September is REALTOR® Safety Month

September is REALTOR® Safety Month. As you know, protecting yourself goes beyond vigilance in the field. You also need to be aware of the opportunities to improve your safety at the office and in the digital world.

NAR has worked hard to provide resources and tips on the topic of safety. A few quick links to safety hot topics are below:


Here at your local association, member safety will always be a top priority. As of now, we have two safety-related dates in September you may find beneficial.

On Monday, September 23rd, 2019 from 9am – 1pm, we’ll have our first REALTOR® Concealed Weapon Training class. PLEASE view the details on our calendar regarding eligibility and requirements. This class will be instructed by Keith Hardesty, an honorably discharged US Air Force Veteran, former Atlanta City Police Officer/investigator, and retired Federal Supervisory Criminal Investigator (ATF) with 20 years of Law Enforcement Firearm Instructor’s experience.

Of course, safety is a year-round priority! On Monday, October 28th we have “Tech Management & Safety” from 1pm – 4pm at PRO. Presented by Craig Grant, the “Real Estate Tech Guru”, this class aims to keep you up-to-date with NAR, Federal, and State technology policies, copyright risks, email etiquitee, keeping your computer safe, and more.


Did you know? If you’re ever feeling in danger in the field, Supra’s new eKEY app feature lets you send for help with just a tap of a button.

Please don’t forget to set this up! Watch the video to see how.




Paul Hendriks Installed as 2018 PRO Chairman of the Board

Paul Hendriks of Gulf to Bay Homes and Estates was installed as the Pinellas Realtor Organization Chairman of the Board at an event on Wednesday, January 17th at the Birchwood Hotel in St. Petersburg, FL. Past Presidents passed the gavel in a show of support for Paul and the 2018 Board. Congratulations to all!




 Executive Committee

  • Chairman of the Board 
    • Paul Hendriks, Gulf to Bay Homes & Estates
  • Chair-Elect
    • Kevin Batdorf, Batdorf & Associates
  • Secretary
    • Glen Richardson, Smith and Associates
  • Treasurer
    • Cyndee Haydon, Future Home Realty
  • Immediate Past Chairman of the Board
    • Tom Shelly, Sunshine Homes Sales

 Returning Directors

  • Vanessa Bustamante, NextHome Gulf Coast
  • Marsha Gordon – Coldwell Banker Residential
  • Manuela Hendrickson – Global Lifestyle, LLC
  • Fred Hintenberger – Charles Rutenberg Realty
  • Xina Rim – Coastal Properties Group

 Incoming Directors

  • Jill Long – J Long Realty Group
  • Todd Pillars – Pillars & Associates Real Estate
  • Tom Steck- Century 21 Real Estate Champions

PRO REALTOR of the Year, Achievement Award and Rookie of the Year Recipients

PRO presented three awards at the Installation event to recognize members who have gone above and beyond and who excel in our industry. The awards were presented on Wednesday, January 17 at the Birchwood Hotel in St. Petersburg.

REALTOR OF THE YEAR – Mindy Rovillo, IMAPP Realty Group
The  highest and most coveted award that can be bestowed by one’s peers. This award is based on the outstanding contributions of a Realtor to the Pinellas Realtor Association, the Florida Realtors and the National Association of Realtors.

The recipient must demonstrate what is called “Realtor Spirit” which is embodied by faithfulness to the principles of the Realtor Organization, professionalism and the Code of Ethics.

Mindy Rovillo:

  • Has been a Realtor for a minimum of 10 years, with current, active leadership involvement at the local, state and national level
  • Is recognized as an industry leader whose performance is exemplary
  • Has more than 16 years of real estate experience in management, training and sales
  • Served as the PRO Board Chair in 2016
  • Is 2018 District 6 Vice President 
  • Serves on the MFRMLS Board of Directors
  • Currently a Florida Realtor Director
  • Serves on the National Association of Realtors Real Property Valuation Committee

ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – Cyndee Haydon, Future Home Realty

The PRO Achievement Award goes to a member who has proven professional and real estate industry accomplishments, and who participates in networking, professional development courses, charitable activities, and other special events organized by the Pinellas REALTOR Organization.

Cyndee Haydon is extremely involved with the REALTOR® Industry.  She has earned seven designations, chaired for several committees, and has been a board member since 2014.

She is a major investor in RPAC, achieving the President Circle for three years, and this year is a Golden R contributor as well. She is a member of the Leadership Institute for Leadership Pinellas, has been their program Chair from 2014 -2017 and is their 2017-2018 President Elect.

