A Different Kind of Fable
I love business books written as fables – make-believe stories about make-believe people that grab your attention and provide a fun way to learn. That’s why I chose to write S.M.I.L.E. as a fable – a fable with a most important twist. Let me explain…
The story-line in S.M.I.L.E. is imaginative – one that hopefully will also grab your attention. But every person you read about is a real person with real success stories! That means you don’t have to wonder whether what they share actually works. It does, because they lived it…and you can too! They’ll put a smile on your face, just as they did mine.
Ariff was born in Jetpur, India, the fourth of six children. Raised in Rangoon, Burma, his favorite memories as a young boy were visiting the Royal Lakes to swim after school. His favorite subject was English, and his favorite sports were soccer and cricket. He dreamed of one day becoming a successful businessman.
Growing up, his role models were Mahatma Ghandi and JFK. “I admired Gandhi’s honesty and peace loving with lots of endurance and tolerance. I always thought JFK was a charismatic speaker.”
Ariff was introduced to his wife, Nasreen, by his older sister who lived in the same neighborhood. They have three grown children: Samad, Nida, and Aisha. In his spare time, Ariff enjoys spending time with family. He also loves entertaining friends with good wine and great food. Ariff loves to travel and hopes to visit Europe in the near future.
Ariff is a sales professional with M/I Homes in Washington, D.C. He takes great satisfaction in creating a pleasurable home buying experience where his guests enjoy making the decision instead of dreading it. You can contact Ariff at firstname.lastname@example.org or his cell at 240.417.3666.
Bert was born in Ft. Ord, CA the 3rd of 6 children. Being from a military family, he lived in Japan, Germany, Colorado, California, Virginia, and Texas.
Bert’s fondest memories growing up were deer hunting with friends, and eating his dad’s fried chicken from home-grown roosters and the occasional non-laying hens. “Life can be tough for a non-producer!” Bert recalls with a grin.
His favorite subjects were history and math and he enjoyed sports, playing both football and running track.
Fess Parker who played Daniel Boone, and John Wayne as Davy Crockett were his early movie heros. “I loved the strong individuals they played, always doing the right thing no matter the cost.” He also admired Ghandi, Mandela, and President Carter for what they stood for.
Bert’s early dream was to become a doctor. “But when I discovered beer and girls in college, I knew I lacked the commitment to become an MD.”
He met his wife Denise disco dancing in Houston. They have two beautiful daughters, Rebecca and Rachael.
Bert is taking some time off to spend with Denise. They still enjoy dancing, along with family trips skiing, hiking, and saltwater fishing. Vegas is their #1 vacation spot.
Should you care to learn more from or about Bert, email email@example.com or call him at 713.724.2001.
Born in Waco, Texas the youngest of 8, Bob was never meant to be alone. Surrounded at the dinner table with dozens of family members during the holidays were among his favorite childhood memories. “Laughter and love was in everyone’s heart,” he remembers.
Bob was no stranger to work either, taking his first job at age 11 to help his single parent Mom pay rent and put groceries on that same table. “She taught me right from wrong is the only choice, to never give up, to always find a way, and how to forgive anyone.”
He held 3 jobs in high school – one that led him to Layton Oliver, his paper route manager who became a father mentor. “Always do the right thing, arrange your work in order of importance, treat everyone with respect regardless of their position, and listen to their concerns and input,” Bob recalls him saying.
History was his favorite subject – football his favorite sport. Through his later love for tennis Bob met Carolyn Castille who would become his wife. They are blessed with 5 grown children and 11 grandchildren.
Along with real estate, Bob enjoys building, remodeling, and landscape design. His real passion now is organic gardening, which he enjoys teaching to children. “I love the enthusiasm and laughter they bring to any garden project!”
If you care to pick Bob’s brain about business, or vegetables from his garden, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call his cell at 512.346.1692.
Not only is Christophe an only child, but he can lay claim as the only Belgium-born member of the S.M.I.L.E. cast. Dirt biking and cycling with friends were his favorite childhood memory.
Growing up, Christophe’s uncle was his role model. He admired his work ethic and dedication.
Christophe’s love of math resulted in a degree in civil engineering. To pay for that education, he began working weekends in restaurants and clubs at the age of 16. That experience revealed a love for serving people which led to his move to Miami in 1999. By 2012 Christophe was a senior executive with the Blackstone Group in the hospitality industry.
Miami served him well as he met the owner’s daughter of a restaurant he managed. He and his bride Priscilla, are now the proud parents of two boys, Sebastien and Tristan.
Christophe’s unrealized dream of being a pro dirt bike racer led to his opening a dirt bike track and school for children outside Austin. He is also a volunteer for CPS under the “YES” program where he mentors young kids.
