Carolyn Picture

President Harvey Spear presenting gift to retiring Board Member Carolyn Smith at the May Board meeting.

Carolyn Smith can easily be defined as a woman of faith, job, value and substance. Her dynamic, focused and purposeful 26-year contribution to HAPCO as a board member is proof of that.

Smith always had an eye toward real estate. In her mid 20’s, she told her then fiancé that she wanted to flip houses. At the time, she was working for a major insurance company where she quickly rose in the ranks, eventually taking on a management position. After 18-years with that firm, she was unfortunately laid off.  With her newly acquired free time, she decided that now was when she would go into real estate, as she’d dreamed. She’d begun going to the library daily, reading anything she could get her hands on about the industry for six months. Armed with knowledge, and partnered with a contractor friend, her real estate career began exactly as she envisioned so many years before: buying and selling properties. Eventually, she transitioned from flipping to holding, and became a landlord. She soon learned that the idea of landlords being rich due to their property was often false, as there were varying fees and taxes imposed on them, often making it hard for them to see much profit.

Willie BM

Longtime Board Member & Past President Willie Seward celebrated his 88th birthday at the May Board meeting.

She was invited by Bill Becker to see what HAPCO was about, but he knew that she would make a great board member and brought her with intentions of a successor for his board position. As a board member, she’s made it her mission to aid in strategizing against and fighting the legislation that made it hard for landlords to profit in their business.

She was a member of various committees including the Section 8 Committee where she found the most value and the greatest ability to contribute. Through her time spent there, she was able to help HAPCO effect legislative change in regards to landlords in this area. This was something she found important and realized there were many in the city who were oblivious to their landlord rights and the laws coming that would have a bearing on the way they did business. For this reason, Smith was a great advocate for HAPCO encouraging membership and generally sharing the information that she feels she would not have been able to access without her membership and involvement.

Of the many things that she’d encountered in HAPCO, Smith feels that she will miss the people the most. Though there were often differing opinions that left a room full of people in dissent, she knows that they are all well-intended and feels that she truly left with friends, bound by the common goal of making Philadelphia better fro landlords and those they effect.

As she is sitting at the edge of her HAPCO career, she is proud of the work she has done, and even the fact that she has influenced both her daughter and daughter-in-law to be in real estate. She is most looking forward to the time that she will be spending with her grand children and the future ventures she has planned.

We are grateful for your service and dedication to HAPCO’s mission. You will be greatly missed!