•Realtor group’s first executive development class graduates•

The gambit is to teach real estate agents interested in leadership positions the tips of managing, working with people and — in time — reaching the top.

It’s called the CTAR Leadership Development Program. Promoting the course is the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors, which kicked off the initiative this year.

In late May, 13 Realtors completed the session as the first graduates.

“We designed this program to help our members develop their leadership and communication skills, which will help them not only if they choose to pursue a leadership role with the association or in the community but also in their day-to-day business,” says Wil Riley, the Realtor group’s chief executive.

The three-month program was split into four sessions, each zeroing in on a key phase of leadership growth: teambuilding, communication, community activism and effective leadership.

Speakers were community leaders such as etiquette and communication expert Cindy Grosso, reps from the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, George Stevens from the Coastal Community Foundation and Jennet Alterman with the Center for Women.

“We provide the opportunity for our members to learn from those who have achieved success in real estate as well as other industries,” Riley says.

Inaugural graduates are Kaz Ansari, J. Meyer Homes/Carolina Elite; Jana Bantz, Prudential Southern Coast Real Estate; Katesha Breland, Sweetgrass Realty Group; Lisa Burbage, Elaine Brabham and Associates; Joni Byars, Good Faith Mortgage; Lynn Carmody, Carolina One Real Estate; Joseph Cullom, Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service; Wendy Deitsch, LifeTree Real Estate LLC; Michael Fenwrick, Keller Williams Realty, West Ashley; Jim Hamilton, Re/Max Pro Realty; Cynthia Haskins Hill, Pathway Real Estate Group LLC; Steve Williams, Coldwell Banker United, Mount Pleasant; and Trina Woods, Century 21 Properties Plus.

Anyone who wants to take part in the CTAR Leadership Development Program must be a Realtor association member in good standing and apply for the program. There is a fee, but financial aid is available. The dates for the next session are to be determined. Iinterested parties should contact Meghan Weinreich with the association at Meghan@CharlestonRealtors.com.

•Lowcountry projects, firms among building council’s award winners•

In terms of green construction, the Charleston area’s medical university and its global aircraft-maker have been picked as tops in the state.

Boeing of South Carolina took home the Leadership Award and the MUSC Clyburn Research Center/Bioengineering Building shared the Exemplary Project Award in the seventh annual awards competition.

The U.S. Green Building Council’s South Carolina chapter gave out the trophies sponsored by Duke Energy at an April 25 luncheon. It also hosted the two-day SustainSC show, titled “Rising Tide.” The show was first held in 2009.

The awards program recognizes people and groups that have shown vision, leadership and commitment to advancing green building and construction in South Carolina, according to the green building council chapter.

Melissa Le Roy, the chapter’s executive director, says the group honors “extraordinary efforts above and beyond offering green building services to clients.” She says the initiatives weren’t by “those of us ‘in the choir,’ but by those who embrace ‘green’ by choice. Those efforts should make others sit up and take notice,” she says.

The judged categories include Leadership, geared to individuals, firms and organizations that lead by example or help transform markets by educating people on the value of green building.

Exemplary Projects, meanwhile, are one-of-a-kind environmental, social and economic successes and entities with the ability to inspire others.

They’re judged by measurable attributes such as energy or water savings as well as recognized leadership.

Other winners include Julie Peck of EDENS in Columbia, who took home the Keith Sanders Service Award; and the University of South Carolina’s Patterson Hall, which shared the Exemplary Project Award.

For more information, contact Le Roy at 843-329-3131 or execdir@usgbcsc.org.

•Agents hook up with Prudential Southern Coast•

Two professionals involved in the insurance trade have joined a noted local real estate agency as sales associates.

The new Realtors with Prudential Southern Coast Real Estate are Brooke Madsen and Patty Hill.

“We welcome Brooke and Patty to our group of strong sales associates,” says Linda Collins, owner of Prudential Southern Coast Real Estate. “Both have vast knowledgeable backgrounds in client services.”

Before joining Prudential Southern Coast, Hill was a property and casualty insurance agent and adjuster. She also was general manager of a home care company, leading her to form the first “cancer boutique” for breast cancer patients in the Charleston area.

Hill has a bachelor’s degree in business from Southern Wesleyan University and is an Accredited Staging Professional. She holds Prudential’s eCertified 2.0 designation and the firm’s Online Seller Advantage (OSA) certification.

