A commitment to the coast

Michael Henderson in his office at Duane Johnson Real Estate.

Michael Henderson came to the North Coast in 1999 because of his passion for surfing. Before moving to Cannon Beach in 1999, Henderson, now an agent with Duane Johnson Real Estate, lived in Sandy in the shadow of Mount Hood. He would watch weather reports, and when the sun come out he’d head for the coast.

“The problem was that in a two-hour drive on the Oregon Coast conditions can change very quickly,” Henderson laughed.

But once he came to Cannon Beach, he found lots of reasons to stay. He built a business around action sports like surfing, skating and snowboarding before switching gears to do sales and marketing Columbia Distribution. He started building a family, too, after the birth of his two sons, 16-year-old Sam and 11-year-old Max.

As life kept moving forward, the idea of getting into real estate was always in the back of his mind as something he thought would be a good fit, he said. But he was wary of jumping into a franchise — he wanted whatever he did next to be personal.

Eventually, a friend introduced Henderson to Johnson. Henderson had met him once before when he first worked alongside Johnson in 2005 on the Ecola Creek Forest Reserve Management Plan Ad-hoc Committee, and admired his commitment to the town.

“I wouldn’t want to work for anyone else. I love what this office does for the community,” Henderson said.

He’s been a real estate broker for Johnson since April.

For Henderson, the most satisfying part of his job is being able to walk people through realizing their dream for a home into a reality.

“I like getting to know people and their dream for their home. I try to listen to people and key on their values, then take on the challenge of connecting the dots to help them find the home they need,” he said.

Personal connection is important to Henderson, and not due in any small part to the fact that he was the recipient of community kindness when he first moved to town and was trying to find a home.

When Henderson and his wife first moved to town, he remembers Bob Cerelli, Cannon Beach resident and Cannon Beach Rural Fire District board member, helping him find a rental. As they got settled, Henderson remembers appreciating the time he took to “show the ropes” of Cannon Beach.

“He’s the type of guy who would offer to fix your windows,” Henderson said. “Meeting him was a greater reflection of what this community is about — a commitment to doing nice things for people.”

Now, almost 18 years later, he no longer surfs because of some old injuries. Instead, he said he spends time teaching his kids the keyboard and drums and managing his growing vinyl record collection, which he said has reached to about 700 records.

There are lots of reasons to live near the ocean, but working in Cannon Beach is special, he said.

“It’s the only town where people really care about what they do. They care about the ambiance, the quality, the service,” he said. “Everyone cares.”

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