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Spring 2014 • Volume 8 / Issue 1

All in the

Annie Engel and Helen Hanna Casey

Mi Y L FA Michael and Patty Scarafile

Linda Sherrer and Christy Budnick

These real estate leaders found the perfect balance of work and family. IN THIS ISSUE: Finding Her Center • A Religious Experience • The Field of Life


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Spring 2014 Volume 8 / Issue 1

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Letter from the Publisher

Incredible real estate professionals are all around us. Their stories are your stories. Find inspiration in them.

COVER STORY:

All in the Family

These real estate leaders found the perfect balance of work and family. Meet mother-son team, Micheal and Patty Scarafile and mother-daughter teams, Linda Sherrer and Christy Budnick and Helen Hanna Casey and Annie Engel.

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6

Finding Her Center

What began as a way for Missy Stagers, a broker associate with Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper Realtors® in San Antonio, Tex., to decompress and give back is now a deeply touching story of connection.

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A Religious Experience

It took a seven-year stay at a monastery to clarify Sotheby’s International Realty Associate Broker Bob Cardinale’s true passions—art and real estate.

The Field of Life

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How football saved the real estate career of Scott Phillips Jr. of Keller Williams Realty of Greater Cleveland. What he learned from his failures and successes on the football field.

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Letter from the Publisher

Success in Many Forms

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s this a great business or what? Real estate professionals can become hugely successful in business, yet still find time to serve others and indulge in a personal passion. Better yet, because the industry remains mostly one of small privately-owned family companies, a leader can not only invite family into the business but become better friends. The old maxim: “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade,” applies to many in the real estate industry where a second career turns out to fit you well. Welcome to LORE magazine and the stories of women and men who truly live their lives to the fullest. They share their joys and heartaches of being business owners with those closest to them. In this issue, we have Scott Phillips, who never let go of his dream to play pro football. He succeeded. Be inspired by Missy Stagers, one the most productive sales professionals in the country, yet finds time to share her wealth with those who have little. Then, we have the talented Bob Cardinale who thrives by indulging in his artistic passion while being a solid success in real estate, in beautiful Santa Fe.

Our cover story features generations of real estate leaders working together. One of the joys (and challenges) of having family in a family business is managing those relationships in and out of the office. Read the stories of Howard Hanna’s Helen Hanna Casey and Annie Engel, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty’s (formerly Prudential Network Realty) Linda Sherrer and Christy Budnick and Carolina One’s Michael and Patty Scarafile—mothers and daughters and sons who excel at remaining close while tackling the challenge of leading a brokerage. This is a great business due to the fantastic people who make it less about the houses you sell and more about living great lives.

www.loremagazine.com Steve Murray Publisher smurray@realtrends.com Tracey C. Velt Editor-in-Chief tvelt@realtrends.com David Grassnick Graphic Designer chiefcreative@centurylink.net Travis Saxton Webmaster tsaxton@realtrends.com Doniece Welch Advertising dwelch@realtrends.com 303-741-1000 Lore magazine is published online via Issuu four times a year—in February, May, August and November—by REAL Trends Inc. 7501 Village Square Drive, Ste. 200 Castle Rock, CO 80108 (303) 741-1000 Free Subscriptions: Click Here

Stephen H. Murray Publisher 4 LORE

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or call 303-741-1000 tsaxton@realtrends.com


Generations

All in the

family These real estate leaders found the perfect balance of work and family.


There are two types of adult children—those who can’t imagine working side by side with mom or dad and those who actually do it day in and day out, and love it. (Well, three types if you include those who do it and hate it!) Of course, there are challenges. Without a clear set of rules and a thick skin, you risk hurt feelings and fractured relationships. Not so with these three sets of parent–adult child real estate leaders who found that working together is a perfect way to get to know each other on another level. Here are their experiences:

Helen Hanna Casey, president Howard Hanna Real Estate Services

Annie Engel, president

Howard Hanna Insurance Services and chief legal counsel for Howard Hanna Real Estate Services Pittsburgh, Penn.

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s the granddaughter of Howard Hanna and the daughter of Helen Hanna Casey, Annie Engel always expected to join the family business someday. “It was no question that I would get my real estate license by the time I was 18 years old,” says Engel, president of Howard Hanna Insurance Services and chief counsel for Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. Still, Engel didn’t jump in with both feet right out of college. “I knew I wanted to go to law school, but I still got my

Annie Engel with husband, Gus and children, Rory, Jack and Will.

