Several of Our Firm’s ‘Agents For Life’ Have Been Mentored by Their Mothers


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Clockwise from top left: Becky Gruber and Diane Gruber, McKamy Tiner and Martha Tiner, Margaret Ponder and Evelyn Ponder, Jennifer Haddock and Patricia Massey, Kristin Smith and Leslie Rouda Smith, Lacy Schultz and Kathy Myers, Taylor Gromatzky and Kimberlee Gromatzky

At Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate, we pride ourselves on being “agents for life,” meaning our clients will rely on the same professionals to represent them in multiple transactions through the decades.

But for a few members of the Dave Perry-Miller family, that phrase has another meaning. They have been “agents for life” because they literally grew up in the real estate business. Their mothers were Realtors before them, and they work alongside their mothers today.

With this being Mother’s Day weekend, we asked some of these legacy agents to share lessons they learned from their moms/mentors.

Taylor Gromatzky, daughter of Kimberlee Gromatzky: “She always told me when going through a tough time ‘this too shall pass,’ and it’s a phrase I always repeat if I need that little reminder during a hard time.”

Becky Gruber, daughter of Diane Gruber: “My mom has taught me many valuable lessons and given me so much great advice over the years, but the greatest thing she’s done is lead by example. She didn’t tell me and my brothers how to be good people; she showed us in her everyday actions and interactions with the people around her. She has shown us how good it feels to help others, how to pick our battles, how to be respectful and appreciative — the list is endless. The thing I am most appreciative of is her supportive, nonjudgmental attitude toward us. She allowed us the freedom to be ourselves, to make mistakes, to embrace our quirks. Thank you, Mom, for always being my biggest cheerleader, no matter what crazy paths I decide to take in life. I am a better person because of you.”

Jennifer Haddock, daughter of Patricia Massey: “My mom has taught me so much that is used in my everyday life. To name a few: respect, honesty, forgiving others, forgiving myself for my own mistakes, living life to its fullest, making each day count as it were the last. After working by her side for 16 years in real estate, she is not only my mom, she is my mentor. She has taught me about working and taught me that success is not because of money; success is helping clients’ dreams come true.”

Alex Simpson Johnson, daughter of Nancy Johnson: “Her hard work and drive to be the best has been inspiring. Her amount of knowledge is just incredible, and she has allowed me to see and learn more in five years than most agents see and learn in a lifetime. She puts every client’s needs before herself and is so passionate about helping them find the homes of their dreams.”

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Nancy Johnson and Alex Simpson Johnson

James Martin, son of Eloise Eriksson Martin: “What can I say about her energy and the example she has set? She taught me the importance of giving 100 percent to every client, and that selling a home is more than just paperwork and details; it’s about realizing your goals and dreams.  I continue to see how giving, always give more in return from your lessons. Mom, thank you for all you have done for Ellen and I, and happy Mother’s Day to all the moms this weekend.”

Margaret Ponder, daughter of Evelyn Ponder: “One of the most important lessons my mom taught me was to count your blessings and to always be thankful for what God has given you. I have found through the years that this seemingly simple lesson can produce big results in a person’s life. When practicing the art of thankfulness, you are able to see every potential struggle in a more positive light, no matter how bleak the circumstances may seem at the time. Thankfulness breeds compassion, and compassion leads to giving and caring for others. When you embody these traits, as she has done, a person is able to give and keep on giving without expecting anything in return. Mom has lead me to believe that being thankful is one of the key ingredients to successfully achieving true peace and happiness in life.”

Lacy Schultz, daughter of Kathy Myers: “I have learned so much from my mom — haven’t we all? However, the work ethic she instilled in me is a most valuable skill that carries over into everything I do. Since we work together now, I get to see her persistence, diligence, and determination on a daily basis! I’m sure when I was growing up I bemoaned the tasks and expectations of such a work ethic. Now, it is something I am proud of in myself and thankful to her for building in me.”

Kristin Smith, daughter of Leslie Rouda Smith: “I couldn’t dream of a better mother. I never had an issue respecting my mother, because she was not a ‘do as I say’ person; she was a ‘do as I do’ person. She set an incredible example. I tell her all the time that if/when I am ever a parent, I have huge shoes to fill. My passion for the homeless started with my mother taking me to Paint The Town in the ’90s. I’ll never forget how grateful this woman was after we had repainted her entire home. I was raised in a home where we were taught to count our blessings, not our problems, and to always give back. If I do anything in life, I owe it all to her. My mom is the most positive, driven, independent woman I’ve ever known: ‘If you believe it, you can achieve it!’ It’s been incredibly inspiring to watch my mom chase her dreams. What she doesn’t realize is how much it inspires me to chase mine. She’s my rock, my best friend, and the person I look up to most! I wouldn’t be half of the person that I am if I wasn’t blessed with having her as my mother. Happy Mother’s Day to all of the incredible moms out there! You have the toughest job on the planet.”

McKamy Tiner, daughter of Martha Tiner: “Over the past 31 years, my mom gave me invaluable advice and taught me to be a confident woman. She always wanted to work, so watching her be a successful businesswoman as I was growing up really shaped my views on what I could achieve. On top of working, she always made my events — from soccer games to volleyball tournaments — around the country; she somehow balanced working and being my mom with grace. Another important lesson she taught me was how to care for and treat other people. She is a dependable friend, wife, and mom, and I hope that rubbed off on me. When I was growing up, she always reminded me that she was my mom and not my best friend; 31 years later, that has changed. Today, she is my best friend, and I value our time together more than anything. I could not be more thankful to work with my mom every day.”