A Message from Bob Foster

CBRB__Logo_Color_FlatColdwell Banker, for the SIXTH consecutive time, has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute as having the highest ethical standard.  Check out the letter from our Coldwell Banker (Greater LA) President, Bob Foster. I am proud to represent such an incredible company! (more…)

What’s New in Paris?

Source: www.lvmh.com

Source: www.lvmh.com

I’m not sure I’ve ever before seen a press release that uses the term savoir-faire (“capacity for appropriate action; especially: a polished sureness in social behavior“). But indeed, “French savoir-faire” is one of the focuses of the newly announced LA MAISON LVMH / Arts – Talents – Patrimoine. Yes, it’s a mouthful, and the announcement is careful not to describe it as a museum, but as a “cultural institution.”

LVMH, as you may know, is Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, a French multinational luxury goods conglomerate, and it was LVMH Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault, along with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who made the announcement this week, with French President François Hollande in attendance. (more…)

Collaborative Architectural Visionaries

Barberí Laboratory 2008 Olot, Girona, Spain

Barberí Laboratory 2008 Olot, Girona, Spain

As you may know, I am an avid follower of all-things-architectural. While I may not want to live in some of the structures I see, I am dazzled by the architects’ creativity, vision, and imagination. One of the highlights of the architectural year is the naming of the winners (Laureates) of The Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Modeled after the Nobel Prize, the Pritzker was established in 1979 by the Pritzker family of Chicago through their Hyatt Foundation “To honor a living architect or architects whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision, and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.” Any licensed architect may submit a nomination for the annual prize.

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Generosity and Leadership

Source: Gatesnotes.com

Source: Gatesnotes.com

As I may have mentioned before, I am a board member for UNICEF and the issues of global health, particularly for children, are near and dear to my heart. So it is with enormous admiration and appreciation that I read the 2017 Annual Letter sent this week by Bill and Melinda Gates.

I love the backstory on how the Foundation started. In 1997, Bill and Melinda Gates read a newspaper article about millions of children in poor countries who die from diseases long eliminated in the U.S. They sent a copy of the article to Bill Gates Sr. with a note: “Dad, maybe we can do something about this.” The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was launched in 2000.

As world leaders in philanthropy, the Gates Foundation today supports grantees in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 100 countries worldwide. “In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people–especially those with the fewest resources–have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life.”

The Foundation Trust Endowment is currently $39.6 billion. Since inception (through Q4 2015), the Foundation has issued grants totaling $36.7 billion. In 2015, for example, grantees received $4.2 billion. Included in the Foundation’s funding is an annual distribution from a $30 billion gift by Warren Buffett that doubled the Foundation’s resources. The Gates letter marks the 10-year anniversary of Buffet’s gift and is addressed to him. You can read the full text of the letter online. Here are a few highlights:

  • Over the past 25 years, “122 million children under age five have been saved…. These are children who would have died if mortality rates had stayed where they were in 1990.”
  • Recalling a lunch at McDonald’s in Hong Kong where Buffet used coupons to save a little money, Gates notes how Buffet values “a good deal” and goes on to say, “Saving children’s lives is the best deal in philanthropy.”
  • The Foundation has focused on universal access to vaccines: “For every dollar spent on childhood immunizations, you get $44 in economic benefits.” That includes the child’s health, which impacts the child’s ability to attend school, and the reduction of healthcare expenses and lost work time for parents.
  • “Last year [2015], about one million infants died on the day they were born. A total of more than 5 million died in their first month of life.” This figure is not tied to wealth, so the Foundation supports critical research to find out the causes of infant mortality.
  • The Foundation also funds projects that study and/or improve nutrition, family planning, and opportunity for women (“Poverty is sexist. The poorer the society, the less power women have.”).
  • ” ‘All lives have equal value’ is not just a principle; it’s a strategy.”
  • Empathy and optimism are essential in the pursuit of global health.
  • The magic number is zero. “This is the number we’re striving toward every day at the foundation. Zero malaria. Zero TB. Zero HIV. Zero malnutrition. Zero preventable deaths. Zero difference between the health of a poor kid and every other kid.” “Polio is closest to reaching this magic number…. By the late 1970s, with the help of vaccines, the United States eliminated polio, but it still raged around the world. In 1988, when the global campaign was launched to end polio, there were 350,000 new cases each year. Last year, there were 37.”

Calling this vigorous pursuit of global health “an ecosystem of partners,” the Gates letter closes with a hearty endorsement of the Foundation’s partnership with UNICEF, and an unprecedented call-to-action: “People ask us all the time how they can help in the fight against child mortality–and we are always proud to recommend making a donation to UNICEF, an organization that is successful at serving families and children worldwide.”

I am so tremendously impressed by the visionary leadership of Bill and Melinda Gates and hope that you, too, will support the cause of global health with a donation to UNICEF.

Living the Dream – Sycamore Valley Ranch Listed at $67M

Sycamore Valley Ranch Joyce ReyIt’s a thrill and an honor to be chosen to represent one of California’s most iconic estates: Sycamore Valley Ranch – the estate formerly known as Neverland. This is a property of such magnitude that words like “neighborhood” and “site” have to be set aside. The property is the landscape.

An estate of more than four square miles – approximately 2,700 acres – Sycamore Valley Ranch gives new meaning to “as far as the eye can see.” Surrounded by sweeping vistas, dramatic mountain ranges, and pastoral farmland, the magnificent residence is just one of the features of the property’s 50 maintained acres. This is a place of imagination and legend, created for recreation and entertaining on a truly grand scale. (more…)

How to Find a Good Luxury Real Estate Agent in Los Angeles

Blessed with incredible geography and one of the most desirable climates in the world, Los Angeles is a veritable treasure trove of real estate opportunity. From Beverly Hills to Pasadena, from Malibu to Palos Verdes, there are endless choices for the high-end home buyer. This sheer magnitude is both a gift and a hurdle for buyers making their first foray into the world of luxury real estate.

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Can We Survive the Robots???

Source: Discover Magazine

Source: Discover Magazine

Artificial intelligence has finally mastered the game of poker. Can we survive the robots? Check out the very interesting article in Discover Magazine here.

Incredible Architectural Talent- Upcoming UK Holocaust Museum

Source: Architectural Digest

Leave it to the Brits to choose the most amazing architects for this project. There is so much talent on our planet! I will always remember my visit to the holocaust museum in Israel. The beautiful candles which burn for all the lost children are a permanent tribute to the families who suffered so much. Check out the article here!

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