A Server's Journey

City of Champions: Diane Travis on Relational Leading

September 19, 2018
A Server's Journey
City of Champions: Diane Travis on Relational Leading
Chapters
A Server's Journey
City of Champions: Diane Travis on Relational Leading
Sep 19, 2018
Rocky DeStefano
Diane Travis talks relational leading, being a woman in leadership, and the importance of health and wellness in a growing community.
Show Notes Transcript

Join Rocky and Larry as they interview today’s special guest, Clermont City Council Member Diane Travis. As Diane runs for her last term on City Council, learn how she used her go-getter mentality to climb her way up the corporate ladder and help transform the small town of Clermont, FL into the “City of Champions.” 


Speaker 1:
0:00
Yes,
Speaker 2:
0:10
welcome
Speaker 1:
0:11
to this edition of a survivor's journey with rocky testify. No, the foundation of the program is it everybody's leading something or someone and thus the name of the program is a survivor's journey. Thanks Larry. I hope that everyone listening, it's going to be able to walk this journey of leadership with us and you know, by the way, Larry, it's really exciting how the servers moments are starting to catch on, you know, the idea of that is different voices and a quick start for your Tuesday morning, um, you know, if any of our listeners, if you have an idea for us, let us know and we can contact or share your motivational moment here. That would be great because we'd love to hear from you. Also, if you've got some ideas for us, let us know and if you got some one, I'm going to say negative thoughts or some comments that you'd like to let us know about.
Speaker 1:
1:01
Let us know that too. Absolutely. You can do that on the website or you can call rocky directly, please. Yes, call him directly. Yeah, we definitely like your feedback. In fact, a couple episodes ago, we got a chance to ask and answer a question from a listener and, uh, my wife said it was one of, I, I sounded the least in competent, which, you know, hey, I, I don't know how your marriage work works, but, uh, that's high praise. Yeah. Yeah. Well, the great thing is we have a guest in the studio today as well as a leader of the city council here in our Claremont area, and I look forward to hearing from dying and Travis, but first at big epic moments in leadership, uh, you know, I've been reading a book, amazing, you know, we got to all be at to continue my knowledge base and that's, that's, that's an exciting thing about the program itself is just leading and learning things about different leaders.
Speaker 1:
2:01
But Dwight, Dwight, David Eisenhower, I like Ike. Yes. With the president of the United States. A really came to life for me. It's a book I'm reading about his life and uh, it's amazing how dedicated he was to the, to making the country. Um, what am I going to say? A better, a better place or I think he had a real, you know, to me, his what comes clear that he wanted to serve the country. He loved the country deeply and it's funny, Larry, you mentioned doing this epic moment and I felt stupid because I, I have loved Dwight d eisenhower my entire career and so it was odd that I had forgotten all about them, but you know, let's talk a little bit about him. Yeah. And it literally please jump in, but you know, he was described by an aid and what they said was what he did was to make people feel that what he was doing has some transcendent significance.
Speaker 1:
3:04
And you've talked about that. Yeah. Think about that. People buying into a, you know, what, what the leaders is a moving, moving them tour. So part of it came from his family where he grew up. Absolutely. The household there was always loved in the family. Yeah. And he said the factor that formed his nature was the love in the Eisenhower household between his parents and their children. There was a real safe place there for sure. And then he, he left, you know, he couldn't really afford school. That's trying. So he looked to, to the cat cadets. Yeah, that's right. The West Point. Yeah. And when he became a cadet at West Point, he realized that this is a big realization for a young man, that he realized that he would be in service of the United States of America and that service would be above his self and his family for the rest of his life.
Speaker 1:
4:00
Wow. Which is, uh, you know, at 18, that's a pretty, pretty great realization. So what did he learn at West Point? I mean things that you probably would assume he learned discipline. He learned moral character, physical and mental toughness. And this is an odd one. Obedience to a higher power. So like style of leadership. And I think it was shaped here. He began to say, okay, let's look at a situation, let's listen to everybody and then reflect on a possible outcome. And that's Kinda how he led his entire career. Yeah. And people were thinking that he wasn't really leading. No, I, I think it was, again, you know, he had the power to get people to see where they were going and to feel like it was significant so they never felt lead as much as they felt like they were along for this great ride.
Speaker 1:
4:56
When he, when you said he was looking to a higher power. Yeah, his wife said something to. Yeah. So, uh, you know, he had definitely, he, he learned a willingness to accept responsibility, but his wife Mamie said, and this is a quote from her, he depended a great deal on the man above. His prayer with from was from St Francis of Assisi, Lord make me an instrument of thy peace. And for Eisenhower, for ICC Peace Not War was always the point, which is odd because he's known as one of the greatest who ever served in our military. Right. That, that was amazing. Yeah. So some other things that we, that we learned through this book as he was easy to get along with. He, he never exhibited posturing that often accompanies somebody have a high ranking as either as a politician or as an officer in the service.
