The Power of Reinvention

Setbacks will happen. How you respond is what matters most.

September 17, 2014

Some reinventions are by careful design, plotted as a detailed strategy to achieve an objective. Others spring from a serendipitous encounter, a lightbulb moment that causes a reimagining of goals. And occasionally, tragedy strikes, causing its own protracted moment of truth: One response is to surrender to the despair and disappear. Another is to recalibrate and rise up, focusing on a new reality that may be unfamiliar and unplanned but is filled with possibilities that are no less wondrous.

Capt. Mark Kelly’s personal strength was surely tested many times as an astronaut and naval aviator. But when his wife, Gabrielle Giffords, the former Congresswoman from Arizona, was gunned down during a 2011 shooting spree outside a Tucson supermarket, all the couple’s expectations and dreams shifted in an instant. Success in business and life means navigating through cycles involving risk, resilience, and reinvention as Kelly, the keynote speaker at this year’s REALTORS® Conference & Expo, can surely attest. In our exclusive interview, Kelly shares insights about his journey with Giffords back from the darkness.

A conference is a fine place to begin your own new journey, and there’s no better symbol for reinvention than this year’s host city, New Orleans, whose spirit is soaring nine years after Hurricane Katrina knocked it to its knees. We talk with other conference speakers, community leaders who’ve played a role in the city’s resurgence. Artist and urban planner Candy Chang uses public space to encourage creative expression and engagement. Restaurateur and chef John Besh offers microloans to struggling local farmers among a host of philanthropic ventures. He has opened nine eateries in and around New Orleans since 2005.

Finally, four-time Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee talks about her commitment to inspiring youth in her hardscrabble hometown of East St. Louis, Ill. And we offer you a chance to inspire others and help them pick up their lives after a catastrophe—by participating in this year’s REALTORS® Relief Foundation Auction.

Erica Christoffer
Product Manager

Erica Christoffer is the product manager for REALTOR® Magazine, driving growth and helping make data-driven decisions for the editorial products and programs that fall under the publication's umbrella. Erica also co-manages the magazine's 30 Under 30 program. During her tenure as an editor, she wrote and edited hundreds of articles for the magazine and launched the Broker to Broker section. Connect with Erica via email: