Harry Norman Broker Shares Junior Achievement Success Story
Posted by Diane Storey — August 14, 2013
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – The announcement of Harry Norman, Realtors’ three year sponsorship and participation in the new Junior Achievement’s Chick-fil-A Foundation Discovery Center, has employees eagerly awaiting the opportunity to volunteer. Located at the Georgia World Congress Center, Harry Norman, Realtors and Post Properties are sharing a storefront in the Finance Park section of the Discovery Center where students will learn about the financial responsibilities of choosing their first home.
Harry Norman’s new sponsorship has one employee waxing nostalgic about his experiences with Junior Achievement (JA). Mike Wright, Senior Vice President and Managing Broker of Harry Norman, Realtors’ Intown office, is not only a big proponent of JA but has been involved with them since his high school days.
“It’s a great way to give school age children their first exposure into life as an adult,” says Wright.
When Wright joined Junior Achievement in the 1970’s, there were hundreds of participants in the metro Atlanta area. The JA program had developed after-school programs for high school kids and each club operated like miniature businesses.
Many Atlanta businesses would sponsor the different groups and provide mentors to help the kids learn about different aspects of business including creating a company, finding investors, researching and creating a product, and marketing and selling those products.
“In my first year of high school Junior Achievement came in and presented at one of our school assemblies. I thought it was a great idea and attended one of their meetings and I’ve been hooked ever since,” Wright reminisces.
Wright joined Junior Achievement at a location previously on East Andrews, which had approximately 150 student participants. The children were divided into smaller groups to create and manage their own company. Since the groups operated like mini businesses, members were able to set wages and earned a profit through the sale of their products. The clubs were also encouraged to raise capital through the sale of company shares.
Bellco was the company created by Wright’s group with the help of Southern Bell (now Bellsouth) engineers and mentors. The team created the Bellco Buzzer, an electronic box that hooked into a car and would alert the driver with a buzz when the lights were left on. At the time, the Bellco’s buzzer was ingenious and sold like hot cakes. Wright’s group created a company logo, marketing campaign and sales plan. Bellsouth brought in people to guide the group with each phase. Bellco was extremely successful.
Attending Junior Achievement meetings throughout his high school years, Wright eventually became president of Junior Achievement of Atlanta and earned a college scholarship from the organization as well.
Wright credits JA for helping provide the focus he needed to become a successful business person.
“I think Junior Achievement gave me an advantage over other kids as well as some understanding of how business operates,” said Wright.
Years after college, Wright taught an economics class at Centennial High School in Roswell, Ga. for a Junior Achievement initiative. Having been involved with JA for most of his life, Wright is thrilled that Harry Norman, Realtors will be part of the new Junior Achievement’s Chick-fil-A Foundation Discovery Center.
“I think Harry Norman’s sponsorship and participation in the JA Discovery Center is very natural – helping kids understand how to buy and maintain a home makes total sense,” said Wright. “At some point in their lives these kids are going to be working, buying houses and cars and they should know how to deal with and budget for these assets,”
In the Harry Norman storefront, students will gain real-world experience on how to choose their first home. They will be guided by volunteers through budgeting decisions on home ownership and leasing options.
Wright believes that Harry Norman’s role in the new Junior Achievement’s Chick-fil-A Foundation Discovery Center will make a positive impact on the community with long term benefits for the children of Georgia.
About Mike Wright
MIKE WRIGHT is Senior Vice President and Managing Broker of the Harry Norman, REALTORS Intown office. Mike has earned the Accredited Buyer’s Representative, Accredited Buyer’s Representative Manager, Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager, and Graduate REALTOR® Institute designations along with the ePRO certification. Mike serves as a Past President of the Atlanta Board of REALTORS®. He has served on or chaired nearly all of the committees of the Atlanta Board including the Atlanta REALTOR Political Action Committee (ARPAC) and the Atlanta Board of REALTORS® Educational Foundation Board of Trustees. Prior to entering real estate, Mike served as a worldwide account manager for The Coca Cola Company.
About Harry Norman, REALTORS®
Founded in 1930, Harry Norman, REALTORS ® is one of Atlanta’s first and most successful residential real estate firm with 12 sales offices, various franchise and satellite offices and more than 1,000 real estate professionals. Harry Norman, REALTORS® is a wholly-owned subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. Harry Norman, REALTORS ® is the exclusive Atlanta affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate and achieves additional international exposure through membership in such exclusive real estate networks as Luxury Portfolio International, Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate and Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®. More information is available at www.harrynorman.com.