By watching her parents and learning to work with others on common goals, Karen Robertson has prepared herself for her latest role as a REALTOR®.
The broker associate for Spring Realty in Joliet is one of six nominees for six positions on the 2019 Illinois REALTORS® Board of Directors. An official vote on their nominations will be made during Fall Business Meetings, Oct. 2-4 at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center.
“My parents are givers and they always encouraged us to be involved,” she says, so it was “obvious” that she needed to become an active participant in the Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® (TRAR) when she became a full-time REALTOR in 2004. At that point in her life, she’d already put into practice some lessons learned from her parents, Lynn and Kay Krause, owners of Timberview Development Corporation in Joliet.
Her father founded the local chapter of the Home Builders Association, served as the state president and the national vice president. “It was on trips to DC with my family that I developed my interest in public policy,” she says.
Following college, she worked for the family’s business, eventually becoming president of the construction arm of the business, Krause Enterprises. Also, Robertson gave a lot of her time and energy to the local Home Builders Association as well as the county, area and state affiliates. She served on the local association’s board of directors, its executive board and was an area vice president. She also received a state special service award and was twice named local builder of the year.
With TRAR, Robertson says she served on virtually every committee, beginning by dressing up as Freddy the Firefly and visiting local preschools to teach fire safety. In 2009, she was named TRAR’s REALTOR® of the Year. In 2011, she started on the leadership track, eventually becoming president in 2014.
She has served on numerous committees for Illinois REALTORS®, including chair of the Public Policy and Government Affairs Major Investors Group in 2016. She is the association’s State Legislative Contact for state Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant of Joliet.
On the national level, she’s also worked on numerous committees and is now finishing her term as chair of the Medium Board Forum.
“I’ve been so grateful to meet peers from across the state, county, and the world at national meetings,” she says. “Our association is an amazing group of volunteer leaders and incredible staff. I believe it’s up to each of us to reach out to our peers to increase awareness of the good work we do for our members and the communities we serve. It’s incumbent upon us to encourage future leaders to become involved.
“I can’t imagine practicing real estate without the education and advocacy I receive from the REALTOR® associations, and hopefully during my time on the board I can help communicate that same message to my peers across the state.”