Eunice L. Burns Environmental Awareness Awards

Congratulations to the 2019 Recipients!

environment overview going green

The Eunice L. Burns Environmental Awareness Awards are presented by the Ann Arbor Area Board of REALTORS® to Washtenaw County individuals, organizations or businesses who are proactive on environmental issues including:
           • Using products that contain recycled materials or energy saving qualities.
           • Taking steps to clean up environmental problems.
           • Developing innovative recycling or reuse programs.
           • Restoration and remodeling efforts that promote historical preservation and reuse materials.


Ann Arbor Public Schools

Ann Arbor Public Schools was selected for the award for its many environmental efforts including environmental education programming through its science curriculum for more than 30 years, developing a 40-acre nature center, Freeman Environmental Education Nature Center, to teach students environmental awareness and preservation, the efforts of its Environmental and Sustainable Advisory Board with expertise in environmental sciences and more. This award recipient is also home to a LEED certified school which opened in 2008 and was constructed using energy efficient systems and a plan to preserve as much of the “old growth” woods and wetlands as possible.


South Arbor Charter Academy

South Arbor Charter Academy was selected for this award for teaching students environmental practices and implementing environmental activities. These include Reduce, Reuse and Recycle initiatives, Energy education and conservation and protecting the environment. Through its annual Cell Phone Recycle Event, it has donated 247 cell phones, 55 power cords, and 62 other random electronic devices by partnering with ReCellular. Not only were the phones traded for calling cards for soldiers, but they were recycled properly and kept out of landfills. The Bottle Cap Repurposing Project included a Bottle Cap and Lid Collection Competition, which resulted in over 1000 bottle caps and lids for a hallway mural. The purpose was to raise awareness about repurposing in general as well as give another use to items that would otherwise end up in a landfill. The building has recycle bins in all classrooms and commons areas and recycles every two weeks. The school conducts a “Lights Off Initiative,” to raise awareness of wasted electricity and to encourage all lights to be turned off when not in use. A part of the schoolyard has been returned to its natural state in the form of a Native Meadow. This was expanded to include additional plants, all native to Michigan. Various kinds of wildlife have taken up residence in the meadow. The school maintains a butterfly garden. It also has increased its number of bird houses and added a bat house. The Boy Scout troop designed and built the additional bird houses and the bat house. The Primary Hall adopts an animal every year, officially adopted through the Defender of Wildlife organization. In honor of Earth Day, the school’s Green Team organizes a week of events which culminates in a "Trashion Show." Students are encouraged to design and make fashion items out of things thought to be trash. Students then model their fashions at a school-wide show performed at morning assembly. Local officials and staff act as judges and plants are awarded as prizes.


Past Environmental Awareness Award Recipients

1997 - Mallet's Wood: Efficient use of land.

1998 - Sunward CoHousing: Efficient use of land.

1999 - Huron Valley Watershed Council: Adopt a Stream Program.

1999 - Ed Shaffran: ReUse of buildings.

2000 - ReUse Center: Recycling efforts.

2000 - EnHouse Recycle Ann Arbor: Green building demonstration.

2001 - Habitat for Humanity

2002 - Buhr Park Children's Wet Meadow Project: Wetland preservation.

2003 - Mallet's Creek Library: Environmental friendly building practices.

2005 - Barry Wallace: Lifelong commitment to keeping Washtenaw County drinking water pure.

2005 - Cardea Construction: Green renovation of home at 1515 South Maple.

2006 - The Conlin Company: Reduction of paved parking areas in Scio Village Condominiums.

2006 - The University of Michigan School of Natural Resources: Green renovation of building.

2007 - Mayor John Hiefje: Environmental friendly policies.

2007 - Robyn Angle: Green construction of Clearlake home.

2008 - Big George's Appliance Mart: Green construction of new store on Stadium Boulivard.

2009 - Gordon Hall

2009 -  The Cedars

2010 - Architectural Resources, LLC: Embracing green initiatives in her work as a REALTOR.

2010 - Meadowlark Builders: Their reuse, recycling, and energy efficient practices.

2011 - Laura Shope: Embracing green initiatives in her work in real estate.

