Boardroom Report
Boards of Directors
Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc.
May 19, 2021 via Zoom

HGAR Management, Financial & Membership Reports

President Hawkins-Syska presented the President’s Report, indicating that she would be writing articles in Real Estate In-Depth addressing issues such as competitiveness in the market, lack of inventory, and the promotion of cohesiveness and coordination between the parties to a transaction so that they may “get to the finish line.” President Hawkins-Syska also reported on her first podcast, “Conversations with Crystal”. She further indicated that she would be working with the Chairpersons of the Broker-Manager Committee to focus on initiatives. President Hawkins-Syska reminded the Directors and Officers that there would be a call-to-action regarding the removal of the temporary ban on cold-calling, with respect to real estate agents, due to the pandemic.

CEO Haggerty presented the CEO’s Report, advising on several developments relating to staff, and he also welcomed Freddimir Garcia, HGAR’s new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer. Haggerty informed the Directors and Officers that the June Board Meeting would still be held remotely via Zoom.

President Hawkins-Syska then reported that she had selected Cynthia Lippolis to fill the open position on the Nominating Committee vacated by Sandra Erickson. After discussion, the Directors confirmed the selection.

In-House Legal Counsel and Professional Standards Administrator Brian Levine then presented the Ethics Decision designated 271-E, which was provided to each of the Directors prior to the meeting. After review and discussion, the Directors affirmed the recommendations of the Hearing Panel in this matter.

President Hawkins-Syska provided an update on the status of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (“DEI Committee”), advising that she was pleased to have Freddimir Garcia, HGAR’s new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, in place at a critical time during this initial phase where the DEI Committee is being established and the members are being chosen. President Hawkins-Syska reported that the members of the DEI Committee Selection Task Force who are charged with the task of selecting the members of the DEI Committee have been chosen and are as follows: Rey Hollingsworth Falu, Christina Stevens, Cheryl Williams, Tony Ruperto, Anthony Domathoti, Theresa Crozier, Ismail Kolya,  Hawkins-Syska, and Carmen Bauman as Chair of the Selection Task Force. The Selection Task Force will review all of the applications from each of the applicants applying for the DEI Committee.

Additionally, President Hawkins-Syska reported that there needed to be an amendment to the length of the terms the DEI Committee members would serve and that this amendment would need to be voted on and approved by the Directors. Initially, it had been approved by the Directors that all members of the DEI Committee, which is comprised of two separate groups under the full DEI Committee, (i.e., Members at Large and those members that make up the Steering Committee), would have a three-year term. However, it was noted that the length of the terms should have been three years for Steering Committee members and one year for the Members at Large. It was further noted that the terms for the members of the DEI Steering Committee would be staggered, and that the DEI Selection Task Force would be charged with the task of determining how best to stagger the terms of the Steering Committee members. After discussion the Directors approved this recommendation.

CEO Haggerty and Treasurer Carmen Bauman then reviewed some parts of the newly adopted HGAR Policies and Procedures Manual. CEO Haggerty reviewed the “best practices” that were detailed on Page 8 of the Manual. Treasurer Bauman pointed out that the new language that was adopted at the prior meeting was included on Page 11 of the latest version of the Manual, which was emailed to the Directors and Officers prior to the meeting, and that there were no other changes.

Director Ron Garafalo then reported on Lobby Day. Various issues and topics which were discussed included, among others: Good Cause Eviction, Co-op Transparency legislation, COVID-19, Flip Taxes, Cease and Desist Zones, Independent Contractor Status, and the Prohibition on Cold Calling during the current State of Emergency. Director of Government Affairs Philip Weiden also highlighted the recent court case overturning the DOS’s ban on tenants paying a broker’s fee or commission on a rental.

President Hawkins-Syska and Director Barry Kramer then presented an update regarding the status of Westchester County’s Co-op Transparency legislation. President Hawkins-Syska indicated that the campaign for passage of the legislation is nearing the end. She stressed the importance of members attending the public hearing scheduled for 7:30 P.M. on May 24th. Director Kramer pointed out that County Executive George Latimer had indicated to him at a function held the previous evening that he would be in favor of the legislation. Director Kramer believed that there would be enough votes needed to pass the legislation.

President Hawkins-Syska then reported on the Fair Housing Summit, Immediate Past President Gail Fattizzi reported on the Leadership Accelerator Program, Secretary Tony D’Anzica presented the report of the Global Council, Director of Marketing Cathleen Stack, on behalf of John Barrett, President of the HGAR CID, provided an update on the Commercial Investment Division, Director Maryann Tercasio presented the report of the HG Realtor Foundation, Vlora Sejdi, President of the Women’s Council of Realtors Empire Local Westchester, provided an update on behalf of the Women’s Council, Director Carol Christiansen and President Elect Anthony Domathoti presented the RPAC Committee report.

President Hawkins-Syska pointed out to the Directors that reports of the various Committees and Councils (i.e., Professional Standards Committee, Leadership Accelerator Program, Fair Housing Committee, Legislative Committee, RPAC Committee, Global Business Council, Commercial and Investment Division and HG Realtor Foundation) had been provided to them via email.

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