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RAM Announces its 2023 Realtor® Broker of the Year

By Alma Tassi


Imagine being named Realtor Broker of the Year by your peers. At this year’s Realtors Association of Maui’s (RAM) annual installation luncheon, key members who take leadership positions, contribute to committees, and give back to the community are honored.

As Marilyn Griffin sat at her table with a lei to bestow, she listened as they rattled off hints about the Realtor Broker of the Year. They said, “She has a big heart … from California… a parent and grandparent… she was a nurse.” Griffin thought to herself, “Hmm those apply to me, but not me alone.” Then, she heard, “This person gave her kidney to her husband.” And she burst into tears. It was now abundantly clear that she just won Realtor Broker of the Year.

Marilyn Griffin arrived on Maui 33 years ago as an emergency room nurse and mother. One day, she decided to take a real estate course at the college for personal knowledge. Carol Ball was the instructor/broker at the time and pulled her aside saying, “When you pass your exam, I’d like you to consider hanging your license with me.” In the classroom, Ball saw all the qualities that would make Griffin a success—her zest for life, integrity, efficiency, and ability to think on her feet. Griffin responded, “I could never sell real estate. I don’t know how to be a salesman.”

Not long after, her first grandchild was born and the seed that Ball planted began to sprout in her mind, “If I sold one house a year, I could afford to bring them over to visit.” She contacted Ball and her real estate journey began. Within that same year, she had generated so much activity she didn’t even notice she had climbed to the top of the firm. Ball was right. Real estate came as naturally to her as helping people. 

Throughout the years, Griffin has been in leadership positions at RAM and the Hawaii Association of Realtors, as well as sits on the board of Hospice Maui. Ryan MacLaughlin, principal broker and owner of Island Sotheby’s where Griffin now works points out, “These awards aren't just about the numbers; they're about the heart and soul agents pour into their work.” 

Last year’s Broker of the Year Gina Duncan agrees. “Marilyn was given an honor that is bestowed not just for one year of service, but for many years of professional and community involvement. She volunteers in numerous ways to not only make the community a better place to be but also in service to her Realtor peers. I was thrilled she was recognized and it was well deserved.”

What’s Griffin’s advice on getting involved? “Just say yes to anything that crosses your path. If someone asks for help, give it a try. At any moment, you can be in those shoes. Sometimes it’s money, sometimes it’s time. You can make a difference in their world.”

Do you know a Realtors Association of Maui member who should be recognized for their contributions to the community? If so, send your story idea to Alma Tassi at


Holding her award, Marilyn Griffin was showered with leis by her peers at this year’s Realtors Association of Maui’s (RAM) annual installation luncheon.

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