By Bob Walsmith Jr.
2022 President
Santa Barbara Association of Realtors

On Friday December 2, the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors (SBAOR) hosted their 115th Installation & Awards Luncheon.

I was proud to be a part of this wonderful celebration. This is a day not to highlight how many homes agents sell or how much money they make, but to showcase the amazing contributions that REALTORS® and affiliates make to our local community. It is also an opportunity to thank both the outgoing president and board of directors for their service and to introduce the new president and board of directors.

Here are some of the award details and recipients:

REALTOR® Community Service Award – Sheela Hunt, Village Properties. Sheela is a successful REALTOR® wh has found the time to donate more than twenty years of service to the local Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation. She has served on their board of directors, Fund Development, Real Estate, and Planned Giving committees. She has co-chaired numerous events, and personally drives Easter baskets to families in treatment at the LA Children’s Hospital. Sheela also donates her time with local schools and fundraising for the Teacher’s Fund Supplies Drive.

Community Service Award – Meichelle Arntz. Meichelle launched Angels Foster Care in 2006, a private non-profit Foster Family Agency that serves children from birth to age five. Her goal was to reduce the trauma that local babies and toddlers experience in foster care by keeping them with one loving family for the entire time that they are in foster care. Over the past sixteen years, Angels Foster Care has impacted the lives of 297 abused, neglected, and abandoned infants and toddlers in our local foster care system.

Affiliate of the Year – Matt Genovese, Finance of America. This award is given to an affiliate member of the SBAOR that makes a significant contribution to the association. The recipient must model ethical business practices and standards, have a good reputation among peers and display a spirit of cooperation. Matt certainly exemplifies these traits and much more. He is always willing to step up and support our events throughout the year.

REALTOR® Award of Excellence – Linda Lorenzen, Coldwell Banker and Keith Berry, Coldwell Banker (posthumous award). Both of these esteemed REALTORS® have served the local philanthropic community with distinction and have also served our local association for over five decades. Even though they were ‘competitors’ at the same brokerage, they always strived to help each other and everyone within our organization. They are both truly class acts in every sense of the word.

Honorary Member for Life – Carol Kruckenberg, Village Properties. This award recognizes an exemplary member for at least 25 years who displays an incredibly strong dedication to our association and local community. During her 25 years as a member of our association, Carol has been chairperson of several committees, director, Secretary, Treasurer and President of the SBAOR as well as a Director of the California Association of Realtors Board of Directors. Her talented IT background has paved the way for leading our Budget & Finance, Business & Technology and Statistical Review committees. Carol’s long-term commitment to professionalism, excellence in the real estate profession, unmatched work ethic, and unparalleled leadership is truly a model to be followed.

Howard Gates Award – Gary Goldberg, Coastal Properties. This award is given to the local REALTOR® that has played a significant role in bringing about a difficult transaction to a successful closing. This particular transaction had so many challenges, but Gary was ultimately able to satisfy both the buyer and the seller in the end. And that is ultimately what we always are supposed to do.

REALTOR® of the year – Brian Johnson, The Management Association. This award is given to an association member who has gone above and beyond their normal scope of responsibilities and has served their fellow agents and the association in many capacities for many years. Here are just some of the committees that Brian has served on; Grievance, Multiple Listing Service (MLS), Budget & Finance, Awards, and Government Relations. Brian served as the 2021 SBAOR President and is also the first commercial REALTOR® to lead the association.

Congratulations to all these worthy recipients. As you can see from their accomplishments, these amazing individuals do much more than help their clients buy and sell homes. They care deeply about our community and dedicate countless hours to making Santa Barbara a better place to live and work.

Award Recipients:

Community Service Award – Meichelle Arntz, Angels Foster Care
REALTOR® Community Service Award – Sheela Hunt, Village Properties
Howard Gates Award – Gary Goldberg, Coastal Properties
Honorary Member For Life – Carol Kruckenberg, Pueblo Realty Group
REALTOR® Award of Excellence – Linda Lorenzen & Keith Berry, Coldwell Banker REALTOR® of the Year – Brian Johnson, The Management Association, Inc.

2023 Board & Officers:

President: Todd Shea
President Elect: Michele Allyn
Vice President: Marcella Simmons
Secretary/Treasurer: Summer Knight
Jennifer Berger
Jena Harris
Tyler Mearce
Patrice Serrani
Elisa Bartron Hills
Gay Milligin
Jeff Oien
Jean Sedar
Immediate Past President: Robert Walsmith, Jr.
Affiliate Director: Jennifer Le Mert

Bob Walsmith Jr. is a native to Southern California and a Realtor® with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties in Santa Barbara. During his work with the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors, Bob has served on the CORE Committee, Education Committee, been Chair of the Budget & Finance Committee, and the Multiple Listing Service Committee. He also is on the Board of Directors of the Alpha Resource Center of Santa Barbara. Bob lives in Goleta with his beautiful wife Julie. When not working, Bob enjoys playing golf, fine wine, fine dining, and walking our beautiful coastline. Bob can be reached at 805.720.5362 and/or


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