So my Mom got a call last week asking if she would sign off so my Uncle Ben could be honored with the Naming of American Legion Post#407 – "LTC George Franklin (Ben) Aiken American Legion Post #407"
She asked why was there something she didn't know about my Uncle? We all knew he was very committed to being in the military but he never talked about any of his success. Every time he would tell a story it was always to honor his fellow commrads never about himself. He was so amazingly humble we had no idea. My Mom received a Military Resume they had done for Uncle Ben and in that article we now see how amazing he really was.
George Franklin Aiken
(July 7, 1937 – July 29, 2007)
Lt. Col. Ret. George (Ben) Aiken passed away on July 29, 2007 in Gig Harbor, WA. Benny (as referred to by friends and family) was born on July 7, 1937 in El Paso, Texas to Nolan and Marcella Aiken. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Texas Western College and was Vice President, Secretary, and Pledge Master of his fraternity, Phi Kappa Tau. Upon graduation in 1960, he received his commission into the United States Army. He earned a Masters of Arts Degree in Public Administration from Webster College. Early on in his military career he spent a great deal of time on duty in Europe and later on as a Green Beret in the Special Forces, he served multiple tours of duty in South East Asia. He was awarded numerous medals, some of which were the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, the Meritorious Service Medal (2), the Bronze Star (3), the Silver Star, Purple Heart (3), and a President’s Citation. His last assignment was that of Olympics Security Coordinator for the Summer Olympics in Korea.US ARMY, Retired as a Lieutenant Colonel, Infantry/Special ForcesHeld numerous worldwide assignments as both a Line Officer and in Staff positions during a 28-year professional Military career:
Directed and supervised 2800 personnel at Ft. Polk, LA. as well as first line responsible for the G5 (Civil Affairs) functions relating to Emergency Management of Natural Disasters affecting this very large (40,000 person) Military/dependent community . Directed and supervised 1400 personnel at Ft. Devens, MA and Bad Tolz, FRG with operations in diverse locations throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Directed and supervised 2200 personnel in the Republic of Viet Nam providing strategic level Intelligence to the Commander-in-Chief and conducted tactical operations against North Vietnamese elements in Laos and the Republic of Viet Nam.
Planned and conducted counter-terrorism activities during the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Republic of Korea. Responsible to the Commander-in-Chief for the Security of 28 venues from the DMZ to the southern tip of the country; integrating both civilian and military multi-national elements. Planned and directed Special Operations Command (SOC) activities during the Granada incursion.
Planned and conducted training of Special Forces elements (A- & B-Team level) of fourteen countries in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Southeast and Northeast Asia.
TWIN FEATHERS Enterprises, Tucson, AZ (CAGE: 0BXY7): Type-A CONSULTANT: Performs as a Security Engineer involved in Vulnerability Assessment/Risk Analysis (VA/RA) of DoD High-Security Installations, Development of Accreditation documentation. Assigned to Department of State Site (DOS) Survey Team for Anti-Terrorism/Counter-Terrorism / Physical Security upgrade-enhancement project at numerous OCONUS locations worldwide. (Licensed PI (AZ) w/CCA).
He retired in 1988 after 27 years of serving our country and moved to Tucson, Arizona where he taught ROTC for the Pima County Schools. In 2005 he moved to Fox Island, WA to be near his family. He was preceded in death by his mother and father. He is survived by one sister, Dorothy Fanning and her husband, Harry. He had a nephew Michael Fanning, and his two children, Jack and Emerson and also his niece Deana Fanning and her son Jared. One of the last things Benny did was to sponsor Jared on a trip to Europe to play in two soccer tournaments. He was very proud to be able to do that. He will be missed by his many friends and family. At his request, there will be no public memorial and his ashes will be returned to Tucson.
When you are a true hero you don't need to talk about it because it just is! In Honor of my Uncle Ben!
We are not focused on what makes brokers worth their weight in gold at all. I'm sorry but providing listing data was big in 2000 but today it's about the experience and the power of a well trained professional Real Estate advisor. Someone who has amazing market knowledge, mastered the skills of negotiation, and understands every friction point that can occur in this very difficult transaction and keeps their customer one step ahead at all times.
Marc Davidson wrote this article and it is spot on.
"Maybe I’m crazy, but in my mind strong brokers still have a wide-open opportunity to do things Zillow could never do. They can create an undeniable culture, supply hand-to-hand support, create real community connections and build a brand that holds the promise of homeownership more meaningfully than any media company ever could."
As an industry we need to stop having fear about the unknown and start looking at what services we provide today. We need to honestly ask ourselves, what is the experience my customers have when they work we me? Is it the absolute best or is it just average, am I as professional as I can be? Do I have amazing relationships with my customers and how entrenched am I in the community that I serve? We need to focus on what can be better instead of what is up ahead that we can only speculate on. If we would commit ourselves to excellence in our industry and do what we already know how to do the outcome would be amazing.
