Each year, the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) honors a member that has made an outstanding contribution to the community, primarily outside the scope of the real estate industry. The criteria for the John E. Wolf Community Service Award, which is named after 1938-39 HAR President John E. Wolf, include leadership and service in charitable organizations, service organizations and special service organizations. For 2015, Ronnie Matthews, broker-owner of RE/MAX Legends, was selected as the HAR member most deserving to be so honored.
When HAR informed Ronnie that he was this year’s recipient of the coveted recognition, he told us he was very surprised and honored. “My wife Cathy and I have always tried to be supportive of others,” said Ronnie. “We both have worked hard, but have also been very fortunate. It is important that we give back to our community.”
And give back they have! In early 2015, Ronnie and Cathy established the Ronnie & Cathy Matthews Great American Charitable Foundation. The couple funded the foundation with an initial contribution of $1,000,000. The foundation supports numerous area organizations and charities. Three of the charities they support are Lola’s Lucky Day, Inc., which helps to find permanent loving homes for homeless Houston dogs (rescuing more than 300 dogs in 2015 alone); Montgomery County Women’s Shelter, which provides a safe refuge for battered women and children; and Happy Hill Farm Academy in Granbury, Texas, which serves underprivileged families with students who are highly motivated to reach their academic goals and become outstanding citizens with a Christian world view.
“Our team has designated two of our assistants to serve as charity coordinators, heading up charitable events in which our office participates,” explained Ronnie. “Recently, we participated in the Woodlands ALS Walk, which is near and dear to our hearts. One of our long-time contractors and friends has a wife who suffers from ALS, so we walked in support of her. We are currently working on our Christmas charitable event, which is in support of an area family who fosters children and is in great need. With both parents in the family experiencing severe medical issues that have left them unable to work, they are having a very hard time providing for their family. We are stepping in to help and providing them with Christmas gifts including clothing and other necessities.”
“Ronnie is always very supportive of these events, encouraging us to participate and generously donating toward the cause,” noted office manager Beth Lovell, who has worked for Ronnie and Cathy for 17 years. “He and Cathy embody the idea of community support and of giving back to the community. They have always felt that it is important to give back to the community and have passed that spirit along to our team. We are very fortunate to have such generous, big-hearted people as our leaders.”
As Ronnie sees it, the connection between real estate and community service is obvious. “The great thing about our profession as REALTORS® and business people is that we help people every day, which so naturally leads us into community service,” he said.
“I am so very blessed to have a great wife of over 30 years and to have a wonderful group of employees over my three different companies,” said Ronnie. “I love getting up every day and taking care of business. Everyone should be so lucky.”
Congratulations, Ronnie! You are indeed most deserving of HAR’s 2015 John E. Wolf Community Service Award!