Richard Haggerty, HGAR Chief Executive Officer

If you had asked me at the beginning of 2022 where my career would end up, I would have unequivocally and emphatically said the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors. It’s been my home for 38 years and I relished the opportunity to stay at one job my whole career. I’ve loved this job and this organization, as well as the Realtor volunteers whom I’ve had the good fortune to work with, and my fellow team members at the HGAR offices. If you had told me at the beginning of 2022 that I’d be writing my final column for Real Estate In-Depth in December, I would have said you were crazy. However, here I am, at my keyboard, writing my final column.

The primary reason I am making the transition to OneKey MLS is my belief I can make a positive impact with that organization. As I have written previously in this publication, I have thought long and hard about how I can best serve the members, and where I could be most impactful, and I decided that path was OneKey MLS, which is the lifeblood in the daily lives of our members.

Approximately four years ago we came together with the Long Island Board of Realtors to leverage the incredible geography of New York City and the greater suburban areas to create something that will really benefit our members and also benefit our consumers. We have accomplished much in the last four years, and there is much more to do to achieve our goals.

If I can make a difference at OneKey MLS, it’s primarily due to my experiences and lessons learned at HGAR and its predecessor organizations over the past nearly four decades. I remember back in the early days when I was cutting my teeth in Professional Standards Enforcement. My mentors back in those days were so helpful in giving me a crash course in real estate 101. Maggie Reid, Jim Whittemore, Charlie Zambrano, Emmylou Sleeper, Ebie Wood, Esther Pines, Pat Bentley—all those individuals and many more were so generous with their advice and encouragement. In so many ways that is what it boils down to, mentorship, being willing to share experiences and knowledge to help others, which is what makes the Realtor family so unique and special.

I would be remiss if I failed to recognize the impacts Gil Mercurio and Ann Garti had on my professional career. Gil, who was my boss for 28 years, was always motivating me and setting the example of excellence in association management. Ann, whom I became close friends with early in my career, became my most trusted sounding board and was constant with her encouragement.

I’d also like to acknowledge the 11 presidents that I’ve had the pleasure of working with since I became CEO of HGAR back in 2012; Nancy Kennedy, Katheryn DeClerck, Diane Cummins, Drew Kessler, Marcene Hedayati, Dorothy Botsoe, Barry Kramer, Ron Garafalo, Gail Fattizzi, Crystal Hawkins-Syska, and Anthony Domathoti. Each one of them taught me valuable lessons about leadership and teamwork.

In closing, I encourage each of you to recognize the power of mentorship and the value of teamwork. While I may be biased, I firmly believe that HGAR is an exceptional organization, due in large part to the quality of its leadership. This leadership is a product of the mentorship and teamwork at which HGAR has always excelled. They are the key building blocks of this organization. The Leadership Accelerator Program, now in its third year, is a perfect example of this type of mentorship and teamwork.

I leave you in good hands with HGAR’s interim CEO Jana Currier at the helm, while the HGAR CEO Search Committee continues the search for a permanent CEO. I know that Jana and the entire team at HGAR will continue to foster the collaboration and teamwork that enables HGAR to continue to grow and thrive.

Wishing you all the best,

Richard Haggerty

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