Speaker 1:
5:51
I think that's one reason why you can identify with them. Yeah. Well, I, you know, I, I think there was a certain humility that he had for sure. He also, this is great. He, he, he couldn't believe how much paper they wasted in Washington and for instance, he said that his entire plan for d day was only five pages long. Wow. So, I mean, think about d day was, we talk about it to this day, maybe one of the greatest missions in the history of, of, uh, military. And it took, it was five pages long. Wow. So the politicians today put together what, 3000 pages for healthcare. That's right. Yeah. Yes. Uh, and then, you know, this is great too. He, he became president, he and his platform, he, he ran on two main points. He wanted to balance a budget and he wanted to keep us out of war and I believe he's the last president to do both those two things, which is pretty amazing.
Speaker 1:
6:51
Um, he talked about on being a president, he held the belief that the office should seek the man and not the man, the office, which just think about that for a little bit. Could you repeat that? Yeah. He thought that the office should seek the man, not the man, the office. So he became president because it presented itself. It's sought him out. It would not have been something that he would have sought to do himself. And he also, by the way, he hated and despised, uh, the pettiness of everyday politics. It kinda sounds like something we're going through today. Yeah. Yeah, it does a little bit. I would agree. You know where I'm at there. I think I might, I think I have an idea. Well, that's our epic moment in leadership for today. Awesome. And it's kind of exciting to hear about a national politician like President Eisenhower because today in the studio we have with us a city councilman from the state of Florida, Ms Dot Diane Travis, who is presently a city councilperson representing her fifth chair.
Speaker 1:
8:03
That's what they have in the city of Claremont and she's a successful business woman running a real estate firm. We want to welcome Diane Travis to servers journey and we are excited to have you and just excited to get to know a little bit more about you and what makes you tick. Um, what, what I'd really love to do and just start as kind of tell us a little bit about yourself. We just want to get to know you a little bit about where you come from and maybe some things that shaped you along the way. Thank you. Rocky. I grew up in Chicago. Oh really? In the inner city. Oh Wow. And I'm come from a large family. Unfortunately. My mother died when I was 12. I was in eighth grade. My father used to always tell us if we didn't behave, he would put us in a home. My brothers and sisters and I am very, very close. I started
Speaker 3:
8:56
working when I was 15 years old in a retail store called Steinberg embalm. Um, it was pretty awesome place. Uh, my mother had worked there, so I'm laying on the north side. No, it was on the south side of the city. I grew up on the south side where I would start by saying Chicago is one of the greatest, greatest cities in America. So, um, I did, uh, did very well there and at 16 I ran the toy department and then after that they promoted me and I also ran the jewelry department and then I ran the electronics department by the time I was 17. Wow. So, um, it was interesting because obviously you had to manage people who were, you know, two and three times your age. So that was a little challenging. Then what happened is, I guess the owners had embezzled money and they shut it.
Speaker 3:
9:52
They shut the retail store down. Um, I was lucky enough to find a job, a downtown Chicago. I worked for American College for surgeons for a year, doing clerical address changes and what have you. But it was fun to work downtown. I was only 18, so it was, it was quite fun. And then I was lucky enough to have a friend that worked for Johnson and Johnson and they told me, well, I can get you in, but you're going to have to start at the bottom as well. I'm used to that. I can do that. So it was in the mail room. So I was the Chicago that was in Chicago on 60. Oh, right across the street. In fact from Midway airport we had the whole. We had the whole block from a Palasky to Cicero to central actually. And we manufactured the bandaids. Oh. So, uh, we had, um, no, it was total production.
Speaker 3:
10:49
You had the adhesive rooms where they melted the adhesives and you had, you know, the machines that would pump out the bandaids. And it was, it was quite, it was quite interesting. So I started in the mail room and they said, well, you know, when you, uh, deliver the mail to each department, you will find out when a job gets posted really where you want to work. I thought, oh, that's fantastic idea. So I did, I've, and the job got posted in the cost accounting department. I thought it was fascinating the way they put all the little everything that goes into a bandaid. It's amazing. Back then it was costs less than a half a cent to do one bandaid if you, if you broke it all down, it's Kinda like that show how it's made where you were always completely amazed that something you take for granted how much goes into it and it was so much fun to walk through the factory, see the people working on the machines and doing all the time studies, you know, how many band aids could pump out in an hour and all that.
Speaker 3:
11:56
So it was, it was quite interesting and I worked with some cost accountants that were just phenomenal. I had the best boss in the world. I worked there six years. It was probably the best company I ever worked for. The culture was fabulous. Everyone got along and you talk about a mixed bag of people between the factory people and I'm the office people. It was just so cohesive and it was just a fabulous, fabulous company. What do, what do they do? Because you're talking about a real diverse part of society where you got people that are just new to the country and are trying to prove themselves all the way up to people that have been schooled at Harvard and Yale. What do they do to Kinda make that, that work? Well, from what I could see, they were, we were just the office people are the management people were so respectful of the people that worked in production.