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Generations broker’s license between college and law school,” she says. She also worked with a senator on healthcare insurance. After law school, Engel and her husband, Gus, moved to Connecticut, where she was in private practice. “The law firm sent me to the University of Connecticut to get my master’s degree in insurance law, and I ended up being the director of graduate studies at the UConn law school for four years,” she says. When she and her husband finally moved back to Pennsylvania in 2005, she took a position with Howard Hanna Real Estate Services as chief legal counsel. In 2010, she took over the insurance operations.

Like daughter, like mother—Helen Hanna Casey had much the same experience. “I was licensed by the time I was 18 years old,” she says, but she didn’t join the firm until she was in her mid-20s. “I had gone to graduate school, had my daughter and taught at a small school before joining the brokerage as a salesperson. Ironically, due to nepotism concerns, Casey did not become a manager until the 1970s. “A consultant came in and said that our family is our strength and that we should play to it, so I became a manager, then eventually moved up the ranks to president,” she says.

My mom is incredible at expressing gratitude, and she has boundless energy. She knows her strengths, and she’s a wonderful mentor. I feel incredibly lucky to work with her.

All in the Family Different from many brokerages, the Howard Hanna company continues to play to that “family business” strength and currently employs 13 family members, with eight of them on the executive committee. “My dad, Howard Hanna, is still — Annie Engel involved, but in an ex officio manner,” says Casey. While the Hanna family executives keep it professional, Engel says, “I still call her mom at work. For us, there’s not much separation between work and home. In fact, our husbands probably wish there was more,” she laughs. And, that’s exactly how both Engel and Casey like it. “One of the good things about working together is that there’s an understanding of the struggles of balancing family life and a professional career. My mom has experienced it,” says Engel. “A lot of what we do plays havoc with our personal life. We’re never off. We may be discussing the children at 10 p.m. on a Saturday and then a business thing comes into it,” says Casey, whose husband, Stephen, is an architect with a firm of his own. That life balance is particularly important for Engel, who is married to Gus, who works for Fidelity Investment Institutional Services. They have three 8

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children, Will (13), Rory (10) and Jack (8). That same advantage—24/7 access to each other—can also be a curse. But, says Engel, “We all have the same goals. You always assume that everyone you work with has the same goals, but with family, you know it, or you talk about it. We have the advantage of being able to sit around the kitchen table and discuss things.” Just because they have the same goals doesn’t mean that they always agree. “We may discuss it at dinner, but we respect each other,” says Casey. “It’s a fine line. Annie gets her back up when I act like her mother and not her boss. She really wants me to say she’s right, but I get the broader picture businesswise and can’t always play the mother.” Engel agrees. “Sometimes you just need your mother or daughter to be just your mother or daughter. You just want someone to listen. You want to download to someone with whom you’re incredibly close. Many times that person doesn’t want to hear it because his or her day may have been worse than your day,” she says. That’s why the two agree that it’s vital to be open, honest and intimate with each other. “Rarely is a stone unturned when we’re in a business discussion,” says Casey. Keeping it Honest It’s that openness that rejuvenates the women outside of work as well. Casey and Engel live about seven miles from each other and grew up with a lot of family in the same neighborhood or close by. “We both enjoy being outside. We consider ourselves urban outdoors people,” laughs Engel. “We’re probably with our family more than a lot of people,” says Casey. “But I’ve given up Sunday dinner at my house because it’s more convenient to have it at Annie’s,” she says. At the end of the day, both feel blessed that they can share a deeper relationship than many mothers and daughters. “To find a role that is meaningful [to my mom’s company] is rewarding,” says Engel.

Lessons Learned Annie Engel: “I learned that motion isn’t always progress. My immediate reaction is to solve the problem and immediately take action. I learned from my mom that sometimes it’s better to step back. She also taught me to leave my disagreements at the office.” Helen Hanna Casey: “Annie has taught me how to better use the resources that are around me. During the holidays, I was away and wasn’t sure how to get my house decorated. Annie always knows just who to call to get it done. She also taught me not to take accountability for things that aren’t my fault. I’m learning not to be so hard on myself.”

Helen Hanna Casey, with husband Stephen, frequently mix business with pleasure.

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Generations

Linda Sherrer, president, CEO, owner Christy Budnick, executive vice president, broker Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty (formerly Prudential Network Realty) Jacksonville, Fla.

