By Deb Patterson
LEESBURG — Brandi Farber and Anna Gilsinger were among four people honored Friday, Dec. 2, at the annual Kosciusko Board of Realtors Christmas Dinner.
Farber, Milford, was named the 2022 KBOR Affiliate of the Year. Gilsinger, Bourbon, was honored with the 2022 KBOR Realtor of the Year.
Also honored were Susie Wert, Milford, and Liz Decker, association executive. Wert was recognized on her retirement from Fidelity National Title and the volunteer work she has done for KBOR on the golf committee and official photographer at every event. Decker was honored for her daily work ensuring the goals and objectives are met, plans fulfilled and member needs met.
James Miller, 2021 Affiliate of the Year, provided information on this year’s winner. He noted two most important facts about Farber — she has been in the same field of business her entire life and she is in the same business as her parent.
Providing more information about Farber, Miller stated, “She grew up in Milford and as part of a racing community at New Paris Speedway.” Farber graduated from Wawasee High School in 2001 and attended IUSB, obtaining a teaching degree. She resides in Milford with her spouse and two children (Steve, Jake and Emma) and their family dog.
He provided a little humor in the presentation, by referring to the couple’s first date, that ended with them making an unexpected stop at a dentist. “This definitely helped decide if they survived that night, their relationship would never decay and they might win a little plaque.”
Farber was noted as serving on the board of New Beginnings Day Care, along with being active as a youth leader at Wawasee Community Bible Church.
“She is a workaholic and the most dedicated person you’ll ever meet. She truly cares about her customers and always goes above and beyond to help them in any way she can,” concluded Miller.
Farber gave her mother, Susie Wert, credit for teaching her everything she knew. “I appreciate all of you and love working with all of you.”
Gilsinger’s award was presented by Julie Hall, the 2021 Realtor of the Year. Hall noted the recipient had wonderful parents and a brother and three positive perfect children — Elsa, KitKat and Chloe – her cats who, when hearing about the award, noted they had to be “kitten me” and it was great “mews.”
Hall noted Gilsinger grew up in Pulaski and now lives in Bourbon. She graduated from Winamac High School and attended St. Mary’s College to get her undergraduate degree, before going to Notre Dame, where she graduated with a master of accountancy. She worked for a John Deere firm out of Shaumberg, Ill., and was a senior accountant for Whirlpool in Benton Harbor, Mich., and a CPA for GreenMark Equipment.
When Gilsinger became a Realtor in 2016, her true passion in life began — helping others in need. She established a special partnership with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and signed up to make a donation on behalf of her clients for every closed transaction. “The first year she pledged to donate all her commission to Children’s Miracle Network,” said Hall. Her first donation was $20,000; by the end of the first year she donated $53,000 and was named the 2022 top Children’s Miracle Network Donor RE/MAX Agent nationwide.
“It takes that passion to another level,” Hall noted as a quote from another individual. She added Gilsinger was the top donor in the United States for Children’s Miracle Network of Hospitals. “It’s inspiring to so many to make a difference. KBOR is also very proud.”
Gilsinger stated she has to date donated more than $300,000 to the network. “It isn’t about me. It’s about getting the kids home so they can make a difference. They can chase their dreams.” She noted each person present had the “ability to go out and make that bit of a difference. I encourage all of you. It takes a village to get things going.
Angie Jarrett, KBOR president, announced 150 Realtors, affiliates and guests attended the event. There were 17 tables purchased by Realtors and affiliates, which provided $1,700 to go toward the association’s children’s charities. Those charities include scholarships, back-to-school backpacks and boots for scholars.
The annual gathering is a time for a celebration of Christmas and learning who received the Affiliate and Realtor of the Year awards. In addition to announcing the recipients, fun was had by participants bidding on 17 mystery themed silent auction items. Some of the titles for the mystery auction items were “Picture Perfect,” “Cowboy Christmas,” “Brr It’s Cold Outside,” “Baking With Your Dog,” “The Best of Kosciusko,” “Don’t Get Stuck on Me,” and “For the Knotting and the Nice.”
Funds raised through the silent auction also went to the associations children’s charities.
The annual event was held at Tippecanoe Country Club.