Bobby Lieb has been a realtor in the valley for over 28 years and sold more than 3,400 homes. When he first entered the field, he knew that to be successful, he needed to specialize in an area of the Valley. “I lived in the central Phoenix/Biltmore area, so it was an easy choice. I also coached many of the kids in our area and must have done a decent job because their parents are hiring me to sell and buy homes and now those kids are buying from me,” declares Bobby. Bobby is also a court-appointed Realtor with Maricopa County family court and specializes in divorce home sales.
He is the number one HomeSmart agent in the country the past seven years, based on volume and homes sold. HomeSmart is the largest real estate company in the Phoenix area with 7,000 agents. HomeSmart has 11,000 agents in the United States.
Bobby founded the HomeSmart Elite Group seven years ago. The Elite Group consists of the top agents with HomeSmart – totaling more than 1,000 agents. They hold monthly meetings with the Valley’s top real estate experts.
He averages 135 sales per year. “In 2016, I sold $79 million in home sales, ranging from a low sales price of $150,000 to six homes over $1.5 million – and (I sold) $53 million in 2017. I work by myself and have a great assistant, Kathy Wright, who has tolerated me now for 18 years. I am the definition of a true workaholic, but I love what I do,” states Bobby.
The business has changed some over the years, but the bottom line is getting buyers and sellers the price they want. He explains, “I have sold some buyers over 10 homes, and some sellers have hired me to sell many of their homes over the years. I was hired to sell Senator and Cindy McCain’s north central home in 2006 – which was on 2 acres and was 14,000 square feet. I have now sold that home three times in the past 10 years.”
Bobby started a charity four years ago called HomeSmart We Care for Others. This charity helps HomeSmart’s real estate agents in times of need. “We have raised over $50k in four years and helped pay medical expenses, and even funerals for agents. It has been a special charity for me to help my peers,” says Bobby.
There is a continuing education class that Bobby teaches monthly on Agency Law/Marketing Essentials. This class is attended by over 100 agents every month.
After a long day, which is every day because he normally has 50-60 listings at a time, Bobby says, “I enjoy coming home to feed my boxer Layla and then feed my wife of 31 years, Mary Ann. I have to feed the dog first because she is much louder than my wife.”
He also checks in with his children daily. His 28-year-old son Sean works locally with SRS commercial real estate and his 26-year-old daughter Juliann works part time for Bobby and is working on getting her Sports Psychology certificate which should happen in the next few months.
Bobby and MaryAnn took in another kid, Jesse Milleson, more than eight years ago and he is in New York with Orangetheory Fitness opening up five new studios there. “We are very proud of all three of our kids – who fortunately got all their great qualities from my wife. (Yes, I am a true suck-up!),” he confesses.
Associate Broker, HomeSmart Elite Group
5225 N. Central Ave. #104, Phoenix
Allan Flader has always been a “numbers guy.” He excelled in math from a very young age and graduated with honors from the University of Arizona with a major in finance and economics.
His first job out of college in 1987, was with Merrill Lynch. They usually did not hire individuals straight out of college, but they were impressed with Allan’s resume. “I was the youngest advisor for Merrill Lynch in the country at the time,” says Allan. He has also received the Certified Investment Management Analyst® designation in conjunction with the Wharton School of Business.
In 2000, he started Flader Wealth Consulting Group with his brothers, Michael and Brian, as his partners. “I now have six and a half employees,” jokes Allan. “My mom helps us with certain things, part-time.” In addition to Allan and his brothers, FWCG employs Chris Young, a Certified Financial Planner® and Brittany Beard and Linda Caldwell, who are both full-time administrative assistants.
FWCG considers themselves “a concierge service” for everything financial. They help their clients manage money, execute tax minimization strategies, evaluate how debt should be paid off (if necessary), review insurance plans, have estate planning documents reviewed, advise clients when to take social security and more services.“ Any financial issue, if you are a client of ours, we help you,” says Allan. “If we don’t know the answer we will get it. We have a lot of people in our network to get the proper answers you need.”
“Fiduciary standard (acting solely in the client’s best interest when offering personalized financial advice) has become big in the news of finance, but we’ve been doing that for 25 years,” explains Allan. “We have formed a lot of personal relationships with our clients, and we genuinely want them to do well – it’s not just ‘business’ to us.”
Flader Wealth Consulting Group
2398 E. Camelback Road #700, Phoenix
What started as the brainchild of Chabad of Scottsdale, Mazel Tov Gifts opened in 1993 and has been going strong ever since. “That year there was nothing available in Scottsdale, there were other stores that opened but have since closed. We are the only remaining freestanding gift shop and storefront where people can park, walk in and purchase Judaica,” says Rabbi Yossi Levertov of Chabad of Scottsdale.
Mazel Tov Gifts is its own separate store; people who may be uncomfortable walking into a synagogue can be at ease browsing in this neutral, nonthreatening space.
“What started as a very modest setting has grown to include museum-quality pieces and work from artists that you can’t get anywhere else,” explains Rabbi Levertov. Items in the store are a mix of contemporary, modern and everything in between.
