News & Research Archive

Associated Realty of the Americas (AREA) Contributes Down Payment in Support of Special Olympics

Jan 23, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – January 23, 2015 -- Members of Associated Realty of the Americas (AREA), a national real estate referral network, announced today the contribution of a down payment on a continuing pledge in support of the Special Olympics, which are chaired by former world decathlon champion and actor Rafer Johnson. The pledge was offered through some unusual circumstances punctuated by a touching story AREA member, Ronna Brand, told the membership of her incredible reuniting with the former Olympic decathlon athlete, renewing a long dormant friendship first begun when she was a small child.

When Brand was child, she attended a small but very progressive school in Los Angeles. During one school day, former Olympian, Johnson, was sent to Brand’s school by UCLA to teach students how to run.

Decades later in the winter of 2014, Brand found herself waiting in a Doctor’s office in Beverly Hills when she found herself listening to a stranger explain the finer points of a soccer game that they both were viewing on a TV in the waiting room. That man was Rafer Johnson.

As they reconnected, Brand learned about Johnson’s incredible job heading the Special Olympics, the story was quickly shared with her fellow members prompting the group to decide to make the Special Olympics its charity of choice.

AREA Contributes Down Payment in Support of Special Olympics

On December 22nd last year, Brand, a highly successful Beverly Hills real estate broker, accompanied by Hans Hansson, President of Starboard TCN (San Francisco), another member of the AREA group who made a substantial personal contribution and met with Johnson in Los Angeles to present the first of which AREA hopes will encourage many future contributions to Special Olympics.

PHOTO CAPTION: Hans Hansson, San Francisco and a member of AREA, together with Ronna Brand, Beverly Hills, chair of AREA’s Special Olympics Fund, present their first check to Special Olympics chairman, Rafer Johnson during a ceremony on December 22, 2014 in Los Angeles.


Written by: Hans Hansson


Hans Hansson is President of Starboard TCN Worldwide Real Estate Services as well as a member of the Board of Directors for TCN Worldwide Real Estate. Hans has been an active broker for over 30 years in the San Francisco Bay Area and specializes in office leasing and investments. If you have any questions or comments please email or call him at (415) 765-6897. You may also check out his website,

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