Yesterday was a whirlwind for me. A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Xplode conference in Houston, where founder Matt Fagioli took the time to mention our ministry (Luke 6 Ministries) and to match funds raised that day, resulting in about $1100 to help the homeless and needy families we serve.
John Gormley, who is the Vice President of the Texas Association of Realtors, was at that event in Houston as well, and he was intrigued by our efforts and called me the next day to chat, and to invite me to the TAR winter meeting, which is held right here in Austin.
John told me, "I'd like for you to come as my guest. I won't make you sit through 4 days of boring meetings, but I'd like to introduce you to a few people." I'm almost always up for a good networking opportunity, so I was looking forward to it. He later texted me and we decided to meet for lunch yesterday at the Hyatt Regency, where the meetings were being held.
Little did I know that the invitation was really an elaborate plan to get me into a luncheon where I was given the "2013 Texas Realtor Hero of the Year" award in front of a few hundred of my colleagues here in Texas. I had NO IDEA that I would be attending an awards ceremony, and even less knowledge that I would be receiving one.
Frankly, when they began to introduce the winner, I thought, "THAT is a cool award." Then, as the introduction went on, I was excited to think that someone else was doing great things to help the homeless ("wow - that's just like what we're doing"), including serving victims of domestic violence. Then, within about 30 seconds, I realized that I was about to go on stage myself. Incredible feeling.
This is only the 5th year that this award has existed, and they only give out ONE per year. With a Texas Association of Realtors membership of over 90,000, this is a HUGE honor for me. I can't say enough how humbled and thankful I am to have received this.
Yesterday was one of the most memorable and exciting days I've had in awhile, and I am sincerely thankful to God, John, and Matt for making it possible.
I have never awakened thinking, "Today I will be getting a crystal obelisk on a stage in front of 300 Realtors from around the state." But it happened. I'm glad that I didn't go to the bathroom during this announcement, or decide to re-schedule my lunch appointment for any reason.
My wife and kids were thrilled, too, and it was (I suppose somewhat appropriately) a hero's reception when I finally made it home around 9pm.
The amount of attention that I've already seen for our ministry is thrilling. I was able to invite my wife to the reception yesterday evening, which was really nice, including good food, drinks, and company. I am hopeful that this will bring more attention to the work we're doing, and to the people we're helping.
I won't lie - I'm also hopeful that it brings me more business and more high-quality agents to our company.
Either way, this was a very special and very memorable day.
Thanks for reading!