COEUR d'ALENE - Coeur d'Alene real estate agent Cindy Sweeney says she loves helping people find the home of their dreams, and making lasting friendships along the way.
When not working to sell homes, she can sometimes be found volunteering at Lake City Community Church, delivering meals to needy families.
Those efforts, and others, haven't gone without notice.
Sweeney, of Lakeshore Realty, took home Realtor of the Year honors for 2012, recognizing her contributions to the community.
Sweeney said Wednesday, "I am honored and proud to be chosen for this award."
She was chosen by her peers out of approximately 700 local Realtors.
"It is an indication of the respect that I've earned from my peers," Sweeney said. "It's acknowledgment for all my hard work."
She received that honor recently at the Coeur d'Alene Association of Realtors annual membership meeting at The Coeur d'Alene Resort.
Sweeney specializes in residential real estate, single-family and investment properties.
In 1993, she started with Bob Tomlinson at Tomlinson Black, where she learned the trade.
After seven years, she joined Re/Max. She spent seven years there, then moved to Lakeshore Realty.
Education in real estate is one of her passions, and because of that she served on the Coeur d'Alene Realtor association board's education committee for several years as co-chair.
She has been involved with the Coeur d'Alene Women's Council of Realtors as "inspiration leader," and was voted 2011 "entrepreneur of the year."
She earned her brokers license in 2006.
"I believe that social media is just showing up for events," she said. "When I walk downtown, I run into clients and friends and make new clients and friends."
Prior to real estate, she worked for Pacific Bell in southern California, where she was raised.
Also in her free time, she has worked as a volunteer for the Sting soccer club, and she puts on annual block parties at Sanders Beach.
After getting married, she and her husband, Peter, began exploring areas outside southern California to start a family and raise children. They have a 16-year-old son, Jacob.
As for North Idaho, "We were drawn to the quality of life, beautiful area and recreational paradise. We love boating, snow skiing, and all outdoor activities."