Speaker 3:
12:58
It was hot, it was tedious, and they always gave him praise and they always, uh, you know, when they did those time studies, you know, they would always give him praise for, you know, how well they did and the quality control and what have you. So I think they really respected them and they. And they understood that. That's awesome. That's awesome. And of course, back in those days, everybody always went out after work. So we have always gathered at, um, enjoy some, enjoy sending adults. It's Chicago and Chicago. Enjoy it. Exactly. Uh, I have three daughters and two of them enjoy Chicago more than any city in America. If I say where do you want to go? And I really don't even know why they like it so much, but they just love it so. Well there's a lot of things to do from there.
Speaker 3:
13:49
Yeah. And then um, at, at 25 I got married and my husband got transferred to, he worked, went to work for um, southland corporation and we moved to Texas for a couple years. So it was that culture shock. It was culture shock definitely. And I was definitely homesick and I went to work for a company. It was a Chicago company. It was called a verse and Allsteel Press Company and a in cost accounting. And all this time, by the way, I was going to school at night because of course, you know, losing my mother young, I'm at, you know, fathers typically don't understand you have to have clothes and right. You know, things like that. And Allen, by the way, I went to a parochial school and he could not. Then when he started paying the bills, he didn't understand. He said, no, no, I pay taxes for public.
Speaker 3:
14:38
So why do you want to go there? I said, no, no, no, I can't. I can't go to a public school in the middle of Chicago. It's not. So um, anyway, we, uh, you're in Texas and you're in school at night in school at night. And I started going to the University of Texas at Arlington. I'm a little by little and I worked for this company versus, and ostial press company and they hired, they did manufacturing. So of course, course, you know, I'm in cost accounting and I'm used to costing out piece parts and putting things together. They made big machines that stamp out cars and they hired almost exclusively ex cons that we're rehabbing. And it was about 110 degrees in the factory. And uh, it was, uh, it was quite interesting. Was it now a dramatically different atmosphere environment than what you found up in Chicago?
Speaker 3:
15:34
It was dramatically, dramatically different. Um, every, every. Everything was so different. We're where we lived, you know, the restaurants, the school, um, just everything was different. And, uh, after two years a go, I started playing racquetball and a state champ and I really, that's when I really got into all that stuff to kind of keep me. I had heard that they were, uh, uh, quite a racquetball player and I at one point thought I was pretty good until I played very good people in real life. Okay. I'm okay. I'm good. I'm not, you know, not champion level, but it's a great sport. Yeah. At was. And then, um, my husband accepted another position back in Chicago, so I got to come back and, um, we lived in the suburbs and he said, you know, why don't you take some time off and um, go ahead and finish her degree because that was something that I always wanted to do because I always envisioned myself climbing the corporate ladder somewhere.
Speaker 3:
16:39
Right. And, uh, so I went to school, took 18 hours a semester and uh, did that for a couple semesters and went over the summer and finished in a year at Governor State University in the park for south. Um, so, uh, you know, from there I was lucky enough to, oh, you'll love this rocky. So my first job from college because I knew I wanted to go to work right away and I couldn't, wasn't really back in the corporate world yet, so I went to, um, went to school as a, going to be a manager of Burger King. Oh yeah. Yeah. So I went to Burger King Skull and uh, and they were going to give me a right as they were giving me my first store. I hit one of the guys that had gone to college with, had gotten a fantastic job at Rome corporation. So he, um, he, uh, asked me to be the purchasing manager.
Speaker 3:
17:38
I think you may have made a good choice. No, truthfully, but sometimes it wasn't tough business when we're in training, we got, got customers will be mad. You know, you were in the training portion and when they put you in the training, they sent you this actually on the line in Indiana for some reason I think it was a lot of truck drivers. And if he gave him the wrong thing, they really got mad. Was it tough? I, I often, you know, when I'm out in public, I see people I know and I wondered, did we just messed their order up and are they going to curse? I mean, you get used to it. Yeah. So it was a, it's a tough, that's a tough job. I, I, I can see that. So, um, so I got to go to work for Roland Corporation, which at that time was one of the largest technology companies that made what we call pbxs, which are big telephone systems.
Speaker 3:
18:36
Yeah. Quite quite where you got your experience in telecom telecom you, because I understand that you, you probably are going to come back to this too, but you're known as somewhat of an innovator in that field. Right? Cause then I further down the line, started my own company in Telecom. But uh, yeah. So I, yeah, I purchase. So at the time I was purchasing for this company, all the and all the fabulous wire and cable Jackson blocks things most people wouldn't consider very romantic. Right? Uh, so we, we dealt a lot and then um, you know, climbing up, they asked me to take over the service center. There was never a woman in the surface on it. It was a tough position. So you were a trailblazer, a trailblazer. And I had to go to what's called, um, pbx school. No, no one had ever passed pbx school that wasn't a technician.
