Kentucky REALTORS® (KYR), one of the state’s largest professional associations representing over 10,600 members, presented several awards honoring outstanding REALTORS® across the Commonwealth during the 95th Annual KYR Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Norman Jones, the owner and broker of two real estate companies, Big Sandy Realty in Pikeville and First Choice Realty in Paintsville and a member of the Eastern Kentucky Association of REALTORS® (EKAR), was named KYR’s 2017 REALTOR® of the Year. Jones began his real estate career in 1986 and specializes in residential sales and appraising. He has served in nearly every capacity at EKAR, including the organization’s Board of Directors and as President twice in 1994 and 1999. He was also named REALTOR® of the Year for EKAR in 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2012. On the state level, Jones completed a term as Treasurer in 2012, President in 2015 and has served on the Board of Directors and as Region Six Director. He has served on numerous KYR committees including Finance, Appraisal and Legal Affairs. In addition, he has served as a Trustee for the Kentucky REALTOR® Institute (KRI). Jones has given his time volunteering for Hand in Hand Ministries, the American Red Cross and the Boy Scouts of America.
The 2017 KYR Distinguished Service Award was presented to Linzie Craig, the broker and owner of Craig Realty Co. in Shelbyville and member of the Greater Louisville Association of REALTORS® (GLAR). This award is given to someone who has provided outstanding contributions to the real estate industry and his/her local community. Craig, who has been licensed for 38 years, is a third generation REALTOR® and is the first third generation REALTOR® to be a member of GLAR. He was also a lifelong member of the Shelbyville Board of REALTORS® until it merged with the Central Kentucky Association of REALTORS®, located in Danville. Craig was selected REALTOR® of the Year locally in 1985 and again in 1987 and served as President of the Shelbyville Board several times. On the state level, Craig was elected Director At-Large in 1987 and has since served on numerous committees, elected to the offices of Senior Vice President and in 1997, was elected KYR President. He was also awarded REALTOR® of the Year for KYR in 1999. Currently, he serves as a member of the KYR Delegate Body and is the program director with the state association’s leadership program where he has remained active for more than 15 years. He is also a Certified Residential Appraiser and was among the group that took the first appraisal exam administered by Kentucky in 1982. Craig served on the Board of Directors for the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce and the Shelby Development Corporation, helping direct the business/industrial development of Shelbyville/Shelby County.
Jeff Ratanapool, the Chief Operating Officer at Century Mortgage, has taught more than 100 classes for KRI since 2002. He has taught the GRI finance course for more than a decade and is a regular speaker at numerous events, including presenting annually at the Kentucky REALTOR® Institute’s Broker Summit. For this, Ratanapool was presented the 2017 Nat Sanders Education Award, an award created to honor Nat Sanders, former executive vice president of the Greater Louisville Association of REALTORS®, and designed to recognize an individual who has made the most significant contributions to, while exemplifying leadership and service in real estate education at either the local, state or national levels. Ratanapool teaches at several local associations, and is an active instructor for the Kentucky REALTOR® Institute. He continually strives to not only stay current, but beyond the curve in the ever-changing world of financing mortgages. In addition to teaching, Ratanapool is committed to giving back to his community in many different forms. He has served or is serving on the boards of directors for Kentucky Easter Seals, Louisville Easter Seals, Louisville Homebuilders Association, Affordable Housing Task Force, Political Action Committee, JCPS/Stopher Elementary School and the Fern Creek High School Alumni Association.
The 2017 Good Neighbor Award is designed to recognize a REALTOR® who has made an extraordinary impact on his or her community or on the national level, through volunteerism. This year’s recipient is Cathy Corbett of Falls of Rough and the Greater Louisville Association of REALTORS®, for her involvement with the Friends of Rough River. Corbett helped start the organization in 2008 to promote economic development of the lake and currently serves as Treasurer. Her role has helped move legislation forward that funded a nearly $2 million expansion, relocating the marina to a deep water year-round location, as well as legislation that keeps the lake at summer pool a full month longer than surrounding lakes which increases the tourism season by 25 percent. To accomplish this, she spent 20 or more hours each month traveling to Frankfort and Washington DC to weigh in on legislation to support the lake. In addition, her real estate company, Greater Rough River Realty Group, personally funded the construction of a new “swimming beach” at the lake which helps attract locals and tourists from around the state and country, and she contributed funds to help renovate the visitor’s center. Honorable mentions for the Good Neighbor award went to Laura Hayden, Lexington, and Willie Baker, Perryville, for their contributions to their local communities.
The 2017 Community Service Awards, given to REALTOR® associations on the local level that improve the quality of life in their communities, were presented to three local REALTOR® associations based on their size – in small, medium and large association categories. The award in the large category went to the REALTOR® Association of Southern Kentucky (RASK) in Bowling Green for contributions with their REALTORS® Hope for Homeless event. Through the Hope for Homeless, RASK helps poverty stricken and homeless children, individuals, and families in the community by collecting non-perishable foods, toiletries and monetary donations. These donations benefit family resource centers throughout the area, as well as HOTEL, Inc., an organization that breaks the cycle of poverty and homelessness to build self-sufficient households. In the medium category, the Eastern Kentucky Association of REALTORS® won for donations to the Turning Point Domestic Violence Service, an organization dedicated to eliminating domestic partner violence through advocacy, education and action for social changes. The Association also contributed to the Harlan County Boys and Girls Club by collecting backpacks and school supplies for the children the organization serves. For their work with several organizations including Need Line, Soup for the Soul and the Humane Society of Calloway County, the Murray Calloway County Board of REALTORS® took home the award in the small category.
Kentucky REALTORS® is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, Kentucky REALTORS® represents over 10,600 REALTORS® who are involved in all aspects of real estate, including residential and commercial real estate brokers, sales agents, developers, builders, property managers, office managers, appraisers and auctioneers.