Throughout my career, I have strived to become a champion for an alternative approach to
work-life balance known as work-life integration. This idea challenges the traditional notion of
work-life balance as it is commonly defined.

For more than thirty years, I sought to create a harmonious blend between my professional and
personal life. I have experienced what I consider to be some of my best and most fulfilling work
in the communities in which I have had a certain degree of personal involvement. The more I
engaged with neighbors, businesses, residents, and became involved in community projects,
the more I felt a newfound investment in that community. I learned rather quickly when I helped
create The Village Fund in the 90’s that it allowed us as real estate agents to take the
connection with our neighbors to a deeper, more engaged level. I’ve always believed that an
engaged agent is a change agent and a community builder – both values I hold dear in my
personal life. Rather than positioning myself as just an agent I began to look at myself as one of
these “change agents” and see my work as a tool acting as a catalyst for change in the
communities I worked and lived in.

I soon realized, when personal investment is present in the professional mission and vision,
change is the result. Rather than compartmentalizing work and leisure into separate spheres, I
encourage entrepreneurs to embrace the interconnectedness of these pursuits and watch
change take hold in both facets of life. Let work and personal passions nourish one another and
become the master of a more holistic and fulfilling lifestyle. Sustainability, including enhancing
Nashville’s walkable neighborhoods and the creation of network greenways, has always been a
personal passion and once I realized I could, I began to implement that passion into my work
life. My passion for building greenways, for instance, has supported a collective effort which has
resulted in over 100 miles of greenways in our city. Rather than keeping meetings confined to
the walls of my office, I invited colleagues to join me on “walk and talks” in the neighborhood
commercial districts and on the greenways, both of which are so integral to the vitality of our
city, and often turned people into partners.

I continue to encourage my colleagues at Parks/Village and at Core to first find their passion
project, then to work to use their business as a tool for change. Imagine what you might do to
create a blend of your work and your passion to create your personal version of work-life