Speaker 3:
19:33
Wow. So I had this big giant book and I had to learn it and the texts were like, here in Africa now she'll never make it and she doesn't know anything, Blah, blah blah. So my past that and then now I was dangerous because I knew how to program systems now they were worried a little bit. I. So, so, uh, you can make it so somebody couldn't get an outside line. It would always be busy. There was a lot of things you could do with this telephone system. So this was like your first management position. The purchasing manager was a management position, but this was, this was higher up than weight high Rep.
Speaker 3:
20:12
Well, on my side when I was in what they call the fishbowl. So one side was Chicago and the other side was the suburbs, so I'm my side, my csrs and technicians. It was probably 40, 40 in there and we called it the fishbowl because it was all glass. And you would bring the salespeople would bring customers in and show them what we did. Right? Yeah. So, um, you had to. I was in the fishbowl but, and I had the Chicago end. So what does that mean? That means I had all the stockbrokers and when they get mad they throw their phones at the wall, they them on the desk and they're very demanding. When the, when the phones don't work for them, they lose millions possibly or God forbid if the phone system goes down or what have you. So what was your first big challenge being a manager of multiple people like that?
Speaker 3:
21:04
Well, you know, there was a program, it was called ACD, automatic call distribution and for some reason no one ever used it. So I put it to use. So I could tell how many calls were coming in, how long it was taking, and I plugged into what the CSRS we're doing. Well, what were they doing? They were talking to their boyfriends, the technicians and the calls were backing up. So at first I was not very popular, but what you became more efficient. The organization became very efficient, very fast and uh, and all worked out. Um, they were, they finally came onto the program and realize that, you know, we, our side, the Chicago side was, you know, top now we're top dog because we, you know, we became efficient. Was it, was it a hard during this period, were you being the first female manager?
Speaker 3:
22:01
I would imagine there was a lot of kickback even within the. I mean, even though you had made it and you had proven that you could pass the test and you could understand, you know exactly what was going on. I would imagine it was still tough to be the lone lone woman there. It was, it was tough. Um, I would say the one thing that really helped me as the first challenge that I had had to go to the stock exchange and they said, you know, you have to talk to the, the manager and smooth things over and, you know, we have to, you know, we, we want them to keep our system and not go to 18 and t at the time. And um, they said this girl is gonna, she might, she, it's a woman and she might chew you up and spit you out.
Speaker 3:
22:43
And I was like, Oh, well, I'm really excited for this trip. So when I got there she wasn't there yet and there was a, uh, a little plaque on her desk that said I bring home the bacon or something like that. I was like, oh boy. So, um, she walks in and we just looked at each other and I had, I had dated a brother for here is we're like best friends. So that helped a little bit, that helped. That challenge was my first big challenge. I got lucky. Got. Did you tell anybody that that was your ex boyfriend's sister or did you just love it? They know because she just went on and on how, how great I was and you know what I'm, you know, all that good stuff, all the good time. So that I was lucky for my first big challenge.
Speaker 3:
23:33
Get that worked out town. I mean, you know, it's, it's amazing. It's only a couple of million people there. Right, right. So, and then moving on, I uh, we got transferred up to Minneapolis and I got to stay with a partial brome corporation and headed up their, their um, service department and then transferred to Florida. And in Florida I was able to um, first worked for a distribution company that did wire and cable. So I traveled the whole state. Developed the knowledge you get transferred to Orlando or was it another part of Florida who was a orlando. Okay. So somewhat sleepy city, but starting to grow maybe. And what years? That was in 1987. So it was, yeah, definitely starting to become a bigger city, Florida. But it was, uh, you know, to me, Orlando after Chicago again was a small town, very small town, and I considered myself like in almost farmland and then it was, it was, it was that.
Speaker 3:
24:46
So, um, I traveled the state, uh, you know, it wouldn't be anything for me to get up at four in the morning, had down to Miami, meets a Miami clients drive back that night. I'd go from the panhandle down to Miami to build the business, right. And, um, and ran a great distribution center. We, we were just, um, it was called communication supply corporation, which is still in business now. And uh, from there I uh, saw a need in my position, you sell to Disney Harris Corporation, all the big guys because they would be able to buy direct, which was cut out the middle. Yes, correct. And there were big enough to do so. Um, but I saw a need. There was a disconnect. Every time we do a big job, there was a disconnect between the subcontractor and the general contractor and the owner. And they would always be like, I remember universal, we had, there was a lot of lawsuits and what have you, because there's change orders, I mean Gen con or contractors, subcontractors, whatever thing.
Speaker 3:
26:00
They're not really good in their paperwork, right? Yeah. So you'd do a change order, wouldn't get signed off on and you'd argue about who pays what. And it was just either mess all these big jobs or just bms. So I said, you know what I'm thinking about starting a company that would bridge that gap. And I had a friend at Bellsouth, she was my customer. I said, you know what, let's start this business, we'll call it all media group and we're going to bridge that gap. And so bell south, when we started the company gave us the first contract. They said, here's the deal, here's your kind. I think the contract is only like 20 worth $20,000 at the time. But they said you will handle these jobs for us. And so we hired the contractor and we did everything for them. And the paperwork was fine.
