Elite Impact Education Platform

Don's Thoughts

June 11, 2024 | Volume 20
Don Wenner

Habits of an Extraordinary Family: A Preview of Our Building an Extraordinary Family Event

With our “Building an Extraordinary Family” event coming up in just a few days, I wanted to give you a preview of my session on Habits of an Extraordinary Family. I’m not talking about things like packing school lunches or making sure everyone’s teeth are brushed; I’m talking about intentional habits that bring families together, like morning prayer, one-on-one time with each child, spouse, or other family members, and specifically, family dinnertime.

First, what does it mean to have an “extraordinary family?” While this definition is sure to vary from family to family, person to person, I’m willing to bet there are a few consistent themes, including connection, support, and growth. An extraordinary family is marked by its commitment to shared values, meaningful rituals, and unwavering support for each other. Challenges are faced together, communication is valued, and goals are made and achieved as a family unit.

One key to an extraordinary family is prioritizing daily habits and rituals that deepen connection, foster communication, and make meaningful progress toward shared goals. Family dinnertime is one of the most important and easiest daily rituals to implement. This means taking intentional time to come together, putting the phones away, and having impactful conversations where we can learn about each other. The dinnertime habit encapsulates the essence of familial unity and growth.

Author of Habits of the Household, Justin Whitmel Earley says it best: “The difference between people who happen to live together and families who befriend each other are rhythms of conversation at mealtimes.” Having started this habit with my family when our two oldest sons were barely toddlers, I can attest to just how powerful it has been as a way to foster open communication and grow closer as a family.

Every evening, no matter how hectic the day has been or where we are, Carla, Donny, Alex, Jake, and I come together for dinner. It’s amazing how you can find the time to slow down from even the busiest life when you’re purposeful in your habits. We begin every dinner with a prayer, thanking the Lord for all of His blessings upon our lives. As we eat, we often take a turn answering several questions. Some examples of these questions include:

“What did you learn today?”

“Who did you help?”

“What did you accomplish?”

“How did you fail?”

Carla and I have found that when we approach the boys with pointed questions like this, rather than “How was your day,” we open the door to meaningful conversations that let us get to know our sons better each day. When we answer these same questions about our own days, we show the boys a little bit about who we are and have the opportunity to lead by example rather than drilling them with our expectations. Of course, your dinnertime ritual may look different from ours, but the important thing is to create this lasting habit of coming together, learning from and about each other, and growing as a family.

We also encourage reading each day, and over dinner, we often discuss books we’ve started or finished, sharing why we liked (or didn’t like) a book, what we learned, and how we plan to incorporate our learnings into our everyday lives.

I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation about what makes a family extraordinary at our upcoming “Building an Extraordinary Family” event in a few days in Dollywood, where I’ll dive into all of our family’s habits, why I think they’re paramount for all families, and actionable skills and advice that you can take home to help transform your family. I look forward to seeing you there!


Join DLP Capital on June 19 for a Discussion on the Book High Road Leadership: Bringing People Together in a World That Divides with Author and Renowned Leadership Expert John C. Maxwell

This year, I’ve had the honor and privilege to travel and work alongside John C. Maxwell, a renowned author and speaker known for his profound influence in the field of leadership and personal development. A #1 New York Times best-selling author recognized as the top leader in business by the American Management Association, John has published over 80 books sharing his expertise on leadership, communication, teamwork, and personal growth. He has inspired countless individuals and organizations worldwide to reach their full potential while leading with integrity and purpose–and now, he’s coming to DLP Capital.

I’m honored to invite you to join us for a special meeting of our leadership and personal development book club, Driven 4 Greatness (D4G), where we’ll welcome John for a discussion on his newly published book, High Road Leadership: Bringing People Together in a World That Divides. I’ve seen John speak about leadership to crowds in the tens of thousands, so being part of a live chat with him in such an intimate setting is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

We’re highly selective with the titles we choose for D4G, and even among the truly exceptional books we’ve discussed in this group, High Road Leadership is a clear standout. Whether you can join us on June 19 or not, I highly encourage you to read it. In the book, John asserts that “everything rises and falls on leadership;” good leadership can help people rise up to a better life, while poor leadership can cause people to fall into despair. In today’s increasingly divided world, John argues, we’re seeing more leadership that does the latter, causing people to fall “into disputes, frustration, anger, and despair.” He introduces the concept of high-road leadership as a solution and, ultimately, the key to increasing influence and making the world a better place. Leaders who embody high-road leadership value all people, do the right things for the right reasons, take accountability for their actions, and place people above their own agenda.

