A true servant’s heart
We have a list of five core values that define who we are as a company. These values are something that everyone in our company must share. We literally hire and fire based off of these core values. And I will share them with you. In order, they are: We have a servant’s heart. We always do the right thing. We are driven to succeed. We are hard working. And we are loyal to Focus (our company) and family.
That last one is interesting. I expect our people to be loyal to us as a company, but I also want them to know that family comes first. What makes this apparent dichotomy interesting is that the longer our people are with us, the more they feel like family.
Today, I would like to tell you about one of our people who exudes our core values in every way. Her name is Marybeth Dismuke.
I first met Marybeth on a jobsite when Ashley and I were very new to real estate. She was working for another investor who developed subdivisions. She was out in full painter’s garb doing touch-ups on a house that was about to hit market. As we walked in the door, I heard for the first time her booming and unforgettable “He’ey!” which we later learned she was well known for. I had no idea who she was that day, but I could tell she was someone you could lean on to get things done.
The next recollection I have of Marybeth came from the Gordon County Magistrate Court. As I was walking up to the counter, I heard that “He’ey!” again and looked up to see her big smile and half wave as she welcomed me into the office. She took my paperwork, and I stood there and talked to her for a while.
After I left, I called Ashley up and told her about this awesome person I had just met. During the conversation, I told her, “I am going to start a property management company, and I’m going to hire her to run it for me.” I had no idea what I was saying.
Flash forward a few years, and Ashley and I were interviewing Marybeth to be our office manager. She had everything we wanted: real estate experience from the investor side, a tremendous work ethic, office and call service experience, and a positive, up-beat attitude that just seeped out of her being.
She came to work for us in April of 2018, and it wasn’t long before the line between Focus and family became blurred. To Ashley, the kids and me, Marybeth was both Focus, but more like family. She would come for family dinner night on Fridays, she was there for birthdays and would sometimes just watch the kids so Ashley and I could have a lunch date.
I’m sure going to miss her. You see, she passed away this Monday in a car accident. And we are devastated.
The first day I came back to the office, I was not greeted with her huge smile. There was no “He’ey!” or her singing of “Oh good morning to you!” There wasn’t even a “Hey, Boss.” There was nothing. Just an empty chair, an ache in my heart and tears rolling down my face.
We’ve been through a lot together in the years that Marybeth has been a part of our lives. Our experiences have ranged from pregnancy to funerals, seizures to strokes, and in the real estate, world evictions to flips and feast to famine. But no matter what was going on, Marybeth was always looking for a way to serve.
And that is one of the things Marybeth excelled in more than any other person I have ever met. She truly had a heart of service. She volunteered regularly at places like the voluntary action center (VAC) in Calhoun. She willingly took the role of being a caregiver for veterans and their spouses. She collected coats in her van to give out during winter, and she would pick up food and leave it on people’s doorsteps when she knew they were in need. She went out of her way to navigate public resources to get people the help they needed when they were unable to get it for themselves.
And through that service, and with her wonderful attitude, she touched countless lives and made them better.
Marybeth did this with the most grateful and cheerful heart of anyone I’ve known. She would actually give praise and tell Yahweh “Thank you,” out loud for the opportunity to serve. I couldn’t help but marvel, thinking that Yahweh must be replying to her with, “Well done good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your master” like it says in Matthew 25 because joy was something she always had.
Marybeth was deeply loved by many here on earth and will be sorely missed. I have no doubt that when she enters the joy of her master, she will thank her Maker once again for the opportunity to serve, and we thank Him for the opportunity to have served alongside her.
Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to www.cashflowwithjoe.com or call Joe at 678-986-6813.