February 22, 2012
Honored For Outstanding Service
Creating Opportunity From Crisis
When Madeline Edwardsmoved to Canada in 1965,she came here with a mission;to help other people and togive back to her community.Through her professional work as a nurse and through her vol-unteer work for various organi-zations in the Greater TorontoArea, the Jamaican born and raised Edwardshas built an impressive legacy of philanthropy.Edwards was recently nominated in the fall of 2011 as one of 50 people of Jamaican heritagewho has contributed to Canadian society. Oneof Edwards’ peers had put forth her name for the award through the Jamaican Consulate.Edwards also recently received the prestigiousHarry Jerome Award for community develop-ment. Edwards has felt a strong sense of com-mitment to helping others since she was a littlegirl growing up in Jamaica, watching her moth-er give back to the community, even though shewas a widow with eight children since the timeEdwards was two years old.“My mother was always, you know, I AL-WAYS admired her tremendously. When I gotthe Harry Jerome award, a reporter asked me‘Why did you?’ And I said, because my mother ALWAYS did,” Edwards said.Edwards’ mother was a huge inspiration toher.“My mother, she still had stuff after my father passed away, but she was always giving. Andthat’s where I got it from. When she cooked for the family, she never cooked for the family; shecooked for the village. I remember these twoladies when I used to come home from school,I used to wish they would leave. I would say‘Why don’t they go?’ And, they would never
leave until that soup was n
-ished. They would have their bowl of soup and they wouldeat, then they would go home.So, that’s how I grew up. Mymother was always reachingout to people less fortunatethan herself. And, that’s whereI got it from,” Edwards ex- plained.Edwards’ father, who passed away when shewas two years old, was a land owner and he hadworked on the Panama Canal. When Edwards’father had passed away, he left a lot of land toEdwards’ mother, who eventually sold the manyacres of land that grew staples from the Carib- bean like sugar cane and bananas. However,there is still enough land left over today thatEdwards and her siblings possess. The philan-thropist in Edwards is still making the needs of other people a top priority, because rather thankeep the land she inherited, Edwards is plan-ning to give it to another family member who isliving in Jamaica so that he will be able to havea home to call his own. Based on Edwards’ atti-tude towards helping others, it is not surprisingthat she has pursued a long standing successful
career in the health care eld as a nurse. This
time, it was the circumstances of her father’sdeath at the age of 39 from hypertension andstroke, that inspired her to pursue nursing.“I felt that if my father had been living in adifferent country where there were availableservices, he would have lived. And, that waswhat motivated me to go into nursing. That,I feel, was one way I could contribute to bet-ter health of people in general,” Edwards ex- plained.And nursed she did. Edwards continues to provide advice and support to patients and toher friends. Her friends will often call her to ask health questions before they go to their doctors.In addition to giving health tips, Edwards do-nates possessions that she no longer needs andhelps people with social service needs, whether
it is nding new Canadians a place to live when
they immigrate here or whether it is helpingsomeone apply for disability pension. Edwardsgave birth to her two children in Canada andraised them here with her now-deceased Trini-dadian husband, and feels glad to call Canadahome, especially when she considers the stateof health care in Jamaica.“It’s terrible. They do have good medicalfolk in the Caribbean. You know what theydon’t have? Equipment. Most of their equip-ment are hand-me-downs from rich countries.If you talk to people who have been to placeslike Princess Margaret Hospital recently and thetype of sophisticated equipment that they haveand they are using in diagnostic testing, theydon’t have those in Jamaica. You should seethe wages and how they live. There’s no wayI could ever live like that,” Edwards explained.Although Edwards still visits her native land,she wants to do whatever she can to improve thelives of people there.“If I had the wherewithal, what I would reallylike to do is to collect bags and send down bar-rels. I’d go to the dollar store and buy pencilsand crayons and papers and everything and justsend it down to a school in Jamaica. It’s still pretty rough there,” Edwards said.Jamaica wasn’t as rough a place to live whenEdwards grew up there, but she is saddened bythe criminality and bleak employment prospectsfor people who do not work in the tourism or government industries. Edwards takes a keeninterest in the Jamaicans who are still livingthere and who share some of their struggleswith her when she visits.
“They tell you about how they have difcul
-ties. They are not begging, and they do anythingthat they can get to earn a living, but there areno jobs except mostly in the tourism industryor in the government. I’m hoping that this new prime minister who is a woman will try to seewhether they could at least raise the standard of living for the people in general,” Edwards said.While Edwards has strong hopes for Jamaica,the mother of two and a grandmother shows nosigns of lessening her commitment to helpingWest Indians and people of other backgroundswho have, like her, created lives for themselvesin the Greater Toronto Area.“Whoever comes my way, if I can assist themat all, I will do that,” Edwards said.
A desire for nancial free
-dom led D’Juvayne Chris-tian to examine real estateinvestments as a career path.Although he started investingclose to home in Toronto, that path led him to Florida, wherehe believes Canadians cur-rently have the best opportu-
nities to greatly prot in real
estate.Today, he helps people look at real estateinvesting from a fresh perspective. He describeshis business model as transparent, and says hiscompany Elite Lifestyle Investments educates people on its unique process, which helps them
gain valuable knowledge and liberal prots. He
says, “Instead of throwing money somewhereand hoping for returns, they personally become better investors.”Mr. D’Juvayne is the son of Jamaican par-ents. He left his family’s Toronto home at age17 to obtain a Bachelor of Business Administra-tion at Oakwood University in Huntsville, AL.On completion, he headed to Riverside, CA,where he doubled his course load and complet-ed a Master’s of Business Administration in 12straight months.
