March Forth Letter from Chris Webster
MARCH FORTH, everyone, in all that you do. Here’s to the many extraordinary relationships and friendships, existing and yet to be made, outstanding opportunities which never seem to subside, and wonderful accomplishments providing sense of fulfillment and pride. Here’s to a very fulfilling life and total realization of our life’s goals. Most importantly, here’s to you, the reader of my proclamation, with both an invitation to those of you I do not yet know, and sincere thanks to those I do – for your interest, friendship, and support, now or hopefully soon to be. Many of you are familiar with the Webster family professional activities and the accomplishments of WEBSTER ENTERPRISES (WE). For those who are not fully aware of our family company and its history, as well as those wishing a peek back, here’s a selected snapshot of many exciting highlights of the past and present.
WE BEGAN. From its origins and establishment in 1972 on the west side of the historic Plaza in downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico, WEBSTER ENTERPRISES continues to be the umbrella company and organization of personal and professional activities, investments, and philanthropy of Chris and Patti Webster and the Webster family. Originally focused on art brokerage and procurement services for collectors and museums, Christopher Webster Art Investments initially specialized in indigenous art of the Americas, vintage Western paintings and photography, and other related collectibles. The Websters subsequently pursued real estate education, licensing, and professional activities that next led to the establishment in 1976 of Christopher Webster Real Estate and a subsequent exclusive relationship in the early 1980s with Sotheby’s International Realty (SIR) as its exclusive real estate affiliate company in New Mexico.
WE EXPANDED. Adding to our original Plaza office in Santa Fe, Chris Webster expanded and opened additional SIR affiliate real estate brokerage offices in the mid-1980s in Taos and Albuquerque, New Mexico and secured additional exclusive SIR affiliations in two other strategic geographic markets in the late 1980s – in Mexico (Mexico Estates) with offices in Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, and Mexico City, and North Carolina (North Carolina Estates) with headquarters in Chapel Hill. The growth of our companies, coupled with the opportunities to represent, and get to know, truly outstanding owners of the world’s finest and most phenomenal properties in these geographic marketplaces, and elsewhere, have been, and continue to be, our most rewarding professional experiences.
WE CONSOLIDATED. After initial discussions in 1997, and subsequent agreement, we sold our real estate firm, Christopher Webster Real Estate, and its Santa Fe operations in 1998 to Sotheby’s Holdings as its first acquisition of an SIR affiliate company worldwide. In the ensuing year, we concluded and closed all of our other real estate office operations, as we transformed our professional service activities from a group of offices, to one centralized base of operations servicing numerous market environments in national and international locations. Through professional collaborations with distinguished colleagues, we subsequently branded our real estate endeavors – brokerage, investment, development, publishing, consulting – as WEBSTER ESTATES. Due to highly successful recruiting, as well as mergers and acquisitions, the Santa Fe SIR office has continued to grow since the Websters’ ownership into an increasingly larger and more powerful company and sales force of professional brokers in three Santa Fe downtown offices. With a clearly defined vision and mantra: Sotheby’s International Realty – Artfully Connecting Extraordinary Lives with Extraordinary Properties - SIR continues to command the largest Santa Fe market share by a substantial margin. The Websters always welcome the opportunity to be of service to you … and those you know … when you wish to buy or sell distinctive real property anywhere, by bringing to you the strength and resources of our companies and distinguished colleague relationships everywhere – dynamic market leaders all.
WE GREW AGAIN – C III CAME ABOARD. Much to our delight, in 2003, our son, Christopher, expressed his wish to join Patti and me in our family business. Having achieved three undergraduate degrees in Creative Writing, Contemporary Music, and Sound Engineering, and upon completion of an initial crash course in our real estate, art, and investment activities, Christopher added a New Mexico real estate broker’s license to his resume and continues to study and pursue education and experiences relative to our investments, activities, and responsibilities in addition to his leadership roles within the company. Here’s to always sharing with you, son, the vision, that guides us down life’s path, as well as the passion, that makes the journey always exciting and resoundingly fulfilling and fun.
WE VENTURE. Starting in the mid to late 1970’s, numerous venture capital and private equity investment opportunities were brought to our attention which led to assiduous investigation and due diligence in all cases. Historically, WEBSTER VENTURES took both passive investment positions as well as active participation roles in numerous, as well as diverse, companies. As an original founder, director, and officer in 1982 of Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, the sale of this innovative company that produces Natural American Spirit cigarettes twenty years later to Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJR) is one of the greatest business experiences and achievements realized to date. Due to a desire, coupled with a lifelong personal friendship with Dr. Walker Long, and his active involvement as a Director, and for a stint as Chairman / CEO, of BioMarck Pharmaceuticals, an equity investment was made with the belief the company’s development of the necessary, and now clinically proven, drugs for COPD and cancer would make substantial and beneficial improvements to those afflicted’s overall health and wellness. Subsequently in 2005, Walker and I founded GeneBiology, a Research Triangle Park, North Carolina-based generic pharmaceutical development company, working in conjunction with brilliant doctors and scientists in South Africa, in addition to other global centers of research and development, to develop pharmaceutical solutions for vertigo, motion sickness and nausea, as well as other diseases and afflictions. At the beginning of 2006, I accepted an advisory board position as an Acceleration Partner with Flywheel Ventures, a New Mexico and California technology venture fund company. Also in 2006, WEBSTER VENTURES procured the investment capital necessary to accomplish a management buyout for American Clay Enterprises, producer of American Clay, recognized as Product of the Year by numerous construction industry organizations for its green, natural, cost attractive, installation-efficient, interior clay wall plaster. In 2007, through Christopher’s initiative, and as a result of his leadership, investment analysis, and due diligence, WEBSTER VENTURES invested in Xanadu (On Broadway), a refreshingly spirited musical nominated for 4 Tony awards which toured the US and beyond after a successful 17 month run on Broadway. Hestia Tobacco, FairShare Exchange, Oleavicin, and Leading Estates of the World / The Estates Club represent four of the more recent companies in which WEBSTER VENTURES now holds equity ownership and management and advisory board positions.
