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YPN Under the Stars

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By Erica Christoffer and Katie Tarbox, REALTOR® Magazine

The Young Professionals Network (YPN) had a lot to celebrate at their annual networking event this year, which was held at the chic pool deck of the Hotel Solamar and sponsored by NAR Community Affairs, HP, HouseLogic, and the Center for REALTOR® Technology.

More than 300 young professionals attended the event, which featured wine, mini-sliders, and sweet bites of dessert. Members of YPN, which is targeted to REALTORS® under the age of 40, came from across the country to share business ideas and optimistic predictions for 2010.

YPN manager Rob Reuter honored Minneapolis with the 2009 Chapter of the Year Award. Houston and Missouri were honorable mentions. Jared James, the Web Choice for REALTOR® Magazine’s 30 Under 30, was also acknowledged.

Additionally, winners of the Center for REALTOR® Technology (CRT) Spotlight Awards were recognized at the event. Tina Merrit, the director of training at Virginia-based firm Long and Foster, won her Spotlight Award in the category of Advocate. As the creator of Wolkia, a real estate technology resource, Merrit’s focus is education.

Ed DeRosa, director of technology at the Florida Association of REALTORS®, received the Spotlight Innovator award. DeRosa saved the association $150,000 through his video conferencing and webinar series initiative. Brandon Rodriguez, a practitioner in Dallas, Texas, was honored in the Pioneer category. He successfully created a virtual office that competes with the bigger firms in his market.

Taqi Rizvi, chief technology officer at the Houston Association of REALTORS®, won the Visionary award. He created one of the first MLS public Web sites in the country, HAR.com, and led a team to implement more than 100 practitioner and consumer tools.

Photos by Kevin Berne

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