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hristy Budnick, now executive vice president and broker of of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty (formerly Prudential Network Realty,) had never sold a house. Because of that, “When Linda talked to me (in 2002) about working together at a branch that needed leadership, I didn’t expect to enter as a manager,” says Budnick. At the time, she had some opportunities on the private banking side. “After graduating from college, I went into the consumer finance side of the business and worked in mortgage sales. I enjoyed the training side, so I joined a bank. I went on to get my master’s degree and was about to enter private banking,” she says. However, says Linda Sherrer, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty (formerly Prudential Network Realty,) “With such a background in leadership, it made sense for her to start in management,” says Sherrer, who encouraged Christy to cut her teeth working outside of real estate before joining the brokerage. “Linda felt that hearing [both positive and negative feedback about We really enjoy spend- performance] from your mother just doesn’t have ing time together. same impact as hearing Even if she wasn’t my the it from a non–family daughter, I would seek member,” Budnick says, her company as we are “I couldn’t have brought as much to the table if I had very similar. started at the brokerage right out of college.” — Linda Sherrer

A Labor of Love For Sherrer, the brokerage was a labor of love. “I was a Navy wife. When we were stationed in Hawaii during Vietnam, we bought our first home for $30,000. Two years later, we sold it for $60,500. It was a VA loan, and it scared me to sign all those papers. I never wanted to be in that situation again, plus I thought [selling real estate] was a great way to make money,” she says. Once they relocated to Florida, Sherrer earned her real estate license in 1979, when she worked with a major development. In 1988, when Prudential Real Estate came to the area, she received a call to open her own Prudential brokerage. “I was about to sell out that development, and this [opening my own brokerage] was a perfect opportunity for me,” she says.

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Linda Sherrer, (top) and Christy Budnick


Fun and Family While the duo was close before joining forces, they’re even closer now. And, they know how to have fun. Budnick calls her mom Linda at work, she says, “I always alternated between Linda and mom, so it was natural for me.” The two joke about how they often forget to tell outside associates that they are mother and daughter. “We were in a meeting with some executives who didn’t know we were mother and daughter, and I started digging in my mom’s pocketbook. They weren’t sure what to think,” laughs Budnick. But the real advantage to working together, says Sherrer, is that “normally I wouldn’t have the luxury of spending so much

time with my daughter. Plus, seeing her grow in this position and take on a leadership role in a powerful way is really exciting.” For Budnick, it was a natural extension of what she’s known all her life. “I’ve been taking orders from her my entire life,” laughs Budnick. What made all the difference in their transition from mother-daughter to business partners was an organizational chart crafted when Budnick joined the brokerage. “That’s not really our style,” says Sherrer. “We’re pretty fluid, but we didn’t want it to become confusing. So, we made a chart and divided up responsibilities. If someone came to

Family vacations and weekend gettogethers are the norm for Linda Sherrer, who truly enjoys the close relationships.

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Generations me with a responsibility that was Christy’s, I would send him or her over to her office and vice versa. It really cleared up the lines of communication. However, says Budnick, “There was no question that my mom is the one who built this business, not me.” Then, she laughs, “I call her the Big Cheese or Your Worship. She’s the good guy, and I’m the bad guy; it’s in my contract. Seriously, though, Linda has years of experience, and I come to her about anything that may have a big ripple effect on the business or the community.” Quality Time Like the others interviewed for this story, this motherdaughter team spends a lot of time together outside of work, as well. “Linda is building a house around the corner from me,” says Christy, who is married to Todd, who works for the PGA tour. They have a 3-year-old daughter, Cate. Linda, who is married to Rick Ferrin, a senior executive with Intermodal Transportation, has another daughter, Kim Chanin-Gould. Kim, an art broker, is married to Ben, a professional squash player. They have twin 8-year-olds, Holland and William. “The entire family is going to Mexico together, and we recently went to New York City,” says Sherrer. “We travel together frequently.” Both Budnick and Sherrer live a couple blocks from the beach, so they can often be found kayaking, picnicking and playing in the waves. For such a close-knit family, spending time together, whether at work or at home, is important. “It’s a luxury most families don’t have,” says Sherrer.

Lessons Learned Linda Sherrer: “Christy is very decisive. I like to, some say, overanalyze situations. I’ve learned from her that sometimes it’s OK to make a quick decision and move on.” Christy Budnick: “I’ve learned to slow down a bit. My gut seldom misleads me, but there are times I need to step back before making a decision. For example, when the market crashed, if we had made superfast decisions, we could have made some very bad ones.”

