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Our employee spotlight shines bright week after week! This week, the spotlight shines upon one of our most recent staff additions. Meet Luke Baumgartner, community manager at Pinewoods Estates in Wentzville. Luke landed at Payne Family Homes after answering the following question:“Do you want to hear about the greatest job on the planet?”

Well… do you?

We asked. And, here’s the answers we received:

Where’d you go to High School?
Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn, IL.

Are you married with children? Spill the tea on how you met, how long you’ve been married, and how old your children are?
I am married and we just celebrated 20 years of marriage on May 20th!  Elizabeth and I met in college at Drake University. I was a bartender at a local pub and she and her friends would frequent the establishment. Although we had never met personally, I had heard about her through common friends and asked them to introduce the two of us. That evening, I invited her to a dance, and the rest as they say…Is history.

We have two spirited little girls. Amelia aged 12 and Eve aged 9.

How do you think you’ll celebrate Father’s Day?
It has become tradition in our home whereby me and the girls take our cars to be cleaned at a self-cleaning car wash. I let the girls spray each other… and me! We have soap and water fights and usually get more clean than the cars! But it is a fun tradition rain or shine!

What’s the best Father’s Day gift you ever received? From whom?
The gift of TIME. As stated above, I like spending time with my girls with no phones, iPads, or fancy expectations. 

How did you land at Payne Family Homes selling new home construction?
Fun story. My wife and I had just closed our antique/interior design store in Kirkwood and I was looking for a new opportunity. I had come to appreciate beautiful homes and was thinking of becoming a licensed real estate agent as I enjoy working with people. We had gone out to dinner with some good friends when I was sharing my possible goal of becoming an agent; when one of them said…” Do you want to hear about the greatest job on the planet?” To which I said… ”Ummmm, YES!” She proceeded to tell me about new development home sales and that she knew of an AMAZING company in Payne Family Homes. After she made some introductions, the rest as they say… is history.

Why do you like most about your job?
Listening to every person’s unique story and helping them build the perfect home. No person is the same and neither are our houses. They all have a back story and are all special and unique.

Ok, truth! What’s your secret fantasy career? For example: I’d tell small kids I want to grow up to be a rock star or a swimsuit model. You should see the looks! 
I love the aviation industry. My dream job would have been as a Coast Guard helicopter pilot. I love the idea of flying to help protect our borders and helping people in need. 

What’s your favorite vacation destination?
Siesta Key, Florida.

What have you learned about yourself in 2020?
2020 has taught me that there is A LOT out of my control. This world we live in is fragile and complex. There is a theory that is called, the butterfly effect. In short, the theory states that a small change in one system can make large differences in another system. For example, a butterfly flaps its wings over a body of water creating a tsunami on the other side of the planet. I am trying to be more adaptive and sensitive to what really matters. 

What do you do for fun?
I collect watches. I like to research and find unique timepieces. They needn’t be expensive or rare, just something I appreciate.

Do you have a hidden talent?
I am pretty good at salvaging, restoring, and refinishing Mid-Century Modern and Chinoiserie furniture. I stain, paint, sew, weave, glue, and whatever else is needed to bring something unique back to life.

Are you a snacker? What’s your favorite nosh?
I am not a snacker. Three squares a day for this guy. I enjoy savory over sweet. Being a native of Chicago it is a toss-up between an Italian Beef, Hot Dog, and Pizza. Given how hardy my three squares a day are… who needs a snack!

What’s your dream car? And, do you currently drive one? 
A car that can fly! I was promised when I was a kid that by 2020 we would have flying cars! 

If you could have any super power, what is it?
Time Travel

You’ll want to get to know Luke and enjoy time exploring new Phase III Home Sites releasing in Pinewoods Estates on Saturday, June 27th.

In his couple of years with Payne Family Homes, Luke Baumgartner has helped a number of families build their own personal dream home. And, dare we admit… He’s engaged in some entertaining banter and made some lasting relationships along the way.