CAR dedicates memorial to Maner, the association’s first African-American president

(l to r) Zeke Morris, Chicago Association of REALTORS® past president; Willa Lang, Chicago Parks Foundation; Alderman Michelle Harris of the 8th Ward; Alderman Roderick T. Sawyer of the 6th Ward; Syndey Maner, Marion Maner’s son.

(l to r) Zeke Morris, Chicago Association of REALTORS® past president; Willa Lang, Chicago Parks Foundation; Alderman Michelle Harris of the 8th Ward; Alderman Roderick T. Sawyer of the 6th Ward; and (seated) Sidney Maner, Marion Maner’s son.

The Chicago Association of REALTORS® (CAR) and the Chicago Association of REALTORS® Foundation honored former CAR president Marion Maner by dedicating a park bench in his name this morning.

The memorial bench is located in Avalon Park, a Chicago Park District property, near his former real estate office and his Calumet Heights home. Maner, who served as CAR’s president from 1977 to 1978, died in October 2013. He was the association’s first African-American president.

“We deeply appreciate all that Marion accomplished, including his work to include people of all ethnicities and backgrounds in the Chicago real estate industry,” Zeke Morris, past-president of CAR and managing broker/principal at the Morris Group, Century 21 Affiliated – Hyde Park, said. “He was soft-spoken, but able to inspire others to be leaders within our association, our industry and his community.”

In addition to Morris, other speakers included Chicago Alderman Roderick T. Sawyer of the 6th Ward, Marion’s son Sidney Maner and Willa Lang of the Chicago Parks Foundation. Special attendees were members of CAR’s board, officers and past presidents; Maner’s family and friends, Dearborn REALTIST® officers and the senior pastor of Messiah and St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church.

Maner founded Maner Realty in 1956 and became one of the first African-American brokers. He served as president of the Dearborn REALTIST® Board. He became CAR president in 1977. He was a dedicated family man and fisherman, popular throughout his neighborhood and the larger Chicago real estate community.

He was born in Allendale, SC on Jan. 27, 1920. He attended Allendale Training School, graduated and then South Carolina State College in Orangeburg, SC. Following graduation, he worked for the United States Treasury Department in Washington, DC, and Chicago.

In 1942, he opened a grocery store. In 1956, he started his own real estate company. Maner fought discrimination in housing for African-Americans and helped many families find homes. In 1958, he married Nelda Clarke, and in 1959 their son Sidney was born. Nelda Maner worked in the real estate business as the secretary, and Sidney Maner later joined the business as an agent. Sidney Maner continues to work as an Illinois REALTOR® for the Maner Realty Company today.


Three Rivers sponsors conference for Joliet-area landlords

Three Rivers Landlord Conference photo

(l to r) TRAR CEO David McClintock, Joliet Director of Neighborhood Services Alfredo Melesio, Sue Miller, Local GAD Gideon Blustein, TRAR President Jim Sim

The Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® (TRAR) helped facilitate an area landlord conference for the City of Joliet and McHenry REALTOR® Sue Miller gave an encouraging keynote message July 11 and 12.

About 400 Joliet-area landlords attended the event, which TRAR helped fund through a National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Diversity Initiative Grant.

The City of Joliet reached out to Local Governmental Affairs Director Gideon Blustein in December 2015 for help in securing a speaker who could discuss: the local rental market, the financial benefits of capital investments/beautification and new U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) guidance on criminal background checks for housing providers.

After a short search, the TRAR Board identified Miller, Managing Broker of Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell’s McHenry office, a continuing education and pre-license trainer who owns or manages more than 50 commercial and residential units. NAR awarded the grant to cover Miller’s speaking fees and to help promote the REALTOR® brand. Illinois REALTORS® can help the housing community interpret and practice diversity initiatives, understand local, state and federal fair housing laws and understand HUD’s concerns about criminal background checks.

Conference attendees included licensed REALTORS®, and landlords with a wide range of  managing responsibilities: from one unit to hundreds of units. All attendees walked away with a better understanding of HUD’s new guidance and good news about their market. “You got a 12 percent raise this year, that’s good news!” stated Miller when referencing the increased values in the Joliet market. With only a 1.4 month absorption rate in the rental market and a limited number of rentals, she said beautifying and investing in properties now will lead to stronger neighborhoods and higher rents.

Greater Gateway uses grant to help Collinsville housing project

Greater Gateway 6 29 16

The Greater Gateway Association of REALTORS® (GGAR) presented a $1,500 check to the Collinsville Community Collaboration June 29 to help host their first Housing Opportunity and Community Spotlight Seminar.

GGAR Chief Executive Officer Rob Wigton, GGAR President and RE/MAX Alliance Owner Tammy Owens and Illinois REALTORS® Local Government Affairs Director Kyle Anderson presented a check to organizer Donna Green of Green Home Solutions, who’s also an affiliate member.

GGAR applied for and received an NAR Housing Opportunity Grant through the My REALTOR® Party.


Elgin Boys & Girls Club gets shoes, support from Fox Valley REALTORS®


Fox Valley REALTORS® prepare shoe donations for use by children at the Boys & Girls Club of Elgin.

The REALTOR® Association of the Fox Valley (RAFV) partnered with St. Charles area schools to donate more than 150 pairs of new or gently used running shoes last week to the Summer Running Club for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Elgin.

Fox Valley members are also providing incentives for children who participate in the running program, such as water bottles and T-shirts. At the end of the summer, boys and girls who run in a 5K race will go on a shopping trip with RAFV members to purchase new shoes, reports RAFV Director of Communications and Social Media Lisa Ayres.

A recent article in the Kane County Chronicle featured RAFV members Julie Kellenberger, Tracey Carlstedt, Diana Denton Szmurlo and Betty Ebert-Rylko.

The partnership between RAFV and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Elgin is an example of ways that local Illinois REALTOR® associations are supporting the partnership between the National Association of REALTORS® and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.


Oak Park Association concerned about changes to River Forest historic preservation ordinance

River Forest image

The Oak Park Area Association of REALTORS® weighed in on a proposal to amend a historic preservation ordinance in the Village of River Forest.

The current historic preservation program identifies nearly 300 properties as “historically or architecturally significant.”  The proposed changes involve those properties by:

  • Requiring owners of significant properties to discuss the proposed demolition before the village’s Historic Preservation Commission, allow comment and suggest alternatives to tearing down the home.
  • Requiring homeowners seeking a demolition permit for a significant property to wait up to 180 days for the permit for a demolition.

Oak Park Association of REALTORS logoLast September, the association expressed concerns about a delay being too long; the initial proposal called for a nine-month delay. The holding costs of a new owner/builder could add up significantly with an unduly long delay period. Also, the association sought clarity on the length of this village-imposed delay so prospective buyers would have certainty in knowing the process.

At a public meeting Feb. 22, the River Forest Board of Trustees grappled with these issues, heard from homeowners and debated the proposal. The REALTORS®’ concerns were noted and generally agreed with. Mike Scobey of IAR staff stated at the hearing that the proposed delay should not become “a de facto prohibition on demolitions.”

Revisions to the proposal are expected and a vote by the village board could take place on March 14.