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Jeff Taylor Honored at “40 Under Forty” Celebration

Pictured, left to right, are Brad Kane, editor of Worcester Business Journal, Jeff Taylor, and Peter Alden, president of Bay State Savings Bank, which was a sponsor of the event.

Jeff Taylor, General Manager at ERA Key Realty Services, was honored last night at Worcester Business Journal’s “40 Under Forty” award ceremony at Mechanics Hall in Worcester.

The 20th annual “40 Under Forty” “honors the rising stars and outstanding young leaders who are shaking up the Central Mass. business community and leading us into the future,” according to Worcester Business Journal.

Taylor, 38, is the second generation of Taylors to receive the award. His stepmother, Cheryl Eidinger-Taylor, who is president and chief operating officer of ERA Key, received the award in 2003. His father, Bruce Taylor, founded ERA Key.

Jeff Taylor began his career in real estate after graduating from Suffolk University with a business management degree in 2003. Taylor began his career as a real estate agent representing clients in the Worcester area. He added the role of Company Recruiter in 2005, which provided him with tremendous insight on how to best utilize the tools, support, and technology ERA Key Realty has to offer both clients and agents.

In 2008, he took on the challenge of becoming Sales Manager for ERA Key’s Westborough office, which enabled him to use the knowledge he gained from his time as a Realtor and recruiter, while honing his skills in client relations.

In 2010, he took over management of ERA Key’s Framingham office in addition to the Westborough office. After Distinctive Realty of Marlborough merged with ERA Key in 2011, he took on the responsibility of integrating the new Marlborough office into the ERA...

Milford Office Donates $500 to Milford Youth Center

Agents from the Milford office of ERA Key Realty Services recently presented a $500 donation to the Milford Youth Center (MYC) toward the construction of a new music room. The donations came from contributions agents made to the ERA Key Charitable Trust Fund. 

Pictured are, front row, left to right, MYC’s Kathleen Irwin, Milford Sales Manager Claudia Conte, MYC Assistant Director Katie Covell, and Milford agents Donna Dacey and Joe Brault; second row, ERA Key agents Christine Lawrence, Mary DiDomenico and Donna Arthur’ third row, ERA Key agents Denise Archer and Linda Abrams.

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ERA Key Names Kevin Harris Manager of Marlborough Office

ERA Key Realty Services of Northbridge announced today that Kevin B. Harris of Framingham has joined the agency as manager of its Marlborough office.

A successful entrepreneur who founded and sold two high-tech businesses, Kevin was attracted to a career in real estate in 2014 after selling three of his properties. He was a REALTOR® with Realty Executives Boston West, Century 21 Commonwealth (now Berkshire Hathaway Home Services) and Black Horse Real Estate before joining ERA Key.

Previously, he founded NextVault, Inc. in Middleboro in 2010 with the mission of providing value-based data protection to meet the needs of businesses seeking high quality, tiered data protection and archiving services at an affordable cost. He served as president and CEO until the company was acquired by Los Angeles-based J2 Global, Inc. in 2013.

He co-founded AmeriVault Corp. in Waltham in 1998, which pioneered hosted online data protection services for business. He served as Chief Information Officer until the company was acquired by Dallas-based PHNS, Inc. in 2008.

Before founding AmeriVault, he was responsible for network operations for the New England Controls Division of Johnson Controls in Lynnfield. He began his career as a network systems engineer at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Kevin earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

With nearly 30 agents, the Marlborough office is one of ERA Key’s largest offices.

“Managing ERA Key’s Marlborough office will provide me with an opportunity to put my previous experience to good use,” Kevin said. “Technology has had a growing influence on the real estate industry, but real estate is still very much a hands-on business. The latest technology in the hands of our staff of dedicated professionals...

ERA Key, Agent Donna Towne Both Nominated for Best of Central Mass. Awards

Congratulations to Donna Towne!

Donna, a Realtor in the Westborough office of ERA Key Realty Services, and ERA Key Realty Services of Northbridge have both been nominated for the 2019 Best of Central Mass. Awards.

Donna is one of six Central Massachusetts real estate agents to be nominated for the Best of Central Mass. Awards, which is sponsored by the Telegram & Gazette. ERA Key is one of five real estate agencies to be nominated. Votes can be placed throughout September on the Telegram & Gazette website.

