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Inspiring Conversations with MaryBeth Kellee of Coldwell Banker West

Today we’d like to introduce you to MaryBeth Kellee.

Hi MaryBeth, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I started at a young age teaching ballet in my small hometown of Conneaut, Ohio. I also helped to choreograph the floor routine and balance beam for the local gymnastics team. From there, I went into men’s retail and quickly became a store manager and troubleshooter in Upstate, NY. Cosmetics next found me and Shiseido Cosmetics. I worked my way from counter sales to North East Training Director, where I was moved to Boston, MA. I launched Shiseido Cosmetics in Mexico City and was fortunate to travel most of the US. I was recruited to the North American Training Director for Laura Ashley, with the US headquarters located in Boston, MA. I trained from the CEO to the shop managers.

Without searching for my next gig, I was cold called by a recruiter in San Diego. He was seeking a North American Training Director for Jenny Craig. I flew out to SD twice and interviewed. The position was frozen and they ended up not hiring anyone at that point. I still managed to move to San Diego and begin my next career as a Realtor!

Originally getting into real estate for personal purchases of investment property. Oh if I had only held on to that real estate back then. Word to the wise, DO NOT sell! Hold your real estate if you are able to, especially in a market like San Diego where properties luckily appreciate very well.

I paused real estate for a couple of years and really threw myself into fundraising for several non-profits. I produced some really fun events with a wonderful and very talented team of rockstars. We produced a luncheon with over 500 people in attendance for Suze Orman. I produced an event called the Butterfly Effect for the Jenna Druck Foundation and had Project Runway designers fly in to show off their collections. Emmy Award-winning actor from the original cast of Queer Eye for a Straight Guy was our emcee. I also produced a few events that featured singer, songwriter for the Eagles and local superstar; Jack Tempchin. I love helping raise money and awareness for charity. You meet such fabulous people!

Many call me a Master Connector, I somehow have a unique ability to network and introduce like-minded entities to join in a common mission. Connecting people together is a gift that has been the cornerstone of my career both as a fundraiser as well as in the private sector. I have strong abilities to raise awareness and promotion from small start-ups to large foundations through my connections and a pretty coveted Rolodex that has proven fantastically successful.

Today I hang my hat at Coldwell Banker West and work side by side in real estate with my life partner in crime, Philip. He and I cover the entire San Diego County and work primarily by referral. We love guiding our clients through the home buying and home selling process and helping them to achieve one of life’s biggest dreams; Home Ownership! We love helping all types of clients, first-time home buyers, luxury properties, you name it. Nothing is too small or too big for us. We have two rescued Westhighland White Terriers, McKenzee and Harlee and 4 Chickee Chews; Fred & Ginger and Ethel and Ricki Roo. We live in Southwest Escondido and love it!

Words I live by: “Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” – Sir Cecil Beaton

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Getting a divorce was a pretty rough time. But life lessons are always good. I left my hometown and moved to Buffalo, NY the morning after I graduated from high school. That was an interesting time as well.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Coldwell Banker West is the largest real estate company in SD County. We are expanding by the day! Coldwell Banker is the oldest real estate company in the country and we have over 94,000 realtors worldwide. We virtually can assist anyone in the world with their real estate needs. Our luxury market is superior worldwide. I believe. Personally I am known for stepping outside of the box to market properties in a unique manner and client care is my passion. Educating our clients through the process is one of the biggest joys and giving home buyers KEYS is epic! Through these last several months, our leadership has had daily zoom calls. We are extremely well trained and constantly receiving daily education from our owners and leaders. My database sets me apart from many as well as my ability to connect the dots.

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
My partner Philip, my doggies and my sweet little chickens make me happy. I love my yard and to garden and cook. Entertaining is my jam and supporting all of our fantastic restaurants is a huge passion of mine. Even though the pandemic, every time we were re-opened – we would be the first to book a table to support our local restaurants. I love our San Diego Chefs and am fortunate to call many my friends. I love dancing and I love CHER!

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