2018 President Sid Pugh's Farewell
December 18, 2018
With 2018 coming to a close, now is a great time to reflect back on the year we have had here at AAR. As you know, my theme for this year was “Plant the Seed.” We envisioned 2018 to be a time of growth for our Association. And, grow we did!
Our growth is the result of a remarkable joint effort between our members, leadership team, Board of Directors, partners, and Association staff. Together, we have created new programs and member services, hosted new educational events, introduced new legislation to benefit our members and consumers, launched a successful consumer awareness campaign, and renewed our focus on member engagement. All of that within a span of a year - now that is growth!
I want to highlight a few of these new initiatives. First, we revamped and brought back Leadership AAR after a three-year hiatus. Leadership AAR is a program designed for REALTOR® members who have the aptitude, interest, motivation, and potential to help lead the REALTOR® organization at the national, state, or local level. It aligns the AAR mission with a development program to build strong leaders for tomorrow to help ensure our industry and communities are prepared for the challenges ahead. The Leadership AAR Class of 2018 consisted of 14 future leaders from across the state.
Your Alabama REALTORS® Public Policy team also helped draft and introduce new legislation to create a First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account, which was successfully passed in the 2018 Legislative Session and written into law on March 28. This new law allows first-time buyers and those re-entering the housing market the opportunity to open a tax-free savings account to be used towards the purchase of their first home. Not only is this a great new resource for first-time buyers, but it’s also expected to have a significant positive impact on Alabama’s housing sector and economy as whole. Another great success for 2018!
The last item I would like to highlight is the Alabama REALTORS® Disaster Relief Fund. Now, this fund is not new to AAR, but this year we renewed our commitment to this essential program. After all, being a REALTOR® isn’t just about buying and selling homes, it’s about helping displaced families, revitalizing communities, and ensuring homeownership is accessible to all. This means not only making financial donations to aid in the recovery efforts after natural or man-made disasters, but also being prepared to act if you are present for such devastation. So, our effort was twofold. First, we upped our financial commitment to the fund by donating all net proceeds from our Disaster Relief Clay Shoot in February and the Annual Awards Celebration and President’s Installation in October to the REALTORS® Disaster Relief Fund. Second, we hosted an emergency response training program for our members for the first time. The class sold out in record time! In fact, the response was so overwhelming that we are bringing back the class in the spring. Be on the lookout for more information to come.
I could go on and on about our Association’s initiatives and efforts in 2018, but I know my time is almost up. Let me close by saying this: our growth over the past 12 months is immeasurable! I am really proud to have played a part in the development and revitalization of these member services and many more, but I could not have done it without you, our members. Thank you for your support, ideas, and help in making this year one for the books. We have a great team leading us again in 2019, and I am thrilled to see what the future holds for AAR!
Your 2018 President,