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Robert (Bert) Ward Jr., has been a life-long resident/native of Alamance County since 1969. In 1996 Bert became actively involved in the purchase, sale, renovation, and management of residential properties, working for the Triangle's and Triad's top-ranked real estate companies Coldwell Banker - Howard Perry & Walston in Mebane, Coldwell Banker - Triad REALTORSĀ®, and Keller Williams Realty both in Burlington.

After helping lead Walter Williams High School to the State AAA Football Championship in 1985 as quarterback, under the tutelage of legendary Coach Sam Story, Bert briefly left Alamance County to earn a bachelor's of science degree from East Carolina University. It was there that he met his wife Mary Staton, who he's been married to for more than 26 years.

Upon graduation, he came back to Alamance County to work in credit and collections for Unifi, Inc., an international textile company. From there, Bert became a new construction on-site sales agent at Mill Creek Golf Club in Mebane, representing nationally recognized custom home builders C. Richard Dobson (now part of D.R. Horton America's Builder) and John Wieland Homes.

In 1998, Bert was employed by Dan Mohr Real Estate Schools, one of the oldest and largest private real estate schools in North Carolina at the time. While employed there, he completed the residential appraisal courses and in 2000, began appraising for LandAmerica OneStop (which was later spun off as eAppraiseIT, an Appraisal Management Company), a leading title insurance company and real estate appraisal/property information service provider.

In 2002, Bert earned his NC State Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser license and founded Alamance Appraisals-Black Diamond Real Estate. Over the next four years, Bert completed more than 1200 appraisals.

After the most challenging years in the real estate market since the Great Depression of the early 1930s and expiration of the first-time home buyer's tax credit, Bert decided to get back into real estate sales full time in late 2010. In less than two years, he received the Coldwell Banker International President's Elite award that recognizes their top 2 percent of all sales associates in the world.

In addition, he was a recipient of the Mebane, NC, office Associate of the Year award with the highest number of closed units; the Gold Listings Sold Associate of the Year; Gold Sales Associate of the Year; and the Gold Listing Associate of the Year.

Bert was named Alamance County's choice for Best Real Estate Agent by the Burlington Times-News in its 2012 Reader's Choice Awards.

In 2014, Bert was appointed as a Director to the Burlington-Alamance County Association of REALTORS board, serving two terms for three years from 2014 - 2016.

Before the end of his term as a Director, Bert was then appointed to serve in 2017 as an Officer to the more exclusive Burlington-Alamance County Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Board, requiring that its board members be active practicing brokers-in-charge. In 2018 Bert was appointed to serve as President of the MLS Board for the year 2019.