I had a short childhood and grew up quickly; I grew up with 2 older brothers and admittedly was a bit of a tomboy (and still am). My Dad was an extremely hard worker so my mother could stay home with us kids.
Most of my childhood memories consist of family camping trips, and me growing up in the gym. I was a gymnast and competed at the provincial level until I was injured at the age of 12 and taken out of the sport by age 13. Kinda funny how short lived a gymnast’s career span really is now looking back. Life went on, I graduated high school, took a year off to work and at the age of 17 was a salary supervisor at good ole Value Village (a second hand store).
After working hard for 1 year I went off to college to become a social worker. Throughout college I was a waitress, bartender, and worked at the college residence. I also worked the midnight shift on the line at GM over the summers to make enough money to put myself through college (p.s. I wouldn’t buy a 2004 Denali if I were you). On top of that I had my fair share of volunteer work which needed to be completed for my programs which had me gaining all sorts of experience in the social work field working in group homes, women shelters and detox centers.
Needless to say after school I was pretty burnt out and I hadn’t even had a paying job in my field yet! Right after college I stumbled upon a lucrative modeling career, which landed me a contract with top modeling agency Ford Models. It was a much-needed break from the world of social work!
I was traveling the world and the pay was great and I have some pretty cool pictures to show the kids one day!
After a few years of being a full time model I got back to what it was I worked so hard to put myself through school for-Social work. I worked with youth with mental health and addictions issues and later worked with adults as well. I met a man I would later marry. 2 years later we had our beautiful daughter Ella (who is now 8).
After Ella was born I struggled with sever postpartum depression. That combined with a number of other factors lead to the breakdown of our marriage. After 1 year of marriage counseling and right around Ella’s 2nd birthday I found myself applying for divorce, selling our family home, buying my own house, quitting my job and becoming a real estate agent over a 3 month period. It was a world wind. It was one of the worst and best times of my life. I had always wanted to get into real estate but it was never a decision that I felt was supported in my marriage. For those of you that will come to know me you will soon realize no one can tell me that I can’t do something.
Naturally I made it my mission to prove those individuals wrong!
Plus I had no other option but to be successful, at this point I had a 2 year old little girl to take care of and a mortgage payment to make! My first year in real estate was hard! Really hard! There were a number of times I wish I could have just quit but quitting for me wasn’t an option…. Must be the “Gumbinger” in me (that’s my maiden name). I told myself I was going to be different than “all those other agents” out there. I was going to build a business based on respect and integrity and if it meant it would take longer for me to build that business then so be it….
At the end of the day I knew I would have a better and stronger business because of it! My first year I did 12 deals, my second year I doubled my firsts years income and found myself getting married for the second time to my now husband Brad! My 3rd year doubled my second and I somehow found myself in the top 20% of my company as well as had baby number two (our son Mason who is now 2 years old).
My 4th year I was in the top 20% of the company and asked to sit on our companies Agent Leadership Council and head up The Culture Committee.
After having Mason I found myself a little bit disconnected from the office and took the opportunity to sit on the council and committee. Through the work with my office and getting back in momentum with my business I found myself wanting more… I no longer wanted to just DO the business but rather craved BUILDING my businesses.
I wanted to be more than just a real estate agent. I wanted to be someone who gives back and to build a legacy, something my children and husband could be proud of.
Through one of the company community events RED Day which has the office giving a day of service to our community organized by myself and the culture committee we donated a day of service to one of the schools in an underprivileged area of our community. While organizing this day it became obvious to me just how much teachers do for our children and our community and just how underfunded some of our schools are especially those that do not have parents who can contribute towards the extras all of the schools rely so heavily upon. At that time I thought wouldn’t it be great if I somehow gave back to the schools in our community through real estate. After a few months of thought…
The Teacher Only Program® was born.
I decided early on this had to be different though. It couldn’t just be a real estate program. We quickly started innovating and within the year, we had developed a proprietary approach called the “Warren Buffett Approach” to sell real estate. This approach—by studying the world’s greatest investor, Warren Buffett, and applying his investment philosophy to real estate—we discovered there is a unique way to extract up to $30,000 or more of additional profit, from any ordinary home on the market. So far, this approach has been a huge success for our clients…
Our last client banked $41,100 of extra profit in just 5 days.
But again, this had to be different. It had to be more than just a real estate program for teachers. How could we give back? How could we make a difference? How could we make an impact in the community? –in the lives of teachers and students?
This question it seemed like it haunted me for weeks. Then it happened. I read an article where 6 out every 10 kids in Durham School District received some kind of meal assistance. Hungry students, it turns out, is a very big issue in our community. As a parent, I can’t imagine that feeling. As a student, sure, meals are provided to you at school through these programs, but what about when you go home? How could you possibly focus on school, or make school a priority, when you go to bed hungry each night? …
The next day I arranged a meeting with the local food bank, St. Paul’s on-the-Hill. I talked to the director, Margaret Jocz. I learned a lot. Margaret confirmed just how big of an issue this really was. That’s all it took, the next week my mind was made up…
Outdoor Movie Night For Hunger™ was born.
I never imagined the Event would be so successful so quickly, supported by so many amazing people in our community. Over 1500 people attended. Over 3,000 lbs. of food was collected for St. Paul’s on the Hill Community Food Bank last year alone. The event was sponsored by over 30 incredible businesses, including Mercedes Benz, Lowes, and Sun-Life Financial. Outdoor Movie Night for Hunger was written up in the Durham paper four times, once making the front page. It was also broadcasted about, and publicized on local radio stations KX96, 9.49 and CKDO, not to mention, garnished the support of more than 20 Community Partners, including: The Durham District School Board, Blair Ridge Public School and The Brooklin Public Library to name a few.
With the support of my community behind me we were able to make a huge impact in the lives of so many.
Together We Can Make an Even Bigger Difference!
With more thought given to this it has become our Mission, with the Teacher Only Program® and Outdoor Movie Night for Hunger™ as the foundation—to donate $10,000 each year to local and teacher-related charities. Alongside building my business and helping clients achieve their real estate dreams; Real Estate has afforded me the opportunity to give back in a way I never thought possible. It has provided me with the resources to create a movement and an opportunity to work with likeminded individuals who are just as passionate about giving back to their community as I am.
In the months to come I will share with you more about my story, what lead me to where I am today and some of my discoveries along the way. I would also like to welcome you walk along side me as my saga continues! I am excited and looking forward to what lies ahead.
To connect with me directly regarding Outdoor Movie Night for Hunger, the Teacher Only Program® or other matters, including; real estate, philanthropy, fund-raising or community leadership, email is preferred, and yes, I answers every email personally in 24-48 hours or as soon as I can, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.