The Florida Chapter of the Women's Council of REALTORS® was
chartered in 1955, according to the National Association of
REALTORS® and National WCR. However, Kitty Collins, Executive
Vice President of National WCR, has found an old roster which
listed Pauline Eden as Chairmen of Florida in 1948. And
recently, Anne Augello found the original charter of the
Hollywood Chapter, dated December 8, 1953.
Ida Baum of Hollywood, and Norma Tobin of Miami Beach, traveled to all of the boards in the state trying to interest the men in a women's council. Women were not active in the boards and they would first have to get the men interested before they could get permission to talk to the women. Ida was the first president of the Florida Chapter in 1955, and the Greater Miami Council was the original council.
Criteria for the membership was as follows:
A Women's Council member must first be a member of a board of REALTORS® or, if a saleswoman, must be employed by a member of a board of REALTORS®. All members of a local council must be members of State and credited with dues paid to State.
All REALTOR® members must also be members of National. This is not mandatory for associates, but they may also join if desirous of receiving the benefits of National.
Members-at-Large: Women REALTORS® who wish to belong to Women's Council but are not within jurisdiction of a chapter. Membership may be acquired in State and National only under this condition and they must have membership in both.
National - $10 per member
State - $1.00 per member
Local - Set individually on a local basis (It was voted at the State meeting in Orlando, January 10, 1959 to raise the State dues to $1.50 per member.)
"WHAT WOMEN REALTORS® ARE DOING" was published by Women's Council of the National Association of Real Estate Boards, and was the forerunner of the "COMMUNIQUE" as we know it today. In May 1958, it mentions Florida chapters in Palm Beach County, Miami Beach, Greater Miami, Hollywood, Hialeah-Miami Springs, Boynton Beach, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. Tampa, Fort Myers and Sarasota had their first meetings early in 1958.
In a letter written July 22, 1958 by Josephine Ferris, 1958 president of the Florida Chapter, she writes; "I find it pays to help in board activities and accept whatever job is detailed to do and stay completely feminine. Proof is in the number of Councils we now have in the State - we have 11, with Jacksonville organized but not yet installed and four more in sight. The very best object in joining is friendship. I fell it a rare opportunity to make friends of women throughout the state who are practicing my own profession."
According to Norma Tobin, the 1957 president of the Florida Chapter of WCR, and who was a member of the Miami-Dade North Chapter, they tried to take in at least one male member each year and Jack Justice from Miami Beach was the first male member. Jack was president of FAR in 1956 and of NAREB in 1966. He installed Betty Jane Boone as National president of WCR in 1966.
At the State meetings, Women's Council members had breakfasts in restaurants and cafeterias near the FAR headquarters hotel, where they could find rooms large enough to accommodate the members. All business was conducted at this meeting, and then they had round-table discussions covering such topics as "How to Close a Sale," "Procedure in Securing a Listing," "Don't Argue - Agree," "Qualifying a Prospect," and "Advertising." The members wanted to learn something that would help them professionally. Kay Mitchell, 1962 State President, credits Jim Buck, Cathy Whatley's father and 1962 president of FAR, with arranging for WCR to have featured luncheons and places to have scheduled meetings.
A report from Women's Council of NAREB in 1960 on local chapter projects showed the Daytona Beach Chapter sponsored a combined four-board meeting with Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach and Ormond Beach - the first time such an event had ever been held with members from all four boards in attendance. The Fort Lauderdale Chapter acted as hostesses for the monthly meetings of their board and were in charge of the decorations for the board's annual banquet. The Jacksonville Chapter members served on board committees and assisted in sponsoring Educational Caravans and other projects of the board. The Sarasota Chapter held an educational meeting for the entire board which was the highlight of the year showing films entitled, "Florida, Land of Action," "House Hunters," and a local banking film. Membership of December 31, 1960 showed Florida had 186 members.
A memo from Kay McDermott, 1961 president of FAR Women's Council, dated March 14, 1961, to all Chapter presidents and district vice presidents, showed 15 Florida Councils and nine district vice presidents. Betty Jane Boone was WCR regional vice president, NAREB; and Ida Baum and Carolyn Franklin were WCR governors NAREB. She gave the schedule to the Education Round Table on Friday, April 7, 1961, immediately followed by the Governing Board Meeting in her room at the Robert Meyer Hotel in Jacksonville, and the business luncheon for the Women's Council at noon on Saturday, April 8, at which time each president had to be prepared to give a two-minute verbal report of the activities of their respective councils.
A report from the 1967 Membership Committee, Women's Council of NAREB, gave the slogan "Let's Add On a Hundred Times Eleven by the End of '67" and gave Florida's membership as of October 16, 1966 at 429 members with a quota of 86 members to be gained in 1967. These are our roots - we are deeply indebted to the leadership of yesteryear. What will tomorrow bring? The answer lies in how we use today!