Todd and Christy Budnick together with Rick Ferrin and Linda Sherrer

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Patty Scarafile, CEO Michael Scarafile, president Carolina One Real Estate Services Charleston, S.C.

ichael Scarafile, president of Carolina One Real Estate Services, never really set out to work for the family business. Graduating from law school in 1998, he was a litigator for seven years before he started handling litigation and courtroom work for his mom’s brokerage. Two years later, he came to work for Carolina One as general counsel. “I didn’t have a road map for joining the brokerage,” he says, “but I liked the business aspect of working at a business rather than practicing law and billing hours.” So the job stuck. Now, Michael and his mom, Patty, work closely on all business-related matters. In addition, another of Patty’s sons, Matt, sells in one of the brokerage’s sales offices, and both of her daughters-in-law are sales associates as well. “Matt’s talents lie in sales, and he really isn’t interested in getting into management at this time,” says Michael.

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Starting in real estate in 1977, Patty Scarafile was a part-time agent after leaving a teaching job. That part-time status lasted all of two weeks before she decided that real estate was the career for her. “I sold for awhile, Working together shoulder then managed an office, then became vice president,” to shoulder with someone she says. In 1984, after the brokerage’s founder suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, his son, Michael you trust is a blessing. O’Shaughnessy, took over and bought the company. In 1999, O’Shaughnessy took on two partners: Patty — Patty Scarafile Scarafile, CEO, and Grange Cuthbert, vice chairman. Michael O’Shaughnessy is now chairman. No Turning Back That combination of real estate leaders persuaded Michael Scarafile that he was making the right move when he came to work for the brokerage. “Having the opportunity to work with Michael [O’Shaughnessy], Patty and Grange is invaluable for me,” he says. And, yes, Michael calls his mother Patty, not Mom. “[It would be] a little odd for me to respond to another executive with ‘Let me check with my mom on that and get back to you,’” he laughs. “We’re partners and co-workers as much as mother and son.”

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Generations For the Scarafiles, the benefits of working together are many. “I don’t want to sound cynical, but there are very few people who have your back 100 percent. No matter how well you know people, they still have their own agenda and their own history. Patty knows my history. There’s no bluffing because she knows it all. We can be completely honest, and we each know where the other is coming from.” Patty agrees that she has a very similar relationship with O’Shaughnessy and Cuthbert. “We’ve invested our whole careers in this company,” she says. Another benefit for her is that “it’s very enjoyable to spend time on a different level with your adult child. We see many things similarly. When we do disagree, he usually has a better idea,” she says. “We’re all a product of our upbringing, so I have the same core values she does,” says Michael. Great Expectations By the same token, Patty says, “I am harder on Michael than anyone else would be. That’s because if people in the office [were to] have concerns with Michael, I know they would be more hesitant to express them to me (than they would be if he weren’t my son). So, I am his worst critic. However, Michael doesn’t have this job because he’s my son. I love my children, but I would never entrust the company to someone who wasn’t fully capable of running it on his or her own merit.” Knowing that she feels this way doesn’t concern Michael, who says, “It’s more than just a business to me.” So much so, that the two of them rarely have a holiday or family get-together where business isn’t discussed. “We really enjoy our family time,” says Michael, who is married to Julie and has two boys, Vito (4) and Leo (1). Patty lives close by, as does Michael’s brother Matt and his wife, Jackie. Matt has two daughters, Charlotte (3) and Mattie Claire (1). “We get together every holiday and at least once a month,” says Patty, who also has two children who aren’t a part of the family business, Michelle and Mishka. Michelle has two sons, Jacob (17) and Noah (11). “ We often take trips together separate from business. We’re all very close. In fact, we’re all going to Costa Rica in June,” says Patty. For Patty, at the end of the day, having her sons and daughters-inlaw working in the family business is “gratifying. It’s an opportunity to observe your children and know them from a different perspective.” L

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Lessons Learned Michael Scarafile: “Patty has taught me that how well you listen is more important than how much you talk. There’s a lot going on in the industry, and we’re so busy that sometimes we spend a lot of time on the urgent and not enough time on the important. She teaches me to slow down.” Patty Scarafile: “I’ve allowed Michael to have his space and make his own decisions. I’ve learned (well, it’s always been a part of me) to allow Michael to have the better idea. That does not threaten me.”


Selfless Service

Center

Finding Her

What began as a way to decompress and give back is now a deeply touching story of connection.

