Realtor® of the Year and Rookie of the Year awards presented at Canopy Realtor® Association’s annual meeting

December 11, 2020

Contact: Kim Walker, 704-940-3149

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – As an unusual year marked with pandemic uncertainty, societal concerns, and a surprisingly hot real estate market nears its end, Realtors® and real estate industry leaders gathered virtually for the 2020 Canopy Realtor® Association Annual Meeting, Awards and Auction. A long-standing tradition, the annual meeting not only ushers in the holiday spirit, but brings recognition and honor to the Association’s Realtor® of the Year, Vane Mingle Rookie of the Year, and Association volunteers.

The event, held virtually on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, also allowed members to participate in the Canopy Housing Foundation Silent Auction, which raises funds to help support local unmet housing needs. Charlotte-area Realtors® also supported the Marine Corps. Toys for Tots Charlotte with toy donations collected before the event, and Haywood County Realtors® supported Operation Senior Christmas Boxes, an annual gift box drive of toiletry, blankets and other items for senior citizens that benefits the Senior Resource Center of Haywood County, as well as virtual Red Kettle Donations to the Salvation Army of Haywood County.

Industry awards

T. Anthony Lindsey, a veteran Realtor®/broker with Coldwell Banker Realty, was named the 2020 Realtor® of the Year. The award is the highest honor given by the Association and recognizes a Realtor® member who has made outstanding contributions to both the real estate profession and community.

With more than 25 years of experience in both commercial and residential sales, Lindsey long ago recognized the value of being actively involved in the Association. His service started in 1995 on the Nominating Committee, which gave him a thorough understanding of the inner workings of the Association. Since then he has served on a number of committees and leadership positions at the local level, including the Association Board of Directors and the 2016 Executive Committee, where he served as interim treasurer of the Association/Canopy MLS. His extensive service and leadership with the Association and the Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition (REBIC) laid the groundwork for service at NC REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS®.

His volunteerism on the state level for NC REALTORS® includes service on the Legislative Committee (2003-present); NC REALTORS® Board of Directors (2004-2016); president of NC REALTORS® Housing Foundation; and work on the Governance Task Force and Strategic Planning Committee. In 2008, Lindsey represented the industry on the national level in testimony before a Congressional subcommittee on proposed changes by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), which governs real estate closings.

Lindsey is not only an active Association volunteer, but he is also deeply vested in civic and service clubs, as well as a number of political and charitable groups. Most recently he was appointed to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission for a term that will end in 2022. From 2003-2014 he served as Federal Political Coordinator (FPC) for the 12th Congressional District and has led the Congressional Black Caucus (FPCs). His commitment to community has also led him to serve as president and treasurer for the North Carolina High School for Accelerated Learning, which operates two charter schools. He has held director positions with both the Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, and he has served as chairman of the Charlotte Housing Trust Fund Advisory Board. Lindsey was also appointed by Charlotte City Council as a member of the City of Charlotte Minority-and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) Task Force.

Lindsey is a graduate of Johnson C. Smith University and began his professional career with AT&T and Bell Communications Research. He became licensed to practice real estate in 1995 and was the broker-owner of GlobeCrossing, LLC, for 20 years before joining Caldwell Banker Realty in 2018.  He has been married to wife, Karyn, for 29 years and has two children.

Rita Goforth, a Realtor®/broker with Keller Williams Ballantyne, was named the 2020 Vane Mingle Rookie of the Year. This award is presented annually to a new Realtor® who excels in the profession. Winners must have been members of Canopy Realtor® Association for at least 12 months and must have closed at least 10 transactions within their first 12 months as a Realtor®. Winners must also be involved in charitable and civic organizations.

Goforth joined the association in February 2019 and closed 13 sales during her first 12 months of membership while maintaining a busy volunteer schedule. Goforth truly has a heart for giving back to the community and has been an active volunteer at several organizations. She has served with One7 Ministries, a non-profit transitional housing program in Charlotte that focuses on creating a better life for homeless families. She also took time out quarterly to help prepare food at the Community Shelter of Union County, which regularly serves some 150-200 people. Her volunteerism with the Community Shelter of Union County also had her involved in the construction of the new two-building campus that opened in 2019 to help serve Union’s neighbors in a larger space.

Leading up to the pandemic, the 2020 Rookie of the Year was also an active volunteer at The Millhouse, a non-profit retirement home where she enjoyed providing companionship, engagement and assistance to the elderly. This year she has missed sharing time with her senior friends, but she looks forward to this important work again once it is safe to do so. Goforth was also engaged civically as an election volunteer and assisted with clerical duties, voter cards and informational services in Mint Hill, N.C.

For more information, visit  For interviews please contact Kim Walker.

Canopy Realtor® Association is a trade association that provides its more than 13,200 Realtor® members with the resources and services they need to conduct ethical, professional, successful, and profitable businesses. The Association is dedicated to being the region's primary resource for residential real estate information. The Association operates Canopy MLS, which has more than 20,000 subscribers and is the private cooperative Realtors® use for access to tens of thousands of residential listings in a 24-county service area, including Charlotte, the mountains area of North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond.

Original Publish Date: 12/11/2020