Skip to main content

The Marin Association of Realtors 2015 Installation

By December 19, 2014August 12th, 2015Uncategorized

Good day MAR Members!

I hope everyone made it safely though storm-a-geddon last week. While it didn’t quite live up to the “storm-of-the-century” hype, it was plenty exciting in my neighborhood. Two huge oak trees next door blew down in the wee hours of last Thursday, and three doors down the top of a redwood tree snapped off. One of the oak trees landed on my pool heater! We’ve been slowly cleaning up in between storms.

With all the rain, it sure feels like we’re emerging from the woods as far as our three-year drought is concerned. We’re way above average in both rainfall as well as storage in our reservoirs. Honestly, we were never all that far below average in water storage here in Marin, but it’s nice to be ahead of the program. There is a long way to go in our rain season, however. Two years ago, in 2012, we had a monster December to cap off a strong start to that rainy season. Then, it never rained again once the calendar turned to 2013. So I’m going to hold off on declaring the drought over…but it sure feels like it!


MAR's new President, Matt HughesMAR’s Installation last week was a great time for all! We installed MAR’s 2015 President, Matt Hughes. As I said on Tuesday, I’ve known Matt for a long time, and he will be a terrific president. He has a technology focus, and everything he has been doing has been an effort to enhance member services. He and MAR CEO Andy Fegley have been working feverishly on a new website for the association, and that looks to be ready to roll out in the coming weeks.

This year, MAR assembled a Strategic Planning Committee to define the Association’s focus in the coming years. Since this plan would be rolling out during 2015, I asked Matt to chair the committee. The result is MAR’s updated Strategic Plan, which you can reviewhere. Matt talked about the plan in his installation address, and I expect many components of the plan to be implemented and executed next year.


Before the installation itself, emcee and MAR member Kevin Patsel handed out some coveted awards, highlighted by MAR Member and 2012 President

David Smadback - MAR Realtor of the YearDavid Smadback winning REALTOR® of the Year. David is a tremendous public servant, and gives of himself throughout our community. David simplycares. Whether it’s manning the Rotary ice cream stand at the county fair or advocating for business community as co-president of the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, David is always going the extra mile. It’s been a big year for David; earlier this year, he was awarded the prestigious Spirit of Marin award by Bank of Marin.

In between all of this service, and running the Sleeping Lady restaurant, David gives of himself for his real estate clients. I know firsthand how much David cares, after participating with him in a successful transaction a few years ago. David continues to give back to the REALTOR® community, sitting on the MAR Budget, Government Affairs, and Benefits committees.

Congratulations to David Smadback, MAR’s 2014 REALTOR® of the Year!

A new award this year is the MAR Volunteer of the Year award. It is important to recognize members of our association who give back to the community outside of their real estate practice. This year, MAR members Stephanie Witt and Jane Richmond have worked tirelessly raising funds for a needed renovation at The Redwoods Retirement Community in Mill Valley.

Congratulations to Stephanie Witt and Jane Richmond, MAR’s 2014 and first winners of the MAR Volunteer of the Year award!

Mark Machado - MAR Next Generation AwardMAR’s Mark Machado is the 2014 winner of the MAR Next Generation award. Always active in his community and with his kids’ activities, Mark will be starting a 3-year term on the MAR Board of Directors in 2015. In 2014, Mark served on the MAR Volunteer and Community Service committee. An emerging MAR leader, Mark will be a welcome addition to the leadership team in the coming years. [Photo: L-R Kevin Patsel, Mark Machado] Congratulations to the 2014 MAR Next Generation award winner, Mark Machado!

Steve Stickland MAR Affiliate Member Steven Strickland of JCP Natural Hazard Disclosures had a big year at MAR. Hiscompany’s generous sponsorship of MAR events was welcome, and his tireless efforts coordinating the FEMA Flood Summit in September was one of the high points of the year. Always willing and able to help, MAR is lucky to have partners like Steven.

Congratulations to the 2014 MAR Affiliate of the Year, Steven Strickland!

Finally, MAR Immediate Past President and Special Awards Committee Chairman Jack Wilkinson presented the 2014 MAR Making a Difference award to MAR CEO Andy Fegley and the rest of his team at MAR. As I’ve mentioned in the past, this was a transformational year at MAR, with Andy coming aboard in March. He quickly reshaped the team operationally, and his staff has increased the efficiency of the association on many levels. Long-time MAR staff member Betty Ruth Madsen was singled out by Jack for her teamwork, stability, and knowledge of the organization. We are so lucky to have Betty Ruth! Many of you know Jennifer Abendroth from her years of work at some of Marin’s largest brokerages, and in 2014 she brought all of that accumulated knowledge to her Member Services position at MAR. Jenny has streamlined and automated many of the activities that used to require several people to accomplish, and her positive and can-do attitude has been refreshing. Finally, Richie Cassel came on in September as VP of Operations, and his diligent and steady hand has resulted in operational efficiencies and cost savings throughout the organization.

MAR is fundamentally doing more for our members with less people, and it starts at the top. Please join me in congratulating MAR’s 2014 Making a Difference award winners, CEO Andy Fegley and the MAR staff!

Whew, that’s a lot of big news!


Here’s a full list of the MAR Leadership Team, installed by CAR’s Young Professional Network Statewide Chairman Imran Poladi: [R-L] MAR 2015 Officers and Directors

President Matt Hughes;

President-elect Tom Dreyer; Secretary Matt Mac Phee and Treasurer Yoko Kasai; Immediate Past-president Blaine Morris.


Blaine Morris and Matt Hughes[2015 President Matt Hughes receives gavel from

2014 President Blaine Morris]



Installed 2015 Directors are: John Adlam, Sylvia Berry, Jennifer Boesel, Missy Crowe, Margaret Deedy, Kyle Frazier, Jill Hill, Gene Laico, Sharon Luce, Mark Machado and Carolyn Svenson.

Installed 2015 MAR Directors

This is an outstanding team of individuals, who freely give their time and attention to advocate for the best interests of you, our members. Please give them a hearty congratulations and best wishes for the year ahead!


Marin WCR's 2015 Leadership Team

Finally, the Marin Women’s Council of REALTORS® has installed its leadership team at MAR’s installation the past few years. This year, WCR’s California President-Elect Linda Lee presided over the installation of incoming WCR President John Zeiter. WCR is in great hands with John, with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working at MAR for many years. He is smart, conscientious, and effective. Here is the 2015 Marin WCR Leadership team:

President John Zeiter

President-Elect Jason Holmes

Treasurer/Secretary Dana Kreuzberger

Director of Membership Debbie Bernier

Director of Programs Aileen Tong

Congratulations to Marin WCR’s 2015 Leadership Team!

Thank you again to everyone who came out to support these 2014 award winners and the 2015 MAR and WCR Leadership teams.

That’s it for now, stay dry and drive carefully!

I wish you a safe and prosperous week.


Blaine Morris

2014 President