The West-Central Maryland IREM Chapter 92 was chartered on February 7, 1980, after a nearly two-year effort initiated by Harold H. Huggins, CPM® and Aaron W. Dodek, CPM®, to form a new chapter to better represent the needs of the real estate management industry of Frederick, Washington, and Montgomery Counties. Response to this proposal to form a new chapter was very positive. Messrs. Huggins and Dodek were soon joined in this effort by Curtis M. Furgason, CPM®; Loren Simkowitz, CPM®; Amelia Jon Garrison, CPM®; Wesley R. Ferris, CPM®; and Joseph G. Anastasi, CPM®.
This founding group successfully petitioned IREM National to establish a new jurisdictional territory and to gain release from other chapters. Opposition from other chapters in the Region resulted in tabling of the petition at the May 1979 IREM meeting held in Chicago. The re-application of the petition at the November 1979 New Orleans meeting and testimony before the Bylaws and Regulations Committee led to the creation of a special committee to investigate what had become known as the "territorial split".
After a thorough investigation, this special IREM committee recommended that the Governing Council grant the request for a new, separate chapter. This recommendation was affirmed at the 1980 IREM National meeting held in Phoenix, Arizona.
The officers and directors of the new West-Central Maryland Chapter 92 then elected officers in accordance with the approved Chapter's bylaws. The first president, Curtis M. Furgason, CPM®, took office on March 14, 1980. The other charter officers and directors were Aaron W. Dodek, CPM®, President-Elect; Wesley R. Ferris, CPM®, Secretary; Amelia Jon Garrison, CPM®, Treasurer; with Directors Harold H. Huggins, CPM®; Joseph G. Anastasi, CPM®; and Loren M. Simkowitz, CPM®. The Chapter was fortunate to have the endorsement and support of the Montgomery County Board of Realtors, where the first meetings were held and where the Charter is displayed.
With strong and dedicated leadership, Chapter 92 has accomplished most of the original goals and purposes for which its founders sought establishment of a new chapter. Membership has grown to 89 Certified Property Manager® members, with good attendance at monthly chapter meetings. Additionally, with a strong group of Candidates, currently numbering 39, Accredited Residential Manager® members at 41, and Associate members at 36, Chapter 92 is now categorized as a mid-size chapter according to IREM National criteria.
The steady growth and active membership of Chapter 92 is reflected in the good working relationship developed with other area chapters and participation in regional meetings, in the activities of local Boards of Realtors, in National meetings, and in the governing body of the national organizations. Several of Chapter 92's members have been active in IREM on the National level by serving as course instructors, committee members and Governing Councilors. An ongoing commitment to education by this Chapter is shown by its sponsorship of IREM courses and a strong 64-member ARM® Committee, actively engaged in promoting the accreditation of area resident managers. Chapter #92 also co-sponsors the annual visit by the National president.
In addition to publishing the Membership Directory, Chapter 92 also publishes a quarterly newsletter, CPMemo, as well as “At-A-Glance”, a monthly e-newsletter, which highlights the events, activities and educational offerings within the chapter, as well as news from IREM National and other chapters.
The West-Central Maryland Chapter 92 was founded for the purpose of serving the professional interests of the real estate industry. In building a viable organization, Chapter #92 has justified its separate establishment by working for the increased accreditation of the industry through the implementation of training programs and professional standards. For most years of existence, the Chapter has been awarded either a bronze, silver or gold award in the Chapter of the Year contest. In 1994, Chapter #92 not only won the Silver Chapter of the Year Award, but our ARM® Committee Chair Jeanne Smarte was named National ARM® of the Year. Members of Chapter #92, as well as the IREM community, were saddened by the death of our beloved Jeanne Smarte on May 22, 2008. Jeanne dedicated her professional life to IREM and the ARM® program for many years.
In 1998, our first Chapter President Curtis Furgason, CPM® passed away and 1999 was dedicated to his memory. In March of 2000, Chapter 92 celebrated the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Charter at a special dinner meeting. Outstanding members of the Chapter were recognized for their hard work and efforts. The success in establishing Chapter 92 and achieving the founding goals of the Chapter now finds the membership ready to further expand membership and community involvement and face the industry's challenges in the coming decades.