The annual Kachemak Board of Realtors Christmas party wrapped up the old year with some giving — and receiving.
New board members were chosen, $6,000 was raised for scholarships and local nonprofits and Denise Pitzman was honored with the 2014 Realtor of the Year award.
Gina Pelaia, a former Realtor of the Year and the new board president, said by email that the award is given to Realtors who are active in the industry and the community, including serving on committees and working with the Board of Realtors. Most importantly, she added, they are agents who uphold the Realtor Code of Ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public.
The award is not based on sales or the number of properties sold.
Pitzman, who was chosen by the previous five Realtors of the Year from a list of nominees, has been active in real estate for four years.
“Denise was chosen because she has served on our local board, she is active in our community and because of her code of ethics she is a pleasure to work with,” wrote Pelaia.
When she received the award, Pitzman said she was completely surprised.
“It was a really great honor,” she said. “I was really not expecting that at all.”
A Homer and Anchor Point resident since 1990, Pitzman has been working in real estate for four years. Prior to that, she worked for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.
What caused her to change careers?
“I bought a house actually,” said Pitzman, who was recruited by her real estate agent, Kathy Westerburg.
When she started out, Pitzman trained under Westerburg at the Alderfer Group. Last fall, she joined the newly formed Kachemak Group, under the ownership and direction of Terry Yager.
“It’s been the most enjoyable job I think I’ve ever had,” she said. “It’s been great.”
Pitzman’s work ethic is simple. “I do the best job I can every day — and so do all the other Realtors,” she said, noting that she doesn’t feel she did anything beyond her peers this past year.
Pitzman is on the board of trustees for the Homer Foundation and has served on the board of directors for the Children’s Tumor Foundation. She enjoys volunteering and participating in winter activities — when there is snow.
The money raised from the Realtors’ 22nd Annual Christmas Benefit Auction will fund three $1,000 scholarships to local graduates.
The rest will be split between Hospice of Homer and Homer Community Food Pantry.
The scholarship program is open to any local graduate, for the schooling of their choice — vocational or college. They do not have to pursue real estate to apply.
“We have given this award to Homer High, the schools in the villages, across the bay, Flex, Ninilchik and Connections,” wrote Pelaia, who also is the scholarship chairperson.
Applications must be postmarked or hand-delivered by April 15 to Kachemak Board of Realtors, P. O. Box 2660, Homer, AK 99603 or to Pelaia at Bay Realty, 331 E. Pioneer Ave., Suite 101, Homer, AK 99603, 235-6183 or faxed 235-4031. Recipients will be announced at graduation or awards ceremonies.
“None of this would be possible without the very generous support of this wonderful community,” she wrote.
There are roughly 50 active members in the Kachemak Board of Realtors.
Toni Ross is a freelance writer who lives in Homer.
2015 Kachemak Board of Realtors Officers
President: Gina Pelaia
Past President: Chris Story
Vice President: Debra Leisek
President Elect: Lynne Hibdon
Secretary: Shelly Stradling
Treasurer: John Calhoun
Director At Large: Joleen Lind
Director At Large: Gretchen Druhot