2021 Board of Directors Election Slate + Candidate Statements
Below is your official slate for the election which will open at midnight on Monday, August 23, 2021 of four Board of Director members of the San Francisco Association of REALTORS® for a three-year term commencing on January 1, 2022. The success of our organization depends upon the selection of highly qualified candidates as Directors and your vote is crucial to attain this objective. Your ballot must be submitted electronically by 12:00 noon on Friday, September 10, 2021. Please review the instructions set forth on the electronic ballot to ensure that your vote is properly cast and will qualify for counting. (You will receive notification and the link to the official on-line ballot in your email inbox on Monday, August 23.)
Each nominee has been allowed to submit a personal statement describing his/her background, experience and service activities in support of his/her candidacy. The statements, as prepared by the candidates, are set forth below with the names of the candidates arranged alphabetically.
REALTOR® OR DESIGNATED REALTOR® MEMBER ELECTED/REELECTED FROM A BROKERAGE BETWEEN 1-75 REALTOR® MEMBERS
SABINA ALIEVA—Sequoia Real Estate, 3595 Balboa Street, San Francisco, California 94121
Hello dear SFAR community,
My name is Sabina Alieva-Girsh and I’m with Sequoia Real Estate. I’m currently serving as the 2021President of the Women's Council of REALTORS® (WCR) in San Francisco. Concurrently, I’m also on theDiversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee for SFAR. As the President of WCR, I’ve gained a lot of insight onhow to run an organization and to work with our Board to provide educational and networking opportunities for our members. Being active in an organization takes a certain level of commitment, and I would love totake my energy and put it into SFAR in 2022. My personal goal is to increase the active participation of our SFAR members. Most of us have a hard timestepping outside our comfort zone to be more involved in an organization. I believe there are a lot of leadersout there who just need a little bit of encouragement to take on leadership roles.
Living in San Francisco and being a part of multiple organizations like WCR, AREAA and CREAA, I recognizemany of us have different backgrounds, but we all have similar challenges. If we’re open minded, we’ll beable to understand each other and grow together. We’re a diverse community and, with the right approach andsupport, we can all beneﬁt and become a better version of ourselves.
I promise, if elected, to approach every vote with attention to detail. I’ll commit to performing due diligencebefore making a decision on all items presented to me. Integrity is my motto in life and in business.
We’ll come together and we’ll prevail! Let’s elevate and inspire!
AYN M. MCGEE—Asia Pacific Groups, 1290 24th Avenue, San Francisco, California 94122
My name is Ayn McGee. I am a Realtor AHWD with Asia Pacific Groups in San Francisco. APG was founded in 1987. I have worked for APG since 2004 as a wholesale commercial and residential loan officer, Director of Marketing and Community Engagement, and as a Realtor. I am an SF native.
COVID has impacted the real estate community in unprecedented ways. At APG, we see the impact on our clients locally and globally. Our solutions need to be informed and balanced with an interest in collaborating with all community members and stakeholders. Being united and working together is how we are going to turn this crisis into an opportunity. Together, we have an opportunity for our families, our businesses, our clients, and our community to recover and thrive.
Real estate issues and policy will play a major role in California’s and San Francisco’s economic recovery. I want to assist our Association and our Realtors in navigating these challenges, so we succeed and thrive moving forward.
Since joining SFAR in 2018, I have served on the Government Relations, Events & Education and Global Business Council committees. I am a graduate of USC in Communications and certified by UCLA in Corporate Governance. I am also committed to public safety, and I have been a civilian volunteer with the SFPD since 2009. www.linkedin.com/in/aynmcgee
I am honored to be considered for nomination to the SFAR Board of Directors. If elected, I will work hard to represent our Realtors and the Association.
MASOOD SAMEREIE—Aria Properties, 4406-B 18th Street, San Francisco, California 94114
Real Estate is my passion. I love San Francisco, and it is important for me to be involved with the Real Estate community. I have served at the Association over the years in various committee appointments. I have enjoyed my work with the Association because it has allowed me the opportunity to share my experience with peers. It also affords me the ability to work with others to resolve key issues that come before the Association. I believe that, as a member of the Board of Directors, I could advance my interest and participation with the Association, working with other Directors to improve and/or further the goals of the organization.
