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RESIDENT Magazine F A I T H F U L LY S E R V I N G T H E W E S L E Y C H A P E L / N E W TA M PA C O M M U N I T Y • APRIL 2016

The Faces of Autism A U T I S M A WA R E N E S S M O N T H WWW.RESIDENTMAGAZINE.NET | FOR RATES & INFO CALL: 813-422-5551

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FI NAN CIAL

Preparing High Schoolers For Their Financial Future

H

igh school students are only several short years from adulthood – and with it, the financial freedom to take out loans, sign leases and charge to credit cards. Many teenagers don’t have the patience for long financial conversations, so prioritize the following tasks and discussion topics. Help open a checking account. Children over the age of 13 can open a checking account in most states with a parent or guardian’s signature. If opening an account is a possibility, go to the bank with your children and sit down with a banker who can help explain how to deposit and withdraw money, use a debit card and the consequences of an overdraft. Having a checking account will help your teens get used to banking and

will make it easier to manage their own money if they have a job, car or other financial obligations. Encourage a part-time job if appropriate. All children are different, and while some teens are eager to go to work as soon as they’re able, others may need some help identifying appropriate opportunities. If your children are consistently requesting money for gas, clothing or other discretionary expenses, part-time jobs may be a good idea. However, be sure that your children continue to focus time on school work and other important extracurricular activities. A part-time job can help teens establish a work ethic, meet friends and professional contacts and earn some extra cash along the way

Communicate about paying for college. Whether you intend to fund your children’s education or expect them to save their earnings and take out student loans, it’s important that you discuss college finances with them. Setting expectations about paying for higher education well before your children are filling out college applications is crucial. The longer your teens have to seek out scholarships and save more of their allowance or income from a part-time job, the better. If you plan to pay your children’s tuition, be honest about what you’ll be able to afford, and what expenses (if any) you won’t pay, like room and board or textbooks. Suggest setting financial goals. If your teens are earning an allowance or a regular paycheck, suggest they

RESIDENT Magazine

ADVICE

establish two or three financial goals to accomplish before graduation. Whether they wish to save for college, a down payment for a used car or a gaming console, learning to establish and track progress toward a financial goal can help them understand the basics of managing money. Remember that good money habits can be taught with the right amount of financial support and independence. High school is the perfect time for your children to take on real fiscal responsibilities – and become comfortable with them before the financial pressures of college set in. Lauren Hopper is a Financial Advisor with Mclendon & Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. She offers feebased financial planning and asset management strategies and has been in practice for 16 years. You may contact her @ lauren.s.hopper@ampf.com.

Faithful member of the Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce. Serving Wesley Chapel and New Tampa.

Residents are welcome to submit stories, articles, important information, new ideas & photos. SEND TO EDITORIAL@RESIDENTMARKETING.COM.

© 2016 RESIDENT Magazine. All rights reserved. RESIDENT Magazine is currently published monthly, distributed by the U.S. Postal Service free to all residents and advertisers in the New Tampa and Wesley Chapel area. Lists are for reference only and do not imply official sanction or recommendation by RESIDENT Magazine. Editorial submissions are welcome. Publisher reserves the right to reject or edit all submissions for length and clarity. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.

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Unless otherwise noted, the views, opinions and advertising presented in this publication do not necessarily represent those of the Publisher.

