The Illinois Association of REALTORS® lost a highly-respected and extraordinary leader on April 2nd with the passing of IAR Past President John A. Veneris, CRB, CRS. John was broker-owner of Realty Executives Pro/Team in Downers Grove.

He was deeply committed to volunteering within the REALTOR® Association at all levels–local, state and national. John served as president of the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® in 1994 and was named its REALTOR® of the Year in 1992. In 2005, John served as president of Illinois Association of REALTORS® and in 2009 he was the IAR REALTOR® of the Year, an award given annually to a member who best exemplifies the professional qualities of a REALTOR® in the areas of leadership and civic, community and charitable causes.

John lent his expertise to many areas of the association including leadership development, technology, real estate finance, license law issues and governmental affairs initiatives.  He led by example and was a four-time “Golden R” for the REALTORS® Political Action Committee and a member of the National Association of REALTORS® RPAC Hall of Fame.

John served in key posts for the National Association of REALTORS® including as a member of the Public Policy Coordinating Committee, REALTORS® Political Involvement Committee, Executive Committee, as chairman of the Conventional Finance and Lending Committee and for numerous years as a member of the Board of Directors. In 2008, John served as NAR Regional Vice President for District 7 representing the states of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

John had a constant passion for the real estate business which he made his career for 32 years. He was a unique individual who made a profound difference to the REALTOR® community and was a rare-breed among us: a natural-born leader. He went out of his way to be a coach and mentor to others and was always volunteering to step up to the plate to serve the REALTOR® Association at all levels. He was not only an influential leader but a consensus builder, trusted advisor, team organizer and touched the lives and hearts of many with his spirit for excellence.

I had the privilege of interviewing John on numerous occasions over the years for articles for Association publications and can personally attest to his dedication and enthusiasm for the real estate business and his interest to furthering his own professional development. He was always on the hunt to learn about new developments in technology for his own personal and business effectiveness and for the agents in his firm. He always went out of his way to be supportive to the IAR staff and to encourage our role and mission to serve the REALTORS® of the state of Illinois. John will be missed by many friends and colleagues.

Our deepest sympathy goes to his family including his wife Dee and sons Nick (Jennifer) and T.J..Visitation is Tuesday, April 6th, 3:00-9:00 p.m. at Adams Winterfield and Sullivan, 4343 Main Street Downers Grove, IL 60515.  Funeral services are Wednesday, April 7th at 10:00 a.m. at Calvary Church, 15101 S. 80th Avenue, Orland Park. Burial is at Interment Bronswood Cemetery, Oak Brook, Illinois. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the American Cancer Society, 1801 S. Meyers Road, Suite 100, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181.