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His term as president is done but Odend’hal’s still advocating for property rights

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Airica Nielsen, affiliates and events manager, left, stands with Forrest Odend’hal, president of PWAR. Seated are Teresa Kirkhart, director of education, on left, and April McMillan, director of sales.

At year’s end, Forrest Odend’hal’s tenure as president of the largest trade association in Prince William County ended as he handed the reins to Liz Hernandez. His dedication to serve its members and their clients in achieving the American dream of home ownership was clear. The association he presided over is the Realtor Association of Prince William County (PWAR) with 2,000 realtor members and affiliates.

“The glue that holds this association together is our wonderful staff: Debbie Scott, April McMillan, Airica Nielsen, Angie Simensen, Peggy Fox, Teresa Kirkhart and Kaitlyn German,” Odend’hal said at the recent PWAR installation of officers and directors. All other positions are handled by PWAR member volunteers.

Odend’hal and Kristy, his wife, live in Manassas. They have two daughters and enjoy being grandparents. In his 20-plus-year real estate career, he served as a broker/owner before becoming a managing broker for Long & Foster Realtors in Gainesville.

Years ago, his leadership path at PWAR started on its board of directors. He has since been elected in succession as vice president, president elect and president. While averaging 15 hours a week on his PWAR presidential responsibilities, he continued to oversee a productive real estate office. In 2012 he is immediate past president and an elected member of the Virginia Association of Realtors.

PWAR’s mission statement “is to provide products, services and programs that strengthen the ability of its members to conduct their business successfully and ethically and to promote the preservation of the right to own, use and transfer real property.”

“My job as a realtor and president of PWAR is to protect your ownership rights,” said Odend’hal. “Each realtor is asked to give $20 to RPAC [Realtors® Political Action Committee - a pro-realtor voice in Washington.] It deals with rights of ownership issues and threats that face our markets.”

There are 28 realtor associations in Virginia. Each has an annual monetary goal to contribute to RPAC. Sixteen people in PWAR have contributed $1,000 a year to RPAC because of its importance. In June, PWAR was the first of 13 associations in Virginia to make its goal. It has now has contributed 110 percent of its goal.

Even before Odend’hal started climbing the ladder toward becoming PWAR’s president, he recognized the awesome responsibility realtors have in serving and informing the county. Prince William County’s statistics bode well for home sales.

Odend’hal said, “There is a two-month supply of homes on the market in Prince William County when you eliminate the builders’ models.  There has been a 43 percent increase in people in the last 10 years. It is anticipated Northern Virginia’s growth in the next 10 years will be one million people. $93,000 is the median family income in Prince William County. While the national unemployment rate is 8.6 percent, Prince William County’s is 5.4.”

PWAR has dues and non dues revenue sources that provide the necessary funds for its operation. The association built and moved into a state-of-the-art building in April 2009.

Airica Nielsen, affiliates and events manager, coordinates many events, some that honor the membership for its good work and some to raise funds for many causes.
Accentuating education’s importance at PWAR, Kirkhart, director of education said, “PWAR held 170 classes in 2011, with 6,501 hours of education…”

“During my service with PWAR, I am most proud of our leadership, staff and the volunteer leadership put forth by the membership of this association,” Odend’hal said. “Our clients want realtors for life. We have a great responsibility to them. People should ask their realtor, ‘Are you a member of RPAC?’”

The Prince William Association of Realtors, at 4545 Daisy Reid Ave., can be reached at 703-565-0033 or go to .

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