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Bobby Byrd of Clearwater is state's Realtor of the Year

Clearwater's Robert "Bobby" Byrd has been named Realtor of the Year by the Florida Association of Realtors.

For the first time in the statewide trade organization's history, the association's top three awards all went to one city. Kathleen McDowell, who works for Byrd's firm, Bobby Byrd Real Estate, was named Realtor/Associate of the Year. And the Greater Clearwater Board of Realtors got top honors among the 87 realty boards in Florida.

The individual awards are given for lifetime achievement in the industry and community service. Candidates are nominated by local boards or by any of their 70,000 peers. A panel of past winners makes the selections.

Byrd is former president of the Greater Clearwater Board of Realtors and served as president of the state association in 1990. Today he is southeastern regional vice president of the national association. Born in Monroe, Ga., Byrd is a graduate of Florida State University and has been in the real estate business for 14 years.