“We feel lucky to be in Steamboat” Jon Wade shares. He has been visiting Steamboat since 1986 and he and Wendy made Steamboat their full time home in 2005 with their two children. In 2016, they started The Steamboat Group which they describe as a community-focused real estate firm. Putting clients first and a culture of giving sets the tone for how the Steamboat Group does business.
As they built their team, Jon and Wendy looked for people that are involved in the community and excited about The Steamboat Group’s charitable giving, in which every agent participates. “During the interview process, talking about giving back to the community really helps us identify team players who are always going to put our clients first.”
Kara Stoller, the CEO of the Steamboat Springs Chamber shares, “When working with Jon, he always asks, what can I do to help?” Jon’s hands-on approach can best be illustrated by The Steamboat Group’s partnership with Lift-Up. After learning that most of the food available at the food pantry was canned or non-perishable, they stepped in to help with Paul and Bridget Ferguson who organizes monthly Fresh Produce drives. The Steamboat Group has adopted two events each year providing volunteers, publicity and personal outreach. Their enthusiasm and leadership has resulted in record-breaking donations and 3,155 pounds of fresh produce, enough to fill a couple of pickup trucks at the last drive. Each produce drive is estimated to feed 120 families. The cash donations collected at the drive and a match from the Steamboat Group raised $4,200 last time which helps to purchase more fresh produce and ensure that the shelves remained stocked with fresh items throughout the month.
Every time The Steamboat Group helps a client sell or buy a home, a donation is made to The Steamboat Group’s Donor Advised Fund at the Yampa Valley Community Foundation. Each of the company’s agents is then able to direct their contributions to a local charitable organization of their choice. The fund was set up to ensure that the agents felt ownership over what community causes the company was supporting, making a connection between the people they help and local non-profits that help people every day.
Since opening the fund in 2016, their 6 agents have collectively donated over $65,000 to 29 local nonprofits through their fund in addition to providing sponsorship for dozens of local organizations.
The Steamboat Group Fund focuses their giving on supporting the people that keep Steamboat special. This includes local schools, Lift-Up, Trails, STARS, CASA, programs supporting local women, and kids. They see many families that are struggling with two or three jobs to make ends meet and want to make sure those families are not left behind. “We have a responsibility to help keep Steamboat special and that is why we give back,” Jon shares.
Each of their agents has their own set of community passions that they support with their time and donations, ranging from the Boys & Girls Club to the Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund to the Routt County Humane Society.
The Steamboat Group’s efforts do not stop at giving. Wendy was approached by CASA to consider going on stage for Dancing With The Stars. Wendy much preferred to watch the show from the audience, but their mission helping abused and neglected kids resonated with her, so she agreed to dance on stage. Throughout the months leading up to the event, she inspired others to donate to the cause including friends and clients, raising $17,000. Wendy continues to serve on the Dancing with the Stars committee lending advice and support to increase the funds raised through the event.
“We can only do so much alone; our goal is to inspire others to join us in giving back” Wendy shares. Their leadership is already having an impact within the Steamboat Group and countless organizations in the community have benefited from their time and philanthropy.