PurposeCity
PurposeCity

Episode · 1 month ago

14: Love Every Day in...

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Steve Gronow discusses with EWM Private Wealth Advisor Duane Johnson how to ‘Love Every Day’ in community and business. Hear entertaining and heart-warming stories such as the joy and excitement of special needs kids catching a fish for the first time at Family Fun Days in association with The Arc of Livingston County.

Steve also shares his passion for authentic lighthouse artifacts.www.lighthouselens.com 

Steve is the owner of Chestnut Homebuilders and Real Estate.https://chestnutdev.com/PurposeCity podcasts are presented by Executive Wealth Management and exemplify our core values of trust, community, and compassion.

PurposeCity podcasts are found at ewmadvisors.org and all major podcast platforms.

This is purpose city stories ofhumanity in action presented by executive wealth management. Guest onpurpose city do not necessarily reflect an endorsement of executive wealthmanagement, Steve Grown out here and the Rock- andI am here or Twayne, Johnson Yeah. That's my Ome, an Steve Love every dayin. What's that mean to you, it means in you can't get. You can't wait to getout of bed and get at it whatever you're doing yeah, you don't reallyhave a job. You just have people to go serve and you D better. do it with asmile on your face or find another vocation. As that always been youroutlook, yeah I've been very blessed. Every every job I've ever had is beenbasically for me. I've been self employed since, since I quit therestaurant on eight mile washing dishes, oh wow come a long way that one Ididn't like much but yeah. It's just been an amazing ride. Being anentrepreneur. Do you still wash dishes at home? No paper plates yeah, they dothe same paper plates. You pull out the dishes when you have to accompany rightright. So your chestnut home builders and real estate, what is Your BusinessDo? Well, it's two divisions: It's a real full service, real estate office,just like any other real estate office, any big name brand or we can. Weprovide those same services and I like to think we do it better than most ofthe others, but it's a little self promover there. The other side of thecompany is home, building and multi family building, we're buildingapartments and single family homes and Wayne Johnson you're, not reallythe rock you but you've been called the brick right. I've been called the brickthe boulder and the pebble right all three just short of the Rock just shortof the Rock a little bit smaller. It's all here and make up right. And what doyou do? I'm a private wealth manager with Executive Wealth Management,Gotcha Community Steve? Why are you so passionate about helping your communitye for some people? I say if businesses are helping their community, it's good,no matter the motivation, but yours definitely doesn't just seem like abusiness model for new clients. It seems like it really authenticallycomes from you yeah. It is me and my wife Patty you know the blessings in life come fora reason I believe into your life, and you have opportunities to put beforeyou. If you recognize it's an opportunity, you can jump in and I guess it was put there. You knowby our Lord. I didn't put it there. It was just been there. So I was A. I cameout of the rapper with a desire to serve and very thankful for that,because I've learned a lot about other people's lives and how they thechallenges they have and some of the curve balls that they'vebeen dealt in some of the troubles with mental illness with addiction withfamilies and brokenness o folks that are just totally lost inlife and and none of it necessarily by reason of a choice that they made it'sjust the way it happened right and you you primarily, I should saypremet you're involved in a litany of compassion and in Denver and Denver.What's the word Wayn endeavors, thank you, but Umf the break he comes in frommy rescue. We seem to have a heart for youspecifically right. Well, they're the future right tether going to be thenext people leading our country. The next people running our businesses, employing ourpeople are youth. I'm sixty four. I started my firstbusiness when I was fifteen, so I've been at it for a long time and in my particular situation I did have abroken family at a father was a drug addict. Mom was hanging on by herfinger nails. Our family was a chaotic mess for once to the time growing up,don't know what an intact family look like or smell like or any of that, butI had a grandfather took an interest in...

