On a night honoring those who exhibit industry excellence, Illinois REALTOR® of the Year Michael D. Oldenettel urged his colleagues to continue to be an example in the profession by being involved and engaged in the real estate industry, their associations and the larger community.

“If we don’t help others to grow where we have grown, then we don’t grow, we don’t adjust and we don’t evolve,” Oldenettel told the audience at the 2018 REALTOR® of the Year Banquet held Monday at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield. Illinois REALTORS® honored Oldenettel and 23 local REALTORS® of the Year representing their local associations.

“Opportunity is what this business has done for me,” he said. “It’s given me the opportunity for growth, the opportunity for leadership, the opportunity for success. It’s given me the opportunity to work hard, to learn and be challenged.”

During his nearly 30-year real estate career, Oldenettel has served in all levels of the REALTOR® association. He led the statewide association as president of Illinois REALTORS® in 2013 and served two terms as president of his local association. He is a long-time member of the National Association of REALTORS®’ Board of Directors and has chaired two national committees.

He is a strong believer in the power of REALTOR® political advocacy and is among an elite group of REALTORS® who have been inducted into the RPAC Hall of Fame for lifetime contributions of at least $25,000.

Oldenettel is a real estate industry trainer who is committed to promoting education, ethics and professional development. He is a past president of the Illinois Real Estate Educational Foundation and has served as dean of the REALTOR® Institute Working Group. In 2016, he was appointed by Gov. Bruce Rauner to serve on the Illinois Real Estate Administration and Disciplinary Board.

Twenty-three local associations also celebrated their own REALTORS® of the Year:

  • Joy Baez of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Starck Real Estate in St. Charles is the REALTOR® of the Year for the REALTOR® Association of the Fox Valley.
  • Jeffrey Barkstall of Century 21 Heartland Real Estate-Champaign is ROTY for the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®.
  • Pat Cesario of Gagliardo Realty Associates LLC in River Forest is ROTY for the Oak Park Area Association of REALTORS®.
  • Joe P. Doolin of Brinkoetter and Associates in Decatur represents the Central Illinois Board of REALTORS®.
  • Marty Eilers of  Mel Foster Co., Inc., in Bettendorf, IA, is the REALTOR® of the Year for the Quad City Area REALTOR® Association.
  • Carrie Healy of the Hudson Company in Winnetka is ROTY for the North Shore-Barrington Association of REALTORS®.
  • Jana Heffron of Keller Williams Premier Realty in Peoria represents the Peoria Area Association of REALTORS®.
  • Michelle Huber of Dickerson & Nieman Realtors in Rockford is the REALTOR® of the Year for the Rockford Area REALTORS®.
  • Marianne James of House 2 Home Realty in Marion is ROTY for the Egyptian Board of REALTORS®.
  • Patricia Kloepping of RE/MAX Town Lake and Country in Shannon represents the REALTOR® Association of Northwestern Illinois.
  • Thomas Krettler of Coldwell Banker Residential in Schaumburg is ROTY for the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS®.
  • Brad Krueger of Century 21 Advantage in Columbia, represents the REALTOR® Association of Southwestern Illinois.
  • Paul R. Lauschke, Jr., emeritus member of the Greater Gateway Association of REALTORS®, is the local association’s REALTOR® of the Year.
  • Crystal Lilley of Landmark Realty in Princeton, is ROTY for the Illini Valley Association of REALTORS®.
  • Lisa Lockenvitz of Coldwell Banker – The Real Estate Group in Bloomington is the REALTOR® of the Year for the Bloomington-Normal Association of REALTORS®.
  • Casey Meyers of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Starck Real Estate in Woodstock represents the Heartland REALTOR® Organization.
  • Steve Myers of Myers Commercial Real Estate, Inc., of Springfield is ROTY for Capital Area REALTORS®.
  • Eddie Ruettiger of Baird & Warner Plainfield is the REALTOR® of the Year for the Three Rivers Association of REALTORS®.
  • Cindy Schimmel of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Bradley represents the Kankakee-Iroquois-Ford Association of REALTORS®.
  • Janet Shank of Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group in Danville is ROTY for the Danville Area Board.
  • Vicky Turner of Crawford Realty LLC in Dixon is the HomeTown Association of REALTORS® REALTOR® of the Year.
  • Dan Wagner of the Oak Brook-based Inland Real Estate Group of Companies represents the Chicago Association of REALTORS®.
  • Andy Velkme of Caton Commercial Real Estate Group in Naperville is ROTY for the Northern Illinois Commercial Association of REALTORS®.