On Friday, December 15 a dozen area non profits were invited to meet with the President of Priority Real Estate Group (PREG), Jim Howard at his Main Street office individually for coffee, or so they thought. Most of the people around the conference room table knew each other but did not know why they were there and were a little confused about why they were all there together. Then Howard walked in and welcomed his guests and said, “We appreciate you all having coffee with us this morning. I’m sure most of you are aware that a substantial part of our business strategy and philosophy is community development. Over a decade ago we made a commitment that our efforts to create economic development should create and support community development. We believe that Priority Group’s success is not judged on our financial success alone. We believe that economic development should facilitate and support community development. So as a company our measurement of success is based not only on the money we make but what we do with the money we make.” He continued “A community’s success is not judged Solely on its financial success, its retail growth, its job creation, its expanded tax base - but it is also judged on how it supports and helps its most needy. That’s the true character of a company or community. We have all heard the old saying ‘from those with much, much is expected.’ We believe that to be true and we support that by our actions and our belief to give back to the communities we do business in.” PREG had already contributed over $46,000 to area community or-ganizations in 2017 before this meeting. Howard says he believes strongly in another saying which is “From those who care and commit themselves to others much is accomplished.” and that he says is where all the folks gathered around the table come in. He told his gathered audience “If your dedication and service to others was measured in financial terms you would be among the wealthiest people we know. You fill the bellies of the hungry, give a safe warm bed to the homeless, provide a gathering place for the lonely, you provide guidance and structure to kids, you warm people’s homes and do it all with limited resources. You are the fabric of our community. We thank you for all you do. You make our community, our world and the lives of the people you touch better. So, today all of us at Priority Group want to thank you by financially supporting your efforts. Today we are donating $30,000; $2,500 for each organization here to help you accomplish your mission. I want to thank everyone at Priority Group for working hard all year and helping with our success so we can support you here today. Thanks to Matt, Wes, Brandon, Pj, Josh, Parker and Betsy. Keep up the good work. God Bless and Merry Christmas.” Howard then handed out the checks and posed for photos with the recipients. I want to recognize Priority Real Estate Group for the commitment to giving back to the community and leading by example. As long as I have known Jim Howard he has always given back to the community and when he was with Home Vision Video, nearly two decades ago, an at risk youth organization I was involved with, Youth Community Action Network (YouthCAN), received a $5,000 donation which helped keep our fledgling group alive. This generosity is never forgotten.
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