The new president of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), Ettore Cardarelli of Mississauga, was officially installed at the OREA annual conference in Toronto recently. The theme of the conference was “seeding success”, and Cardarelli is an avid gardener. Below is a condensed version of the speech he delivered to OREA members on March 1 at the President’s Ball. He talks about his passion for gardening, his Italian heritage, and his personal and Realtor families.
Buona sera. Thank you all for being here. It’s an honour and privilege to represent the Ontario Real Estate Association as President. A REALTOR® for more than 30 years, I understand the challenges we face as individuals and in our industry.
Ours is an ever-changing field, but the pace of change can sometimes feel overwhelming. We have navigated these waters successfully in the past, and we will continue to do so now and in the future.
New technologies, multiple regulations and rising consumer expectations all present positive challenges. It is up to us to accept and embrace the dynamic and constantly evolving world we face.
This year’s OREA conference theme is “seeding success”. Many of the same lessons from gardening are shared by our real estate world. Hard work, planning and patience will grow your real estate career. Sometimes forces of nature threaten to wreak havoc on our efforts, and there are days when we look out the window and feel discouraged by the view. However, if you put enough sweat and toil into your efforts, you will eventually reap the rewards.
“It’s an honour and privilege to represent the Ontario Real Estate Association as President.”
Gardens are made up of individual plants. When all of them survive and thrive, the whole enterprise succeeds. In the coming year, I aim to take that same approach to our association: I want to support all individual members so that together we can contribute to the success of the whole. Our focus at OREA continues to be on each and every member. It’s my goal to plant, seed and succeed.
It is my goal to continue to enrich and respect our expanded family. As I look around, I see a very rich garden of members.
In fact, I have two families here tonight, my Realtor family and my personal family. Allow me to do the introductions.
My Realtor family has almost 70,000 members, the largest provincial organization in Canada.
My personal family comes from a small village in the Abruzzo region of Central Italy that numbers about 65 — people that is — (but 4,000 live in Mississauga!)
My Realtor family has existed since 1922 and I have been a member of it for over 30 years.
My personal family history reverts to my paternal grandfather by the same name as me, who first arrived in Canada in 1923, but he did not stay.
My Realtor family first experienced MLS® in about 1957.
My personal family saw my in-laws get married in 1957. Please welcome them here as they celebrate their 60th anniversary.
My Realtor family reached 14 million people through our REALTORS® We Do the Homework™ advertising campaign.
My personal family has a future generation that will grow and lead going forward. Please welcome my children here tonight.
My Realtor family has volunteers who serve on committees and task forces and dedicate many hours to the association.
My personal family has a commitment to volunteerism. I am proud of my own varied personal background which includes music and sports such as soccer and refereeing.
My Realtor family also includes the OREA staff, who support us all every day with their efforts and hard work.
My personal family also has a key staff component, and that is my wife Luciana. Thank you for all your support.
My Realtor family convinced the province to prevent the spread of the Municipal Land Transfer Tax, a historical success. This made home ownership more affordable for Ontarians and we won two national awards for our advocacy campaign.
“I want to support all individual members so that together we can contribute to the success of the whole.”
My personal expanded family includes friends and relatives who are also here tonight.
My Realtor family is kind and generous and does an incredible amount of charity work. For the first time, charitable donations from the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation have passed the million-dollar mark. That money goes to support shelters for the homeless and for needy families through charities such as Habitat for Humanity. It shows that Realtors truly care about the communities in which we live and work.
My Realtor family welcomes a new CEO, Tim Hudak, who in a few short months, has shown a high level of energy and commitment to our association and its members. Tim joined us after 21 years in public service, and has already given us a profile that will help realtors and consumers all over Ontario.
My Realtor family has a Board of Directors that I wish to thank for their time and effort to OREA. (See accompanying article.)
I’m proud of my Realtor family and its diversity, and I’m proud of my personal family for its tenacity and commitment.
This will be a year to achieve, whether professionally with OREA, for Governance implementation, or personally with an upcoming wedding in my family.
But there is the commonality that both of my families share:
In 1943, in a place called Ortona in Italy, Canadian troops fought a brutal eight-day battle that is considered one of Canada’s greatest victories in the Second World War. The Battle of Ortona showed Canadian courage on the Italian coast. It was a point of pride and prestige when they defeated enemy forces. Now, just across the street from Toronto City Hall, you can see a memorial, established by the Italian-Canadian community, to the brave Canadian soldiers who fought in the Italian campaign.
Later on, in the 1950s, many young people in Italy had a dream, which was to go to Canada to buy a house. One of the most popular songs of the time was called Una casetta in Canada.
They came here for the dream, the dream of home ownership, a dream shared by my two families. Many Italians coming to Canada were able to share that dream because Canadian soldiers made it possible. Many Ontarians today continue to share that dream because OREA and its members will continue to make that dream possible. Thank you and long live the dream.