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I N S P I R AT I O N A L

The Power of Possibility

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AN By STEPH

Bob Photos by Page 6 | April 2016

LO IE COSTO

rap Ali Photog of Lauren y s e t r u o c l photos . Additiona Thompson

hy

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COVER STORY

I

t was a beautiful sunny Floridian day at the park when I met Madison and Makayla. Their sweet and quiet nature was immediately evident as they stood close to their mom, Susan, while I introduced myself. Their shy smiles are utterly endearing. I had my three kids at the park as well, and most of us headed straight for the swings. Madison and Makayla cautiously approached the swing set; their beautifully thick, curly blond hair was tied up in ponytails, blowing slightly in the wind. Madison seemed to easily slide onto a swing as Susan quietly and patiently helped Makayla try to get into her swing. What takes most children mere seconds to accomplish by hopping up, Makayla has to work hard at. She and her mom took their time, shifting positions while mom was giving pointers and helping to lift her onto the swing. After a few minutes of unsuccessful attempts, Makayla decided to explore the rest of the playground; first stop - check out the slide. She would come back around every ten minutes or so to try the swing again and again. Each time she and her mom would work together patiently and methodically, shifting positions and talking through the process. A lesson in patience and compassion for any lucky observer.

the eighth annual World Autism Awareness Day. Perhaps you know someone who has a child on the autism spectrum or with Asperger’s syndrome, or perhaps you don’t. According to the CDC, about 1 in 68 children in the United States has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). That’s a 30% rise from estimates in 2008 and roughly 120% higher than the estimates for 2002 and 2000. Clearly this is an issue which warrants more attention. Susan Gulash, a Wesley Chapel resident, owns a graphic design company called Gulash Graphics and volunteers in the PTA. She is a woman who has been committed to bringing attention to ASD for a number of years now. Susan and her husband, Brian, have been married for sixteen years, having known each other for twenty-four. They have two beautiful daughters; Madison is eleven and Makayla is eight, and both fall on the autism spectrum in similar yet vastly different ways.

to Susan and after having Madison tested, found she was on the spectrum. “Asperger’s syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) considered to be on the ‘high functioning’ end of the spectrum. Affected children and adults have difficulty with social interactions and exhibit a restricted range of interests and/or repetitive behaviors. Motor development may be delayed, leading to clumsiness or uncoordinated motor movements. Compared with those affected by other forms of ASD, however, those with Asperger’s syndrome do not have significant delays or difficulties in language or cognitive development. Some even demonstrate precocious vocabulary – often in a highly specialized field of interest” (autismspeaks.org). In 2013, the autism community was thrust into a contentious debate due to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders officially eliminating the diagnoses of Asperger’s syndrome, pervasive development disorder, and childhood It all started for Susan when her first disintegrative disorder. What were daughter Madison was two and a once individual diagnoses are now half years old and began becoming incorporated into a single diagnosis: socially withdrawn, even from close Autism Spectrum Disorder, in which family members. At around four an individual could be at the top or years old, Madison was enrolled in bottom; low or high functioning . VPK when her teacher suggested . . the ‘spectrum’ as they say is very that she be tested for Asperger’s. broad. Susan recalls, “I said what the heck is April is National Autism Awareness Asperger’s? I’ve never heard of it.” The As a parent with little to no experience Month, and April 2nd marks teacher explained what Asperger’s is with special needs children, I asked

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Susan a number of questions in order to better understand the ASD world. Take a peek with me into the world of a mother with two children under the same diagnosis, yet manifesting in different ways: Resident Magazine (RM): How old were your children when you received their diagnoses? Susan Gulash (SG): Madison was four years old. Makayla was closer to six years old. RM: How has your life changed since receiving the first diagnosis? SG: It’s been great to be able to say, ‘Hey here’s a label. Now I can explain this to my family’. My family (at first) just thought that my kids weren’t listening to me, that they were running my life. The hardest thing with my family not understanding was that I began to feel that I wasn’t being a good mom. (RM note: once her daughters received a diagnosis, the extended families were able to get educated on ASD and come to a greater understanding of behavioral issues.) RM: How have you grown as a person, or what has your experience with autism taught you about yourself? Continued on page 8

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A U T I S M A WA R E N E S S M O N T H than in the first, so she’s getting a little frustrated and that’s a way she shows her frustration. Note: Rigid, repetitive movements often characterize “stimming” and/or vocal sounds. Although these behaviors may sometimes look odd, they are comforting to the individual who engages in them and help him/her cope with fear, nervousness, excitement, or boredom (www.mayinstitute.org).

Continued from page 7.

SG: To have patience. Patience! You have to have patience with these kids. The repetition of the same question over and over and over can drive anyone nuts. But I’ve learned to live with that, and a lot of things that would annoy other people just kind of go in one ear and out the other. It’s made me grow as an individual, grow my own voice, and be an advocate for my kids.

RM: Why would a parent want to get a diagnosis and ‘label’ their child, particularly in the case of a high-functioning autistic child?

RM: What services in the Wesley Chapel area do you use and/or recommend? SG: A lot of (the girls’) services are provided at the elementary school, but at USF there are two great organizations. One is called VSA Florida. They deal with adults and kids with all types of disabilities. They have an arts & music program which is outstanding. They have an animation class for autistic kids, so whether they’re Asperger’s or lower on the spectrum, they can go in there and learn how to animate. For more information on VSA Florida – the state organization on arts & disability, check out www.vsafl.org. CARD – the center for autism and related disabilities. If you’re a newbie to this community, they’re the best. They’ll be able to direct you to the different therapies physical, speech… you’ll need. For more information on CARD, check out www.card-usf. fmhi.usf.edu. RM: From a mother of special needs kids to other mothers out there, what is your definition of a successful childhood? SG: Find out what they like in their lives and help them succeed. I’ve learned with these kids; the earlier on you get them into what they like, the more they’ll blossom. RM: If you could make a request of parents who don’t have special needs children on how they approach the special needs topic Page 8 | April 2016

with their kids, what would that request be? How would you want me to discuss with my kids how to act or respond when they see behavior that is out of the norm or something they’re not familiar with? SG: Tell them that’s the way (special needs children) deal with their worries or fears or excitements in life. That’s just their quirkiness. Explain that (non-special needs) kids have their own quirkiness too. RM: Have your kids been bullied? SG: Yes, when Madison was in third or fourth grade and she was doing the stimming with her hands. That’s why the therapies have really focused on teaching her to control that urge, even though it is just her way to deal with emotions. She’s been bullied as

SG: I’m asked a lot, ‘Why do I want my children labeled in school?’ It’s because they get physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech too. And I just tell them simply: If I don’t get them therapies early in life then they cannot enjoy their lives as an adult in society and actually be what the ‘normal’ is. And what is ‘normal’, you know? They’re normal to me! If they were sitting there you would think that they’re completely normal. The way they’ve been brought up and the therapies they have been receiving have helped tremendously. Since they’ve been in the therapies, my oldest is now like a little mommy, taking care of her younger sister and making sure she has food, etc. Before she couldn’t express those feelings. The school has really catered to not just our kids, but also all the kids there. They’ve really figured out a way to help the autistic kids in general in order to meet the school’s goals and not make (the children) feel overwhelmed. There was a video a couple years ago where someone who has autism wanted to demonstrate what they go through every day, so they went to Wal-Mart and turned up the volume on their speaker and it’s just overwhelming. And that’s what these kids go through. We have to bring earplugs to Disney because some of the rides are louder than others.

well as my younger one. We were at Wal-Mart last night standing in line for what seemed like forever. As I’m standing there, my oldest had cut her finger somehow, so I gave her one of the wipes I had and she was kind of panicking like, ‘Oh my god, is it going to stop bleeding mom?’ That’s another thing – they panic a lot. Finally it stopped bleeding. So then she took the wipe I had given her and she was stimming with it (waving it around quickly). As she was doing it, a girl passed by about the same age, and she just started laughing at her. (Madison) said, ‘Mommy, that girl was laughing at me. I’m just going to ignore it.’ But that’s one of the reasons why the therapies show her how to adapt. My younger one hums and grinds her teeth. Lately she’s been doing a lot of grinding because the curriculum they’re learning is a lot RM: Is noise level a symptom of more advanced in the second grade ASD?