Speaker 3:
26:49
It was all, it all went really well. And they're like, we like this. So, uh, from there we just started going to her old customer. So I went to Harris Corporation. Uh, the airport was a big customer, right? So anytime they had a big job they'd say they'd give it to us. My partner was a engineer so she would lay the job out where all the wire and cable go, all the manholes, everything. And then it will come to me and you'd made sure that it gets the material. I'd get the material, I'd put it out for bid so we would do the whole thing and hand it right over. And it was really, um, it was a novel thing in the business. Nobody had ever done that before. And um, her last big job before we, um, she went on and got married and had kids and you know, we decided to retire out of the business.
Speaker 3:
27:43
She was, um, the seminole county school board had given us. We had to go up against a big company called Tlc and they called us the ankle biters. I loved it. And we won that, that job we did, we did. I think it was 27 schools we handled, we managed and handled 27 schools for them and uh, that was our legacy as all media group. And then she went her way to start a family and I said, you know, I'm, I already had my real estate license, so I said, let me, let me go into real estate. And so that's how I got to real estate.
Speaker 1:
28:19
So at the heighth of the, uh, of all media, how did you have a large staff or was it mostly just you and your partner?
Speaker 3:
28:27
That was the best thing. Everyone thought we had a big staff and we had my partner and I and an assistant.
Speaker 1:
28:36
Oh Wow. Which is great because we had no overhead. It was just wonderful. And you had nobody, you know, you were the buck, right? The buck stopped there. You knew who didn't do the job if you didn't get something done. Right. Right. So then talk about what was next for you. So now she's, she has just gotten married. You're now getting into real estate. Talk about that.
Speaker 3:
28:57
Well, I got into real estate and then what happened, we had that big boom and uh, so where I thought I wasn't going to work that much, it was night and day. So,
Speaker 1:
29:11
so now this is probably a late eighties, early nineties or is it. I know by now it's 2002. So yeah, it's really that huge.
Speaker 3:
29:20
Right? Right. So, um,
Speaker 1:
29:23
that's when chick fil a came to Claremont. Two thousand four. Yeah. Yeah. That was when I began selling. I was selling chick fil a. They didn't, they told me I was crazy and it would not make it, you know, so we, we built a store that was the smallest, not all because they were convinced that I lost my mind. I
Speaker 3:
29:42
was um, I had owned a store down by Disney and had just got it to the point where it was making really good money and it was one of the higher volume stores. And then I say, well, I want to move to this town where they roll the streets up at 8:00. And they just thought I was insane. But yeah, I think I saw what was here and what was coming and I'm much like you, it just took me by surprise of how busy the city was becoming. So, so do you like being a realtor? I love working with people and uh, you know, having them find their dream right. It's very rewarding once you get to the closing table, it can be frustrating not to them by the time you get them working with the lenders and. Yeah, and everybody wants something that he maybe can't quite afford what they want it because everybody else has it.
Speaker 3:
30:40
Not, I assume you're a broker to right. How many people do you have under you now? So right now I have seven, seven realtors I had, but when I first got into, um, you know, hung my license with a company here. It was a, well, well first it was a company called lakeshore realty under Peggy, whether be, and she had a very small office. But what I liked about peggy is she would sit down with you and really explained the contracts and, and, and, you know, it's just very personal. And then went to a big company and then Sotheby's it came and asked me if I would manage open up a Claremont office for them. And at that time I was managing for Sotheby's, started the clermont office and I think we had about 20, 25 agents and then we started going into the downturn.
Speaker 3:
31:38
That's hard for a realtor. So. And if realtors aren't making money, they're not happy. Yeah. And uh, so then we started shrinking back because we had a lot of overhead buildings and big rents and what have you. So we combined the Clermont Office with the Dr Phillips' office now I had 100 agents, right. And uh, then we shrunk back even more. Went downtown. We're at the top of the plaza because Mr. Sota, some didn't want to give, didn't want to give that place out. It was beautiful. And then when we went into the downturn, Sotheby's didn't, you know, being a high end real estate company, they didn't want us to put anything under 300,000 on their website. Nor did they want us to do short sells. So I was, well, I said, you know what, my little group from Claremont is making all the money because we're doing short sales and we're, yeah, we're listing and selling under 300,000 because we have to, that's the market and if we can't get on the website, why are we paying their franchise fee?
Speaker 3:
32:54
So I said, you know what, I'm going to show the travis group was born at Travis Group was born. Yes. And I said, you know what, I uh, I don't need 100 agents right now. I only need seven small, keep it small and have, haven't be smart. And uh, and we'll go from there. Now what's your management style is being a broker with seven people? It's totally hands off. They, it's all in real estate or I think in any profession really, especially real estate, it's all about relationships. So when you're with a franchise, a lot of times they'll tell you, you need to use this lender, you need to use this closing company. You're dictated who you're supposed to use. And for me it's all about relationships. If you have a relationship with a title company and you feel comfortable with them, that's who you. Same thing with the lender and it works out that way. Now, you know,
Speaker 1:
33:58
real estate agents, I would imagine, especially ones that are successful. And it sounds like your group is very successful. I would imagine that they are kind of self starters. They, they understand, they see the goal. If I can sell home, I make more money. I understand the relationship piece. Is there anything else that you do to try to help manage or help kind of encourage them towards something or they more just they got it?
