Cagen Is Named Realtor Of Year

    GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids Association of Realtors (GRAR) recently named Michael Cagen as its 2003 Realtor of the Year.

    Cagen, an associate broker at the area’s largest commercial brokerage house, S.J. Wisinski & Co., has worked 13 years in the commercial and industrial ends of the industry here.

    “I’m frankly blown away by it. It’s an extreme honor. It’s very, very flattering to be recognized by my peers with that type of award,” said Cagen, who added that he was a “veteran of two recessions” in the local industry.

    The award was even more pleasing for Cagen because usually a residential Realtor is named, due to the overwhelming number that are working in the market compared to the amount of brokers in the commercial field.

    But Cagen isn’t the first commercial broker to be honored by GRAR in recent times.

    Ray Kisor, co-founder of Commerce Realty, was also chosen by GRAR as its Realtor of the Year.

    Cagen has served on the GRAR Commercial and Industrial Committee for 10 of his 13-year membership, and has chaired the committee in the past. He also served on the group’s 2000 Bylaws Task Force and board of directors, along with the MLS board of directors.

    Cagen helped create the Commercial Alliance of Realtors, a separate and unincorporated division of GRAR that is governed by it own board of directors. Stan Wisinski is president of CAR, while Doug Taatjes is vice president.

    “We believed that having a board of directors comprised of just commercial members, focusing just on commercial issues, would help to advance the interest of the commercial membership in a more in-depth way than in the way our interests were being managed previously by falling under the umbrella of primarily a board of residential Realtors,” said Cagen, secretary-treasurer of CAR.

    GRAR gave CAR its Task Force Service Award for 2003.

    In honoring Cagen, GRAR said he is “known by those who have served with him in a leadership role as one who pays attention to details, with great concern for the common interests of the membership.”

    The GRAR Good Neighbor Awards went to Jim Butler, Mick McGraw and Ron Villerius. Gene Szepeinski picked up the Realtors Active in Politics Award. Clay Powell won the Affiliate Service Award. The Government Affairs Committee was given the Committee Service Award. Szepeinski chairs that committee and Dan Hibma is co-chairman.

    The Inner City Christian Federation was honored with the GRAR Real Estate Advocacy Award, and Joyce Davis won the Staff Appreciation Award. Davis is assistant manager of the sales and printing department.           

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