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SG: Oh my goodness, yes. It’s sound, light, or texture. Madison has a big issue with sound so if we’re at the movie theater we have to bring earplugs. And even when we went to Disney world, it was quite difficult for her to go in the haunted mansion. RM: How does a child get diagnosed? SG: It’s an assortment of tests. You can get it through the school system for free, but the hardest thing is getting to the point where you can say, ‘I think my child has this.’ And then it took almost a year for my daughter to get the tests done. You just have to be an advocate because if you don’t, these kids get lost and a lot of times they get frustrated and end up dropping out of school. A lot of these kids are very smart, especially in the areas they are interested in. Albert Einstein would probably be diagnosed with ASD if he were born today. RM: If you could have your own billboard and have it say anything at all and put it anywhere, what would it say and where would it be? SG: I would put it by the new mall. ‘Autism is not curable but treatable. We may look different on the outside sometimes, but on the inside we are just like you’. My discussion with Susan got me thinking about my own children and how easy it could be to miss signs of ASD, particularly with highfunctioning autism. Here are some additional facts and symptoms of ASD from www.autismspeaks.org:

• While autism is usually a lifelong condition, all children and adults benefit from interventions or therapies that can reduce symptoms and increase skills and abilities. Although it is best to begin intervention as soon as possible, the benefits of therapy can continue throughout life. Social Challenges • By 8 to 10 months of age, many infants who go on to develop autism are showing some symptoms such as failure to

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respond to their names, reduced interest in people and delayed babbling. By toddlerhood, many children with autism have difficulty playing social games, don’t imitate the actions of others and prefer to play alone. They may fail to seek comfort or respond to parents’ displays of anger or affection in typical ways. • Subtle social cues such as a smile, wave or grimace may convey little meaning. To a person who misses these social

cues, a statement like “Come here!” may mean the same thing, regardless of whether the speaker is smiling and extending her arms for a hug, or frowning and planting her fists on her hips. • Many persons with autism have difficulty seeing things from another person’s perspective. • It is common, but not universal, for those with autism to have difficulty regulating emotions. This can take the form of seemingly “immature” behavior such as crying or having outbursts in inappropriate situations. It can also lead to disruptive and physically aggressive behavior. The tendency to “lose control” may be particularly pronounced in unfamiliar, overwhelming, or frustrating situations. Frustration can also result in self-injurious behaviors such as head banging, hair pulling or self-biting. Communication Difficulties • Young children with autism tend to be delayed in babbling, speaking, and learning to use gestures. Some infants who later develop autism coo and babble during the first few months of life before losing these communicative behaviors. Others experience significant language delays and don’t begin to speak until much later. • Some have difficulty combining words into meaningful sentences. • Some mildly affected children exhibit only slight delays in language or even develop precocious language and Continued on page 10.

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A U T I S M A WA R E N E S S M O N T H Continued from page 9.

unusually large vocabularies – yet have difficulty sustaining a conversation. Some children and adults with autism tend to carry on monologues on a favorite subject, giving others little chance to comment. Some children with ASD with superior language skills tend to speak like little professors, failing to pick up on the “kidspeak” that’s common among their peers. • Conversely, someone affected by autism may not exhibit typical body language. Facial expressions, movements and gestures may not match what they are saying. Their tone of voice may fail to reflect their feelings. Repetitive Behaviors • Common repetitive behaviors include hand-flapping, rocking, jumping and twirling, arranging and rearranging objects, and repeating sounds, words, or phrases. • Some spend hours lining up toys in a specific way instead of using them for pretend play. Similarly, some adults are preoccupied with having household or other objects in a fixed order or place. It can prove extremely upsetting if someone or something disrupts the order. • Repetitive behaviors can take the form of intense preoccupations, or obsessions. Older children and adults with Page 10 | April 2016

autism may develop tremendous interest in numbers, symbols, dates or science topics. Associated Medical Conditions • Genetic Disorders • Gastrointestinal (GI) Disorders • Seizure Disorders • Sleep Dysfunction Sensory Processing Problems • Some of those with autism are hypersensitive to sounds or touch, a condition also known as sensory defensiveness. Others are under-responsive, or hyposensitive. Pica • Pica is a tendency to eat things that are not food.

