bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, French toast, breakfast potatoes, and yogurt parfait.
After members received their breakfast items, we started the Pledge of Allegiance, where all members stood up to pledge to the American Flag. Afterward, everyone was seated, and the meeting began. We started with welcome remarks and an introduction with Sean Dykhouse from Ulster Savings Bank. Randy Spiesman was then called up to give the President’s Report. He began with the most essential news: “The Beetle’s released a new song.”
He then went over the Ulster County Board of REALTORS® (UCBR) budget, with the proposed budget increasing for 2024 to add additional member programs and services such as two Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion meetings rather than one. This increase will help provide members with more educational and event benefits for the 2024 year. Randy ended by thanking the board, including Allison, Kim, and Robyn, for all they do for the UCBR members.
Next, Al Fazio was introduced to welcome the new officers and directors for the Ulster County Board of REALTORS®. Congratulations to the following nominees for directors and officers for 2024:
- President-Donna Brooks-1 Year
- President Elect-Emily Daniels-1 Year
- Past President-Randy Spiesman-1 Year
- Treasurer-Richard Greenspan-1 Year
- Secretary-Sheena Lopez-1 Year
- Director-Dino Alexander-2 Years
- Director-Ron Knowles-2 Years
- Continuing Term-Peita Williams-1 Year
- Continuing Term-Jeanine Stoddard-1 Year
Al stated he would be making his return later in the meeting but called up Connor Gillis the NYSAR’s Gov’t Affairs Field Representative. Connor went over legal topics that are affecting the real estate industry, such as the Ban on Telemarketing for REALTORS®, which the NYSAR is still working hard to have removed since telemarketing was banned in the case of a State of Emergency to keep the phone lines open to report importation information, however, since the pandemic, NY has been in a continual State of Emergency, which has been prohibiting REALTORS® from cold calling. Some other legal topics touched on during this segment were the NYS Energy Efficiency Laws and Regulations placed on new constructions, First Time Homebuyer’s Savings Accounts that are tax deductible (almost like a 529 College account), and rent controls laws and regulations in Kingston, NY and New Paltz, NY.
After some questions with Connor, Pieta Williams came onto the stage to review updates from the Community Services Committee. Pieta thanked all of the members who have donated to the causes and charities of the Community Services Committee. She and Mary Ann Miller gathered enough supplies for the Operation Backpack to help 200 local children in need. They also had a donation collection going around for Thanksgiving Baskets that will be for this month, donating the sides and roasting pans for families in need this Thanksgiving. She also stated that the annual Coat Drive will be coming up next month to collect brand-new coats for children in need to keep warm during the harsh winter months.
Candida Ellis was welcomed up next to discuss the MLS President’s Report and Budget. The total budget for 2024 will be slightly increased. Some of the increase, just like with the UCBR Budget, is for members to have more access to programs and services such as educational services and programs. Candida also discussed the Board changing the system to Rapattoni, which should occur on February 5th, 2024. Candida also noted to the members to be “nicer” to the Board and more patient and understanding if there are any issues.
Al Fazio returned to introduce the MLS 2024 Nominees for officers and directors for 2024:
- President-Candida Ellis-1 Year
- President Elect-John Murphy-1 Year
- Past President-Tim Sweeny-1 Year
- Treasurer-Patty Conti-1 Year
- Secretary-Keith Woodburn-1 Year
- Director-Jennifer Mangione-2 Years
- Director-Mary Ann Miller-2 Years
- Continuing Term-Stefan Bolz-1 Year
- Continuing Term-Nicola Friedman-1 Year
The Board went around during the meeting to collect members’ votes for the officers and directors for 2024. While the Board collected votes, Al continued discussing legal updates as the UCBR Legal Counsel. The most discussed topic was the case in Missouri, where many sellers claimed that sellers had to pay for the buyers’ agents restrained trade, and we are awaiting the results from the judge.
After more questions and answers on the Missouri case, the moment we have all been waiting for finally arrived. Our previous year’s REALTOR® of the Year, Thomasine Helsmoortel,, came up on the stage to announce our 2023 REALTOR® of the Year. We at the Ulster County Board of REALTORS® would like to congratulate Randy Spiesman!
Thank you to all who attended! We appreciate all of our outstanding members, and we wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!
A big thank you to our wonderful sponsors who helped to make these events happen!