E. Craig Waites Jr.

January 25, 2010 


His job: Broker/shareholder, Colliers Keenan

Age: 39

Family: Wife, Donna; two children, Annie, 5; Rebecca, 4

Education: Bachelor's degree in commerce from Washington and Lee University

Community/professional involvement: Campaign divisional chair, United Way; campaign divisional chair, The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina; volunteer instructor, W.A. Perry After School Program; advisory committee, Healthy Learners; coach, Palmetto Baseball League; instructor, Junior Achievement; graduate, Leadership Columbia

His story: Waites started in the management training program with NationsBank and worked on teams evaluating loan portfolios of target bank acquisitions and as a commercial loan relationship manager in Charleston.

Waites returned to Columbia with The Keenan Co. to work in commercial real estate. He has completed more than 200 sales worth $132 million. In 2004, Waites earned the firm's highest honor, The Award of Distinction for the highest overall production.

What saying does he live by? "In my teenage years, my mother said, 'Perseverance is the name of the game; the only way to play is to play to win.' "

His life changed when ... He got married and became a father. "In these three instances, I embraced a greater sense of responsibility for myself and my family."

How did he recover after failing at something? "Early in my career, the company secured a vacant land listing for me. I marketed heavily for a number of months without much luck. I was nervous about reporting to the owners, so as a result, I found myself constantly delaying the call.

"I finally got some interest when the listing was about to expire, but not before the owners terminated our agreement. A fast-food user bought the property, and I was without a commission. I learned the value of effective communication, not only in real estate, but in general business."

How do you balance your job and community service - and still have a family life? "A job, family and community service do not have to be distinguished amongst themselves. I try to incorporate my community service into both my job and my family life, and make it a part of each. For those who think they do not have enough time, I would encourage them to seek a community project or program where the whole family can participate.

"It could involve volunteering on a Saturday for Habitat for Humanity, coaching Little League for a season or collecting canned goods for Harvest Hope. Likewise, invite co-workers, clients and customers to participate with you in some type of community service."

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