McKinnon named Maryland Realtor of the Year

ELKTON — Linda McKinnon has been overwhelmed during the last week with emails, cards, calls and flowers congratulating her on being named Maryland Realtor of the Year at a luncheon in Annapolis on Oct. 20.

“It’s very gratifying,” she said Thursday.

Now in her 13th year selling real estate, McKinnon said she loves her job, at least, “on most days.”

The Rising Sun resident got into the real estate business in 2002 after taking an early retirement package from Kraft Foods, where she spent 28 years and served as regional supply manager.

“I knew I wasn’t really ready for retirement in 2002 and had been urged to get into sales,” she said.

McKinnon thinks her years of taking care of customers at Kraft, making sure shipments were complete and on time, prepared her for a second career in real estate.

She spent her first two years with Century 21 Town Center before joining Prudential Real Estate, which is now Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty.

McKinnon, who is licensed in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware, has been an active member of the Cecil County Board of Realtors and the Maryland Association of Realtors, where she chairs the Equal Opportunity Committee.

The state’s Realtor of the Year award is not based on sales or volume, but on the member’s involvement in the community and his or her dedication and support for the real estate profession.

This year’s award was originally scheduled for the state convention Oct. 3, 4, and 5 in Ocean City, but severe weather and a state of emergency cancelled the event, postponing it until MAR’s installation of officers ceremony Oct. 20.

Cecil County Board of Realtors Executive Director Debbie Cain and McKinnon were the only two Cecil County members who attended the event.

McKinnon had been picked as Cecil County Board of Realtor’s Realtor of the Year in July, which put her into competition with 14 others for the state honor.

“When they called my name I was very surprised,” she said. “It’s a real honor.”

McKinnon said her greatest enjoyment comes from helping people.

“I enjoy people and find it really rewarding and exciting, especially working with first-time homebuyers,” she said. “I just like see someone happy.”

The Cecil County Board of Realtors also came away with another big award at the Oct. 20 event. The board received first place in a competition among boards with under 1,000 members across the state for its Community Action Realtor Excellence (CARE) project.

A $9,000 check was awarded to Cecil County for the best project, the yearlong support of the Elkton homeless outreach organization The Paris Foundation, which was documented in a report submitted for judging.

The Paris Foundation project was co-chaired by McKinnon and Nancy Simpers. The duo has co-chaired the annual CARE competition since 2008, bringing back a total of $45,000 to Cecil County during the last seven years.

“It’s a great accomplishment,” said Cain, who has a tally of each year’s winnings.

This year, McKinnon said they will distribute the $9,000 they received among the Paris Foundation, which helps feed and clothe the homeless in Cecil County and several other similar groups.

McKinnon is the third Realtor to be named Maryland Realtor of the Year from Cecil County. Nancy Simpers was the first to received the honor in 2002 and Elsie Herbst received it in 2005.

As this year’s winner, McKinnon will attend the National Association of Realtors Convention in San Diego on Nov. 13, 14, and 15.