In the mid-1990s, Kay Beran pioneered ideas for his personalized license plate. She tried to get her initials but someone already had her monogram.
Not by design or by default, she said, it was more by sheer luck that she finally found a few words she liked that were also available, according to the state transportation bureau.
“Sunny Day” was an 8 letter keeper. It was also a perfect match for this small and perpetually optimistic force of nature.
“People always say, ‘I saw your car,’” laughs Beran, “so sometimes that was a problem. I had to hide it or meet clients at my office when they didn’t want their neighbors to know that they might be thinking about selling their house.
A former teacher and influential business executive for three decades, Beran recently announced her intention to retire from real estate. She has been President and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Pinehurst Realty Group since 2014, the culmination of a career that began even before her husband’s retirement from the Air Force in 1992.
In the meantime, she received the Pinehurst / Southern Pines Association of Realtors’ Citizenship Award (2007) and her Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.
His work outside of his office is the true measure of his character. Beran served on the board of directors of Habitat for Humanity at NC Sandhills for seven years in addition to working with the Women’s Build program. She has also held leadership positions with the Kiwanis Club of the Sandhills, the Public Education Foundation of Moore County, the Moore County Chamber of Commerce, St. Joseph of the Pines, Quail Haven, and for over ‘a decade within the Partners in Progress Board. In 2016, Beran was honored as Moore County Community Foundation Woman of the Year.
“I got involved with everyone because I could see it meant something to the people already there. I learned from everyone and was able to pass that knowledge on to the next board and then the next. It was an honor to have been invited to sit on these organizations, ”she said.
It was also a great way to make new friends and Beran has remained close to the other board members she met 25 years ago.
“I met some great people who were all interested and doing the same thing … Using your time and talents to energize an effort, whether it is a community effort or a small effort, it “is something that is very telling of the spirit of Moore County. DNA. Talk about a way to get in shape: get involved in things and watch them get executed.”
In fact, it was the positive and generous spirit of the residents of the area that first attracted Beran and her husband, Jeff, to settle permanently after their days of globetrotting with the military.
As a real estate professional, she specializes in helping fellow retirees find their own piece of heaven in Moore County. Beran said it was satisfying to see his clients also fall in love with the area and thrive here.
These days, she is finally ending her practice. She and Jeff have plans for more leisurely trips, including a stop in the Cotswolds in England where they previously lived. Beran also plans to spend more time playing golf.
But Pinehurst will still be home. In fact, it’s “more than just home,” she said. “We have lived here longer than elsewhere. We appreciate it, we love it, we feel comfortable here.