Speaker 3:
34:23
No, the we. Well my office is known. Sometimes people say, well you can't go to her office unless you run or bike or your health because everyone in my office is just so happens to be like that because those are the things we do together. So, you know, we'll do a park run and on maybe on Saturday have to two of my agents, uh, do the park run every Saturday and uh, you know, we just, the just the healthy, the healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle means that you're a big runner, you participate in the launch, do athletics. What does it do? Yes, it does. It does. It means run, bike, run instead of swim. So now you just drowned. If I, yeah, I, I pretty much would round to. And it gives me one more thing I can practice for.
Speaker 1:
35:24
Yeah. Well I, I did a sprint and I thought I was a great swimmer. I wasn't decent runner. I was a decent biker and then got in the water, not having prepared because I thought I'm a strong swimmer and literally got swam over and kicked and I couldn't believe it. So I was like, this is not for me, you know? Okay. I'm going to ground in something about being in the open water was much different than doing laps in an Olympic size pool. I kept losing my space. I kept drifting. Exactly. I didn't feel comfortable at all, so I was like, I'll stick to running and biking. I'm okay. Add to that. We're in about a gator or a snake or something way. Wait, are there gators out here? Yes. Yeah. I didn't even get, I couldn't even worry about that. I was worried about can I make it back without drowning? How embarrassing would it be to be rescued in your city? It's a small city still. So. Yeah. So you do do a lot. So it sounds like your agent and you kind of do life together in some ways. It's not just about work. Correct. We do a lot of stuff together like that
Speaker 3:
36:29
planted, um, when, when it was time at Lake hiawassee to plant those little trees, we all went out there and planted the trees because we're already at the park run. So we do stuff like that and then we're, it just so happens we're all animal lovers. Right. And two of my eight, three of my agents actually spend their time at the end
Speaker 1:
36:52
shelter. They, you know, they go everyday and walk the dogs and sometimes foster. Um, and things like that. So, so now you have dogs, I'm guessing. Oh yes. So how many dogs do you have? Two big dogs. And how big A. Well, one's 92 pounds a while. Seventy two. Oh yeah. These are tiny. They're labs. They're beautiful dogs and very, very loyal. They are very loyal. That hard thing as they're getting older now. So it's a, it's sad. Yeah, it's tough, right? Yeah. The walking, we got you in the management. We've got you in business, you're a successful realtor and then you step out and want to be a politician. Yeah. It sounds like you've had a lot of time there. You have a lot of free time. It seems that. Yeah. I'm saying that sarcastically. I know you didn't. So what made you get into politics and into a city council?
Speaker 3:
37:45
Well, you know, look at being in the city for that long and being on Lake Mineola, I watched the city. It seemed like it stayed stagnant for so long. Yeah. And if you've ever been to that we go to. It's in sumpter county. I'm, it's the downtown is boarded up. It's been boarded up for years. Oh my goodness. And it's, it's sad and if a city doesn't grow, it's going to die. I mean, so it has to grow at some point. So when, um, the city changed city managers and there was the visioning session, I was like, this is fantastic. I want to be part of this is what I would like to be part of. And I heard there was a master plan that was going to be put together for the city. And I thought now we're talking that I would like to be part of that.
Speaker 3:
38:42
We were rebranding the city, city of champions. I was like, okay, I can do this. I would like to blend my knowledge of, you know, I've competed all over the world so I know whether the cities look like my real estate background. I said, I think I could lend something really good to, to the city council. You're underselling it a little bit because this plan, if I remember correctly, actually won the award for best new plan. It, it in the country or was it just an estate? It believe it was in the state, which is amazing to me because a lot of Florida's a competitive culture. Everybody's trying to do the best plan and um, uh, you know, a smaller city in the middle of a suburb of Orlando wins this award and I think it spoke to how much, when I first read the plan, I was amazed at just how intricate it, you know, there was a lot of planning, a lot of thought that you guys put into it that I'm sure it was exciting.
Speaker 3:
39:49
It was, I was a lot of planning, a lot of thought, a lot of workshops. It wasn't, it wasn't just meeting two times a month and it was, um, you know, a lot of back and forth. Um, and we did have to rely a lot on the consultant. Sure. There were some things that they had laid out that changed. And so, you know, sometimes people don't understand that it's a work in progress. Yeah. Yeah. So you mentioned the city manager and the city, as I recall, used to be very conservative. And so in moving forward, it just seemed like we always need to hold, hold onto our reserves just in case, but it seems like you guys are really moving forward now doing things to improve Claremont. Well, the, um, the prior management didn't want to annex. Yeah. And so part of me could see that at first with them, what happens when people say, oh, we have all these car dealerships and what have you.
