Coffee Hour with Beat

I grew up in Switzerland a country that is about one-quarter the size of Florida, in the heart of Europe. Founded in 1291, the small country has had over 800 years of developing its rich culture, diversity, and history.

It is my belief that culture often starts with languages and in Switzerland, there are 4, the national language German, French, Italian, and Romansh. While I speak the first 3, I do not speak Romansh. However, I do also speak a mix of Italian, Arabic, and a few more. It is very common in Switzerland and other European countries to speak several languages. If you were to follow a debate in the Swiss House of Representatives, you may be surprised that all official languages are spoken. So, a representative from my native Zurich may address the audience in German, and the answer from his colleague from Geneva will come swiftly in French. Each part of the country has the ability to interact in their own culture while respecting the other national and international cultures.

From inception, it has always been very important for Avalon Park Wesley Chapel and each of the communities that we build to embrace diversity. First and foremost, respect, understanding, and learning comes from knowing each other and belonging to something together: a community. And I believe a healthy community is made up of a diverse body of people. This melting pot of perspectives gives the community depth and allows its members to live life inclusive of every background and belief regardless of generation, origin, race, and income class.

As a developer, one of the ways that we build in diversity, is literally by building an open community at every price point. I personally do not think gated communities with only single-family homes in one price point (often at the higher end) creates a healthy community. It is our vision to create communities with every price point from an apartment to a townhome, to a single-family home and estate, where you are almost guaranteed diversity just in this aspect.

Additionally, it is not uncommon in Avalon Park to have families with 4 generations living within walking distance of each other. The grandparents can spend quality time with the grandkids after school while the parents may still be at work. Building roots in a community is a healthy way to make any town and family strong.

With age comes experience and at Avalon Park Group we work with team members ages 15 to 90+. Sometimes when pondering a business idea, I not only ask my 15-year-old son Alex but also my Switzerland-based and long-term business partner and friend Raoul, who will turn 91 this month. While they both have different ideas and perspectives about business and life, those differences are what help us build diversity into our communities.

Another diverse component is the inclusion of our global partners. Several times a week we have intercontinental video calls. Generally, early in the morning in Orlando, we discuss business, politics, and other subjects with our offices in Switzerland, Singapore, and Australia. When friends and business partners from 4 continents, with different ethnical backgrounds, share ideas for the good of Avalon Park, diversity can be realized at its fullest.

While these are just a few examples of how we embrace diversity at Avalon Park Group, we continue to grow, learn and develop how we can create communities that every person feels like they belong in and can live, learn, work and play together. This month we celebrate the diversity in our communities in Orlando and Wesley Chapel with a multi-cultural event called Absolutely Avalon. We invite you to join us as we celebrate the diversity in these communities and we look forward to being able to celebrate in our newer communities in Tavares and Daytona very soon!

Beat Kahli

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Investment into sitEX Properties Holding AG, a publicly traded Swiss real estate development company with activities in Northwest Switzerland, Central Florida and Texas. Largest shareholder. Top performing publicly traded company in Switzerland with a 10-yr IRR of 19.4%.