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Meet the 2019 Florida Realtors Leadership — and Learn Their Superpower

This year’s leadership team wants to help you leverage the tools, services, advocacy and support Florida Realtors offers so you thrive despite challenges to your communities and the industry.

Since he joined the Leadership Team in 2015, Eric Sain has spoken frequently about the many programs and benefits Florida Realtors offers members. Now that he’s starting his year as president, he thinks it is time for members to put those resources to use to help the industry, the environment and themselves.

“You have the power to use your voice to change our industry [the way] you think it should be changed,” says Sain, 2019 Association President and district sales manager of Illustrated Properties in Palm Beach. “Let’s take responsibility for our future,” he says.

 “We want to be the resource for all members as well as be global in our reach,” he says. “We want our industry to be known for its advocacy, whether it be environmental, professional or tech-oriented. Our members care about this industry and have the power to make significant change for the better,” he adds.

Florida Realtor magazine spoke with the entire leadership team to give you a sense of their plans and a snapshot of who they are as businesspeople and leaders. Here’s what they had to say:

Eric Sain, President; Illustrated Properties, Palm Beach

Passionate About: The 2019 leadership goals. We have so much data at our fingertips and our research department is phenomenal. It’s time we harness that information and use predictive analytics to help our members discover new benefits and be the source of information.

I also believe it is time to make sure everyone understands Florida’s environment, focuses where the issues are and analyzes our water situation. We sell Florida beaches, and when the water is tainted, it’s hard to do that. Florida is more than a state–it’s a state of mind.

I also want to make sure everyone understands that the state association is a resource. We want to help with education, core standards and strategic planning– without duplicating efforts with our local associations.

Finally, my aspirational goal is to build a better Realtor. Realtors are a vital part of the community and we do more than list and sell homes. How can we better equip Realtors to build businesses for themselves that are successful and professional?

Most Memorable Leadership Advice: Real estate is a time-sensitive industry. If you take too long to get that contract signed, another offer may come in. You must create that sense of urgency and move quickly.

Realtor Superpower: I can take on a variety of roles to create the relationships necessary to build business and help members succeed.

Favorite Podcast, Video Series or Book: For business, my go-to author is John Maxwell. He has a new book called “Leadershift” that I’m excited to read.

Motivation: I love being in a collaborative environment where brokers and agents share best practices and industry advances. It also motivates me to see agents have aha moments where they learn something new and successfully implement it into their businesses.

Barry Grooms, President-Elect; Sarabay Real Estate Inc., Bradenton

Passionate About: We need to protect our environment and the water that surrounds us. We need to look at it as a life-threatening issue rather than a political one–stop blaming, find the cause and fix it.          

I also believe that we need to work more collaboratively with other state associations and local associations. We should be more global in our thinking. 

Most Memorable Leadership Advice: My dad told me that stress and chaos are where faith begins. That’s key because stress or chaos will all end the moment you let your faith begin.

Realtor Superpower: I am a multiplier man. I can identify and leverage technology to help agents be more efficient. I also have the ability to listen.

Favorite Podcast, Video Series or Book: Water Cooler by Chris Smith

Motivation: The excitement of something new. I like the thought of taking on something I’ve never done before. The fear of failure drives me as well

Cheryl Lambert, Vice President, Only Way Realty Citrus, Inverness

Passionate About: Affordable housing. The next generation is strapped with college loans and we must come up with creative housing to meet their needs. I also believe we have some serious environmental problems. How can we handle the shrinking shorelines, lack of quality drinking water and more? Finally, I come from the data world, so it’s vital to have reliable, better reports our members can present to consumers. It’s all about sharing their expertise [as real estate professionals] with home buyers and sellers.

Most Memorable Leadership Advice: Always have a servant’s heart. Stay humble, stay kind and follow servant principles.

Realtor Superpower: We’re resilient. Mother Nature can knock us down, but we’ll come back stronger than ever. That was demonstrated during Hurricane Michael when Realtors came together to support those in affected areas.

