Illinois REALTORS® Immediate Past President Matt Difanis was honored with a Titan Award for his commitment to increasing diversity in the state association and building bridges with multi-cultural organizations. The award was given at a forum on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, held by the Chicago Association of REALTORS® Industry Partners. From left, are Jakeeva Lee, CAR industry relations coordinator; CAR President Tommy Choi; Difanis; and CAR CEO Michelle Mills Clement. (Photo courtesy CAR). 

Illinois REALTORS® Immediate Past President Matt Difanis was honored by the real estate industry in Chicago with a Titan award for his work to promote diversity and understanding.

Difanis received the honor at a Tuesday at a forum titled “Past, Present, Future: Reflecting on 50 years of the Fair Housing Act.” The forum was held by the Chicago Association of REALTORS® Industry Partners, which is a coalition of real estate industry groups.

At the event, Michelle Mills Clement, CEO of the Chicago association, noted:

“During his presidency, Matt has been invaluable and passionate about his mission to seek more diversity in leadership at the state level, as well as supporting the Partners, especially the multi-cultural organizations. This past year, he has sacrificed thousands of miles driving to the city to support partner events, taking pictures, sharing equipment, promoting events on his social media platforms, connecting many with policymakers and relevant organizations outside of ‘REALTOR-world,’ becoming a proud dues paying member to many organizations, and much more.”

Mills Clement noted Difanis had been quite frank about the industry’s shortcomings as it confronted fair housing and inclusion issues.

“He has completely shattered barriers that have been in place since the history of our organization,” she said.

The forum featured a discussion of fair housing and the challenges of protecting the right to equal housing opportunity.