Once you start reading it, you’ll understand why he’s sold more than 35 million books. If you’d like to join DLP Capital’s D4G with John C. Maxwell, RSVP below and we’ll share a calendar invite along with the Zoom link. 

RSVP TO D4G


Strengthening Our Leadership Team: Nick Stonestreet and Roman Stephens Join DLP Capital

As we pursue our BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal) of positively impacting and transforming 10 million lives by funding the building of 5,000 Thriving Communities, our progress is only as strong as our leadership. I’m thrilled to introduce two new DLP Capital leaders whose experience and vision will be instrumental in growing the organization. Please help me welcome Nick Stonestreet, President of Financial Services, and Roman Stephens, President of DLP Capital Real Estate Management.

About Nick Stonestreet
President of Financial Services,
DLP Capital


Featured in our latest Quarterly Report, Nick Stonestreet brings over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. His arrival at DLP Capital signifies a new chapter where he will focus on working with the Funds Team to broaden the scope and accessibility of DLP Capital Sponsored Funds. Additionally, he will financial services strategies to enhance the firm’s offerings and client experiences. Before joining our team, Nick held significant roles, including CEO, Chief Investment Officer, and senior partner at Blue Trust. His impressive career includes founding Vident Financial and serving in leadership roles at Regions Financial and Merrill Lynch.

About Roman Stephens
President of DLP Capital Real Estate Management


Roman Stephens is a seasoned real estate professional with a wealth of industry experience. As President of DLP Capital Real Estate Management, he will oversee property and asset management, including acquisitions and equity investments. As the leader of Dream Live Prosper Communities, he will drive resident enrichment and property performance across our portfolio of communities. Before joining DLP Capital, Roman served as the Chief Operating Officer at Beam Living (a Blackstone portfolio company) and Senior Vice President of Operations at Northland Investment Corporation. With a background encompassing several leadership roles at Camden Property Trust and valuable experience at Hines and Southern Land Company, Roman has a remarkable track record in strategic planning, financial management, and operational oversight in the multifamily and asset management sectors.


The Mountains Are Calling: Why I Love Asheville, NC

It’s finally summertime, which means our family is back in Asheville, NC, for the season. It’s incredible how God gives you what you need, when you need it. Nearly ten years ago, my family and I were settling into St. Augustine, blissfully unaware of how quickly hurricane season would be coming. We got up to speed soon when one of these powerful storms set its sights on our new home. We packed up to get out of its path and found ourselves for the first time in beautiful Asheville. It didn’t take long for Carla and I to fall in love with this incredible city and all it offers.

It all starts with the mountains. Whether we’re hiking through the dense forests or soaking in the breathtaking views while driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway, there’s an undeniable sense of peace and wonder that I haven’t found anywhere else. There is no place I feel more connected to the Lord than at the top of a mountain. Asheville also has a vibrant downtown scene alive with energy, an eclectic mix of art galleries, shops, and restaurants that our family loves to explore.

It’s the perfect place in the summer because there is always something to do outdoors, which is one of our favorite ways to be together. From tubing or whitewater rafting down the French Broad River or the Nantahala, to hiking and biking the countless trails that surround the city, to going to the Nature Center/Zoo, we always have something to do. Asheville is also surrounded by several small mountain towns that are perfect for a day of exploring, including Weaversville, Canton, Cashiers, Hendersonville, and Waynesville. With a slightly longer drive, about 1.5-2 hrs, you can be in Charlotte, Greenville, Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, or Knoxville. Asheville is also one of the top destinations for summer camps; there are literally more camps in the Western Carolinas that anywhere else in the country. This summer the boys get to experience basketball camp, tennis camp, and for our two oldest, their first ever overnight camp at a great Christian Camp, Camp CedarCliff. Every summer, we make new memories with our adventures together. Our two newest hobbies are mountain biking and fly fishing. We had a great guided flyfishing trip just last weekend in a beautiful stream just north of Canton NC.