The Hardenne’s are planning a vacation to Belize in the near future. They love the beach!
Susan and I are most pleased to announce that Christophe has officially joined New Wings Consulting to help others learn to spread their wings! We are most honored! You can
contact him at Christophe@newwings.com or call his cell at 512.215.4229. You’ll be mesmerized!
Oh, and pay a visit to www.littlespeedsters.com to learn more about his dirt bike track and school for kiddos!
Born in Mineral Wells, TX, the middle child of 3 boys, Doug now lives on his grandparent’s ranch in Patilla, TX where they grew up.
His favorite subject in school was history. His favorite sports? Football, basketball, baseball, golf, and tennis. If it involved a ball, he played it!
Doug’s dream growing up was to own a full-service gas station or become a car salesman. He’s been the proud owner of his own dealership for 20 years. Guess it doesn’t hurt to dream!
Doug had no shortage of role models: his father Don, his Dad’s best friend – Syd Aikin, and Ellis White – the mayor of Mineral Wells. He admired their honesty and integrity. But Doug’s grandfather earned top billing. “If I could be exactly like my grandfather, I would!”
Doug met his wife-to-be, Sherri, at a church camp. They have two grown children: Carly, and John David.
Doug is a strong supporter of the local high school and college programs. He loves attending UT games and Texas Rangers baseball in Arlington.
He enjoys vacationing with the family in Key West, FL and Crested Butte, CO.
If you’re considering a new or used vehicle, Doug is your man! You can learn more about his dealership at www.texstarfordlincoln.com . He can be reached by email at email@example.com, on by phone at 254.968.7000.
The 5th of 6 children, Harry was born in Mitchell, SD and raised on nearby Lake Mitchell. “I loved fishing with my Dad, swimming, and boating on this beautiful lake. I also enjoyed hunting trips to North Dakota with my cousins.”
He liked school but really didn’t have a favorite subject. Perhaps that was because his favorite part of school was sports. “I played football, basketball, and ran track from the 7th grade to my senior year. In high school I was in Student Council and was the President of the student body my senior year. What an honor!”
He dreamed of owning a fishing lodge and resort with his Dad, who – to no one’s surprise – was one of his role models. His Mom, his brother Charlie, and his fraternity brothers from the University of South Dakota also made that list. “I admired my father’s humor, my mother’s soft, kind, and loving heart, my brother’s work ethic, and my fraternity brother’s commitment to always do what was right, including their desire to be the best.”
While working for American Bed Co. in New York City, Harry met Marcia Ann Schwartz. Yes, you guessed it. The man who would become the co-founder of Mattress Firm sold his bride-to-be a new mattress! She must have seen the value…in both. They’ve been happily married for 30 years! I think the mattress has been replaced several times.
Harry is now in the business of growing entrepreneurs through the retail mattress business. “I love seeing my people grow and succeed. I love to inspire young people to be more than they can be.”
In his spare time he and Marcia enjoy time with friends and family at their bay house in Galveston. “Fishing is still my favorite activity. I also love listening to music to calm my heart and soul.”
“Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon are on my bucket list. It’s sad to think at my age, I haven’t been there yet!”
If you’d like to reach out to Harry – or if you need a mattress, he will become your MATTRESS GUY! – email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call his cell at 713.412.2130. You’ll feel like you’re visiting with an old friend! I promise!
Growing up a military brat, James – the middle child of 3 – spent much of his childhood in Texas and Germany with Oklahoma City being his birth place.
Among his most cherished childhood memories was Italy. “Venice is one of my favorite places in the world!” he recalls.
His poise and confidence in front of a group can be traced back to his love for drama and theater in high school.
His ultimate dream of becoming a sports broadcaster was influenced by his love for basketball. Grant Hill, Michael Jordan, and Magic Johnson were my role models. “I loved their talent and their drive, but most of all, that they were just good people.”
James can thank his youngest sibling for introducing him to Pamela Perez who would become the love of his life. They have a blended family of 3 beautiful children.
James is the Director of Sales for Bella Vista / Princeton Classic Homes in San Antonio. “I love pouring into others and watching our team get better.”
His free time is spent with family. They enjoy skiing, snowboarding, cruises, and going to the beach. They hope to go to Fuji in the coming years.
The oldest of three, Joe was born in Baltimore, MD but raised in Texarkana, TX.
He learned to play the guitar at age 12 and won a high school talent contest his sophomore year. His favorite subjects were biology and physics and favorite sports were baseball, golf, bowling, and tennis. He dreamed of becoming a rock star or a doctor.
Growing up, his role model was his high school biology teacher who he described as smart, encouraging, and compassionate.