REALTOR® OR DESIGNATED REALTOR® MEMBER ELECTED FROM A BROKERAGE WITH MORE THAN 75 REALTOR® MEMBERS
ROBERT S. EDWARDS—Compass, 891 Beach Street, San Francisco, California 94109
My fellow agents,
While I am not a one-issue candidate, I know I have a very specific set of life experiences I could bring to our SFAR Board. As a former city planner and police officer, I worked for 15 years as one of the most sought-after consultants that cities hired to address "quality of life crimes" that affect property values—an issue I believe we can all agree needs more attention right now. The lack of enforcement of current laws is a threat to our quality of life. And, it affects us all—agents, our clients, retail businesses, tourists, renters, everyone.
I speak the language of neighborhood revitalization and could represent SFAR on committees and task forces that City Hall convenes to solve problems. I helped launch three of our downtown CBDs and was executive director of four more in other cities. I’ll commit the time, IF you want to see these challenges addressed—the car break-ins, open air drug trade, and neighborhood blight which deter future investment in our City and put current investments at risk.
I ask for your vote so I can represent SFAR and go to bat for you and your clients and put SF back atop the list of best places to invest in real estate. Call me any time to chat about it: 415.715.7312. My full resume lives here:
VALERIE L. HO—Coldwell Banker Realty, 2633 Ocean Avenue, San Francisco, California 94132
Hi Fellow REALTORS®, As a native San Franciscan who loves and works as a REALTOR® here, I am committed to understanding and helping to select the best opportunities to enrich our Association and this world-class City.
Since joining SFAR 39 years ago, I am amazed where this journey has taken me – successful REALTOR®, chairperson of SFAR’s Professional Standards Committee, arbitrator and mediator for both SFAR and CAR, and a past SFAR Director. Most recently, I have been volunteering for the newly established CAR Peer-to-Peer Ethics Infoline.
Known for being tenacious, proactive and an advocate for just causes, I believe in being fair, straightforward and working collaboratively to solve problems. Members appreciate my leadership qualities in finding ways to better the status quo.
I am grateful and inspired to give back to this Association. Thank you for considering my nomination for a Director’s seat.
STEVEN HUANG—Ascend Real Estate, 466 Brannan Street, San Francisco, California 94107
Helping my fellow REALTORS navigate the big changes in our industry is why I have been serving as one of your SFAR and CAR Directors for the last few years.
In response to the challenges of COVID, government legislations, Clear Cooperation and MLS technology, I have stepped up as a leader on SFAR’s Board of Directors, Executive, Budget and Finance, Strategic Plan, Government Relations and MLS and Technology Committees, on CAR’s Land Use and Environmental Committee as Issues Chair, Coming Soon Listings working group, Listing Attribution working group and MLS Policy Committee, and on NAR’s President’s Circle. An example of my contribution was to steer CAR’s policies on Coming Soon listings to be compatible with the Bay Area’s customary practices, by educating and negotiating with SoCal REALTORS®.
As an active REALTOR® and team leader, and as a working parent and a community contributor, I understand how hard we work for our clients, our friends and family and our communities. My goal is to make sure our Associations remain laser focused on serving the professional needs of all of our members through logical rules and policies, effective technology offerings and business relationships that are most advantageous to our industry as a whole and to us as individual sales agents.
I promise to leverage every ounce of experience as a top-producing sales agent at both small and large brokerages, my background in real estate development and city planning, my involvement with local politics and other organizations, and my education (MBA from UC Berkeley and Masters in City Planning from UPenn) to best serve our interests. I’d love to hear from you about what issues are most important to you. Please, do contact me!
REALTOR® OR DESIGNATED REALTOR® MEMBER ELECTED/REELECTED AT-LARGE
LAUREN E. BENSINGER—Sotheby’s International Realty, 2001 Lombard Street, San Francisco, California 94123
During my 15+ years in managing a brokerage here in the City, I have gained invaluable experience in proactively supporting the needs of several agents across multiple offices and regions, simultaneously. I recognize the great impact that an organization can make just by listening to and facilitating the goals of its members and peers. It is a process that I not only enjoy but am equally proud to be a part of.
As a SFAR Board member, I will focus on enhancing the relationship between the Association and agent community, by collaborating with our members to solve the ever-changing needs and professional responsibilities they are met with on a daily basis. I am passionate about problem solving in a manner which allows agents to work more efficiently and effectively — I understand the hard (and oftentimes behind-the-scenes) work that goes into “getting it done.”