“10 Things to Know About New Autism Data.” www.cdc.gov. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 Mar. 2014. Web. 17 Mar. 2016. Harris, Teka J., M.A., BCBA. “Reducing Self-stimulatory Behaviors in Individuals with Autism” www.mayinstitute.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.

Stephanie Costolo Mom. Hypnotherapist. Writer.

www.vsafl.org

Madison and Makayla are sweet natured, smart, and fun girls. Madison loves animals and wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. The human body, especially the heart, fascinates Makayla; she wants to be a doctor. I have every confidence that both girls can and will accomplish their dreams, no matter what challenges they may face. By the end of our park play date, Makayla did make it on the swing! Success! She enjoyed a few minutes of swinging before choosing to get down, saying that the swing was uncomfortable. I totally get it, Makayla – the swings hurt my bottom too! Sources: Lutz, Amy S.F. “You Do Not Have Asperger’s, and Neither Does Anybody Else.” www.slate.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2016. “Asperger Syndrome.” www.autismspeaks. org. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2016. FOR RATES & INFO CALL: 813-422-5551 | WWW.RESIDENTMAGAZINE.NET


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R O TA RY C L U B

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DO YOU EXPERIENCE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS? Insomnia & Depression Hot Flashes / Night Sweats Dry Eyes / Dry Mouth Fluid Retention / Weight Gain Difficulty Losing Weight / Diabetes Dry Skin / Hair Loss Loss of Energy & Sex Drive Memory Loss & Headaches REJUVA MED IS YOUR SOLUTION!

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FITN E SS

&

H E ALTH

VATA R ESEMBLING THE WIND Characteristics

Balanced

• • • • • • •

• • • • • •

Thin, light frame Variable digestion and sleep patterns Dry skin and hair Cold hands and feet Moves and talks quickly Resists routine Welcomes new experiences

Energetic Creative Adaptable Shows initiative Good communicator spontaneous

Imbalanced • • • • • • •

Overactive Mind Anxiety Worry Inconsistency Insomnia Constipation Gas, bloating

Balancing Vata - The key to balancing Vata is regularity. Take a long, warm bath or shower in the morning. Avoid mental strain and over-stimulating yourself. Because Vata is movement, it is important to avoid stimulants of any kind such as tea, coffee, alcohol and nicotine. Make your surroundings light and bright. Vata responds well to sunlight and cheerful colors. Drink warm fluids and eat frequently. Bringing a balanced routine and regular habits will help ground Vata. Take plenty of rest, meditate and favor warm environments.

PITTA FIERY NATURE Characteristics

Balanced

• • • • • • • •

• • • • •

Medium build Strong digestion Warm body temperature Sleeps soundly for short periods Sharp intellect Direct and precise Stays close to routine Courageous

Bright Warm, friendly Good decision-maker Leader Strong digestion

Imbalanced • • • • • • • •

Angry Irritable Excessively critical Judgmental Aggressive Skin rashes Inflammation Indigestion

KAPHA GROUNDED AND SOLID IN NATURE Characteristics • Heavyset • Smooth skin and thick hair • Deep sound sleep • Slow moving • Good stamina • Easygoing • Methodical, thoughtful nature • Enjoys routine

Balanced • • • • • • •

Steady Consistent Loyal Strong Supportive Content Calm

Imbalanced • • • • • • • •

Dull Inert Needy Attached Congested Overweight Complacent Overly protective

Download a full Dosha quiz by visiting: www.EnergiaWellnessStudio.com/doshas Page 14 | April 2016

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NEW TAMPA JUNIOR WOMAN’S CLUB

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April Events

What’s Happening

Fun and Fancy: Ladies Night Out

Staying Healthy During Prenatal Care

Ladies Night Out A fabulous time for a feel good future. Join us for this fun and fancy event to learn how the power of friendships and visiting your doctor for regular checkups can boost your health.

