Local business owners champion those in need
By Abigail Thorpe
Donald Smock—who many know as “Pepper”—is a Coeur d’Alene native who chose to stay in his hometown. Growing up in the ‘50s and ‘60s gave him a true appreciation for the importance of affordable housing, allowing families to fulfill the American dream of home ownership. Now as president of Windermere Coeur d’Alene Realty, Smock actively works to help families find their dream home.
Along with co-owner and designated broker Patricia Krug, who has lived in Coeur d’Alene since 1981, Smock and the Windermere team have volunteered funds and time over the last 27 years to support children and families in the Coeur d’Alene area who are in need.
Krug, who was raised in New York State, found herself on the West Coast after college. She visited a friend in Coeur d’Alene, fell in love with the area and never looked back. Both she and Smock are dedicated to making their hometown a vibrant, caring place to live.
In addition to their partnership at Windermere Coeur d’Alene Realty, the pair are co-owners of Seasons of Coeur d’ Alene Fresh Grill.
Q. Tell me about your work with Windermere Coeur d’Alene Realty, what is most rewarding for you?
Patricia: I love the work I do! Fourteen years ago, I transitioned to leadership with the company. Prior to this, I worked for 21 years as a successful Realtor helping people buy and sell real estate. I now help our agents by solving problems, helping them grow their business, and managing the operations of the company. I have a great team of agents and staff, and it is the team building and collaborative culture of our company that truly inspires and motivates me every day!
Donald: We create opportunities every day for ourselves and others. We help other people get what they want, and we bring added value to our communities by building affordable housing—and not just a new neighborhood, but rather places for people to live and thrive.
Q. How are you individually invested in giving back to the community, volunteering, and making Coeur d’Alene a better place to live?
Patricia: I have many interests and am blessed to be in a position to support the work of dedicated individuals who make our community a better place. I am particularly drawn to the work of St. Vincent de Paul, Union Gospel Mission and 2nd Chance Ministries, and other faith-based organizations. CASA and Safe Passage are also dear to my heart. All these organizations are dedicated to creating opportunities for less fortunate in our community by giving a hand up rather than a hand out.
I am a cheerleader for our Windermere Foundation and very proud of the broad base of support our foundation receives from the agents, staff and leadership. One of my favorite programs is our Boots and Socks Campaign. Our company has given over 12,000 pairs of winter boots and warm socks to low-income and at-risk children in our community!
Donald: I am passionate about supporting the nonprofit organizations who provide necessary support for our area’s women and children who are at risk of domestic abuse or abandonment, including addiction recovery. Examples are the Union Gospel Mission, Safe Passage, 2nd Chance Ministries, CASA, Newby-ginnings, Safety Net and many others.
Q. Tell me about your work with the Windermere Foundation. How have you seen it impact the local community, and how has it in turn had an impact on you?
Donald: 2020 is a significant landmark for us at Windermere Coeur d’ Alene Realty because we have now exceeded $1 million we have donated to our North Idaho nonprofit organizations! $1,056,000 to be exact.
Q. What makes Coeur d’Alene such an incredible place to live and to work, and how are you involved with the local community?
Patricia: I have a lot of responsibilities at Windermere, so my free time is limited. But an organization that I am proud to participate in is the Grant Committee of the Women’s Gift Alliance.
The people of our community are the true treasure here. There are so many giving, dedicated, humble and devoted citizens who volunteer [their] time and treasure to make this community a better place for all.
In my free time I like to cook. This includes making lunches for the homeless every Monday morning! But I also love to cook for friends, entertain, be on the lake, walk around our beautiful town, read, garden and go to Seasons, my favorite restaurant!
Donald: The generous and wonderful people who live and give here!