Amid warm memories captured in “Through the Years,” a slide presentation showing members of the Pappas family—owners of The Keyes Company—patriarch Theodore J. Pappas (Ted) Pappas, and his sons, Mike and Tim, who now control the firm, were honored at the inaugural Albert Haar Family Business Award Luncheon. The distinguished award is designated for family businesses that, like Albert Haar’s, exemplify philanthropy, family unity, and the entrepreneurial spirit.
Jerry Haar and his brother, Stanley Haar, with Alan Carsrud and Ted Pappas
“I decided to endow a quarterly series of award luncheons to honor my father, who built a family business that embodied the values of hard work, family, faith, and community,” said Jerry Haar, professor in the Department of Management and International Business in the College of Business Administration and associate director of the college’s Knight Ridder Center for Excellence in Management. “Those qualities are the heart and soul of immigrant entrepreneurs, who are then able to rise to the top because of the opportunities afforded in the United States. The Pappas family is an excellent example.”
Ted Pappas with students
Over the past eighty years, Keyes, which provides real estate, mortgage, and title services, has become a legend in South Florida. Now headquartered in Miami, it has grown from a one-desk office into the largest independent real estate company in Florida, with approximately 2,000 associates in more than thirty offices from Homestead to New Smyrna Beach. Keyes is listed as the 35th largest real estate brokerage company in the United States and is a member of an alliance of 74 mega-brokers nationally and a network of international affiliates with more than 85,000 sales professionals.
The Eugenio Pino and Family Global Entrepreneurship Center, one of whose institutes is the Institute for Family Business, organized the event. Haar was director of that entity at the time he decided to fund the award “to honor my father, and to show, as a faculty member of the college, my support for the Pino Center, which the college also supports.”
“It was great to recognize one of the more famous, multi-generational family firms and an excellent time to celebrate an important part of South Florida’s economy,” said Alan Carsrud, executive director of the Pino Center. “For me, it was a chance to celebrate what really makes American businesses work.”
Haar’s brother, Stanley Haar, president and CEO of Haar Capital Management, a commodities firm, was a presenting sponsor along with his sibling and was on hand for the ceremony, which about 100 people attended. The audience included approximately twenty students who were able to participate thanks to the generosity of a number of business partners who sponsored them.
Marco Madrazo, an international business major who will graduate in December, 2006, wanted to get to know the family and to see what drove the senior Pappas.
“I consider myself an entrepreneur, and I wanted to meet someone who was already successful so that I could speak to him and find out what his vision was and how and why his family achieved success,” said Madrazo, who is co-founder of Infinity Biofuels, Inc. “That was my main goal, and I got it.”
“I thought the Pappas family was wonderful,” said Luis Corrales-Palma, a sophomore who plans to major in international business and who currently is taking a business plan writing course in preparation for the upcoming Howard J. Leonhardt New Venture Challenge. He is co-founder of Infinity Biofuels, Inc. “They were really inspirational and provided a good learning experience. I have two brothers and I would love to do something similar with them.”
Platinum student sponsors included the College of Business Administration, Bayview Financial, InterMedia, and the Young Presidents’ Organization. Gold student sponsors were Butler, Buckley & Deets, Inc., Parrot Jungle, Keyes Mortgage, an affiliate of Wells Fargo, and The Keyes Company/Realtors. Fowler White Burnett was a Bronze student sponsor