Prior to graduation, he secured his rst job
at Solarmer Energy in Los Angeles, CA, in theheart of the recession. He likely could never have guessed exactly where he would end up.But soon after returning home to Ontario, inSeptember 2010, he read “Real Estate Investingin Canada” by Don R. Campbell. It was a life-changing experience for him, since, as he putsit, he “totally fell in love, near obsessed, withreal estate investing.” That ‘obsession’ drovehim to read and study the subject in any formthat he could get his hands on, which further
fuelled his desire for nancial freedom.
At the start of 2011, he began to build thefoundation for a company. Within four months,he took a leap of faith, and in April 2011, EliteLifestyle Investments was launched. This youngentrepreneur will tell you that in his early yearshe had some good examples of people in realestate. One such person was his mother, Pau-line Christian, and the other,his cousin Ted Wellington in New York.“My mother was very suc-cessful as a real estate investor so it gave me a close mentor,”he says. “And my cousin, whowas a successful lawyer, didso well at investing that he lethis law degree take a back seatto assist him in opening a company and focus-ing on a career in real estate investment.”“The tireless studying and mentorship
pushed me to take the next step – which was
to enroll with the Ontario Real Estate Associa-tion (OREA) to gain my real estate accredita-tion and capitalize on the wealth of real estateknowledge that the training would afford me.”Mr. Christian says that through Elite Life-style, he strives to help people advance their
nancial picture, and ultimately improve their
knowledge and circumstances. With improved
nances, people are relieved of stress, they can
save for important things in life, and can freelyhelp others who are less fortunate.Growing up in a family dedicated to com-munity service, helping others was a naturaloutcome for Mr. Christian. He started workingwith both Americans and Canadians, educatingthem to replicate what he was doing. In the pro-cess, he discovered his passion.“My goal is to help others achieve their goals, which is why I’m so passionate aboutElite’s services. Doing what I do also allows meto give back more in helping students acquire a better education through my family’s charitableorganizations.”Mr. Christian has a list of reasons why EliteLifestyle has its focus on the state of Floridafor real estate investments. He shares four
main ones: appreciation, cash ow, population
growth, and risk.On the subject of appreciation, he says,“Whether we think the housing market is ator near the bottom doesn’t trump the fact thatAmerica’s post-recession housing prices havereached and surpassed their pre-recession pricesin every previous recession. This is based onempirical data. I’m currently assisting a clientto buy a property for $70,000 that was sold inJuly 2006 for $250,000. You do the math.”
Regarding cash ow, Mr. Christian notes,“While the uninformed ock to markets to ac
quire $300,000 properties, make $100 cash ow per month and pray the housing market dees
history and increases forever, we show peoplehow to buy a property for less than the price of
their car, generate up to $1,000 cash ow per
month - and sometimes higher - while holdingon to a property they know will appreciate.”He notes that Florida is an ideal location for retirees. He doesn’t see that changing, and he’s
condent that the market will correct itself.
When it comes to population growth, the businessman points out that while the USAgrew by 9.7% between 2000 and 2010, Floridagrew by 17.6%. We expect this number to in-crease even further as the Baby Boomers are en-tering retirement and Florida is the ideal placefor retirees. At the end of the day, people needa place to live.As for the risk factor, Mr. Christian says thatmost of the properties Elite’s clients acquireare bought at no less than $100,000 below pre-recession levels. He maintains, “This showsthat even if a person wanted to get a property just for a vacation home, he would still make aminimum of $10,000 a year if the market took an improbable 10 years to correct.”If you’re wondering how the entrepreneur has himself invested, he’s transparent aboutthat. He began by acquiring close to $1 millionworth of real estate in Ontario, including onewhich he bought with his sister. After that, he
was introduced to his mother’s nancial advi
-sor, who encouraged him to invest in Americanreal estate.“With limited knowledge at the time, I hadto think twice because I was only hearing doomand gloom about America’s housing market.Initially, I wasn’t thinking about the opportunityit created.I followed the principles of Warren Buffet,the world’s greatest investor. The summary of his principles are: ‘Be greedy when others arefearful, and be fearful when others are greedy’.So I did relentless research on investing in theUnited States. “After working with advancedreal estate professionals, keeping abreast of theglobal economy and frequenting the U.S. withsome of America’s most successful ‘hands-on’investors, I realized how America’s fall trans-lated into literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportu-nity. I took advantage and then realized how Icould help others do the same.”Through in-depth study and doing his due dil-igence, the entrepreneur’s increased knowledgehelped him realize the incredible advantage hisU.S. investments provided over his investmentsin Ontario. Nevertheless, he concedes that hisOntario investments gave him the eye opener to seek greater knowledge in real estate invest-ments. As a result, he was able to capitalize onone of the greatest real estate opportunities.That opportunity is especially good for Ca-nadians at a time when the Canadian dollar ishigh and U.S. housing prices are at their lowest.Mr. Christian remarks, “They say the two mostimportant days in a person’s life are the day he’s
born, and the day he gures out why…..”
“I can say I’ve realized my second most im- portant day. Now we just want to help people
learn about protable real estate investing.”
Anyone wanting to learn more about Mr. Chris-tian’s service can visit the Elite website at www.elitelifestyleinvestments.com.
Madeline EdwardsD’Juvayne Christian