When Kendall Butler was completing her chemical engineering degree from Auburn University, she knew her education experience was one she would share with others once she had an opportunity. That chance came decades later as an entrepreneur and business owner of F.L.I. Properties, a full service real estate brokerage and property management company with offices in Newnan and LaGrange. They serve property owners between Auburn, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia. “It’s our foundation in everything we do through our business. We always think about the families we serve, the lifestyle we want to help people find, and investing in our community, investing in our youth, and investing in people’s future.”
One of those recent investments was sending the entire 3rd and 5th grade classes at Clearview Elementary to Auburn University for a day of STEM learning. The students toured the campus and participated in activities provided by the engineering department of the university. This is the second year F.L.I. Properties sponsored the event for students.
Butler said, “I know that education is the foundation and key to our youth’s future because education was key to my personal success. I have always wanted to give back.”
She said her heart lies with providing opportunities for at-risk youth, “What most people may not understand is that atrisk is not just an income level, it’s anyone that may be struggling to realize the potential or vision of what is possible. I want kids to see a bigger picture or have a new vision of what’s available and what is possible.”
She is passionate about that driving force, and as a partner in education with Clearview Elementary and Troup County School System (TCSS), she seeks to share that gift with others.
“When the students visit Auburn, they not only get to participate in engineering experiments throughout the day, but they also get to see what it is like to be on a college campus. They get to see different professions they can explore as they get older,” said the mother of four.
She continued, “It’s important for them to see that at a very young age. It’s hard to get motivated if a student is in high school and they haven’t visited a campus. You have to get the kids early so they can see the vision, know the possibilities, write down goals, and then education will be important for them.”
Butler said when she was growing up, “I wanted to be a lawyer or racecar driver. I ended up being an engineer, and now an entrepreneur. Through life experiences, I knew education was going to be important.”
In addition to sponsoring the Auburn University trip for elementary students, she sends students from Callaway High School in grades ten, eleven, and twelve to Engineering Day at her alma mater. Another community and education investment F.L.I. Properties has sponsored for a few years is the Advancing Aspirations Scholarship for educators in the classroom. The organization provides funding to ‘encourage aspirations’. Those aspirations can come in the form of requesting tools or supplies for the learning environment or sending students on field trips.
“Recently, we sent the students at Burwell to the Georgia Aquarium. We were so grateful to get the letters from the students just thanking us for the help. Some of them said they had never been able to go to the aquarium before,” Butler said while pulling out the letters.
Now, she keeps the letters, postcards, and student photos at her desk. “I feel the responsibility, as a corporate citizen, to give back to our community and I love supporting Troup County School System.”
Kendall and her husband Keith are faithful members of First Baptist Church. They have four children.