Mike Hasson leaves legacy of generosity, positivity
Mike Hasson, former CEO and founder of Hasson Company Realtors, was a behind-the-scenes giver — someone who valued connections, forging relationships and giving back to the communities that gave him so much.
And those who knew Hasson, a Lake Oswego resident, say his legacy will live on.
Hasson, 66, died Dec. 31 after a 10-year battle with mesothelioma — a type of cancer known to be caused by asbestos exposure, typically affecting the lungs.
"It was a long road but one he never ever felt like he couldn't overcome," said Steve Studley, current CEO of Hasson Company Realtors. "He impacted so many people — not only as a friend, (but) as a leader, as a member of the community, as a dad."
Hasson is survived by his three daughters Lauren, Jenna and Michelle Hasson, and his ex-wife and dear friend Marta Hasson.
Both Jenna and Lauren Hasson said they recall their father saying that people measure success in different ways, and success for Hasson was how many lives he could touch.
"Whether it's just smiling at a stranger and making their day better or helping a friend," Lauren said.
Hasson's daughters mentioned that he never missed a dance recital or a soccer game — he coached all three of his daughters in soccer and was a longtime coach for the Lake Oswego Soccer Club and Lake Oswego High School — and always made sure he was home to put them to bed each night.
"We had a superhero for a dad that was able to give us 10 years and most (who battle that disease) aren't that lucky," said Jenna Hasson.
After news of Hasson's death, an outpouring of love and support spread across social media.
"He was a legend within our real estate industry and although I haven't spoken with him in over a year, the impact he made on my life will always remain very much alive within me," said April Keesey in a Facebook post. "Mike Hasson was the reason I took the leap of faith into becoming a real estate agent. He believed in me and took a chance on me and for that, I will be forever grateful."
Others expressed their gratitude for Hasson, and nearly everyone shared memories about the positive impact Hasson had on their lives.
"It was remarkable to see this gentleman that would walk into the room and just light up the world and he did it in a way with such grace and compassion [and]. authenticity … [he] truly believed that the Hasson Company was a platform for him to greatly affect the lives of so many," Studley said. "As a friend, I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to read through social media today. It just tells so many stories and you can get great satisfaction and peace that he's no longer struggling but he has tremendously impacted countless lives that are here today and those that have already passed on. For a man of his stature, he was my hero."
A native of Northeast Portland, Hasson first got into real estate after graduating from the University of Oregon in 1976. While working at Nordstrom in the afternoon, he attended morning classes to earn his real estate license. In 1977, after getting his feet wet in the real estate world, he never looked back.
"To a certain degree, you have to be a self-starter who is excited and passionate about what you're doing," Hasson said during an interview with the Review in 2018. "That's what attracted me (to real estate)."
In 1983, after aligning with a number of companies over the course of several years, Hasson and two partners created their own Lake Oswego-based firm — Handel, Hasson and Jones. But Hasson's vision for the future led him in a different direction, and in 1991 he said goodbye to his partners and began carving out his own space in the industry. It was then that Hasson Company Realtors was born.
Hasson committed his firm to making sure his employees, from top to bottom, always had his ear, and that they were dedicated to not just doing a high volume of business, but doing that business in the right way.
Hasson Company President Lynae Forbes worked for Hasson for 29 years and was his right-hand person, helping him grow the company.
"Mike was a visionary and he knew the company needed to keep growing and adapt to the changing environment, so we worked our way out of sales and worked on focusing, making sure the company was built with intention and integrity and one agent at a time," Forbes said. "Now my Mike is gone, so (we're) trying to do the best we can. We're prepared, we've been prepared ... He's mentored us all so tremendously well and given us his vision to carry on."
Part of Hasson's commitment to quality meant being a good community citizen, and to this day Hasson's firm remains focused on giving back to local organizations and promoting the interests of its agents in the community.
Whether it was supporting Relay for Life as a community member and someone who was battling cancer himself or sponsoring a sit-down breakfast and silent auction to benefit Lake Oswego Meals on Wheels, Hasson's dedication to improving his community was unwavering. Hasson supported many charities including Oregon Children's Theatre, the Children's Cancer Association, CASA for Children and the Raphael House of Portland.
"My philosophy has always been if you bring good people in and surround them with other great people, it will shape their lives personally and professionally," Hasson said in a prior interview with the Review.
Two of Hasson's daughters, Jenna and Lauren, said the volume of letters, emails and calls they've received has shed light on the influence and positivity their father brought to so many people.
Hasson also formed the Michael J. Hasson Lectureship for Mesothelioma and his family encourages those who wish to support and give back to donate in Hasson's memory. Checks can be made out to the OHSU Foundation with the fund name "Michael J. Hasson Lectureship for Mesothelioma" in the memo line. It can be mailed to the OHSU Foundation, P.O. Box 29017 Portland, OR 97296. People can also donate online at onwardohsu.org/donation.
"The best way we could honor my dad and to keep his legacy going is just to be a good person, find positivity," said Lauren Hasson, adding that 2020 was a difficult year for a lot of people so it's important to remember that people have a lot more strength inside them than they might think. "He fought the disease for 10 years. So many people didn't know he was sick. He never complained, he always had a smile on his face."
Lauren Hasson said if people were more "like Mike," it would be the best way to continue his legacy, letting "his light shine through us now."
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