Bridget's Blog


Maryland Meet-Up April 2013 What A Delight!

Maryland SPRING Meet-Up April 2013  What A Delight!


The call went out for a Spring 2013 Meet-up...Kerrie made the announcement and Maryland's Margaret Rome answered the call.  I knew where I would be today the minute I talked to Margaret about scheduling.  Real Estate has heated up with the weather but I am blessed to have a great team who work on loan files and answers calls and emails while I do my AR thing!

ActiveRain has become very important for my life and my business, meet-ups are a wonderful part of that interaction.  I only wish I had a private jet so I could attend some in other cities to meet some of the folks I read so much about, folks who teach me so much every day.  I don't write enough or comment enough, but I do read A LOT and learn something each and every day.    

Each meet-up I have attended has been different and wonderful and, and, and...this one was exactly the way it was meant!  

What a day it was!  Spring has finally sprung in Maryland, the weather was gorgeous, the sun was shining, and the birds were chirping as I headed to Owings Mills (a suburb of Baltimore) to Linwood's Restaurant.  

Linwoods Restaurant


We were seated in a private room with a large, white-clothed square table.  This was new, so often we are at one long table or many separate tables...I really liked being able to see everyone and chime in on conversations.  

Folks got to circulate a bit before we sat down and conversations were lively as always.  There was talk of Real Estate (of course), but I even overheard some Candy Saga strategy.  There was a special three course menu with choices to satisfy the pickiest eater.  Very fancy!

Cystic Fibrosis Fundraiser Maryland     Baltimore Realtor Margaret Rome

Margaret and TLH were our charming hosts. We were joined by Margaret's friend Annette Sussman, who's grandchild Theo has Cystic Fibrosis and in whose honor the meetup became a fundraiser.  She was a delight and so grateful!  She didn't stay long, but it was so nice to have her there. As everyone sat down, Margaret started us off with some of her history in Real Esate and why she blogs EVERY DAY. I got to share a little of what ActiveRain has meant to me (rambled and gushed) and then we worked our way around the table.


Great Baltimore Realtors Suzanne and June

Next to me was Suzanne Razaq, one of our newbies.  Originally from England, she has been a short-sale negotiator for many years and is ready to jump back into selling Real Estate.  Her goal is to make sure that she can help to ensure that her daughter has all the best care for life to help her manage her type 1 diabetes (An honorable goal!)  She will be working with June Piper-Brandon at Century 21, what a mentor she has!  June talked a bit about her blogging and real estate, but also shared how much her quilting means to her.  She and her guild provide quilts to wounded warriors, children in foster care and more.  She has done lots of baby quilts already this year. She is very busy in real estate, she must quilt in her sleep!  June recently lost a friend, much to young, to Cystic Fibrosis, so this fundraiser also meant a lot to her. Our out-of-towner (seems to be at least one at each meetup, Margaret has a wide reach!) was David Brandschain from Philly.  David talked about his history in home building and the challenges he faced over the last several years.  He was a straight shooter and seemed to really soak up everything around him! He will be a great asset to ActiveRain!  Next was the very handsome Johnny, Margaret's personal trainer, he trains at LifeBridge Fitness, just minutes from our location.  He told us about his training philosophy and about a ski chalet he has for sale in Pennsylvania (it sounds AMAZING). We were joined today by Alan Gross, a staple in Maryland lending, he is not new to blogging or to mortgages, having spent almost 30 years as a loan officer.  Alan offers on-line weekly training to realtors in social media and more.  I was glad to finally meet Alan in person, he shares much of my philosophy in getting the job done right!  


Great Baltimore Restaurant             maryland mortgage mama

     Baltimore ActiveRain Meetup

We had Kerch McConlogue speak next.  You can find her at  She is a web designer who knows how to speak plain english to non-geeks.  If your website sucks, give her a call!  TLH (Margaret's "The Lovely Husband") really glowed with pride as he spoke about how adaptable and tenacious his lovely bride is.  He told us that there were often homes that he never thought anyone could sell that Margaret made happen.  It was so nice to get a glimpse of their love story!  

Maryland Mortgage Mama



     who do i call for website help?


Zippy Larson from Zippy Baltimore told us about her special off-the-beaten track tours of Baltimore. What a wealth of Baltimore history she holds and shares. She spoke of her time in Iran and how it made her interested in her own town's history. I am looking forward to taking my family on a Zippy tour one day soon. Whitney Garret told us about her path to real estate staging and her love of real estate.  She was encouraged to join us by Martha Brown (one of our missing regulars) whom she met after a staging class project at one of Martha's listings.  If you are new in any aspect of real estate, meeting an ActiveRainer and jumping in with both feet will sure get you started out right!  

