Each year, the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) honors a member that has made an outstanding contribution to the community, primarily outside the scope of the real estate industry. The criteria for the John E. Wolf Community Service Award, which is named after 1938-39 HAR President John E. Wolf, include leadership and service in charitable organizations, service organizations and special service organizations.
For 2018, two members emerged as deserving of this prestigious recognition. One of them is Martha Castex-Tatum, a top producer with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and distinguished member of the Houston City Council (District K). The other is Brenda Stardig, a top producer with Stardig Patrick Real Estate, Inc. and distinguished member of the Houston City Council (District A).
We interviewed both to get their reactions to receiving the Community Service award along with their thoughts about community service and real estate.
What was your first reaction when you learned that you were the 2018 honoree?
When I found out that I was an honoree, I was in Germany at a transportation think tank with elected officials from all over the world. I had the opportunity to celebrate this honor with them at dinner.
What does this honor mean to you?
It means a great deal to me receive this honor from an organization more than 39,000 members strong, who go above and beyond by giving back to our community.
What do you find most gratifying about your work as a real estate professional?
I enjoy sharing my real estate expertise to improve quality of life for Houston and the region.
What are some of the ways that you give back to the community – community service/volunteer work – the main reason for the honor?
I am a past president of one of the largest City of Houston Super Neighborhoods. I served as president of a civic club with over 1,000 homes and have organized numerous crime-fighting initiatives. As a Spring Branch Education Foundation member, I worked to strengthen public education, including initiating the foundation of the Parent Teacher Student Association at Northbrook High School in Spring Branch ISD. I serve on the advisory board of the local YMCA and support the local Lions Club and Rotary. I have also been awarded the Keep Houston Beautiful Mayor’s Award and the award for Leadership in Excellence in Neighborhood Development from Bank of America. I received the Ms. Wheelchair Texas Angel Advocacy Award for my support for persons with disabilities. In 2017, I received the distinguished Leon Goldstein Award from Crime-Stoppers for my work on crime prevention.
How can others get involved in community service?
There are opportunities to get involved with the City of Houston’s boards and commissions. Visit https://www.houstontx.gov/boards/ for more information.
Do you have any other thoughts or comments?
I appreciate the level of involvement from Ed Wolff and HAR’s board of directors, especially after Hurricane Harvey. Their input has been valuable to the City.