Iowa REALTORS® Annual Convention Recap


Over 500 Realtors, exhibitors and guests attended the 2017 Convention at the Coralville Marriott Conference Center. Sean Carpenter inspired attendees at the Keynote session to expand their “word of mouse”. NAR’s Chief Economist, Dr. Lawrence Yun, presented a Housing and Economic Update to a full room. 22 sessions were offered on a variety of topics from top national instructors including Nobu Hata, Valerie Garcia and Zach Schabot.

The 2017 YPN Furniture Build was one for the books. This year, the furniture went to support the Shelter House which supplied various families in the community with a total of 24 chairs, 6 tables, and 6 dressers. It was down to literally the nuts and bolts in the last seconds between two teams. In the end, the Cedar Rapids Area Association of Realtors® secured a win for the second year in a row, once again supporting Backpacks for Kids with a $2,500 donation. The Northeast Iowa team worked diligently and took second place, supporting their local Boys and Girls club chapter with a $1,000 donation. The Iowa City Area Association of Realtors® took 3rd place, and supported the Iowa City Shelter House with a $500 donation.

Fun Night - This year’s fun night was a blast. Several dodgeball teams did their best impressions of their former sixth grade selves and played in a double elimination tournament. Balls were flying everywhere, rules were bent and lots of laughs were had by all. Colorful and creative costumes added to the festivities. The Dodgefathers came back from the loser’s bracket to win the entire tournament. The Misfits came in a close second place. Danielle’s Dodgers’ pink outfits with bald caps won the prize for most creative costumes. Thanks to all the teams that played and there were already discussions of bringing back this event for next year.

Inaugural Gala kicked off with an unforgettable rendition of the Fight Song by 23 members of the Hawkeye Marching Band. During the awards portion of the event, Byron Menke, of Treynor, was honored with the Joan Ballantyne/O.G. Powell Distinguished Service Award. Randy Hertz from Nevada was recognized with the L. Martin Lee Political Involvement Award. 2016 President Ken Clark of West Des Moines was awarded the REALTOR® of the Year. Mark Kamps, of Iowa City,  gave a heartfelt speech after he was installed as the 2018 IAR President. The 2016 NAR Treasurer, Mike McGrew installed the IAR Leadership team and Regional Vice Presidents. The Funk Daddies entertained the attendees after the inauguration.  The 2018 IAR Leadership team includes President Mark Kamps of Iowa City; President-Elect John Goede of Spencer; Vice President Scott Wendl of Des Moines; Treasurer Jen Burkamper of Boone; and Immediate Past President Cindy Miller of Burlington.

All of IAR committee and work groups met during the convention.  During the Communications Committee, IAR staff revealed the new campaign for the First Time Home Buyer Savings Account. This marketing campaign includes a new website -, digital ads, printed materials and a special toolkit for Realtors and other tax and financial advisors. A pilot program with the National Association of REALTORS® helped make this campaign a reality. IAR will need the help of all Iowa Realtors to educate Iowans on this excellent program. The Legislative Committee met and discussed  discussed local municipality ordinances involving time of transfer mandates when selling property, such as sewer line inspections, etc.  The committee also discussed the statute of limitations laws on real estate documents and other possible real estate code clean up language.  

We tend to think that anyone who attends convention is a winner; however, there were many actual winners last week as well!

The winners from registrants who signed up early:

K’Lynn Lynn - Free Registration, 1 Free Hotel Night, $50 Gift Card

Diane Cartwright - Free Registration and $50 Gift Card

Caren DeVoe-Clevinger - $50 Gift Card

The convention app was a big hit again this year and with the ability to check and set your schedule, network, donate to the Realtor® Relief Foundation, and more it was easy to see why so many took advantage of the platform and played the game. The following winners were drawn from all those who topped out the point system. Thanks for playing, everyone!

Travis Hiatt - Amazon Echo Show and $100 Amazon Gift Card

Melissa Ihnen - $75 Gift Card

Rachel Thomas - $50 Gift Card

Scratch-Off Tickets Grand Prize Winner: Mike and Shelly Hull, Iowa City

The REALTOR® Foundation of Iowa's Annual Joan Ballantyne Charity Auction was a great success thanks to all who donated and purchased items! Here are the rough numbers:

Silent Auction: $2040 and the Live Auction: Between $15,000 and $16,000

The Board of Directors approved a donation of $10,000 to the REALTORS® Relief Foundation to help with those in need after several hurricanes in the south. To help those in need without funding administration costs, give to the REALTORS® Relief Foundation.


Photos from Vizzi Media Solutions are up on Flickr!

A big THANK YOU to our Annual Sponsors:

Diamond Level:

EXIT Realty

PLatinum Level:

Iowa Realty Berkshire Hathaway Home Services

Gold Level:

American Home Shield

Iowa Finance Authority

Zillow Group

Convention Sponsors:

UICCU - University Of Iowa Community Credit Union

Coldwell Banker RE Professionals



Form Simplicity - Tech Helpline


RE/MAX Central


Home Warranty, Inc.

Hills Bank


Vizzi Media Solutions

Convention Exhibitors:

American Home Shield

EXIT Realty

America's Preferred Home Warranty, Inc.

Iowa Finance Authority




Vigilant Home Inspections

Dollup Beauty

Home Warranty Inc.

HMS Home Warranty

University of Iowa Community Credit Union

Iowa Mortgage Association


Form Simplicity - Tech Helpline

Zillow Group

RE/MAX Central


Vizzi Media Solutions

Associations Marketing Group, Inc (AMGI)

Uniquely Me

Iowa Association of REALTORS

This article was written as a collaboration of IAR Staff members or invited subject matter experts.

Related Articles

Now Accepting Nominations: Gary & Judy Stevens Scholarship
2024 Events: Mark Your Calendar!
Convention 2023 RECAP: What A Year!