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n 2007, Missy Stagers, broker associate with Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper Realtors® in San Antonio, Tex., decided to jump off the business treadmill and do something different than the same old vacation. After all, this top producer and member of The Fellowship of Realty Professionals works hard to stay on top. “We deal with a lot of people and a lot of stress in this industry,” says Stagers, who, prior to her real estate career, served in the U.S. Navy. “I wanted to get away and disconnect, but I had a need to give at the same time. Vacations are fine, but after three days, I’m done,” she says. So she decided to go on a mission trip to Honduras. “It changed my life. Now, when I go on a 10-day mission trip, it’s the most incredible experience and allows me to get my center back to what’s important in life,” says Stager, who has three grown children and four grandchildren. Since then, she’s gone on six missions to Honduras and to Moldova over the past six years. “Moldova is one of the poorest of the Eastern Block countries,” says Stagers. “It’s land locked on the tip of the Black Sea by the Ukraine and Romania.” 16 LORE

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Above: Stagers with Tanea, an orphan from Moldova who is currently studying in the United States. Below: A typical Moldovian orphanage


Huge Heart Through Children’s Emergency Relief International (CERI), headquartered in Kingwood, Tex., Stagers visits orphanages in poverty-stricken areas. “Children are placed into orphanages here not just because they have no parents but because their parents can’t afford to feed them or keep them. Adoption is not something this country openly allows either,” she says. So, volunteers with CERI try to pick up where the orphanages leave off. “We have a shoe mission in December. We buy shoes and distribute them to the kids,” she says. “We also have camps where we spend time with the children, share Christ with them and do fun things such as art projects. It’s amazing to share pizza with a child who has never even seen it.” But the biggest impact on Stagers has come from the children she’s met through her sponsorships. “Once children in the Moldova orphanages reach 9th grade, they are forced to leave with only the clothes on their backs. The Russian Mafia is very prevalent in this country, so many are picked up by the mafia for the sex trade,” she says. CERI intercepts to take those children, put them in foster homes and help them finish high school. Then, the organization secures sponsors to help fund that housing and education. Not every teenager is chosen for the sponsorship program, and CERI works hard to match donors with teenagers who can develop a relationship and make a big impact on that teenager’s life. “CERI helps them get an education so that they can be self-sufficient rather than get sucked into the Russian Mafia,” says Stagers. While she currently sponsors two children and, in the past, has sponsored two others, one particularly connected with her—a girl named Tanea (pronounced “Tonya”), whom she started sponsoring in 2000. Tanea was 16 years old and a true orphan when Stagers met her. “Many of the children are at the orphanage because their mothers and fathers can’t afford to have them,” she says. During visits to Moldova, Stagers would meet Tanea, who would join her on visits to other orphans. Between visits, the two communicated via Facebook and email. “Facebook is a godsend for these children. While they don’t have cell phones or computers, they can get Internet access through other people and through the CERI building,” says Stagers. It was through Facebook that Stagers

Children are placed into orphanages in Moldova not just because they have no parents but because their parents can’t afford to feed them or keep them.

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Selfless Service and Tanea developed a strong friendship. “The last time I was there, Tanea had graduated high school and was starting college. I asked if she thought she could come visit the United States. As soon as she said yes, I started the process,” she says. “We started the documentation for a visitor’s visa. We were blessed to get it approved, as getting out of the country is difficult.” The girl came for a three-week visit. Welcome to Texas What happened next is so special to Stagers that she has a hard time containing her emotions. “A few weeks after she got to our house, she asked if my husband, Rick, and I would be her mom and dad. How do you say no to that?” she says. “We frantically started working on getting her a student visa, and she started college in January.” Currently 21 years old, Tanea is completing classes to learn English as a second language. Once she completes that coursework, she can apply to a degree program. Stagers is helping her get a work visa and, eventually, will help her get a green card. While Stagers hasn’t officially adopted Tanea because Tanea is now an adult, she says, “I would do it officially in a heartbeat. She lives with me, and I’m sponsoring her college,” she says. And Tanea is navigating the ways of Texas with aplomb. “It’s beautiful to watch her blossom. She has fewer than 50 pieces of clothing and tells me frequently that she has more than she’ll ever need,” laughs Stagers. While it’s too soon to see if Tanea will join Stagers in the real estate business, Stagers laughs when she says, “She tells me I work very hard. She wants to get a degree in business management. My greatest treasure is to see her greatest dreams come true. It’s wonderful to see her with goals and excitement.” Stagers also sponsors another girl who just aged out of the orphanage. “She is the sixth child of a family. The older children live with their parents in an apartment the size of a one-car garage. Her parents simply couldn’t afford to house her or support her,” says Stagers. Although Stagers hasn’t connected with this girl as she has with Tanea, she makes a point to visit her during her mission trips.

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Renewal For Stagers, the experience has been extraordinary. “I see the renewal of life. I’ve watched Tanea grow. The simple experience of seeing an electronic pencil sharpener fascinated her. It made me realize how privileged and spoiled we are in the United

States. Even our poor are spoiled [compared to the poor in Moldova],” she says. “If you’ve never taken the time to give back or spend time with less fortunate people, please know that they need you. It puts your life back into perspective, especially in today’s bigger, faster world.” L

Want to Sponsor a Child? If you are interested in learning more about the missions sponsored by Children’s Emergency Relief International or learning about how to sponsor a child in need, go to: www.cerikids.org.

