WRA Annual Award Recipients

 February 15, 2021
WRA Annual Award Recipients

Each year, the WRA recognizes individuals who have dedicated their time and effort to advance the REALTOR¬ģ organization and the industry. Congratulations to these individuals who received awards in 2020.

Distinguished Service Awards

The WRA‚Äôs Distinguished Service Award (DSA) was established in 1985 to recognize REALTORS¬ģ or WRA employees who have given many years of leadership and service at all levels of the REALTOR¬ģ family as well as to the local community. The recipient must have at least five years of membership or employment and must have demonstrated a high level of commitment to the association.¬†

Steve Beers, Keefe Real Estate
Steve Beers is currently the Chairman of Keefe Real Estate and has served as its CEO/President for over 30 years. Steve started his career in the early 1970s in Chicago working for an international real estate firm, marketing a diverse variety of real estate including seminaries, timber land, luxury homes and retreats, schools and even islands. Later that decade, he came to work in Lake Geneva and over the years has been involved in all aspects of the real estate business, including operating Keefe Real Estate, a full-service real estate business handling residential, commercial, resort and farm properties as well as a vacation rental business.

Steve currently serves on the board for Geneva Lakes Water Safety Patrol, the Fontana Lakefront and Harbor Commission and Fontana‚Äôs Board of Review. He was named REALTOR¬ģ of the Year by his local Lakes Area REALTORS¬ģ Association and has served as past president of LARA. Governors Doyle and Walker both appointed Steve as the chairman of Wisconsin‚Äôs Real Estate Examining Board. Steve has been an active member of the WRA for many years and served as the WRA chairman of the board in 2019-20. Steve was named the 2020 Wisconsin REALTOR¬ģ of the Year by the National Association of REALTORS¬ģ (NAR).

Dan Lawler, Feather Real Estate
Dan has been a REALTOR¬ģ for 24 years, achieving his ABR, GRI and CRS designations, and has been involved in many committees, such as the REALTORS¬ģ Political Action Committee (RPAC) and recently served as the Wisconsin RPAC chair for three years. Dan served for his local REALTORS¬ģ Association of Northwestern Wisconsin (RANWW) for many years, including its 2018 president. Dan has also sat on RANWW‚Äôs board of directors as well as the WRA‚Äôs executive committee. Dan believes it‚Äôs important to be involved in the REALTOR¬ģ association and give back to an industry that has given him so much. He encourages other REALTORS¬ģ to step up and get involved because you don‚Äôt know what you‚Äôre missing until you do!

Stephanie Larson, Wisconsin REALTORS¬ģ Association
Stephanie Larson, CPA, is Vice President of Finance for the WRA. She began her career at the WRA in 1995 as the financial information coordinator and became the vice president of finance in 2012. In this role, Stephanie oversees all financial functions for 13 internal and external funds and companies; manages the human resources area of the WRA where she processes payroll and administers staff benefits; and she works closely with the WRA treasurer and outside auditors.

Stephanie earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from UW-Whitewater. She became a licensed Certified Public Accountant in 2000 and is a member of the Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Stephanie and her husband Steve have two children, Val and Jared.  They enjoy watching their children’s sporting events and spending time with family and friends. 

Chairman's Citation Award

This award recognizes individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to the WRA or to the real estate industry.

Rep. John Jagler, Wisconsin Assembly District 37
Since being elected in 2012, Rep. John Jagler has been a strong advocate for homeowner and REALTOR¬ģ issues, with a 100% voting record on WRA issues such as protecting property rights, lowering property taxes, reforming regulations at state and local levels, and streamlining the real estate transaction process.¬†¬†

Rep. Jagler is the chair of the Assembly Housing and Real Estate Committee, one of the most important committees to the WRA. In this role, Rep. Jagler has been responsible for holding hearings and ultimately passing dozens of WRA legislative priorities over the past several years. In addition, Rep. Jagler authored the WRA’s seller surveillance bill, which was enacted into law in 2019.  

Sen. Janet Bewley, Wisconsin Senate District 25
As Senior Development Director of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), Sen. Janet Bewley was an advocate for housing issues before being elected to the legislature. However, since being elected to the Wisconsin Assembly in 2010 and the Senate in 2014, Sen. Bewley has made housing issues among her top priorities.

Sen. Bewley has served on housing committees in both the Senate and Assembly and has consistently been a strong supporter of the WRA’s legislative priorities. In fact, she often takes a leadership role on WRA priorities by sponsoring legislation and working behind the scenes to help enact the bills into law. For example, in the 2020 legislative session, Sen. Bewley was the only Senate Democrat to sponsor legislation that would restore the riparian rights of waterfront property owners along flowages and artificial waterways in 2019 Senate Bill 501. 