Mazel Tov Gifts carries jewelry, mezuzot, hamsas, greeting cards, yarmulkes, tallitot, honey dishes, seder plates, beeswax and olive oil candles, children’s books, specialty foods for holidays (including shmurah matzah) and much more. One of the important goals of the store is to provide only authentic Judaic items.
The mezuzot are a big seller, and they will only sell authentic scrolls; no paper, no copies, only parchment that has been handwritten. “We have many of the rabbis in town purchase mezuzot for their congregants because they don’t have to stock them themselves – they’ll come to us,” explains Rabbi Levertov.
Mazel Tov Gifts carries many items from local artists in addition to items from Israel, to support their economy. They also have a great selection of Jewish music including traditional Hassidic, cantorial, Israeli and music for weddings. There is also a selection of DVDs for children with Jewish content.
“Even children’s time spent on electronics can be enhanced if they have healthy Jewish content connected to those electronics,” says Rabbi Levertov. “Music and DVDs is a way to keep them entertained while infusing them with Jewish values. It’s simple, and not everyone recognizes that opportunity.”
Mazel Tov Gifts is open from 10:30 am to 5 pm Sunday through Thursday, and 10 am to 3 pm on Friday.
Mazel Tov Gifts
10211 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
David Hock moved from San Francisco to Phoenix in 2001, the week of 9/11, to be specific. In addition to running SMTC, he has his own business consulting company. His daughter, who is now 23, grew up here, had her bat mitzvah at Congregation Beth Israel and attended Camp Charles Pearlstein for many years. “I also spent time teaching at the CNI religious school and helping with camp plays for a number of years,” says David. “I think I’m one of the last surviving Jewish producers here in town.”
He comes from a professional theater background; having produced, directed and choreographed on both coasts for more than 30 years. “I created SMTC in 2010 and began presenting shows in a church gym in North Phoenix. Since 2014, SMTC has been the resident musical theater company at Tempe Center for the Arts,” says David. “I’m the executive producer, and I direct all the shows for SMTC. I do the choreography for some of the shows as well, and share marketing responsibilities with my associate producer.”
SMTC does about four shows a year – big well-known musicals. “I’d say the changes I’ve seen over the last 10 years is that there are more theaters and culture in the Valley,” says David. “As the general public has become more familiar and comfortable attending cultural events, we’ve been focusing on maintaining a higher quality production, at reasonable prices.”
What sets SMTC apart is that they feature recognizable celebrity guest stars in all of their shows. They also have a full 20+ piece live orchestra accompany each performance. And because of the technical capabilities of TCA, they can bring in large national tour sets and costumes for their productions.
Since its beginning, SMTC has always donated tickets to veterans and military personnel to all of its shows through the organization vettix.org, which provides tickets to any and all kinds of events; sporting, cultural, family, etc. for veterans and active military. To date, SMTC has donated more than 7,000 tickets to vettix.org.
Scottsdale Musical Theater Company
At Tempe Center for the Arts
700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe
Linda is from Cape Town, South Africa and spent part of her childhood in Israel before coming to the United States in 1976. Linda was the principal
of a Jewish community religious school in Rhode Island for 20 years before moving to the Valley 21 years ago. In her current position as executive director of the Jewish Tuition Organization, Linda is driven by the fact that she knows without the JTO about 65% of the students in the JTO affiliated Jewish day schools would not be able to attend.
The JTO’s mission is to ensure that every child has access
to a Jewish day school education, regardless of their family’s financial ability to pay for it. The JTO raises funds for need- based scholarships from both individuals and corporations through the dollar-for-dollar Arizona private school tuition tax credit. As the executive director of the JTO, Linda
is responsible for guiding the organization. Under her leadership the JTO raised more than $4 million dollars last year to provide need-based scholarships for children in the community to attend Jewish day schools of all denominations. The six schools served by the JTO are Desert Jewish Academy in Chandler, Pardes Jewish Day School in Scottsdale and Phoenix Hebrew Academy, Shearim High School for Girls, Torah Day School of Phoenix and Yeshiva High School of Arizona, all in Phoenix.
What sets the JTO apart is that it focuses on Jewish day schools of all denominations, directs more than 90% of the funds raised toward scholarships and that all scholarships are need-based. The JTO uses a third-party vendor to evaluate applications and ensure need.
For 2017, individuals can donate up to $1,089 and married couples filing jointly can donate up to $2,177. Taxpayers can still make donations up until April 17, or when they file their taxes, whichever comes first. For 2018, the amounts are $1,107 for individuals and $2,213 for married couples filing jointly.
The Arizona private school tuition tax credit is also available to corporations; the deadline to submit a corporate application to the JTO is June 15. Please call the JTO office for information. JTO is a 501(c) (3) and can accept non-tax credit charitable donations.
All support is appreciated and will support Jewish day school education.
