Ocean Pines, Md. – In recognition of their hard work to uphold the highest of industry standards, seven local real estate professionals were honored during the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR) 2016 Annual Awards ceremony on Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at the Ocean Pines Yacht Club.

Don Bailey, a REALTOR® with Coldwell Banker Residential in Salisbury, was recognized as this year’s REALTOR® of the Year for being an enthusiastic and driven leader, as well as a vital member of CAR, serving in top leadership roles and soon-to-be serving as the association’s 2017 president. Bailey

completed the Maryland Association of REALTORS® (MAR) Leadership Academy in 2014 and holds the Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource certification. He is a regular volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and has earned numerous awards and recognitions, including the Coldwell Banker Outstanding Sales Performance Award, appointment to the Coldwell Banker International Sterling Society, and recognition as a Pinnacle Certified Association Leader.

Joan Catlin, a REALTOR® with ERA Martin & Associates in Salisbury, received this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her extensive work in the local real estate industry, as well as her steadfast participation as a volunteer for the association and for local charitable causes. Catlin has been a REALTOR® for over 40 years and has served on just about every committee within the association and president of the Board of Directors. Catlin is an active member and volunteer at First Baptist Church of Mardela and is past president and current member of the Mardela Volunteer Fire Company Auxiliary, as well as chair of the Women’s Group of Wicomico County Farm Bureau. She has volunteered for a number of local organizations, including American Cancer Society and Junior Achievement, among others. Catlin holds the Accredited Buyer’s Representative, Certified Residential Specialist, Graduate REALTOR® Institute, and Seniors Real Estate Specialist designations from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

Bernie Flax, a REALTOR® and broker with EXIT Realty at the Beach in Ocean Pines, was recognized with this year’s Outstanding Achievement Award. Flax is a member of CAR’s board of directors and is an active volunteer for several association committees. She is also very active with the Women’s Council of REALTORS®, Habitat for Humanity, and Dove Pointe, among other organizations. Flax holds the Accredited Buyer’s Representative Designation from NAR and has completed certification requirements for At Home with Diversity, e-Pro®, and Resort & Second Home Property Specialist. Flax opened EXIT Realty at the Beach in October 2015 with the goal of running a local, boutique-style independent franchise that focuses on the person, lifestyle, and total experience of clients.

Wesley Cox, a REALTOR® with Sperry Van Ness Miller Real Estate in Salisbury, won this year’s Outstanding Commercial REALTOR® Award. A current member of the CAR board of directors, Cox has served the association extensively on various committees and task forces, while also completing MAR Leadership Academy in 2014 and receiving the MAR Community Service Award in 2015. Cox is very active in his community, serving local causes such as the Rotary Club of Wicomico County, Lower Shore American Red Cross, Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce, Flags for Heroes, and many more. Cox holds his Certified Commercial Investment Member designation from NAR as well as a Master’s in Commercial Property designation from the Mike Lipsey School of Real Estate.

Frances Sterling, a REALTOR® with ERA Martin & Associates in Salisbury, received this year’s Rising Star Award for being a newer member who is thriving in the local industry. Sterling serves on CAR’s Multiple Listing Service Committee and holds her Accredited Buyer’s Representative and Graduate REALTOR® Institute designations from NAR. Sterling is an active member of the Asbury

United Methodist Church and volunteers for numerous local organizations, including Junior Achievement, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the American Cancer Society, among others.

Laurie Crawford, a REALTOR® with ERA Martin & Associates in Salisbury, won this year’s REALTOR® Community Service Award for her extensive philanthropic work. Crawford is an active member of CAR, serving in many capacities for the association’s legislative efforts. She is also active with the Friends of Poplar Hill Mansion, the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, and the Humane Society, among others. Crawford has chaired a committee within ERA Martin to raise funds and donations for care packages for troops in Afghanistan, a committee to collect donations for the La Merced medical mission trip, and a committee to adopt a grandparent from a local nursing home. She is also a regular volunteer for local political campaigns. Crawford holds the Accredited Buyer’s Representative and Seniors Real Estate Specialist designations, as well as the ERA International Collection and Relocation Specialist certifications. She was ERA’s top producer in 2013, 2014, and 2015, as well as the ERA top listing agent in 2015. In 2014, she received the ERA Community Impact Award.

Hope Morgan of MNET Mortgage Corp. in Salisbury was recognized with this year’s Outstanding Affiliate Award for being a key supporter of CAR’s affiliate and community outreach efforts, having sponsored several association events and participating in community efforts such as last year’s Caroling Crawl of local nursing homes. Morgan serves on the executive board of Salisbury Neighborhood Housing Services, while also volunteering for Three Lower Counties Community Services, Coastal Hospice, Delmarva Zoological Society, and Wicomico Help and Outreach Point of Entry. She has been a member of CAR for 39 years.

“I’d like to congratulate our award winners, as well as all of our nominees,” said CAR President Linda Moran. “We have many active and valuable association members and we truly appreciate each and every one of them. The success of our association is highly dependent on the great work of our member volunteers.”

For more information about CAR, visit www.coastalrealtors.org.

More about Coastal Association of REALTORS®

Coastal Association of REALTORS® is the leading local advocacy group in the real estate industry on the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland.  Coastal REALTORS® works in partnership with its members to promote home ownership and preserve, protect, and advocate private property rights. The organization supports 1,000 REALTORS® who serve Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties. For more information on Coastal REALTORS®, visit www.coastalrealtors.org. The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark unique to real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics.

MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Rayne / 410-641-4409 / sarah@coastalrealtors.org