Winter 2021: From the CEO

We all begin our careers with an idea of where we want to go, but we never quite know where we’ll end up. Even the best laid plans can lead us to unexpected places, with unforeseen stops along the road. In the end, with every step we take, we end up closer to our goals and closer to where we’re meant to be. The same can be said about many industry leaders. During our 138th Inaugural Gala, we inducted James D. Letchinger of JDL Development into our Hall of Fame. In his acceptance speech, he discussed his path to becoming a developer. He started with very few resources and no professional real estate or development experience. Through his desire, determination and passion, James founded JDL Development, achieved his dreams and made his mark on the Chicago skyline. As we begin a new fiscal year, I am inspired by James and the idea that we can achieve whatever we put our minds to, no matter what comes our way. Look at the last year and a half. We survived, and thrived, through a pandemic. That’s proof that we can do anything. During the Inaugural Gala, we inducted our new 2022 leadership team. Our incredible board of directors consists of dynamic individuals, led by President Antje Gehrken and an all-female executive team (President-Elect Sarah Ware, Treasurer Drussy Hernandez and Immediate Past President Nykea Pippion McGriff), who have already succeeded in their own careers. I’m excited to see what we can achieve together in the year to come and the positive impact we can make on our city. What are you doing to take a step forward? I hope you’re inspired to reach your goals in the year ahead. Get involved, take a course or make new connections. Do whatever you need to do to make your next move and to make your impact. Let’s take a step forward together. MICHELLE MILLS CLEMENT, FASAE, CAE, RCE Chief Executive Officer Chicago Association of REALTORS®