Awards: service with distinction

Illinois REALTORS® stand out for their professionalism and market expertise, and the association has several awards to honor those who are among the very best in the industry.

Neaves ROTY 2021
2022 Illinois REALTOR® of the Year Ed Neaves speaks after being announced as the new honoree.

Illinois REALTORS® awards the Distinguished Service Award to honor those who have provided outstanding contributions and service to the Illinois REALTORS® and their communities. Individuals who receive the award are recognized as leaders whose performance and involvement in the real estate association has been extraordinary. Recipients continue to remain active in the real estate industry, influencing others with their knowledge and experience.

Past recipients

Mabél Guzmán

Sue Miller
Al Suguitan

Max Mitchell
Judy Stowe

Doug Carpenter
Gary Clayton

Loretta Alonzo
John Vranas

Terry Penza
Jack Potter
Winnie Stortzum

John Kretchmar
Frank Williams
Anne Zickus

Mac Boyd
Donna Garver
Ann Hallock

Phyllis Jeske
Don Truitt

Dan Bock
George Patt
Roberta Griffin
Wayne Edwards

The Illinois REALTOR® of the Year award is the highest honor the Illinois REALTORS® can bestow on a member. It is presented to an individual whose dedication to excellence has most profoundly enhanced the professional image of REALTORS® in the State of Illinois. The award recognizes the Illinois REALTOR® of the Year’s personal leadership and service qualities, applied not only to the real estate industry, but also to the promotion of civic, community and charitable causes. The award, while not granted for a specific business accomplishment, is earned by REALTORS® who have made a mark in the real estate industry.

Previous winners

  • Ezekiel “Zeke” Morris, Chicago, 2023
  • Ed Neaves, Bloomington, 2022
  • Doug Carpenter, Mokena, 2020
  • Michael D. Drews, Aurora, 2019
  • Michael D. Oldenettel, Jacksonville, 2018
  • Sue Miller, McHenry, 2017
  • Chris Read, Woodridge, 2016
  • Loretta Alonzo, LaGrange Park, 2015
  • Pat Callan, Wheaton, 2014
  • John Vranas, Chicago, 2013
  • Kay Wirth, Crystal Lake, 2012
  • Lynn Madison, Lake Zurich, 2011
  • John C. Kmiecik, Chicago, 2010
  • John Veneris, Downers Grove, 2009
  • Patrick Dalessandro, Niles, 2008
  • Nancy Koch, Morton, 2007
  • Judie McConville, Ottawa, 2006
  • Toni Sherman, Glen Ellyn, 2005
  • James Kinney, Chicago, 2004
  • Alex LaBelle, LaGrange, 2003
  • Jean Crosby, Rockford, 2002
  • H. Sue Wiskowski, Aurora, 2001
  • Phil Johnson, Belleville, 2000
  • Marilyn Glazer, Skokie, 1999
  • Arlen Speckman, Kankakee, 1998
  • Dick Crosby, Rockford, 1997
  • R. Rex Rowland, Christopher, 1996
  • Alice Roth, Barrington, 1995
  • Gerald Perlow, Chicago, 1994
  • Patricia Ortseifen, Lake Forest, 1993
  • Randall Raynolds, Springfield, 1992
  • William Griffin, Naperville, 1991
  • Walt Schlemer, Edwardsville, 1990
  • Don Ursin, Oak Brook, 1989
  • Lydia Franz, Barrington, 1988
  • Myron Thaden, Olympia Fields, 1987
  • Ralph Martin, Des Plaines, 1986
  • Jack Hamer, Naperville, 1985
  • Ruth Thiel, Evanston, 1984
  • Leo Sheridan, Evanston, 1983
  • Roy Fair, Aurora, 1982
  • John Picken, Rockford, 1981
  • Ronald Chinnock, Chicago, 1980
  • Robert Cook, Springfield, 1979
  • Douglas Carson, Melrose Park, 1978
  • Richard Rauch, Chicago, 1977
  • Vincent Penza, Jacksonville, 1976
  • Robert Steger, Steger, 1975
  • Ralph Pritchard , LaGrange, 1974
  • Kathryn Duncan, Robinson, 1973
  • Ray Speckman, Kankakee, 1972
  • M. Edward Smith, Des Plaines, 1971
  • Morgan Fitch, Chicago, 1970
  • Arthur Mohl, Chicago, 1969
  • William Allmart, Glen Ellyn, 1967
  • Robert McGuire, Evanston, 1966
  • Rich Port, LaGrange, 1964
  • Frank Syms, Chicago, 1962

