Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) President and CEO Bob Hale was honored by the Houston chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC/Houston) with the 2010 Communication Leadership Award during the organization’s Bronze Quill Awards ceremony on June 3. The annual award is given to an organizational leader who actively supports communications by initiating, directing, supporting or sustaining outstanding and effective communications programs.
IABC/Houston recognized Hale for leading a successful integrated communications program. Hale has led HAR since 1988. Under his leadership, the organization has grown to become the largest trade association in Houston and the largest local REALTOR® association in the country, with more than 24,000 members.
“I feel so humbled to receive the Communication Leadership Award from the IABC/Houston, especially looking at the impressive list of previous recipients,” said Hale. “The entire HAR staff works hard every day to make sure consumers know the value of a REALTOR® in a real estate transaction and to communicate the benefits of the Association to our members. To have what we do recognized with this honor, and to know it comes from communications practitioners, makes it all the more meaningful.”
Thanks to Hale’s vision and drive, HAR.com is a household brand in the greater Houston area and the most frequently visited website in Houston real estate, with more than one million visitors each month.
HAR’s progressive communications include a Facebook page, which has about twice as many fans as the next REALTOR® association in the U.S., as well as the use of other social media applications. The HAR YouTube Channel features more than 300 videos all produced in HAR’s in-house studio and editing suite. Among the videos are 61 that are part of HAR’s Consumer Knowledge Series, programming designed to educate consumers about real estate transactions and home ownership. The series has been so well received that the National Association of REALTORS® purchased 20 of them for use by associations across the country. HAR also produces The Edge, a weekly eNewsletter containing timely real estate industry information and data that is distributed to real estate brokerage managers to share with their agents. And HAR has developed an online advertising campaign that promotes the value of a REALTOR®.
During the awards presentation, HAR surprised Hale with a video containing personal congratulatory messages from Charles McMillan, 2009 President, NAR; Ned Holmes, commissioner, Texas Transportation Commission; Melanie Lawson, anchor KTRK-TV; Shelby Hodge, editor-at-large, CultureMap Houston; Texas State Senator Dan Patrick; Texas State Representative Ellen Cohen; Texas State Senator John Whitmire; Harris County Judge Ed Emmett; Dave Liniger, co-founder/chairman of the board, RE/MAX International; Mark Willis, CEO, Keller Williams Realty; Brad Inman, founder/publisher, Inman News; U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee; and Texas Governor Rick Perry.
This year’s nominations for the Communication Leadership were so remarkable, both in number and merit, that for the first time ever, IABC/Houston honored two individuals. Besides Hale, the other award recipient was Greg Garland, president and CEO, Chevron Phillips Chemical. Garland was recognized by IABC/Houston for leading a successful internal communications campaign.
“This year, we chose to honor two Houston CEOs with the Communication Leadership Award,” said Joi Lecznar, IABC/Houston President and Director of Communications, BG Group. “Mr. Hale and Mr. Garland represent the best of the best. Innovative and unafraid, each man has led his company into uncharted waters and found great success there. Mr. Hale and Mr. Garland both manage wildly successful enterprises, employ creative and engaging communication strategies, and stand out as two of Houston’s most extraordinary leaders. We congratulate them both on this well-deserved award.”
Previous recipients of the Communication Leadership Award have included John C. Sheptor, President & CEO, Imperial Sugar Company; Dr. Giuseppe Colasurdo, dean of The University of Texas Medical School at Houston; John D. Hofmeister, president of Shell Oil Company; J. William “Bill” Boyar, chairman of Boyar & Miller; Clark Baker, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Houston; John D. Stobo, M.D., president of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston; Jacqueline S. Martin, President, United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast; Steve Miller, CEO, Shell Oil Company; and Kirbyjon Caldwell, senior pastor, Windsor Village United Methodist Church.
In addition to the Communication Leadership Awards, IABC/Houston also presented awards to Bronze Quill honorees during the gala.