In his spare time, Joe enjoys making memories with family (especially grandchildren), hearing live music, and playing golf.
Joe is a mortgage banker with Churchill Mortgage with 32 years of experience. He takes great satisfaction in helping people own a home and making prudent financial choices. He’s also passionate about innovative systems for producing affordable housing. You can learn more about Joe be clicking on www.ChurchhillMortgage-Austin.com. You can contact him directly at joe.brown@ChurchillMortgage.com or his cell at 512.663.4744.
- Five Star Mortgage Professional award winner each year since 2011.
- Married to the best editor/proof reader in the world!
The youngest of five – the older siblings being boys – Linda Courson was born in Midland, Texas but raised in Dallas. Among her favorite childhood memories were camping and ski trips with family and close friends.
Her favorite subject in school was geometry. Linda was on the drill team in high school. Precision has been an important part of her life. When asked what she dreamed of becoming when she grew up, her response was, “Certainly not a Senior Move Manager.”
Linda’s parents were a strong influence in her life. “My mother and father, and their parents, had wonderful friends who took me under their wings. They all had a strong work ethic, were honest, kind-hearted, and fun!”
She met her husband Dave, at a party. They have three grown boys: Spencer, Matthew, and Reid.
In her spare time, Linda enjoys Pilates and taking walks with Dave and their dog. “In addition, I like the rare moments that my boys open up to me, and I love spending time with my girlfriends!”
She and Dave hope to vacation in Europe, Alaska, and Hawaii in the coming years.
Linda is the founder of Life’s Next Step, which helps seniors downsize and relocate. You can learn more about her company at her website: www.lifesnextstep.com. She can be reached by email at email@example.com or her cell at 512.263.9417.
- Life’s Next Step is an A+ Accreditation Senior Move Manager in the state of Texas by the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM). This accreditation is awarded based on excellence of operations and client services. Life’s Next Step is only one of two A+ Accredited companies in the state of Texas.
- Life’s Next Step is a Circle of Service Award Recipient.
- Linda is a Certified Senior Move Manager.
- Member of both National Association of Senior Move Managers and National Association of Professional Organizers.
- Linda has earned the Executive Certification in Home Modifications from The University of Southern California’s Gerontology Department.
An only child, Rob was born in San Antonio and raised in Denver, Santa Fe, San Diego, Newark (Delaware), and Houston. His favorite memories as a young boy involved water and snow skiing. He enjoyed both math and golf in school, and dreamed of becoming a pilot and a pro golfer.
Growing up, his role models were his parents. “They started with nothing and raised a family and are still together. They taught me how to live a good life by example!”
Rob met his wife, Rosalyn, in San Antonio where they lived in the same apartment complex. They met while walking their dogs. They have a grown son named Ben who also lives in San Antonio.
In his spare time Rob enjoys car shows, having owned several that he shows. He also loves fine dining which stems from his roots of being a top waiter for 9 years at Silos – one of San Antonio’s premiere restaurants.
Rob is a sales professional with Sitterle Homes in San Antonio where he enjoys handing a family the keys to their new home knowing they are getting ready to live their dream. Click on www.SitterleHomes.com to learn more about Rob’s community – Campanas at Cibolo Canyons. You can contact Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org or his cell at 512.771.8728.
An only child, Sarah Thomas was born and raised in Kansas City. Her favorite childhood memories were school and traveling. Her favorite subject was English. As a young girl she loved dance, participating in tap, ballet, jazz, and pointe for 15 years. She dreamed of becoming a lawyer.
Growing up, her role models were he aunt and uncle. In Sarah’s words, “They had a strong, honest marriage, were successful in their jobs, and family was the most important thing to them.”
She met her husband, Justin Lawrence, in Chicago. Strangely enough, they attended rival high schools and lived next door to each other at the University of Kansas, but didn’t meet until they moved to Chicago post college. In Sarah’s words, “Timing is everything!”
They have two beautiful children: Eleanor, and Fisher. They love vacationing in Seaside, FL where they were married. “It’s fun to see our kids making memories in our ‘Happy Place!’ ”
Sarah was the house broker for PSW’s Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and Seattle operations and headed up their newly launched Resale Division. You can learn more about PSW at www.pswrealestate.com.
As of recent, Sarah has ventured off to pursue other real estate opportunities. We wish her the best! You can contact Sarah at email@example.com or her cell at 512.786.5165.
The youngest of 3 sisters, Sherri Thompson was born in Arlington, TX and raised in Perrin, TX. Her best memories as a child were playing outdoors and family vacations in the mountains.
Math and science were her favorite subjects. Basketball and track – her favorite sports. She had hoped to have a career in medical research.
Sherri’s parents were her role models, admiring their faith, values, work ethic, and love for each other.
