Isaac’s Dream: A Lesson in Dreaming Bigger

Joe Neuerburg profilePost written by Joe Neuerburg, Managing Director, Missouri and Kansas

In the summer of 2016, my wife Robyn went on a medical mission trip to Ghana, Africa. Her team treated over 500 people in three days.

A member of the group in Ghana that assisted the medical team was a young man named Isaac. Isaac had a dream of coming to the United States to go to college and pursue a degree in photography and graphic arts design.

Coincidentally, Robyn and I had previously discussed hosting a foreign exchange student. Upon her return, we considered options for Isaac and decided to start a non-profit to raise money for his education.

We concluded, however, that if we were going to start a non-profit, we needed to dream much bigger. We continue to try to bring Isaac to the U.S. but his visa has been denied three times. In the meantime, we’re assisting with his education in Ghana.

While we were dreaming bigger, Robyn recalled a day they spent treating children in a small, remote village named Ahiavekope Village near Yeji in the Lake Volta region.

This area of Ghana has a high rate of child trafficking, where families essentially sell their children, believing they will go away for a few years to be educated. In reality, the child spends the vast majority of the day working on a fishing boat. If education was a local option for families, then they wouldn’t feel the need to send their children away.

Isaacs Dream logoIn November 2016, Robyn traveled back to Ghana to discuss building a school with the village elders. They were thrilled with the idea and by December 1, 2016, we launched our Isaac’s Dream website and were able to start taking tax deductible donations.

We broke ground on the school, Prosperity Academy, in February 2017. The Ghanaian contractor hired men from the village to assist in construction, helping the local economy.

The school is essentially complete and we are in the process of obtaining desks, books, supplies, etc. to open the school in 2018.

Other plans in the village include two wells, a health post and housing for the teachers. Initially, 50-75 children will be educated in Ahiavekope Village and the number could get as high as 300 within two years.

Once this project is completed, our next goal is to build a shelter where children rescued from slavery can be treated and properly reintroduced into society.

We’re traveling to Ghana over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday. Stay tuned for an update…

To learn more, visit www.isaacsdream.com.

Isaacs Dream

PACE Sage Capital Adds Depth to its Team Bench

This past week, we added some real depth to our Team “bench”.

Two new Managing Directors for Business Development and Loan Originations and a Manager of Operations joined the PACE Sage Capital Team.

Joe Neuerburg (JQN Companies) is the Company’s Managing Director for Missouri and Kansas (excluding St. Louis).

Joe will be the “holistic” loan originator on our Origination Team who has originated over $1 Billion of all types of debt and equity in the commercial real estate space throughout his career.  He will integrate PACE and IDEAL™ financing into his diverse product mix.

When we look at a new project or a reimbursement for projects completed, Joe can assist any member of the Origination Team with multiple financing options to meet our clients’ needs.

To learn more about Joe, click here. 

 


Tami Martens (TechSmart Energy Contracting) is the Company’s Managing Director for the St. Louis area.

Tami is a successful entrepreneur with a wealth of experience in energy conservation and sustainability.  She will bring her knowledge and expertise of energy efficiency to the PACE value proposition that we offer our clients.

Tami is well connected in the St. Louis area business community.

To learn more about Tami, click here.

 

 

 


Jay Levin is the Company’s Manager of Operations.

Jay will build the Company’s CRM platform to track and report the Company’s activities and to make the loan origination and loan process very efficient.  This will ultimately include full automation.

As the Company expands its footprint into 20+ states over the next 2 years, Jay will be synthesizing all of the spokes of our growing wheel and will oversee the operations and loan project management for each territory.

To learn more about Jay, click here. 

Scotland: One Step at a Time

Aryeh scotch tastingOn my recent “Lad’s Trip” to Scotland, I learned a very important lesson: The greatest goals can be achieved when you never give up, and just take the next step!

My bros, sons, nephews and I spent a week in Speyside, Scotland, the home of a myriad of Highland Whiskey Distilleries. We were scheduled to visit four or five distilleries a day.

Each tour ends with a whiskey tasting, accompanied by an expert demonstrating the subtle nuances of their particular brand of caramel colored liquid.

These tastings are always followed by another exclusive tasting, at an additional cost, of their extra special, rare and very old dusty bottles. After buying a few obligatory bottles, we would move on to the next distillery.

After a couple of days of this, I pulled my older brother aside and admitted to him that I didn’t think I could manage another full day of distillery touring. I’d heard about a hike in our area to the top of the highest local mountain peak. The view there was reported to be spectacular. I told him that I wouldn’t be joining them all the next day and would instead be attempting this vigorous climb.

Aryeh and friendsMy brother looked at me with pity in his eyes and said,” OK, I guess we’re not all tough enough to handle this rigorous schedule.”

The next day, my son, son-in-law, nephew and I woke up really early in the morning to drive to the embarking point of this hike.

We drove along a country lane snaking through green valleys spotted with white sheep. The small road was with lined with ancient stone walls and meandered through tiny villages scattered with thatched roofed cottages.

We were able to grasp glimpses of the intimidating peak looming ahead of us, appearing both closer and taller as we drove on.

