Boardroom Report: February 16, 2022

Boardroom Report
Boards of Directors
Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc.
February 16, 2022 at the HGAR Offices, White Plains, New York

HGAR Management, Financial & Membership Reports

President Anthony Domathoti presented the President’s Report, thanking the Board of Directors for taking the lead on all of the recent Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives undertaken by it and reported that there has been discussion about HGAR hosting a DEI Summit in June or July with other associations from the region.

CEO Richard Haggerty then presented the CEO’s Report, revisiting HGAR’s COVID Policy with the Board of Directors in light of the recent removal of certain statewide COVID mandates by the governor. After some discussion, the Board of Directors decided to relax the mandatory mask requirement and modify the vaccination protocol passed at a previous Board meeting.

Treasurer Carmen Bauman and CEO Haggerty presented a report on the financial structure of HGAR. They provided an overview of the Finance Committee and its duties, and a review of HGAR’s Investment Policy, which was developed in 2012-2013 in connection with the merger with the Orange County Association of Realtors, Inc. CEO Haggerty also discussed the importance of the role HGAR’s accountants and the financial reports prepared by them.

Treasurer Bauman presented the Treasurer’s Report as of Feb. 1, 2022, a copy of which was provided to the Directors, and after discussion, the Report was approved for filing. CEO Haggerty then reported on HGAR’s Dues Receipts Report.

President Domathoti then requested confirmation by the Directors of the following individuals appointed by him to the 2022 Nominating Committee pursuant to Article XIII, Section 7 of the HGAR Bylaws: Chair (Immediate Past President): Crystal Hawkins-Syska; Two Past Presidents: Katheryn DeClerck and Barry Kramer; Four Other Members (at least two of whom are current Directors): Rey Hollingsworth, Kazuko Boylan, Mackenzie Forsberg, and Brian Phillips. After discussion, the Directors approved the members of the Nominating Committee.

CEO Haggerty then presented required changes to the Bylaws as mandated by the National Association of Realtors, Inc. (NAR) and indicated that since these are NAR-mandated changes, they do not need to be approved by the general Membership but simply affirmed by a vote of the Board of Directors. A handout containing the mandated changes was provided to the Directors for their review. After review and discussion, the Directors approved the required changes to the By-laws.

President Domathoti then reviewed the Strategic Plan with the Directors and indicated that this was the final year of the three-year Strategic Plan that was previously developed and approved by the HGAR Board of Directors. After review, the Strategic Plan was affirmed for 2022.

CEO Haggerty then reported to the Directors that a request was received by HGAR for legal action assistance relating to a lawsuit involving a title insurance company. The plaintiffs filed the action against the title insurance company for refusing to provide coverage for a title claim, claiming that it was an exception to coverage in its policy. In the opinion of the plaintiffs, the claim should have been covered. The lower courts held in favor of the defendant (i.e., the title insurance company). The case is being appealed by the plaintiffs to the New York Court of Appeals. The plaintiffs claim that if the decision is upheld, it would have a chilling effect on real estate sales and the real estate industry as a whole. CEO Haggerty reported that it is not HGAR’s policy to provide such legal assistance and as such requested that the Directors approve a referral of the matter to the New York State Association of Realtors, Inc. (NYSAR) Legal Action Committee for consideration. After discussion, the Directors approved the referral.

CEO Haggerty then presented the latest Ethics Decisions to the Board of Directors. CEO Haggerty presented the Ethics Decision designated as 288-E, which was provided to each of the Directors prior to the meeting. After discussion, the Directors confirmed Ethics Decision 288-E.

CEO Haggerty reminded the Directors and Officers that Professional Standards Training and the continuing education course on the Code of Ethics were being offered on March 7th and 8th and recommended that all Directors and Officers attend.

President Domathoti then presented an update on the status of various Presidential Advisory Groups (i.e., Education PAG, Office Space Assessment PAG, Communications and Website PAG, and the NYC Expansion PAG).

Thereafter, President Domathoti made closing remarks and indicated that the next Board of Directors meeting would be held in person at the HGAR office in White Plains on March 23, 2022 at 10:00 am.

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