Anyone who has met Jeannie Wenger knows she is rarely at a loss for words. But when she heard her name announced as the 2017 Realtor® Broker of the Year at the Realtors® Association of Maui’s (RAM) annual installation ceremony on Friday, Sept. 1, Wenger says she was completely—and uncharacteristically—speechless. “Yes, it was a rare moment for me,” she laughed. “I was shocked, humbled and deeply touched.”
That day, three honorees—Wenger, 2017 Realtor® Salesperson of the Year Elizabeth Wood and 2017 Affiliate of the Year Melissa Salvador—were recognized by RAM for their business and real estate accomplishments, as well as their spirit, character, professionalism and volunteer work.
Wenger, a Realtor® Broker with the family-owned and -operated Bello Realty, Inc., has been a well-known and well-respected figure in Maui’s real estate community for nearly three decades.
Like so many others, Wenger had several chapters in her career story. Long before she became a Realtor® Broker, she was making her mark in the title and escrow industry. When she decided to switch gears and become a Realtor® Salesperson nine years ago, Wenger says her title and escrow knowledge and experience made the transition a smooth one. Then, in 2012, Wenger made the leap from Realtor® Salesperson to Realtor® Broker. Wenger says she thoroughly enjoys helping her clients understand the nuances and intricacies of the home buying process. “I’m comfortable with what I know, and I know where to look if there’s something I don’t know,” she said.
Since she entered the real estate industry at the age of 20, Wenger has racked up her fair share of recognition. In addition to being named RAM’s 2017 Realtor® Broker of the Year, she was honored as RAM’s Affiliate of the Year in 1996. In 2015-16, she served as RAM’s president and has held number of directorships and committee positions over the years, including serving on the Hawaii Association of Realtors®’ (HAR) standard forms committee and RAM’s education committee and chairing RAM’s succession planning task force and membership services committees.
“Jeannie has been a great RAM president to follow,” said Marilyn Griffin, RAM’s immediate past president and Wenger’s successor. “We worked closely and well together during my president-elect year. It was easy to transition and carry on where she left off. In my presidential year, she was always there to show support and bounce ideas off of. She has done an exceptionally great job at chairing the succession planning task force and membership services committee, contributing great ideas to both. She so deserves the honor bestowed on her as 2017 Broker of the Year.”
Wenger is known for her charismatic combination of talent, tenacity and wit. “Jeannie is smart, innovative and funny,” Griffin said. Rhonda Hay, RAM’s newly inducted president and 2016 Realtor® Broker of the Year, agrees wholeheartedly. “Jeannie is an amazing person with a really big heart and a very level-headed approach to things,” she said. “She has the ability to deal with people on all levels and not forget the end goal.”
Wenger is also known for her giving nature. Over the years, she’s contributed her time and talent to a number of worthy causes, including the Kihei Elementary School Parent Teachers Association, Kihei Charter School Board, Hale Piilani Homeowners Association, Junior Achievement of Maui, Na Hale O Maui, Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, and her church, Hope Chapel Maui. She’s also the current president (for the second time) of the Commercial Roundtable of Maui, an organization consisting of commercial real estate-related professionals.
But of all her commitments, there’s one that stands apart from the rest. “It makes me so happy to get someone into a new home,” she said. “It’s unbelievably gratifying—it’s the reason why I love what I do.”
Originally published in The Maui News – September 30, 2017