Meet Chicagoland’s 2023 Realtor association leaders

by Emily Mack

The 2022-2023 CAR board

It’s that time of year! With fall upon us, Realtor associations across Illinois are making annual changes to their leadership. Find out which association members will be leading Realtors throughout Chicagoland, for the year to come.

On Sept. 23, the Chicago Association of REALTORS® (CAR) celebrated the occasion with its 139th Inaugural Gala at the Hilton Chicago. With the swearing-in ceremony, Sarah Ware, of Ware Realty Group, took over as president while former leader Antje Gehrken, of A.R.E. Partners, became the immediate past president. “Since Sarah became involved with our association, she has worked diligently to open doors for others in places where they’ve traditionally been closed,” CAR CEO Michelle Mills Clement said of Ware’s new position. “We’re excited to welcome her as this year’s president.”

Drussy Hernandez, of Coldwell Banker Realty, was also named the new president-elect and Erika Villegas, of RE/MAX in the Village, the new treasurer. This 2022-2023 leadership team marks CAR’s third in a row to feature all women.

The rest of CAR’s 2023 board of directors includes Rafael Alvarado, Sonia Anaya, Gaspar Flores Jr., Amy Hall, Anthony Hardy, Lyle Harlow, Kim Kerbis, John C. Kmiecik, Marki Lemons-Ryhal, Nick Libert, Dwight Marroquin, Lutalo McGee, Tracey Royal, Ayoub Rabah, Erik Schwab and Vicky Silvano.

Erin Dierks, Lori Amato, Erin Bjornson, John Broda, Dawn Hinton, Kevin Kalback, Tim Sebastian, Jen Long, Michael Simpson, Maureen Forgette, Melissa Kostelnik

The Heartland REALTOR® Organization installed new officers and directors at a swearing-in ceremony on Sept. 6. There, Karen Conley-Sabella, of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Starck Real Estate, succeeded Tim Sebastian, of RE/MAX Connections II, as president. Melissa Kostelnik, of RE/MAX Plaza, is the new president-elect and Maureen Forgette, of CENTURY 21 Roberts and Andrews, the new secretary/treasurer.

The new Heartland board includes Lori Amato, Erin Bjornson, John Broda, Dawn Hinton, Kevin Kalbach, Jennifer Long and Michael Simpson.

Matt Silver, Michael Gobber, Tommy Choi, Ezekiel “Zeke” Morris

At the state level, Illinois REALTORS® installed its 2023 leadership team on Sept. 22. Michael Gobber, of Century 21 Affiliated in Westchester, is the new president. He is also currently on the board of directors for the National Association of REALTORS®. With Silver’s transition, Ezekiel “Zeke” Morris is the immediate-past president.

Tommy Choi, of Weinberg Choi Residential at Keller Williams ONEChicago, was named treasurer and Matt Silver, president-elect. Illinois REALTORS®’ 2023 board of directors includes Ayn Bartok, Matt Difanis, Linda Dressler, Miguel Fernandez, Bryan Kwilosz, John LeTourneau, Carrie J. Little, Mark Massey, Nykea Pippion Mcgriff, Sue Miller, Suzanne Miller, Ed Neaves, Michael D. Oldenettel, Debbie Pawlowicz, Matt Persicketti, Tracey Royal, Eddie Ruettiger, Alex Ruggieri, Tim Ryan, Brandon Shaffer, Ginger Sreenan, Nancy Suvarnamani and Rebecca Thomson.

Connie Vavra, John LeTourneau, Debbie Pawlowicz, Tim Ryan, John Gormley

The Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® inducted new officers on Sept. 15, installing Debbie Pawlowicz, of DPG Real Estate, as the president for 2022-2023. She succeeds John LeTourneau, of Keller Williams Realty Infinity.

Pawlowicz is active in the Lisle community and shared her excitement over the transition in a press release. “I am so honored to be in this role this year, and to be able to serve among passionate individuals who have such a wealth of knowledge and experience behind them,” she said. “I know that with dedication and determination, we can make Mainstreet’s 210 communities an even better place to live.”

The rest of the updated Mainstreet board includes Gregory M. Phillips, Kinga Korpacz, Mary R. Nelson, Annette C. Panzek, Deborah K. Prodehl, Jennifer Sjoblom, Shirin K. Marvi, Timothy T. Ryan, Connie D. Vavra, Eric T. Basiorka, Carol E. Moore, Michelle Shang, John M. LeTourneau, Brian W. Palm, Carrie J. Little, Tigi L. Tasso and Kristian K. Lee.

Paula Avenaim, Thomas Downing, Susan Duffey, Ethan Nagar, Travis Wallace, Jude Offerle, Kati Spaniak, Luigui Corral, Mike Gobber

The North Shore-Barrington Association of REALTORS® (NSBAR) held an installation lunch at the Tree Top at Ravinia in Highland Park on Sept. 15, naming Kati Spaniak, of eXp Realty, president. Luigui Corral, of RE/MAX American Dream, was named president-elect. Jude Offerle, of Baird & Warner, was named in the role of secretary-treasury.

Susan Duffy, Ethan Nagar and Paula Avenaim were installed as new board directors. Wayne Paprocki, Bruce Heller and Chris Stephens were installed as strategic directors for the same two-year period.

The 2022-23 RAFV Board

The REALTOR® Association of Fox Valley (RAFV) installed 2022-2023 board of directors on Sept. 8 in a ceremony at the Q Center in St. Charles. There, Natalee Dismuke, of Realty One Group Excel, was inducted as president. Patricia Romke, of Realty One Group Excel, was named president-elect. Additionally, Jim Byrnes, of RE/MAX Horizon, and Justin Letheby, of EXIT Realty, were installed as the secretary and treasurer, respectively.

At the ceremony, the rest of the RAFV board of directors were also sworn in: Laura Boyer, Margaret “Mag” Bussey, Betty Ebert-Rylko, Filomena “Fil” Hautzinger. Robert Kopp, Rita Rae Schoenthal, Bonifacio Mondragon and Bryan Wilcher. “I am extremely energized about the coming year,” President Dismuke said in a press release, reflecting on these additions. “This is our opportunity to continue the direction of our past board and introduce a number of enhancements.”

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