...me and I hung on to that and sort ofdeveloped my own way of knowing what I didn't want for my ownkids and my own family, because it was it was it was. It was evident in mylife and the youth is the key. I think we have youth going off the rails bythe bus load, Livingston County. Even you don't hear about it. You don't readabout it much it's pretty hidden under the rug, but we have. We have drugoverdoses recorded by nine hundred one that number in the hundreds every year inliving county, we have loss of life through drug overdoses, and you know,people like courtin the Atascosa, with theAmberanne has trying to help women get their life back from up from beingaddicted. You know she's an incredible woman right here. Local does an amazingjob, providing this housing mentorship leadership recovery for for women whoneed to get back into the main stream and put their life back together. Youhave little little organizations like the reaching higher program, forexample. This is this is a mentoring programthat probably is the most effective resource in the county in South EastMichigan for discovering in our schools are alwaysof our schools, for some kids is is pretty dark, it's pretty dark, you have. They have a lot of brokenness in theirhousehold. They have dangerous environment that they live in.Where there's an abusive member of the family and there's trouble and strifeand addiction, and these kids are they don't know which way is up? And whenyou get into those teen years, that's where the suicide comes in.That's where the drug use comes in. That's for the girls, some of theprimer city comes in in their life, just carts a crumble, and you know whenthe family is failing. There's only one thing when the familyhas failed in between a life of success, in a life of destruction, for a youngyouth in lives, a county and that's the community- and you know, if you're part of thecommunity, you can make a difference. You don't have to you, don't have tohave a lot of money and you don't have to have a lot of talent. You don't haveto have a lot of skills. All you have to have is the willingness to helpsomebody and and volunteer some time, sometimes true. So, with reachinghigher it's simple you, you merely get involved in the organization you becomea little vetted and, and they put you in a classroom as a volunteer mentor,for you know twenty five students at a time and when you watch the results ofthis eight week program and how it builds confidence and trust and selfesteem, and put some tools in the tool box forthese youth to understand how to deal with stress andworry and how to how to set goals and how to overcome limiting beliefs, how to make better choices with theirfriends how to communicate better with the parent or the caregiver with theteachers. You know now. You've you've contributed to putting somebody's lifeback on track, and you just did it with two hours a week for eight weeks,there's not her. Where do the kids come from? I know you said Livingston Countyabout how are they, how do they find yeah higher yeah? So so so the schoolcounselors know or teachers know which kids are a at risk, and this isin the classroom full of misfits. It's very deliberately put together through a proven program where thecounselors look for five superstars. You know the captain of the footballteam, the cheerleader all of the people that are really sit, the Dane types,yeah yeah, brick types exactly exactly. They lookfor five kids that really have a solid home life. Maybe they have some strongspiritual beliefs, maybe they're academically gifted, and I look forthat and they offer a leadership opportunity for those for those kids inschool and then they look at there's, there's fifteen kids kind of in themiddle, where they're not really having trouble but they're a little bitinvisible, they're, not doing much they're getting by with season. Youknow their little, maybe a little little tardy here and there and a fewcomplaints. Then you got five that are this close to the cliff and all theeverybody knows. It they're the ones...

...that you're not sure if you're going tosee him tomorrow in class or if you're going to read about them in the paper-and this is abundant- this isn't just an isolated thing. There's lots of kidsthat are in that category and Liviston in our school systems, so you put thattwenty five magic mixed together in the classroom with two professionalinstructors and five Schmo. Like me, just volunteering and in the structureof this eight weeks, it's the results. It's BECOT's amazing, it's a trulytreble program so that that's part of the way that I spend my time. Yeah. Okay, Imean it's one thing: to have the resources to help fund these placeswhich you do fund raisers and you do help in afinancial capacity in a great way, but you actually put in your time well yeah. The time is important, butalso the money is important for me. We always say no, no money, no mission,everybody has bills to pay, and you know the non profits have suffered inLivingston County over this past eighteen months from Ovid, and we can'thold fund raising events for him. We can't gather and tap our friends andbusiness associates for support, as he has there been kind of anything. That'sbeen creatively done in that meantime, whether over zoom or how is thecommunity done during the Seeah. Feworganizations have successfully pulled off some zoom fundraisers, not nearly as much fun as be sure inthe in the real fundraiser. But yes, well again with reaching hire. I don'tmean to harp on them too much, but they created a whole online program duringCovin, which I never had before right. So now we can take and deploy thereaching higher program into a school that might be shut down, or maybe it'sa private school. Maybe it's a monostor any kind of school that is interestedin investing in their kids can can now participate in this program via online.That's great! I love it. This semester we're getting back to being live in theclassroom so next week I'll be starting up at hill high school, I'mvolunteering of with, with some other people from thecommunity for a class and everybody's really pumped everybody's, reallyexcited to get get back at it. So but online works, but it doesn't workas well. There's there's, maybe twenty for. In my experience about twentypercent of the money raised in live, events has been raised in these onlinefund. Raising events, so there's still a big shortfall right now. We do needto get after supporting our non profits in a big way. Yeah that we're back towork, or at least of US other than unemployed wealth advisers right, okay, I'm a Tarker, I'm in itand the feeling that's what you air fus kidding. So your focus we'll talk a little abouta couple of the other philanthropy things you're involved in, but thisreally focus on youth. Is it because the environment you grew up in youthink, is that where that hard is because you're even I mean that's a lotof your time and if I'm not mistaken, even as work with middle schoolers at yourchurch, well yeah I was. I was involved in the DC Four K program at theBrighton as for five years. That's the program where it's called divorce carefor kids, den okay. During celebrate recovery on Monday nights, a lot of theparents couldn't afford careers e didn't have caregivers to watch afterthe kids, while they were trying to get their life back on track at Cebrero Ery.Well, somebody has to be there with their kids, so we had the six to twelveyear olds and they come in there. You know their life is shattered, thebroken their they're depressed. They don't know what what's happened totheir family and you can. You can make a difference there with with with thetools that Youre, that you have in a in a program like divorce care for kidsand and they learn it isn't their fault, and I they're not the reason. You knowthat it's happening so that program. I brought my hundred mythree hundred twenty pound electrician...

