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Look Who’s Talking – Home for the Holidays with Amelia Lietzau & Danielle Pojar

Earlier this month we sat down with Amelia Lietzau & Danielle Pojar of the Barton Group.

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF:
Amelia – I grew up in Mattawan with an incredibly supportive family. Both my parents worked in the nonprofit world, so I have a special appreciation for the importance of philanthropic work in our community. Nowadays, I am lucky to have 6 parents who help in any way they can using their own styles, which vary dramatically. I assist my mom with her cut flower business as well. My husband Derek and I have 2 dogs and 2 cats with a baby boy due in January. We live on 160 acres in Decatur. In addition, we love traveling in our camper to different towns to watch dirt track racing and to faraway lands to learn so much about the rest of the world.

Danielle – I was born in West Branch, Michigan, then lived in Houghton until I was seven and my family moved to Otsego. I have been married and living in Portage for 10 years.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CAREER:
A – My stepdad, Gary, and I started The Barton Group about 12 years ago, and we specialize in construction consulting and commercial real estate. We have the opportunity to help many business owners and nonprofits complete incredible building projects by guiding them through the complex construction process. I also really enjoy the commercial real estate duties of assisting buyers, tenants, landlords. As a family owned business, I can trust my partner. With our team of four, we use our individual skills to be an asset to business owners through any property decision. Sometimes we describe ourselves as glorified problem solvers; it is our job to minimize problems and obstacles for our clients.

D – I am a full time mom and wife first and foremost. I just finished my real estate 101 course and passed the state licensing test. I am excited to start working in the commercial real estate industry with Amelia and Gary. What brought us together was my prior experience in construction. I will also be working with them to represent owners in the construction process.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
A – I truly love the diversity in professions that I get to learn about. We have so many skilled entrepreneurs and executives in the area that I get to witness running businesses. Every industry fascinates me as I have an opportunity to be part of their team.

D – Problem solving and finding solutions. Every day is so unique and there is always something new to learn and explore.

WHICH CAUSES ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU?
A – I am on the Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan Bake Off Committee. It is one of my favorite community events! I teach softball and volunteer coach when I can, and I think that girls have so much to offer our world. They also help to keep me humble and smiling!

We also support the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy, Kalamazoo College, Paw Paw Lions Club, Van Buren Women who Care, and Girls on the Run.

D – I have volunteered with Girl on the Run of Kalamazoo for 4 years now. I love their mission to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident through their curriculum and incorporation with running. I strongly believe the more we can surround young girls with women role models and help them to find the confidence to tackle all the things life throws way.

WHAT ARE YOU READING?
A – Amy Courter from Azimuth Center of Excellence just gave me John Maxwell’s Everyone Communicates, Few Connect, and I am excited to get into that. Eve Rodsky’s Fair Play is also waiting for me. My pleasure reading is normally Malcolm Gladwell, John Sandford, or Kristin Hannah. Because of our upcoming family addition, we have been spending time with birthing and parenting books as well. Reading inspires, transports, and encourages me.

D – More like listening to. Audible and Hoopla are a working moms best friend. Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis is a go-to, as well as Slay like a Mother by Katherine Wintsch. I go back to both of these women for little reminders and inspiration.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WAY TO UNWIND AFTER A LONG DAY?
A – Exercising plays a huge part in staying sane for me. Gardening in the summer rewards and challenges me, and I love the time outside. We also spend time at Little Paw Paw Lake swimming, boating, and relaxing. Cooking, walking the dogs around our house, and enjoying family are my go tos when I need to recharge.

D – An epsom salt bath, wine and audio books streaming on my phone.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE INDULGENCE?
A – Laughing and time at home with people I really care about. However, I am never upset about having sunshine and water on my toes.

D – Hot yoga…. It is tough for me to get out of the house for an hour and a half session, but I run away for me time. It is not just the physical and the heat for me. It is the time to just be present. No phones and the few moments of internal reflection carry me a long way.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?
“Wishing everyone a lovely holiday season and hoping 2020 is the best year yet!

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