I know that I can bring value to the Board with my experience and perspective. I am committed to representing and supporting the REALTOR® community here in San Francisco in the very best light, having done so as a Past President and current member of Women’s Council of REALTORS® for San Francisco, SFAR Managers Council Committee, 2020 Nominating Committee, and as an active supporter of the Welcome Home Project.
I am honored to be a candidate for SFAR’s 2022 Board of Directors, and I thank you for your vote.
MARC DICKOW—Core7 Real Estate, 740A 14th Street, San Francisco, California 94114
In 2020, I had the honor of serving as your President in what was one of the most challenging years on record. I believe we came through the year as a much stronger organization and helped our members to continue their business despite all the restrictions that were placed on us. We were able to significantly increase member engagement and successfully pivot to the virtual environment that we are in.
In 2022, I am serving in my 5th year as a CAR Director and your Regional Chair. I also have the honor of serving as the vice-chair of the Regional Chairs committee for CAR. This year also marks my 2nd year as a committee member on the NAR Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee.
I began my SFAR leadership journey in 2013 as an MLS and Technology Committee member. I quickly realized that I could contribute in a positive and effective way and went on to become Vice-Chair and then Chair of that committee. I have served on every SFAR committee and have a well-rounded and balanced knowledge of where we have been and where we are going.
While I am the broker/owner of Core7 Real Estate, I am also a practicing agent. I have always believed that has kept my focus and attention on the needs of the individual members of SFAR as well as the Association as a whole. My leadership journey and service to our association will continue, as well as my service to CAR and NAR, for many years to come. I promise that if I am re-elected to the Board, I will represent our Association with the same integrity, dignity, and perseverance as I did as your President.
It would be my honor to continue to serve. I humbly ask for your vote.
DAMON M. KNOX—Corcoran Global Living, 2282 Market Street, San Francisco, California 94114
If you don’t already know me, my name is Damon Knox and I’m seeking a seat for the San Francisco Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors. I’ve been a member of SFAR for 15 years, sat on the Board of Directors for the previous 3 years, and would like to continue in my role as there is much left to do. During this second term, I plan to seek the Presidency to better serve all the working REALTORS® and members of SFAR. My position of still being a selling agent, allows me to contribute when conversations get difficult for managers who are not always involved in the day-to-day client and competition issues faced by many working REALTORS®.
While I do work for a relatively large firm, the focus of my service has always been an egalitarian one. I believe we can raise the level of service of all agents by providing tools, training and resources that arenecessary for all members to compete in our marketplace.
I’ve spent countless hours volunteering for Association committees (MLS and Technology, Budget and Finance, Managers Council, WCR, and YPN) over the past 8 years, and I’d like to make sure that we can maximize and leverage the systems in place, while looking for better options and continuing to improve what we offer members as a benefit. Technology is one of the greatest issues we collectively face; my knowledge of the intricacies of this will help us navigate and achieve the goals of competing against the existential threatof tech companies looking to disrupt our relationships with our clients and businesses.
My long-term dedication to SFAR’s political, nonprofit, and community betterment initiatives make me uniquely qualified to serve the Association, our affiliates and you today and tomorrow.
Thank you for your support!
AFFILIATE MEMBER ELECTED/REELECTED AT-LARGE (One Vacancy)
ASHLEY E. KLEIN—Kaufman Dolowich Voluck, 425 California Street, #2100, San Francisco, California 94102
I am honored to be an Affiliate Member of the San Francisco Association of REALTORS®.
I am a San Francisco attorney practicing real estate litigation at Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck. Along with being the managing partner of KDV’s San Francisco office, I serve as a Landlord Commissioner on the San Francisco Rent Board. Because I head our real estate litigation and landlord-tenant groups, my practice primarily consists of landlord-tenant matters, property management, and purchase/sale disputes, which leads me to spend much of my time working with fellow SFAR members. I have also been very lucky to meet members while giving seminar presentations at local brokerages.
Although educated at the University of North Carolina, I have made my home in San Francisco. I am proficient in Spanish, a lover of sailing, and a mother of two.
If elected, I hope to bring a fresh face and fresh perspective to the SFAR Board of Directors. I would very much appreciate your support.