Illinois REALTORS® honored six members with Presidential Medallions for significant contributions to the association and to the real estate industry.  

The awards were presented at a meeting of the association’s Board of Directors, Sept. 19, 2019, in Naperville.  

The Presidential Medallions are awarded annually at the discretion of the outgoing presiding officer.  

Presidential Medallions

Illinois REALTOR® and past president Doug Carpenter receives a Presidential Medallion from association CEO Gary Clayton and 2020 President Ed Neaves. Carpenter was recognized for leadership on a task force suggesting changes to the state’s Real Estate License Act.

Doug Carpenter 

Mokena REALTOR® Doug Carpenter is the recipient of a Presidential Medallion for chairing the Illinois REALTORS® License Law Rewrite Task Force, a role which saw him coordinate the efforts of three subcommittees focused on suggesting changes to the laws guiding real estate practice in the state.  

Carpenter, managing broker at Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group, was the 2017 Illinois REALTORS® president and has extensive leadership experience at the local, state and national levels. He has chaired committees including Business Issues and License Law, Finance and Professional Standards. Carpenter was the president of the Illinois Real Estate Educational Foundation and in 2009 he was recognized with the Illinois REALTORS® Distinguished Service Award, one of the association’s top honors.  

At the local level, Carpenter previously served as CEO of the Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® and has been president of two local REALTOR® associations.  

Carpenter served on the National Association of REALTORS® board of directors. He was the first member inducted into the Illinois REALTORS® Hall of Fame and has also been inducted into the NAR RPAC Hall of Fame.  

Presidential Medallions at the Board of Directors

Illinois REALTOR® and 2020 President-elect Sue Miller accepts two Presidential Medallions for her leadership on a License Law Task Force and for her efforts on the association’s executive team.

Sue Miller 

McHenry REALTOR® Sue Miller is honored with two Presidential Medallions this year, a testament to her deep commitment to the REALTOR® organization.  

Miller’s first medallion is awarded for her leadership after a sudden departure in the Illinois REALTORS® executive team, an event which required her to work with many others to make sure continuity of service to members was maintained.  

Miller is also honored for her work leading a subcommittee of the License Law Rewrite Task Force which examined education-related changes for the Real Estate License Act. Many of the subcommittee’s suggestions were incorporated into the Act’s final version which was signed into law in August.  

Miller, managing broker of Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group in McHenry, is the 2020 president-elect for Illinois REALTORS®, and has extensive service at the local, state and national REALTOR® association levels.  

For Illinois REALTORS® she has chaired the Finance and Business Issues and License Law committees, the Technology Working Group and has been a longtime board member for the Illinois Real Estate Educational Foundation. Miller was 2017 state REALTOR® of the Year and a 2013 recipient of the association’s Distinguished Service Award. She has served on the Illinois REALTORS® and NAR boards of directors.  

Licensed in real estate since 1987, Miller is a member of the Heartland REALTOR® Organization in McHenry County. She served two terms as president of her local association and was twice named its local REALTOR® of the year. She is the past president of the Lakes Area REALTORS® Association serving southeastern Wisconsin. 

Illinois REALTORS® presents Presidential Medallions.

Michael D. Oldenettel is presented a Presidential Medallion for his work on a License Law task force by 2020 Illinois REALTORS® President Ed Neaves.

Michael Oldenettel 

Jacksonville REALTOR® Michael Oldenettel is honored with a Presidential Medallion for his work leading a subcommittee of the License Law Rewrite Task Force which examined business issues. The subcommittee’s work enhanced the Real Estate License Act resulting in increased industry professionalism.  

Oldenettel, managing broker of RE/MAX Professionals in Springfield, was 2013 Illinois REALTORS® president, and has chaired the Professional Standards, Strategic Planning and Finance committees. He’s served on the Illinois REALTORS® Board of Directors and is a member of the state and national RPAC halls of fame. He served as dean of the REALTOR® Institute and as president of the Illinois Real Estate Educational Foundation.  

Oldenettel was the 2018 Illinois REALTOR® of the Year.  

At the national level, Oldenettel has served on the NAR Board of Directors. He twice served as a local REALTOR® association president. He is a member of the Illinois Real Estate Administration and Disciplinary Board.  

Illinois REALTORS® awarded Presidential Medallions

Nykea Pippion-McGriff receives a Presidential Medallion for her work on a License Law task force from 2020 Illinois REALTORS® President Ed Neaves.

Nykea Pippion McGriff 

Chicago REALTOR® Nykea Pippion McGriff is recognized for her work chairing a subcommittee of the License Law Rewrite Task Force which examined regulation and enforcement issues. The subcommittee’s work is evident in the final version of the Real Estate License Act.  

McGriff, a broker with Dream Town Realty, has served as chair of the Illinois REALTORS® State Legislative Contacts Working Group and the state’s RPAC trustees. She’s a member of the Illinois REALTORS® and NAR boards of directors.  

She serves as the state Federal Political Coordinator for U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush and is a graduate of the Illinois REALTORS® Leadership Development Class.  

McGriff is 2020 president-elect of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and will be 2020 chair of the NAR REALTOR® Party Member Involvement Committee.  

Presidential Medallions awarded

Illinois REALTORS® outgoing Immediate Past President Matt Difanis is awarded a Presidential Medallion for his leadership. The award was presented by 2020 Illinois REALTORS® President Ed Neaves.

Matt Difanis 

Champaign REALTOR® Matt Difanis is recognized with a Presidential Medallion for his leadership in the wake of a sudden Illinois REALTORS® executive team departure. His leadership and commitment to the association resulted in a smooth transition for members.  

Difanis, a managing broker/owner with REMAX Realty Associates in Champaign, was 2018 president of Illinois REALTORS® and has served on both the state and NAR boards of directors. He has been chair of the Finance and Strategic Planning committees, as well as the Public Policy and Government Affairs Member Involvement Group and the Governance Task Force. He is a member of the Illinois and NAR RPAC halls of fame.  

Difanis served as president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS® and was the organization’s REALTOR® of the Year in 2013. He was the recipient of the Titan award from the Chicago Association of REALTORS® Industry Partners in 2018, recognizing his work to promote diversity. 

In 2020, Difanis will chair the NAR Professional Standards Committee.  

Sarah Ware 

Presidential Medallions awarded

Illinois REALTOR® Sarah Ware was honored for her work opposing Rent Control by 2020 President Ed Neaves.

Chicago REALTOR® Sarah Ware is honored with a 2019 Presidential Medallion for her advocacy work on behalf of the association against Rent Control in Illinois, and for her work to enhance relationships between Illinois REALTORS® and the association’s Industry Partners.  

Ware, of Ware Realty Group LLC, has chaired the Illinois REALTORS® Leadership Development and Housing Opportunity working groups.  She was out of town, and unable to attend the board meeting where the announcement was made. 

She serves on the Illinois REALTORS® and NAR boards of directors and was a graduate of the Illinois REALTORS® Leadership Development Class.  

Ware is a board member for the Cook County Land Bank Authority.  

She serves on the board of the Chicago Association of REALTORS®, and has been honored with the local association’s President’s and REALTOR® Achievement awards.