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Zeitlin & Company Realtors

2011 SAWIB WinnerCompany: Zeitlin & Company Realtors, Nashville, TN, U.S.A.
Entry Submitted By: Seigenthaler Public Relations
Company Description: Zeitlin & Company Realtors is one of the strongest real estate firms in Nashville, Tennessee, touting more than 100 agents. Shirley Zeitlin, who founded the firm in 1979, has exhibited innovative business strategies over the past several decades to keep the company moving forward in a tough real estate market.
Nomination Category: Individual Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Lifetime Achievement Award

Nomination Title: Shirley Zeitlin, CEO and Founder

Describe for the judges the nominated individual's lifetime of accomplishments (up to 500 words):

Shirley Zeitlin—with her entrepreneurial, generous and caring spirit—has made countless contributions.

It started in 1979, when Shirley founded Zeitlin & Company Realtors. Over the years, she’s used foresight and business savvy to grow it into a prominent Nashville, Tennessee, real estate firm.

The real estate market poses a degree of uncertainty. As demonstrated by the current recessionary conditions, plus similar business climates in previous decades, this industry requires an opportunist mentality.

When Shirley sees an opening, she takes it. When there’s a problem, she tackles it. For instance, at the onset of Nashville’s condo boom, Shirley started an urban living division. She founding a luxury home auction division to counteract early signs of struggle in that segment. When credit became tight, she established a mortgage division to ease clients’ lending processes.

The firm has not just survived, but thrived throughout its 30-plus years. Most recently, Shirley lifted the firm above the averages. Nashville’s total April 2011 closings decreased 18% compared to 2011. The firm boasted nearly a 6% increase! Compared to April 2010, the firm increased April 2011 sales volume 1.3%, total units/closings 5.6% and sales volume 20%.

Also, the firm increased year-to-date sales volume 7.6% (compared to January- April 2010) and closed more homes (valued at $1 million+) through June 2011 than in 2010.

Shirley’s active and ongoing involvement in local, state and national realtor associations also plays a lead role. She has served in various leadership capacities, including:

• 1998: Regional Vice President, National Association of Realtors
• 1990: First woman president, Tennessee Association of Realtors
• 1987: Realtor of the Year, Tennessee Association of Realtors
• 1983: President, Nashville Board of Realtors (now Great Nashville Association of Realtors)
• Additionally, she’s held numerous positions with the Great Nashville Association of Realtors.

Beyond real estate, Shirley’s community accomplishments are numerous. In 1993, the YWCA inducted her into the Academy of Women of Achievement, which honors Nashville women demonstrating extraordinary leadership and a commitment to improving her community by inspiring individuals.

For example, Shirley will inspire women during an upcoming speech titled "Defining Your Legacy" as part of a women’s development series for CABLE, Tennessee’s largest network of diverse professionals connecting women and opportunity.

She has chaired the following boards:

• Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Nashville Branch
• Nashville Arts and Business Council
• St. Thomas Hospital Board of Councilors
• Nashville Symphony Association
• Leadership Nashville Board of Trustees

Shirley has been a director of O’Charley’s, Inc., a publically-traded multi-concept restaurant company, since 1996 and is the only female board member. She also sits on the advisory board for Regions Bank, a public financial institution. She is a former director of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and currently serves on the boards of:

• Saint Thomas Health Services
• Nashville Symphony
• Nashville Alliance for Public Education
• Nashville Downtown Partnership
• Park Center (which provides opportunity to those recovering from mental illness)
• Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

List the URLs (web addresses) of any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that you would like the judges to see that support your entry. IMPORTANT: List each URL on a separate line, begin each URL with http://, and enclose each URL in square brackets. For example, []:


Provide a brief biography of the nominated individual (up to 100 words):

Shirley Zeitlin, an innovative and trailblazing woman, founded the real estate firm Zeitlin & Company Realtors in 1979. Shirley’s foresight and innate business sense have driven her firm—100 agents strong today—toward success.

Former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta-Nashville Branch, Shirley is a director for O’Charley’s Inc., and a Regions Bank advisory board member. She’s active in local, state and national realtor associations, serving as the Tennessee Association of Realtors’ first female president.

Shirley also commits time to countless community boards, including the Nashville Symphony (former chairman) and Saint Thomas Health Services.