The Dessert Course

healthy dessert option fresh berries



          Maryland ActiveRain Meetup April 2013



Next came the lovely Penny Lownes of Prudential Pen Fed.  She is just getting into this blogging thing and felt like this meetup was meant to be.  She even had an appointment RIGHT NEXT DOOR just before lunch.  We learned again how small the world is since she had worked with Andrea Bedard 5 years ago and refers clients to my cousin Jeanne Topper for their lending needs!   We were visited by Reuvan Bloch, one of Margaret's clients, a great friend and of course a source of referrals ...referring many friends and family to Margaret.  He told of his life in the Soviet Union and his ultra successful used clothing business (since retired).  I even got to see a photo of his very handsome 3 year old grandson!  Andrea spoke next, telling of her time in ActiveRain, special connections and sharing some of her life struggle.  ActiveRain is a safe place, I am honored to know her and wish her family only good things.  Our youngest attendee was Andrea's gorgeous daughter.  One of the most well-behaved and sweetest kids I have ever had the pleasure of sharing a meal with.  Tuesdays is Andrea's day with "the little one", she wasn't going to give up her special "mom and me" time, so she brought her along!   

Great Baltimore Realtor

The group today was diverse and even international (Soviet Union, England, Germany, and the US).  We had many years of experience (just one side of our square table had almost 90 years in Real Estate) and some newbies.  We had a web designer, a tour guide, a stager, a personal trainer, several clients, 2 lenders, several realtors, a lovely husband and "a little one".  We raised money for a great cause and shared an amazing meal with fabulous service.

ActiveRain Meetups...won't you join us next time?  You just never know who you are going to meet!

A HUGE Thank You to Margaret Rome, lunch was amazing and you are much too generous.  May you and Lee be blessed beyond measure!

Maryland Meet-Up April 2013  What A DELIGHT!



Warm Regards,

Bridget McGee  Maryland Mortgage Mama  NMLS# 196068  SWBC Mortgage.   410-960-2061 EHO or


If you are considering purchasing a home in Maryland and want to be sure you are mortgage ready, my brother Tony and I will be happy to help! We help to make the mortgage process a pleasure! 

If you already own your home, we are happy to provide a no-cost mortgage review to help you to determine if refinancing may be in your best interest.  Please contact me at 410-960-2061.

Comment balloon 20 commentsBridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee • April 09 2013 08:59PM


Bridget, it couldn't have been a better day!!  It was so great to see you - your new hair do looks fabulous!!  See you soon!!

Posted by June Piper-Brandon, Piecing Dreams One Home at a Time (Houwzer Inc) almost 8 years ago

Looks like everyone was enjoying the time shared and pictures are great; thanks for sharing Bridget.

Posted by Teral McDowell (Referral Patners LLC) almost 8 years ago

This was the best AR MeetUp and you captured the sharing and specialness of each guest. You are a treasure in the Rain and make my life better.

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) almost 8 years ago

I love the picture of Margaret, Angeline and Easter (Bunny's official new name)! It was a wonderful meet-up, the food delicious, the weather beautiful and the company amazing.

Thank you & Margaret for the surprise!!

Posted by Andrea Bedard, M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond (Thompson Company, REALTORS®) almost 8 years ago

What a wonderful meet up this was and so glad so many new faces attended. Alas I was in a required class for my license renewal and missed my very first meet up. From the sounds of it I missed a great one.

Posted by Martha Brown, Your Homes Around Annapolis Agent (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Annapolis MD 21403) almost 8 years ago

Bridget, Not only did you have fun but you raised money for a good cause and had a learning experience too. That is ActiveRain at its best.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties, The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730 (Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070) almost 8 years ago

Bridget ~ Beautiful post! I'm sorry I missed it, ah duty calls.

Posted by Diane M. Phillips Realtor 443-286-4365, Specializing in Carroll Co., MD (Frankly Real Estate Inc.) almost 8 years ago

Bridget, I’ve read several posts about your MeetUp hosted by Margaret.  It’s nice to know that you had a Newbie attend as well. 

