When Josh Jerman of Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers arrived at the Four Seasons Resort Maui for the Realtors Association of Maui’s (RAM) annual installation event and membership gala on Friday, Sept. 6, he had no idea he was part of the day’s agenda.
In fact, when Jerman heard his name announced as the 2019 Realtor Broker of the Year, he says it took a few minutes to process what had just happened. “I was really surprised,” he said. As Rachel Ball Phillips, RAM’s 2018 Realtor Broker of the Year, stood on stage and shared heartfelt testimonials she’d collected from his family and former clients, Jerman said, “I had to hold back the tears.”
That day, Jerman—along with 2019 Realtor Salesperson of the Year Alana Rucynski and 2019 Affiliate of the Year Sharon Robinson—was honored by RAM for his business and real estate accomplishments, as well as his spirit, character, professionalism, and volunteer work. “There is an exceptional group of brokers who came before me,” he said. “I am honored and humbled to receive the same recognition.”
Jerman’s real estate career began in 2004, and somewhat unexpectedly. At the time, he was on track to attend his first year of graduate school, but a friend’s advice prompted him to reconsider. That friend, Kenny Hirschhorn, suggested Jerman get his real estate license so he could stay and work on Maui, telling him: “The biggest asset you have is being yourself.”
Today, Jerman remains eternally grateful to Kenny, who has since passed away. He’s also grateful for the support he received early in his career from mentors like Tracy Stice of Hawaii, Ken Hayo of Maui Real Estate Advisors, and Jim Barnhart.
From day one, Jerman says he was drawn to the human element of real estate, and nearly two decades later, developing relationships with his clients is still the most rewarding part of his job. “I’ve forged new friendships with so many interesting and charismatic people,” he said. “My clients come from all walks of life and I love to collaborate with them.”
Over the years, Jerman has contributed his time and talent to RAM, serving as a director-at-large, co-chair of professional standards, and a member of several committees, subcommittees and task forces. At the state level, he is a graduate of the Hawaii Association of Realtors’ (HAR) Leadership Academy and currently serves on HAR’s executive committee. Jerman says he’s proud to be part of the local real estate community. “They are dedicated, hardworking individuals who care about Maui, its people, and the future of Hawaii,” he said.
In 2004, Jerman established the Josh and Souk Jerman Foundation, which has provided assistance to a number of local nonprofit organizations, including Ka Lima O Maui, Women Helping Women, Maui Family YMCA, Family Life Church, Maui AIDS Foundation, Whale Trust Maui, The Nature Conservancy, Maui Arts & Cultural Center, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui. That same year, he also launched the Josh and Souk Jerman Foundation Scholarship program, which helps eligible Maui County students pay for college. For the past 15 years, Jerman and his wife, Souksamlane (also with Hawaii Life), have given three $1,000 tuition scholarships to three high school seniors who plan to attend an accredited four-year college or university. To date, the program has awarded more than $47,000 in scholarships to Maui, Molokai and Lanai students who have their sights set on returning to Maui County after college so they can contribute to the community.
“There are so many bright young minds in Maui County—forward-thinking students who see themselves giving back to our community in the future,” Jerman said. “It’s been so rewarding to see the students who have returned to the islands fulfilling their dreams and making a difference.”
To learn more about the Josh and Souk Jerman Foundation Scholarship program, visit http://jermanfoundation.org.
The Maui News – September 23, 2019