Avril Reifferscheid will chair the Saskatchewan Realtors Association (SRA) this year.
Hailing from Watrous, Sask., Reifferscheid is the third chair of the SRA and its first from outside of the CMAs of Regina and Saskatoon, where approximately 25 per cent of the Realtors in Saskatchewan reside.
“My decision to throw my hat in for the chair position was prompted by the desire to continue with the work our inaugural board had started. The culture at our board table was one of respect, with the common goal of creating a successful new organization,” says Reifferscheid.
“The passing of my mom, coupled with the craze of the pandemic created a sense of urgency to grow personally and professionally. In the words of Tony Robbins – If you’re not growing, you’re dying. I knew I had a lot to learn but was up for the challenge.”
She says being a real estate broker is a huge responsibility. “Honesty and integrity are the backbone of our business, values that my team and I live by.”
Reifferscheid was born and raised in the Watrous area and has lived there most of her life. She and her husband Brad raised their family there and she has enjoyed being involved in her community through sports and various organizations including Kinettes and School Community Council. From 1990 to 2006, Avril owned and operated a gift store partnered with her mother. It was at the prodding of a mentor that she became a Realtor in 2003. In 2008 she became a broker.
“I love working in Saskatchewan because we are an incredibly diverse economy,” says Reifferscheid. “I like that I can meet people from all over the place not only through my work as an agent but also as a director and now board chair.”
She says she enjoys working in rural Saskatchewan because she works with people from all over the country, including new immigrants. “My favourite part about living in rural Saskatchewan is that small towns like Watrous are big enough that not everyone knows what you’re doing, but small enough that people can still tell on your kids if they’re misbehaving.”
Looking back at 2021, Reifferscheid says the board had to work hard to find its footing and it was not easy, but she says it was a growth year and it now feels like the board has a solid foundation on which to build. Initially the governance model chosen was the Carver Policy Governance model. The board found that, after a review, the model was too rigid. They wanted to avoid throwing away the good policy work they had done, but going forward, more flexibility within the policy-based model was required.
“We’re focused on creating a culture where things are easier for our members,” says Reifferscheid. “Having voices of experience who represent the many different segments, regions and businesses in our industry, as well as some fresh voices who haven’t been on a board before, has brought some major strength and solid consensus building to the association that I don’t know we could have had if we hadn’t amalgamated.”
The 12-member board is comprised of four representatives from each of Regina, Saskatoon and the rest of the province and is responsible for overseeing the SRA’s strategic vision, which was solidified though its first strategic plan completed in 2021.
New board directors are Lori-Dawn Stevenson, Saskatchewan Region; Mike Duggleby and Caitlyn Gallagher, Regina Region; and Angela Porrelli, Saskatoon Region.
Returning directors are Lane Boghean and Jeremy Cossette, Regina Region; Henry Moulin, Sheri Willick (past chair) and Jeff Stewart (chair elect), Saskatoon Region; and Donna Nyeste and Kathy Fehr-Young, Saskatchewan Region.
The directors whose terms ended in 2021 are Jordan Barry, Saskatoon Region; Sara McKinley and Tim Otitoju, Regina Region; and Warren Vandanameele, Saskatchewan Region.
“Thank you to each of our 2021 directors for sharing their time, knowledge and experience in this pandemic era,” says Reifferscheid. “Their contributions to the board helped us grow and focus on what matters most – our members, who play a significant role in our economy.”