Crye-Leike’s Jan Jaeger Cited for Voluntarism

Memphis, Tenn. –  Jan Jaeger believes there are no coincidences in life, just chances that are supposed to happen. This belief in destiny is what has prepared Jaeger to change people’s lives for the better. And it is this passion for community service that has brought her recent recognition.

Jan Jaeger, a sales associate affiliated with Crye-Leike, Realtors, was honored recently for her community service work in Fayette County by the Memphis Area Association of Realtors (MAAR).

Jaeger received the 2004 MAAR Community Service Award for Realtors in recognition of her volunteerism with Bridges, Inc., the Fayette County Literacy Council and the Episcopal Church.

She has volunteered with Bridges, Inc. since 1994 and most recently, served as co-chairman of Bridges, Inc.’s “Bridges to the Future” Campaign, which raised $12.5 million. Her husband, Mike, served as part of this leadership team.

Jaeger is affiliated with Crye-Leike’s Collierville branch office, located at 435 New Byhalia in Collerville. As a residential real estate specialist, she meets the real estate needs of buyers and sellers in and around Fayette and Shelby counties.

Since 2001, Jaeger has been president of the Fayette County Literacy Council, where she has rewritten the council’s bylaws, refocused the council’s attention to increasing community awareness of available literacy programs and secured a $15,000 Literacy Council Grant from United Way to continue to help adults improve their literacy skills and to provide children’s books to low-income families.

The Fayette County Literacy Council, www.fayetteliterary.org, is a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to helping older youths and adults in the Fayette County area attain basic reading and writing skills to prepare them to become self-sufficient and productive members of their community.

In 2002, she was elected by the General Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee to a four-year term as a representative to the Bishop and Council to the Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee. In addition, Jaeger currently serves as the lay Eucharistic minister for St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Somerville, Tenn., where she leads services every other Sunday and assists the Supply Priest on the alternate Sundays.

In service to the above organizations during the past 16 months, Jaeger has volunteered over 960 hours of her time as well as personally recruited others to volunteer 900 hours of their time and given monetary contributions, materials and resources.

“Charity is something I’m driven by and it’s always been a second part of my life,” said Jaeger.

Her passion is education and children, she says, and she fostered that by attaining an undergraduate degree in education. She was a substitute teacher for six years at Shady Grove Elementary and attended a government program for nurse management. Later, she broadened her education into ministry, spending four years at the University of Sawanee.

“I have always felt everything I’ve done through life has prepared me for what I’m doing now in the way of community service,” said Jaeger.

Married and two children later, Jaeger said that she didn’t volunteer to do charity work when her children were growing up. Yet, she did find time to become president of her children’s school’s parent-teacher association. And, somehow, she got her family involved in the Fayette County Literacy Council where she and her children would read to illiterate parents. “I guess my passion for children and education rubbed off because my daughters grew up to become teachers, too,” she said.

The year 1994 was a pivotal year in Jaeger’s life. She chose to become a full-time real estate agent for Crye-Leike, Realtors and a volunteer for Bridges, Inc., all at the same time. Bridges, Inc.,  www.bridgesusa.org, is a nonprofit youth leadership training organization that develops customized tools for youth Her interest in Bridges spawned from her husband’s involvement as chairman.

“I hit the ground running in real estate,” she said. She became a multi-million dollar producer, attaining life membership of Crye-Leike’s Multi-Million Dollar Club, a level of distinction that recognized her outstanding sales performance for individually selling in excess of $2 million annually over a five-year period while maintaining a strict code of ethics and professionalism.

Jaeger became a member of Crye-Leike’s Circle of Excellence, one of the highest levels of professional and personal achievement in the real estate industry, where she attained the honorary title of vice president of Crye-Leike. And, she sought national professional real estate designations, becoming a certified residential specialist and a graduate of Realtors Institute, specializing in residential brokerage.

Jaeger recalls one incident while selling real estate where she made a difference in a family’s life, by chance, she said.

She was on floor duty at Crye-Leike and received a call from a woman named Annie who said that she was pregnant and wanted to move her family to a better neighborhood. Jaeger helped Annie find a home, but the interest died when Annie’s father severed the idea of moving. Jaeger took a strong interest in Annie and her family and they formed a long-term friendship despite never selling her family a house, said Jaeger.

Jaeger kept in touch with Annie who she remembered had a son who was now ready for kindergarten. Taking an interest in the matter, Jaeger asked Annie where she intended to send her son to school. With Jaeger’s educational background and knowledge of the school system, she recommended that Annie’s son, Dallas, test to attend New Hope Academy, an intercity school for low income families that had scoring at an above the suburban normal average.

” I was able to help this family because I knew what was out there,” said Jaeger.

A few years later, Jaeger is at a talent show at St. George’s, a private school, and sees Annie’s son in the talent show. She then saw Annie and learned how well Dallas benefited at New Hope Academy.

“At that moment in time, it hit me that I made a difference,” said Jaeger. “I changed the direction of a family’s life, by accident.”

The Memphis Area Association of Realtors is Tennessee’s largest real estate trade association, with more than 4,000 members working in all facets of the real estate industry in Shelby, Fayette, Tipton, Hardeman, Hardin and McNairy counties.

Crye-Leike (www.crye-leike.com), a full service real estate company for 27 years, is the nation’s 10th largest real estate company and the largest serving Tennessee and the Mid-South. Memphis-based Crye-Leike has a sales force of over 1,200 sales associates located in nineteen (19) branch and four (4) franchise offices in eight (8) counties throughout the regions of West Tennessee, Eastern Arkansas and Mississippi.