Chairman's Corner with Erik Sjowall


 October 06, 2016

Wow! What a fantastic and successful WRA state convention we had last month. We had over 1,000 attendees this year and many more sponsors and exhibitors. I want to say ‚Äúthank you‚ÄĚ to all of you. You made it successful. I want to say a special thank you to convention chairperson Kristine Bunbury Terry and the entire convention committee who volunteered their time to make the convention special for all of us. Another special thank you goes to Kristi Mikalsen and the WRA staff who worked so incredibly hard to plan such a great event. Job well done to everyone.

The WRA has been blessed with some great leaders over the years, and I want to take a moment to recognize the outstanding job K.C. Maurer did last year during his tenure as the 2015-16 chairman of the board. K.C. took the role of chairman of the board very seriously and worked extremely hard to make our association better. Through his efforts and his goals that he set out and achieved, the association is no doubt in a great position. Thank you K.C. for being a strong leader and a great friend. 

As we head into a new year and my term as the 2016-17 chairman, I want to introduce my executive officers and the executive committee. Peter Sveum of Coldwell Banker Success in Stoughton as chairman-elect and Jean Stefaniak of the Stefaniak Group LLC in Milwaukee as treasurer will be serving as the other officers on the board. Also joining the executive committee will be Steve Beers of Lake Geneva, Dan Lawler of Rice Lake, Jerry Lyons of Waupaca and Anthony Nudo of Kenosha. I really look forward to working with you and the other board of directors this upcoming year. It is a great honor to be serving all of the REALTORS¬ģ in Wisconsin, and every one of us in leadership understands this responsibility and will do our best.¬†

During the convention, I shared some of the initiatives I would like to work on and accomplish with our leadership during my term. The first two goals I spoke about were key initiatives that past chairmen had put in place and I believe we must continue. The first goal is to increase member political and legislative participation by increasing RPAC contributions and member response to calls to action. The second initiative is to increase member contributions to, and engagement with, the Wisconsin REALTORS¬ģ Foundation. While past chairmen previously introduced these goals, I plan on continuing the vision for continued success in these areas.

The three new initiatives that I spoke about at the convention and want to focus on are listed below:

  • Achieve success in the November 2016 elections: Provide the necessary direction, dedication and resources to ensure success in the November 2016 state elections. Success in November will help us with our aggressive legislative agenda in the upcoming session.
  • Improve the REALTOR¬ģ brand: Create initiatives to improve the REALTOR¬ģ brand in the eyes of homeowners and consumers. REALTORS¬ģ do so much for their communities, and they are the foundation for the success in these communities. I would like to see more recognition on your behalf.
  • Strengthen leadership with young faces: Create a pipeline or a pathway to identify, train and deploy young REALTOR¬ģ leaders for the future. We have such a strong association and have had so many great leaders over the years, and I want to make sure we continue on with this.¬†

In closing, I would like to reiterate how excited and honored I am to be able to serve as your chairman of the board this year. I never could have gotten here without so many of you being supportive and paving the way. This is going to be a fantastic year for you, for our association and for our industry! Thank you to all of you who give back and make the WRA so great. I follow and lead with an open-door mentality, so please feel free to contact me at any time throughout the year.


Erik Sjowall
2016-17 WRA Chairman of the Board 

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