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Park City real estate broker honored for lifetime of service

David Johnson earns Distinguished Service Award from Utah Association of Realtors

David Johnson, managing broker at Summit Sothebys International Realty, was recently given the Distinguished Service Award by the Utah Association of Realtors for a lifetime of service to the industry. Johnson, one of just eight people to receive the honor, says hes gratified his peers believe his contributions were worthy of recognition.
(Bubba Brown/Park Record)

The moment came unexpectedly for David Johnson.

He had been invited to the Utah Association of Realtors’ annual end-of-year banquet under the guise that he’d be supporting a colleague who was set to receive an award. He sat at a table with his wife, waiting with interest for the presentation.

“I’m going, ‘Well this will be interesting to see who this is,’” he said. “Then they started discussing the bio of the person, and I went, ‘Wait a minute. I recognize this bio.’ That’s when I found out I was getting the award.”

That’s because the bio was his own. The Utah Association of Realtors honored Johnson, a Parkite and managing broker at Summit Sotheby’s International Realty, with its Distinguished Service Award. Johnson is only the eighth person to achieve the distinction, given for service to the Utah real estate community and contributions to the Association of Realtors.

Johnson, who has devoted his life to real estate, said receiving the honor was a thrill and its impact on him will be lasting. Previous recipients of the award include Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.

“To be honored by your peers in a business that I’m so passionate about is quite literally just a huge honor,” he said. “The individuals who have received this award in the past … are people who over decades have contributed in different ways to the real estate brokerage industry in Utah. Quite honestly, you look at it and go, ‘Really? Why did they put me (among them)?’ It was quite humbling.”

Thomas Wright, president and principal broker at Summit Sotheby’s, said in a statement on the company’s website that Johnson is as deserving as anyone for the honor.

“Dave Johnson has been a leader in the Utah Real Estate community for decades,” he said. “On the local and state level, Dave’s commitment and professionalism make him an obvious selection for the Distinguished Service Award. On behalf of the entire Summit Sotheby’s International Realty family, I thank Dave for his inspiring dedication.”

Johnson has held an array of positions during his long career in real estate. Notably, he served as the director of the Utah Division of Real Estate in the 1980s and later, after starting his own law practice, served as general counsel for the Utah Association of Realtors and Park City Board of Realtors. In those roles, he developed and revised many of the most important forms and contracts agents in Utah still use today, according to a statement from the association.

But his career began by chance, based on the suggestion of a friend. He had planned to earn a master’s degree in history and become a university professor. When he decided to take a year off of school after earning his undergraduate degree, however, fate intervened when a friend encouraged him to try selling real estate.

It wasn’t long before he fell in love with real estate, particularly the technical side of the industry. He scuttled his plans to teach history and instead went to law school to learn about the legal aspects of the profession. Since then, he’s been involved in real estate in a variety of ways. In addition to serving as the director of the Utah Division of Real Estate, he formed an insurance and escrow agency, started his own law practice and founded a brokerage firm before joining Summit Sotheby’s.

After being involved in the industry in so many different ways, he said he remains as excited about real estate as he was when he was just starting out.

“It started as, ‘Sure, I’ll take a year off after graduating from college — let me try my hand at this,’” he said. “Then, I find that I’m fascinated by the business. I found that I was passionate about the need for professionals to do what we do. Knowing that I had an opportunity to assist in my own way in trying to make our profession the best it can be has been great.”


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