Fort MacMurray

I woke up this morning feeling the most incredible sense of pride for my country and it’s people.

As a portion of it burns and it’s people run for their lives with only the clothes on their back. Like refugees in their own province.

As people lose everything and have to drive by their burning lives. Confused, scared and desperate to escape.

They do the unthinkable….

They stop…to help others.

They throw their own belongings to the ground to make room for those stranded on the side of the road.

They open their homes and businesses for strangers in need.

They walk for miles down a highway with a gas can while people are stuck in traffic asking ‘who needs gas.’

They fight a monster for hours on end, all the while knowing they have no home to go home to.

Almost 90 000 incredible people were evacuated from FortMcMurray in less than 24 hours. With NOT one story of violence, looting or price gouging against their fellow man.

Instead they shared what little they had, made sure everyone had a safe place to sleep or a shoulder to cry on.

As a country we have won many medals, trophies and honors the world over and it always gives us a sense of pride.

But this…this situation…there is no prize here. No medals coming for these people. The real heroes don’t wear capes.

To the incredible people of Alberta and the entire country coast to coast, I Thank You. For reminding us all what it means to be an amazing and a true Canadian.

And I would add these are

the created amazing human beings showing his/her true nature: kind, generous, living, loyal, empathetic, courageous, seeing the other as part of the human family and community, and not as “a distant other”, in communion with one another, seeing God in others and in themselves, and in the communal challenge…

This is a clear invitation to transcend, to go far beyond, to focus on similarities, rather than in differences, to go back to our true nature and identity!

Denim Christmas

Sometime being creative and wrapping Christmas presents uniquely can be be a bonding time for the family; all can have a lot of fun, and the recipient will be surprised with the wrapping as well as thankful for their gift. This can be a time for laughter, stories, and hot chocolate or a little wine and cheese nibbling.

Here are a few we wrapped this year for extended family members. And no, the tall one is not a bottle of Burrowing Owl wine ?

Keep On Learning!

I’m very happy to say that I am now officially certified with my latest negotiation expert designation! Taking the course was such a great experience, and I want to congratulate all of my fellow graduates as well! I also received this testimonial from the director of the course:


“Congratulations on completing your Master Certified Negotiation Expert (MCNE)® designation.  This is the most comprehensive negotiation designation in real estate.  You are now part of an elite group of less than 300 MCNE® graduates in Canada.  This extensive high level training has set you up with the skills required to represent your clients at the very highest level.  You were an incredible addition to our class and it is obvious to me you have a deep commitment to getting the very best outcomes for your clients.” 

Suze Cumming, Director, The Real Estate Negotiation Institute






Allied Professionals

What do the sons of a farmer, a minister and a PE instructor have in common with the daughter of an Argentine Formula 1 race car driver?

One has roots near the Carpathian Mountains of Ukraine, one from Moldavia, one from the highlands of Scotland and the fourth from Guatemala City.

Two are Fraser Valley realtors, one is a mortgage broker and one a notary. All four believe in the ancient wisdom that says there is much greater strength in a four strand cord rope than in a single cord. And a five strand cord can even be stronger. Yes each can lift a given amount of weight alone, but together, what strength!

“This is the great multiplier of working with like-minded, Allied Professionals” says Kiffiak who recently brought together Fullerton to secure financing for a property purchase, and Cazacu who facilitated the title transfer by completing the deal on Christmas Eve. The first time home buyers were ecstatic that they could purchase the home and in their preferred time-frame.

“There is great joy in seeing people connect to facilitate good things happening. We all have our unique strengths!” Kiffiak went on to say, “Dave works with over ninety lenders and can arrange ‘miracle’ mortgages in the lower mainland and throughout the province; Lilian bends over backwards helping clients get their “house” in order with his legal knowledge plus arranging wills: and Beatriz and I have connections to bring buyers and sellers to the table for investment or private sales and purchases. Besides, I am a connector, and just love to bring rewarding business to my friends, these Allied Professionals. Getting compensated monetarily, is a bonus!”

Kiffiak continued “It is a special pleasure to work with professionals, introduce them and encourage them to become allies. Eventually we become good friends, support one another during tough times and laugh when life is carefree.”

So how does the daughter of the race car driver fit into this group? Beatriz is out front of them all. She is the net worker bring in new clients, encouraging those in process, building long term relationships and celebrating when the immediate transaction is complete. I forgot to tell you her grandfather had a village is Switzerland named after him and one of her grandmother’s was a Basque encourager and another an Italian saint.



Left to right, Dave Fullerton, Dennis Kiffiak, Beatriz Fontana & Lilian Cazacu at the atrium of Lilian’s office building in Langley.



Beatriz celebrating on top of Mt Baker.