Devesh, I, and the rest of the Aumnia team were deeply saddened yesterday to learn of the sudden passing of Linda Hawkins, President of Winkelmann Realty, on December 8, 2010.

We first met Linda at the Winkelmann office in April, 2007. At the time, we were a young company that had decided it was time to get serious, stop working out of Devesh’s Newport Beach apartment, and get a real office. We decided to look in Fullerton and were directed by the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce to Linda. They said she had a small office available for rent on the second floor of their building.

Upon arriving at the office, we were immediately greeted by Linda’s warm smile and charming personality that we all came to know and love. Needless to say, it was an easy decision for us to rent the office, and one which we never regretted.

During our short stay at the office, Linda always made us feel at home. We were always invited to office events, pot luck lunches, and treated as part of the Winkelmann team. Linda also became an informal mentor and advisor to our business. She helped us with general advice, and gave us valuable guidance as we developed a product for the real estate market. She opened up her impressive network of contacts to us and was genuinely interested in helping us succeed.

When it came time for us to leave the office at the end of September, 2007, Linda said something to me that I will never forget. She said that once you work with us at Winkelmann, you become part of our family – for life. She just didn’t tell me that, she meant it. Over the last three years, Linda remained by our side and was always willing to help. She always welcomed us at her office meetings to run crazy new mobile ideas past her team. She always made time for our questions or to go to lunch to get more specific guidance on how the industry worked. No matter how busy Linda was with her work, when I would talk with her, she had a way of making me feel like my problems were the most important thing on her mind. Truly, she made sure that we remained a part of the Winkelmann family.

I, for one, will never forget one of my last interactions with her at the Leading RE conference in Las Vegas this past March. As usual, Linda was extremely busy talking with her network of friends and colleagues discussing both business and catching up on personal details with everyone. During the entire conference, no matter how busy she was with her work at the conference, she repeatedly went out of her way to make sure that she introduced us to as many people as she could. I didn’t ask her for the help, she did it because we were part of her “family”. That’s just who Linda was.

We here at Aumnia are all proud and honored to say that we knew Linda Hawkins and were, and still are, part of the Winkelmann family. She was a great human being and an inspiration to all of us. With her passing, we lost more than just a business colleague or customer, we lost a mentor, friend, advisor, and most importantly, a part of our family. We will truly miss her.