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Art and Real Estate

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Religious

Experience It took a seven-year stay at a monastery to clarify this agent’s true passions— art and real estate.

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or a few lucky individuals, the idea of following their passions is as easy as, well, just doing it. For others, it takes thoughtful contemplation. That’s how it was for Bob Cardinale, a sales associate with Sotheby’s International Realty in Santa Fe, N. Mex. “From the time I was nine years old, I would tell my mom that I wanted to be a sculptor, but I didn’t really know what that was. I’ve always been an artist,” says Cardinale, who, through a period of self-discovery as a young adult, truly understood what being a sculptor meant. But, it took some time to develop that deep sense of self.

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Born in 1939, Cardinale attended a catholic high school. Upon graduation, he attended the University of Colorado in Boulder to study electrical engineering. “I dropped out my third year,” he says. Looking for something more in his life and following his instincts that told him he had a vocation for a religious career, he decided to visit a Benedictine monastery. “They had an affiliated high school, and we used to debate them and play them athletically, so I knew some of the priests and brothers,” he says. “I visited for three weeks, went back home, sold my car and gave away my possessions, and entered the monastery.” For Cardinale, his experience in those seven years was an “intellectual awakening,” he says. “This was a very scholarly, humanistic order, and I was able to pursue degrees in both mathematics and philosophy while at St. Benedict’s College in Atchison, Kans.” He went on for a year of graduate school in theology, but decided that he didn’t want to be a priest. Instead, he wanted to be an artist, so he entered graduate school at the University of Northern Colorado, where he received his Master of Arts degree in art. “When I finished my master’s degree, I met my now wife, PJ, who is also an artist,” he says. They’ve been married since 1966. A Thirst for Knowledge “I have a thirst for knowledge, so I started a doctoral program in art history and received a doctorate in art education from Arizona State University,” he says. “That’s when I found my love for the visual arts,” he says. But, he also liked teaching. He has been a professor of art at the University of Northern Colorado, Ohio State University, University of Arizona and Boston University, where he was director of the Program in Artisanry. “I loved it at Boston University, but for economic reasons, they were downsizing, and they eliminated the program.” From there, Cardinale moved to Santa Fe, where he was offered a job as president of the Santa Fe Art Institute. “They were building a new art school, and I had the opportunity to work with famous architect Charles Moore,” he says. With that project, he was involved with everything he loved—architecture and design. “I had access to tons of blueprints and started doing drawings and paintings on those blueprints. That led to building structures from the drawings,” he says. It was a trip to Santa Fe that served as Cardinale’s “aha” moment. “My wife and I were visiting a sacred place called El Santuario de Chimayo. We saw two wonderful church models left by a religious

Cardinale’s incredible wooden sculptures of churches, missions and synagogues are currently displayed at three galleries in the United States. They sell for upwards of $5,000 each.

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pilgrim. I was tempted to steal one,” laughs Cardinale. “My wife said, ‘Why don’t you make your own?’” That was in 1985. “I made one for her and took it to a local gallery. They asked me to make five, and two weeks after I had them displayed, [the gallery was] sold out,” he says. Weathered Churches Known as Roberto in the art world, Cardinale now expresses his artistic side by building small churches, missions and synagogues out of wood. The finished sculptures are “semirustic, earth-toned structures,” according to the Tansey Contemporary gallery, one of the three galleries where Cardinale shows his art. All his sculptures are tributes to spiritual places, “the intense, physical manifestation of a community’s beliefs.” The Road to Real Estate This begs the question: Just why did he get into real estate when so much of his life was spent pursuing academics, teaching and creating? “While I was president of the Santa Fe Art School, I had to raise millions of dollars for the school. The president of The Museum of New Mexico’s Foundation recruited me to raise funds for [the organization]. I couldn’t handle the politics, so that didn’t work out. A friend of mine was a real estate professional, and he suggested I pursue a real estate career,” he says. The rest, as they say, is history. “I realized I could make a good living, still work on my art, and I really liked practicing real estate.” A Spiritual Pursuit Like most things in Cardinale’s life, real estate has been a spiritual pursuit for him. “It’s a strange thing, but in real estate I have to put my ego in the background and let the client’s interests take over. I have to support those interests. I have a tendency to keep my ego in the front, so this has been very good for me,” he says. He does integrate his art into his business. “I’ve become