Donna began her real estate career in 1998 and joined ERA Key in 2007. During the past six years, she has received ERA Key’s Leadership Circle Award twice and its Circle of Achievement Award four times, while finishing among the top 20 all-around agents in sales at ERA Key four times, ranking eighth in 2016.

She is a certified residential specialist (CRS), an accredited buyer representative (ABR) and an E-Pro marketing specialist. She is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors and the Greater Boston Real Estate Board. As a member of the Cartus and Affinity relocation networks, she can assist buyers and sellers with relocation anywhere in the world.

She is a TriBoro BNI member and serves as secretary and treasurer. She supports the Baypath Humane Society through its annual Paws & Claws Run and Fur Ball Gala, as well as the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the ERA Key Foundation, which provides funds to local charities throughout the region.

“It’s an honor to be nominated for the Best of Central Mass. Award,” she said. “As a residential real estate agent I like to consider myself a consultant, not a salesperson. I am...

Taylor Family Receives Second '40 Under Forty' Award

Yesterday we announced that Jeff Taylor received Worcester Business Journal’s “40 Under Forty” award. But he was not the first in the family to receive the award. Stepmom Cheryl Eidinger-Taylor received the award in 2003. She is among the alumni profiled in the new edition for the 20th anniversary of “40 Under Forty.” Her profile appears below.

Cheryl Eidinger-Taylor in 2003 and today.

Then: Regional vice president for ERA Key Realty Services

Now: President & COO of ERA Key Realty Services, Whitinsville

In 2006, Eidinger-Taylor was promoted to president and COO. She’s since assisted with several mergers and acquisitions, and has implemented company-wide services and programs for the firm’s agents and clients over the last 15 years. In February 2018, she successfully navigated a merger with Buffalo, N.Y.-based HUNT Real Estate ERA, which expanded the reach of the combined company and created a real estate firm with more than 50 offices and 1,600 agents. Eidinger-Taylor is a member of the Boston chapter of Women’s Council of Realtors and previously served as president. Her real estate career started in 1990 after she asked her real estate agent what she liked about the job, prompting Eidinger-Taylor to leave her design career. – Profile written by Zachary Comeau

What is your proudest accomplishment? Leading a very large real estate company that is profitable, which is not very common for real estate companies.

What did 40 Under...

Jeff Taylor Named to '40 Under Forty'

Congratulations to Jeff Taylor, general manager of ERA Key Realty Services, for being named to Worcester Business Journal’s40 Under Forty.” Below is his profile as it appears in the latest issue.

Jeff Taylor, 38

General manager

ERA Key Realty Services, Whitinsville

Lives: Worcester

Birthplace: Kenmore, N.Y.

Colleges: Suffolk University

Taylor got into real estate as the son of a broker, but didn’t find himself an easy path to a comfortable position. He started at ERA Key in 2004 in his early 20s as a recruiter before finding his way into a management role at the realty group’s Westborough branch. When the Great Recession hit and downsizing became necessary, Taylor eventually managed the Framingham office – the only manager at ERA Key to ever run two branches at once successfully. He led the acquisition and integration of Distinctive Properties of Marlborough into ERA at age 29, and in 2017, Taylor was promoted to general manager, a title he still holds at an agency now expanded to 15 offices, 360 staff and agents, and roughly $758 million in annual sales. Today, his responsibilities include overseeing managers and setting plans each year for recruiting, retention, sales, professional leadership and training. He manages the agency’s charitable trust foundation, which has given away nearly $400,000 to dozens of Worcester County nonprofits since its inception in 2004. Last year, the foundation benefited 27 organizations. Outside of the realty firm, he’s active with the LGBT Asylum Task Force of Worcester. Last year, Taylor and his...

ERA Key’s Kathy Rich Featured on HGTV’s “My Lottery Dream Home”

With a name like Kathy Rich, who could be a better pick to appear as a Realtor on HGTV’s “My Lottery Dream Home”?

A Realtor in ERA Key’s Billerica office, Kathy was seen by millions of people when she was featured on the episode, “Make Me a Millionaire” (Season 7, Episode 8). More than 23.2 million viewers have tuned in to “My Lottery Dream Home” this year.

The episode is scheduled to be shown again at 7 a.m. EST on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019.

Producers of the show, in which host David Bromstad helps recent lottery winners find their dream home, initially contacted Kathy based on one of her listings. While the lottery winners had already purchased their dream home, Kathy’s listing in Billerica was being considered as one of two additional homes for the winners to visit.