Meanwhile, Hill assists her husband — a licensed builder since 1986 — in new construction, flipping and remodeling homes.

According to Prudential Southern Coast, Hill is devoted to helping others with their real estate needs while specializing in helping sellers prepare their homes for buyers. Contact her at 843‐343‐5901 or pattyhill.pscre@gmail.com.

Madsen comes to the real estate sector with a background in insurance and investments.

She is used to helping people make life-altering choices with their money and big decisions with large investments, according to Prudential Southern Coast.

“This ties in really well with real estate, as you cannot make a bigger decision than where you are going to live and the house you will invest in for your family,” says Madsen, who has a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

She says her goal is to help clients enjoy the home buying experience with as little stress as possible.

Contact Madsen at 843‐834‐1241 or bmadsen.pscre@gmail.com.

Established in 2008, Prudential Southern Coast Real Estate is a part of Brookfield Relocation, which services major national and international firms. The agency was formed at the request of Prudential Real Estate.

For more information contact Prudential Southern Coast Real Estate at 843‐871‐5091.

•Foreclosures show continued decline in U.S., state•

Mirroring the nation, South Carolina posted a sharp drop in the number of homes in the process of being taken back by lenders or repossessed.

South Carolina ranks sixth highest among states that handle foreclosures through judicial proceedings with a 3.0 percent foreclosure inventory in April. But that’s down 0.7 percent from the same time last year, according to CoreLogic property information and analytics provider.

By comparison, the U.S. foreclosure inventory average was 2.8 percent, off 0.7 percent from a year before.

“The shadow of foreclosure and distress continues to fade, with the annualized sum of completed foreclosures having declined for 17 straight months,” says Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.

“Six states have year-over-year declines in the foreclosure inventory of more than 40 percent.”

Meanwhile, the number of “completed” foreclosures — those in which people lose their homes — is dwindling. According to CoreLogic, there were 52,000 completed foreclosures in the U.S. in April, down from 62,000 in the same month of 2012.

“The shadow inventory continued to drop in April as the number of completed foreclosures fell by 16 percent on a year-over-year basis,” says Anand Nallathambi, president and chief executive of CoreLogic.

“Fewer distressed properties combined with improving home prices and a pickup in home purchases are significant signals that the ongoing recovery in the housing and mortgage markets continues to gather steam.”

Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been about 4.4 million completed foreclosures countrywide.

States with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in April include Florida, 102,000; California, 79,000; Michigan, 68,000; Texas, 53,000; and Georgia, 47,000.

Florida also leads in the highest foreclosure inventory with 9.5 percent of mortgaged homes; followed by New Jersey, 7.4 percent; New York, 5.1 percent; Maine, 4.4 percent; and Nevada, 4.3 percent.

•Marconi named housing Realtor of year by Charleston area group•

Expertise in handling international properties and in promoting public education helped Ann Essig-Marconi earn a top real estate award.

Marconi, a 20-year industry veteran now with Coastalina Realty, was named Realtor of the Year in residential real estate. The Charleston Trident Association of Realtors sponsors the prestigious distinction.

The association recognizes one Realtor in each of two categories — residential and commercial real estate — who has gone above and beyond in their profession, organization and community, according to the association.

Marconi was nominated by her peers and chosen from more than 4,000 real estate professionals.

In order to be eligible for the award, the winner must be a CTAR member for at least three years, possess at least one professional designation awarded by the National Association of Realtors and work full-time as a licensed broker.

Marconi, who has lived in Charleston since 1991, is broker-in-charge of Coastalina Realty representing both buyers and sellers.

She is a Certified International Property Specialist whose knowledge of the market includes economic development trends in the Charleston region, which is globally recognized as a destination for businesses, residents and travelers. Her services include real estate investment, international transactions and property management for long-term vacation rentals.

Marconi is the 2013 chairperson of the board of The Education Foundation, a wing of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. Its mission is to enhance the region’s economy by strengthening public education. She has served on The Education Foundation board since 2008.

She is also a member of the chamber of commerce, Center For Women and the Charleston Trident and South Carolina Realtors associations. She has served on the state Realtor association board for five years.

For more information, visit www.AnnMarconi.com or call 843-568-0390.