The following is a transcript of the induction speech presenting Lisa & Ben Bernacki into the Harcourts Hall of Fame. It was announced on 30 May during the Harcourts Australia National Conference 2018.
This evening marks the 19th year that we have celebrated the Harcourts Hall of Fame, the highest personal accolade in our organisation.
We have had the privilege to witness 32 exemplary people receive this award – all of them outstanding individuals who are brilliant examples of the qualities that we hold dear throughout Harcourts. They are people of purpose and conviction in both their personal and professional lives, and they have collectively left an indelible mark on this organisation.
I would like to ask those Hall of Fame members here tonight to join us on stage –Robert McCormick, Wendy Lenaghan, Paul Wright, Alison Aitken, Michael Brock, John and Lynette McFadden, Irene Green, Jo Clifford, Bob Wolff, Martin Cooper, Tony Morrison, Steve Caradoc-Davies, Martin Millard and Lee Perry
Thank you for your inspiration and the way you embody the words emblazed on the Hall of Fame crest – “deeds will surpass words”.
Over the years, how one is defined in this industry is often comprised of awards based on numbers, however it is the complete character of a person that defines a member of the Hall of Fame. Personal character cannot be measured, yet we stand in awe of those who grace this stage.
As we prepare to welcome the newest inductee into our Hall of Fame, let us pause to reflect on the qualities that personify our very special recipient.
It is the rare achievement when determination combines with talent. When a fine balance between family and business comes to define leadership and serves as an example to everyone with whom they encounter.
Not only a tireless worker, growing their own success, but supporting those around them. Always quick to offer support to anyone who asks, and serving as true role models in our Group, this year’s inductee is the embodiment of “putting people first”.
Tonight, we celebrate passion, dedication, and quiet achievement. Tonight, we celebrate two people whose journeys are intertwined into one powerful statement about family, service and commitment.
These two people are leaders who lead by shining example. They bring qualities to not only their team, with whom they share a family bond, but also to the community and to the entire Harcourts family.
One is described as quietly passionate, someone who genuinely cares about people, and the other sums up the magic blend of care and loyalty. Together they are determined and resilient.
They are leaders in their community, partners in a business that serves as an example of what hard work, dedication, passion and perseverance can build.
The inductee we celebrate tonight is a true partnership in every sense of the word.
Without further ado, would you please be upstanding and put your hands together to congratulate our 2018 Harcourts Hall of Fame inductees – the generous, caring and inspirational duo from Harcourts Alliance in Perth -- Ben and Lisa Bernacki.
Here to help celebrate Ben & Lisa’s induction into the Harcourts Hall of Fame are their children Rohan, Kyle, Isaac and Samuel.
Also here to help celebrate is Lisa’s sister Robyn and Lisa’s Dad David.
Ben & Lisa are the Business Owners of Harcourts Alliance and Harcourts Alliance Valley to Vines, leading of team of 46 high-performing professionals serving the Joondalup and Perth’s northern corridor.
The devoted husband and wife team embodies the rare ability to find balance between family and business – he is a great family man, a husband and father – while doing an awesome job leading his business.
And Lisa … she is a business partner, a wife, a mother and a true friend to everyone around. She is there in the background making sure the details are picked up!
They are a loving couple who would drop everything if needed. Lisa enjoys working in the Alliance business alongside Ben, excited to continue the growth of the Alliance team and to take the team from strength to strength.
Let’s start from the beginning to truly understand the character of these two fine individuals.
Ben was 18 months old when his parents Brenda and George emigrated from the UK with him and his older sister Emma via ship to Fremantle, in 1974.
The family soon bought a 30-acre bush block in the hills of Dwellingup Western Australia, and a few years later settled on 100 acres on the scarp at Meelong in Dwellingup foothills.
By the time Ben was at Pinjarra High School, his younger sister Philippa had come along, and soon Ben became his sisters’ driver, driving a Mini Moke and Morris 1100 down a 2km gravel road to meet the bus.
Lisa’s Mum was one of seven children and the family was very social, getting together in the evenings for a game of tennis. They were very close – really one big happy family. Very much like the Alliance team is today.
After leaving school and heading to Perth, Ben soon became frustrated at the progress of his formal education and began selling real estate in the northern suburbs of Perth.