2011 - Habitate for Humanity Huron Valley.

2012 - Matt & Kelly Grocoff,

2012 - First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor

2013 - Matt & Rene Greff, Arbor Brewing Company 

2013 - The Betty Brigade

2014 - Urban Energy Works, LLC

2014 - The Village of Dexter

2015- Ann Arbor Learning Community

2015 - City of Ann Arbor Greenbelt District Program and Green Things Farm

        2016 - Urban Ashes

       2017 - Faith in Action and Alex Young of Zingerman's Roadhouse & Cornman Farms

       2018 - Happy Planet Running and Barbara Lucas, The Green Room, WEMU


About Us

The Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors® is the Trade Association for the Washtenaw County, Michigan REALTORS®. Established in 1919, the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors® has grown from 20 REALTOR® members to over 1,000 REALTORS® and Affiliate members today.

The mission of the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors
® is to strengthen our REALTOR® community through advocacy, collaboration, education, innovation and civic engagement.

The Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors® promotes standards of REALTOR® professionalism, ethics and integrity; provides tools and technology to enhance membership profitability; communicates REALTOR® viewpoints on private property issues to government officials; and markets the value of REALTORS® to members of the public.

(*The term REALTOR® is a registered mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the world’s largest trade association, the National Association of REALTORS®, and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.)

Staff Directory


Chief Executive Officer

Tom Renkert, CMLX3

Chief Executive Officer & Professional Standards Administrator

(734) 822-2265 

Angella O'Keefe, e-PRO

Member Engagement Manager

(734) 822-2264


Christine Paga

Communications Manager

(734) 822-2267


Ginger Nefsey, e-PRO

Multiple Listing Manager

(734) 822-2266


Lica Kwofie, e-PRO


(734) 822-2268

  KKLN4712 002  

Katharine Joyce

Membership and Community Involvement Manager

(734) 822-2270



REALTOR® of the Year

The REALTOR® of the Year award is given to a REALTOR® who has made a commitment to contribution to their community, clients and the local and state REALTOR® Associations.


Todd Lands1

Matt Miller - 2019
The Charles Reinhart Company

Matthew Miller is a graduate of the University of Michigan, holds a broker’s license and the following designations – CRS, GRI, ABR, SRES, SFR, e-PRO, and GREEN and is an annual recipient of the brokerage’s highest award for real estate production.

Education and connecting with the industry has been a priority for Matt, who has attended several annual Michigan Realtors® conventions along with the Broker Summit and Michigan Realtors® Achieve Conference for upcoming association leaders and as well as several annual National Association of Realtors conventions as well as the NAR leadership summit in Chicago. 

Matthew Miller invests time in many community organizations and causes. As a member of our Board of Directors for many years, Matt has helped organize the Festive Affair, an annual event to benefit the Salvation Army Staples Family Center in Ann Arbor. He chaired this event three different years to help address homelessness in Washtenaw County. He has also been highly involved with the Ann Arbor Jaycees and the many service projects they put on locally and has received awards as the Chairperson of the Year as well as Most Dedicated Jaycee. Both he and his wife, were members of the Marching Band at the University of Michigan, and they both enjoy volunteering their time with the Band Alumni Association. Matt has chaired their annual golf outing multiple times and served 9 years on their Board of Directors.  He and his wife endowed a scholarship at U of M and were excited to give their first scholarship to a marching band member last fall. 

It is one of Matt’s greatest honors to have served as the President of the Ann Arbor Area Board Of REALTORS®. He initially became involved with our local association by serving on the Education Committee, where he later served as chair. He has more recently served on our Finance and Investment Committee and also served for 6 years on our Board of Directors. This individual also regularly encourages both new and experienced agents to get involved at the committee level as an opportunity to learn and meet fellow REALTORS®.