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist, Probate Real Estate (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) almost 8 years ago
Bridgett, oh I wish I had been able to attend. I remember meeting you, your daughter and husband two years ago. Margaret called to remind me but another family commitment trumped ActiveRain.
Posted by Mary Yonkers, Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor (Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Bridget, Great post! I loved meeting everyone and enjoyed myself tremendously. With this being my first, Margaret has set the bar pretty high. I'm looking so forward to the next one!

Posted by Elizabeth Lownes (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty) almost 8 years ago

Wow....looks like so much glad you got to share!!!

Posted by Deborah Byron Leffler BzyBee Real Estate Lady! (Keller Williams Realty Boise) almost 8 years ago

Hi Bridget:  This is a wonderful blog about your meet up, from describing each attendee to the photos of the food.

Posted by Pat & Steve Pribisko (Keller Williams Greater Cleveland West) almost 8 years ago
Hi Bridget, I couldn't wait' to get over and congratulate you on a brilliant post. And of course I am suggesting this-it is wonderful!
Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) almost 8 years ago

Hi, Stranger!  Oh I so feel like I missed out!!!!!  I hope I get to one of these one day soon!

Posted by Christine Hooks, Celebrating 25 Years in Real Estate! (Pino Agency) almost 8 years ago

Bridget: I wanted to come and with your beautiful post, I alomost feel I was there. Hopefully next time! Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Anne M. Costello (Weidel Realtors) almost 8 years ago

Dear Bridget,

What a great write-up for a great meet-up!
Sounds like everyone had a grand time.

Have a happy day -

Posted by Lynn B. Friedman, Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers (Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ...) almost 8 years ago


Check these links to read more about the luncheon 

 Baltimore is Hot Because of The ActiveRain MeetUp        

 What a Wonderful Day for a Meetup!!

 Maryland Meet-Up April 2013 What A Delight!  

Theo Has His Own Team...Team Theo

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) almost 8 years ago

Bridget~The lovely Margaret Rome was instrumental in getting me over here to partake in your experience at the MeetUp--I didn't miss a beat (and neither did you!)...were you taking notes? What a memory you have, and I can tell that you are a true listener.

Terrifically written and I didn't care that I only knew Margaret, it felt like I was there!


Posted by Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate, "Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905 (John L Scott Market Center) almost 8 years ago

June-It was a great day!  Thanks, I am really pleased with my hair too! 

Teral-  We always seem to have a great time if it's 2 or 22~

Margaret- I appreciate your support and your generosity.  You are a special lady who always brings quite an crowd together! 

Andrea- It is always great to see you! Your daughter is a sweetie and I am glad that Easter went to a good home!

Martha-  You were missed!  It was great that you encouraged Whitney to join us though!  Next time tell the license renewal folks that AR meetups trump CE classes so they will move the class!  :)

Debbie-  The generosity of folks here in the Rain always warms my heart.  We have raised funds for Ovarian cancer, Hurricane Sandy relief, and now Cystic Fibrosis.  I love meeting for a cause!

Diane,  You too were missed!  I hope that I will get to see you soon!

Kathleen, Everyone is welcome!  Everyone is a newbie at the beginning.  The folks that came will all be a great asset to ActiveRain!

Mary- It would have been great to see your smiling face!  You gotta take care of family first!  I just bring mine along!

Elizabeth-(PENNY!)  Thanks so much, I am glad you were able to make it. I look forward to all YOUR wonderful posts ahead!

Deborah- It was great fun!  Thanks for stopping by to take a peek!






Posted by Bridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee, Maryland Mortgage Mama NMLS#196068 (SWBC Mortgage 410-960-2061) almost 8 years ago

Pat and Steve,  Everyone was so interesting, I wanted to make sure that everyone got a chance to meet them!!

Willam-Thank you, thank you, thank you!  Coming from you, that is a HUGE compliment!

Chris, It has been too long!  I hope that Elmer real estate is treating you like the queen you are!

Anne- We didn't record it, so I figured a synopsis would be the next best thing.  Amazing people, delicious food and an incredibly beautiful and generous host...what's not to like!

Margaret-  You are so great at supporting others, thanks for sharing the post and for being my friend!!  May God bless you real good!  :)

Gayle- Any friend of Margaret's is always welcome!  Nope, no notes, just super-interesting, wonderful, awesome folks sharing an amazing lunch.    Thanks for the suggestion!!   Margaret has a very wide reach, it's an honor to be counted among her friends and business associates!!





Posted by Bridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee, Maryland Mortgage Mama NMLS#196068 (SWBC Mortgage 410-960-2061) almost 8 years ago