NORFOLK, Va. (February 11, 2021) — President, David Mele, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Erin Ruane, and Joe Sesso, Executive Director of Sales Marketing and national speaker for, have been selected for RISMedia’s Newsmakers Award, announced this month. This annual award recognizes the top 300 real estate professionals across the nation for their various contributions to industry excellence and innovation. This is Mele’s third consecutive year, and Ruane’s second, receiving this prestigious honor.

Mele was honored in the “Influencers” category, which recognizes real estate professionals who contribute to the industry as “thought leaders.” Responding to the scrutiny surrounding racial inequality and social injustice in 2020, Mele sought to enrich’s existing commitments to diversity with dedicated initiatives focused on action and education. These efforts included the creation of a focus group dedicated to understanding and promoting the right to fair housing for all, as well as sharing insights from industry experts to inspire organizational action.

“’s first core value is “Humanity;” so, we knew we had to act to make a difference,” said Mele. “As a leadership team, we listened to our employees, the industry and consumers, and worked hard to support them however we could. This award reaffirms the importance of those endeavors to the greater good.”

For her support of employee transitions to remote work amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Ruane was honored as an “Inspiration,” a recognition of “the big-hearted and the brave.” Her program, dubbed “#WorkFromHomes,” created a dedicated task force of managers and senior leaders to ensure all teams were supported with an emphasis on compassion and communication. Resources were provided to keep employees healthy, including remote training sessions, stress reduction webinars and practical advice from health and wellness professionals. This program also won a “2020 Bronze Stevie Award for Best Employers” in August of 2020.

“My ultimate goal was to ensure we maintained a productive, engaged, connected workforce throughout the pandemic by investing in our employees’ wellbeing,” said Ruane. “I’m thankful to the RISMedia team for the recognition, and humbly accept it on behalf of the team members that worked together to equip our employees for success in every way possible.” 

Sesso also earned the accolade of “Influencer,” after successfully navigating sales and marketing teams to find seamless ways of working together and providing resources for real estate professionals in the wake of COVID-19. In the spring of 2020, he released the second book of his “Secrets” series, Secrets of Top Selling Agents: Habits, Mindsets & Tactics of Real Estate’s Super Products. Focusing his efforts on agent education, sales and marketing, Sesso and his webinar sales teams’ efforts led to significant increases in revenue and attendance.

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