Total existing-home sales—completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops—rose 3.1% from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.00 million in January.
SPOTLIGHT ON: Marianne LePore
Leading Women’s Council’s Comeback From COVID
As the 2023 President of the Women’s Council of Realtors Empire Local Chapter, Marianne LePore has a wealth of both business and life experience to offer. The Corcoran Legends Realty agent brings a background in real estate, banking, education, the fine arts, and the memory of her halcyon days at the original Woodstock festival in 1969 at Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, NY.
Originally billed as the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, LePore, an art major, thought it would be more of an art show. “Of course, when we arrived, there was no artwork,” she quipped. Little did she and her friend know they would be treated to three days of some of the world’s best musicians including Jimi Hendrix, Ravi Shankar, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Santana, The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Who, Crosby, Stills Nash & Young, and many more.
“We just camped out for the weekend and thank goodness my friend had been a Girl Scout because we were very well prepared,” she recalled. “We had food and sleeping bags, and just listened to music all night long.” At one point, she remembered, the army had to fly in some medical supplies because the New York State Thruway was closed due to abandoned cars. “People couldn’t find any parking, so they just got out on the highway and started walking toward the farm.”
There was also a lot of rain and mud, and very few portable bathrooms! “You really had to have tenacity to last out there,” LePore added. “But it was the best that humans could be, with a lot of food sharing and help for each other.”
It was that tenacity that led LePore to a banking career over the next 15 years, where she started as a teller and eventually became a manager with the former Banker’s Trust in Scarsdale. “There was a lot of chaos at that time when banks were merging and turning over. It was a very tough place for a woman then,” she said.
Armed with an M.A. from Dean College in Massachusetts, LePore had originally intended to work in the arts. “It was a difficult field and I realized I was not Picasso,” she laughed. She credits a friend who told her about the opening with Banker’s Trust.
After raising her two sons, she returned to work for Southern Westchester BOCES in the Interscholastic Athletic Department. She started out in data processing and eventually became the assistant to the director. In her 22 years there, she also became an advocate for employees and was elected president of the Civil Service Employees Union. LePore actually earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration working in civil service, and has continued with education throughout her life.
LePore retired early and then one day while walking through Tarrytown, she ran into an acquaintance. “She suggested I get into real estate, since I could bring all of these life experiences with me and I knew the areas and school districts so well,” she said. For the past 10 years, LePore has been part of the Corcoran Legends family.
In fact, it was her broker, Marcene Hedayati, who encouraged her to get involved with the Women’s Council of Realtors. “I’m so excited about this year and I have an excellent team. Everyone is gung-ho about turning WCR around after the pandemic,” she said. “We want to bring this organization to the forefront once again.”
The WCR definitely made some headway last spring with its inaugural “Deals in Heels” event that had their prominent male sponsors parading down a runway in colorful high heels and boots. They also took candid shots for a 2023 calendar that proved to be a sellout at HGAR’s Member’s Day in October. Proceeds from the modeled shoe sales went directly to RPAC, the Realtors’ Political Action Committee. “This may become an annual event,” acknowledged LePore. “So many of our clients want to get involved again this year and we’ve had a lot of new inquiries as well!”
The WCR’s 2023 calendar of events began with its popular Legal Update, and LePore’s team is busy planning the rest of the year, including its annual “Meet the Mayors” panel discussion and special events for Black History Month. This year, they may add a similar event called “Meet the Supervisors,” featuring Town Supervisors from various locations in the Hudson Valley.
Growing up in Port Chester and Chappaqua, and now living in Tarrytown in a 100-year-old home, LePore’s real estate territory covers Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Dutchess counties. “However, if an area is unfamiliar to me, I’ll refer it out,” she said. Her favorite clients are first-time home buyers. “I like to introduce them to the concept and educate them as well,” she said.
In her spare time, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Garden Empire Volleyball Association, reads, and watches classic films. “I attend the Turner Classic Movie Festival every year and I’m the president of a movie group that meets monthly via Zoom,” she said. “I can probably sing you any tune recorded in the 1930’s!”
Early on, her inspiration was actor Stanley Tucci’s father, an instructor at Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua. “I always like to draw and make jewelry, so he encouraged me. It was just a natural thing to get into the fine arts,” she said. Ironically, her maiden name is Tucci.
While these days she’s not actively involved in drawing or sculpting, she has discovered beading and textile art. “Of course, for that, I’d need a studio and lots of space,” she added.
Just a few years back, around the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock, she was featured in a New York Times article for saving a pin that was popular at the event. A reporter came to her home to take a photo of her wearing the pin. “That’s nothing, though. Someone else actually saved his mud-encrusted shoes from Woodstock,” she revealed.