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This 16-foot tall shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe resides in the back yard of the house that Cardinale and his wife, PJ built.


the church guy in real estate. And that spiritual connection builds a reputation of integrity. I tell the truth, return phone calls and show up on time,” he says. He also takes real estate clients to the galleries that show his art. “I will build relationships around art if it’s a good fit,” he says. Art also runs in the family. Cardinale and his wife have studios on opposite sides of the house. “We spend our evenings in our respective studios, and we’re so supportive of each other,” he says. In addition, his older son, Christopher, is a mural artist in New York City. “[Christopher’s] wife, Sharon, is an artist and a high fashion photographer,” says Cardinale. They have a son, Maceo (9). Cardinale’s other son, Anthony, wasn’t bitten by the artist bug. Instead, he works in information technology in Albuquerque. After a long journey, Cardinale has finally found his calling. “I work until 8 p.m. most nights on real estate, and that stimulates me. When I get home, I’m kind of brain dead. Then, after about half an hour I head into my studio and work until midnight. It wakes me up, and I don’t have to think about decisions and paperwork. It’s a nice blend of my time.” L

Cardinale’s“Artist Holy Trinity” Henri Matisse French artist Robert Motherwell American painter and printmaker Richard Diebenkorn American painter

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Omaha! The Field of Life How one sales associate’s failures and successes on the football field saved his real estate career.

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ometimes, the road you want to travel through life is filled with dips, turns and detours. Just ask Scott Phillips Jr., president of Keller Williams Realty Greater Cleveland, who, despite some early football disappointments, went on to have a successful professional football career. However, it took a lot of hard work, much like the work he puts into his real estate career. Recruiting Days As a high school senior, Phillips hoped to play college football. Unfortunately, the quarterback and 2000-2001

Phillips, No. 12, was the starting quarterback for the North Coast Vikings Minor League Football team.

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Athlete of the Year for Notre Dame–Cathedral Latin High School in Cleveland wasn’t heavily recruited. “I wasn’t terribly surprised. I had accepted that unless I went to a really small college, my football career had pretty much ended,” says Phillips.

Life in the Real World Phillips graduated from college in 2005 and immediately started selling life insurance. “I didn’t like it at all,” he says, but he knew his career niche was out there somewhere. “I lived in downtown Cleveland, which was

It fulfilled me greatly to sign autographs for kids. These kids absolutely dream about being on that field someday, and when I signed their autographs, I’d always tell them that if I could do it, they could do it.”

On to New Adventures Instead, Phillips did the next best thing. He went to Ohio State University (OSU). “I went there because it was the biggest school in the nation,” he says. He tried to walk on (try out) the Buckeyes football team as a freshman but didn’t make it. Not one to give up, in his sophomore year he tried again to walk on at Ohio State and was invited to spring voluntary workouts and practices. “It wasn’t because I excelled on the field. It was because I memorized the playbook after taking a class with Coach Jim Tressel (then head coach of the Buckeyes),” laughs Phillips, who notes that the class was “aptly called ‘Coaching Football with Jim Tressel.’” During that class, he memorized all the formations and personnel groupings that OSU used during the team’s national championship season. “Assistant Coach Joe Daniels singled me out in class when he realized that I was getting them all correct. I indicated my desire to be a quarterback on the team.” Phillips says he went to a few practices and “was not a participant in the scout team beyond warming up some of the players at the start of practice. Ultimately, the sport was too big for me there. I wasn’t physically or mentally prepared to succeed at that level at that time.” By then, he was entrenched in student life at OSU, where he was president of his fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon. So when he was offered an opportunity to transfer to Case Western Reserve University to play quarterback, he turned it down. “In the long run, it worked out much better for me as my fraternity prepared me for the real business world more than anything I’ve done in my life,” says Phillips. He did try out for the Cleveland Lions minor league football team in 2007, but was cut.