Marsha and Gary Clayton hold a picture of the Illinois REALTORS® headquarters after he’s given the Legacy Award.

The Illinois REALTORS® Legacy Award is the highest distinction awarded by the association and is intended to recognize and honor individuals who have established an unparalleled lifetime record of leadership, service, and contribution to not just the local, state and national REALTOR® family but to their communities and to their state through civic and other community involvement. The Legacy Award is given to those whose contributions to and influence upon their city, their state, and the real estate industry create a positive impact for the benefit of multiple generations.

The Legacy Award honors Gary Clayton for the many positive changes that came about during his tenure and the ceremony gave him an opportunity to thank previous leadership teams and staffs for their support.

Dan Goodwin, CEO of the Inland Real Estate Group of Companies. Photo by Randy Squires.

The Illinois REALTORS® Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes substantial contributions to the real estate industry. It’s awarded to a member who excels in supporting REALTOR® causes at the local, state and federal level, and who exhibits qualities found in the REALTOR® Code of Ethics.

2017: Daniel L. Goodwin, chairman and CEO of the Oak Brook, Ill.-based Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Inc. He was honored for service to the industry  and for a lifelong commitment to fair housing for all.

The Margery Shinners Rhino Award is given annually to the Illinois REALTORS® association executive who symbolizes strength, leadership and loyalty to the profession.

Past recipients

2022: Michelle Mills Clement

2021: Kyle Anderson

2019: Linda Green

2018: Deb Frazier

2017: Deb Borgwald and Margery Shinners

2016: Dallas Hancock

2015: Pam Krieter

2014: Dan Sale

2013: Jim Haisler

2012: Ginger Downs

2011: Al Suguitan

2010: Wayne Edwards

2009: Gary Clayton

2008: Terry Penza

Illinois REALTORS® works on private property issues at the local, state and federal level. This award is given for outstanding political and legislative service to the REALTOR® organization.

Past recipients

2022: Matt Silver, Mark Massey, and Steve Myers

2018: Pat McCarthy

2017: Piero Orsi

2016: Sonia Anaya

2015: Ed Neaves

2014: Lynn Madison

2013: Stan Sieron

2012: Gerald N. Perlow

This award is given by an outgoing Illinois REALTORS® president to honor those who made a difference during the president’s term of service.

Past recipients


Alex Ruggieri
Andy Velkme
Anthony Hebron


Matt Difanis
Lutalo McGee
Mike Oldenettel
Mike Scobey
Ginger Sreenan
Rebecca Thomson


Jeff Baker
Kristen Butcher
Tracey Royal
Len Taylor
Mario Treto, Jr.
Betsy Urbance
2020 Staff of Illinois REALTORS®


Doug Carpenter
Matt Difanis
Sue Miller
Michael D. Oldenettel
Nykea Pippion McGriff
Sarah Ware


Jean Crosby
Zeke Morris
Courtney Q. Jones
Mabél Guzmán


Vicky Turner
Sonia Anaya
Alex Ruggieri
Chris Read
Deb Prodehl
Lynn Madison

Pam Krieter
Lynn Madison
Ed Neaves
Vicky Sampah
Steve Volkodav

Bob Eby
Mábel Guzmán
Ed Neaves
Chris Read
Vicky Turner
Dan Wagner

Jim Barbagallo
Mábel Guzmán
Phil Johnson
Connie Stellhorn-Schanter