It came down to a venture capitalist and a pair of renegade Realtors who shook up the status quo.

Austin Business Journal asked readers to select their choice as business person of the year, making their picks from an array of CEOs and leaders who made headlines in 2017. More than 1,200 votes were cast.

In a close race, readers chose Sara Brand, the founding general partner of True Wealth Ventures as the business person of the year. She captured 33 percent of votes.

Brand, whose venture capital firm invests in companies led by females, had a high-profile 2017 as an ABJ Profiles in Power winner, ranking among the top female executives in Central Texas, as well as being a featured guest in one of ABJ’s monthly Face 2 Face interview events.

Runners up were Realtors Cord Shiflet and Brian Talley, with 28 percent of readers’ votes. They were at the epicenter of a battle at the Austin Board of Realtors that unfolded for much of the year. Shiflet and Talley were removed from the board, a lawsuit was filed, and when the dust settled, they were re-elected along with five other new members, while CEO Paul Hilgers announced his resignation.

Article originally posted here.