Four specialists will provide the best information to be your most healthy and fit before and during your pregnancy..Topics include: proper nutrition, exercise, and overall health.

Time: 5:30 pm to 8 pm

Time: 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

Location: Health & Wellness Center, Conference Room 2nd Floor, 2700 Healing Way.

Location: Health & Wellness Center, Conference Room 2nd Floor, 2700 Healing Way.

Cost: Free.

Cost: FREE for Members of the Health & Wellness Center, $5 for Non-Members.

WEDNESDAY

6

Agony of De Feet Presenter: Timothy Charles Epting, DO, Orthopedic Surgery. Do you suffer TUESDAY from foot pain, stiffness, aching feet or a slight pain in your heel or ankle? Find out the symptoms and treatment options of foot pain and ailments at this informative presentation.

12

Time: 12 pm to 1 pm. Location: Health & Wellness Center, Conference Room 2nd Floor, 2700 Healing Way, Wesley Chapel Cost: Free.

Bad posture and bad work ergonomics: How to help you quit your slouching! TUESDAY

TUESDAY

26

12

19

Time: 12 pm to 1 pm.

Location: Health & Wellness Center, Conference Room 2nd Floor, 2700 Healing Way. Cost: Free.

3 Months

FREE

Dog Days of Diabetes TUESDAY

Do you suffer from aching wrists, upper and lower back pain or eye strains? Find out techniques that will help in your everyday at this special seminar.

Presenter: Randy Kiriluk, MD, Family Medicine.

Advertising Call For Details Limited Space Available

Do you suffer from excessive thirst, fatigue, tingling, or numbness in your hands and feet? Join us to learn about all aspects of diabetes, from symptoms, treatments to living with the disease. Time: 12 pm to 1 pm. Location: Health & Wellness Center, Conference Room 2nd Floor, 2700 Healing Way. Cost: Free.

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R E A L E S TAT E

IS IT A SELLER’S MARKET?

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CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

WELCOME NEW BUSINESSES!

March Ribbon Cuttings WELCOME NEW BUSINESSES!

March Ribbon Cutting

OTB DELIGHT CAFÉ’

SHINGLES ◆ FLAT ◆ METAL ◆ TILE

Expires 4/30/16

FLORIDA HOSPITAL CARDIAC CATH LAB

April Events Friday 1st: WOW - Women of Wesley Chapel

Thursday 21st: Lunch N’ Learn Provided by the Meaning Center, LLC

Tuesday 5th: Monthly Business Breakfast

Saturday 23rd: Children’s DentistryDr. Stepankski’s Patient & Community Appreciation Party

Thursday 7th: Pasco EDC 14th Annual NetFest Friday 8th: Rotary Club of Wesley Chapel Noon- 5th Annual Adult Spelling Bee

Sunday 24th: Economic Development Briefing Monday 25th: Economic Development Briefing

Tuesday 12th: MAA Open Arms Rock Your World Golf Classic

Tuesday 26th: Grow Financial Morning Meet and Greet Mixer

Wednesday 13th: Ambassador Meeting

Wednesday 27th: Membership Orientation at Chamber Office

Saturday 16th: New Leaps Academy 1st Annual Golf Tournament

Thursday 28th: Economic Development Briefing

Tuesday 19th: Monthly Coffee Social

Saturday 30th: Tampa Palms Golf & Country Club- Open House Round-Up

Tuesday 19th: 17th Annual Student Pride Awards Tuesday 19th: Networking on the Nines at Lexington Oaks Golf Club

FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO WWW.WESLEYCHAPELCHAMBER.COM.

