Greater Regional alliance of realtors®

GRAR Leadership Academy

This exclusive, year-long program offers a dynamic blend of experiences, education, and opportunities that are intended to foster a new generation of real estate industry leaders that are diverse in age, career experience, companies/brokerages, service specialties, geographic location, and gender. The class size is determined by the Candidate Review & Development Committee and is typically limited to 20 members per year.

We are pleased to introduce the Class of 2022!

Ingrid Anastasiu

Jim Connell

Vickie Delands-Kochans

Tedros Fremichael

Jan Hawthorne

Alison Kinsman

Sarah Medina


Pamela Merriman

Lisa Newell

Julie O’Neill

Tanya Powell-May

Rick Rico

Brook Sharp

Paul Ten Eyck

Lisa Thomas

Adam Tolley

Tim Van Stensel

Deena Vroegindewey

Madeline Witt

Programming will focus on

  • An Inside Look at GRAR’s Leadership Team & Its Meetings
  • Effective Networking Techniques
  • Building Strong Business Relationships
  • Diversity, Inclusion & Implicit Bias
  • Community Involvement & Volunteerism
  • Public Policy & Legislative Advocacy
  • Wire Fraud & Cyber Security
  • REALTOR® Safety
  • Public Speaking Skills
  • Real Estate Technology & Tools
  • Continuing Education Credits (including legal)
  • We will include some social activities too!

GRARLA Class of 2022 & Alumni Luncheon 

Social/Networking Luncheon w/GRARLA Alumni and the Board of Directors. Following the luncheon, Julie Rietberg will provide a stats/trends update to the Class of 2022 (the other guests may remain for this presentation if they choose). .Thereafter, the Class of 2022 will participate in a getting-to-know you exercise. Held at Watermark Country Club.


Interactive Shark Tank themed event, where the topic will be “working with buyers in a sellers’ market”. Held at GRAR.

Wire Fraud Update

Legal update from Tom Cronkright on the topic of wire fraud. Held at GRAR.

At Home With Diversity (AHWD) Certification

NAR’s At Home with Diversity Certification course. This will be held via Zoom.

GRARLA Bus Trip to Lansing & 2-hour Legal Update

Take a bus to Lansing to tour the new Michigan REALTORS building and receive a two-hour legal update from Brian Westrin, MR’s Director of Legal Affairs. The GRARLA Class of 2022 will identify the topics covered in that legal update. Amy Taylor and/or Doug Merriam will be invited to ride along and provide a presentation re: RPAC.

Observance of the Board of Directors Meeting


This is an opportunity for participants to get an inside look at GRAR’s Leadership Team & its meetings. To be held at GRAR. 

GRARLA Group Volunteer Day at Home Repair Services

1100 Division Ave S, 49507

Michigan REALTORS® Convention & Expo

GRARLA will attend the MR Annual Convention & Expo in Grand Rapids. 

Mortgage 1, Inc. is sponsoring a Happy Hour on September 22 from 4-5p at Woodrow’s Duckpin Bowling.

Toastmasters Event

Public speaking session based upon the Toastmaster’s Format. Held at GRAR.

Annual Broker’s Meeting & Economic Update

GRARLA will observe the Annual Broker’s Meeting at the Pinnacle Center, have lunch, and then receive an economic update from Dr. Beaulieu.

Emerge: Pillars of Our Growing Community

GRARLA will attend YPN’s Emerge event at Watermark Country Club.

Right Place Economic Update

GRARLA Economic Development Update from the Right Place in the GRAR meeting room. Held at GRAR.

Graduation at the Annual Installation & Awards Program

Held at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park – 1000 E Beltline Ave NE,  49525

100% attendance is encouraged in order to successfully graduate the GRARLA program and to be recognized at the Annual Installation & Awards Celebration.  However, we understand that participants might have a pre-planned trip or an unexpected event arise. Therefore, one absence may be approved administratively with no requirement for a make-up session.  Any additional absences will require approval by the Candidate Review & Development Committee and a make-up session might be required.