...buddy John Filian, who lives baby onChilson road. He B he came in he volunteered four years of his lifeevery Monday night wow to be there with those kids, nice, and I know it made adifference, not sure absolutely yeah out of the long list you're involved in.I went to highlight because I love this program: Arca Livingston, counting yeahthe Ark I laughed because I just just had an event last weekend for the ARCand for special ministries and foster care. Soyou get a hundred and twenty special needs, kids, togetherwith varying degrees of ability, and you put a fishing pole in their hand, and you have volunteer help them tossthat pull in the water and watch what happens it's as soon as that fish comeson. There's the screaming starts to jumping and hopping and yipping happenand they're running around and you get the fish. I help me get the fish offthe hook. You put it in a bucket, you take it over to the flat table. Theyfollow you over and watch what's going to, and some of them have never seen afish play before well, explain who some of them are in case? We don't know whatis the art of living sin so so the art takes they're an advocacy group forgetting out in front of people with special needs and for the lasa program,which is amazing program. Levies in county has with Mike Hubert as thedirector they they care for all these kids inprograms through a public school system, but the age limit out in age, twentysix right, so the ARC works, of course in all age groups, but speciallyimportant for those that have have age limited out and really puts a lifetogether for them that that social and educational and fun and gives thecaregivers a break. And it's just a super amazing organization of kindhearted people and not nobody goes into this work for the paycheck right. Oh,they have the compassionate heart to do the work,and so I got involved with art many years ago as a financial supporter andthen later when Patty and I were building the homeon Chilson road, I said: listen, we have to put five ponds in here. We haveto stock him with fish and we have to have fishing events for these kids yeah,and so we started doing that was seventeen years ago now and the fishare huge. Kids, have a blast of volunteers arefun because when they catch the fish and you flay the fish and they take itat the mercy of fish flad and it's like, I have a buddy John Kaiser who's, oneof our long time. Volunteers he's an expert flit and he knows how to talk tothe kids. He looks at him, they're all nervous or watching this. He says.Don't worry, I'm just going to take their pajamas off a way that kids eyes get biggestsaucers and they kind of freak out a little bit. Then the then he flays goover to the cook in tent. We Cook it up in drakes batter and serve the fishback to the kids for their lunch, and they have an experience in a day out ofit, and we just had a. We just had a wonderful one that, because we hadn'tbeen able to do it in the last two years, and this was just a blessed day-we had you say close to two hundred people total there and at the end wegot bold and we taught some of the some of the kids who are up for and how tothrow axes. Oh yeah, what it go wrong right, O nothing, nothing! You know Ijust to jump in here when we started these podcast looking for people intocommunity, doing good in the community, full disclosure he's my neighbor I andhe's kind of the neighbor on the back side of our property. So is driveways,probably a good half mile away from me. But if I walk through my my property, Ibutt into his and there's a path that goes straight over to his place andwhen we first moved in about eight years ago, I was when we heard aboutfamily fundy that he's talking about in everything he just stated he's an under statement of what goes onthere and the kids that are just running around in the multitude offamilies that are there in the cars that are parked all over his property.It just speaks to the amount of involvement that he has in thecommunity in the kind of good and charitable nature that he has suregoodest hust, that's that's kind wain. You know I figure we're blessed in business, we'reblessed with a lot of success, but it's...

