Meet Chicago's Real Estate Power Couples
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Valentine's Day is around the corner and we thought we would highlight a few of Chicago's real estate power couples. Turns out, there are more than just a few execs mixing business and pleasure.
Christy and Christian Domin
Christian, managing director at GlenStar Properties, and Christy, a VP at CBRE, met at a business event during Christy's first stint at CBRE when Christian was at Insignia ESG. They started dating in 2004 and married in 2006. These days they live in Wrigleyville and have two sons. Christian is in charge of leasing GlenStar's downtown buildings, including the Board of Trade Building, 55 E Monroe, 311 W Monroe and 525 W Van Buren. Christy is part of CBRE's downtown leasing team and is busy lining up tenants for 550 W Van Buren, 30 W Monroe, 35 W Wacker, 2 N LaSalle, 150 N Wacker, Illinois Center and 150 N Riverside.
Estella and Lee Kiser
The Kisers met during a game of quarters at the University of North Carolina. Lee, principal at Kiser Group, was a member of a co-ed fraternity, and Estella, Kiser's general counsel, was rushing for his frat. Lee says within an hour he was smitten by Estella. It was the way her nose crinkled when she laughed, but her skill of rolling a quarter off her nose and having it hit inside the cup every time helped. They dated for 6.5 years before getting married 23 years ago and have two boys. They formed Kiser Group 11 years ago and Lee says Estella is a perfect counterpart as a wife and business partner—she keeps him grounded when his mind is running wild with ideas.
Steve and Randy Fifield
Multifamily giants Fifield Co's Randy and Steve Fifield met in 1992 on a business deal. Randy was in the communications industry and rehabbing projects on the side. Steve asked her to lunch "because I thought she was so engaging (and pretty)." She accepted to pick Steve's brain about real estate. They love frequenting Evanston restaurants: The Fifields' first date was at Daruma, and Steve later proposed to Randy at Oceanique. The couple now have five children, along with two from Steve's first marriage, and have collaborated on residential projects for over 15 years. The Fifields usually arrive at the office and leave together, and talk shop at all hours of the day. Randy says they love the business so much it feels like play to them.
John and Kelly Joyce
Transwestern principal John Joyce is married to his competition; Kelly is a VP at Colliers in its industrial advisory group. The high school sweethearts met at a Loyola Academy football game in 1981. They subsequently attended Indiana University together before tying the knot in 1988. After a brief stint in wine sales, John followed Kelly into the world of commercial brokerage and they spent five years working together at a boutique firm. Today, they're friendly competitors. “If we run into a challenge, it’s helpful to have a professional that can provide an outsider's perspective,” says John. The Joyces live in Winnetka and have three children. When they aren’t closing deals, John and Kelly enjoy traveling and partaking in a range of recreational activities, including everything from skiing in the Rockies to snorkeling in the Gulf of Mexico.
Amy and Bryan Pritchard
Amy and Bryan met in 2006 while both were working at Joseph Freed and Associates. Today, Bryan is president of Tricap Residential Group and Amy is a broker at Jameson Sotheby's, and they often collaborate on deals. Amy focuses on luxury residential and recorded $20M in sales last year. The Pritchards are raising budding young real estate fans; their sons Brady and Jack love accompanying them to construction sites and open houses.
Amy and Milan Rubenstein
Windy City RE co-founder Milan Rubenstein met wife and firm partner Amy in LA. Amy was an actress who was working in real estate on the side. Amy replied to an ad Milan, who had just immigrated to the US from Serbia, placed in the paper selling an apartment building. Milan told her he had 10 offers on the table. She said, "I didn't ask you how many offers you had." He asked if she would go out on a date with him if they did the deal. She agreed, and they were engaged five weeks later. Today, the Rubensteins are betting big on Motor Row as Chicago's next hot market.
Sarah and Matthew Adams
Matthew, a VP at Citizens Bank, met Sarah, a project designer at Perkins+Will, in Chicago. They lived in Boston for five years while Sarah earned her master's degree in interior design, and were married in 2007 the same week they moved back to Chicago. They live in Logan Square with their 2-year-old Boston terrier, Negley.
Eric and Megan Weber
Eric, principal at 33 Management, and Megan, 33's marketing manager, met while attending the University of Illinois. Eric joined 33 in 2012 as a broker and Megan joined later, after a career in sports marketing and media at rEvolution. After almost 10 years of marriage, two kids and a third on the way in July, Megan is focusing on propelling 33 and its newly branded construction business, Cubed Construction, into the spotlight while learning the residential game as a broker. Eric's commitment at home and the office make the puzzle fit perfectly.