• John Rich

    I am the Communications Specialist for The Oakville, Milton and District Real Estate Board (OMDREB), which represents over 1,800 REALTORS® who serve the communities of Oakville, Milton, Halton Hills and the surrounding areas. OMDREB serves its Members through a variety of support and services, including professional development, technology and advocacy. The Board of Directors also champion shelter-based charitable endeavours that are important to the local communities in which its Members work and serve. Aside from doing Communications, I am also a part of OMDREB’s Public Relations Committee, Government Relations Committee, and Milton Initiatives Committee.

    I have done quite a bit in my short career.  I have previously worked in radio, multimedia editing, and for the last three years have specialized in real estate marketing.  I was originally driven to CSAE to earn the CAE Designation in order to further develop my career, but as I looked more into the Society, I have come to love everything that is offered especially to young professionals like myself.  

    Why did you initially join CSAE?

    The fantastic resources, the very relevant and informative education and events, and the desire to acquire my CAE Designation.  Combining all of these things, CSAE provides me with the necessary tools to not only advance in my own career, but help me perform better within my association as well. 

    What does leadership mean to you and how do you lead others in your organization?

    To me, leadership does not always take on its traditional meaning.  Leading by example is always paramount, but being a leader means having the ability to work well alongside others.  A leader seeks to empower others by allowing them to be the best they can be, and realizing that they need the skills of their colleagues to be successful.  I do not exist to force my ideas, but rather use them as part of a collective.  We cannot put forth the best possible product ourselves – the best things always come from collaboration.  This is the approach I take in leading others in my organization as well.  I’ll create something great and take credit for it as anyone should, but I am only one spoke in the wheel.  I think a true leader needs to understand that success is a path that is travelled together.  

    What keeps you motivated?

    Having the opportunity to put something out into the public realm with my name on it that I can be proud of.  If I know the stuff I’m writing, creating, or designing is making an impact, I want to continue to ride on the coattails of that and have an even BIGGER impact the next time.  

    What’s one piece of advice you would like to share with others?

    Don’t let failure get in the way of your future successes.  Failing is hard, especially when you’re dying to succeed or want to achieve something so badly.  As tough as it is, don’t let it set you back too far.  It’s okay to feel bad for a little while – after all, that’s only human – but try your best to look ahead.  Prior to my current position, I went through a situation like this and it really got into my head.  I was dejected, unmotivated, and felt awful.  Push through it – because eventually you’ll get that desired success and it’ll be twice as sweet! 

    What is one thing you want people to know about you?

    I love surprising people.

    I’ve lived one of the most beat-to-death cliches for most of my life: don’t judge a book by its cover.  

    Looking at me outside of a professional setting, I can bet 99% of people wouldn’t believe me if I told them I was single-handedly running a Communications Department and in the midst of successfully changing the entire face of an association from top to bottom.  

    See that guy with tattoos wearing all black, ripped jeans, leather jacket, boots, wallet chains, beard and edgy haircut, cranking the heavy metal up to 100?  Yeah, that’s me.

    I’m grateful that some folks I’ve met along my journey understand that appearances can be deceiving. In return, they’ve reaped the benefits of looking beyond the stereotype and giving someone a chance to show that just because some of us look a little rough around the edges, doesn’t mean we aren’t capable and creative professionals.  

    What are you reading and/or watching right now?

    Toronto Blue Jays Baseball.  I’m a die-hard – and stuck being a die-hard whether I like it or not.  I have the tattoo to prove it!

    Recommend another CSAE aspiring leader to be featured:

    Brian Gaskell, OMDREB MLS & IT Specialist.

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