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April 2016 | Page 19


BUSINESS OF THE MONTH

Century 21 Seven Oaks Realty... From LOCAL to GLOBAL

“I

know, I know, the gold jacket,” says a smiling Dave Mohren, when asked why Century 21?

First, a little history. “I lived in Wesley Chapel when it had one zip code, no SR 56, and Bruce B Downs Blvd. was the ‘Road to Nowhere’, exclaims Dave Mohren, Broker and Owner of the newly affi liated Century 21 Seven Oaks Realty. “You had to go south on BBD and use Bearss or Fletcher to get to 275 and we shopped at University Mall. There wasn’t much North past Pebble Creek.” Then it happened. The building explosion. The stores, the strip malls, the communities, the new roads and connectors. “It was an amazing and awesome time to be a Wesley Chapel/Pasco County resident,” says Dave. “And we decided to join in all the fun and move from Meadow Pointe to the newly developed Seven Oaks.” Many people can be overwhelmed by the new construction/buying experience. Not Dave Mohren. “I ate it up!” “Picking a floor plan, a lot, color schemes, elevations, going to the design center!” “I was hooked.” And a new career was born. “I couldn’t concentrate at work.” “All I could think about was real estate and housing and that design center!” He made the decision to leave a stable career as a market Page 20 | April 2016

being run out of my home office to a fi rm of 30 agents with a property management division of nearly 150 homes managed and ownership of commercial space in Wesley Chapel.” “My time was spent googling better ways to keep up with technology for the agents, or how to attract the international buyer, or how to offer more comprehensive, global marketing packages to our sellers,” explains Dave. And it was then that I decided, ‘Why reinvent the Wheel?’ We had been wooed in the past by the national name brands, so I was familiar with what was out there. I knew most of them were not fits from a culture perspective. Just from keeping up with industry information I knew Century 21 was no longer the real estate company that was defi ned years ago by the gold jacket. They were different. The CEO, Rick Davidson, had rebranded Century 21 into a more modern company, and summed up their vision in their motto; Stronger. Bolder. Faster.”

buyers received from agents. It astounded me how uninformed or ill-prepared these agents were. And, in some cases, they were coming from hours and hours away! I remember saying to myself, how can someone live in Sarasota or Orlando and go sell real estate in Tampa!” “I named Fast forward two years and my company ‘Seven Oaks Realty something was changing in the Group, because when I put that housing industry. “Sales were company into action one day it softening and the lines around the was going to specialize in Seven Dave and his leadership team met sales centers to purchase homes with Century 21 in their Madison, on Saturday mornings were gone,” Oaks and the surrounding town of Wesley Chapel.” Dave Mohren New Jersey Headquarters. “They says Dave. “Did you see the movie, had a belief and maintains it invited us up to look under the ‘The Big Short?’, Yeah, I was today. “Real estate agents, should hood, as they put it,” explained basically living that.” be experts in a given locale. If a Dave. “We liked what we saw and buyer is moving to Wesley Chapel I guess they did too, so we decided In 2005, while working for the from Ohio, they should have an to move forward.” Century 21 home builder, Dave incorporated agent who can recite where every Seven Oaks Realty officially a little idea of his called Seven church, school, park, grocery became a reality on October 31, Oaks Realty Group. In 2006 he store, and Starbucks is! The agent 2015. upgraded his sales license to a should know every community, brokers license. “I’m a planner. I every builder, the HOA fees and “We can now offer our agents knew working for a builder and how it all fits together to work for the best technology, marketing, having somebody else determine that client.” and support that any real estate my schedule and earnings was company can offer. We can also going to be short-lived. So, Seven Oaks Realty Group has offer our clients the best of both behind the scenes, I was laying worlds; a sense of small, locally the groundwork for this,” making operated under that mantra for the last decade. It has made owned and operated business, a sweeping motion to the newly them a recognizable name in the with a fi nger on the pulse of the purchased building behind us Wesley Chapel real estate market. community; yet list your home in the Wind Fair Professional However, in October of 2015, with us and we’ll have you global Park on the Seven Oaks Property something changed, enter the in the morning!” “Its been a just behind the Hungry Greek ‘Gold Jacket’. ton of fun and I would change a restaurant. thing,” says Dave. “Although a “We had been operating as an gold jacket would be kinda cool In 2007, he left the builder and independent fi rm for the better and retro.” became the acting broker of his part of a decade. Over that own real estate company, Seven For more information contact: time our agent head count had Oaks Realty Group, Inc. “One David Mohern grown, as well as our client base, of my biggest complaints, while David.Mohern@century21.com and market share. We went working for the builder, was 813.929.7770 from being a single agent office the representation that the www.WesleyChapelMoves.com manager with FedEx in 2004 and pursue his newly found passion of real estate. “Within 4 months, I was licensed and working for a builder in Seven Oaks!” I could walk to the sales Model.” I loved it!”

