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The Connector

Living Locally and Giving Back

"My basic personality is a connector. I like helping people achieve their goals."

If you’ve never met Steve Havig, you should. Steve is one of the friendliest well-connected humans in the Minneapolis area, and he is almost always smiling. His work ethic and people principles began at a young age while shadowing his grandfather who owned a plumbing business in North Dakota.  He spent time learning on the job with many hours in the truck as well as in the shop. In 1993, he founded Isles Bun and Coffee which became well known for their small, twisted cinnamon rolls called “Puppy Dog Tails” and just a short three years later, Steve started Lakes Area Realty right out of the basement of that same bakery.

Although the bakery has since been sold, Lakes Area Realty now reigns as one of the larger independently owned and operated real estate brokerages in the Twin Cities.

But, it’s not just these amazing businesses that make Steve someone to know – it’s how much he gives back. He is currently involved in Simpson House; East Isles Neighborhood Association and Farmers Market; BATC Housing First Minnesota, housing for homeless vets; Kids Promise Charity, which builds homes for children in Vietnam; NAMI (National Association of Mental Illness); Ziggy’s Art Bus; Grace Nursery School; and Kenwood Elementary School, just to name a few.

Steve is passionate about ending homelessness and works tirelessly to connect charities and organizations who share his drive for making this community a great place to live. I sat down with Steve, a surviving Vietnam War veteran, a husband, father, grandfather and an avid downhill and water skier, to learn more about what inspires him every day.

What motivates you to do what you do?

My basic personality is a connector. I like helping people achieve their goals and meet their needs.  It’s also the fun of putting people and houses together and the ongoing challenges of building and maintaining a business.

What did you want to be when you grew up and how has that shaped what you are doing now?

As a kid, I never had a particular career in mind, but over the years, I sure found out what I didn’t want to do! There was one aspect of every teenage job, though, that I always enjoyed ... and that was meeting and interacting with other people. I knew that was my future. Again, putting people and products together—from the clothing industry to Isles Bun and Coffee, and later, right here at Lakes Area Realty.

Who is your role model in your line of work?

No one person really stands out, though there have been many good people who have influenced me both personally and professionally over the years. Just as importantly, from some seemingly successful people, we learn exactly what traits we don’t want to duplicate! That’s a growth opportunity.

What inspires you about the community?

There are so many individuals that really step up to the plate to make our city and neighborhoods better. There are countless volunteers on many levels who contribute their time and money to help others, and I aspire to be included in that group.

Of all your accomplishments in the community, what are you most proud of?

My relationships with my friends, fellow realtors and clients. They’ve all helped get me where I am today.

What do you think is the best-kept secret in the city lakes area?

The wonderful people.