We fondly refer to the two weeks in late June and early July, from the summer solstice to Independence Day, as the artichoke heart of summer. The days are their longest and the feeling of winter –  which is a long one here in Vermont – is truly over. Everyone takes a break to enjoy one of the best holidays of the year and be thankful for what we have.

At Union Street Media, we believe in independence, in real and genuine relationships, and that real estate brokers are the future. So, besides being part of the artichoke heart of summer, and a truly beautiful time of the year, a day to celebrate independence is very much in line with who we are and how we operate.

Many of our clients are independently owned and operated real estate brokerages. All of our clients are independent-minded. We, too, are independent. Unlike other companies in the PropTech space, there are no outside investors calling the shots at Union Street Media. The alignment of these two cultures has been the backbone of what has helped us grow over the past 22 years –  from a concept in my dorm room to a company of over 65 people and more than 600 clients working together from all over the world.

five people standing in front of the statue of liberty

The last few years have been a tumultuous time for our country. On both the right and the left, there’s way more despair than hope about our future. This past month, I had the opportunity to go with my eight-year-old, Jack, to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. It was a really inspiring visit that helped me see why being an American is such a blessing.

Almost all of my family came to America through Ellis Island. To see what their experience was like, and understand what they walked away from in the Old World, was powerful. They couldn’t pick up their iPhone and FaceTime with their family back in Europe; they made a decision, a very independent one, to come to this country for a better life and I am a direct beneficiary of it.

It was also interesting to see how the immigrants that came through Ellis Island saw America.  A country of opportunity, a life away from persecution, a place to start new, and to give their children a better life. The pride that they took in becoming Americans was moving. If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, I highly recommend it. It gives you hope and inspiration!

So this Independence Day, I’m thankful for what it means to be American and all of the opportunities and privileges that come with it.