At the beginning of March, two local real estate professionals from Realty Executives Cornerstone became members of the American Warrior Initiative Real Estate Professionals team. Rick O’Connor (Managing Broker/Owner) and Victoria Suthers (REO Manager/Broker) participated in a Real Estate Professionals educational Boot Camp seminar in Lisle on February 21st. Per the AWI website, their group’s mission is as follows: “To educate, encourage, and inspire Americans to give back to our military. A key part of this initiative is the education platform for real estate agents and mortgage professionals.” Real Estate professionals with the AWI designation are specially equipped to assist not only veterans, but also active duty members of the military in their various real estate needs.

           The team at Realty Executives Cornerstone joins an elite group of professionals, led by Sean Parnell and Louise Thaxton, in striving to better serve our military personnel in the necessity of housing. AWI was founded in 2012 and has reached over 20,000 real estate and mortgage professionals during the last six years who share the passion for bringing more attention to this under-filled need in the real estate sector. This includes extensive knowledge of the variety of financing options and professionals to refer military families to as well as knowing what opportunities may be available for grants and other such benefits available to those who have served and continue to serve our country. On the February 21st training date, the real estate group that attended training was able to present $3,000 they raised to one veteran for their new service dog, which left very few in attendance with dry eyes.

        The AWI seminars travel across the country to bring awareness to the cause as well as generate further interest in those who wish to help those who serve and protect our great nation. In addition to the boot camps, AWI also works with providing opportunities to give back to military professionals who have been wounded during their service. Such opportunities include service animals, mortgage-free housing, grants for business ventures as well as home renovations and much more! Both Rick and Victoria, along with the rest of the staff in the office, are looking forward to taking what AWI has presented and what they have learned and applying it toward assisting the men and women in our area who have been brave enough to serve this country.

       Rick is very passionate about his efforts in this endeavor. “As it states in John 15:14 of the Bible: ‘There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends.’ This is exactly what the brave service men and women who protect our country have done and do for us daily. For this reason alone it is important we not only show them our support verbally, but through our actions as well. AWI is an organization that will allow us to help bless them as they consider purchasing a home in our area. We here at Realty Executives Cornerstone have the utmost appreciation for these current and veteran service men and women and are thankful to have the opportunity to educate and serve them in a way that will benefit their lives," explained Rick.