Instructor of the Year

The WRA’s Instructor of the Year is selected from the team of WRA instructors and is someone who consistently provides high-quality instruction in the classroom and receives outstanding evaluations for his or her teaching.

Jennifer Lindsley,¬†Wisconsin REALTORS¬ģ Association
Jennifer Lindsley is the director of training for the WRA. Jennifer participates as an attorney on the WRA Legal Hotline and serves as a liaison between the WRA and the Wisconsin Technical College System. Her responsibilities include drafting education materials, developing pre-licensing and continuing education resources, and teaching WRA pre-license and continuing education courses. She received her B.A. from Portland State University and her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School. Jennifer is a member of the Real Estate Educators Association. Jennifer was named Instructor of the Year in 2014 and 2020.

WRA Lifetime Achievement Award

This award recognizes an extraordinary individual for a lifetime of meritorious achievements that have advanced and enriched the real estate profession in Wisconsin.

Becky Merwin, The Rauland Agency
Becky Merwin, ABR, CRS, GRI, SRES, has worked in real estate full time since 1995 and is the current president of the Lakes Area REALTORS¬ģ Association. An actively involved member from the start, Becky was elected to the board of directors in 1999 and first served as board president in 2004. Her peers selected her as REALTOR¬ģ of the Year in 2005, and she received the WRA Distinguished Service Award in 2015. She is a broker with the Rauland Agency in Walworth, a small family-owned company in business for 50 years, serving all of Walworth County. Becky is also the president of the Big Foot Fine Arts Foundation Geneva West Rotarian, a member of the Wisconsin State Fair Park Board, and a member of the GOP of Walworth County executive committee. Prior to her real estate career, Becky focused on community service, teaching and farming with her late husband Ernie. Along with her son James, Becky continues to own and operate Merwin Farms, a sesquicentennial farm.

Wisconsin CRS Member of the Year

This award is given by the Wisconsin chapter of the Council of Residential Specialist (CRS). This recipient has demonstrated accomplishments inside and outside the field of real estate and demonstrates outstanding commitment to the chapter. 

Beth Jaworski, Shorewest REALTORS¬ģ
Beth has been a full-time residential REALTOR¬ģ since 1992. She holds ABR, CHMS, CNE, CRS, GREEN and GRI designations and was elected to the Greater Milwaukee Association of REALTORS¬ģ (GMAR) board of directors in 2003. Beth served as GMAR‚Äôs 2005 treasurer, 2006 secretary, 2008 chairwoman, and was also named GMAR‚Äôs REALTOR¬ģ of the Year in 2004. Beth has served on GMAR‚Äôs professional standards committee since 1995 and the WRA‚Äôs real estate school since 2003. Beth also served on the WRA executive committee from 2010-11, chaired the 2010 WRA convention, and was inducted as a Wisconsin CRS chapter leader in 2016. Beth is an associate vice president with Shorewest REALTORS¬ģ. She is also a lifetime member of its Million Dollar Club, and has been a President Club member and national sales award winner every year from 2000 through 2015. Beth consistently ranks in the top 1% of the company in production.

WCR Member of the Year

This award is given by the Women‚Äôs Council of REALTORS¬ģ (WCR). The recipient of the WCR Member of the Year is recognized for exceptional leadership skills and advancing women as professionals and leaders in business, the industry and their communities.

Sharon S. Szatalowicz, Coldwell Banker Realty
After completing undergraduate studies in three years at UW Eau Claire, Sharon Szatalowicz earned a bachelor‚Äôs degree in journalism and political science and acquired her real estate broker‚Äôs license in 1982. Szatalowicz has served the Women‚Äôs Council of REALTORS¬ģ (WCR) in nearly every capacity and served two consecutive terms as the state governor, actively participating as a member of the national WCR governing board. She is currently the first state liaison reporting to the national WCR executive board. Sharon also sat on the Greater Milwaukee Board of REALTORS¬ģ‚Äô (GMAR) education and arbitration committees and was a member of GMAR‚Äôs task force. Additionally, she has volunteered for Holy Women Garden, Riverwest Food Pantry, Revitalize Milwaukee‚Äôs ‚ÄúBlock Build MKE,‚ÄĚ and is a member of the National Cattleman‚Äôs Association and Wisconsin Cattleman‚Äôs Association.

2020 REALTOR¬ģ Recognition

The annual REALTOR¬ģ recognition issue of Wisconsin Real Estate Magazine is here once again in a new digital format. Even with a worldwide pandemic, 2020 was an incredible year for Wisconsin REALTORS¬ģ and the Wisconsin real estate industry. Check out the recognition supplement in March at www.wra.org/2020Recognition!

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