Active Rain gatherings.... past, present, & future !!! - A gathering in Annapolis, Maryland

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active rain gatherings

I love the holidays - Past, present, & future (please click link before preceding)... I love gatherings.... and I love meeting people.

ACtive Rain gatherings -- For those of you new or old to Active Rain, it can be so much fun to meet others that you have followed, who you have talked to, and those that you have made an online connection with.  For those of you that know me, I guess you can say that I am a social butterfly. I just meeting people in general. But better yet, as I have mentioned, meeting in person those that you have connected with. Talk about solidifying those relationships, to bond with, and to grow into the future with.

If you don't get tired reading these kinds of blogs, you can read about them in this group.  Active Rain Gatherings Group



jeff belonger & lewis poretz

About a month ago, my friend and I decided to make a road trip to watch the Philadelphia Eagles play the Washington Redskins. Lewis Poretz, who is seen with me, is also an Active Rain member and owns his own mortgage company in Annapolis, MD. Even though Lewis is my competition in a small way, because I can also do loans in Maryland and Virginia, he is also like a brother to me. Gee, my older brother that I never had, who has the energy of a young buck. What's age.....What's great is that we get a long very well, competition or not. Another great thing about Active Rain....

In any case, this was on Sunday the 21st. As you can see, it was cold out. It got down to about 18 degrees that night with 15 to 20 mph winds. Even though the Eagles lost, there was fun that was had by all. We even went into Annapolis for some night life, that reminded me of my college years. Just a fun day with some great friends.




John MacArthur & Audrey June-Forshey This gathering was organized a week prior and we had a few issues with some of the local restaurants taking in 10 to 15 people the day before Monday as a reservation. Since I was at the football game, Margaret Rome said that she would help. She was able to get Famous Dave's to take us in from the cold... and to put up with some crazy people.... some very good hearted crazy people.

On our left, you have John MacArthur & Audrey June-Forshey. John has some old memories of sporting figures and is an avid golfer, but told us that he doesn't care for gatherings and thinks that he is not social. He could have fooled me about the socializing issue. He was a hoot and fun to talk to.

And we had our own celebrity in Audrey June-Forshey, who reminded me of an actress slightly. Not only did se have a very sweet & pleasant southern accent, she was just a pleasure to talk to. And can Audrey take pictures of herself....  that's talent.



Peg Silloway, Camillie O'Donell, & Pat Hommel

We now move onto Peg Silloway, Camille O'Donnell, and Pat Hommel.(left to right)  I felt bad, because I really didn't get a chance to chat with these 3 women. Time just got the best of me. But I made a comment early on that I felt like we were at a high school dance. If you would have looked at the whole table, we had girls at one end and guys at the other. How funny....

Peg is on AR and is Margaret Romes publisher. Can you believe this? We actually had a small talk about myself publishing a book on mortgages. How boring could that be. But I think I will accept the challenge.

Camille.....  now she stands for 'a strong person'. Camille's mom just past away on the 19th and she still made the time to meet many of us. Not only does she truly understand the importance of bonding, but sacrifice and friendships. Camille, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. Thanks for attending.

Pat actually works in the Annapolis area, so I am sure I will be seeing her soon. But this is someone that has been in real estate for over 30 years.



Margaret Rome, Pat Kennedy, Rich Iarossi In our next group, we have Margaret Rome, Patricia "my real estate car needs cleaning" Kennedy, and Richard Iarossi.

I first had the pleasure of talking briefly to Margaret on her radio show back in the middle of 2007. Not only has she written a book, holds weekly real estate radio shows, but has a tremendous heart in helping her clients achieve that dream. I am witnessing it first hand, as I try to help a current client of hers to the closing table before 2009.

Pat?  Well, I have had the pleasure to hang out with Pat 2 other times. Once in NYC for the Bloggers Connect, which I highly recommend that you try to attend. And the 2nd time when she took the time to hear me speak at a rally in D.C..

Rich on the other hand, this was my first time talking to him ever. Not only a sports fan, but a family man. A very proud grandfather, who had his 1st grandchild not to long ago.



Lewis poretz


And back to my mortgage buddy, Lewis Poretz. Doesn't he look different compared to the first picture up top? A little more polished, yet still tired from the day before. And he should be a shamed for letting his Skins beat my Eagles.

Eagles vs Redskins



As you can see, we were down 3-0 with 1:55 minutes left in the 2nd quarter. It was just an ugly game.

John Powers


 And I wanted to thank my friend and neighbor, John Powers (right side), for making the trip with me. And for hanging out with me, while meeting a bunch of crazies from Active Rain.... lol  Seriously, some really great people and I enjoyed every minute of it.


PS... Martha Brown joined us also. Because she split before I had time to get a picture of her, can read about her in the blogs below. Martha, it was great meeting you.  Martha also works in Annapolis.




More blogs in regards to the Active Rain Gathering in Annapolis, MD

Warm Active Rain on a Chilly Day in Annapolis, Maryland  by : Margaret Rome

Thank You Jeff Belonger! Active Rain Gathering in Annapolis!  by : Patricia Kennedy

An Impromptu AR Gathering in Annapolis Maryland...What a Holiday Treat!!  by : Martha Brown

Active Rain Gathering Annapolis Maryland  by : Audrey June-Forshey

        I believe in AR Angels By : Camille O'Donnell



Here is a shot of other Active Rain gatherings or meet ups that I took place in : If this doesn't get you to want to meet members !!!!

  1. My 1st Active Rain meeting with an AR member..... Rob who?????
  2. Lunch with Ravi Shah......
  3. West meets East....... a face to face with Jonathan Vetter, loan officer.
  4. Active Rain Gathering in Philadelphia - 12/2007  A success
  5. Bloggers Connect in NYC - January 2008 - great friends
  6. Active Rain Gathering for the New Jersey Area - May '08 - NJ, PA, CT, NY, DE, MD
  7. Active Rain gathering -- Princeton, New Jersey -- May 22, 2008
  8. Want to meet a Pilot aka Mortgage Planner? --- Meet Robert Ashby
  9. It wasn't politics.... just meeting some friendly Active Rain members in D.C.
  10. It just wasn't about the Philadelphia Eagles in DC. - An Active Rain gathering in Annapolis, MD



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Copyright © 2008 by Jeff Belonger

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Copyright © 2011 by Jeff Belonger of Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc


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Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans


JEN JEN.....  it was a good time....  I was there for 2 1/2 hours or so and I still didn't want to leave. But we had a 2 1/2 hour drive in front of us. And I was just exhausted from the day before and the previous week.  Looking forward one day when we get to meet... and yes, I'll pull you from the car. If John MacArthur can do it, you can do it.


JEAN.....  keep your eyes open. There have been some in Cali., Washington, and Arizona......  if not, you can always fly out to one of ours.  ;o)   thanks


Dec 23, 2008 04:30 PM #3
No Longer Active
Real Estate - Fallon, MT

Jeff.... Looks like you had a great time as always... Going to NYC next month?  Haven't seen anything about a gathering yet but assume there will be something wild and crazy....

Dec 23, 2008 08:27 PM #4
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate


Great meeting you and the other Active Rain members the other day at "Famous Daves." Looks like you can step in for Tracy White any time. I look forward to doing this again.


Dec 23, 2008 09:49 PM #5
Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

Merry Christmas Jeff... you are quite the social butterfly!!  I enjoyed reading about the people I have come to meet here.  xxoo

Dec 23, 2008 10:15 PM #6
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

Belonger, I always enjoy these gatherings and meeting fellow rainers face to face. We have the opportunity to connect learn more about each other. Speaking are an Eagles fan? UH-OH and whch one of the pictures is you? WHOOPS! I am still a fan and guess I am just feeing a bit mischevious! Hope the holidays are good to you and that you are not to bummed when the Cowboys give the Eagles another beating DOH!

Dec 23, 2008 11:11 PM #7
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans


DAN..... .  yes, we did... and yes, I am going to NYC next month, unless you are going...  lol  <teasing>  yes, it would be great to see you and Sandra again.  And yes, I haven't seen anything really as of yet. Search for it on here. Click my bloggers connect up above, in the middle of the blog. There is a link.

RICHARD.... .  it was great meeting you...   and I would love to do this with you guys again, down the road. But who is Tracy White and what am I stepping into? ;o)

SUSAN..... . yes I am, hence what gets me in trouble sometimes... lol   And yes, I love these types of gatherings.  thanks

RUSSELL.... .  I think many of us love these types of gatherings.  And that is one reason, that it gives us a chance to connect face to face and learn more about each other.

In regards to being an Eagles fan... oh well, shoot me... lol   And the Eagles will beat the Cowgirls..


HAPPY HOLIDAYS to everyone


Dec 24, 2008 12:38 AM #8
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Jeff, you captured the day and shared the fun.Here is one more account of our successful get together. Warm Active Rain on a Chilly Day in Annapolis, Maryland

You are doing an amazing job with this last minute FHA loan.  We can save that for another blog. We will talk later.

Have a wonderful Christmas and get some sleep!

Dec 24, 2008 12:53 AM #9
Peg Silloway
The Silloway Press - Beaverton, OR

Jeff, I had the same idea when I looked at the table - boys at one end, girls at the other - how silly! But we all managed to have good conversations and get to know each other a little. Thank you so much for organizing the gathering (and to Margaret for finding Famous Dave's) - it was a great afternoon, and you've done it justice in your post. A book about mortgages boring? Not so - it's all in how you tell your story. I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Have a wonderful holiday, and let's plan to meet up again.

Dec 24, 2008 01:08 AM #10
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

Oh this is going to be fun or miserable...have a great Christmas!

Dec 24, 2008 02:07 AM #11
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Jeff, It sounds like one VERY cold game and one wonderful and very warm gathering!  Thank you for sharing those pictures with us and how nice everyone made the time and effort to attend.

Dec 24, 2008 02:46 AM #12
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans


MARGARET...... .  this is Jeff's double, because Jeff is sleeping....  lol   In regards to your blog, it'a already listed above in the post itself. In any case, my pleasure and thanks for the confidence.  And you and your husband have a great Christmas also..

PEG...... . it was a pleasure t have met you through Margaret. And it was my plessure, because as you can see, I love these things. I am upset that I forgot to get that book from Margaret ....   In any case, I have some ideas brewing and it actually sounds better, in regards to that book. So I will be talking to you next week.

RUSSELL..... . what's going to be fun or miserable?  In any case, Merry Christmas.

CAROLE...... .  my pleasure... glad that you enjoyed them. And yes, I am glad that so many people made an effort to come to the gathering.


Dec 24, 2008 07:33 AM #13
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

OH for ,pete's sake if the Cowboys beat the tar out of Philly. it will be so much fun, if not...*sigh*

Dec 24, 2008 07:41 AM #14
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Jeff, Active Rain gatherings are indeed fun!  And we all owe you a huge thank you for arranging this one!

Dec 24, 2008 09:31 AM #15
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

I'm so disappointed about missing this, but we were snuggled all warm in our car for about 15 hours that day, headed to Dallas, Texas, to see our daughter.  'Glad so many folks were able to get together, and I'm looking forward to a first-hand account from Martha and Richard.

Dec 25, 2008 08:37 AM #16
Audrey June-Forshey
RE/MAX Realty Services - Darnestown, MD
GRI, Gaithersburg, MD

I had so much fun.  I think I am going to hook up with Pat and go to Inman in NYC.  Got my fingers crossed for that.  I don't think telling people I can take pictures of myself sounds so good?  I am going to post all of those pictures of me with all of the other people in the pictures. 

PS I got a new super fancy wide angle lense camera for Christmas.  Can't wait to put that puppy to work!!  Can't wait until we all meet up again.

Merry Christmas

Dec 25, 2008 10:51 AM #17
Martha Brown
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Annapolis MD 21403 - Annapolis, MD
Your Homes Around Annapolis Agent

Jeff- It was fun wasn't it? I sound like the one that gotta away in all the posts for leaving early but next time.... Looking forward to it and meeting you and the others once again when I have more time to 'hang'. Happy New Year!

Dec 26, 2008 09:49 AM #18
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans


RUSSELL..... .  lol... I forgot, I should have ESP, not ESP to figure out what everyone says in half sentences... lol   In any case, the Cowgirls won't beat the tarp off of us....  it should be a good game, as long as T.O. keeps his trap shut.... lol

PATRICIA.... .  I love these types of gatherings also... and I am glad that you made it, it was good seeing you again..

MARGARET..... .  I was really hoping to have met you.. but family and trips are more important. Next time... just hope that you all had a safe trip back or will have a safe trip back.

AUDREY..... . I would love to see you up at the Inman conference. In regards to telling people that you can take pictures of yourself... it wasn't a knock.. many of us thought it was cute and that we were impressed that those pictures in many cases were better than taking pictures the regular way. You mastered something... lol  And have fun with your new camera. Maybe you can show us some new tricks in NYC in a few weeks.

MARTHA..... . yes, it was... sorry that I didn't get to spend much time with you.  Next time....  Happy New Year to you to..


Dec 27, 2008 02:18 AM #19

Dear Jeff,

It was my pleasure meeting with all the other fun ActiveRainers on the 22nd!  Thank you sincerely for taking the time to mention the loss of my mother. We buried my mom on Friday the 19th in New mexico. I have spoke of her lengthy suffering of Alzheimers on my blog  For anyone who has lost a loved one in Dec. my heart goes out to you. What a painful time during the holidays. I was so happy to get an invite by Margaret Rome and Pat Hommel to Famous Daves-- both gals have been such dear online friends.  I did not get to chat with everyone, but am looking forward to the next gathering.  Jeff, continue flying like a butterfly but please don't sting like a bee-LOL  Ahhhhhhhh you are too much like a big teddy bear to ever do that. Have a Happy New Year!




Dec 28, 2008 10:13 AM #20
Camille O'Donnell
O'Donnell Properties - Queenstown, MD

Forgot to log in...the above comment was made by me--Camille O'Donnell

Dec 28, 2008 10:57 AM #21
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Here's another post on the AR gathering, thanks to Camille  I believe in AR Angels

Dec 29, 2008 01:32 AM #22
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