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Row takes on lead role with RASI Board as merger with Gateway appears imminent

2023 slate of officers, directors of REALTOR® Association of Southwestern Illinois recently installed


Members of the REALTOR® Association of Southwestern Illinois recently gathered to celebrate and install its new officers and directors for the year ahead.

Sam Row

Sam Row was installed as the 2022-2023 President of the REALTOR® Association of Southwestern Illinois at the event held on Aug. 25, 2022, at The Abby on Main in Columbia, Ill. 

Rounding out the Association’s 2022-2023 Board of Directors leadership team installations were President-Elect Ashley Barud of Coldwell Banker Brown Realty, O’Fallon; Secretary/Treasurer Brad Krueger of Century 21 Advantage, Columbia; Immediate Past-President Karen Sheesley of RE/MAX Preferred, O’Fallon; and Affiliate Director Richard Coolbaugh of First Mid Bank & Trust, Fairview Heights.

The following RASI directors were also installed: Alexandra Anderson of Strano & Associates, Swansea; Jason Buss of RE/MAX Preferred, Belleville; Rob Cole-Dempcy of Judy Dempcy Homes Powered by KW Pinnacle, O’Fallon; Amber Fourman-Duke of Coldwell Banker Brown, Belleville; Naureen Frierdich of Century 21 Advantage, Columbia; John Grissom of Berkshire Hathaway Homeservice, O’Fallon; Carlos Holmes of Coldwell Banker Brown, Belleville; Caleb Marsh of Red Door Realty Group Inc, O’Fallon; and Stan Sieron of Stan Sieron & Co., Belleville.

“I am so proud of our Association and our members,” said Row following the ceremony. “During the Installation, members of the Association collected over $1,000 in donations for Human Support Services. We have so much heart, and I know that will continue into 2023 and many years to come.” 

Row further noted that the Association’s members “not only work in this community, but we live here too. We are here to help you in the home buying and selling process, as well as help in our community.”

A REALTOR® with Keller Williams Pinnacle, Row has served as a board member of the REALTOR® Association of Southwestern Illinois (RASI) since 2019. In real estate for 15 years now, Row joined RASI in 2007. 

Row has been a Designated Managing Broker for Keller Williams Pinnacle for the past two years. He is also licensed in Missouri and holds the designation of Managing Broker there. He and husband Omar have been married for five years and enjoy parenting their three dogs. Row’s hometown is Columbia, Ill., and he currently calls St. Louis home.

The “other” big news to note: What has been a major conversation for many years throughout the region appears to soon become a reality. With the official decision to be finalized through the outcome of the vote at RASI’s October board meeting, a merger now seems imminent of a merger between the REALTOR® Association of Southwestern Illinois and the Greater Gateway Association Of Realtors.

“We are very excited that this vote is taking place,” said Row. “Both Associations are working diligently to make this work. I feel confident this merger will take place.”

“The pros are continuity, shared services, a more united Southwestern Illinois, a larger voice for our community, more opportunities for greater education, speakers and involvement in our communities. I don’t see any cons at all,” Row said further.

RASI CEO Deb Frazier added, “This is something both Associations have worked on for the past few years. I appreciate all the time that Sam and the other volunteers have spent to make this happen.” 

(Editor’s Note: The results of the official mid-October vote on the proposed merger will be shared in the November 2022 issue of the Illinois Business Journal.)

Both Row and Frazier also shared some insights on the current “state of real estate” in Southwestern Illinois.

Row noted a stabilization in the markets and more opportunities for buyers. “Interest rates are higher, but historically they are still great rates. Buyers need to investigate other types of loans, and grant programs.”

Frazier also shared some further commentary on the “state of real estate” that she had recently gathered from colleague and fellow market expert Steve Zuber of BARBERMurphy. Frazier noted, “Steve shared that the industrial market is hot right now, and that companies are starting to onshore products.” 

Frazier said that Zuber had chalked these developments up as results of the COVID-19 pandemic and “the unreliability of products from China.” She further said that “Zuber had noted that office space is also doing well in the real estate market, particularly as people continue to return to the workplace from a pandemic-driven remote environment.”

The REALTOR® Association of Southwestern Illinois is a trade association with 1,000-plus members. Our mission is to empower the success of REALTORS and Affiliates while advocating for private property rights in Southwestern Illinois,” Frazier added. “I am working with the Managing brokers at our monthly meetings to promote all the positive aspects of our industry. We are very involved with diversity in our area. We promote fair housing as well as have many strategic partners in our cities, and home builders.”

This story also appeared in the October 2022 print edition of the Illinois Business Journal.

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