Speaker 3:
40:52
Well that's because we didn't annex it. That was in the county and the county, they don't care. They don't care. But it's like, well, you know, it's, it's zoned for that so they can do that. So we start analyzing so we could have control of what our city looks like and that's when everything started happening. So we could bring these things in so we could have control of what's coming in instead of the county. Just, you know. Yeah. Well, I think it sounds like what drew you is you were attracted to a lifestyle here in Claremont. You were amazed at the beauty of the hills and the trails and the lakes and you want it
Speaker 1:
41:34
to help protect it because you saw that it could be in danger if we weren't careful. Right. In our downtown, I think it's a hidden gem. I think it's, if you, if even half of what the plan is comes to fruition, it's going to be amazing. It's going to blow anything out of the water. Um, but it was precarious. It was, it could have gone either way. And I think due to your, you know, the vision of the city council and the, and the city planner, it really kind of saved it a little bit. It did the, the storm water project, that victory point it, that it's just a phenomenal contact, not only for the storm water for clearing, you know, keeping the lakes clean, but to bring other businesses in where they don't have to do storm water. That is a big deal deal.
Speaker 1:
42:25
And then to make an, an, an event space on top of it, it serves three purposes. It's, it's fabulous. I just actually was running down there the other day that they finally opened it and we were running. I know, right? It was. It was a even. I was struck by it. This is a useful thing that has been made beautiful and I think it was just inspired design and I must have felt really good. The other data cut, cut the ribbon and actually open it. So we waited a long time for that. So it'll be finished soon. Will be good. One. Was the road going to be opened up? Well, it road is open to the post office. Small town things are folks. I'm sorry. Hey. But you know, I think those would be what voters care about sometimes is why can't I get know why do I have to take one more side street to get to get to the post office?
Speaker 1:
43:20
And when they dug up that little section of Osceola street epic cycle said is his shop was a mud pit because everybody would be tracking the mud and he goes, when is that going to be fixed? Yeah. Well He, you know, he had the foresight, which is not always, it's scary sometimes. He was the first there and so I'm sure he's had to go through some of the construction and all that and I'm sure it's helping a lot now that everything's back open and operating. So I've got to ask you this study and you're a member of the city council. Um, when I get angry and I've got an issue with the city council, what's it feel like when I go there and you hear all these people bitching, how do you handle that? I'm going to tell her, be careful. You know what unfortunately, you start to get used to it. Yeah. But it's, it's disheartening because sometimes when people are there they're like, why aren't you listening to the people? But what they don't understand is everyone can't go to a city council meeting. We get emails, we get phone calls were on the street. So we are listening to all the residents, but sometimes
Speaker 3:
44:33
just the ones that happen to come to the council. I think that we're not listening to them because they're the only one, you know, yelling up there.
Speaker 1:
44:44
Well, and there's always, I mean there's two sides and sometimes I tell my, my daughters this is the, this is probably what they will say to their kids without wanting to or meaning to, but it's been ingrained in their head and I tell them all the time, short term sacrifice for long term gain. Sometimes you have to go through something that's painful in order to reap the greater benefit and I feel like that's what you guys had been doing and in the interim you're probably taking some heat because people don't understand or you know, last night you were at a forum and it was about the parking. The parking doesn't happen overnight and it, it's not always in the city council's control to come up with. I'm sure it'd be great if you could build a $5,000,000 multilevel parking garage that might not be possible and it might not be the look that we want for our downtown
Speaker 3:
45:38
and we're trying to change the perception and the parking. Yeah, like Mr Mullin said, oh, well the parking that you're adding is two to three blocks away, two to three blocks away is, oh, you can walk three blocks. The whole idea is to walk the downtown. We don't want you to get out in front of a place to go to that place. And Leah, we would like you to walk the downtown. So it's the perception of two to three blogs to me is okay.
Speaker 1:
46:08
No, in fact it's our favorite thing. My daughters love big city, so we go to New York, we try not to uber or we try to walk because that's where you really get to know the city and it's not uncommon that we'll walk 10 miles in a day without feeling it because you're looking everywhere and you're, you know, you're excited. So I find that odd. My wife and I, as we become empty nesters, we have a friend who's developing a downtown condo complex and we've already said we'd like you to keep one for us because the idea of getting parking your car and forgetting, think
Speaker 3:
46:44
about it and walking is, is wonderful. If you go to Spain or France, whatever their city centers, there's no cars allowed in the city center. I mean everybody walks or bikes, uh, there are no cars allowed, so we have to change this perception that you have to park in front of a place, two to three blocks is, is fine to walk. Well, I think it's the idea of passive exercise to even even without getting on your running shoes and running the fact that you walk several miles a day while you go to do your business, it's a beautiful thing. It's a very European concept, I'm sure that we're trying to bring to Claremont and it, you know, it's a little slogo here's. Well, I, I, I think it's been fascinating hearing your story and you know, I just wanted
Speaker 1:
47:30
to repeat some of the words that I heard and it sounds like when you've seen leadership done well, it was, were they respected the people of very diverse, a core of people, whether they run the line making bandaids or whatever that struck you. I also heard that, um, when you first got into real estate that somebody took the time to really teach you and really work with you to explain the contracts and how everything worked. Uh, another, uh, two things that came out big were the idea that even though your work, and even though that you may be employing the people, it doesn't mean you can't have the relationships and you can't do life together with different hobbies and so forth to, um, that's pretty amazing too. Uh, I'm sure that you're a good leader and that those are the things that you pulled from all the places that you worked.