Jewish Tuition Organization
12701 N. Scottsdale Road #100M, Scottsdale
PHSA was founded in 1982 by a group of Holocaust survivors and their descendants. Its purpose is to support local survivors and to remember the Shoah through education and commemoration. Approximately 60 survivors belong with over 100 other descendants and “friends.”
A 14-member board of directors, which includes four survivors, leads the programming for PHSA, while GA is led by an active steering committee. The organizations have no paid staff; all are volunteers. Both organizations are the only ones of their kind in the greater Phoenix area. They are known nationally and internationally as the voice of survivors in Phoenix.
Both PHSA and GA connect survivors with social service agencies to provide for their needs.
GA also connects descendants through various social events and discussion groups and was the recipient of JFGP’s 2017 Belle Latchman Community Service Award.
In the last 10 years, PHSA and GA started to partner with other organizations, such as AJHS, GPJFF, BJE, USHMM, ADL, synagogues, NAU’s Martin-Springer Institute and Scottsdale Community College to co-sponsor events that educate the community about the Holocaust.
An example is this year’s feature presentation, “The Children of Willesden Lane,” highlights author Mona Golabek’s story of her mother, who was saved by the Kindertransport. A program by the author (who is also a concert pianist) is the opening event of Scottsdale Community College’s Genocide Awareness Week. It will be Wednesday, April 4 at 7 pm at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.
Copies of her book have been read by school children in grades 5-12 through the generous donation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Adults have also attended dozens of book talks after reading the book. A grant from our local Jewish Community Foundation has supported the project. More information can be found at willesdenlaneaz.com.
Phoenix Holocaust Survivors’ Association and Generations After
12701 N. Scottsdale Road #122, Scottsdale
David Lee is husband to a beautiful wife and father of two beautiful boys. “I’ve always been a wandering artist, melancholy philosopher and slightly overconfident theologian for many years.” He’s spent well over a decade studying theological matters, including philosophical and scientific arguments for the existence of The Creator. “One could say that my love for art and the creative process, in general, comes from my faith and appreciation for a created world, by the ultimate artist.”
He is a portrait photographer, and as some would say, a counselor and therapist, too. “The process that is involved for me to create true portraits of my clients often requires getting past the superficial to get a bit closer to the soul,” says David. “I find that the shallow is never enough when it comes to art. We as humans, cumulatively speaking, are a compound of emotions and experiences. What makes us who we are is, in part, happiness but sadness as well; we are content, and yet dissatisfied; we experience grief and joy, loneliness and companionship – we are complex beings. My job, as a portrait photographer is to capture the essence of who one is”.
He works with clients on topics such as micro-expressions, and how there are many muscles in the face that respond to and change one’s expression based on what we are thinking. “To the trained eye you can’t simply replace a genuine expression with a fake smile; having no portrait is better than one that misrepresents who you really are,” says David.
He provides two types of portrait sessions at his studio: one being a full-blown magazine style, fine art portrait session and the other, professional headshots. He has a hair and makeup artist on site, and a full wardrobe of tulle gowns and dresses. A portrait session is for everyone: male and female individuals, couples, families, generations, etc. “A couple of weeks after the shoot, I invite you back into the studio for ‘a reveal,’ where my gallery wall is filled with the top images from your shoot, so you can see and hold the fine art prints, and decide which images you love,” he explains.
The other kind of shoot he offers is the headshot and personal branding shoot. “I find no reason to divorce art from the headshot, so I came up with a signature headshot style known as the ‘lux style,’ headshot,” says David. These headshots are sharp and dramatic and are meant to become “scroll stoppers” on the internet, bringing attention to themselves first as art, and then as a by-product, adding extra attention to you and your business.
23150 N. Pima Road #2-C, Scottsdale
In the heart of Central Phoenix, The Orchard, already a local hot spot, offers a magical and unique events venue. With catering out of Pomelo Restaurant and outstanding service from our on-staff events coordinator, Linda Schnitzer, we can create memorable events including birthday parties, baby showers, bridal showers, weddings, wedding receptions, mixers, life events, corporate events, bar and bat mitzvahs and much more. We warmly welcome you to come see our beautiful property and we look forward to hosting your next event!
For a more intimate party, consider dining in at Pomelo, built around a 1920s adobe house. Here you will find delicious, straightforward American food and drinks, with an Arizona twist. Open daily for lunch, dinner or drinks in the lounge. Savor dinner in the intimate dining room or on the patio, which overlooks The Orchard Phoenix lawn. At Pomelo, you’ll be welcomed, comfortable and at home. Also located at The Orchard is Luci’s at the Orchard. It is just like the Luci’s you know and love (Luci’s Healthy Marketplace at 16th St. & Bethany Home Road), in a revitalized historic setting. Luci’s offers a unique marketplace, cafe, coffee and juice bar, and Splurge, a vintage ice cream shop in a casual and welcoming environment.
Luci’s is a place to nurture community, local businesses, and where you want to be on a Saturday afternoon. The cafe area is lined with windows overlooking the citrus orchard, patio and splash pad. Our citrus trees inspire many of our dishes, and juices, while creating a shady oasis in the desert.