New officers, directors installed for Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois

Donna Baker was installed as the 2019-2020 president of the Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois at an event held at the Four Points by Sheraton in Fairview Heights on Aug. 22.

Baker (shown), of RE/MAX Preferred, O’Fallon, has been a Realtor for 15-plus years, belonging to the Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois for 12 of those years. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with specializations in Marketing and Management from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

Following a successful career in advertising with companies such as Gardner Advertising, Ralston Purina and D’Arcy Advertising and as a small-business owner, she began her career in real estate sales. While being an active Realtor, Baker has been involved in the communities she has lived in serving on a variety of not-for-profit committees and boards, government planning commission. She has served as a director since 2014 as well as served on Budget and Finance, RPAC, and Grievance committees of the board.

Baker said she enjoys mentoring new Realtors; and credits much of her success in real estate with having a mentor early on that she could turn to for professional advice and assistance and feels it is important to pay that forward. She and her husband, Jeff, are parents to three adult children, Elizabeth, Victoria and Joseph. They enjoy time spent with family and friends, traveling, boating, and Clemson University football.

Also joining the association’s board of directors are President-Elect, Celeste Wheeler (RE/MAX Preferred, O’Fallon); Secretary/Treasurer, Karen Sheesley (Strano & Associates, O’Fallon); Immediate Past-President, Judy Ross (Southern Illinois Realty, LLC., Smithton); Affiliate Director, Tim Garvey (Midland States Bank, O’Fallon, Mo.); Presidential One Year Appointment, Jason Buss (RE/MAX Preferred, Swansea) and the following directors: Ashley Barud (Coldwell Banker Brown Realtors, Belleville); Barbara Davidson (Coldwell Banker Brown Realtors, Belleville); Steve Ellerbrake (RE/MAX Preferred, O’Fallon); Tanya Hawkins (RE/MAX Preferred, O’Fallon); Brad Kruger (Century 21 Advantage, Columbia); Sam Row (Keller Williams Marquee, Columbia); Stan Sieron (Stan Sieron & Co., Belleville); and Renee Wittenauer (Kunkel Wittenauer Group Inc., O’Fallon).

The association also took a moment to remember the late Gloria Tialdo, a dedicated member of the Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois for more than 30 years. She served as association president in 1995 and spent much of her time devoted to the association serving on numerous committees and task forces throughout the years. During her years as a loyal member, Gloria received the distinguished Realtor of the Year award and was a Life Member of the Association. A tribute to Gloria was given to her daughter Tricia Tialdo (Strano & Associates, Belleville).

During the program, members of the association collected $725 for Lutheran Child & Family Services of Illinois, which improves the well-being of people across the state by protecting children, strengthening families and building futures for those who have experienced trauma. They do this as a provider of a variety of child welfare services. The organization serves people of all faiths, races, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender expressions and gender-identifications.

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