She is a member of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Women’s Guild and is active with the Clearwater Jazz Holiday.  The last two years she has been awarded the PRO Service Award and the Florida Realtor Honor Society Award. In August, she was awarded District 6 Leadership Institute Hall of Fame Award. She has been featured in two Florida Realtor Magazine articles this year and has just authored her first book for Home Sellers.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – Bailey Makris, Keller Williams St. Pete Realty
Each year the Pinellas Realtor Organization recognizes the newest Realtor® member with the highest total sales volume who is not part of a team and has been licensed from January 2015 to present as the Rookie of the Year.

This year’s Rookie of the Year closed over $8 million in sales in her first year. She is a St. Petersburg native and attributes her success to being a part of the community where she sells the majority of her listings. Since launching her career, she has implemented successful business models from Gary Keller’s Millionaire Real Estate Agent.

PRO REALTOR Emeritus Members Recognized

PRO recognized 16 new REALTOR Emeritus designees at the Installation event on Wednesday, January 17 at the Birchwood Hotel in St. Petersburg.

By definition, any person who has held membership in the National Association as a REALTOR, REALTOR-ASSOCIATE or combination of both, for a cumulative period of 40 years in one or more Associations of REALTORS is eligible for REALTOR Emeritus status.

Upon approval by the Board of Directors of the National Association of REALTORS, no further payment of dues is necessary to the National Association by the member. In addition, once a person reaches REALTOR Emeritus status, their MLS fees are waived and they are also exempted from the NAR Code of Ethics Training requirement every 2 years!

Congratulations to all of you on this outstanding achievement!









Pictured above:

    • Sharon Seiden -1975
    • Marcy Daniels – 1976
    • Cynthia Brinson – 1977
    • Robert Gascon – 1977
    • Bob Hendry – 1977
    • Jill Melkonian – 1977
    • Tom Shelly – 1977

    These members could not attend the event and are not in the photo above.

    • Philip Anibal – 1966
    • Annette Lawler – 1970
    • Albert Ferraro – 1972
    • Ray Cassano- 1973
    • Elliott Ross – 1974
    • William Jardine – 1976
    • Richard Butler – 1977
    • Robert Cargo – 1977
    • Robert H. Sackett – 1977

PRO Good Neighbor Award Recipients

The Pinellas REALTOR Organization recently recognized four outstanding members who make a huge difference in our community. These Good Neighbor Award recipients were presented with pins and each received a check for $1,000 made out to their charity at the PRO Installation event on Wednesday, January 17 at the Birchwood Hotel in St. Petersburg.




Pictured at left, from left to right: Katie Shotts, PRO COO, Katie Phelps, Betty Granucci, Sue Ellis, Sophia Dottin and Nikki Mozell (community representative for Sophia’s project)



Sophia Dottin, Century 21 Coast to Coast – Volunteer for Gulfport Pirates Youth Sports

Sophia looked around her community and answered the call to help at risk youth. She knew they had a better chance of success if they were given the right tools. Her passion to help children focus on education, discipline, teamwork, and respect through youth sports has made a tremendous impact on the community of Gulfport. 

Sophia negotiated a contract with Boca Ciego High School for the use of their fields for Gulfport Pirates Youth Sports. She can always be there helping the young athletes, or on the sidelines with the cheerleader program. When not on the field, she’s creating marketing flyers, designing uniforms, or creating team memorabilia. Her creative and diverse fundraising ideas have helped raise funds for the organization and she even negotiated an annual sponsorship from the Gulfport Police Department.

Through her guidance, she not only provides resources to children, but it also helps families. The range of services offered includes tutoring, mentoring, motivational speakers, and spiritual enrichment, just to name a few.

Sophia has tirelessly volunteered thousands of hours over the past 6 years and her dedication to the organization shows in the success of the children in the community.  She is an incredible role model who we are proud to recognize.


Sue Ellis, Berkshire Hathaway Properties Group-Volunteer for Homeless Leadership Board

Sue Ellis is a volunteer with Cold Night Shelter which provides our local homeless population a warm place to stay when weather temperatures dip to 40 or below. The shelter is hosted by her church which is Peace Memorial Church. Sue is the shelter coordinator who oversees and works hands on with staff volunteers preparing the shelter with mats, blankets and pillows for their guest’s arrival. She assists in food preparation for the homeless always lending a hand to make sure they have breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

The planning process is monumental, but Sue is extremely organized and ensures there are enough dedicated volunteers available to make sure each shift is covered.  She was also instrumental in hiring a security officer to keep guests safe.

Sue felt a warm place to stay when it was cold was not enough help for the homeless and she took it upon herself to gather donations and create a room at the shelter where guests could find clothing, shoes and other items they needed. Shelving, racks, hangers, and other donations, along with items she purchased, were used to create a welcoming environment for those in need.

Sue sums up her dedication best through her belief that “While we all strive to help those with homes, I have developed a passion for those without homes.”


