Smith & Associates Real Estate has created a philanthropic foundation to give back to the Tampa-St. Petersburg community.
Bob Glaser, president and CEO of Smith & Associates, presented a $100,000 check to Marlene Spalten, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, on Friday to launch the Smith & Associates Real Estate Foundation. The presentation took place at the real estate company’s office on Beach Drive in downtown St. Petersburg.
Glaser said the newly established foundation will focus on housing, food insecurity and educational scholarships for those pursuing a real estate career.
The move follows a record sales year for the real estate firm, the largest locally owned independent real estate brokerage in Tampa-St. Pete. Smith & Associates posted $1.63 billion in sales in 2020.
“I felt like we were fortunate. We have so much gratitude for the community,” Glaser said.
He said he was inspired by observing the Community Foundation’s work at thestudio@620 in St. Petersburg.
“During the year of Covid, Studio620 put on an event and the Community Foundation matched funds. I thought that was dramatic and we needed to be part of a place that’s matching funds with us also,” Glaser said. “By year end we decided to make the investment and also understand better how we can give throughout the community.”
Spalten said the two organizations are naturally aligned partners.
“Smith & Associates has an incredibly wonderful reputation for generosity and also the way you do business. People come here new, don’t know their way around and who they can trust, and for many of them, that first contact is with a Smith & Associates agent,” Spalten said. “I’ve heard so many people tell me how important that’s been to them getting a good start in the community. We love having our name along with yours because we also want them to be philanthropic when they come to our community and help those who have less than some of the rest of us. It’s just a natural partnership. There’s so much potential here. We’re very excited and we thank you for your trust.”
Smith employees will have the ability to seek corporate matches and/or sponsorships and bring a greater level of involvement to causes and organizations that are meaningful to them, a spokeswoman said. The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay will help with administration and grant-making.