The hike itself really tested the limits of my endurance.

I just remember being doubled over, trying to catch my breath and breathlessly declaring to my son that I didn’t think I could go on.

He tried to encourage me to have a “You can do it!” attitude, but I could feel his skepticism as he looked back at the car, which was only about 200 yards away. We had only just begun!

After I pushed through the initial assault on my legs, lungs and ego, I found my rhythm and I even began to enjoy the slow ascent up the winding snake path.

The sheep looked like tiny white dots on a carpet of green, way down in the valley below us. The snow-capped mountains in the distance framed this idyllic picture.

When we were about half way up the mountain, my thighs were burning and my feet had become numb from the new hiking boots I was wearing. I told myself that I only needed to take one more step. After that step, I would reevaluate and decide if I wanted to stop and take a break.

Each step was a new and conscious decision. After all, it wasn’t difficult to decide to take one more step.

Before I knew it, I was standing on the summit with my arms raised in a triumphant victory pose. I knew that I could accomplish anything in my life if I just took the very next step…perhaps to even go to one more distillery!

Take a look at the video below to see how I was feeling after I made it to the top of the mountain….

The Kentucky Derby: From Bucket List to Annual Event

Susan and FriendsPost written by Susan Bass, Managing Director

On May 6, in rain soaked Louisville, I attended my 4th Kentucky Derby.  When asked how to describe this most famous day at the races, my first answer is “ the most civilized costume party ever”.

My immediate party consisted of my mom, my sister and myself.

During the planning stages of our first Derby, I too, viewed it as something to check off my bucket list.

The instigator of this event was my mother. I will say with a great deal of certainty that her passion for the sport rivals that of the Penny Tweedys and Bob Bafferts of the world.

As a child, she accompanied her father to Saratoga (yes, perhaps an odd father/daughter bonding event). She has studied and followed all of the legendary Thoroughbreds for as long as I can remember.

Horses have been a part of our lives for many years. Although, our family stopped being horse owners decades ago, our passion for all things equine has never died. Hence, it wasn’t a huge surprise when my mom announced five years ago that she wanted to fulfill a lifelong desire of attending the Kentucky Derby.

My sister and I gladly accepted her generous offer to be her guests at the 2013 Derby. We assumed it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity and planned our trip (and attire) under this assumption. A great deal of time and energy went into the overwhelming question of “What should we wear?”.

Nothing prepared me for what we witnessed upon our arrival. Of course, the first and most outlandish piece of attire were the hats. If you can imagine it, someone was wearing that on his or her head; fresh flowers, feathers, fruit, bows, birds…check, check, check and check. The women were all uniquely gorgeous in their dress selections – long, short, flowing, tight…all styles covered. I quickly surmised that all of my wardrobe stressing had been in vain. No one could possibly win the fashion show and no one seemed to be judging anyway.

The most surprising attire, however, didn’t come from the women. In my opinion, it was the guys who provided the most entertainment. I suppose I expected shock and flare from the females, but the male attire is what blew me away. Every possible pattern imaginable was represented on the suits…cigars, bourbon bottles, bbq ribs, American flags, chickens, flamingos… and for the more conservative gents, polka dots, stripes, lightning bolts etc. The guys seemed to truly relish this opportunity to play dress up without a hint of self-consciousness. They were able to enjoy fashion rules that typically seem only to apply to women: anything goes.

Amongst all the outlandish fashion choices was an air of civility and class. Unlike many big venue sporting events, manners and decorum were understood requirements. Instead of pushing or shoving, one would hear “after you”. “Please “and “thank you’s” were ever present at all concession and betting windows. No foul language could be heard in the grandstands when chosen horses didn’t finish in line with bets that were placed. The restrooms were extremely clean with doting attendants. Even the seat vendors conducted themselves more like waiters at a cocktail party.

Derby day consists of fourteen races with the actual Derby being the 12th race of the day, taking place after several hours of drinking and frolicking (yet still the manners and civility were in full swing).

Most spectators made their way to the exits after the namesake race. We stayed until the final race. As we made our way past the famous twin spires and paddock and towards the Churchill Downs exit, we all shared a similar thought….

This event was far too spectacular to be on a bucket list. It was something to be anticipated and looked forward to every May.

** Note: The above Derby perspective was observed from grandstand seats. I can’t comment on the infield experience.**

PACE Sage Capital Engages CP Strategies LLC/Chris Peterson to Continue its Efforts to Bring C-PACE to Nebraska

Chris-Peterson

Chris Peterson

PACE Sage Capital has engaged CP Strategies and Chris Peterson of Lincoln, NE to continue PACE Sage Capital’s efforts in bringing C-PACE to Nebraska and for business development within the state.

Chris and his company were instrumental in the passage of the Nebraska PACE Act in 2016 and are involved with broadening the reach of the Act and making some good modifications to the Act in 2017.

Chris will also assist PACE Sage Capital with the formation of PACE districts and with passing municipal PACE ordinances throughout Nebraska in 2017.  We expect the first PACE district to be formed and operating in Nebraska by spring 2017.