Every year we have our Windemrere Owners Retreat and each time we have to come up with something that will get everyone laughing. Well this year we decided to do our own version of Jimmy Fallon's Late Nite Show. Here are the videos of the lip sync off. Enjoy! Special thanks to Vikki Nakamura for doing the videos.
It's monday and I'm back from our annual Windermere Owners Retreat. This year it was in Maui at the Grand Wailea Hotel. We had amazing attendance and had Matthew Ferrara as our keynote, "what a great individual". If Maui, and Matthew wasn't enought we also had some amazing bonding experiences. When I look back on my 18 years with Windermere I have so many fond memories, and what sticks with me the most is how amazing the people are that I have the pleasure of working with day in and day out. They say a picture is worth a 1000 words so I'll just let these photos taken by York Baur, our CTO speak for themselves. Click the photo to see all of them.
This was the question I found myself asking over and over as I laid in bed this morning and learned that my friend Kyle Warnick had died after being struck by a car as he walked his dog in the late afternoon on September 15. 2014.
One thing people knew about Kyle was that he was an amazing story teller amongst many other talents. It was summer of 2013 in lake Chelan as Kyle and I sat on a dock drinking beers. "Ones that he had handpicked." As we contemplated life, I asked him if he had thought about teaching Real Estate agents how to tell a good story? His face lit up and the big smile we all love came over him and he said "Well Mike! Funny you ask that, I was thinking the same thing, so yes when?" Kyle had put the finishing touches on the class and we set the date Oct 9, 2014. He had mastered what he was going to teach and had taken time to build it around the world of real estate. I remember after Kyle had meet with a few of our Windermere Owners and Brokers he came to me and said. "Wow your business is a bit different." He meant it with the best of intentions. I always looked forward to our meetings to discuss the class and every time we met it always started off with his big smile and usually a funny story, or the two of us laughing about a recent Facebook post, then talking about our kids and family and what we had done over the weekend, by the way his outings were always more colorful than mine. We would eventually get to business. So as I laid there and asked why? I realized that as tragic as this is we have to somehow someway find meaning behind it because Kyle would want that.
What I know about Kyle is that he had zest for life, he was very much in love with Pam and his two sons. He was a super dad to Josh and Jackson. He loved music, and art, and food, good beers, and his ability to tell a story was amazing. Disneyland was his happy place. Actually the list can go on and on. I always looked forward to doing things with Kyle and Pam because the fun factor was off the charts, and I would have a great story to attempt to tell even though it was never as good as the way Kyle told it. I was so looking forward to his class and hoping to get the secret of storytelling from the master. He had an energy that you felt as soon as he walked in the room. So back to WHY! I have so many emotions but if I stop and think about who Kyle was, this is where I land.
The most important part about him was that he cared. He cared about people and he was so much more about them then he was about himself. Both he and Pam are so genuine, and you could see that they had taught Josh and Jackson to carry on the same way. He was a giver and an all-around wonderful guy. He was always thinking who can I help next. Yes his death was tragic and the why part we will never know. God said it was time is pretty much what I came up with. What we can do however is honor the spirit of Kyle by allowing ourselves to stop and laugh a bit more, Love harder, embrace others, and ask yourself the next time you're with a love one, your child or a friend. How are you making them feel? Do you make them laugh, do they know that you are there for them and do they look forward to the next time? Take time today and tell the people in your life what they mean to you. We don't always know what may come.
My thoughts are with Pam, and Josh, and Jackson in this difficult time, and for those of you who knew Kyle take what you loved about him and weave it into you own worlds and tell the story of Kyle Warnick. The world will be a better place because the Kyle that I know would of wanted it that way.
Neighbors of Laurelhurst, Wedgewood, Bryant, and Windermere lets let the police know that it's time to deal with this guy. I saw him again yesterday on 35th. This blog has numerious complaints, He is highly unstable and erratic. He has threatened runners, walkers, and walks into businesses and goes off yelling about nothing. My son is aware of this guy and knows to stay clear. I don't understand why the police allow him to wander around when there is so many eye witnesses to his crazy behavior. If you have been approached by this man please report it so we can get him off the streets.
Windermere Real Estate Expanding its Brand to Colorado
Eric Thompson, former president of The Group, Inc. will spearhead growth starting in Fort Collins
Seattle – OB Jacobi, second-generation leader and president of Seattle-based Windermere Real Estate has announced the company’s plans to expand the Windermere brand into Colorado, starting in Fort Collins. This growth will further Windermere’s position as the largest independent real estate company in the Western U.S. with more than 300 offices in 11 states and Mexico. Windermere’s expansion into Colorado will be spearheaded by Colorado native and former president of The Group, Inc., Eric Thompson.
