Coal City REALTOR® Mike Onorato says RPAC support made his first campaign for public office a successful one in 2014, as he was elected to represent District 3 on the Grundy County Board.
“I am certain the assistance I received from Illinois RPAC helped me win my race,” says Onorato, the managing broker-owner for Onorato Real Estate. “As a total newcomer, I had the largest number of votes received of all the candidates in my district. RPAC designed and mailed out several postcards to the residents, and their positive messages made me stand out from the other candidates.”
Now that he’s in office, his committee experience with local, state and national REALTOR® associations is helping him work efficiently and effectively with fellow board members, and to communicate with his constituents.
Father knew best
“My father started my company (Onorato Real Estate) and believed strongly in the power of organized real estate and RPAC. He encouraged me throughout my career to get involved at the local, state and national levels. I’ve been local president three times, with two different associations. I’ve served almost continually on my local association’s board of directors since 1985.
“In 2010, I was honored to serve as president of the Illinois REALTORS®. And my highest involvement with the National Association of REALTORS® is to currently be serving my second term as an NAR RPAC Disbursement Trustee. I have probably served on almost every committee imaginable at the local and state level over the last 31 years.”
Onorato became a REALTOR® in 1983 after graduating from the University of Illinois. “I have been a very politically aware person since college,” he says. “What finally caused me to run for office was looking at the dysfunction of our county government and believing I could make even the smallest difference in the lives of the people in my district. As a businessperson who is used to getting things done, I believed that I could lend my expertise and my voice in the decision-making process to positively impact my constituents.”
Career inspires him
“My experience in the profession and in the industry has been a rich and rewarding experience, and has significantly impacted my overall involvement in my community,” he says. “Everyone can contribute something, at some level. I believe it’s our responsibility. Getting involved is a natural extension of my desire to help people with their real estate needs.”
Onorato’s first term as a board member runs through 2018. He is the chairman of the Grundy County Board of Review, vice-chair of the Technology/Elections Committee and serves on two other committees: Land Use & Environmental and the Taxation/Geographical Information Systems.
Read the Illinois REALTORS® Blog for periodic stories about association members who serve their communities through elected office. Recent stories have included Max McComb and Chris Seniker. It’s another way the association is celebrating its 100th anniversary year. If you’d like to suggest a fellow REALTOR® for a story like this, please drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.