Small Business Spotlight- Coleen DeGroff

Coleen DeGroff, Realtor with RE/MAX Professionals

1. Tell us about your business; and what is your business philosophy?
I am a Realtor with RE/MAX Professionals. I've helped people buy and sell homes in Gainesville and Alachua County for the past 7 years.

Having lived in 6 states and moved 11 times, I know firsthand all too well how stressful it can be buying or selling a home. I also know it can be fun. By sharing my personal experiences from both sides of the closing table, I work to maximize the fun for my clients during the process and to minimize the moments that they would like to curl up into the fetal position and hide under a blanket.

I like to say that I offer drama-free realty for the hassle-averse.

2. Why are you passionate about your commitment to United Way's Community Investment Fund?
I believe that there is more at play in this life than we are ever really aware of.  What we do every day affects others in ways we will never know.

I know it might sound corny, but I've always believed that we were born  to share our gifts -- our time, our talent, and our treasure -- and to leave the earth a better place than we found it.  Whatever we have been blessed with is not meant for us to keep for ourselves. I try to remember this as I work every day to block out all of the outside noise that seems to suggest otherwise and concentrate instead on what I can do to make things better in my corner of the world.

Since we moved here 7 years ago I've given 10% of everything I make to the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation because I feel strongly that our kids need the best of care, and a state-of-the-art children's hospital is an answer to that need.

Then I heard about the United Way's Community Investment Fund, and I knew in my heart that I needed to be involved. Yes - I give 10% of everything I make to the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation, and I will continue to do so until our mission is complete. That didn't give me the right  to turn away from being involved in strengthening our community in other ways as well.

Through my involvement with the United Way Community Reinvestment Fund, I like knowing that I help make sure that our kids have enough to eat, and our families have safe places to live, and our youth have the chance to get and keep their lives on track so that they can complete their education and join us in helping to strengthen our community even more. These are just some of the many reasons I felt called to become a United Way Small Business Partner.

We all live in community. We all have the chance to give back to our community and to make it stronger by sharing our time, our talents, and our treasure. I love knowing that being involved as a United Way Small Business Partner means that I am helping to make Gainesville and Alachua County a better place to live for all of our neighbors and friends.

3. What is something interesting or surprising that most people don't know about you?
I had a starring role in our church's production of Godspell when we lived in Colorado. I sang and danced and everything. Lord help us all.
4. What would your older self tell your younger self?
Stop giving a crap about what people think. Find the True North within yourself and do what you are called to do.
5. Favorite quote?
Do all the good you can
By all the means you can
In all the ways you can
In all the places you can
At all the times you can
To all the people you can
As long as ever you can -
Which apparently was not said by John Wesley. I’m not sure who said it but I like it.

Small businesses play a critical role in maintaining a thriving local economy. They are no less important to the success of United Way, as we endeavor to improve lives through our work in education, income, and health. Our Small Business Partners are an important, growing family of donors, who are vital to helping us meet the needs of our community.

To learn more about how you and your business can support United Way, contact Chris Wells at or (352) 316-0666.