Recognizing individuals dedicated to the Society’s long-standing efforts to advance real estate education both on behalf of the Foundation and the Society at large.
The S.E.C. Education Foundation established the “Jack Hunt Award” in December 2002 to honor Jack for his dedication to creative real estate education. The award “may, but not necessarily will” be given out each year as circumstances warrant. The following S.E.C. Members have received the Jack Hunt award:
“If work can be a pleasure; if one can use their knowledge and skills; if one is tested; if the basics are sound; most any project can be a great success”.
JACK HUNT QUOTE
1942-1945 World War 11, U.S. Army Services, European Campaign. Achieved rank of Captain.
With the information and achievements outlined above, one would be led to automatically believe that Jack Hunt had been blessed with a conventional, somewhat sheltered upbringing, allowing for an expanded formal education, coupled with the opportunities afforded thereafter.
However, it is acknowledged that the lack of those comfortable early years acted as a catalyst for his energy, drive, and belief system.
Jack was born on October 13, 1921, and was soon put into an orphanage. The orphanage closed when Jack was 5 years old, and he was subsequently taken in by a very religious farm couple. These early years impacted Jack with a need to survive, plus a moral fiber that continues to be espoused today. He remembers the neighborly atmosphere of the farm community, where trust and relationships were the corner post of survival and growth. Your work was your bond. You carried through on promises. You left your doors unlocked.
From birth, Jack was forced to depend on survival instincts. Also, the depression expanded this focus. Requiring food, he, at an early, age, would be sent out into the fields to hunt for the family’s needs. Those early teachings brought out the competitive sportsman in Jack. His continual experiences (some very dangerous) while hunting bear, elk, moose, mountain lion, etc. are well recorded. These hunting explorations have taken him to areas including Alaska (9 times), Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana.
During these years Jack, while working two jobs as well as attending school, came to the conviction that he would become a plus factor in society. Jack graduated from high school in Derby, Kansas, and landed in World War 11 on the European Front. His desire to learn and contribute landed him in charge of other soldiers at the age of only 20. He left the military as Captain.
Jack’s early interest in real estate was through house construction. After the war, housing for returning soldiers was in great demand. His first building experience involved trading off his lack of experience by agreeing to help build a new home on a 3 hour to I ratio. During this time he labored in all aspects of construction, constantly asking tradesmen questions. After this one house experience, Jack made a decision to start his Contractor career. Somehow, he arranged financing with a local lender for his first home. The rest is history.
Jack can relate stories whereby building permits were obtained by simply supplying a paper drawing, etc.. It was in the house building business that Jack was challenged head on with the threat of bankruptcy. In 1962, a major recession hit Wichita, leaving Jack with 58 completed, but unsold, homes. His detail to careful planning, coupled with disciplined financial and construction principles, allowed him to weather the storm and pay all creditors. His working relationship with banks and other lending institutions was also solidified.
Jack remembers how a Mentor, even in early years, can have a lifelong influence. When starting school at 6 years old, he was required to take a last name, instead of simply calling himself “Jack”. Being an orphan, with no knowledge of what his last name should be, he took the name “Hunt”, in recognition of a local fireman, Dick Hunt, whom Jack admired (Mentor). However, the Hunt name was apparently never registered. Over the years, Jack agonized about his natural parents, and what his last name was. Through more freedom of information laws, he found that his real last name was “Vail”. Because “Jack Hunt” personally, or through corporations, held expansive real estate holdings and other businesses, he formally applied to have his name changed from Jack Vail to Jack Hunt, which was legally finalized in 1984. Dick Hunt, the local fireman, would be very proud.
Over this vast, exciting career Jack has maintained that to be successful in the long term, requires a positive, forward thinking attitude, coupled with a belief to do good for your fellow man, and always try and work towards a “win/win” solution.
“There is no secret to success. There is a secret to failure, and that is to take a do nothing attitude and cry”.
JACK HUNT QUOTE