“Everyone at Windermere is very excited about our first venture into Colorado and could think of no one better to partner with than Eric given his experience and track record,” said Jacobi. “We have so much respect for The Group and truly value the close relationship we’ve built with their founder, Larry Kendall, through our involvement with his Ninja Selling program. Because of this, bringing Eric on board is a natural fit for all of us,” he added.
Thompson served as president of The Group from 2009 through 2014, where he was responsible for the vision, strategy, culture, and success of the organization. During that time, the Group’s company dollar volume grew from $868,875,540 to $1,334,725,420, for an increase of 53 percent. Thompson says that one of The Group’s proudest accomplishments during his time there was the launching of a non-profit program called Group Gives, which donated more than $40,000 to local charities. Prior to being at The Group, Thompson was Managing Broker for the Summit County Colorado division of Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate.
“I am thrilled about the opportunity to work with Windermere. They are a world-class company led by world-class people who align with my values,” Thompson said. “We each believe in hiring the best people, giving them the best tools, and creating thriving communities.”
Thompson’s long-term plans are to expand the Windermere brand throughout Colorado. His first goal is to open the Fort Collins office location by December 1, 2014.
“The vision is to set the standard for how clients and communities are served throughout Colorado,” said Thompson. “I’ve seen many real estate companies in my career and Windermere clearly stands out in their community service, their cutting-edge technology, their differentiated marketing, and most importantly, their commitment to putting relationships above everything.” Thompson added.
To speak to Eric Thompson please call (970) 232-4364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Windermere Real Estate
Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 7,000 agents serving communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Mexico, and soon Colorado. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 26 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.windermere.com.
When you think about the power of a smart phone it is quite amazing. What this device can do for you. I'm going to share with you my top 10 apps that I use weekly.
1. Starbucks app. Coffee is key. Love this app. Become a gold card member. After that download the app. Now you can pay for your drinks with your phone. Get a gift card from someone, quickly add it to your app. Your Birthday you get a free drink and after 12 stars you get a free drink.
2. Easily Do. This app interacts with all my social media. Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter. It tells me everyday who has a birthday, when someone gets a new job and it will analyze my social streams for the items that I should be paying close attention too. Plus it's free. Click here to download. It is your virtual personal assistant.
3. This is two in one. I need a great navigation app. I use two. The first is Telnav. This app allows me to punch in the address and it takes into consideration traffic, and various optimal routes and gives me turn by turn navigation. The second one is WAZE. Get the best route, every day, with real–time help from other drivers.This nav app uses crowd sourcing for reports on where traffic police are, to intersection cameras, and speed limits. You can become a source of information for the program and report when you see a accident or bad traffic and help to keep the information accurate.
4. Packpoint. I hate to pack and often I forget stuff. With packpoint I can pick the type of trip i'm going on. Example business or pleasure or a combination, the duration of my trip, and it will generate a list of items I may need. Love this app.
5. Weather Channel app. This is everything you need to know about the weather where ever you are. 10 day forecasts and so much more.
6. Keeper Vault app. How many long in and passwords do you have. Well the app keeps track of them all and syncs with your PC, and other devices.
7. Find my Car. Can't remember where you parked your car, your Iphone will automatically.
8. Uber Cab App. Need a cab now in the cities where they have services this company is awesome.
9. pay by phone. No more sticky on the window and feeding coins. Just pay using your phone and feed the meter from your phone.
10. Seven Work out. If you travel and can't always find a gym, Seven gives you tabata work outs that are great.
I have provided links to all the apps above. I have more but I'll save that for my next post. Tell me what your favorite apps are!
"Hey enough about me, why don't you tell me what you like about me!" Do you know someone like this. I refer to them as the Me Monster. The person that has such low confidence inside that they have to make sure you are aware of just how great they are. This type of person drives others away. I bring this up because I was on a break during a class and I overheard a conversation and I had to bite my tongue holding back what I really wanted to say.
This individual was talking the entire time and they were trying to make a point, but the point they were trying to make was by propping up their experience, their knowledge and how well educated they were. You could just watch as they didn't listen at all and would just fire back a response that started with words like "Well I know", and "if it were me", and "I happen to". You could see the other person slowly just checking out of the conversation until all they wanted to do was to just get away from this person as quickly as possible.
Conversation happens when two people converse about a topic and do it by listening and opening up the mind to what the other person has to say. Not necessarily agreeing with them but at least listening. A me monster on the other hand doesn't really listen but instead they tell grand stories about themselves to substantiate their belief that they are going to shove down your throat like it or not. I watched this unfold and as the Me Monster kept talking…ME, me, me, me, me…. the other person just got quiet. The Me Monster felt that they were victorious yet in reality they added another person to the list of many that will avoid them the next time they are in the same room together.
The next time you are in a conversation check in and think. Am I making statements or asking questions? Have I listened and been thoughtful in my response? Guess what! It's ok to agree to disagree!