In celebration of our 30th Anniversary, we (virtually) sat down with a few of our past chairs to take stock of their time with the Foundation, and the impact the Foundation has on the real estate industry and Alberta.
Hear from Charlie Ponde, Chair of the Board from 2015 to 2017, REALTOR® of the Year in 2015, Commissioner For Oaths, Past President of the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton, Former Director and President-Elect of the Alberta Real Estate Association, and Honourable Life Member Alberta Real Estate Association:
How many years were you involved with the Foundation?
I had seven years of direct involvement with the Foundation. I consider past Chairs and Governors to be lifelong ambassadors for the Foundation and I continue to follow this belief.
Why did you get involved?
Like most real estate professionals, I was unaware of the Foundation’s existence until my first year in business, more than 30 years ago. Until some of the real estate industry Governors and Chairs were appointed, the Foundation was unknown to industry members, other than the association’s staff and the leaders at the time.
The reason I got involved with Foundation was to help bring its knowledge and its goals to the general membership and to create awareness of its importance for the benefit of our industry in the past, present, and future.
Do you have any favorite projects funded in your time as Chair?
All the projects during my tenure were great and they were funded after meaningful discussions amongst Governors. The 25th Anniversary celebrations in Calgary and Edmonton were a definite highlight.
Some of the other projects included a grant to Edmonton Community Leagues for creating inner-city neighborhood stats and profiles with the help of REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. This was to help would-be buyers make decisions. The information booklet was available online and in print and was very successful in helping REALTORS® and consumers alike.
We also funded remediation and reclamation of contaminated lands at Suncor Oil Sands site. This was a great initiative.
We helped industry members and consumers through funding a project at the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta that provided consumers a ‘dos and don’ts’ guide around buying, living in, and selling condominiums.
What impact has the Foundation had on Alberta and the industry?
The Foundation was always there when the community needed help. This was especially the case after the 2013 flooding in southern Alberta where the Foundation helped with some remediation at Fish Creek Park.
What are the key issues you see the Foundation addressing in the future?
I believe a very important issue for the future is awareness of the Foundation and providing information to the real estate industry as to what it is, what it does for the community and the industry, and how its funded.
Another emphasis should be put on explaining the differences between the various charitable foundations within the industry associations and investing funds back to the source of the revenue—the real estate community—through educational programs.
Thank you, Charlie!