Love Connection. How two real estate alums find love after graduation
Cody Clark (Real Estate ’09) had only come across Art Cox, the director of the real estate program, a handful of occasions during his time at UNI Business. Cody’s UNI tenure coincided with the period when Art was teaching fewer classes and their interactions were brief to a few encounters at Rho Epsilon meetings and a few brief quick chats for advice.
At the commencement ceremony, Art greeted Cody after he walked off stage, shook his hand, and said “keep in touch.” Cody was impressed Art knew his name but, due to their lack of interaction at the time was skeptical the two would keep in touch. Lo and behold, a little over five years later, Cody once again found himself greeting Art and shaking his hand. The big difference between these two instances is the 2014 interaction occurred at the altar of Cody’s wedding to Art’s daughter, Sarah (Cox) Clark (Real Estate ’10).
“There are a lot of shared core characteristics by being in the same field and both being from Iowa. That UNI connection doesn’t go away when you move, if anything, it becomes stronger because you are away from home.”
Careers in Kansas City
Despite attending UNIBusiness and being members of Rho Epsilon at the same time, and even living just a floor apart for a year in Dancer Hall, Sarah and Cody did not formally meet each other until they had both moved to the Kansas City area for their first jobs after graduation. Cody recalls a few instances in which Sarah would show up late to Rho Epsilon meetings due to a job she had in downtown Waterloo, but their first meaningful encounter was in Kansas City, when Cody worked for Midland Loan Services in Overland Park and Sarah worked at Cohen Financial in Leawood. Located roughly a mile apart from each other, the two firms are friendly real estate loan servicing competitors located in the southern suburbs of Kansas City.
Cody moved to Kansas City in mid-2009 and Sarah moved there in late 2010. Shortly after Sarah’s move, Cody’s coworker, another UNIBusiness alum, mentioned plans to meet Sarah for dinner and Cody invited himself to join. Spurred by their mutual UNIBusiness connection, the two hit it off and officially started dating a few months later.
“There are a lot of shared core characteristics by being in the same field and both being from Iowa,” Sarah said. “That UNI connection doesn’t go away when you move, if anything, it becomes stronger because you are away from home.”
To the East Coast
A few years later, Cody and Sarah’s lives moved together on a different path. Shortly after receiving his MBA from the University of Kansas and proposing to Sarah in 2014, Cody was offered a job just outside New York City at Genworth Financial in Stamford, Connecticut. Cody was interested in the job and the opportunity to live on the East Coast. “It was the best of both worlds because Stamford is 50 minutes outside of New York City,” Sarah said. “We could be close to the city so we could go in on the weekends and do what we wanted to do, but we didn’t have to move right into the city.” Sarah continued to work remotely for Cohen Financial until she found a job at a nearby private equity firm in 2015. In 2017, Sarah boomeranged back to Cohen Financial and is currently dedicated to working with one of the company’s major clients in New York City. Around that same time, Cody moved to Morgan Stanley as a commercial mortgage originator.
A special bond
Despite the distance between Connecticut and Iowa, Cody and Art have formed a special bond. Having grown up with two sisters and no brothers and being the father of three daughters, Art comes from a family of many women. Cody jokes that the Cox family isn’t used to having another man around. While Cody sees Art much more than he thought he would when he graduated from UNI, it has become an important connection for him and Sarah. “It’s probably refreshing for Art to have me around,” Cody said with a laugh. “We go out and hang up Christmas lights. It’s just the two of us. He’s never really had that connection before to a brother or son or anything like that.”
Indeed, Art is very grateful to have Cody around. The hanging of Christmas lights together has become an annual tradition. The shared time is very special and something Art looks forward to every year.