“It didn’t happen,” she said, “but they asked me, ‘Would you like to be our Realtor on camera?’”

She didn’t hesitate for long before agreeing to participate.

“It was nerve-wracking at the time,” she said, “but it was a good experience.”

She initially was supposed to talk about Wilmington, as the house that was purchased is there, so she researched Wilmington. Then David Bromstad told her, “We’re just going to have a conversation about anything.”

While she was concerned about the questions me would ask, all went well.

“He’s very energetic,” she said. “What you see on TV, he’s like that in real life. He’s easy to talk to and he made me feel comfortable.”...

ERA Key Adds Passi as Realtor in Framingham Office

ERA Key Realty Services of Northbridge announced today that Mario Passi of Framingham has joined ERA Key’s Framingham office as a Realtor.

Mario previously was a rental agent and property manager with Jordan Property Solutions, Marlborough. Before that, he was a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty, Inc., Westborough. He has earned certifications in ethics and fair housing.

Before beginning his career in real estate, Mario worked in marketing, design and photography positions at All Terrain, Waltham, and as a digital and design specialist, and customer service representative at AlphaGraphics in Waltham. During his 10 years in marketing, graphic design and photography, he said, he learned valuable skills that help him sell homes.

Mario has a long history of providing superb customer service experiences, having worked in restaurants, print shops and at his father's t-shirt and souvenir carts near Boston's Faneuil Hall. Outside of the office, you might find Mario performing onstage with his band, or giving back to the community through volunteer work at the Greater Boston Food Bank and with the Charles River Watershed Association at their annual Earth Day Cleanup.

“As a resident of Framingham for more than 10 years, I wanted to join a well-established and reputable brokerage within my own city,” Mario said. “ERA Key has a great reputation, so it was a perfect choice and fit my needs. Now I can focus on serving my community as efficiently as possible and to the best of my ability.”

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Dinner Is Served for Family Promise

The Framingham office of ERA Key Realty Services provided dinner for families in the LIFE Program of Family Promise Metrowest recently. The program seeks to prevent homelessness by offering meals and hospitality for people in need. Pictured, top, are Realtor Billy Dalrymple and Office Manager Ali Corton. Pictured below are Billy, Realtor Jody Troderman and Ali.

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Kelly Davis Joins ERA Key as Realtor in Billerica Office

Kelly Davis of North Andover has joined ERA Key Realty Services’ Billerica office as a Realtor.

Kelly started her real estate career at Bentley’s Real Estate in Newburyport. She earned a bachelor’s degree from William Paterson University, Wayne, N.J., and previously worked in human resources. She moved to North Andover last year after living in Maryland and Switzerland.

“I became interested in ERA Key Realty Services, because the brand is well-known in this area and has a good reputation,” she said. “I’m glad I pursued a position at ERA Key, because the people here are professional and great to work with. There is a strong team atmosphere.”

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Convers Named to List of Country’s Top Hispanic Real Estate Professionals

ERA Key Realty Services of Northbridge announced today that Martha Convers of Westborough, a Realtor in the Framingham office, has been named to the list of the 100 top Hispanic real estate professionals in the Northeast Region of the country by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP®).

She ranks 90th on the list and 12th in Massachusetts, based on sales and professional achievement. The Northeast Region includes all states from New England through the Mid-Atlantic state. The top 250 agents will receive special distinction awards at the 2019 NAHREP National Convention, Sept. 26-28, 2019 at L'Attitude, San Diego, Calif.

Convers was a real estate broker for five years in Margarita Island, Venezuela, and became a Realtor in the United States in 2012.

Convers is a member of ERA Distinctive Properties and attended the Real Estate Negotiation Institute. She is a Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE), an Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR®) and a Senior Real Estate Residential Specialist (SRERS).

She earned bachelor’s degrees in accounting and business from the Catholic University Andres Bello in Caracas and became a CPA after graduating from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas.

She earned ERA Key’s Circle of Honor Award in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, and its Circle of Light Award for her volunteer work in 2017. She participated in the American Warrior Initiative, which trains real estate agents to help veterans when they relocate, and was the top relocation agent for ERA Key in 2014. She was also ERA Key’s top agent for outgoing referrals in 2015. She is a member of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors.

Convers is the founder of Shoes for Venezuela, which provides shoes...

