Rising Star of the Year

Award Recipients

The Rising Star of the Year Award recognizes a newly licensed REALTOR® who is active in their community and association, and has a history of sales transactions. For more information, or to nominate yourself or someone else, please click here.

Following are the award recipients for the Columbus REALTORS®.

2020 - Amanda Roderick
2019 - Jason Hottle
2018 - Stephanie Rucinski
2017 - Nickie Evans
2016 - Deborah Parris
2015 - Irene Sawyer
2014 - Koretta Tennant
2013 - Heather Dunn


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2020 Rising Star of the Year -- Amanda Roderick

Amanda Roderick is a sales associate with Key Realty and has been a member of Columbus REALTORS® since 2018. She has been described as organized, detail-oriented, effective, persistent, and committed to learning and growing her business.

In her short tenure in real estate, Amanda has closed 23 real estate transactions and currently serves as vice chair of Columbus REALTORS® REALTOR® Care Day Committee and is a member of the Affordable Housing Committee, and a former member of the Builder/REALTOR® Alliance and Young Professionals Network (YPN) committees.

Amanda also serves as vice president of the Midtown Area Real Estate Association and is the Social Director for the Bexley-Eastmoor-Berwick Real Estate Association.

In the community, Amanda is a member of the Greater Eastside Coalition, and enjoys volunteering with organizations such as the Mid-Ohio Food Bank, where she has worked in the on-site garden; the Reeb Avenue Center; and the former Clarfield Farm. She is also a monthly donor to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank, Community Shelter Board and WOSU.

Amanda is currently enrolled in the Graduate, REALTOR® Institute; working towards her Commitment to Excellence (C2EX) endorsement from the National Association of REALTORS®; and has completed more than 100 hours of continuing education since April 2018.

This year, she was selected a 10 Under 40 honoree by Columbus REALTORS® Young Professionals Network. Video.

2019 Rising Star of the Year -- Jason Hottle

Jason Hottle is founder and principal broker of Modern Columbus Realty and has been a member of Columbus REALTORS® since 2015.

In his short tenure in real estate, Hottle has earned membership in Columbus REALTORS® Five Million Dollar Sales Award Club and is working toward earning the Certified Affordable Housing REALTOR® (CAHR) certification.

He is a past co-chair of the Affordable Housing Committee, has served as a house captain for REALTOR® Care Day, and is a member of the Government Affairs and Diversity & Inclusion committees. He’s also a member of the Independent Brokers Association, where he currently serves as co-secretary.

On the state and national levels, he has served as an Ohio REALTORS® Director, is a regular Ohio REALTORS® conference participant and a member of its Legislative Committee. Last year, he attended the National Association of REALTORS® Legislative Conference in D.C., where he was a speaker during the Hill meetings.

In the community, Hottle was recently elected a Board Trustee for Columbus Landmarks and has served as president of the Livingston Park Neighborhood Improvement Association. He’s also a member of the Franklinton Board of Trade.

Hottle worked during undergrad at architectural and design-build firms. He obtained a business degree, an MBA, and spent 22 years in financial services.

In 2005, Hottle started an Ohio real estate investment company and, about three years ago, left his position as Executive Director of Finance at JPMorgan Chase to pursue real estate full time.

2018 Rising Star of the Year -- Stephanie Rucinski

Stephanie Rucinsk has been a sales associate with Cutler Real Estate for nearly three years and, according to her colleagues, is as motivated and hard working as they come. She has a passion for the real estate industry and compassion for the buyers and sellers she works with.

During her short tenue as a member of Columbus REALTORS®, Stephanie has participated in multiple Association training classes, particularly the ones involving marketing and technology, and has earned membership in the Association’s One Million Dollar Sales Award Club.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Management from Boston College; a master’s degree in International Negotiations and Conflict Resolution from Erasmus University in Holland; and both a law degree and MBA from The Ohio State University. She also holds the ePro professional designation and is working toward the Graduate REALTORS® Institute (GRI) designation.

Stephanie is a recipient of the Columbus Business First “Forty Under 40” award; and was an Ernst and Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” nominee; a Columbus Tourism “Ambassador of the Year” finalist; and was number one in “selling” sides for the Cutler Real Estate New Albany office in 2017.

In the community, Stephanie has been an active participant with the New Albany Chamber of Commerce Mentorship Program; the New Albany Citizens Police Academy, VIPPS (Volunteers in Public Safety Service), which is a division of the Department of Homeland Security; the AgriPower Leadership Development Program; the Columbus Foundation; Experience Columbus, Columbus Tourism; Habitat for Humanity; and the Columbus Food Bank.

Stephanie is also the founder of “Things to Do in Columbus, Ohio,” a Facebook page that has received thousands of likes and shares and serves to further engage the community and get more people active in unique events and experiences.

2017 Rising Star of the Year -- Nickie Evans

Nickie Evans is a sales associate with Coldwell Banker King Thompson and has been a member of Columbus REALTORS® since May 2015.

