FORT WORTH, Texas (April 20, 2023) – The Greater Fort Worth Association of REALTORS (GFWAR) honored the following members for their unwavering dedication to advancing Fort Worth’s real estate industry at their recent Awards Luncheon:
- JR Martinez, Kenneth Jones Real Estate| Charles McMillan REALTOR® of the Year Award
- Valarie Cuozzo, Indwell Real Estate | Marie and Dayton Sheridan REALTOR® Spirit Award
- Bryan Upchurch, Merit Mortgage | Affiliate of the Year Award
- Mary Jo Thomas, Kimball Real Estate | A.L. Purvis Distinguished Service Award
“Something that all of these award recipients have in common is a passion for giving back,” said Robert Gleason, CEO of GFWAR. “They inspire and motivate everyone around them and make GFWAR and our community better through their involvement and dedication.”
The Charles McMillan REALTOR® of the Year Award recognizes a GFWAR member whose invaluable contributions have made a significant impact on the organization, the real estate profession, and the Fort Worth community. The 2022 REALTOR® of the Year Award was presented to JR Martinez of Kenneth Jones Real Estate. After entering the world of real estate in 2005, Martinez began a journey focused on service at every level. He is a past president of GFWAR and the DFW chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, is a current Texas REALTORS® Regional Vice President, and a current National Association of REALTORS® Board Member. He has a passion for providing opportunities for young people, evidenced by his founding of the GFWAR Educational Foundation and his involvement with the
Boy Scouts of America Longhorn Council and their ScoutReach program.
The Marie and Dayton Sheridan REALTOR® Spirit Award honors a member whose enthusiasm for their craft motivates their peers to rise to the occasion. Valarie Cuozzo of Indwell Real Estate received the 2022 REALTOR® Spirit Award. Alongside her service on multiple committees – including Business After Hours, Community Outreach, Season of Giving, and Nominating Committees – Cuozzo has become known for carrying around a donation bowl at events.
Anyone who has attended a GFWAR Happy Hour in the past couple of years has received a warm welcome from Cuozzo and been encouraged to give what they can to support the GFWAR Educational Foundation and their scholarship program.
The Affiliate of the Year Award is presented to a member whose cultivation of the partnership between REALTOR® and affiliate member has positively contributed to the success of GFWAR.
Going above and beyond is 2022 Affiliate of the Year Bryan Upchurch of Merit Mortgage.
Upchurch’s active involvement in the association takes many forms depending on who needs help and where he can lend a hand – whether it’s applying his tech-savvy troubleshooting skills or sharing some words of encouragement. He is the current chair of the Young Professionals Network Committee, where his positivity and passion for creating opportunities for networking, learning, and fun reminds members that everyone can be young at heart.
The recipient of the A.L. Purvis Distinguished Service Award is someone who has made a lasting impact on Fort Worth’s real estate industry, including prolonged and distinguished service to both GFWAR and their community. Mary Jo Thomas of Kimball Real Estate was named the 2022 Distinguished Service Award recipient. Thomas is a past president of GFWAR and has led through example, having spent her 40+ years in the real estate industry serving and mentoring others and giving back to her community. She was the first woman to serve and then chair the Tax Equalization Board for the City of Fort Worth, and has also served on the board of directors for Suicide Survivors, The Parenting Center, Leadership Fort Worth and LeaderKids,
and the Rotary Club of Fort Worth South.
The Greater Fort Worth Association of REALTORS® was established in 1918 and has spent more than a century representing the real estate industry in the Greater Fort Worth area. With approximately 5,000 REALTOR® and affiliate members, GFWAR advocates for property rights and housing opportunities, while advancing professionalism and ethics in the real estate industry. For more information on the Association visit www.gfwar.org