...not our house, it's not our acreage.It's none of that is it's just sort of on loan. You know, because you can'ttake it with you right ever watch strange inheritance. You know. Yes, youcan't take it with you right. So I really don't take anything for grantedand I think it's a wonderful way for us to serve those folks, because withoutthe resources a successive business, he can't do much and it's why I say: Nomoney, no mission, so we want to be successful in business. I wanteverybody out there to use chestnut real estate as their broker. Of courseyou know, because when I earn that commission I take that money and Ireinvest a lot of it back into things that I think are good for folks wholive here. It's not so I can go on another vacation or I have everythingin the world I'll ever need it's not about me, making more it's just about.If the business is successful, you can do more for more people, and that'sthat's really the whatever time I have left. That's what I want to do with it.Yeah and your quote of how to be successful. Business comes from ZigZigler. Is that right? You know that one yeses so simple back in the s whenI was listening to audio tapes on cassettes and I listened to Zigler'sentire series and his matter as you can get everything inlife you want. If you will just help another enough, other people get whatthey want and it's people say what does that mean? Well it if you think aboutit, it's really simple. It's turning it around in your in your head, it's notabout what you can do for me. It's what I can do for you and how I can help youget what you need and, of course, in real estate. If I can help you find theright house at the right price at the right deal that I've done my job foryou and in that way I get paid, and I can take that and spin it back into thecommunity. So on a little bit of a I don't know, maybe a deeper level on these programs. You talk a lot and Ialways kind of come back to a point where I feel like people personallyaren't really fulfilled, whether they realize it or not, or have a joy or a happiness if they'renot serving or helping somebody else. If it's all self focused, do you agree with that? And what do youthink? What would your life be like if youweren't helping anybody else and just enjoying your own success? Well, you know, I think all human beings areborn a little selfish. You know, because even if it's serving somebodyelse well, the feeling that comes back forme is so tremendously satisfying. Well that isn't that self I mean right. If I,if I help somebody else and I didn't feel good about, it- probably wouldn'tkeep doing it, but I think that's sort of built in and a lot of the peoplethat have I've asked a volunteer like on the Family Fun Day for the ARC andother groups or in rotary. You know where the living to the sunrise rotaryhave been longed about twelve years now and it's a club of servant, heartedpeople that and by the way this club is really focused on youth, the LivingstonSunrise Rotary, but he they all say the same thing. It's sure we raise moneyand we help find some of the non profits. That's kind of we are a prettybig fund raising club, but we're also a service club about we had last timereaching hi was running. For example, seventeen members in our club were inthe classrooms volunteering for the reaching higher program and the conversation about the littleexperiences that you have with the kids and and the rewarding feeling you getjust by answering their question, reassuring them that they can besuccessful and that that what's happened to them, it doesn't definethem and is way back to a bright life. You know those are the things you couldnever report a price on the feeling you get from that Dain back to what you're talking aboutis understating these family fund days, because in people's mind they can think.Well, we had a fun raise house, we have twenty five people or something youknow what kind of cars are you talking about?How many people do you estimate come out to these family fund days? Well, I don't walk around all the youdon't card cars because I literally walk back to his place, so we haven'tdriven there, but I don't know probably a hundred n fifty two hundred carsafter he has parked on the grass that...

...he's mowed specifically for thesepeople to park on yeah I and the kids wandering around the the ponds. Youknow some of them look a little bit secluded, so you'll have some of thekids who are trying to get a little bit included, they'll, be back there andand watching them, pull it out and pull a fish out and the ones that have doneit for the first time you can tell because you know, some of them are justscared. He's like, Oh, my God, there's a fish up there yeah and then theothers are just screaming with excitement. They want to hold the fish, and it's just going on all day andthese kids in the fillet station that he is talking about great to watch andyou wash their faces and some of the kids are like. Oh what just happened.You killed my Fitch Yeah. I mean it's just good stuff. All the way around. Ithink the family fund days could continue. You just put little covedmasks on the fire yeah exactly solve, so I'm really curious actually switch alittle bit. Is I don't know how you have time for this, but I'm interestedin. Why are you doing and what you're interested in the Maritime ExchangeMuseum? What's this all about? Well, I think a lot of people's interest,probably flows back to the childhood right. That program is set by the time,you're, probably twelve, to thirteen years old. All of those hobbies andinterests are sort of put there by your experiences. So you know I mentionedether. Our family was pretty broken up by my grandfather was a pretty cool guy.He took me fishing on the Detroit River. He took me fishing to be Er island.Those trips involved boating, the beaver islander. The huge ferry thatwould take you over to be Ryland is like an adventure for an eight year old,nine year old, ten year old right you get on that boat. It takes you over theisland, then you're on the island, with your grandfather, you're tramping,through the swamps catching frogs and fishing and having a great time, andyou come back and it's all about the water and on the water in order to besafe. You have to have aids to navigation, and I learned about that ata young age with my grandfather. So if you misread a red boy and you get on the wrong sideof it, you're going to run a ground. If you misread the characteristic kind oflight with a lighthouse, you could navigate into some very treacherouswaters and have some problems. So as I started to grow and learn more aboutits navigation, it brought me into the service of studying that studying thosetwo disciplines, a US light house service and the? U S, life savingservice which existed from eighteen, seventy for to nineteen fourteen whenit was absorbed by the coast cart, but that was organizations all they did waskeep people safe at sea and without either one. There would be a lot lesspeople surviving their adventures at sea. So I started to collect theartifacts of that era from thousand eighteen. Seventy four to nineteenfourteen and these just little bits and pieces and trinkets and this and thatand the next thing- and I eventually got maybe a little carried away and mywife would probably tell you that and exactly what happened: total hobby outof Control, and now I have this small collection up in my second floor of my house- is full ofthis stuff. So the cool thing is being able to takeschool groups in there and teach them about the lighthouse service, the lifesaving service and the role they played before the Coast Guard was around.There goes a youth theme again yeah. It's it's important because there's no,it's not being taught anywhere in the classrooms and it's not really part ofHollywood's interest. You know so it's kind of fading. You know this whole andthey published reports every year of all the rescues at sea and theirdetailed colorful written reports, and they would take those reports of theTreasury every year and beg for money and funding in Washington, and theywere just incredibly well done. So when you study and read about all theserescues, these people took their life in their hands every time they went towork so to speak, and who I mean we have people to do that today, of course,in our first responders, but these guys did it back when it was cork vest andoil skins and the boats he had to row by hand and right no GPS, no safety. Itwas just done because that's what they had to do and they risk their lives tosave others. For you know the love of that work in their hearts and fourhundred dollars a year in salary. Okay...

