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She’s a fourth generation San Diegan.

posted May 20, 2016, 3:46 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated May 20, 2016, 3:47 PM ]
You may know Laurie MacDonald as a member of PSAR’s East County Government Affairs Committee. Laurie recently traveled to Sacramento for C.A.R.’s “Legislative Day” event. In late April, more than 2,000 REALTORS® from across California met with their state legislators to discuss the issues that affect the real estate industry the most. The day was filled with networking, meetings with state legislators and their staff, lively discussions on the hottest issues important to the industry and a personal address to REALTORS® from Gov. Brown.
It was Laurie’s first trip to the state capital on behalf of PSAR. “It was an eye-opening experience to see how the legislative process works,” she said. “I was pleased to see the connectedness between our state politicians and their local constituents and how comfortable it was to talk with people like (State Senator) Joel Anderson and (State Assemblyman) Brian Jones.”
But did you know that Laurie traveled to 28 countries before turning 30 years of age? “I love to travel and my goal was to visit 30 countries by age 30, and I got close to it,” said Laurie, now 38. On a trip to Rome, Italy, Laurie got a bit too close to the famous Trevi Fountain (built in 1762). “My cousin and I were taking a selfie and accidently fell in. You break the law if you get in the water, so we had to talk ourselves out of being arrested.”
Laurie is a proud fourth generation San Diegan. “My great-great grandparents arrived in San Diego from Halifax, Nova Scotia sometime in the 1890s and my great-grandmother was born here in 1909.”
Real estate also is part of her family history. “My great-grandmother, the same one born in 1909, bought a house in the Normal Heights area on her own in 1939. She was a widow at the time, but a female buying a home without the assistance of a man was rare in those days. Later, my grandparents ran a real estate office, called Kelly and Associates, for many years on Parkway Drive in La Mesa.”
Laurie grew up in La Mesa. She attended Murray Manor Elementary School, Parkway Middle School and Helix High School. While in high school, she started working at Azure Construction, a swimming pool contractor and hardscape installation firm based in La Mesa. “I stayed in that job for 12 years and loved every minute because I enjoyed the opportunity to be creative within an available budget,” said Laurie. “One year, I pulled the most permits for hardscape projects in San Diego County. My sales reached nearly $6 million. My success led me to start my own landscape design firm. Unfortunately, the new home market dried up in 2008 with the economic recession.”
So, because of the recession, Laurie opened in 2009 her own bridal shop called Sparrow Bridal Boutique, located at 8332 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa. “I still own the store and it has motivated me to get involved in La Mesa civic activities,” said Laurie, who serves on the boards of the La Mesa Village Merchants Association and the La Mesa Park & Recreation Foundation.
Laurie also is an original member of La Mesa Conversations, a civic-minded committee founded in 2015. The group hosts dialogue programs on various topics. Its stated mission is “to create opportunities for La Mesans to explore issues together, sharing fresh ideas for a future that works for all our residents.” The next La Mesa Conversation event will be held at 6 p.m., Wednesday, May 25, at the La Mesa Masonic Lodge, 4731 Date Ave. The topic will be “The Future of Climate Change in La Mesa.”
Laurie’s career in real estate started recently, in September 2015. She works with Coldwell Banker West. “I love this industry because it’s similar to hardscape,” she said. “I can be creative within an available budget.”
She also enjoys her involvement in PSAR. “Everyone in our Association is so friendly and genuine. Even though we’re competitors, our members want everyone to succeed. There’s a sense of togetherness and creating relationships, which make deals happen.”