Texas REALTORS® Announces 2020 Texas Real Estate Award Winners

Texas REALTORS® recognized outstanding members and local REALTOR® associations during the 2021 Texas REALTORS® Winter Meeting, which took place virtually Feb. 16-18.

“Last year was an unprecedented year in Texas real estate,” said Marvin Jolly, chairman of Texas REALTORS®. This past year, REALTORS® in the Lone Star State went above and beyond to support their communities, elevate our industry and impact the lives of their clients. These awards are a testament to the resiliency of REALTORS®, particularly during these challenging times.”

The 2020 Texas REALTOR® of the Year, the most prestigious honor awarded annually to a member who has made outstanding contributions to the industry throughout their career, was presented to Shad Bogany of Houston. Bogany has volunteered for decades and served in many leadership roles to benefit REALTORS®, the real estate industry, and Texas real estate consumers. He previously served as chairman of Texas REALTORS® in 2013 and chairman of the Houston Association of REALTORS® in 2002.

The Tom D. Morton Association Executive of the Year award—given to REALTOR® association executives with a long track record of service to their local association—was presented to Connie Coots, CEO of the Odessa Board of REALTORS®. Coots worked with local leaders during the pandemic to ensure that real estate transactions could still proceed safely and led an initiative to make over 200 masks for the city’s fire and rescue workers. Coots was also honored with the Tom D. Morton Association Executive of the Year award in 2005.

Sydney Ealy of Houston received the Texas REALTOR® Good Neighbor Award, which honors a REALTOR® who has demonstrated outstanding community involvement and volunteerism. Ealy was specifically recognized for her charity, Twist for Girls, a nonprofit established for youths age 11 to 17, to discover and achieve their goals through one-to-one mentorship, life skills development, career exposure and cultural experiences at no cost to the children who participate.

Candace (Candy) Cooke of Round Rock was named the 2020 Educator of the Year. Cooke is a senior instructor for Real Property Counselors and teaches Texas REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS® certification and designation courses. She has paved the way for how education now operates in Texas in the COVID-19 pandemic, having taught over 300 classes virtually with more than 6,800 students in 2020.

Alison Blalock of WestMark Commercial/TNC Worldwide received the 2020 William C. Jennings Award for the outstanding commercial real estate transaction of the year. The award is based on the transaction’s contribution to the community, merit and creativity, and application of commercial principles. The winning transaction transformed unusable office space into 89 affordable housing units in one of Lubbock’s most historic buildings, Metro Tower. The tower had been mostly uninhabited since a tornado damaged the building in 1970.

The Austin Board of REALTORS® received the 2020 Mark Lehman Governmental Affairs Achievement Award. The honor recognizes a local REALTOR® association that has demonstrated excellence in fundraising, grassroots involvement and other local initiatives for the year.

The Texas REALTORS® Grassroots Advocate of the Year award was presented to Lee Overstreet of the Granbury Association of REALTORS® for his support on two successful campaigns for REALTOR®-supported candidates including state Rep. Glenn Rogers in Texas House District 60 and U.S. Rep. August Pfluger. The Texas REALTORS® Grassroots Advocate of the Year award honors one individual from the year’s full list of Texas REALTORS® Strike Force Award winners. 

Finally, Texas REALTORS® honored two local associations that launched innovative programs and educational courses that kept Realtors up to date with legal, marketing and industry trends. The Education Program of the Year awards were given to:

  • MetroTex Association of REALTORS® in the legal category
  • MetroTex Association of REALTORS® in the series or short program category
  • Houston Association of REALTORS® in the marketing category
  • Houston Association of REALTORS® in the innovation category