— Scott Phillips Jr. Lives of Real Estate

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the poorest city in America at that time. I wanted to revive the community, so I opened a nonprofit called Cleveland City Living,” says Phillips. Cleveland City Living started as a magazine (which evolved into a blog) to attract young professionals to living in downtown Cleveland. “When I started Cleveland City Living, my goal was to bring young people to Cleveland,” says Phillips. He says it worked. “In 2006, there were just over 5,500 people living in downtown Cleveland. Occupancy was just over 65 percent, and many buildings were stalling their conversions to apartments due to low occupancy.” Since then, he says, the downtown has been expanded from “dirty and dangerous” to the mostsought-after destination living area in Ohio for young professionals. “Average rents have increased by 50 percent due to the demand, and occupancy now exceeds 11,500 and 97 percent occupancy,” he says, who credits this success to his public relations push as well as to community leaders dedicated to the city. The Move to Real Estate … and Football Again! In fact, the work Phillips did with Cleveland City Living helped him develop a passion for real estate. “I opened the Keller Williams franchise in Cleveland in 2009 in hopes of changing people’s perceptions of what it’s like to live in the city,” he says. He started his team, the KW New Homes Team in 2010. While he is the co-owner of the brokerage, he is not the broker of record. He also now owns a second Keller Williams office, in Rocky River, Ohio. Ironically, at the same time he started his real estate business, his football career was revived. At least football-wise, Phillips is the epitome of a late bloomer. “I finally put it all together. After I earned my real estate license, I figured out what I needed to do to make an arena football team,” says Phillips. At the same time he was building his real estate career, he was preparing for football tryouts. Rocky Style Determined to make a professional football team, Phillips studied everything from throwing accuracy to velocity and quick release. “I needed a sub-4.6, 40-yard dash time, I needed to put on 12 pounds, and I needed to bench press 225 pounds at least 10 times,” he says. He did all that and started working with a mentor, Tom Arth, former Indianapolis Colts back-up quarterback to Peyton Manning. “He altered my throwing motion slightly, and I sped up my release by studying plays and coverages, so I knew what to expect faster,” he says. “I ran a 4.55, 40-yard dash at the [football] combine, but don’t try to get me to do that again,” laughs Phillips. “After all the failures in my football life from seventh grade to college, I had finally made a team that paid you to be 26

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Now retired from football, Phillips spends time building his brokerage and hanging out with his wife, Jenny and kids, Madison and Brayden.


there!” he says. That was a Professional Arena Football team, the Canton Legends. “I signed my contract in January 2008 and sold my first home at that same time.” At that point, the real estate market was crashing. “Between 2007 and 2008, I sold one home. Football occupied me during my down time,” he says. “Football gave me a place to compete where I was actually winning at something, and [in those early years] it probably helped me stay in real estate, given that there were paychecks in the arena league.” The best part was that football was helping him grow his network. “My clients loved to talk football with me. They’d even come to my games on Saturdays in the summer and have their kids get autographs after the game. It was a lot of fun and a great conversation piece.” The Road to Real Estate Phillips continued to play on various pro and semipro football teams (see timeline at right) until June 25, 2011. “I injured my ACL [anterior cruciate ligament], and that ended my career,” he says. “I was crushed. I couldn’t watch the game. I was depressed for awhile, but I eventually regained mobility and was able to play with my kids to occupy my time,” says Phillips, who is married to Jenny and has two children, Madison (3) and Brayden (1). By then, Phillips had found success in real estate and taken on new construction sales when other sales associates didn’t want them. He was selected as a National Association of Realtors® 30 Under 30 honoree in 2012, where his profile reads, “Phillips has built a team that has virtually cornered the new construction market in Cleveland. He listed his first development in 2009; two years later, he was marketing eight developments and had more than 100 listings.” In 2013, he opened his second Keller Williams office, the first where he is the sole operating broker. Now, Phillips has a bright outlook on the future. “There’s a balance in life that I buy into—a sound mind and a sound body with a healthy spirit. Football gave me the opportunity to keep my spirit and body healthy as I started my career in real estate. The discipline, the perseverance, the time management—all those aspects really helped keep my life in order as my career fully blossomed. While my days playing football are over, I look back at the memories of that time and remind myself: I wouldn’t have traded it for any healthy knees, any extra real estate deals or any fewer bruises. Football is inside me forever.” L

Timeline • 2007: Tried out for Cleveland Lions Minor League Football— Practice Squad. No playing time. • 2008: Tried out for Canton Legends Professional Arena Football—Signed contract January 2008. Continued through May 2008 (end of season). • 2008 (Summer): Starting quarterback for the North Coast Vikings Minor League Football— Signed in May 2008. Started eight games (skipped two games due to marriage/honeymoon). • 2009: Starting quarterback for the Lake Erie Invaders Minor League Football team—Signed April 2009. Started 10 games. Threw for more than 2,000 yards and 15 touchdowns. Advanced to conference semifinals. • 2009: Starting quarterback for the Lake Erie Football League (FEFL) North All-Star Team. Was voted to the first team ALL-LEFL Team. • 2010-2011: Starting quarterback for the Lake Erie Invaders Minor Football League. Continued contract from 2009. Started 14 games. Injured his ACL on June 25, 2011, ending career.

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LORE - Lives of Real Estate Spring 2014 Edition