Susan Helsinger, Associate Broker of Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Merrick, NY, was installed as 2021 President of the Long Island Board of REALTORS® (LIBOR) on December 1, 2020 at the Annual Installation and Awards Ceremony. The event took place virtually and included the installation of LIBOR Board of Directors and Executive Committee for 2021.
Susan, a member of LIBOR since 1994, will serve as the 80th President of the 27,000-member trade association. She is joined on LIBOR’s Executive Committee by President Elect, Kevin Loiacono; Queens Vice President, Frederic “Rick” Greene; Nassau Vice President, Christine Nappa; Suffolk Vice President, Gina Marie Bettenhauser; Treasurer, Barbara Ford; and Secretary, Ruth Pfeffer.
Prior to her real state career, Susan was a founding partner of Gruen Optika Corporation of New York City at the age of twenty-five. She went on to build the business into the premier optical company of the metropolitan area. In 1980, Susan and her friend, Heidi Grijnsztein, opened Hi-D and Su-Z Toys of Great Neck. It all came to an abrupt halt in 1985 when her son, Jason, died suddenly of I.H.S.S. and Cardiomyopathy She negotiated a buy-out of both companies and started on a new journey.
Susan, a former nurse, went back to school. She received a degree as a paralegal from Adelphi University and became licensed as a Notary Public and a Real Estate Broker. Susan and her late husband, Jay Helsinger, founded the Custom Real Estate Group and JSC Building Corporation. In 2004, Susan took over sole ownership. In recent years the Custom Real Estate Group was acquired by Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
Susan’s involvement with LIBOR began at the committee level when she became a member of the Legislative and RPAC committees in 1998. She has served as a Director for the Nassau South Shore Chapter since 2003, and was elected Chapter President in 2007.
Susan became further involved at LIBOR’s board level when she was elected Director in 2005. She has served as LIBOR’s Nassau County Vice President for four years, Treasurer for two years and most recently President Elect. During this time Susan has been a member of numerous LIBOR committees, including Legislative and RPAC Vice Chairperson, Public Relations Vice Chairperson and Chairperson, and Member Services Chairperson for two consecutive years. She serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Metro REALTORS® Federal Credit Union and is the Parliamentarian for the Women’s Council of REALTORS®, where she has served as Director since 2014.
Susan is actively involved at the state and national levels, serving on various committees and on the NYSAR Board of Directors from 1995 to present. She has been recognized as a member of the NYSAR REALTORS® Honor Society for the past nine years and in 2014 was installed into the NYSAR RPAC “Hall of Fame.” She has served on the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Board of Directors since 2013.
Susan is the Founder and CEO of The Jason Gruen Foundation.org, a not-for-profit organization named for her late son. The foundation is instrumental in building the Children’s Heart Centers at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and Cohen Children’s Hospital at NSUH/LIJ Health Systems. The foundation made history ten years ago when it started offering cardiac screenings to eighth and ninth grade students in school systems on Long Island.
Aside from the real estate industry, Susan served as President of the State of New York J.W.V.A. and the Kiwanis Club of Merrick. She serves as Treasurer of her Long Island parliamentarian chapter and serves as Finance Chairman for the State of New York J.W.V.A. She is a Board member of the Long Island Center for Business and Professional Women, and serves as a Trustee of Temple Emanuel of Great Neck.
Susan has received a great many awards throughout the years for her dedication to her industry and the community she serves. Most notably, she was honored with the REALTOR® Spirit award by LIBOR, the Humanitarian of the Year award from NYSAR and the prestigious Good Neighbor Award by NAR, which recognizes REALTORS® who have made an extraordinary impact on their community.
As an active leader of the community, Susan brings her years of experience in leadership, compassion and unwavering commitment to the betterment of the industry and community at large to her new position as LIBOR President.