NICAR installs Rebekah Carlson to head leadership team for 2018-2019

The Northern Illinois Commercial Association of Realtors (NICAR) installed a new executive board, along with nine other board members to lead the association through the 2018-2019 board term. At the same meeting NICAR also thanked Chris Schramko for his year leading the association. The festivities took place at the association’s installation luncheon on November 13.

“There is a great sense of optimism at this time of year as we, as an association, prepare to welcome a new executive leadership team to advance the programs and positioning of the Northern Illinois Commercial Association of Realtors,” said Schramko, the 2017-2018 President of NICAR. “I have great confidence that this new group of leaders will carry on the important work we do, for the association as a whole and for its individual members.”

The newly-installed 2019 NICAR leadership team includes Rebekah Carlson as president. Carlson is the founder of Carlson Integrated, a full-service marketing firm, and Rebekah R Carlson Real Estate, a real estate brokerage firm. Both companies are based in Mundelein, Illinois. Active in NICAR since 2014, Carlson previously was the director of marketing and business development for Next Realty, a commercial real estate investment and management firm.

Bruce Heller, a broker with Coldwell Banker Commercial in Chicago, was named president elect. Heller has more than 28 years of commercial, leasing and investment brokerage activity, including consulting services, tenant representation, leasing, partnership formation, brokerage and property management. In addition to NICAR he is a member of ICSC, REIA, CAR and CREC.

Andy Velkme was installed as treasurer. Velkme is a senior vice president at Caton Commercial Real Estate where he is a CRE broker and adviser focused on innovative real estate concepts including co-living, co-working, adaptive re-use, creative mixed use and incubation spaces. Previously he ran a global market research solutions firm that facilitated qualitative and quantitative research for many of the world’s iconic brands.

NICAR named Barbara Montes, with more than 25 years in the commercial real estate industry, as secretary. Before establishing APT Property Management, Montes held various positions with Kennedy Wilson. She has been active in NICAR since 2016.

Chris Schramko, past president is the president and founder of Schramko Real Estate Corporation, a real estate development and brokerage firm based in Hinsdale. Schramko has more than 30 years of commercial real estate experience, including finance, asset management, brokerage and development. Schramko has been active in NICAR for six years and has been on the association’s executive board for the last four years.

The board of NICAR also includes nine commercial real estate professionals across northern Illinois, including: Hal Schwartz, Network Real Estate, Tinley Park; Peter Cotsirilos, KW Commercial, Chicago; John Rutledge, Rutledge Company, Wheaton; Marks Attwood, Insite Commercial Realty, Evanston; Martin Norkett, Coldwell Banker Commercial, Glenview; Barbara Maring, Keystone Realty, Inc., Elgin; Don Hill, Wintrust, Barrington; Maggie O’Leary, O’Leary Commercial Realty, Wauconda and Mark Goodwin, Goodwin and Associates Real Estate, Shorewood.

“On behalf of the entire association, and particularly those who served under him, I would like to thank Chris Schramko for his service and dedication to NICAR,” Carlson said. “In 2019 we will work to build on initiatives led by Chris such as social media and programming, as well as the expansion of ICEx, our proprietary commercial exchange.”