Category Archives: community

Paragon’s Erica Levin: Engage with Your Community

ericalevinWe recently spoke with Erica Levin, a realtor with SVR sponsor Paragon Real Estate Group, about her work, her non-profit involvement, and Paragon’s commitment to community service.

SVR: Tell us about your job as a realtor.

Erica: I love the work that I do and the many roles it allows me to play in my clients lives. In addition to my role as adviser and confidant, I also take on the role of therapist, designer, concierge, and overall resource.  I love that my clients really engage with me and that I am able to help them in so many ways—it is wonderfully rewarding work!

SVR: Besides your work at Paragon, you are very active in your community. Tell us more.

Erica: I sit on the board of directors of Mission Graduates. We work with kids in the public schools providing tutoring, after-school programs, pregnancy prevention counseling, and a vital program called College Connect that provides stewardship in getting kids to college. I also co-founded Inner Mission Community Association. IMCA is a group made up of residents and business owners in the inner Mission. We work on issues that are of concern to our members and coordinate to work with our supervisor, the mayor’s office, the police, and other agencies to address many issues in our neighborhood.

SVR: What inspired you become involved in these organizations?sfsweetsf_2colorsCity
Erica: I value engaging with the community where I live. I cannot see a problem or concern and not try to do something to address it. I believe that kids are the key to our future, and these days they need a lot of support. Knowing your neighbors makes communities safer, and

having a sense of community provides people a sense of place. I feel grateful to be in a position to work with so many committed people and to learn so much and offer what I know as a resource.

SVR: What advice would you give to people who want to help?
Erica: Just get started! There are so many ways to engage, whether it is mentoring a young person, spending time at your kid’s school or volunteering at a food bank, or sweeping the street in front of your house. We each have a gift to give, and I have found that just doing something and applying the time and attention is a great way to begin.

SVR: Why do feel it’s important to keep music education in the schools?
Erica:  I loved music class as a kid. I gravitated toward the creative arts and learned so much about discipline and follow-through from the creative process. Kids need the arts, and music is a great way to express oneself. It troubles me that in our time, music has to be fought for in the public schools.

SVR: Paragon Real Estate is also very involved in the local community. Can you tell me more about that?
Erica: Paragon places a great importance on community involvement. We have a community fund that each agent can elect to contribute to and Paragon will match the contribution 50/50.

A native of Chicago, Erica Levin went to the Claremont Colleges in Claremont, California and fell in love with the west coast. Erica has a B.A. in psychology and studio art and an M.A. in marriage family child counseling as well as art therapy. After nine successful years as a prop and wardrobe stylist on national ad campaigns, annual reports, and television commercials, she followed her personal passion into a full-time real estate career. Erica lives and works in San Francisco.

Burson-Marsteller is with the band

SVR sponsor Burson-Marsteller is a leading global public relations and communications firm that develops smart, strategic communications programs to help its clients build stronger brands and corporate reputations. We recently spoke with the company about its commitment to good corporate citizenship and its contributions to the Bay Area community.

SVR: How does Burson-Marsteller support the Silicon Valley community?

Burson-Marsteller: From a business perspective, we partner with some of the iconic brands in Silicon Valley, including Intel, HP, and SAP. But we also believe in giving back to the community. We’re actively involved in the Greater Bay Area chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, supporting their annual Light The Night walk to raise awareness and funding for life-saving cancer research, and we’ve worked on projects with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula.

SVR: What inspired you to become involved in Silicon Valley Rocks?

Burson-Marsteller: You could say we’re with the band. Some of the communications professionals and journalists who are giving their time to perform at Silicon Valley Rocks are people we work with every day. That was our inspiration. But beyond that, we counsel our clients that being a good corporate citizen is the right thing to do, and sponsoring Silicon Valley Rocks is one small way for us to take this counsel to heart.

SVR: Do you have a burgeoning band or musicians at Burson-Marsteller?

Burson-Marsteller: We do have a few aspiring musicians who are checking our virtual rehearsal space, but we have no tour details at this time.

SVR: Why do you feel it’s important keep music education in the schools?

Burson-Marsteller: Thinking creatively is how we overcome challenges and break new ground, and that applies to the communications business and to society at large. The earlier we encourage young minds to think creatively through music and other arts programs, the better for us all.