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Lilley named 2018 Realtor of the Year

(From left) Matt Difanis, Illinois Realtors President, is shown with Crystal Lilley; 2018 Realtor of the Year; and Gail Pyszka, Chief Executive Officer, Illini Valley Association of Realtors.
(From left) Matt Difanis, Illinois Realtors President, is shown with Crystal Lilley; 2018 Realtor of the Year; and Gail Pyszka, Chief Executive Officer, Illini Valley Association of Realtors.

The Illini Valley Association of Realtors Annual Awards Banquet was conducted at Mark Allen’s American Kitchen in Peru.  
Awards presented included new Realtor Affirmations, GRI Designation and the Illini Valley Association of Realtors 2017 Realtor of the Year Award. 
Alex Finke, Illinois Realtors local government affairs director, presented an update on governmental issues affecting Illinois Realtors. He stressed the need for Realtors to be active in the political realm. Voting in every election and being vigilant of ordinances affecting the real estate industry, according to a press release from the Illinois Valley Association of Realtors.
The guest speaker was Matt Difanis, ABR, GRI, & CIPS, co-owner of RE/MAX Realty Associates and the 2018 President of Illinois Realtors. Difanis' presentation focused on advocacy, along with license law and social media. He stressed the importance of involvement in the Realtor Association and community. 
The following people completed the Illini Valley Orientation: Deanna Carlson, RE/MAX Country; Larla Grandadam, Starved Rock Realty; Angela Heckman, Gonet Realty; Melissa Hulse, RE/MAX 1st Choice; Janet Linde, RE/MAX 1st Choice; Jessica Lucas, RE/MAX 1st Choice; Jose Maldonado, Janko Realty & Development; Bethany Mannon, RE/MAX 1st Choice; Denisse Perez, Starved Rock Realty; Joshua Reck, RE/MAX 1st Choice; Shawn Sell, RE/MAX 1st Choice; Amber Witek, Janko Realty & Development; and Shirley Zera, Janko Realty & Development.
The GRI Program is designed to enhance the participant’s knowledge of real estate marketing and hone skills. To receive the GRI designation, candidates must complete a series of advanced coursework about professional standards, risk reduction, legal issues, finance, sales and marketing, technology and social media. 
This year, Kaye Pearson, Landmark Realtors successfully completed the GRI program thereby earning the GRI Designation.
The final award for the evening was the 2018 Realtor of the Year Award. The Realtor of the Year has high principles and promotes the principles of good real estate practice among brokers and with the general public, is a team player, a loyal enthusiastic and currently active member who regularly attends association functions and actively participates in all aspects of the Association.  Factors considered in the selection process for the Realtor of the Year Award include member/board service, real estate educational achievements, sales performance and business achievements, involvement with Illinois Realtors and the National Association of Realtors, and Civic and Political involvement.
The recipient of the 2018 Realtor of the Year Award is Crystal Lilley, Landmark Realty of Illinois.  Crystal has been an active Realtor member for 17 years, serving on various local association committees and multiple terms on the Illini Valley Board of Directors both as a director and president.
Her commitment to excellence is demonstrated by the fact she earned the prestigious Graduate Realtors Institute Designation.
Lilley has built her business year by year, earning many awards for production including Bronze and Silver Life awards. Additionally, she has served as an Election Judge, has fought against Home Rule, and organized political receptions. 
Lilley served in church ministry as Head of Outreach, being a member of the Council of Ministries, a praise team leader, a chancel choir member, a confirmation mentor, and has served with the mission team to Appalachia. Presently, she serves on the Our Table Outreach Ministry, which feeds between 150 to 200 people weekly, the Christmas for Kids Program and volunteers at the Illinois Valley Public Action to Deliver Shelter.
The Illini Valley Association of Realtors jurisdictional territory includes La Salle, Putnam, and a major portion of Bureau counties. It is one of more than 1,800 local boards and associations that comprise the National Association of Realtors.

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