Before stepping down after a year at the helm of the 400 North Board of Realtors, Carolyn Mixon took a moment to reflect on the successes of 2010.
“We have accomplished a lot of things in the last 12 months,” she said. “We have moved forward in truly making it through the rain and serving our members with energy while having fun.”
In addition to installing officers for 2011, including new president Tim Hopkins, the organization’s holiday luncheon Friday also featured awards.
Mixon, who was honored as Realtor of the Year, selected Awards Commission Chairman Terry Swanson for this year’s President’s Award.
The organization’s top honor was also a new one, as the Jim French Award was presented for the first time.
The award honors a member who portrays professionalism and true Realtor spirit, integrity, achievement and standards, among other qualities.
“When determining what name to name this award, the committee unanimously agreed there is only one name fitting to the title,” Swanson said.
“Jim French, your legacy will continue to embody our organization and our members as future generations of Realtors strive to achieve true success.”
French, whose career in Forsyth spans more than three decades, said he was humbled by the honor.
President of French Properties, he is among the longest serving members of the board and a five-time recipient of the Realtor of the Year. He has also received the Phoenix, Silver Phoenix and Crystal awards.
“I’m the longest one here with the ex-ception of Janette Barfield,” French said. “I’ve been pre-sident twice and I’ve been very active all 32 years.”
French was also founding president of the Forsyth Area Multiple Listing Service and founder of the Forsyth Area Industrial Association.
He joined the 400 North Board in its infancy to “put me in contact with all the companies ... so you can network with them very well.”
“Of course, networking is the secret to success in realty,” he said.
The first Jim French Award went to one of his former employees, Chuck Jonaitis, although he wasn’t present to accept it.
“He deserved it,” French said. “He’s very active in many ways.”
It’s Jonaitis’ involvement that earned him the top honor, Swanson said.
“Chuck embodies everything. He’s been an instructor, a teacher, an agent, a broker, a sales trainer and has given to Habitat for Humanity,” Swanson said.
“The matchup of him and Jim and the way that they both are, he was the one that stood out way above everyone else.”
Before the event ended, Hopkins addressed the board as president for the first time. He shared some priorities before commending Mixon on her service.
“There was no doubt this year that Carolyn was in charge ... she led with grace and humility and certain leadership,” he said.
“I’m going to need [membership] help to make sure we do it even better this year.”