Inside MAR’s Committee Selection Process

It’s that time of year again; requests for placement on the 2018 MAR Committees are now available. Committee service is one of the primary ways our members help shape and guide the association’s agenda. We thought we’d provide a look into how that process works, along with a reminder of how you can volunteer.

MAR’s 2018 committee request form is available on our website, marealtor.com. You’ll need to log in in the upper right-hand corner. Once you’re logged in, click on “Committees” in your menu.

The committees page has descriptions of all the MAR committees that are available for volunteer requests in 2018. Have a look at them, and when you’re ready, you may click on the text at the top to go to the Volunteer Request Form page.

It’s important that you log in to access this page. You’ll notice your current MAR email address in the last field – this is how your responses get populated to your record. If there’s no address in that field, please fill it in. If the address in the field is incorrect, contact your local board to correct it.

In the form, you’ll put rankings next to the committees you would like to volunteer for. Your rankings are based on your priority; the number “1” means that committee is your top priority, “2” is your second-highest priority, and so on. You may volunteer for as many committees as you like.

When you’re satisfied with your choices, click the “submit” button at the bottom of the page.

Once you’ve submitted your choices, they’ll be entered in our system with your name. If you change your mind, you are welcome to resubmit the rankings as many times as you like, but remember that only your most recent submission will be used to assign committees. You should receive a confirmation email within 24 hours of submitting your rankings.

When it’s time for leadership to evaluate volunteers and form 2018 committees, we’ll use your rankings to inform our choices and assign members to the most appropriate committees. Being specific with your rankings and ranking as many committees as you’re interested in will help greatly in assembling committees for 2018. You might not always get your first choice, but MAR will always try to put our volunteers in positions that will both interest and engage them, and benefit the membership as a whole.

Know Your ‘Good Neighbor’

Suzann Ward (fourth from left) and her volunteers at Breaking Bread Kitchen in Sheffield.
Suzann Ward (fourth from left) and her volunteers at Breaking Bread Kitchen in Sheffield.

On the night of the MAR Professional Award Reception at the SeaCrest Hotel October 5, 2014, Suzann Ward had no idea she was to be recognized by a room full of her peers and fellow REALTORS® for her charity work. She was up against several other worthy REALTORS®, but the Good Neighbor Award went to her that night, with two others receiving honorable mention.

“I was completely surprised,” said Ward, REALTOR® at Barnbrook Realty in Great Barrington. “It felt amazing to be honored in that way, though, and I’m grateful.”

The MAR Good Neighbor Award recognizes REALTORS® who are committed to community activism through volunteer work, educational programs, youth activities, and any other civic or charitable activity that improves the lives of the local community. The award winner receives a grant that goes toward his or her charity.

In Ward’s case, this community activism and volunteer work is at the Breaking Bread Kitchen and Pantry in Sheffield. Breaking Bread is a once weekly community meal, taking place every Thursday of the year at the American Legion in Sheffield. Using the club’s kitchen and dining facilities, area churches and civic groups take turns preparing and hosting a meal for those in the community who need nourishment and friendship. From organizing and managing her fellow volunteers, to cooking and cleaning in the kitchen, Ward’s role at the kitchen takes many different forms. Ward solicits her group of volunteers from local real estate businesses, but she’ll also go to dinner when she’s “off duty.”

“It’s fun,” said Ward. “You walk out of there feeling like you did something for someone who really needs it.”

The grant from MAR went mostly into food resources that the pantry needs on a weekly basis. Every week Ward and her volunteers serve up a soup, salad, entree and dessert, most of it coming from what is left from a local food pantry that day. Around 80 people are served every Thursday night, but more are expected to come in the summer months as it gets warmer.

“The people I think deserve the real recognition are those involved in the set up, serving and cleaning,” said Ward. “They are there for the majority of the time cleaning and preparing. People are so busy these days it’s hard to volunteer time.”

Are you or someone you know a REALTOR® that volunteers his or her time to a local charity? Nominate yourself or someone else today. Good Neighbor Award winners receive a grant for their charity that goes directly back into serving the Massachusetts communities REALTORS® care about. The deadline to enter is Monday, August 3, 2015.