Greater Milwaukee Association of REALTORS®
Press Release

GMAR Announces “REALTOR® of the Year Award”


By - Dec 8th, 2022 04:00 pm
(r) Tina Balaka-REALTOR-of-Year with Realtor Amy Curler. Photo courtesy of the Greater Milwaukee Association of REALTORS®.

(r) Tina Balaka-REALTOR-of-Year with Realtor Amy Curler. Photo courtesy of the Greater Milwaukee Association of REALTORS®.

Milwaukee (December 8, 2022) – At its annual gala, the Greater Milwaukee Association of REALTORS® (GMAR) recently presented several awards to recognize outstanding industry leaders. The organization also installed its 2023 Board of Directors, including the first Black female to lead the GMAR Board of Directors.

GMAR Award Recipients
Tina Balaka of Shorewest, REALTORS® was named REALTOR® of the Year. Balaka has 20 years of real estate experience and has served on a variety of boards and committees with GMAR, the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association (WRA) and National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). In 2013, she led the GMAR Board of Directors as chair. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Realtors Alliance and Wisconsin REALTORS® Foundation and is a NAR Federal Political Coordinator.

Kathy Martello was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Martello, who recently retired as vice president of operations for RE/MAX Realty 100, began her real estate career in 1975 with what was then Wauwatosa Realty. Over the years, she held a variety of positions for RE/MAX but administration was always her passion. Martello served on the WRA board for two terms, the GMAR Board of Directors for six years and the GMAR Professional Standards and Forms Committee.

Shawn Govern, who has been a licensed agent with Perfection Plus Real Estate Services, Inc. for nearly 30 years, received the Dedicated Service Award. Govern is also a practicing attorney and partner with the law firm of DeWitt LLP, handling residential and commercial transactions. He has served multiple terms on the WRA Board of Directors and has been involved with numerous committees for WRA and GMAR.

Bill Meisel of American Pacific Mortgage was honored with the Affiliate of the Year Award. Meisel has been in mortgage loan origination for 21 years and is a decorated military veteran having received a Purple Heart when he served in the U.S. Navy as a Hospital Corpsman (Fleet Marine Force). He was also a U.S. Army Infantry Officer where he was part of Ranger school, Airborne school and Scuba school. Meisel has been an advisor to the State of Wisconsin Department of Veteran Affairs Housing, a board member for the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans, chair of the GMAR Veterans Support Committee, an ambassador for the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce and an instructor for the Military Relocation Professional Program for WRA.

Historic Board Chair for GMAR
Angela Walters, owner of Walters Realty Group at EXP Realty, was installed as the new chair of the Board of Directors of GMAR. Walters, who has nearly 20 years of industry experience, is the first Black female to hold the position since GMAR was founded in 1892.

In addition to GMAR, Walters serves on the Board of Directors for Havenwoods Neighborhood Partnership and the Milwaukee chapter of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), which is the country’s oldest black real estate trade association and is also known as the “Realist.” She is on the Appeals Board for the Village of Brown Deer and represents the Village on the Milwaukee County Land Sales Council. She is a former member and chairperson of Take Root Milwaukee and a graduate of the ACRE (Associates In Commercial Real Estate) Program.

Buyers should seek the counsel of a REALTOR® to determine their best housing options, and sellers need expert advice from a REALTOR® to make the best marketing decisions for their homes.

The Greater Milwaukee Association of REALTORS® is a 5,500-member strong professional organization dedicated to providing information, services and products to help REALTORS® help their clients buy and sell real estate.

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