Minnesota Realtors® (MNR), the real estate industry’s state association, announced the recipients of three awards during its annual Leadership Installation and Awards Event at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest on October 7. The recipients were selected for their outstanding contributions to the real estate industry by serving on local, state, and national associations, and for volunteer work in their communities. Geri Theis was named Realtor® of the Year; Kath Hammerseng was honored with the Ed Anderson Political Achievement Award; and John and Matt Pecarich were both chosen for the new Good Neighbor Award.
Geri Theis is 2020 MNR Realtor® of the Year
Annually awarded to a member whose outstanding work advanced the entire Minnesota real estate industry, the 2020 honor was given to Geri Theis, who serves as a Realtor® and owner at Scenic City Realty in Redwood Falls. She is actively involved in local, state, and national associations, serves on many committees, and volunteers for community charities.
Dedicated and hardworking, Theis commits her time and talents to the Realtors® Political Action Committee (RPAC) and the Federal Political Coordinator (FPC) program, and Minnesota Realtors® (MNR) Professional Standards; and Governmental Affairs committees. Additionally, she has served on the board of directors for both MNR and the West Central Association of Realtors® (WCAR), and also as past president of WCAR. Despite her packed schedule, she has made time to volunteer for community charities like the Chamber and Tourism, Greater Redwood Area Suicide Prevention (GRASP) and Redwood Falls Rotary, where she served as president.
“I was raised on a small farm just outside Redwood Falls, so early on I learned about the importance of community involvement and service,” Theis said. “I support working with our political system in making a change to better our industry. It’s a great honor to be recognized by MNR and the Realtor® community with this award.”
Kath Hammerseng Recognized for Political Contributions with Ed Anderson Award
Kath Hammerseng, principal Realtor® at Team Kath of Edina Realty in Plymouth, was selected to receive the 2020 Ed Anderson Political Achievement award, an honor that recognizes a member’s outstanding contributions in politics and public policy, both locally and nationally.
As a former firefighter, Hammerseng is skilled at keeping a cool head under even the most adverse circumstances. This served her well as she entered in the heat of politics, acting as a 2020 RPAC Major Investor Council member, an FPC for Congressman Dean Phillips, a Minnesota RPAC Trustee, Past President of the Minneapolis Area Realtors® (MAR), and a member of Governmental Affairs committees at the state and local level.
Lauded by colleagues for her professionalism, integrity, and vision in setting big goals, Hammerseng has worked tirelessly to build a relationship with her Congressional representative and advance the interests of major investors and MNR members.
Father-Son Realtor Team Receive First Annual MNR Good Neighbor Award
John and Matt Pecarich, a father-and-son team from Kurilla Real Estate in Nisswa, have been chosen to receive the first Good Neighbor Award from MNR. The new annual award honors Realtors® whose volunteer work makes a positive impact on a community. Honorees demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to improve the lives of those in need by generously donating their time and talents to charitable organizations.
Dedicated volunteers, John and Matt regularly give time and money to support the Central Lakes College (CLC) Foundation, a non-profit organization that assists college students in need with scholarships, affordable housing, and other resources. Additionally, they provide hundreds of hours of coaching every year for community basketball programs, from grade school through college level. Together, they have positively impacted the lives of thousands of children and young adults.
“John and Matt have represented our profession in a stellar manner for many years in the Brainerd Lakes area,” said Sheila Holley, broker associate at Edina Realty in Baxter. “These men are very well respected by their peers in real estate as well as with teachers, coaches, parents and, most of all, the kids. The countless hours they have spent working with them are a credit to their belief in making a difference in the lives of the young people.”
John, who became a Realtor in 1977, coached for 15 years at Brainerd High School and 17 years at Central Lakes College (CLC) in Brainerd. When offered compensation for his efforts, he asked that the money be donated to the basketball programs instead. It is estimated that he touched the lives of over 10,000 kids during his tenure as a volunteer coach. His skills as a mentor and counselor had a profound impact on many of them.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Matt, who entered the real estate profession in 1999, coaches boys and girls of all ages. His accomplishments include organizing and overseeing the Brainerd Basketball academy for grade-school kids; and coaching the Midwest 3 v 3 boys and girls basketball teams. In 2019 he became the owner of the Northwoods Basketball, an organization that provides training and tournament competitions for grade-school boys and girls across northern and central Minnesota.
“These men have consistently contributed their own money to pay referees, mileage, food and so many other expenses that were not provided by the schools,” said Holley. “Many of the programs would have floundered without their continued support. They have contributed to many scholarships for the players and helped with food and living expenses for many college kids over the years. They are a team in their volunteer endeavors just as they are in real estate. They represent what being a good neighbor is all about.”