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Beyond The Bio: Bisnow’s 16 Questions With Real Estate Vet Collete English Dixon


This series profiles men and women in commercial real estate who have profoundly transformed our neighborhoods and reshaped our cities, businesses and lifestyles. 

Collete English Dixon spends her days grooming the next generation of industry leaders as the executive director of Roosevelt University’s Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate, and as real estate chair of the school’s Heller College of Business.

Collete English Dixon with Chicago real estate legends Fogelson Group CEO Jerry Fogelson and Bennett & Kahnweiler founder Marshall Bennett.

Prior to joining Roosevelt University last June, English Dixon had a storied 37-year career at PGIM Real Estate, formerly Prudential Real Estate Investors. As vice president of transactions, English Dixon led the firm’s Midwest acquisition strategy, including the purchases of Chicago's 120 North LaSalle and Left Bank at Kinzie Station with Fifield Cos. English Dixon later co-led PGIM’s national investment dispositions strategy, and has been involved in nearly $12B in transactional volume in her career.

Bisnow: How do you describe your job to people who are not in the industry?

English Dixon: I work on the development and education of talent for the real estate industry by administering the operation of the Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate at Roosevelt University.

Bisnow: If you weren’t in commercial real estate, what would you do?  

English Dixon: Tough question — I think I would either have my own talk show or be a landscape designer.

Collete English Dixon and her husband, Douglas

Bisnow: What is the worst job you ever had?  

English Dixon: Working at Burger King when I was in high school. I hated smelling like fried food and onions.

Bisnow: What was your first big deal?

English Dixon: I think it was the purchase of a 40-acre site in Roswell, Georgia, that was developed into a mixed-use project called Holcomb Woods.

Bisnow: What deal do you consider to be your biggest failure?

English Dixon: The purchase of a site in the Little Village community at the intersection of Kostner and 26th Street. We never got the development off the ground.

Bisnow: How do you define “making it”?

English Dixon: Being happy where you are in life and appreciating the blessings.

Bisnow:  What is your biggest pet peeve?

English Dixon: People not doing what they say they will do and then avoiding the responsibility.

Collete English Dixon

Bisnow: Who is your greatest mentor?

English Dixon: My mom and my dad.

Bisnow: What is the best and worst professional advice you've ever gotten? 

English Dixon: The best, “There is no such thing as work/life balance." The worst, “Just wait; you will get the recognition you deserve.”

Bisnow: What is your greatest extravagance?

English Dixon:  I love shoes!

Bisnow: What is your favorite restaurant in the world?

English Dixon: Unfortunately it is one that no longer exists — Ambria, which used to be in Lincoln Park. 

Bisnow: If you could sit down with President Donald Trump, what would you say? 

English Dixon: Close your Twitter account.

Collete English Dixon and daughter Kelsey

Bisnow: What's the biggest risk you have ever taken?

English Dixon: Deciding to leave Prudential in 2016 in search for a new career path. 

Bisnow: Whose work do you most admire?

English Dixon: I am a huge fan of the Notorious RBG — Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Bisnow: What keeps you up at night? 

English Dixon: Worrying about how the recent ideological changes in the world may impact my daughter’s life.

Bisnow: Outside of your work, what are you most passionate about?

English Dixon: My family.