There’s nothing quite like the element of surprise. Just ask Alana Rucynski., who says she was momentarily stunned when she heard her name announced as the 2019 Realtor Salesperson of the Year at the Realtors Association of Maui’s (RAM) annual installation event and membership gala on Friday, Sept. 6. “It was a surreal and emotional moment,” she said.
That day, three honorees—Rucynski, 2019 Realtor Broker of the Year Josh Jerman, and 2019 Affiliate of the Year Sharon Robinson—were recognized by RAM for their business and real estate accomplishments, as well as their spirit, character, professionalism and volunteer work. “To be honored by my peers for doing what I truly love is simply amazing,” she said. “Having my family and my Wailea Realty ‘ohana there when I was presented with this invaluable recognition was so special and something I will not forget.”
Rucynski started her real estate career in 2003, and nearly two decades later, says building lasting relationships with her clients is still—and will always be—the best part of her job. Now part of the TopMauiHomes sales team of Wailea Realty Corp. A Boutique of Windermere Real Estate, Rucynski says she’s grateful to her husband, Tim, sons Tristan and Tanek (of whom she is exceedingly proud), Wailea Realty colleagues, and business partner, Lydia Pedro, for their unwavering support over the years.
Rucynski’s passion for real estate is rivaled only by her passion for giving back. In 2015, she flew to Mazatlan, Mexico on two separate short-term mission trips to help build homes for families in need through YWAM (Youth with a Mission) Mazatlan’s Homes of Hope program. In April 2018, she took part in a mission trip to the Southern Brazilian town of Bom Retiro Do Sul to support missionaries there; she’s headed back to Brazil next month to teach kids how to dance hula and play the ukulele.
On Maui, Rucynski has contributed her time and talent to a number of causes, often merging her passion for helping others with a lifelong love of athletics (in addition to being an avid canoe paddler, stand-up paddler, surfer and hiker, she’s also a CrossFit competitor who can deadlift 270 pounds). Among other things, Rucynski has served as an American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) regional commissioner, South Maui Sharks Swim Team board member, and youth soccer referee. She’s also served on basketballMAUI’s board of directors since its inception in 2010. The all-volunteer, donor-funded 501(c)3 nonprofit organization gives youth an opportunity to prepare for success, both on and off the court. Every year, thousands of public and private school students participate in basketballMAUI’s summer camps, clinics and school assemblies, which are focused on basketball skills and athletic, character and leadership development. And the best part? No child has ever been excluded from basketballMAUI’s programs for lack of financial resources.
At the annual weeklong basketballMAUI camp, former and active college basketball players and coaches of all stripes (including NCAA Division I coaches) guide campers through position-specific training, personal training, life skills development and challenge groups. The nonprofit also hosts the Maui Jim Maui Classic (an NCAA Division I women’s college basketball tournament) in partnership with the Oregon State women’s basketball team.
basketballMAUI is now expanding its programs to include other sports. It recently came under the umbrella of a newly launched nonprofit, Vertical Sports Maui, which will host the first-ever baseballMAUI day camp for kids ages 11 to 14 on Friday, Oct. 11, followed by a clinic for kids ages 7 to 10 on Saturday, Oct. 12. The inaugural baseballMAUI camp and clinic will feature guest coaches Brandon Dixon and Daniel Norris from the Detroit Tigers, and Brandon Bantz from the LA Dodgers Training Academy.
Rucysnki says she’s excited to see Vertical Sports Maui grow by leaps and bounds, and she’s exceedingly proud of how far basketballMAUI has come since 2010. She’s also proud to be part of Maui’s real estate community. “It’s the kindest and most giving group of individuals,” she said.
To learn more about YWAM Mazatlan, visit www.ywammazatlan.com. For more information about basketballMAUI, visit www.basketballmaui.com. To learn more about the upcoming baseballMAUI camp and clinic, visit Eventbrite.com and search for “Vertical Sports Maui.”
By Sarah Ruppenthal
The Maui News – September 30, 2019