ERA Key Adds DiMilla as Realtor in Milford Office

MILFORD, Mass., June 19, 2019 – ERA Key Realty Services of Northbridge announced today that Sarah L. DiMilla of Milford has joined ERA Key’s Milford office as a Realtor.

She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Coastal Carolina University, Conway, S.C.

She has volunteered with the Encephalitis Society, helping to raise money and awareness of Encephalitis. She has also volunteered with the Belle of the Ball, which cleans and provides prom dresses to those who otherwise would not be able to attend their prom. She has also participated in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Light the Night Walk and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Walk.

“I joined ERA Key Realty Services, because I want to be associated with an agency that has a good name and reputation, that offers training and continuing education at all times, and that offers agents lots of resources right at the tip of their fingers,” she said. “I am looking forward to meeting new people and helping them find the home of their dreams.”

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Framingham Office Helps Build Playhouses for Children of Vets

The Framingham office of ERA Key Realty Services teamed up with the Framingham Rotary Club and Habitat for Humanity Saturday to build playhouses for children of veterans. Rob Fontaine is in the blue hat in the photo above with other volunteers and a playhouse they built. Valerie Cohen and Ali Corton are shown painting.

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Chicknavorian Joins ERA Key as Realtor in Worcester Office

ERA Key Realty Services of Northbridge announced today that Merillyn Chicknavorian of Fitchburg has joined ERA Key’s Worcester office as a Realtor.

Prior to joining the real estate profession in 2001, she worked in community relations, public relations and sales positions for Digital Equipment Corporation. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Fitchburg State University.

Chicknavorian is a notary public and holds the Certified Buyer Representative (CBR), Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES), Certified Military Residential Specialist (CMRS), Pricing Strategy Advisor (PSA) and Loss Mitigation Certification (LMC) designations. She is a graduate of the Realtor Leadership Academy.

She is a member of the Realtor Association of Central Massachusetts (RACM), the Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR). A former member of the North Central Massachusetts Association of Realtors (NCMAR), she served on several committees, including Government Affairs, and represented NCMAR at the National Conference of Realtors in Washington, DC.

“I joined ERA Key Realty Services, because I share ERA Key’s philosophy of bringing a caring spirit to all the people we serve,” Chicknavorian said. “Real estate is a helping profession, and I view my role as facilitating smooth transactions for my clients, whether I’m helping them sell or find a home.”

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ERA Key Agents Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity

Agents from ERA Key Realty Services volunteered for a Habitat for Humanity home renovation at 172 Concord St., Holliston, on Friday, May 10, working on everything from sweeping to jackhammering concrete. Participants included, left to right, Carla Horn from the Whitinsville office; Jennifer Holland from the Auburn office; Lee Abdella from Walsh Home Inspections; Bekka White, a student from Worcester State University, and Dianne Mitchell from the Worcester office.


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Walking in Their Shoes: A Venezuelan Expat’s Humanitarian Feat

This article appeared in The Christian Science Monitor on April 4, 2019.

What can a former citizen do from afar for others trapped in a troubled homeland? In this case, organize an effort to meet a basic human need.

FRAMINGHAM, MASS. – Norman Canaie noticed that some of his students at a public high school in Caracas, Venezuela, came barefoot – if they came at all. So last year, Mr. Canaie handed out armloads of donated shoes to his pupils most in need. He made sure to save a pair of white Nikes for a student who had dropped out, ashamed of his tattered sneakers.

The new pair brought the student back to class.

“The children were overwhelmed with the shoes,” says the English teacher in a phone interview. “They’re always asking me if there are more shoes coming.”

Martha Convers arranged the shoes’ 2,000-plus-mile journey from suburban Framingham. Besides working as a real estate agent and Zumba instructor, she has a special side gig: Shoes for Venezuela

Since moving from Venezuela to the United States in 2004, Ms. Convers has watched her country devolve into political chaos. But she repurposed her despair. She started the volunteer donation campaign in November 2017 and estimates she’s shipped at least 3,000 pairs of shoes to the country. Recipients include schools, nursing homes, churches, and nonprofits. With food and other necessities scarce, receiving a pair of shoes can seem like a luxury, Ms. Convers says. 

The political upheaval

Venezuela’s contested president, Nicolás Maduro, continues to crack down on international aid. This has heightened a standoff between Mr. Maduro and legislative leader Juan Guaidó,...

