Gary G. Nelson, left, and Craig J. Strobel are graduates of the MAR Leadership Academy. (May 6, 2013)

Gary Nelson, of Edgewood RE/MAX Components, and Craig Strobel, of Joppa, of Exit Preferred Realty, both with the Harford County Association of Realtors were two of 18 graduates from the Maryland Association of Realtors 13th annual Leadership Academy honored recently at ceremonies in Annapolis.

The Leadership Academy was formed by Realtors who understand the role they play in their community and the need to enhance the leadership skills, knowledge, and competencies of fellow Realtors interested in making a difference in their personal lives and in their communities.

The MAR Leadership Academy offers an intensive curriculum designed around developing skills in leadership, communications, strategic planning, legislative and government affairs and community involvement. Classes are conducted over seven months and stress the value of professional and personal commitment to business, charitable and civic endeavors.

Simon Nwaigwe, 2013 president of Harford County Association of Realtors and chairman of the MAR Leadership Academy, asked all the honorees to continue their leadership training and practice their learned leadership skills to help our communities, our industry, and the lives of all those they touch.

"Today we honor you as future leaders in communities and within our Realtor organization," Boujai said in a news release.

Ronald L Phipps, president of the National Association of Realtors, addressed the graduates and guests, saying: "Our most important role as leaders of organizations and companies is to identify, train, and mentor our successors. Follow your passion and it will direct the course to lead effectively."

Carroll County Association of Realtors, Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors, Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, and Village Settlements, Inc. sponsored the 2012-13 Leadership Academy.