We are proud of our GRARLA Alumni

If you are undecided if GRARLA is for you, please feel welcome to reach out to any one of our alumni members to ask about their experiences and the bonds that they have formed with classmates.  Below is a roster (by year) of our graduates:

Class of 2020 & 2021: Brittany Arraut, Shawn Beatty, Pete Bruinsma, John Dinehart, Erin Fester, Brooke Finlan, Charles Fisher, DeShawn Gholston, Curtis Gross, Maria Kauffman, Elizabeth Klopp, Kevin McCarty, Ryan Prichard, Gregg Teegardin, Megan Tefft, Kevin TerBeek, Lance Tiffany, Jordan Torrez, Alexandra Tremain, Brett Vredevoogd, Michael-Jay Williams, and Angela Worth.

Class of 2019:
  Jeannie Berger, Brandi Block, Jeff Czubak, Adam Fuller, Brandon Garnaat, Santiago Gomez, Kamie Jakeway, Laura Kelso, David Klein, Chasity Kopernik, Mitchell Luban, Kirsten Nairy, Charlie Peterson, Nicole Rinks, Shellie Silva, Cherie Smith, Tom Smolinski, Sarah Takens, Halley Vredenburg, and Scott West.

Class of 2018:
  Brenda Bolin, Lacey Connor, Ashley Dane, Sherlynn James, Antonio Holbrook, Rachel Major, Darryl Matthews, Kyle Naumann, Steve Robrahn, Kristin Ruther, Joshua Schaub, David Scheid, Rustin Scott, Brooke Krebill, Paul Spica, Steve Stuckey, Corrin Timmer, Seth Vanderwey, Amy Jo Weller, and Andrea Zoet.


Class of 2017: Nick Adado, Maria Blackmer, Paul Bunce, Micah Childress, Adam Connor, Amanda DeLong, Laura Featherston, Will Friend, Becca Greenhoe, Teresa Hoffman, Chad Jurgens, Wendy Katerberg, Jessica Lemmon, Dan Moralez, Andrew Norden, Jordan Painter, Scott Sharda, Dan Steffee, Hank Steffes, Lindy Tanis, and Kyle Visser. 


Class of 2016:  Brett Beimers, Robert Brown, Alix Criswell, Mollie Dauser, Darren DeFever, Lindsey Dykstra, Michelle Gaudreau, Kendra Havemeier, Jason Jenkins, Jacob Lietaert, Cory Maguire, Melissa Mitchell, Scott Myhre, Joshua Nawrot, Patricia Round, Leslie Ruppel, Heather Rus, Brooke Sines, and Melissa Thompson.

Class of 2015:
  Connie Bennett, Brian Clinger, Michael Courtright, Charlene Hammontree, David Jackson, Tina Johnson, Dave Kiel, Diana Meyer, Bryant Mitchell, Zach Newhof, Amalia Nunez-Marin, Beau Otis, Jodi Rogers, Mallory Strotheide, Mike VanderWoude, Rachael Veldkamp, Sheri Volkhardt, Carrie Vos, and Laurie Zokoe.


Class of 2014:  Jim Blehm, Yvette Blehm, Rory Byrne, Patrick Fase, Larissa Frody, Ron Hudson, Jim King, Beth Mans, Wyatt Martin, Cindy Nelson, Jayne Overbeck, Hanna Partlo, Tracie Rich, Susan Stoddard, Craig Stolsonburg, Lisa VanderLoo, Greg Williamson, and Wayne Wu.

Class of 2013:  Melanie Abraham, Bev Boerman, Mark Brace, Robin Decker, Brian DeSmit, Diane Ebbers, Michelle Gordon, George Guyott, Jeanine Herlacher, Susan Kazma, Scot Kellogg, Melissa McDermott, Ingrid Nelson, Adam Paarlberg, Susan Pastoor, Linda Pell, Amy Reedy, Jessica Tucker, and Michelle VerMeulen.

GRAR Staff Contact:  Pam VanLuven