Speaker 1:
48:23
I think the biggest thing for me too is I've always felt you have to lead by example, right? They will. If you lead by example, they, they will see what you do and they will follow. Well. So I asked around with some people in town about Diane and I said, tell me what, what? She gave me a couple words, and this is, and this is true. The, the constant, a sentiment that I heard over and over again was purpose and passion that you are passionate person, that you get up each day and you're, and you're not just kind of wandering, you have a purpose for it. And I think that you want, do you want to bring people along for the ride with that? So that's a real testament to your leadership style. So thank you.
Speaker 1:
49:14
Okay, so we're gonna do a fun segment. We're not going to put you too much on the spot. I promise we're going gonna, you know, we, we, we call this or that and we give you two people or two things and we just want to know which one you're more attracted to maybe and why. Okay. So now this is the first one and it's a, this is a big one. Cubs or white sox. Do you not care about sports at all? Okay. No, I'm, I'm, I'm at. Every sport there is not as important. I don't like. So I have to tell you that the cubs broke my heart. I'm an Indians Fan. I grew up being an Indians fan. Now. I was so happy, it was weird to be happy for the cubs, but really wanting the Indians to win the world series, so it was kind of a, you know, I, I've taken, you know, growing up on the south side of Chicago, we always went to the sox game, but it was a treat to go to the cubs game, right. Because we could sit in the outfield and wow. And Wrigley Field. Wow. What a home field advantage. You cannot get a better ballpark for the history of the game and you know. Yeah. All right. Um, we're gonna talk about Steve Jobs or Bill Gates.
Speaker 1:
50:23
Bill Gates. Okay. And any special reason or just does. I think he's just phenomenal. I think he's a great leader and innovator. Steven Spielberg or Walt Disney? Probably Steven Spielberg. This is, you know, it's kind of people are always feel guilty saying that in Orlando, but yeah, great movies, great. Great writer, a great movie. I. Okay. Now this is one that I always ask and it's mostly because I am in a house full of women. In fact, I was a, I have four older sisters and then I got married and I have three daughters, so my entire life. Uh, Broadway or rock and roll. Rock and roll. Yeah. See now I know this one. I thought you might be a Broadway girl. This was. Okay. It's exciting. Favorite band?
Speaker 1:
51:15
That's good. So yeah, so it's pure rock and roll. Well, um, I, I think you've passed that test and, and it's been great to get to know you a little bit. Um, what, what I do want to do is tell us again your name, what you're running for and maybe where people can go to find more information about what you stand for. Diane Travis City Council seat five. I am the incumbent and I'm running for the what I consider my last two years trying to finish out my master plan. Yeah. And, and I've heard that last night. I was very moved by that. You see this as, hey, let me, let me cross the finish line here. I may cross the finish line. I don't want to quit in the middle of something we started. It would just break my heart. So you believe in term limits. She do. I do believe in term limits that that was another hot hot ticket item last night. So yeah. Well we want to really thank you for being here, Diane. It's been great. Some and you have a one fullstory.
Speaker 1:
52:16
Wow. It was great having Diane with us today here in the studio. Thank you very much, Diane, for being here and we want to thank you for joining with us here on a survivor's journey. Remember to subscribe to the podcast and you can hear all at rocky wants to share with you and you can learn to be a servant leader yourself. And if you subscribe, you know you're going to get a service moment which comes out on Tuesday. It's a quick pick me up to help you start your day. If you like what you hear, tell a friend here's likeness and share us on a service journey right here with your friends. So rocky, until next time, I am your faithful companion, Larry. Thank you Larry. Very mine. Well guys, I hope that you learned a lot today and I want to thank Diane Travis for joining with us.
Speaker 1:
53:05
You know, I think we learned a lot from her today and I just, you know, the basic components of, you know, you can be out of the box and your leadership style it, abby leaders a little bit different, but every one of us, we have the command to be servant leaders and Diane talked a lot today about showing respect and a good teacher and being a good student by the way also. Um, and then she talked a lot about relationships and how like hobbies can bring a team together. So we really want to thank her for her insight and we hope you guys enjoyed it. So we're all on a journey. Hey guys, remember we are all on this journey and it's really about how we serve in that role and that's why every week we come together and we shared the server's journey with you and can we consider it an honor to do this? Um, I'm rocky desteffano and I want to thank you for joining with us. And together we're going to become better leaders.