Jim Brondino – Legend Award Recipient

Jim Brondino, S.E.C., CCIM

Editor’s Note: This speech was given by Ted Blank on January 19th during the S.E.C. annual awards and installation banquet, when Jim was named as a recipient of the Legends Award.

When you think of Legend what does it mean to you? The dictionary defines a legend as:

A story from the past that is believed to be true, but cannot be proven, like Zorro or the Loch Ness Monster. Tonight’s Legend can be proven TRUE!

Legend: “An important person known for doing something extremely well.” An obvious choice

Legend: “A guide or key, as a legend to a map.” Tonight’s recipient is a guide/mentor to many of us and shows us a key to success.

I asked a couple of members to say what Legend means to them.

Steve England: A Legend is a person who leaves footprints that future members should follow and emulate!

Ron Bowden: An individual who leaves a lifelong memory.

When we think of Legends in the S.E.C. what names come to mind? Reno, Weaver, Ringsdorf, Chatham, Hunt, and others.

The living Legends who are with us this evening are Madge Davis, Bob Steele, and Chet Allen.

Tonight we add another equally worth name to the list: Jim Brondino.

Jim was born in California the same year that Bing Crosby sang White Christmas. We had just entered WW2; a house cost $3,800 and a car cost $900.

Jim graduated as the president of his high school student body. He was also an athlete and a scholar. He received a full athletic scholarship from a Redlands College. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history in 1964. He continued his education and received his master’s degree in education in 1965. After receiving his master’s, he taught at two Southern California high schools, Riversides and Whittier. He taught school for about five years after his graduation. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame at University of Redlands in 1986.

In the early 1970s, Jim found Richard Reno and Chuck Chatham. He attended their seminars and learned the importance of counseling his real estate clients. His strength, specialty, and passion became counseling. He found that counseling helped him serve his clients best. Through proper counseling, he was able to find out his clients’ true motivation for entering into their real estate transactions. Counseling is still his passion today.

Jim was introduced to the Society of Exchange Counselors by Tom Peterson and became a member in 1985.

After Dick Reno died, Jim taught with Bruce Howey and Jim Howard, both S.E.C.s. He taught the National Exchange Counselor’s class that met Mandatory Continuing Education requirements. He later took the CCIM classes and received that designation.

He served as Conference Director of Real Estate EXPO, the largest real estate educational and marketing event in the United States.

Jim has earned many honors in the Society of Exchange Counselors:

Clifford P Weaver Award – 1990, 2000, and 2006
Jack Hunt Excellence in Education Award – 2008
Yvonne Nash Award – 2005
Counselor of the Year – 1996
Lifetime Membership – 2015

Jim has served the Society of Exchange Counselors in many ways, including:

S.E.C. President – 2005
President of the S.E.C. Education Foundation – 2006
Board of Governors – multiple years
Meeting Manager – too numerous to mention
Teacher – Exchange Marketing, Moderator Training, Counseling for Action

Sharon Throop has been Jim’s office manager for over 40 years.

Jim says the most important time in his life was the birth of his children.

Jim has two adult children, Darin Brondino and Corinne West. Darin is now married with three children and living in Vermont. Darin flew across the country to be with us this evening.

Corinne is a vocal artist and performs her Americana music in all parts of the world. Corrine has entertained the S.E.C. group previously, but has a commitment this evening on the east coast.

Jim no longer travels on the speaker and education circuit, but he assists others with his guidance
and materials to carry on his passion. Jim’s unselfish attitude, his teaching abilities, his professional leadership, and, particularly, his passion for counseling are traits we all can aspire to attain.


  1. Ted and Jim

    Thanks Ted, a heart felt and beautifully written tribute to a very deserving man, Jim Brondino.

    It was Jim who encouraged me to attend my first S.E.C. meeting. For that, I will always be grateful.

    It was nearly 40 years ago, while attending Jim’s (and 4 other instructors) 6-day course in San Diego, that Jim said something that really resonated with me. During the course, after reviewing a list of the distinct differences between a salesman and a counselor, Jim summed it up by saying, “A salesman needs to be liked, while a counselor likes to be needed.”

    That simple sentence changed the way I looked at real estate brokerage and dramatically redirected my career.

    Jim, congratulations and thank you for all that you have done for all of us.


  2. Unfortunately I never met Richard Reno SEC or Cliff Weaver SEC. Fortunately I have had the pleasure of meeting and knowing all of the other Legends that have been recognized by the Society and this has been a great honor. However no Legend has had more of a personal influence on my career then Jim Brondino. His leadership, courses on Counseling and his extensive work in the art of “Moderating” will leave a legacy for years to come. Congratulations Jim on this very deserving award!

  3. I think Jim Brondino best knows, practices, and demonstrates what an SEC should be, an absolute, true role model. I really enjoyed working with and for him many years ago a good number of times. Yes, Jim is certainly a Legend. Sincerely, Ron Moser