Earlier this year, we shined a spotlight on Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty’s (ASSIR) inaugural and ongoing corporate sponsorship of WE-cycle, the Roaring Fork Valley’s beloved bike sharing program. But it’s only one example of a long list of contributions of how ASSIR invests in its community year-round.
With the season of giving officially underway, now is the perfect time to share a little bit more about how ASSIR so strongly supports its community. In 2018, ASSIR made contributions totaling more than $100,000 to the following nonprofit organizations (selected by an executive-level consensus that the donation is benefiting a real need):
• Aspen Community Theater
• Aspen Country Day School
• Aspen Education Foundation
• Aspen Film
• Aspen Homeless Shelter
• Aspen Junior Hockey
• Aspen Rotary Foundation
• Aspen United Soccer Club
• Aspen Valley Hospital
• Aspen Valley Land Trust
• Aspen Youth Center
• Basalt Chamber of Commerce
• Early Childhood Network
• Habitat for Humanity
• Raising a Reader
• Snowmass Western Heritage Association
• Snowmass Rotary
• St. Stephen Catholic School
With philanthropy as a cornerstone of ASSIR’s corporate culture, its brokers contributed an additional $16,000 to a mix of more than 100 local causes they are personally passionate about, which is matched by the company. Together, ASSIR and brokers have donated more than $116,000.
“We are proud to offer our Annual Community Investment Campaign where we match dollar-for-dollar up to $1,000 per year per broker or employee to eligible local nonprofits to show our dedication to supporting the community,” explains ASSIR president and CEO Gary Hughes. “We are grateful to our busy team of realtors and employees who volunteer and serve on numerous nonprofit boards throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.”
For ASSIR co-owner Ernie Fyrwald, giving back runs through his blood. As a family man through and through, his commitment to his four children inspired him to start a foundation for children in 1984. He remains involved in the foundation and is on the board of directors, while also inspiring the next generation of donors through ASSIR.
“On a personal level, and as one of the main decision-makers of to whom we give, we don’t give for marketing purposes but because ‘it’s the right thing to do,’” says Fyrwald. “Whenever the company can’t come to the table with a donation to a specific need the owners of our company then give personally if they feel the need is great. With our donation matching program, it allows us to give more and if it’s something a broker feels strongly about then the decision is even easier.”
With a long history of supporting programs in the local community, ASSIR now has grown to more than 160 realtors and 30 employees. With 11 locations spanning the Roaring Fork Valley, each office strives to make philanthropy and volunteerism an integral part of its company culture encouraging each individual to consider donating their time, money or energy — ideally, it’s all three. Next year, the company has plans to incorporate paid days off to enable more employees to volunteer.
And Fyrwald’s philosophy on philanthropy is certainly contagious:
“Our belief is that we have been blessed with incredible lives and should share as much as possible. To whom much is given, much is to be expected!”