The new CEO/Prez at 20-year-old Star One REALTORS has 250 agents, competitors and colleagues scrutinizing every step, and some pretty big shoes to fill. George was a legend. This dude’s a sales machine.
When George Meinhardt walked into a room, he commanded an immediate, larger-than-life presence.
Accomplished entrepreneur. Businessman. Friend. An Internet advocate, years ahead of the pack. Mentor. Spokesman for an entire industry. Father and grandfather. Proud Purple Panther.
Meinhardt’s son Mark is now the biggest Meinhardt name in the Cincinnati real estate game, after George Meinhardt, Cincinnati real estate legend and founder of Star One REALTORS, Inc., recently passed away.
In the wild and wacky world that is the Greater Cincinnati business community, there are countless family-owned, locally grown companies where the office is the family. And the family is the office.
Few bear the personal impression upon their company, the Cincinnati business community in general, and the real estate industry in particular, that George Meinhardt left.
And meanwhile, BTW, there’s a 250-agent company to be run.
Enter Meinhardt, The Younger.
Five years before it was supposed to happen – with George riding off into the sunset (Florida, maybe? The Carolinas? Not too far, too many grandkids), waving goodbye to friends, family and his beloved West Side Elder community – the local legend’s 48-year-old son is now the new President, CEO and Chairman at Star One REALTORS (www.starone.com).
Mark is stepping into shoes he knows he can’t – and doesn’t want – to fill.
Faking a George Meinhardt impression would be an insult to both father and son.
What Meinhardt the Elder brought to the table can never be replaced; what his son represents is experience in sales, management, technology, systems and leadership. Mark’s been a Board member for 10+ years, a top producer as well.
His leadership style will be tested daily, as colleagues and co-workers alike scrutinize every step he takes, every move he makes.
Competitors will be – are – circling, looking to pounce on any misstep.
And Mark Meinhardt wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I was born to do this. I have prepared my entire professional life to do this. I have my father, my partners, and the members of the Star One Board to thank for this, the opportunity of a lifetime,” Meinhardt said from the West Chester office on Cincinnati-Dayton Road that he’s managed for the last 11 years. The company is based on Woodbridge Boulevard in Fairfield.
“My father passing away was a tragedy. It was a shock to our family, to the company, to many people in the community. We met, the owners, within 48 hours. We shed some tears, had some laughs, then locked arms and looked each other in the eye, and said ‘We’re ready for this,’ “ Meinhardt said.
Meinhardt the Elder was a two-time President of the Cincinnati Area Board of REALTORS and 24-year Director for the Greater Cincinnati Homebuilders Association.
He was a spokesman and ambassador for an entire industry, able to reach across competing lines to uphold professional standards, while never losing sight of the trust that clients placed in him and his roster of 250 sales agents.
The Future for Star One REALTORS, Inc.
Manager of the top-performing West Chester office of Star One for the past 11 years, he’s also a Top Producer, award-winning Manager, and a former REALTOR/Salesperson of the Year (2000) at the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors.
He’s been deeply involved for years in issues, programs and leadership for the local unit, the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors, as well as in many community affairs.
There are significant challenges on the horizon for Meinhardt and Star One, celebrating its 20-year anniversary the same year one of its founders passes away.
George Meinhardt was not your average real estate guy.
The real estate slump hasn’t eased.
Meinhardt will be pressed to convert the sales skills and longtime relationships he enjoyed as a top sales agent, into the leadership role he has assumed.
“I feel energized,” he says. “It’s a whole new world.”
“If this was something we had not prepared for, it would have been an even larger shock to the system than it was. As it is, we had already made some decisions two years ago as to the transfer of leadership from my father to myself. It’s bittersweet.
“I definitely didn’t want it to happen this way, but that’s life,” Meinhardt said.
Meinhardt still runs Star One with the same core of owner/operators who opened the company with his father in 1991.
“Star One is going to continue to be what nobody else in the market offers: a medium-sized company that takes care of its agents and its clients, where we emphasize a close management-agent focus,” Meinhardt said.
Star One’s original partners, sans George, remain the same (pictured below): Paul Jacob, Jim Grady, Joe Schwarz, Joe Linz, Nelson Rennekamp, Patti Stehlin and Mark.
To reach Mr. Meinhardt, please call (513) 779-9500 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And here’s a little something from the new Star One Prez/CEO … :
…. and the Star One press release that got the ball rolling: