It was an extraordinary evening in Newport Beach when Elephant Cooperation, a nonprofit dedicated to saving African elephants and helping children hosted a sold-out soiree at the Resort at Pelican Hill. More than 300 guests attended the fete, which featured cocktails and dinner, a live auction, a live canvas painting by Matt Shapira and a few surprises, including the adoption of baby elephants, an unexpected $250,000 donation, and a performance by Machine Gun Kelly. George Argyros, Jr. served as the evening’s emcee, and Raabia Hawa, a former model turned ranger who has dedicated her life to saving elephants, was honored as the 2017 Conservationist of the Year. The evening’s event, which raised more than $900,000 for the elephants and children of Africa, was an incomparably memorable ode to both.
A bibliophile's lit picks for your library
Curated by Jenn Thornton
Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook by Alice Waters
In her recently released memoir, the legendary Alice Waters details her journey from cloistered suburbs to free-thinking Berkeley, where the 1960’s culture ultimately helped shape the foundation of Chez Panisse—her “little French restaurant” that heralded the arrival of clean, ingredient-driven California cuisine. Pairing photos and letters of her past with recipes and stories, the three-time James Beard award winner and founder of the Edible Schoolyard gives readers a taste of what it took to make a trailblazer. $27.00, CrownPublishing.com
The distinguished duo behind McKown | Weinstein | Associates—a highly admired and successful agent collaboration at Surterre Properties—has earned widespread recognition for their experience, performance record and mastery of skillsets and strategies. Leveraging their focused local knowledge and power sales approach to lead in a highly competitive arena has invigorated and advanced the luxury real estate market in Southern California since 1991.
As told to Amy Adams
Is there a professional philosophy that you follow? Is it one that you developed or was it inspired by a mentor?
Rex McKown: My philosophy comes from my mentor Bill Holden: My actions can have three effects—positive, negative, or none. Choose wisely.
Marcy Weinstein: The customer comes first. Having been a customer who purchased one of the first lots in Pelican Hill, I realized that this is a service industry where one organization can service all of a client’s needs, which is what we have created at M|W|A.
What are the qualities of your work that you feel have made the most impact in this business?
MW: The fact that I strive to be the most knowledgeable person in all aspects of the real estate industry, and to provide this information to my clients to meet their needs.
How do you define success, both personally and professionally?
RM: I try to seek happiness in both respects. Many times that requires an intense balancing act. In the end, if I have a positive effect on both my family and my clients, I’ve been successful.
MW: Success is having successful and positive relationships. If my relationships with family, friends and others are good, then I am too.
What is the single most important takeaway from your career that you’ve learned thus far—and how has it transformed what you do and how you do it each and every day?
RM: Once I finally realized that I am not a party to any transaction and removed self-interest from my actions, everything went smoother. It reminded me of when I became a father. Self-interest became secondary and my life became much happier.
MW: You can never communicate too much.
What are the qualities you see in others—friends and colleagues—that most impact and inspire you?
RM: Empathy and the ability to see the position of another. Before you can walk in someone else’s shoes, you must first remove your own.
MW: Anyone who can stay connected as they grow and continue to apply the work ethic that got them to where they are inspires me. Also, the people who strive to stay connected to the things and individuals who helped get them there.
What does your track record tell us about not only who you are in the real estate world, but your journey to the top?
RM: I would rather be lucky than good, but have found it’s much more productive to be lucky and good.
MW: That I have never forgotten where I started, and never forgot the goal.
What gives you energy and makes you thrive?
RM: I work in one of the few businesses in the world where everybody has the same goal: the buyer wants to buy, the seller wants to sell, and both agents want the same. If done correctly, this business can be a happy one for everybody.
MW: People who are energetic and positive. Equally, the appreciation of this place, and the kaleidoscope of people around us.
What moves you to act—a cause, something creative, an individual?
RM: I hate to say it, but seeing somebody wronged (including myself) sets me off. I become fully engaged very rapidly and work tirelessly to correct it.
MW: A need, dancing, and, of course, my mother, Joan Robinson.
San Juan Capistrano’s iconic train depot comes alive with Trevor’s at the Tracks
Written by Susan Irby
Billed as Southern California’s loveliest train station, the Capistrano Depot first opened in 1894. At the time, red brick was covered in white plaster to the top of the dome tower. Today, except for the dome, the plaster has been removed revealing the stunning red brick arcades and structures that are home to one of San Juan Capistrano’s newest restaurants, Trevor’s at the Tracks. Named for its owner, Trevor Baird, the restaurant illuminates modern cuisine while honoring the past and the future. “The building itself is a preservation of history,” explains Baird, “and our motto, ‘locally acquired, globally inspired,’ is in essence about preserving our future.” Efficient usage of water, fully utilizing the onsite garden, and locally sourcing ingredients are at the forefront of the restaurant’s environmentally-conscious approach. “Our wine list features all California selections,” says Baird. “But our cuisine embraces the globe.” Dine indoors or on the al fresco patio and bar enjoying scratch-kitchen menu items such as the Taste of San Juan award-winning Vegetarian Meatballs of red quinoa, brown rice, herbs and Arrabiata tomato sauce; Ahi Poke Nachos with sesame soy reduction over wonton chips; the signature Bang Bang Beer Can Chicken with savory local brew jus and garlic mashed potatoes; and the Fig and Fungi Flatbread with balsamic glaze. Among the sweet endings are the Cast Iron Cookie and the Strawberry Shortcake.
Trevor's at the Tracks 26701 Verdugo Street, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675 ~ 949 493 9593 | TrevorsattheTracks.com
Photos courtesy of Trevor's at the Tracks