Ben’s father George recalls Ben’s early days of real estate and how happy Ben was to be putting money into his pocket instead of studying. Working hard for clients and helping them prepare their properties for sale but he stuck with it, according to George, and these lessons would pave the way for an eventual leadership role.
In January 1996, Lisa found her way into real estate as a receptionist with the Roy Weston office and worked her way up from there to Personal Assistant overseeing all staff and operations. One year later, Ben joined the Roy Weston group as a Sales Consultant, and over time an office romance began to blossom.
As many people know, Roy Weston Real Estate had 61 offices across WA and Indonesia when the company was incorporated into the Harcourts WA property group in 2004. Harcourts Alliance was borne and quickly shot to the number one office, a position it maintained from 2005 to 2007.
Through the years it hasn’t always been a smooth ride for Lisa and Ben, but it has been an adventure. Their oldest son, beautiful Rohan was born in 2002 and was joined by Kyle in 2005.
In 2007 the business went through some ownership changes and it was at this point that Ben and Lisa became the major financial shareholder, with Ben taking up the role of managing director.
This was a particularly challenging time as new business owners and personally, Lisa and Ben had just moved into a new house, when they found out that Lisa was expecting twins! Samuel and Isaac turned the family into a team of boys with Lisa expertly championing them.
Then, the GFC came and they led Harcourts Alliance through that very difficult time, as well as the recent market changes to emerge stronger than ever.
Lisa brings a family feel to Harcourts. She is always the first to celebrate others success and make people feel special and appreciated by recognising the little things whether it is anniversaries, milestones, Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, a day that is particularly poignant for Lisa in remembrance of her own Mum.
Lisa had a very strong relationship with her Mum, who was always ringing her to see if she needed help with the boys, especially when the twins arrived. She helped Ben and Lisa build the business they have today by babysitting, cooking, cleaning, and whatever needed doing she was there to help.
Lisa’s family says she inherited her ‘No BS attitude’ from her Mum who always said if we were having a bad day to ‘Just slap yourself in the face and get on with it’
Clearly Lisa has also inherited her Mum’s brilliant sense of humour.
Ben brings culture and a passion for his team that see him always striving to achieve his goal of number one office. In 2012 he achieved the number one position, an achievement he repeated in 2013. Always quick to attribute the accolades to their entire team, which is exactly what has built Harcourts Alliance into the office that it is today.
Highly regarded amongst his peers, clients staff and within the industry, Ben is always there to represent Alliance to ensure the team is at the forefront of the industry. It is those qualities that led to being honoured with the 2015 Roy Weston Medal.
Recently, the Harcourts Alliance brand expanded to include a partnership with Gail and Andrew Woods. Together, they opened the Harcourts Alliance Valley to Vines office, serving a greater region.
The Harcourts Alliance team has repeatedly been recognised for its excellence amongst the Harcourts franchise network, including Top Office, Top Sales and achievements across sales and property management.
Running a world class business, recognition continues to pour in from the industry, including Large Agency of the Year for Excellence by the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia and earlier this year, named Large Agency of the Year for the entire state by Rate My Agent.
Ben and Lisa have immense respect for their wealth of knowledge about the industry, as well as their good nature, always happy to help with a smile.
For Ben, his team is his primary focus so clearly does he embody ‘People First’, he has incredible integrity so doing the right thing comes naturally. Ben has had many challenges with a volatile Perth market and yet has continually shown real courage throughout.
To know them, Lisa and Ben always have a smile on their faces and are ready for a laugh! When they’re not working, family time is usually spent crabbing and on the family boat. A glass of bubbles, American Honey and a freshly peeled crab with a bowl of vinegar and they’re in Heaven!
Life lived with integrity and spirit, that is for sure.
A shining example of everything great about Harcourts –passionate people persons, focussed on the success of those around them, as well as a true personality within the Group.
Lisa and Ben, on behalf of everyone at Team Harcourts, we want to thank you for your leadership, your passion for the industry and, most importantly, for being an inspiration to those around you.
Thank you for making such an important contribution to the success of the Harcourts group and congratulations Lisa and Ben on your induction into the prestigious Harcourts Hall of Fame.