RISMEDIA, July 6, 2007—(MCT)—A few years ago, Janice McGlashan and her family traveled to some remote villages in Kenya to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime African safari vacation.
The trip was everything she’d hoped it would be. But the journey also eye-opening because it gave her a firsthand look at the suffering of many young African children who have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS.
“It touched our hearts,” the 51-year-old La Canada Flintridge Realtor recalls. “We took on a sponsorship for a little 7-year-old boy named Steven. He’s very bright and has great hope for the future. But his mother has AIDS, and his father is gone, so he doesn’t have anyone.”
McGlashan, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Greater Los Angeles Co., is now a board member with Discover the World, a Pasadena-based Christian relief and development organization focused on providing help to African children who have lost their parents to AIDS.
McGlashan, who is the top-performing Coldwell Banker agent in the San Gabriel Valley, recently received the company’s coveted Presidential Award of Excellence for her “generosity of spirit, outstanding dedication and leadership, and her tireless years of community support to children in Los Angeles and Africa.”
“She has a tremendous amount of integrity,” said Barry Jones, who manages the Coldwell Banker office in La Canada Flintridge where McGlashan works. “To win this award, someone has to have been on top of their profession, not only as it relates to the product, but with an individual commitment to give something back to the community. Janice is just remarkable.”
Born in New Jersey, McGlashan moved to California at age 16 and received a degree in kinesiology, the study of human movement, from UC Davis.
“I was thinking of going into cardiac rehabilitation but then I took a trip overseas and worked in England for an electronics company called International Rectifier,” she said.
McGlashan returned to the U.S. in 1978 and worked for several start-up technology firms, including MIA Basic Four and LMI.
“I decided I really liked the computer field, and I ended up working in artificial intelligence,” she said. “A lot of the technology came out of MIT. It was very exciting. We were selling computer software and hardware solutions to the government.”
In 1987, McGlashan was offered a job as regional manager for Sun Microsystems, but opted to stay home to take care of her new daughter.
“I bought a book about fixing up houses,” she said. “I bought my first fixer-upper when my daughter was born and then two more that I fixed up and turned around. I also found a land opportunity and approached a local architect. We built a spec house together and sold it in 1990.”
Soon after, McGlashan got her real estate license and went to work for Lazare-Johnson, a realty firm that eventually became Coldwell Banker.
“I like real estate because I can work in my hometown, and I can usually work my schedule to be with my children and family,” she said. “That’s very important to me.”
McGlashan also devotes part of her time to Habitat For Humanity and helps organize teams for the Southern California Special Olympics.
Discover the World President and CEO Doug Millham said she has been a welcome addition to his organization.
“She is a remarkable woman of many dimensions,” Millham said. “She’s incredibly generous with her time and skills. She’s enthusiastic and dedicates countless hours to several very important causes in her life.”
Discover the World operates three orphanages in Kenya that house 51 children.
“She’s made two trips to Kenya with us in the last year and is very deeply involved in helping us with our AIDS orphanage work,” Millham said. “She’s helped us raise funds and awareness.”
Copyright © 2007, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Calif.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.