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AFTER HOURS

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Meszaros finds his escape outdoors By STEVE BURKS

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s a self-described “third generation Arizona real estate guy,” Jason Meszaros can’t remember a time he wasn’t involved in real estate in some way. “I’ve professionally been active in the real estate market for 25 years, but I feel like I’ve been in it my entire life,” said Meszaros, who is the Senior Vice President and Managing Regional Director for Irgens. His grandfather, Julius, and his father, Richard, were active in the Valley real estate market dating back to the 40’s. “From an early age I can remember driving around properties in the back seat with my father and grandfather, and heated debates at the dinner table. It feels like I’ve had a 46 year education on the Phoenix Market.”

12 | January-February 2019

A key part to a long, successful career in just about any business is finding a way to escape work. For Meszaros, his longtime involvement in the Scottsdale Charros, where he’s been active for 10 years, is a great way to focus on something other than work. Also, being outdoors has proven valuable to Meszaros during his career, but he doesn’t leave work completely behind when he ventures out for a hunting or flyfishing trip. Meszaros is an avid flyfisherman and enjoys taking his family and friends to flyfish in places like Lee’s Ferry near Page, where he has a boat. He also enjoys taking clients out for weekends on the water, preferring a couple days in the great outdoors to a four-hour round of golf. “If you have never flyfished and have never been to that part of our state, they will have an experience of a

lifetime. It’s a win-win-win,” Meszaros said of Lee’s Ferry. “I love taking people up there. You really get to know someone and I get to expose them to something that’s foreign to them.” Meszaros said many of the people he’s taken on fishing trips have become clients and friends. “I find it to be a more ‘real’ networking experience,” said Meszaros. “I always say, it’s one thing to play golf for four hours with someone and then in five months, he might remember that you played with him. When you go on a 3-day fishing trip, you’re friends forever.” Meszaros said his fondest moments while fishing come when his kids land a fish, “it’s very rewarding when I can take them out and they can do it on their own.” He did, however, have a favorite catch of his own while fishing in Idaho on the Teton River. Meszaros and a friend were casting in a fast-running, treacherous part of the river and weren’t really expecting much action, he was using very light line and a small fly. “I was just hoping to get a bite on anything and I ended up catching one of the largest trout I've ever caught,” Meszaros said. “we fought in the rapids for almost 20 minutes but once it was landed, it was one of the most memorable experiences.” For Meszaros, fishing and being outdoors have been extremely rewarding and he and some friends came up with a way to turn their interest in the outdoors into a philanthropic endeavor. In 2007, Meszaros and a group of friends started Arizona Trout Camp. “We cap it out at 100 every year,” Meszaros said. “We’ve grown it from kind of a bootleg thing where 35 of us made it the first year and raised $4000. Now, we donate over $50,000 every year to New Pathways for Youth.” Trout Camp is a 3-day experience at Cyclone Lake, a private lake on the White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation near Pinetop. Participants get all of the food, drinks and fishing they can handle for one $500 fee for the weekend, which usually sells out quickly. To learn more about Arizona Trout Camp and New Pathways for youth, visit aztroutcamp.com.

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