WE SELL. Throughout the past several decades according to MLS sold statistics from the Santa Fe Association of Realtors, the Websters continue to generate many of the most important, often record setting, home and commercial sales in the Santa Fe area market. For the period 1995 through 2006, the pace of residential sales and development in Santa Fe was especially robust. This twelve-year period showed a quadrupling of sold annual residential dollar volume – from $350 million in 1995 to $1.4 billion in 2005 and 2006. Subsequently, the Santa Fe market experienced a significant downturn in property sales, thereby causing the market to “market adjust” as it has in past cycles. In response to current and recent past challenging economic and market conditions experienced locally, as well as elsewhere, the necessity to maintain vitality and sustained health in our markets as best possible is the resounding priority and mantra of the day. We are very fortunate to have an active market, albeit less robust than in the past. For those interested in a more detailed analysis of our current and past market, please review the content of Christopher Webster Reports – Santa Fe Real Estate Sales Analysis, widely acknowledged since its inception in 1982 as the premier real estate report on the Santa Fe market. Elsewhere, we continue to participate in listing referrals and sales involving extraordinary properties in key urban and boutique markets in the U.S., and around the globe. Numerous examples can be seen online - VIEW THE EXTRAORDINARY - at ChrisWebster.com.
WE TRAVEL. Our interests and responsibilities continue to provide us the opportunity to visit many exciting places around the world that so far have included six of the world’s seven continents. In the USA, the Websters are blessed to have homes in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Kealakekua, Hawai’i in addition to having had tremendously enriching experiences in most of our fabulous 50 and the extraordinary cities and towns, beaches, mountains, and National Parks they contain. The education, experiences, friendships realized, and the amazing memories produced are, and will be, forever treasured.
WE COLLECT. Starting in 1970 with the acquisition of an Etruscan pitcher in Rome, the pursuit of esoteric and aesthetically rewarding collectibles has led me down many diverse paths in this hemisphere and beyond – to galleries, homes, stores, auction houses, studios, estate sales, flea markets, and even cyber space. With an initial focus on American Indian artifacts, product diversity grew to include pre-Columbian art, vintage Western paintings and photographs, folk art, Spanish Colonial antiques, Knoll International furniture, Asian antiques, and sculpture. Under the auspices of WEBSTER COLLECTION (originally Christopher Webster Art Investments), the introduction, promotion, and sale of the art of yesteryear, as well as today, is accomplished through various methods of exposure combined with communication and collaboration with colleagues, collectors, and authorities in both private and institutional environments. “Defining Excellence in Art”, WEBSTER COLLECTION constantly showcases an eclectic mix of art and artifacts from its on top of The Plaza location while periodically producing extraordinary shows of contemporary artists’ works throughout the year.
WE PHILOSOPHIZE. Life is no dress rehearsal; it’s all we’ve got. And time is one commodity we cannot measure long enough to experience the millions, I mean trillions, of opportunities awaiting each of us in our lifetime. One of the first of many important lessons I learned was – LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT. I always wanted to do as many different things as possible with the time we are able to spend in this life. Given that there is no guarantee about tomorrow, it is, therefore, vitally important to make the most of everything we’ve got to work with and be forever thankful, humble, and sincere with respect to what we have today. Even though at a young age, I remember well first hearing the age old adage “you will never have to work a day in your life, if you are passionate and have fun in all that you do.” I have been truly blessed and tremendously enriched ever since to have led such a life. Each day upon awaking, I hit the ground running, looking for today’s opportunities, to once again experience the thrill of the search as well as the satisfaction of discovery and realization, whether through serendipity, adversity, challenge, or derived from focused work. Always make the most of what you have to work with, and remember, that no matter how great anything is, it can always be better. Too often, I suspect, the wrong priority – to make money – drives many down the wrong path, and for the wrong reason. Money is a by-product of success, which is a result of passion, enthusiasm, commitment, sound planning, and intelligent work – all derived by our letting our hearts decide the what, when, where, and how of our actions, rather than our minds. So that proper balance, transparent and honorable behavior, and precise vision be forever maintained, we must never lose sight of who we are and where we’re going, even if we don’t know how we’re going to get there. True richness is contained in the heart, given freely, and without interruption.
WE CARE. Lastly, most importantly, and with all humility, the Websters give sincere, heartfelt thanks to you – our family, friends, partners, professional colleagues, business associates, and acquaintances – for your support and energy, without which we could not begin to set out to attempt, let alone accomplish, all the things we do and love. We recognize that the only limitations in life are those that we accept, and are therefore self-imposed. As a result, we know that anything, moreover everything, done successfully requires a properly balanced integration of mind, heart and spirit. We invite you to visit us at our downtown Santa Fe second floor, on top of The Plaza location, or online, at Webster-Enterprises.com – 24/7/365, to drop us a line, or to call us – soon and often. We will always be glad to hear from you, to see you, and especially to know how we may help you FULFILL YOUR DREAM FOR TOMORROW – TODAY. On behalf of the Webster family, and everyone associated with WEBSTER ENTERPRISES, I extend our best wishes and thanks, as we look forward to hearing from you and seeing you soon.
March Forth! Steadfastly! Forever!
54½ Lincoln Avenue ⋅ The Plaza ⋅ Santa Fe ⋅ New Mexico 87501 USA
Telephone: +1 (505) 780-9500 e-mail: Chris@Webster-Enterprises.com