Worcester Office Donations Help Sick Children

The Worcester office of ERA Key Realty Services last week delivered 44 hand-made blankets and a collection of stuffed animals to sick children in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester.

ERA Key’s Spencer office initially became involved when Spencer agent Donna Flannery was made aware of the need for blankets through her daughter, Kayleen Sauvageau, who is a nurse in the unit. The Worcester office joined in the efforts.

Pictured, left to right, are three staff members from the UMass Medical Center; ERA Key agents Denise Foley, Angela Mann and Chris Reilly, who led the efforts for the Worcester office; Sue Hudson, a client and friend of Chris Reilly; ERA Key agents Barry Latham and Irene Caruso; Odimar Batista, a mortgage consultant with HUNT Mortgage, and a UMass staff member.

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Framingham Office Makes Donation to Jeff's Place

The Framingham office of ERA Key Realty Services recently donated $250 to Jeff's Place Children's Bereavement Center, Inc. in Framingham. Pictured, left to right, are Rob Haser of Hunt Mortgage, and agents Erica Jacobson, Audra Lizarralde, Lynne Richards, Martha Convers, Matthew Burdetskiy, Sam LeHardy (Team Framingham), Rob Fontaine, Alison Corton, Jody Troderman, Nelson Zide and Carlton Kish.

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One on One: Donna Flannery, real estate agent at ERA Key Realty Services in Spencer

Published in the Telegram & Gazette, February 24, 2019

Donna Flannery of ERA Key Realty Services in Spencer recently completed her 1,000th sale.

Donna Flannery worked for the MLS for four years before deciding to get her real estate sales license in 1992. She was named “Rookie of the Year” that year and recently closed on her 1,000th home. That’s an average of a closing in every 7 out of 10 weeks, a pace many agents would find enviable and she does it all solo, without a team, though with some strong administrative support. She is a top-ranked ERA Key Realty Services agent in Spencer and has won numerous awards for her sales skills as well as for her volunteering effort. Her family has lived in Spencer for five generations and she still lives on Sugden Reservoir where she grew up. When she’s not working or volunteering, she likes to spend time with her children and grandchildren.

Do you have a printable war story or cautionary tale from your early days?

I started in a tough market and that made it the perfect time for me to start because the market was so challenging. I’ve had a paycheck since I was 13, and the thought of not having one was daunting. I threw my self into it headfirst. You can appreciate the easier times down the road. I’m grateful for those times.

Once, I was selling a condo that had been rented and the tenants — who had not paid rent in months — had been evicted. When I opened the door to the unit a horrible odor made it impossible to enter. Long story short: they had put a raw turkey in the attic scuttle that sat there for the month during the hot summer ... The maggots just came pouring down when they opened the hatch. They also filled the sinks and toilets with concrete. This one is at the top of the list.

My first three transactions...

Graham Pettengill Receives Circle of Light, Leader’s Circle Awards

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., Feb. 26, 2019 – A marathon runner, Graham Pettengill, a Realtor in the Framingham office of ERA Key Realty Services, has used his feet to raise funds to build wells in Africa, help Marine Corps veterans and support dozens of area charities. 

His charitable efforts earned Pettengill ERA Key’s 2018 Circle of Light Award, which is presented for community service. Graham was also the top agent based on sales volume in 2018 out of 350 ERA Key agents and was named to ERA Key’s Leader’s Circle, which includes agents who have sold homes valued at more than $10 million for the year.

A portion of his commissions go to the ERA Key Realty Services Charitable Trust Foundation, which has given $371,749 to local non-profit organizations since its inception in 2004. Last year the foundation benefited 27 organizations, such as the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Habitat for Humanity and The Salvation Army.

“We are constantly reminded about the value of our contributions toward the community with each sale of a home,” he said. “More than 80 percent of ERA Key agents participate. The charitable trust enables me personally to give back thousands of dollars each year.” 

Through his church, the Faith Community Church in Hopkinton, Graham was on a committee that helped raise more than $130,000 for World Vision International to build three wells in Africa. The committee organized races of six kilometers, which represents the average distance a person in Africa has to walk for access to potable water. 

He has also raised more than $7,000 for Semper Fi, a non-profit that supports Marine Corps veterans, by running in Washington, D.C. and New York City. In 2017, Graham and his daughters, Caitlyn Stickney and Brooke Pettengill, ran in the Boston Marathon and raised more than $15,000 for the Hopkinton...