Have You Met Dudley Merkel?
Ownermatch Southwest President Dudley Merkel devotes his professional life to luxury housing. And his charitable work also is concerned with housing--or the lack of it--in his many years of service to the homeless of Arizona.
This genial CEO first came to Arizona from California by receiving a golf scholarship at ASU. “I played for the university back when clubs still had wooden shafts!”, he laughs. “But I still enjoy hitting the links today.” After college Dudley did a brief tour in Rochester, NY, for the Singer Business Machine Co., and then moved to the West Coast Bay area as a young branch manager for that company. Finally, he was transferred to Arizona as a regional manager in ’74. “I have really enjoyed spending most of my adult life here in Arizona. I like to say that we have every ecosystem here but the ocean!”
“Years ago I was doing well financially, and was asked to serve some meals to the homeless at the Andre House. That night serving 500 meals was a real eye opener for me. I lived not far away in Scottsdale in a comfortable home, and here were all these homeless people who were struggling. My goal became, how can we get the message out to society about the homeless? So with my former wife and two other couples, we formed Helping Hands for the Homeless, which had at its focus to showcase the needs of the homeless population. Then in just the last few years HHH folded into the UMOM organization (www.umom.org).”
Merkel continues, “For Helping Hands for the Homeless we had put together programs for providing shelters and education for moms and training for their children. The merger with UMOM was beneficial to both groups because they had a wider reach being a much bigger organization, and they picked up our expertise of counseling in education and training. The merger ended up a win-win.
Since 1964, UMOM New Day Centers has been dedicated to helping homeless individuals and families in need of life's basic necessities. UMOM New Day Centers was named 2010 Homeless Service Provider of the Year by City of Phoenix Neighborhood Service.
Dudley Merkel is pleased to be associated with Ownermatch Southwest (www.ownermatch.com). "The idea of two, like- minded families co-owning a second home makes nothing but sense. Statistics from the insurance industry suggest that we only use our second homes 14% of the year. That says that these homes are sitting vacant over 300 days a year! Our company strength is that we are experts in second home co-ownership and match like-minded people and manage the entire process through a final agreement that makes sense to both parties.
"Our properties are offered through the most established realtors in Arizona, creating a new way for them to sell these homes and allowing these homes to be more efficiently used. Our program offers another way a seller can sell their home in this difficult market and a great new way to buy a second home - a true win-win for both buyer and seller.”
He emphasizes, “I’d like people to get the message that if they are trying to sell an expensive home, or interested in having a second home in an upscale community, please consider using the services we provide at Ownermatch Southwest!”
Merkel concludes, “And I openly invite anyone who wants to learn about homelessness to pay a visit to UMOM. They are ambitious, and need to expand their services. With greater time and money from volunteers they can accomplish even more!”
What are your local volunteer activities? Past founder of Helping Hands, currently UMOM
Who inspired you to give back to your community? Serving the homeless at the Andre House.
Which fundraising event is your favorite? UMOM major fundraiser
Favorite restaurant? In and Out
Who do you most admire, and why? Dave Hepburn – His commitment to help the homeless
If your life were a movie, who would you want to play your part? Chevy Chase
Do you have any pets? Yes, Larry the Labradoodle
When you move, what will your home tell its next owner about you? Likes comfort
What's the best lesson you're learned through the years? Helping others comes back in spades
What was your first job? Cutting lawns for $1.00
What is your greatest indulgence? Movies alone with popcorn and diet Coke
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? Helping start Helping Hands and The Miracle at Seven Canyons
What is your most treasured possession? Sense of humor
What is the quality you most like in people? Ability to laugh at themselves
Favorite books / Writers? John Grisham
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Self centered people
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Golf and hiking
What would we be most surprised to know about you? Liking to be alone
What is the best advice you have ever received? I should pursue sales as a career path
What are some challenges facing nonprofits? Attracting people's time and money in the current economy
Hey - Dudley. Just checking out your website. Very nice, very professional. Good luck!
Great story on Black Tie Arizona Dudley. KUDOS to you for your special charity involvement. This is great promo for Ownermatch Southwest and for you as its President and for your charity especially.