...takes yeah. I thought it was reallyinteresting. You know I followed it from a link from yourfacebook and I thought Oh he's involved in this, and I read it like he has this. You know I went back to you, youtraveled the world. If someone had something to recover and restore, andit had to do with that yeah we did, we do. We did a lot of world. We went tothe island of Ba rain in two thousand and six, my apprentice, and I werecovered a forty foot, shipping container full of maritime aids tonavigation and brought them back to the US and Silagan slowly restored a pieceby piece until we had enough for a display and interesting, he went fromthere yeah. Well, I think if your time thank you for coming again, they kickedaway again, then in recently. Thank you very much. Purpose city is presented byexecutive wealth management and exemplifies our core values of trust,community and compassion. We are in a period of time I of intenseand continuous change. People who want to build wealth need to know that aninvestment philosophy and process is critical to any long term investmentstrategy, so clients when they're, looking at their portfolios and they're,seeing the markets move in a very negative fashion or even in a positivefashion, and we want to make sure that we're taking advantage of what themarket to doing so we're building we're defending and were advancing thatstrategy through compassionate growth. We build defend in advance. That is the founding principle of ourinvestment philosophy, clients, knowing that they can be up at one level ofrisk and very gradually reduced. They on a non emotional analysis ismathematically driven. It is based on an adult system that is built for avery large community. Our team is built up of not just a couple advisers withtheir assistance like you'll see in a lot of offices, we have our investmentteam here in Investment Policy Committee. We have our operationsdepartment here we have our compliance department. Here we have a technologydepartment here which allows our advisors to have more direct accesswhich allows them to not as to jump through as many hoops when that justleads to a more efficient clint experience. I wanted to be part of acompany that had and fostered that team work that had regular meetings like thecase studies, the collaboration, the practice management- I saw a ton ofvalue in that being part of a team is crucial for me. I came from almosttwenty years in the banking channel. Thinking about why I came here wasspecifically to do with the way that they treat the employees as family. Wehave a great culture here. That's one of the things I really take pride in.It is about chemistry. You need people to want to be here. The fact that we'retreated so well allows me to focus and other things for our clients and how Ican help them, and what I really found special about this place was that theemphasis I'm building relationships- and that is something that I've carriedinto my practice as an adviser. I want to build that plan and then obviouslyallow us to defend it, but ultimately is that peace of mind that we're inHelem advance going forward, I'm the partner to the investor. With insidethe firm, I really enjoy answering clients, questions a lot of our clientslike to read thoroughly through our disclosure documents, and they have alot of excellent questions and part of my job is to ensure that the client isinformed and has access to that information. So, if there's ever a timewhere a client has a question and if they just want to give me a call, theyare always welcome to do that. We communicate with our clients. We arefollowing up with clients when they ask questions, we want to make sure we'reproactive and doing that, and that's part of our strategy of building anddefending an advancing or our relationship. I've been working forexecutive elth management for over ten years. I love the people that I workwith with great clients, our clients trust us. We care about our clients,building report folio and your retirement, defending it when it needsto be defended in difficult times and...

...advancing it. When things turn build,defend, advance schedule, an appointment to day and meet with anexecutive wealth management adviser to learn how we can build defend inadvance. You are investment future. I.

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