Donna Apisa, president and principal broker of Oceanfront Realty on the North Shore, would happily trade her 2005 Realtor of the Year award for a little bit of respect for her chosen profession, she said.
“We’re kind of seen as a greedy bunch,” she said. “I would like people to know that we give back.”
A little-known fact about Apisa is that on more than one occasion she has taken in homeless people on the North Shore, and sought no fame or publicity for those selfless acts.
“Realtors do good things,” said Apisa.
She and other real-estate professionals have also routinely supported Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste’a antidrug programs, she said.
“We really do care about the ‘aina and the people,” said Apisa, a long-time real-estate professional who was nominated for 2005 Realtor of the Year honors by members of her staff, collectively known as Team Ocean-front.
They include Susan Farrar, Chad Deal, Ilona Coffey, Jim Fiori, Corrine McCabe, Jerry Stowe, Bonnie Stowe, Karen Thrower, Nancy Valle, Ruth Plott, Katie Valin, Tim Liberto and Ralph Kitashima.
Like some other real-estate professionals, she has willingly given up commissions on sales when taking said commissions could have jeopardized the closing of escrow, and on at least one occasion put over $20,000 of her own money into an escrow account when one of her buyer-clients was that much short.
She has been active with the Kauai YWCA, Habitat for Humanity, Princeville Community Association, Kaua’i Chamber of Commerce, Hale Moi Association Of Apartment Owners (AOAO), and other organizations.
Her most recent volunteer project is being a mentor to children and young adults who have incarcerated parents.
On the professional front, offshoots of Oceanfront Realty include Spinners Coffee, Timeshare Solutions, LLC, and Paradise Travel and Activities, LLC.
Apisa holds enough professional designations to fill an alphabet-soup bowl, including CRB (Certified Residential Broker) and CRS (Certified Residential Specialist), and has been active and involved in leadership positions both with the Kauai Board of Realtors and Hawaii Association of Realtors.
“Donna Apisa is without question the Realtor of the Year, 2005,” members of Team Ocean-front concluded.
Members of the selection committee agreed, and Jim O’Connor, of O’Connor Realty of Kilauea, joked that she was “overlooked” for the award for many years.
“It’s an honor. It’s a great honor,” she said, quickly adding that the publicity surrounding her being named should generate some positive public relations for the Kauai Board of Realtors.
The awards luncheon took place at the Kaua’i Marriott Resort & Beach Club in Lihu’e.
Apisa and other Oceanfront Realty leaders were recently selected to be brokers for the marketing of the 196 condominiums that will be built at the Coco Palms Resort.
There will also be 48 hotel rooms.
Apisa said demolition work on the old hotel across Kuhio Highway from Wailua Bay will begin in the spring, around the same time she will open a showroom and sales office for the Coco Palms condominiums in the Coconut Marketplace down Kuhio Highway in Waipouli.
The new Coco Palms is expected to be finished by the summer of 2008.
For more information on Oceanfront Realty, please call 826-6585, or see the Web site, www.oceanfrontrealty.com.
- Paul C. Curtis, associate editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 224) or email@example.com.