Kalon Robert Foss
Company: Scarlett Real Estate
WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN CHARLOTTE AREA?
TELL US A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT YOU?
I am glad that this statement is worded how it is. Tell us a little bit more about you. Not what you do, but about you. It dawned on me over the last year more than in the past, I think due to my Leadership Charlotte program that I am a part of, that we as a society are so focused on what people do. When you meet someone new, usually in the first couple questions, we ask “What do you do for a living?” What does that mean, what do I do? Why do we not say, “Tell me more about yourself.”?
I don’t know if y’all have ever seen the video about the teacher who gets asked the question “What do you make?” (in reference to finances) and he has an amazing response. He said he makes kids use their imagination, he makes a difference in their lives, he makes learning fun, etc. Wow, kudos to that guy! I just think that starting with what someone does isn’t important. Starting with who someone IS would be important.
So… about me, I am a Christian. I drink coffee (lots of coffee). I exercise often. I travel. I have an amazing dog. I am a reader. I am a son, brother, and friend. I volunteer. I love people. I challenge myself. I connect others. I am a lover of music. I prefer experience vs material objects. I am an optimist. That’s a little bit about me.
DURING YOUR TIME VOLUNTEERING FOR A COMMUNITY ACTIVITY OR PROJECT, WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORIAL MOMENT?
I volunteer with a homeless ministry and one of my most memorable moments was grabbing lunch with this man Willy. I had been helping with this outreach for about a year at the time and getting to know people on the streets. One of the conversations I had with Willy was about getting an apartment and getting back on his feet, so he would be able to see his daughters. He had started working, he had been sober over a year, and he was going to church consistently. I saw him walking uptown one day and offered to take him out to lunch. We were able to go to Draught, get some food, and talk about some goals of his. Willy was very appreciative and a very determined man. I am happy to say that he now has an apartment east of Plaza Midwood and has recently seen his daughter. I went to see his apartment when he got it, with tears rolling down his face, he told me he loved me. Me (sobbing) gave him a hug and told him I loved him too. That is easily my most memorable moment in my years of community outreach.
IN YOUR OPINION, HOW DO YOU CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMMUNITY?
I am involved in the community in a couple of ways. First, I volunteer with a homeless ministry that feeds people uptown every Tuesday night. The organization is called Rice n’ Beans. It is led by Daryl Sutherland. Talk about the most genuine, kind-hearted, and Christ serving man you’ve ever met. He has been doing this for almost 7 years now. I’ve been lucky enough to run into him and volunteer there for over a year now and see how much it’s grown even since then. More importantly than just feeding people, you build relationships with people and they have someone to talk to. You wouldn’t believe the amount of people that walk by everyday and give them no time of day when many of them are amazing people that are going through a hard time. Many of them just need someone to listen, they aren’t looking for anything more than companionship. It’s a great thing that Daryl has started and continues to do. Another thing I do for the community is volunteer for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I have been with them for 4 years now. Raising money for this amazing cause, getting to know the people who also are helping, and meeting the families we help in Charlotte is just an amazing experience. You develop relationships with these families and kids that will last forever. It is really something special that I am proud of. Finally, through my church I have joined their prison ministry team. They connect with a couple different prisons in South Carolina and host a church service every week. We are able to connect with these men that are wanting to draw themselves closer to God. It’s truly an amazing thing that Transformation Church is doing. They need love and support so it’s pretty special to be part of that with them.
PLEASE LET US KNOW ANY AWARDS OR RECOGNITIONS YOU’VE RECEIVED IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL CAREER:
I have received top salesman in my region and multiple times I was top 5 in the nation working for AT&T.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES OR INTEREST?
I have a wide variety of hobbies and interests. A couple of my favorites are playing men’s league hockey, reading (I was fortunate enough to read 30 books last year – nerd alert!), taking my dogs to Lucky Dog Bark & Brew near my house, and going to the movies. All those things bring something different to the table and keep life interesting.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE THAT YOU STAND BY?
I don’t have it memorized but Steve Jobs’ quote about people who change the world is my all-time favorite. The quote goes “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in square holes, the ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push humans forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do”. The entire quote is very powerful, but the last sentence is what I always think about. I have always been a little bit outside of the norm myself, so I can really relate to this quote.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS? 10 YEARS?
This is a tough one because so many things can change even day to day let alone years. I think in 5 years I will be a home owner. I haven’t bought my first house yet, I’ve been focusing on paying off my student loans before I pile on more debt. So, there I am 5 years from now, debt free, buying a house (ok so not debt free anymore). I see myself being married, possibly having children. A lot of what I do now would probably be the same, going to church, exercising, playing hockey, spending time with friends and family, volunteering with charity organizations. I will have a lot more knowledge though. That’s what you won’t see. The same goes for 10 years down the road. I don’t think there will be many major differences that are jaw dropping but I will have much more wisdom about life. 10 years from now I could see myself traveling quite a bit, what a great age to get out and do what you want. Pending being financially savvy, I can see myself working because I want to, not because I must. Most importantly over my next 5 and 10 years I see myself continuing to grow, to learn, and to push myself to be better.
CAN YOUR SHARE ONE THING THAT IS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
One thing on my bucket list is to visit Jerusalem. I think it would be jaw dropping to see where Jesus walked, was crucified, and was buried. I can’t imagine how incredible that feeling would be to see those landmarks and be in the presence of God in that place.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU USED YOUR PASSPORT?
I used my passport for a cruise last October I went on with my brother and my parents to the Bahamas. My dad’s birthday is near Halloween, so we incorporated both. We wore matching cheesy t-shirts, it was super cool.
WHAT IS A FUN FACT ABOUT YOURSELF THAT NO ONE KNOWS?
I didn’t learn how to ride a bike until I was in my early teens. It was just something that my family never got around to teaching me and I wasn’t in a huge hurry to learn. I was always traveling for hockey or playing other sports, so I just didn’t learn how to ride. To have that come full circle, once I did learn I loved it and picked it up quick. I loved it so much that I am the founder of our cycling club at Adrian College that still exists today.
WHO IS YOUR HERO?
This is a funny question. I have been thinking about this question of all the ones on this survey the longest. I keep moving people around on my mental list. Growing up you have different icons than you do as an adult, how do you choose just one? Which one was the most impactful? Are there any that were there before and still are now? The more I think about it, and yes this may be “cheesy”, but my heroes are my parents. Yes, I’ve loved different celebrities, athletes, etc. but who I am and who I want to be is like my parents. They showed me hard work, they taught me how to be humble, they experienced with me how to be conscious of others and take care of people. They encompass everything I want to be as a person.
WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ?
Start with Why by Simon Sinek. Wow. What an amazing book. It is easy to forget why you do something you have been doing for a while. It is easy to see why some companies do so much better than others. It is easy to mistake motivation and inspiration. That was the biggest concept I took from this book and there were plenty more that were a close 2nd.
WHAT WAS THE LAST MOVIE YOU SAW?
Love, Simon. It was about a young boy who comes out during High School. He is struggling with who to tell, how to tell them, when to come out, fear, excitement, etc. He ends up writing back and forth with another boy from school who is also gay. I don’t want to spoil the movie, so I’ll leave it at that, but it was really good. Glad my girlfriend suggested it and showed me the trailer.
WHAT WAS THE LAST CONCERT YOU SAW?
Incubus, they had a show here in Charlotte and some friends and I were able to get VIP tickets. They are my all time favorite band. That feeling you have for a show (especially your favorite band) is unbelievable. The rush when they come on stage, shouting and screaming the lyrics for all the songs, the band going wild during their set. I love all of it, it’s the coolest experience.