Who's Who of Past REALTORS® of the Year

Ann Arbor Area Board of REALTORS®
1986 - 2017



Jean Willing


David Lutton


Pat Williams


William Cornish


Dawn Foerg


Sandi Smith


Bev Sikorski


Michelle Derr


Laura Dykstra


William Kinley


LaTanya Keith


Mary Helen Gilbert (in memoriam)


Edward Surovell


William Miliken


Vance Shutes


Jeff Stabnau


Susan Snyder


Joe Peoples


Rick Jarzembowski


Dennis Pearsall


 Alex Milshteyn


Eunice Burns


Paul Frisinger




Robert Andrus


Peter M. Cornell


 Linda Lombardini


James Anderson


Helen Corey


 Kay Merx

2016 Jodie Franklin 2017 Tonya Ireland 2018 Todd Lands 

Ann Arbor Board of REALTORS®
1967 - 1985



Robert Davis


John Swisher, Jr.


David Gillies


Charles Reinhart


Richard Caldwell


Carl Brauer, Jr.


Ruth Hobbs


Robert Thornton, Jr.


Bart Hamilton


Fred Eibler


George Fahmie
(REALTOR® Associate of the Year)


Peter Cornell


Lawrence Larson


Carolyn Lewis


Randolph White


Warren McLean


Jerry Klein


Robert Thornton, Jr.


Janice Caldwell

Ypsilanti Board of REALTORS®
1967 - 1985



Maurice Obermeyer


Wendell Barnes


David Hamilton


Ruth Murray



William Cornish


Harold Lawson


John Simpkins


Allen Elmer


Norman Abercrombie


Gerard Elmer


Larry Collins


Keith Metty


David Simpkins


Franklin McVeigh


Lucille Compton


Marion Starwas


Patricia Ballard

Affiliate of the Year

The Affiliate of the Year award is given to an affiliate member who provides significant contributions and outstanding service to the Ann Arbor Area Board of REALTORS®. Recipients are nominated by their peers and elected by past award recipients.  

2019 Affiliate of the Year

Rebecca Brooks
American Title Company

This year’s Affiliate of the Year, Rebecca Brooks, has been highly involved and supportive of the Ann Arbor Area Board of REALTORS®, particularly within the last year.

Rebecca Brooks is a graduate of the Ron Willingham Program, “The Customer.” She uses the skills she learned there every day and has built on that knowledge to consistently provide superior customer service. Using her education and over 20 years of experience in the real estate community, she is able to maintain a calm and positive atmosphere for her clients.

Becky’s “I’ll take care of it” attitude makes her interactions with the real estate community as seamless as possible. She doesn’t shy away from the difficult or seemingly impossible transactions; in fact, she embraces the challenge! Agents can count on her and go to her for assistance and guidance due to her experience in many areas of real estate and her willingness to help. She always does what it takes to bring a transaction to the smoothest and most harmonious conclusion possible. Her warm and welcoming attitude make REALTORS®, as well as their customers, feel comfortable and well cared for.

She is the Vice Chair of the Education Committee for the Board. Becky also attends the annual General Membership Meetings and participates in Board events and panels often. She has participated in the Ann Arbor Area Board in many aspects over her more than 20-year career in real estate. She started as a member when she became a REALTOR® in 1995 and has remained a contributor to Board activities even during her transition into Title in 2001. She is also Vice Chair of the board’s Centennial Anniversary Committee and part of the committee that brought the family event together for our members. Rebecca Brooks is always looking for ways to stay involved in the Ann Arbor Area Real Estate community and to put her experience and knowledge to work for those around her.

Who's Who of Past Affiliates of the Year

Ann Arbor Area Board of REALTORS®
1988 - 2016


Year Name                                           Year Name                                                  Year Name
1988 Ken Collica 1998   2008 Cindy Reach
1989   1999 Thomas McLinden 2009 Jeff Fletcher
1990 Gary Selesko 2000 Scott Broshar 2010 Teresa Myers
1991 Patricia Suggitt 2001 Gary Selesko 2011 Christy Perros
1992 Bill Holmes 2002 Debra Ellison 2012 Kitty Rose
1993 Ira Mark 2003 Michael Hobercht 2013 William Smith
1994 Richard Stuber 2004 Thomas Richardson 2014 Sharon McRill
1995 Ron Fletcher 2005 Greg Ottaviani 2015 Constance Pearson-Ramirez
1996 Mary Wiseman 2006 Kristy Haborian 2016  Jeremy Shaffer
1997 Marcia Major 2007 Nancy Burger    
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