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S P I R I T U A L friends, even best friends. It rushes to divorce, facts don’t matter. It destroys churches, social groups, and work places. Stop. Just stop. Free yourself from it and find yourself in a better place emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. It’s just not worth it. Think better, speak better, and feel better. In a world where we have so little control, even though we kid ourselves about that, this thing— gossip—we do have control. Be free. Peace, Laurie

Free Yourself

for spreading ugly things about someone else? Is it of absolute necessity that I say what I’m tempted to say right now? What will be the consequences? How would I feel if someone talked about me in the way I’m about to talk about him or her?

It manipulates acquaintances into becoming enemies. It divides families. It causes conflict between friends, even best friends. It rushes to divorce, facts don’t matter. It destroys churches, social groups, and work places. A colleague of mine says, “People make up what they don’t know.”

W

e fill in the blanks and make something up. It evolves into fact in our minds, and we pass it on as truth. And like the old children’s game of telephone where you whisper something in the ear of your neighbor at one end of the circle and it comes out very different on the other end, the story takes on a life of its own with little regard for truth. There. We have successfully lifted ourselves up to great heights and squashed our neighbor with the stone made heavy with innuendo, lies, and malice. We have gleefully spread ill will. And someone gets hurt. Someone’s vilified. And it’s not you. It’s them. Always the other one. Being right all the time is so important even at the cost of personal integrity.

only telling you so if I hear it from someone else I know who spread it….” As a poet once said, even the word hisses like a snake: Gossip. Have we looked in the mirror recently? Of what are we capable? What have we done in life that we want no-one to know? Have we made honest mistakes that we don’t want others to see as intentional acts? That doesn’t matter. What matters is spreading stories about someone else like so much manure. Truth doesn’t matter. We get to feel good about ourselves.

Page 22 | April 2016

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Jesus said, “You need to take the log out of your own eye before you take the speck from your neighbor’s.”

Gossip fuels conflict, keeps people separated, and prevents us from seeing the best in each other. What good is it? Not much. When the “Well. I don’t know if this is true but….” temptation faces you, and it will “I heard this, and I cannot verify, but I every day, stop and ask some heard that….” questions of yourself before you “Did you hear about….?” spread a story too good to keep “So and so is such an awful person, this to yourself: Is what I’m about to is what he did….” say the truth? If it’s really out of “Can you even believe this about her? character about the person I’m So out of character.” about to rip, is it because it’s just “So and so told me this in confidence, not true? Is what I’m about to say don’t say anything to anyone else. I’m harmless? What is my motivation

Gossip is no little deal, it’s a big deal. It manipulates acquaintances into becoming enemies. It divides families. It causes conflict between

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Resident Magazine - Issue 12  

Make sure you check our latest issue of Resident Magazine featuring a local family that faces Autism everyday. Along with many other informa...