Jen Conte, broker/owner of Re/Max Professionals Select in Naperville, is the third generation in her family to be a Realtor. She takes her business to heart, aiming to carry on a tradition established by her grandfather.
It takes more more than heart to win the recent designation of "top office" in the state under the category, Most Closed Residential Sales for Re/Max Northern Illinois in 2013. The award was presented at the 37th annual awards ceremony presented by Re/Max Northern Illinois, the regional headquarters. Conte's office closed 1,532 transactions, more than other offices in the territory, the firm said.
So how was Conte and her team able to rack up such sales in a tough market?
"Perseverance was definitely a huge factor," Conte said. "We've seen many people get out of the business once the market got tough, but those who remained, honed their skills, learned how to deal with the distressed real estate market, and continued to grow their business."
She said her firm also has agents who specialize in short sales, foreclosures, the rental market and other areas.
"We truly have an amazing group of realtors here, many who have been with us for 10-plus years. As an office, we've also been focused on recruiting new Realtors. They've learned the business in some of the toughest years, and developed great skills and habits," she said.
Conte, 40, said she grew up in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood on the Southwest side of Chicago and also lived in South Suburban Hickory Hills before her family moved to Naperville when she was 10 years old.
"We actually live in the house I grew up in," she said. "I bought the house about 12 years ago from my parents. It's in a great area of Naperville, close to downtown, which we love."
She practically grew up in the business, since her grandfather and father were Realtors.
"I dabbled back then on the admin side as his assistant," Jen Conte said. "After college, I worked at Arthur Andersen in technology, which gave me great corporate and business experience, but my dad kept trying to recruit me to work with him."
She has been a full-time Realtor since 2000 and is partners with her father, Rich Conte, and own the office together. Her sister, Ellen Batinick, runs the administration side.
"So after about 5 years at Arthur Andersen, I got my real estate license, got my feet wet in the business, and I realized how much I love working with people and what a rewarding business real estate is. It's funny, but I feel like this is something I was destined to do all along."
Aiming to end homelessness
Tim Kelliher, president and owner of Image Apparel Solutions in Wheeling, said the 25-year-old business is producing limited edition "CHIBERIA" T-shirts to commemorate the crazy winter. The design was created with the help of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless to help support their efforts to prevent and end homelessness. The T-shirt is available for purchase through May 31 for $25 each (includes shipping & taxes). All profits from the sale and additional donations will go to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless fund.
Terlato taps Ramonet
John Terlato, vice chairman of Terlato Wines International in Lake Bluff, said the company will import the wines of Domaine Ramonet, which was established in the early 1930s by Pierre Ramonet in the Côte de Beaune region of Burgundy, France. Today, the region is managed by Pierre Ramonet's grandsons, Noël and Jean-Claude.
CEO Jeffrey Sears and Founder Jim Stuart will open Pirch in Oakbrook Center, their first retail store outside San Diego, Calif. They will unveil it to the press on Tuesday and to the public on March 8, when there will be a chef demo and book signing by Gale Gand, an appearance and book signing by celebrity interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, and other activities. ... Jerseys Pizza & Grill's Gregg Majewski, owner of Jerseys Pizza & Grill in Hoffman Estates, opened a new, fast-casual burger concept called Patty Burger in West Chester, Ohio, outside of Cincinnati.
President Jo Ann Graser has opened the Barrington Yoga Loft and Tensile Strength Studio in Barrington. ... Thomas Matthey was promoted to vice president of sales for RDI Group's Reichel & Drews business unit. The RDI Group in Itasca is a provider of engineered capital equipment, enclosures and related products in various industries including asphalt roofing, metal coil processing, power & utilities and road construction.
Ed Hebda, brand ambassador at Naperville-based Napersoft, achieved an ACE, also known as Average Customer Experience Silver Ranking of 97 out of 100, published in February 2014, by Novarica. Napersoft's ACE is based on an online survey of senior technology and operational executives who are insurer customers and have direct experience with Napersoft's products and organization.
Andrew Limouris, president and CEO of Lombard-based Medix, said the company has been named as one of Inavero's 2014 Best of Staffing Client Award winners. ... Lori Wyatt of Northfield has been tapped to head the Chicago office for Santa Ana, Calif.-based Carrington eel Estate Services LLC, a national brokerage.
• There's more to business than just the bottom line. We want to tell you about the people that make business work. Send news about people in business to email@example.com. Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter.