KWEC recognizes spirit of giving

Special to The Log
Craig Baranowski, Andrea Farrell and Al Mader at KWEC’s monthly Movers, Shakers & Deal Makers meeting. SPECIAL TO THE LOG

Getting into the holiday spirit of giving, Keller Williams Emerald Coast Realty (KWEC) recognized their Movers, Shakers & Deal Makers for the month of November, along with a panel discussion with agents.

Craig Baranowski, Andrea Farrell and Al Mader are not only successful in their real estate careers, but they also exemplify this spirit of giving year-round. They were this month’s speakers, along with moderator Cindy Cole.

Named the Cultural Agent of the Year for KWEC last year, Baranowski does a lot for the community. His biggest undertaking is founding and implementing the 30A 10K, now in its fifth year and held on Thanksgiving day. It has grown to 2,000 runners and will break raising $200,000 this year to benefit abused women and children and the Walton County fire and sheriff’s departments.

“Find a cause and match it with your passion, it’s a community win-win," Baranowski said. "It’s like cooking up a big dinner and then watching everyone enjoy it.”

Farrell is passionate about connecting with charities, particularly the Emerald Coast Autism Center in Niceville at Northwest Florida State College on land the college donated to the non-profit. Farrell serves on the Autism Society’s board of directors that oversees 76 autistic children ranging in age from 18 months up to 22 years old, with 70 therapists, which is very nearly a ratio of one-on-one. Almost 70 percent of those children are military related.

“I’m a voice to help get the word out there to encourage others to volunteer and help,” said Farrell. “I think my biggest reward is encouraging the spirit of giving to my children, I know they will pay it forward in their adult life.”

Keeping within the KWEC group of agents, Mader gives back to the real estate industry and his fellow agents. Every day from 9-10 a.m., he makes himself available to help other agents through their business transactions. In some ways, it’s almost like he’s a real estate psychologist.

“It’s all about sharing, I can’t help but care," Mader said. "It’s the old adage of The Golden Rule … do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It’s pretty simple and one of the greatest rewards in life.”

The biggest message that emanated from Baranowski, Farrell and Mader was to follow ones’ passion to help. Get involved. Giving is contagious. KWEC broker Jeff Adamson told the agents how amazing it is to be in business with people who care about people.