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Thursday, June 20, 2013

“Capture Your Hometown” Photo Contest to Support the Fight Against ALS

ERA Team VP searches for local photographs that capture the essence of each area, to be raffled at 4th Annual Agents of Hope Scramble Golf Tournament, with winning photographers awarded a cash prize and a chance to win an Ellicottville vacation getaway.
ERA Team VP Real Estate is looking for local photographs that best represent the “hometown” areas of western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania that ERA serves. Nine winning photographs, each representing a different “hometown”, will be unveiled at this year’s 4th Annual Agents of Hope Scramble Golf Tournament that ERA Team VP will be hosting on Wednesday, August 28th, 2013. One of the nine winners will be randomly selected to receive a two night stay, for up to four people, at the Ellicottville Inn Condominiums. The Ellicottville in is located right in the heart of Ellicottville, within walking distance to restaurants and shopping. The remaining winning photographers will be awarded a $25 debit card and all photographs will be featured on ERA Team VP Real Estate’s company websites.
The nine winning photographs will be raffled off with all proceeds, as well as tournament proceeds, benefiting The ALS Division of MDA & ALSA (the ALS Association); whose mission is to lead the fight to cure and treat ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, through global cutting-edge research, and to empower those affected and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support.
Photo submissions should represent one of the following areas: Bemus Point, Mayville/Westfield, Fredonia, Lakewood/Jamestown, Chautauqua Institution, Ellicottville, Cuba/Olean, Bradford (PA), or Warren (PA).
The deadline for submissions is August 7th at 5:00pm, and entries must be a minimum width of 1680px. Please include your name, phone number, and the specific area you believe the photo represents. Multiple submissions per photographer will be accepted.
Submit your photos to Taylor Lehman at For more information or to submit further inquiries visit ERA Team VP’s Facebook page at  If you choose to include people in your submission, you are responsible for obtaining the necessary releases from the individuals depicted, and must be able to provide copies of those releases to ERA Team VP upon request. In submitting a photograph, you grant ERA Team VP a royalty-free, nonexclusive right, in perpetuity, to: use the photograph on the Internet and company publications and promotions.
To register as a sponsor, individual entry, or four-person team for the 4th Annual Agents of Hope Scramble Golf Tournament, or for more information, contact Hanna Soffel Briggs at (716) 789-2093 or or visit the Facebook page at

Buffalo Niagara Association of REALTORS® Announces Backing of Mayor Byron Brown for Re-election

The Buffalo Niagara Association of REALTORS® (BNAR) today announced that it is supporting Byron Brown for re-election as mayor of Buffalo in the upcoming election.  The decision was reached after analyzing the incumbent’s commendable housing record over the past eight years including holding the line on property taxes, his positive achievements in attracting medium and high income residents to downtown, his programs which fight blight and promote residential living, redevelopment along the waterfront, promotion of the medical corridor, and tireless efforts to improve the overall quality of life throughout Western New York.

“One of the greatest assets in our region is housing affordability,” stated 2013 BNAR president Louis Vinci. “We need to expand on that asset by controlling taxes, enhancing residential communities and demolishing decaying, blighted structures.  Mayor Brown has been successful in the past and should be given the opportunity to build upon these successes.”

Holding the line on and reducing taxes is the BNAR’s foremost political issue, and Brown has continuously held the line on property taxes during his terms.  “Affordability of housing, citizen exodus and quality of life are all tied in to the amount of taxes paid by Western New York citizens,” stated Vinci.  “Mayor Brown realizes the benefit of lowering taxes in order to attract people to city living rather than placing a greater burden on a smaller population.”

"I want to thank the BNAR for their support,” stated Mayor Brown.  “I believe this endorsement is a direct result of my administration's strong commitment to cutting both residential and commercial property taxes. I have been focused on providing a competitive atmosphere for both home owners and business in Buffalo and we are currently seeing record amounts of investment and job creation in the City of Buffalo.  My administration has worked closely and partnered with organizations like BNAR, which is one of the largest real estate organizations in the country, and the residents and City are experiencing tremendous progress as a result."
The BNAR selected Colonial Circle as the locale for its announcement because it is at the center of three areas which significantly benefitted from Mayor Brown’s administration: the Elmwood Village, the Richmond Corridor, and Buffalo State College areas.  Realtors® will meet with the Mayor in Colonial Circle on Friday, June 21st at 3:00 PM to announce its endorsement.

