Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday – a non-denominational opportunity to reflect on the past year and our current situation.
I subscribe to the teaching that what we dwell on affects what we draw to ourselves. For example, if we think we might fail at a task, we are more likely to fail, but if we think we’ll succeed, we’re more likely to succeed. Some people refer to this as the “law of attraction.”
That’s why I like Thanksgiving, because it causes me to dwell on what I’m thankful for – not my regrets, not my failures, not what went wrong, but what went right and the good people in my life.
Well, I have a lot to be thankful for!
First of all, I’m thankful to be married to Rita, who always thinks positively and now shares her positive energy with me and the broker associates at Golden Real Estate as our office manager. Her positive orientation is evident in our house, where she has such phrases as “How Does It Get Any Better Than This?” and “What Else is Possible?” printed on our family room wall. How did I get so lucky as to attract this woman into my life? I’m forever grateful for that!
Rita and I have no children together, but we have three “adopted daughters” — three women who consider us “Mama Ri” and “Papa Jim.” Thank you, Kristin in Kansas City, Ashley in Centennial, and Benedikte in Seattle, for honoring us with your love.
Secondly, I’m thankful for our great broker associates at Golden Real Estate. In order of seniority, they are:
Jim Swanson, who worked beside me at Coldwell Banker and RE/Max Alliance before joining Golden Real Estate when Rita and I founded it in 2007. He’s our native Goldenite, living ½ mile from our office.
Carrie Lovingier lived in Golden when she joined us as Carrie Ackley soon after our founding. She married a high school sweetheart, Brady, and lives with him and his sons in Evergreen now – she’s our foothills anchor.
Kristi Brunel is from Wisconsin but met her soul mate, Kenny, on the ski slopes of Colorado, marrying into that legendary “old Golden” family. Kristi and I met through Leadership Golden, and I was honored that she wanted to begin her real estate career with us. As an owner, along with Kenny and her father-in-law, of numerous rentals, she’s a resource to me and her clients as an expert in buying investment properties.
Leo Swoyer came to us as a new Realtor after a long career as a licensed appraiser specializing in mountain properties. His expertise in valuing properties and his knowledge of mountain properties has benefited us on many occasions.
Chuck Brown was an independent broker with Metro Brokers in Denver, but he lives on Lookout Mountain, so he was attracted to joining Golden Real Estate as a broker associate. He is our Denver specialist and continues to list many Denver homes and serve Denver buyers as well as here in Jeffco.
David Dlugasch was broker/owner of his own real estate company in Crested Butte, but chose to join Golden Real Estate when he moved to Arvada to be closer to his daughter’s family in the Village of Five Parks. He says that reading my newspaper columns was a factor is deciding to join us. Thanks for the compliment, David!
I met Susan Dixon at the Colorado Environment Film Festival. Her commitment to sustainability drew her to leave her previous brokerage and join Golden Real Estate. She lives in Arvada.
Andrew Lesko transferred to Golden Real Estate so he could specialize in Golden area condos and townhomes. We were so impressed by his research on this topic and his creation of www.GoldenTownhomes.com that it was a no-brainer to welcome him into our fold!
Norm Kowitz serves with Kristi Brunel on the board of directors of the Christian Action Guild, and I met him when he represented a buyer for one of my listings. He, too, was attracted by this newspaper column and before long he became a great copy editor for me. Thanks, Norm, for joining us!
These broker associates provide a depth and breadth of expertise, but they all share a commitment to our values of integrity, service and sustainability, and I couldn’t be prouder to be associated with them.
Next, I am thankful for you, our readers, who turn to us every week for advice, which we are happy to provide, whether or not you hire us for the sale and/or purchase of real estate. Thank you for your confidence in us.
Next, I’m thankful for the National Association of Realtors and our local association, the Denver Metro Association of Realtors. Not all licensed agents choose to join NAR and DMAR, but they all benefit from these organizations’ work to protect home ownership and our industry. I’m proud to say that Golden Real Estate is a Realtor brokerage, and all our agents are Realtors.
I’m also thankful for our local MLS and its CEO, Kirby Slunaker, who has shepherded the organization to a level of service and effectiveness which I couldn’t have imagined just five years ago. Our MLS has a great website, and now we are about to merge with the northern Colorado MLS, called IRES, to create an even stronger and better MLS. I’m proud to serve on the Rules & Regulations Committee of REcolorado.
Regular readers know of my commitment not just to sustainability but also to the adoption of electric vehicles. I am so thankful that EVs are going mainstream and that multiple countries (France, China, Norway and the UK, among others) are speeding the end of internal combustion-powered automobiles. I predicted this revolution a couple years ago, but this year’s developments in that regard surprised even me.
We should all be thankful for the various service organizations which contribute so much to society— Rotary, Lions, Sertoma, Optimists, Kiwanis, and others. Rotary, for example, is singularly responsible for the eradication of polio. The Lions Clubs, inspired in 1925 by Helen Keller, have worked on projects to prevent blindness, restore eyesight and improve eye care for millions of people worldwide. The Optimists are all about serving youth. Here in Golden, they have a “bicycle recycle” program that has provided free or inexpensive bicycles to those who couldn’t afford them. Sertoma (short for “Service to Mankind”) is devoted to serving those at risk of hearing loss.
Service clubs in America are in decline, although I’m pleased to report that both the Golden Rotary Club and Golden Lions Club are experiencing a surge in membership this year. (Rita and I are Rotarians, and I’m a Lion.) If voluntarism is in your heart, I urge you to check into one of these clubs in your community, all of which welcome you as their guest at one of their meetings.
I don’t have room to mention all of the organizations or people for whom I am thankful, but let me mention one more — our local chambers of commerce. Golden Real Estate is pleased to be a member of the West Chamber serving Jefferson County and the Golden Chamber of Commerce, on whose board of directors I serve. These organizations play an important role is promoting a healthy business environment in the communities they serve. Legislators benefit from their advice and feedback regarding bills affecting business. All businesses should consider joining their local chamber and participate in their events.
Lastly, on a personal note, Rita and I are eternally thankful to have connected with Body in Balance Wellness Center, where our health and fitness benefited from their “8 Weeks to Wellness” program — a real life changer!