Mo Anderson, vice chairman of the board, has learned to respect the power of natural disasters and how to recover with resilience. She notes that when the EF-5 tornado hit Moore, Okla., this year, market centers reacted exactly as she had expected. Shelan Whitehead, team leader of the Green Meadow market center, was particularly graceful. The aftermath was “numbing and there was an intense need for leadership,” Anderson says, “but Whitehead’s guidance instilled confidence.” Oklahoma Regional Director Sherry Lewis adds that Whitehead “gathered everyone in the Green Meadow, (Okla.) market center underneath the staircase to keep them safe.”
Immediately, the affected and surrounding market centers began tracking associates; urgency and safety were priorities. Among the disarray, Whitehead asked each person she came in contact with “Are you okay?” While her poise and clear-thinking enabled her to access the manpower she knew they needed, a mix of adrenaline and motherly instinct powered her through.
Several market centers leaped into action under the direction of Assistant Team Leader and Market Center broker of the Mulinix (Okla.) market center Jan Mulinix, Team Leader of the Mulinix market center Peggy Wright, Team Leader of the Central Oklahoma market center Susan Miller and many others. They opened up their homes to families who no longer had one. Every person in a market center was assigned a team to support – giving them clothing, food and water, gift cards and access to medical aid.
After a storm of that magnitude, there are often extraordinary discoveries that lie beneath the debris. Whitehead and Green Meadow market center associate John Sacotte uncovered, underneath the mounds of rubble, the bottle of champagne he had been saving for his daughter’s birthday – completely unscathed. Like a diamond in the rough, like the bottle of champagne amid the rubble, Whitehead’s leadership emerged through the chaos.
Bringing security to a heart-wrenching incident, Whitehead is a true cultural ambassador for Keller Williams Realty. She has always believed in the branded values of God, family, then business but after the tornado hit and the area was immediately flooded with compassionate, serving volunteers and truckloads of needed supplies, she knew it deep in her soul. Throughout the chaos, the Keller Williams culture remained true thanks to everyone’s support. Lewis, astounded by the leadership that associates consistently displayed after Mother Nature took its toll, comments that, “The culture of Keller Williams Realty is alive and well and the Oklahoma Region is very grateful for all the prayers and service the entire company displayed to us.”
“The culture of Keller Williams Realty is alive and well and the Oklahoma Region is very grateful for all the prayers and service the entire company displayed to us.”
More than a month later, recovery from the storm continues. The roads are open but the cleanup and rebuilding are still progressing. According to Whitehead, the market centers are stronger than ever with a newfound confidence, reminded of the support of their Keller Williams family. When people ask what inspired the Keller Williams culture and how it holds such high standards of integrity and tenacity, Anderson always responds, “It’s how we live in Oklahoma!”