Daniel Locche - Director of Public Affairs

Debbie Norman
Director of Communications & Corporate Affairs
Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors
200 John James Audubon Pkwy
Amherst, NY  14228
716-636-9000   fax: 716-636-9121 |

Monday, June 10, 2013


Amherst, New York - The Buffalo Niagara Association of REALTORS®, Inc. (BNAR) presented a special award from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to nineteen members for forty years of service to the real estate industry as well as the first ever Lifetime Achievement Award.  The awards were presented at a luncheon last month at the Buffalo Launch Club in Grand Island, New York.

Realtor Emeriti Honorees this year are Josephine Badame-RealtyUSA, Judith Colvin-Century 21 Gold Standard, Shirley Donnelly-WNY Metro Simme, Clayton Ertel-RealtyUSA, Joseph and Lois Gerace-Bob Harris Realty LLC, Peter Gfoerer-Hartwood Real Estate, Lewis Kline-Great Lakes Real Estate, Joni Korus-RealtyUSA, Ann Kwitchoff-Cipriano, Inc., Margaret Lombard-WNY Metro Roberts Realty, Charles Longo-Great Lakes Real Estate, Kenneth Mulhall-WNY Metro Sandra Lee Wirth, William Pfeil-Triton Realtors, Victor Przybyl-Stovroff & Taylor, Lorraine Redlinski-Hunt Real Estate ERA, Leonard Rinallo-Hooper Realty, Joseph Whittington-Northeastern Appraisal and Toni Young-Hunt Real Estate ERA.  Attending the event to share congratulations were over twenty five past Realtor Emeriti.

BNAR’s very first Lifetime Achievement Award was bestowed upon Mary Ann Kustich, WNY Metro Roberts Realty.  Most recently, she too joined the ranks of Realtor Emeritus and was one of BNAR’s Centennial Honorees in 1994 because of the significant contributions of time, energy and devotion to the Association.  Mary Ann Kustich has also fulfilled every Officer position at the BNAR and became the first woman President in 1990.

Throughout the years she has always been an active salesperson and earned the BNAR Sales Award.  She was the first member to receive the Buffalo Award from BNAR for outstanding service for being the creator and founder of the Annual Agents’ Day and Trade Show and received it once again for being BNAR’s Historian and Parliamentarian.  In 1994 she was named BNAR Realtor of the Year.

Kustich has done so much for the Association and its members.  Besides serving on many committees as well as Chairmanships, she was the creator and author of a “Blue Book” for BNAR which included Bylaws, Rules, Policies, Code of Ethics, and contact information for each member of the BNAR.  She also was responsible for the initiation and completion of the BNAR Champion Map Book which included all of the MLS areas.  Kustich was even part of the travelling team to Rochester and successfully joined Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse for the first computerized MLS System. Besides the Realtor Association, Kustich was also a Charter member of Western New York Real Estate Information Services (MLS) Board of Managers and was instrumental in writing their Bylaws and membership agreement

NAR and BNAR have honored a total of seventy five Realtor Emeriti throughout the years.  Awardees were presented with a lapel pin from the National Association of REALTORS® which will be worn with pride for their dedication to the real estate profession.

“BNAR is proud to honor these individuals.  Their passion and commitment to the real estate industry for so many years makes them remarkable role models”,  said John B. Leonardi, Chief Executive Officer of BNAR.

Kustich received a separate award ceremony at the event and was given a Crystal American Flag from the Association.  Presenters of the award were good friends and fellow Realtors Margaret Hartman and William Horohoe.  “Mary Ann is the ‘godmother’ of real estate, stated Louis Vinci, 2013 BNAR President.  Her undying energy, enthusiasm and sincerity of service are always 100% for our Association and our profession and she is well deserving of this award.”

The Buffalo Niagara Association of REALTORS® is one of more than 1,300 local boards and associations that comprise the National Association of REALTORS®.  As the nation's largest trade association, NAR is "The Voice for Real Estate," representing over one million members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry. For a list of local real estate professionals and/or our REALTOR® Emeriti contact the BNAR at 636-9000 or visit


Contact: John Leonardi
CEO - Buffalo Niagara Association of REALTORS

Debbie Norman
Director of Communications & Corporate Affairs
Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors
200 John James Audubon Pkwy
Amherst, NY  14228
716-636-9000   fax: 716-636-9121