To some, he's known as Miss Relay - the one who raised the most money when he dressed in drag for Relay for Life. To others, he is the young Realtor with a big future. On Tuesday, Neil Castellane added another feather to his cap: Realtor of the Year. Castellane, a Realtor with William F. Hilton Company, was awarded the top honor by the Hilton Head Area Association of Realtors during its annual awards luncheon at the Country Club of Hilton Head in Hilton Head Plantation.
"Wow. This is such a surprise," said Castellane, who has been with William F. Hilton Company for about 11 years. "This is a huge honor."
Outgoing association president John Robinson, of Dunes Marketing Group, said Castellane is a positive role model who demonstrates leadership and has earned the respect of fellow Realtors.
Castellane has been a member of the association since 2001 and has been active on several committees. Through countless hours of participation on the Professional Development Committee, Castellane is the first one to share his knowledge. Writing a series of sessions on short sales in 2009 he helped his fellow Realtors become familiar and comfortable with a quickly changing market. His unselfish behavior continued by presenting technology sessions on Google, Android and tablets. Although he competes in business, Castellane believes that by sharing information it will benefit the profession, sellers and buyers.
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Castellane served the Community Service Committee as Miss Relay and attends many Realtor events and conferences at the local, state and national level. Castellane served on the Board of Directors from 2009-10.
Robinson took time to honor outgoing officers and directors, recognized committee chairmen and women and a very special group of Realtors. Realtors with 25 years or more of service to the industry received a round of applause as they stood and were honored for their silver service.
Julie Toon Timms, with Hilton Head Island Real Estate Brokers, received the President's Service Award. The award is presented to a member for outstanding service to the association, to the board and to the president.
This year's President's Cup award went to Collins Group Realty. This is the second time the realty group has won the President's Cup. The award is presented to a real estate company that participates most significantly in the Hilton Head Area Association of Realtors through service, time and support.
"Being recognized with both the Small Business of the Year award and the President's Cup in just our 10th year in business is simply astonishing," said owner and broker-in-charge Chip Collins. "Structured to serve is more than just a tagline for us and this award is affirmation of our dedication to our industry."
WELCOMING A NEW BOARD
The association's new board raised their right hands and swore to faithfully serve the association in 2013 as Castellane read the oath. The new board includes president Linda Frank of Sea Pines Real Estate -- South Beach; president-elect Randy Fix of Gateway Realty; vice president Cindy Creamer of Lighthouse Realty; secretary treasurer Michael Gonzalez of ERA Evergreen Real Estate.
Looking forward, Frank said she is "thrilled" to be taking over as president of the association and she is optimistic that 2013 will be a year that continues to see the real estate market improve.
"It is quite an honor to be elected into this position and I am following in the footsteps of many past leaders who were great in this position," Frank said. "Although my role is important, I would like to recognize that the entire board is made up of some very passionate, smart and hard working Realtors. Together we will do our best to serve our area membership."
The 2013 board of directors include Ryan Bassett of Charter One Realty and Marketing; Lenore Carter of Weichert Realtors Coastal Properties; Wendy Corbitt of Sea Pines Real Estate -- Beach Club; Velinda Fisher of Collins Group Realty; Gloria LaCoe of The Alliance Group Realty; Daniel Moskowitz of Dunes Marketing Group; Sheri Nixon of Keller Williams Realty; Maria Skrip of RE/MAX Island Realty and Jan Tomlinson of Charter One North Realty.