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  • Writer's pictureCandy Cole

Tribute to a True Humanitarian

Steven Lynn Chitwood, July 1944 – June 2017

My work with the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Foundation has allowed me to meet some incredible people who work tirelessly to make their communities better. I want to tell you a little bit about a man who made a huge impact on the world but passed away before I had the honor of meeting him.

Steve Chitwood started the very first Prudential Real Estate franchise in the Orlando area. He grew that into three offices with more than 160 sales associates, but he wasn’t done. He later went on to become the Executive Director of Housing and Neighborhood Development Services (HANDS) of Central Florida, a non-profit specializing in affordable housing, but he still wasn’t done.

With the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Foundation, Steve founded the Art in Architecture program with the focus of changing the face of affordable housing and its perception by the public. Before his passing in 2017, this program developed 24 homes and served as the design partner for more than 65 others.

Steve was a humanitarian in every sense of the word. He received the Florida Association of REALTORS® Humanitarian of the Year Award, the Florida Chapter of the American Institute of Architects Bob Graham Community Service Award, and the Southeast Builders Conference Golden Aurora Award for the Art in Architecture program.

He also received national recognition for creating the unique partnership between the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, the Orlando Chapter of American Institute of Architects, and the Greater Orlando Builders Association.

Steve certainly left this world a better place than it was when he found it and I am sorry I never had the honor of getting to know this inspirational human being. The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Foundation strives to honor his memory by making affordable homeownership a possibility for every citizen.


Candy Cole

​Executive Director

​Candy Cole has worked with non-profits for most of her adult life and has a passion for giving back to the community. She has an MBA from the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College and a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Central Florida.

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