About GKAR

REALTOR® of the Year

The GKAR REALTOR® of the Year is recognized by their peers for their contributions to the real estate profession and to the greater Kalamazoo community.


Natalie Rowe 

2019 REALTOR® of the Year

RE/MAX Advantage, Portage

Natalie Rowe is the Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Advantage in Portage. Natalie was first licensed in 2006; becoming a member of GKAR in 2007. Natalie holds the professional designations Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE), Graduate REALTORS® Institute (GRI) and Short Sale Foreclosure Resource (SFR).

Natalie has been active with GKAR serving as a Board member from 2012-2014, President-Elect in 2015, President in 2016 and coming back to serve an appointment as President-Elect in 2017. Natalie has also been heavily involved with committees including Advocacy as Chair in 2017 & 2018, Budget & Finance, Community Relations, Education and Professional Standards. She has also served on numerous task forces.

Natalie was a graduate of the Michigan REALTORS®’ Leadership Academy in 2016. She believes this experience is what launched her volunteer leadership with Michigan REALTORS®. Natalie is currently serving in her 2nd year as District 6 Director; she was just re-elected to serve an additional 2 years. In addition, she served as co-chair for the Convention Committee; is a member of the Broker Summit Task Force and YPN Committee. Natalie was appointed to serve on the National Association of REALTORS®’ Business Issues Policy Committee in 2018.

Natalie is not just active with GKAR, MR & NAR. She is currently serving an appointment to the Michigan Department of Licensing Board of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons. She also serves the City of Portage on the Zoning Board of Appeals. Outside of Real Estate, Natalie is currently serving as Vice President of Kalamazoo Area Runners. She serves as Liaison for Kal-Haven Trail Run and is actively involved with the American Red Cross and Team Red White & Blue.

Past REALTOR® of the Year Recipients

1958     Orville B Schroeder 1959     Clarence Hawthorne 1960     C Ray Clapper
1961     Ty Carter 1962     Robert Early 1963     Harry Hurni
1964     Arthur Warly 1965     Lowell A Swanson 1966     ---
1967     BW Borkenstein 1968     Robert E Greene 1969     Dale O Wheeler
1970     Kenneth S Bright 1971     Bruce R Perry 1972     Arthur C Early
1973     John W Bosch 1974     Philip C Keelan 1975     Meryl Weimaster
1976     Philip P Perry 1977     Douglas R Preston 1978     Frank R Stokes
1979    John B Olheiser 1980     John W Bosch 1981     Rod O' Brien
1982     Tom Tobin 1983     Jerry Carlson 1984     Lowell I Swanson
1985     Marian E Greene 1986     Robert L Walton 1987     Sam Cupps
1988     Woody King 1989     Phyllis Bogren 1990     Kathy King
1991     Tim Brown 1992     Nick Pratt 1993     Judy Haugh
1994     Jared Arnold 1995     Lonnie Palleschi 1996     Sally Elser
1997     Al Rowe 1998     Tim Brown 1999     Marty Wagar
2000     Ray Becker 2001     Mary Sutton 2002     Don Cain
2003     Sue Cornell 2004     Wayne Wilkinson 2005     David Maturen
2006     Dennis Field 2007     Rose Rook 2008     Rick Hoffman
2009     John Jackson 2010     Rick Berner 2011     John Buttery
2012     Audrey DeVault 2013     Cheri Schulz 2014     Cathy Gasper
2015     Nancy Fish 2016     Lee Crossley 2017     Gayle Zientek
2018     Dan Jaqua  2019    Natalie Rowe  

Make the Most of your Membership!

When you get involved, you open up a world of opportunities to build your network, your resume, and your business. Take advantage of the exciting benefits and opportunities available to you at GKAR.

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2020 Nominations are now closed.

Important Details:

  • Nominees must be a Primary Member of GKAR.
  • Nominees must possess a current Michigan Real Estate License.
  • Nominees must have been a GKAR Member for a minimum of five consecutive years.
  • Self-nominations are permitted.
  • Nominees cannot be a current officer, newly-elected officer, or former REALTOR® of the Year.
  • The recipient will be honored at the local level and recognized at the GKAR Installation & State of the Association Holiday Luncheon. 
  • The REALTOR® of the Year name will be submitted to Michigan REALTORS® (MR) for consideration as MR of the Year and shall be the guest of GKAR at the appropriate MR Convention.