Agents for Change | Karen Plastiras

Agents for Change: Karen Plastiras - Roots for Peace

Villagers admire their new limbs – and lease on life – in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam

Last month, Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty agent Karen Plastiras, along with a delegation from the Marin PeaceBuilder Chapter, accompanied Cheryl Jennings of ABC News and Heidi Kuhn to Quang Tri Province, Vietnam. The province is one of the most famous Vietnamese Demilitarized Zones (DMZ) despite previously being a battlefield, one of the most intensively bombed areas in military history.

Plastiras experienced firsthand the collaboration between Roots of Peace, Mines Advisory Group (MAG)) and Mercer University. Their goal: removing mines, replanting vines, and rebuilding communities. Cluster bombs and remnants of the Vietnam War are still found in Quang Tri Province.  Even today, children mistake bombs for rocks. Plastiras and team witnessed Roots of Peace’s many efforts from actively educating children on the dangers of touching and playing with UXOs to converting deserted mine fields back to workable pepper vines to training of local farmers. For Plastiras, the culminating moment of the trip was a tearful meeting with a man sporting his new artificial leg after 35 years of wearing a piece of wood and a horse hoof for a foot. With his new leg and productive pepper vines, his entire life was changed because of Roots of Peace.

Despite the war having ended 40+ years ago, people are injured or killed every day in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia by landmines. “We were all impressed by the inroads Heidi Kuhn and her family have made in this war-torn province and other parts of the world.  Tucker Kuhn spent three years in this community setting the groundwork for the farmers.  Heidi’s singular focus on improving the lives of these pepper growers was amazing.  Her conversations with our communist minders, her relationship with MAG and Mercer University, her discussions with Vietnamese businessmen as possible new donors, and her caring for each individual life was truly awe inspiring,” says Plastiras.

To learn more about Roots of Peace and its dedication to replacing Mines with Vines, click here.

BaySIR’s Anthony Cassel Awarded | CAR Champions of Home


Anthony Cassel Awarded | CAR Champions of Home

Home For A Home | Antigua Guatemala 2014

Known for his philanthropic efforts and traveling the extra mile, literally, Anthony Cassel, Global Real Estate Advisor was nominated for the CAR Champions of Home Award by his colleague Cathy Spencer. The Champions of Home Award is presented to California Realtors that have a proven history of finding solutions to difficult and even heartbreaking situations. An individual who raises standards for others, changes clients’ lives for the better, and inspires by example.

After several rounds of interviews with Cassels clients, colleagues and superiors, he was selected as one of the top three in the State of California. Only three awards may be presented per calendar year, one of which belongs to Anthony. An official awards ceremony will be held in October 2015, and he will receive a feature article in California Real Estate Magazine.

We were so excited to find out he’d been awarded the Champions of Home Award and we are so proud to have him on our team.” – Cathy Spencer, Realtor | Bay Sotheby’s International Realty

Anthony Cassel | Global Real Estate Advisor
Realtor® | CalBRE #01475854
Top Producer 2012, 2013, and 2014 | 2014 San Francisco Magazine 5-Star Award
To learn more about Anthony Cassel, visit:

Building Hope With Homes in Antigua Guatemala

Bay Sotheby’s International Realty’s Mr. & Mrs. Anthony & Maria Cassel embarked on a mission to Antigua Guatemala on December 6th to participate in Guatemala Build 2014—a collaborative volunteering effort organized by San Francisco-based Home for a Home and locally-based From Houses to Homes. The project will provide a safe home equipped with electricity and clean running water to a family in critical need.

Continue reading