Betty Granucci, Charles Rutenberg Realty – Volunteer for Build a Bed At Bridgepoint Church

When Betty Granucci learned that 7,000 children in Pinellas County went to sleep without a bed every night, she knew she had to try to make a difference. Betty has been a volunteer at The Build a Bed program at Bridgepoint Church for the last 16 months. Her goal is to make sure each child has their own bed so they wake up rested, ready to learn, play and do whatever the day holds for them. 

Betty helps deliver and assemble beds on-site in the family’s home. This process takes approximately 4 to 5 hours. Each child also receives bedding, a set of pajamas, storybook, a variety of toiletries, and a stuffed animal or toy.

Betty took on the responsibility of being the main point of contact for both the caseworkers who are requesting the beds, as well as the families who are receiving the beds. Every day as applications come in, Betty coordinates with each family to get their beds on the delivery schedule.

When the program started in 2015, 56 beds were distributed.  In 2017 to date, over 506 beds have been delivered. The need is enormous and keeps growing. Betty has volunteered over 1,000 hours to ensure our youngest citizens, our children, can sleep in the comfort of their own bed and not on the floor.


Katie Phelps, Luxe Properties International – Volunteer for Babycycle Diaper Bank.

Katie Phelps is a board member and hands-on volunteer at the non-profit organization Babycycle.  Babycycle’s mission is to provide diapers, food, clothing and all other necessities to Mothers and children in need.

Did you know that babies need 6-10 diaper changes per day, which is $18 per week, or $936 per year?

Diapers are not covered by any government assistance programs, even though diapers are a necessity for every child. 

What if you can’t afford diapers for your child?

Katie has unselfishly given up weekends, afternoons and evenings to go to the warehouse and meet partner agencies to get the goods they need to help their clients break out of the cycle of poverty. Because of her commitment to Babycycle, she has built relationships with other agencies such as Suncoast Boley Free Clinic and over 25 others, to ensure many Mothers get the items they need.  With Katie’s never ending effort to obtain donations through diaper drives and her involvement with the National Diaper Bank Network, our local moms can spend their time loving and nurturing their babies.


District 6 Leadership Institute: DEADLINE JAN 15


District 6 leadership institute

The District 6 Leadership program is designed to help you uncover your most effective leadership style, with established strategies and innovative approaches. Learn what it takes to be a leader, motivate others, and to move your career and organization forward. This program will help you evolve from manager to leader in your organization. Develop a leadership style. Learn how to use these skills to become a leader in your Association at a local and state level. This is a true career decision to extend your personal style, learn to lead and build alliances with other focused professionals.

Get all the details and apply online at  

What are the Requirements?

Submit the online application, or print the application, complete and email it to

Applications must be received by 5:00pm on Monday, January 15, 2018.

* You must be a member of a Realtor Association in good standing, with no pending disciplinary action pending against you.
* The program is targeted to Realtor and Affiliate members of the District 6 Associations, but Realtor members from other Associations are also invited to apply.
* Realtors must have an active Real Estate license
* Affiliate members can apply
* If accepted, pay the $99 participation fee for primary and secondary members of District 6 Associations, or $125 for members of Associations outside District 6.
* Attendance at the February, April and June sessions is required for satisfactory completion of the program and to become a graduate. If you miss more than one session, you will be asked to withdraw and reapply when you are able to make the commitment.

What’s involved?

* Interactive learning across four sessions, including a graduation ceremony at the Florida
REALTORS® Convention in August
* Sessions are comprised of guest speakers, industry experts, group discussions, and leadership
* You’ll learn how to use your leadership skills in multiple facets of your life, both personally and professionally
* You must attend all 4 sessions
* $99 participation fee

YPN: 30 Under 30 Panel Session

30 Under 30 YPN, left to right: Christine Knighton, Louis Savinetti IV, Eben Moran, Justin Heimus, John Daux


On August 24th Pinellas Realtor Organization and Greater Tampa Realtors held a joint 30 Under 30 panel. Panelists Louis Savinettii IV a GTR member and 2017 30 Under 30 Honoree, and PRO member, Justin Heimus, a 2015 30 Under 30 honoree, answered questions from Florida YPN Chair and session moderator, Eben Moran. The panelists spoke on the importance of learning from others in the industry longer than you and how teams can provide you with a wealth of knowledge that could take years on your own.


Both reflected on the early struggles of getting their business off the ground. PRO and GTR YPN members later had an opportunity to speak with Louis and Justin. PRO looks forward to more events that elevate and educate YPN members and provide an opportunity for connection and development. 