In her short tenure in real estate, Nickie has earned membership in Columbus REALTORS® Million Dollar Sales Award Club, is a member of the Coldwell Banker King Thompson’s 2016 Suite 16 Club and of its 2015 Rising Star Club, and she is Smart Home Certified.

Nickie currently serves as a member of the Columbus REALTORS® Recognition & Sales Awards Committee and is the Coldwell Banker King Thompson Regional Representative for the Sales Advisory Committee.

In the community, Nickie has served as head coach of Girls on the Run, is a member of the Stevenson Elementary Parent Teacher Organization, Edison Intermediate Parent Teacher Organization and a Junior Achievement (Biz Town) volunteer. She is also a sponsor of the Grandview Baseball/Softball Association.

Nickie is an active member of the Northwest Area Realty Association and a former member of the Clintonville/North Area, Greater Dublin and Greater Worthington real estate associations.

2016 Rising Star of the Year -- Debbie Parris

Debbie is a sales associate with Coldwell Banker King Thompson and has been a member of Columbus REALTORS® since June 2014. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and a Ph.D in Microbiology from Virginia Tech, and was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Harvard Medical School and Baylor College of Medicine.

In her short tenure in real estate, Debbie has completed 17 transactions, earned membership in Columbus REALTORS® One Million Dollars Sales Award Club, and has become a member of Coldwell Banker King Thompson’s International Sterling Society and the recipient of its Truly Remarkable Service Award. In 2015, she was named Coldwell Banker King Thompson (Central Ohio area) Rising Star of the year.

Debbie has served on the Board of Trustees, as president and as co-chair of the Scientific Committee for Ohio Cancer Research (a non-profit providing seed grants to Ohio researchers) and volunteers at The Ohio State University James Cancer Center, where she records written feedback of oral Pelotonia undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral grant reviews. She has also rode in the Pelotonia bike tour raising money for the cancer center every year since the tour’s inception seven years ago.

2015 Rising Star of the Year -- Irene Sawyer

Irene is a sales associate with HER, Realtors® and has been a member of Columbus REALTORS® since June 2013.

In her short tenure in real estate, Irene has achieved the HER Realtors® Broker’s Award for sales achievement of over $3,000,000. She is currently serving her second year on the Columbus REALTORS® REALTOR® Care Day Committee.

She has obtained the Greater Columbus Tourism Ambassador and Military Relocation Professional (MRP) certifications, the Residential Relocation Specialist (RRS) designation, and is in school for the Home Staging Expert Certification.

In the community, Irene volunteers with the Stephanie Spielman Breast Cancer Center and serves on The James Patient/Family Advisory Council. She’s a member of the Clintonville Women’s Club, the Worthington Women’s Club and is the event planner, hostess and sole supporter of Potters Creek Annual Children’s Halloween Party.

2014 Rising Star of the Year -- Koretta Tennant

Koretta is a sales associate with Keller Williams Capital Partners and has been a member of Columbus REALTORS® since June 2012.

In her short tenure in real estate, Koretta has been selected Keller Williams Capital Partners 2012 Rookie of the Year with only six months in the business, earned top 3 rookie of the month recognition for 11 consecutive months in 2012; and, in 2013, earned membership in Columbus REALTORS® One Million Dollars Sales Award Club.

She also currently serves on the Columbus REALTORS® Builder/REALTOR Alliance (BRAC) and REALTOR® Care Day committees. She holds a Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) Designation and is working towards obtaining the Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR) and ePro designations.

In the community, Koretta volunteers with Angels for MTT and has served on the Board of Camp Mary Orton and as a volunteer with Triumph Columbus.

2013 Rising Star of the Year - Heather Dunn

Dunn obtained her license in October 2012 and became a fulltime sales associate with Keller Williams Consultants on Jan.1, 2013. Prior to getting her real estate license, she was a licensed title agent/sales and marketing representative with Arrow Agency.
Dunn currently serves as co-chair of the CBR Young Professionals Network (YPN) and as a member of the Affordable Housing, Governmental Affairs and Residential Education committees. Since joining CBR, she has also participated in numerous Board events including REALTOR® Care Day, CORPAC Bowling, CORPAC Auction (where she was auctioned off as part of YPN’s Labor Crew at the 2012 Auction), and the CORPAC Beer Tasting event.

Dunn is an Ohio Association of REALTORS® (OAR) Director and a member of the Women’s Council of REALTORS® (WCR), where she was named WCR’s 2012 Affiliate of the Year. She is also a member of the Licking County Board of REALTORS®, where she has actively served on six committees in the last couple of years.

In the community, Dunn teaches homebuyer seminars/grant program certification classes for Homeport. In the past, she has also taught these classes for the Greater Linden Development Corporation and for the Columbus Urban League. She is a volunteer with United Way, Alzheimer’s Association, Liberty Christian Academy and with the City of Pataskala, where the mayor has asked her to preside over a series of health-centric events for the citizens of Pataskala.

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