Experiencing firsthand what an incredible place Asheville has been for my family has inspired me to find ways to provide opportunities for more extraordinary families to call this city home or even just be able to visit for an unforgettable vacation. To start, I’m bringing my DLP Capital family here by opening a brand new office in the city. This won’t replace our headquarters in St. Augustine but will allow us to build a strong regional presence in Asheville, and also provide a place for team members to work from if they choose to come enjoy this incredible place. Today, DLP Capital also owns about a dozen vacation rentals in the area, offering families their choice of a relaxing stay on Lake Junaluska or a more city-centric stay in lofts in the historic downtown. These vacation rentals are usually reserved for our DLP Capital Inner Circle members, who also enjoy benefits like exclusive event invitations, golf outings and other social events, and first access to new DLP Capital investment opportunities. Learn more about becoming a part of DLP Capital Inner Circle by emailing innercircle@dlpcapital.com.

Lake Junaluska, NC
Lake Junaluska, NC
Lake Junaluska, NC
Lake Junaluska, NC
Asheville, NC
Asheville, NC
Asheville, NC
Asheville, NC

I’m thrilled to share that the DLP Housing Fund is in the process of acquiring Asheville Exchange, a 312-unit apartment complex built in 2017. The property has 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom units, offering flexibility for growing families, with plenty of retail, dining, and entertainment. After a year that made it challenging to find acquisitions that made sense for the Fund’s investment strategy, we’re finally starting to see projects like this hit the market, and we’re ready to take advantage of them for investors in DLP Capital Sponsored Funds. If you’re interested in learning more about the Asheville Exchange opportunity, it is highlighted on a recent webinar, which you can watch on-demand here.

I want you to experience the magic of Asheville with your own family, too. You’re now the first to know that DLP Capital will be hosting our second annual “Extraordinary Impact Family Event” in this beautiful city at the Omni Grove Park Inn from June 25-29, 2025. Mark your calendars and look out for more information in the coming months!


The Role of Clarity in Business Strategy

Immediately after our “Building an Extraordinary Family” event, I’ll focus on continuing to build an elite organization alongside the DLP Capital Strategy Team at our mid-year planning and alignment meeting. Over the years, I’ve learned that clarity of vision is one of the most critical and often overlooked tools for sustaining growth and scale in an organization. Clarity starts with a concise definition of who a company is and isn’t; what they do and don’t do. For DLP Capital, it’s simple: we invest in attainable housing communities. Period.

We invest in attainable housing communities because we are driven to make a positive impact for families. Working families are increasingly priced out of the American dream of homeownership, and our commitment is to bring safe, attainable rental housing that fosters community to undersupplied markets. We invest in multifamily housing for DLP Capital investors focused on creating a financial legacy for their families because we believe this asset class offers the greatest return potential, especially in today’s market environment.

We leverage four key quadrants of our business to execute our vision: DLP Capital Sponsored Funds, Lending, Development, and Operations. We have built incredible teams in each quadrant, led by strong leaders with years of experience and an unwavering commitment to excellence. The depth of our expertise allows us to invest in attainable housing communities in a few ways. We not only develop rental housing communities from the ground up, but we also acquire existing communities, like Asheville Exchange, as well. Through DLP Capital Sponsored Funds, we act as a financier to top real estate sponsors, developers, and operators who share our vision of making an impact through Thriving Communities. Today, we own over 25,000 units under operation, development and construction, and we’re just getting started.


Where I've Been

Cashiers, NC/Lavonia, GA | Make-A-Wish Hike
Cashiers, NC/Lavonia, GA | Make-A-Wish Hike
Wilmington, NC | Visiting with Zimmer Development Company
Wilmington, NC | Visiting with Zimmer Development Company
Birmingham, AL | Visiting with Welden Field Development & EverSource Wealth Management
Birmingham, AL | Visiting with Welden Field Development & EverSource Wealth Management

Where I'm Going

Lehigh Valley, PA
Lehigh Valley, PA
Newport, RI
Newport, RI
Boulder, CO
Boulder, CO
Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs, CO
Jackson Hole, WY
Jackson Hole, WY
Subscribe to Don's Thoughts