FREC changes license renewal requirements to include ethics

The 14-hour requirement to renew a Fla. real estate license hasn’t increased, but a 3-hour Ethics and Business Practices course is mandatory after Oct. 1, 2017. Florida real estate licensees must complete the Ethics and Business Practices course in order to renew their real estate license.

Under the continuing education 14-hour requirement, three of the required hours must now include an Ethics and Business Practices course approved by the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC). Licensees who must renew in the first cycle next year – the one ending on March 31, 2018 – will be impacted first in the continuing education requirement addressed in 3.009(2)(b), but the requirement is ongoing and applicable to all license renewals after that date.

Once effective, a real estate license renewal must include:
3-hour Core Law course
3-hour Ethics and Business Practices course
8-hours of Specialty courses (which may include a 2nd Core Law course)

The change does not impact post-education requirements, which apply to renewal of an initial license.

Code of Ethics and Florida license renewal

In some cases, the National Association of Realtors®’ (NAR) Code of Ethics requirement every two years can do double-duty as a CE course for license renewal.

“As long as the Code of Ethics course that Realtors complete to meet their biennial NAR ethics requirement is taken during the licensee’s renewal cycle and approved by FREC as a 3-hour Ethics and Business Practices course, this one course should satisfy both NAR and the new continuing education component requirement,” says Meredith Caruso, Florida Realtors manager of member legal communications.

Schools or providers are urged to review the other rule changes as they also cover the course submission and approval process.

Last Call for 2017 D6 Leadership Institute Applicants

Start Your Path to Leadership Here. Apply for the District 6 Leadership Institute Class of 2017!

Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday,  January 13, 2017.

District 6 is one of 13 geographic regions designated by Florida Realtors. District 6 includes the Central Pasco Association, East Pasco Association, Florida Gulfcoast Commercial Association, Greater Tampa Association, Pinellas Realtor Organization and the West Pasco Board of Realtors.

The District 6 Leadership Institute program is designed specifically for those individuals who wish to further themselves as a leader both personally and professionally.

Participants become part of a select few from across the District who are given the opportunity to meet other motivated leaders and expand their networks. You’ll share intensive learning experiences that focus on communication skills, how to lead a team and how to work within a team. Participants will be granted access to the top leaders in our Associations, at the state level, and even beyond.

The District 6 Leadership Institute includes lectures, seminars, guest speakers, group discussions and leadership exercises. The purpose of this program is to prepare the next generation to meet future challenges and tackle vital issues affecting our industry.

Sessions 1 – 3 will run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided.
Date: Thursday, February 9
Location: West Pasco Board of Realtors
Topic: Knowing Yourself as a Leader

Date: Tuesday, April 4
Location: Greater Tampa Realtors
Topic: Foundation of Leadership

Date: Thursday, June 22
Location: Pinellas Realtor Organization
Topic: Leadership Roles

Date: Thursday, August 17 | 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. with a reception to follow
Location: Florida Realtors Convention, Orlando
Topic: Leadership in Action & Graduation

What are the requirements to participate in and graduate from the Leadership Institute?

* You must be a member of a Realtor Association in good standing, with no pending disciplinary action pending against you. The program is targeted to Realtor and Affiliate members of the District 6 Associations, but Realtor members from other Associations are also invited to apply.
* If you are a Realtor, you must have an active Real Estate license
* Both Realtors and Affiliate members are encouraged to apply
* Submit the online application above, or print the application, complete and email it to Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 13, 2017.
* If accepted, pay the $99 participation fee for primary or secondary members of D6 Associations, or $125 for members of Associations outside of District 6.
* If accepted, attend ALL of the full day sessions

Have questions about the Leadership Institute? Contact us!

Katie Shotts, District 6 Staff Support or 727.216.3031

Christine Knighton, District 6 Leadership Institute 2017 Planning Committee Chair or 727.992.3077

Tampa Bay Times Open House Sept 24 & 25



Promote your open house to more than 890,700 readers in the Tampa Bay Times and on! New for 2016, Tampa Bay Times is publishing the ads on Saturday AND Sunday for an Open House Weekend-long Event!

The next open house promotion publishes on September 24 & 25, 2016. The deadline to be included is Tuesday,


September 13 by noon. Bags and balloons may be picked up at the PRO office between Monday, September 19 and Friday, September 23 from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

  • 1 column wide by 3″ deep ad in Sunday HomeLink section, including color photo!
  • Open House Feature Pages will appear on during the week prior to the event. Your ad can link to your website or a virtual tour of the home!
  • Promotional Advertising on will link to the Open House Feature pages.

All for only $159, including process color, and a free open house warming gift bag including balloons provided by the Tampa Bay Times!

Call your account exec or 727 893.8957 or 727 893.8024 or email or to schedule your ad today!

For more information about this promotion, please contact Katie Shotts at PRO, 727 216.3031 or