On June 11, 2015, New England Tech hosted the 5th annual RI REALTORS® Conference and Expo. As has been the tradition since the expo’s inception in 2011, NEIT’s East Greenwich campus was the host site for this informative and fast-paced industry trade show.
This event is free to members of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors (RIAR). Once again the collaborative efforts of Bob Larrabee, Senior Account Executive for NEIT’s Center for Technology and Industry (CTI), and RIAR’s Education Committee most notably Mindy Lane and Agueda Del Borgo, produced another informative day for the exhibitors, the technology session presenters, and most importantly, the RIAR membership. Industry-specific breakout sessions included sales strategies, “green” building initiatives, legal and legislative issues, as well as budgeting and financing.
This year’s event also had several new twists for the attendees. Keynote Speakers Gary and Christina Balletto presented their life’s journey, “Tiger: A Story of Courage and Determination.” The Balletto’s currently own a real estate company, a construction company, a restaurant, and a boxing gym. Mr. Balletto is a local professional boxing champion and was a fan favorite in the second season of the reality TV show “The Contender.” After playing many sports, he decided to start a boxing career, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. He walked away with the USBF, the EBA, and the IBU World Lightweight Title.
Unfortunately, an accident left Mr. Balletto paralyzed from the chest down, but he remains a hard working business owner and entrepreneur whose ambition is driven by the love of his family. “Tiger”, a documentary over a decade in the making, is a true love story between Gary and Christina and their bond to overcome all. He shared his heartwarming story of courage, determination, setbacks and accomplishments to a captivated audience.
RIAR partnered with Family Service of Rhode Island, and realtors were asked to bring new backpacks for needy school-aged children to help give them the best possible start in the upcoming school year. More than 200 donated backpacks comprised the mounded heap visible in the registration area. NEIT was pleased to be part of this important and valued community service project.