She loves traveling with Doug to the beaches and the mountains. “Our absolute favorite vacation thus far was Italy!”
Sherri met Doug, at a church camp in Denton, TX. They have two grown children: Carly, and John David.
Stacy and Melissa Grant
Stacy and Melissa Grant
Stacy is the 5th of 6 children, born in Racine, Wisconsin, but raised in Tucson, Arizona. Melissa, the baby of 2, was born and raised from Louisville, Kentucky.
Melissa’s favorite childhood memory was camping. Stacy’s favorite high school sport was basketball. Melissa was a cheerleader.
Their response to what they dreamed of becoming when they grew up could likely resonate with a lot of us – “We’re still working on that!”
The two met through work with Stacy being a client of Melissa’s. They have 4 beautiful children: Mason, Tessa, Dario, and Nick.
Stacy and Melissa are the proud owners of Crescent House Furniture. Their response to the question of what’s the greatest satisfaction they get from what they do says a lot about this lovely couple: “It’s when we hear someone tell us they actually enjoyed shopping for furniture.” Could the world use more of that or what!
When not in their store they enjoy moments together as a couple, as well as time with their 4 kiddos.
They love to travel, with their favorite destination being Indonesia. “We especially enjoy ski trips with our children. We love the snow, mountains, and fresh air.”
If you’d like to learn more about their furniture store, visit their website at www.crescenthouseinc.com . They have some of the most unique pieces you’ll find anywhere. You’ll also enjoy the homemade pie as a gift with each purchase. You can reach Melissa directly at Melissa@crescenthouseinc.com or her cell at 512.331.9100.
Camille was born and raised in Houston, Texas, an only child. Except for moving to College Station where she earned her undergraduate degree from Texas A & M, Houston has always been home, returning there to get her Master’s degree from the University of Houston. “My favorite memory of growing up there was being outside with friends until the street lights came on!”
Her favorite subject in school was science. She grew up wanting to be a singer, doctor, or veterinarian. “How’s that for an interesting mix!” she added.
“As for role models, I don’t know that I had any actual role models as a child per se, but rather admired women who didn’t see their gender as a barrier or allow it to hold them back from their goals and dreams.”
Camille met James (J.R.) White, her husband-to-be, in September of 1992 – her second year at college. “He had just been transferred there for his job as the GM for Denim & Diamonds – my usual hangout and the largest nightclub around at that time. He saw me shooting pool his first night there and the rest is history!” They have two children: Tayler 21, and Brandon 18.
When asked what she enjoys doing in her spare time she responded, “When we lost our home last year from Hurricane Harvey, I learned the most valuable lesson of my life: it is the people around you, the experiences you have and the time you spend together that matters more than anything. I’ve always enjoyed spending time with my family & friends, but since Harvey, it’s been of even more importance to me. We are always attending concerts (we love live music!), NFL football games (we are Texans season ticket holders and I’ve become quite a fan!) or pop culture conventions (like Comic-Con). We love any reason to make costumes, dress up and have fun making memories to last a lifetime!”
Camille’s response to vacations and places she hopes to visit was most interesting. “I enjoy vacationing anywhere that I can simply just enjoy the people I’m with (friends and/or family) and the time I’m spending with them. Daily life is often hectic, so when I have the chance to get away, it matters not where I’m going as much as it matters with whom I get to spend the time without the distractions of daily life and just being in the moments we share.”
Camille is the President of N Title – a Texas title insurance agency where she enjoys creating an environment where she can not only facilitate the growth & profitability of her company, but more importantly can help her team grow – both personally and professionally. You can learn more about Camille by visiting www.ntitle.com . She can also be reached by email at Camille.firstname.lastname@example.org or on her cell at 281.453.5330.
Trevor and his older sister were born and raised on farm land in Sarasota, FL. His favorite memories were shared with 5 close friends who grew up without technology – no video games or X Boxes. “We learned to create fun with whatever we had available,” he remembers. “We built lasting relationships!”
His favorite subject was science, but his passion was baseball. From age 4 he played almost every weekend. “I loved pitching as I could control the speed of the game. If I needed to slow it down I would take a deep breath and reassess the situation. That was a great technique I use to this day in sales.”
His parents were his role models. “They are genuine, caring, respectful, and loving. They would show me the way, but make me figure out how to get there!”
In his spare time he enjoys bowling with guests and families who have purchased from him. “I love it more because of the people I get to interact with.” He also enjoys fishing and snowboarding.
Trevor is a Sales Representative for Sun Community’s Ocean Breeze Resort in Jensen Beach, FL. You can check out his property at www.suncommunities.com/sun-listings/#/community/rv, email him at email@example.com, or call his cell at 941.737.8902.