Leadership Academy: Leaders Are Made, Not Born!

By Deb Shrider

Leadership Academy Sept 2017

Congratulations to the Orange County REALTORS®
Leadership Academy Graduating Class of 2018

  • Cassandra Amos, Nova Real Estate Inc.
  • Edward Arce, Intero HomeServices, a Berkshire
  • Hathaway Affiliate
  • Matt Cortez, First Team Real Estate
  • Olesya Drozdova, HomeSmart Evergreen Realty, Irvine
  • Leslie Eskildsen, Realty One Group Inc.
  • Spencer Hoo, RE/MAX Premier Realty
  • Laurie Johnson, Bullock Russell Real Estate Services
  • Sherrie LeVan, Prime OC Properties, Inc.
  • Jonathan Leonhardt, Team Laguna Real Estate
  • Yami Martinez, Altamar Real Estate
  • Larry Paul, C2/Thrive Financial, Lawrence D. Paul, Broker
  • Joyce Purvis, Coldwell Banker Mission Viejo
  • Hanz Radlein, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
  • Mary Rampone, Regency Real Estate Brokers
  • Tamara Romano, Home Point Financial
  • Jessica Siguenza, Finance of America Mortgage
  • Kevin Smith, First Team Real Estate
  • Lynne Suzanski, Coast to Canyon Real Estate
  • Tina Vo, Realty One Group Inc.
  • Lisa Yi, NextHome Coastal

The Orange County REALTORS® Leadership Academy helps participants develop the skills and perspective needed to achieve effectiveness in leadership, business, and life.

“The best experience in my ten-year real estate career,” said Orange County REALTORS® member Donna Hollingsworth. “One of the most rewarding experiences I have had as a real estate professional!” exclaimed REALTOR® Liz Lewis. “A life changer! It empowers individuals as a person, as well as a professional,” noted REALTOR® Yami Martinez. What are these members raving about? They, along with thirty-seven other real estate professionals, are part of a select group who make up the alumni of the Orange County REALTORS® Leadership Academy.

The Academy is the brainchild of former OC REALTORS® President Rita Tayenaka, who saw the Academy as one way to recruit and train members to embrace a leadership role at the Association. But it’s clear from participant feedback that the eight-month intensive program delivered more than leadership training. Valuable life tools and an enhanced level of confidence have enabled graduates to embrace opportunities they might otherwise have avoided: a trade trip to China, volunteering to be “High School Principal for a Day,” and accepting leadership positions in organized real estate and in their local communities.

Leadership Academy cadets attend the annual Costume Bowl in October
dressed as Three Blind Mice and a Butcher.

Leadership Academy cadets joined Leadership Academy Facilitator Deb Shrider and Orange County REALTORS® Past President and Leadership Academy Founder Rita Tayenaka to attend an event hosted by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP).

In May, the graduates of the Second Leadership Academy attended the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) 2018 Legislative Day in Sacramento. While in the state capital, many of them took the lead in articulating to state Assemblymembers and Senators the Hot Issues identified by the C.A.R. Legislative team. They presented a unified voice on issues such as accessory dwelling units (adding to a home to house extended family members), densification, workforce housing, and even the thornier and more complicated issues of affordability and homelessness. A shout out to Academy graduate Leslie Sargent Eskildsen, who detailed this experience in her column in the Orange County Register (see “REALTORS® Speak Out on Housing Shortage and Costs” on page 7 in the Real Estate section, on Sunday, May 8).

The Third Orange County REALTORS® Leadership Academy begins in September and will be chaired by OC REALTOR® President Tammy Newland-Shishido. Guest speakers include faculty members from California State University Fullerton, Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, Center for Leadership. They will present “The Full Range of Leadership Behaviors” (leadership strategies), “Overview of Servant Leadership” (exploring the power and promise of service over self-interest), and “Building Self-Awareness” (the first building block of emotional intelligence). A former chief financial officer for the Colorado and California Associations of REALTORS® will present “Understanding the Budget” (aka Bean-Counting 101). A Michigan Association of REALTORS® Instructor of the Year who is also a twenty-five-year parliamentarian, will discuss “Governance, Bylaws, and Communications.” Other modules cover the business of the Association, advocacy, and personal branding. Team-building exercises and community projects round out the curriculum, ensuring that there’s never a dull moment!