Favorite Podcast, Video Series or Book: I read a lot of inspirational books, such as those by John Maxwell.

Motivation: When a member calls me a true friend; when they recognize that I genuinely care, that excites me. It’s about the members, and your actions should show that.

Christina Pappas, Treasurer; The Keyes Co., Coral Gables

Passionate About: Realtor professionalism. We have the opportunity to grow our level of professionalism and differentiate Realtors from licensees. We have the power to hold each other to a higher level of service and be role models for others in the industry.

Most Memorable Leadership Advice: It’s from my father: Everybody is for progress, but no one is for change. Most people want to move forward, but leaders must be mindful to the fact that most people hate change. It’s a delicate balance. 

Realtor Superpower: My my desire to effect legislative change to make sure property rights are protected.

Favorite Podcast, Video Series or Book: I’m very much into the Ninja Selling program with Larry Kendall.

Motivation: Ninja Selling. Part of it is to practice gratitude and stay in the moment. I take five minutes each morning to show my thanks rather than focus on problems.

Mike McGraw, Secretary; RE/MAX Central Realty, Apopka

Passionate About: We are a data-driven organization, so it’s imperative that we use that data to build a better Realtor. Also, Florida is a water state. If we’re not at the table to address our water issues, then we’re not helping our economy grow.

Most Memorable Leadership Advice: Surround yourself with people who are better than you. Also, I don’t want people in a room that I know will disagree with me. I want to walk out of a place with more knowledge so that we can move closer to a middle ground.

Realtor Superpower: Bringing people together. We can disagree and still be friends. We can build communities and bring them along with the relationship we forge.

Motivation: I’m motivated to do what I’m doing to help the next generation have some of the same opportunities I’ve had. I want people to have the chance to be homeowners if they choose.



2019 District Vice Presidents

We asked the 2019 district vice presidents to tell us their Realtor Superpower.


District 1: Marc Jernigan, EXIT Real Estate Gallery, Fleming Island

I am elastic man! I work more efficiently when stretched and pulled in many directions.


District 2: Michael Artelli, RE/MAX Solutions, Merritt Island

I can multi-task like no other, negotiate a contract, run a meeting, attend an inspection, all without spilling my coffee.


District 3: H.B. Warren. The Keyes Company, Jensen Beach

I strive to be quick and accurate in my responses to customer questions. 


District 4: Stacy StahlOcean Sotheby’s International Realty, Key West

I can leap over all obstacles between my customers and their closing table!


District 5: Dominic Pallini, Vanderbilt Realty in Naples

I love technology. I optimize my clients’ experience using the latest and greatest tools of the trade.


District 6: Mari Colgan. Yellowfin Realty, Riverview

I am quite skilled at closing deals in heels!


District 7: Kim Ducharme Levensohn. Morris Realty & Investments, Inc., Leesburg

Communication and accessibility—there have been times when I've written contracts in the car on my iPad on the way to a Gator football game.


District 8: Will Shepherd. Ketcham Realty Group in Tallahassee

I am told that I can de-escalate almost any situation and build consensus and agreement. 


District 9: Mark Miller. Century 21 Island View Realty, Navarre

I am Super-Negotiator with the ability to bring two sides together and meet in the middle.


District 10: Manuel Quiros. I Think Realty, Winter Haven

I will travel anywhere for real estate! In the course of my real estate career, I’ve gone to 10 countries to make real estate transactions happen! 


District 11: John SlivonBowen Realty, Port St. Lucie

I am Opera Man. As a singer, I can scale up and down the many facets of the real estate business and save buyers and sellers from any sharp or flat pitfalls.  


District 12: Lou NimkoffBrio Real Estate, Winter Park

I know a lot of people and I love to get people together to create synergy. For example, I like introducing new real estate professionals to experienced Realtors.


District 13: Vicky McPheeKeller Williams Realty Peace River Partners, Punta Gorda

I have super-vision–the ability to see a crisis before it happens and to resolve it to keep all parties happy.