A Day at Disney with the Sunshine Kids

By Melissa Kandel

It’s one thing to understand sunshine, know that it brightens darkness, signifies the start of a new day but it’s another to really experience it, warm and shiny in the early morning. You can feel it then as something real and almost tangible, and it’s so much more than just a nebulous thought in your mind, gone as quickly as it came.

That’s probably the best way I can describe my recent time spent with the Sunshine Kids at Disneyland and California Adventure Park, part of the California Fun-Time Fantasy trip that brings the children to various locales on the Golden State’s Southern Coast each year. I was volunteering as a representative from the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices corporate office, sent to take photos and document the day.

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Thoughts on Leadership: Wildly Important Goals

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in St. Charles, MO at the Whitmoor Country Club for the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Alliance Real Estate Golf Tournament benefitting the Sunshine Kids. Before we hit the green, I met with the Alliance Real Estate team to talk about 8 principles of success and the 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX). I’ve visited the brokerage many times before and each time I’m reminded that Alliance Real Estate has forward-thinking leaders at its helm: CEO/Owner Andrea Lawrence; President/Co-Owner Kevin Goffstein; and Executive Vice President/Co-Owner Bob Bax. It was evident from this meeting that the company is poised for even greater success in the St. Louis marketplace.

After our meeting it was off to a day of golf, and everyone—including actor and Sunshine Kids Executive Director G.W. Bailey who was in attendance for the event—had one goal in mind: Raise money for the Sunshine Kids.

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Thursday Thoughts on Leadership: Travel to Learn

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in the city of St. Louis to meet with the team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties, an amazing group of real estate professionals who prove with crystal-clear assurance what you can achieve when you have a strong, vibrant culture at your brokerage business.

I have to tell you, being in St. Louis was really an eye-opening trip for me. I’ve long been a fan of the idea that new eyes see old things in new ways and sometimes, these “eyes” aren’t literal eyes but instead places, things and experiences that widen your perspective in ways you never thought possible. Travel, in this sense, is more than just going from one place to another but instead a complete mindset shift and a chance to learn what you otherwise would never have known. For instance, who knew that there’s an area of St. Louis called “The Hill,” home to baseball greats Yogi Berra and Joe Gargiola Sr., who spent their childhood living across the street from one another on Elizabeth Avenue?

“Not only was I not the best catcher in the Major Leagues,” Gargiola once famously said, “I wasn’t even the best catcher on my street!”

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Thoughts on Leadership: Gateway to the West

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in St. Louis to meet with two fantastic brokerages. First, I visited Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties and members of the company’s leadership team, including Maryann Vitale Alles, president and CEO and Angie Ignatowski, broker/owner/relocation director. Then it was off to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Alliance Real Estate to speak with agents and managers, including CEO/Owner Andrea Lawrence, President/Co-Owner Kevin Goffstein and Executive Vice President/Co-Owner Bob Bax. My meeting with Alliance Real Estate was part of a two-day event, the Faster Higher Stronger Conference, which kicked off Wednesday night at the St. Louis Cardinal’s Busch Stadium, for an evening of baseball to benefit the Sunshine Kids. What an incredible experience and it all began with Steven Conner of the Sunshine Kids, who was joined on the field by his family as he threw out the first pitch of the game! Great times for a great cause!

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