Realtors® UNITE Convention Returns for Live Gathering in St. Cloud

By MNR News posted 10-20-2021 08:28

icon of an exclamation markMinnesota Realtors® (MNR) held Realtors® UNITE, its annual state convention on October 6 – 7 at the St. Cloud River's Edge Convention Center. Drawing over 300 Realtors® and brokers from across Minnesota, it marked a return to in-person venues for the association, the first since the 2019 convention held in Prior Lake at Mystic Lake Center. Highlights of the event included presentations from nationally renowned speakers, continuing education classes and symposiums, a vendor exposition, and an installation dinner where the association’s 2022 leadership team was formally inducted. During the convention, attendees were able to earn up to 7.5 credits toward their annual continuing education requirements.

photo of a stage with a presenter speaking to a crowd“We were thrilled to come back live and together this year,” said Chris Galler, CEO of the MNR. “There is simply no replacement for the kind of connections and exchanges that occur when people meet face-to-face. It was an opportunity for inspiration, education, and invaluable networking and camaraderie.”

Highlights of the two-day convention included an opening session talk with John Kriesel, a former Minnesota state representative, Iraq war veteran, and author of Still Standing, a memoir of his war experiences that won eight national book awards. On Wednesday night, during the Awards and Installation dinner, the association formally welcomed its new leadership for 2022, and held a ceremony recognizing Realtors® who made outstanding achievements in 2021. Entertainment was provided by Tim Gabrielson, a comedian and magician.

Assuming the role of president from outgoing President T.J. Simon is Jason Miller of Premiere Real Estate in St. Cloud. Treasurer Emily Green of Sandy Green Realty in Minneapolis has been selected president for 2023, and Geri Theis of Scenic City Realty in Redwood Falls will take on the role of treasurer. Terms for the newly elected officers begin in January 2022.

photo of a group of people standing behind giant letters on a stageIn recognition of her outstanding contributions to the industry, Kath Hammerseng of Edina Realty was named the 2021 MNR Realtor® of the Year. Patrick Paulson, of EXIT Realty Metro received the Edwin Anderson Political Achievement award for accomplishments in the political realm. And Jerry Moscowitz of RE/MAX Results was presented the Minnesota Good Neighbor Award.

After the Awards and Installation Dinner, many attendees enjoyed a Welcome Night hosted by several restaurants and pubs in downtown St. Cloud.

On Wednesday, a lunchtime exposition featured 35 exhibitors showcasing products and services from a wide range of businesses, including brokerages, mortgage and title companies, home-warranty agencies, law firms, home-security providers, and more.

During both days of UNITE, Realtors® took advantage of breakout sessions led by nationally renowned experts and educators. The lineup included David Arbit, an urban-planning specialist and director of Research and Economics at Minneapolis Area Realtors®; Sean Carpenter, a customer-experience expert recognized by Inman news as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Leaders in Real Estate; and many others.

“It has been amazing. I loved being at UNITE,” said Monique Garza, a Realtor® from Realty Group LLC in Woodbury. “The session on personal safety really resonated with me. It hit me hard and made me think about what I should be doing differently.”

“I’ve only been in the business for six months. I came here to learn from all these experienced people,” said Laura Sutton, a Realtor® with Shrewd Real Estate in St. Cloud. “I’m going all in—like jumping in over your head in cold water. It forces you to swim.”

In the fall of 2022, Realtors® UNITE will return to Mystic Lake Center in Prior Lake.

Check out more photos from UNITE! here.