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 a 2018 honoree?
Being notified that I was receiving this prestigious award truly warmed my heart. It’s humbling to be recognized by my peers for doing what I love. I am excited to be an honoree and named amongst many great contributors in our city.
What does this honor mean to you?
This honor means so much to me, as building communities through service is what I enjoy. Every day I have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others, which is so fulfilling. This honor is extra special coming from my peers who live their lives in service as well. I am truly grateful, and I hope this award will encourage others to find time to dedicate to a cause that will impact our community while enriching their own lives.
What do you find most gratifying about your work as a real estate professional?
I really enjoy helping clients navigate through the full process of the homebuying experience. As a REALTOR®, it is my pleasure to help first-time homebuyers become informed while fulfilling their dreams of purchasing a home where many memories will be made. It is extremely gratifying to see their reaction and the excitement in their eyes when handing them the keys to that perfect home. Each transaction has a different set of circumstances and guiding clients through the process to meet their real estate goals is quite rewarding.
What are some of the ways that you give back to the community – community service/volunteer work – the main reason for the honor?
Serving on the Houston City Council allows me to represent my community in an extraordinary way. With every decision I make, I strive to do what is in the best interest of Houstonians. I also volunteer through my sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, which is a service organization with specific targets to impact our community.
How can others get involved with community service?
Start close to home with your civic club or HOA, child’s school or church. Finding an organization that lines up with your passion will make your engagement enjoyable and rewarding.
Do you have any other thoughts or comments?
REALTORS® help families during happy and sometimes unfortunate times. Being able to make transition periods a little easier for my clients is rewarding. I have become great friends with many of my clients over the years and that is the ultimate reward. I encourage everyone around me to stir up their gifts and try to max out their humanity every day!