“Someone told me early on in my real estate career to be sure to give back to the community that gives to you,” says Sycamore REALTOR® Diane Hammon, GRI. “I never forgot that and have made it my mission to do that.”
Although she has helped numerous local charities and nonprofit organizations during her working life, Hammon says the Kishwaukee Sunrise Rotary Club has provided her an avenue for many of those endeavors. “I am very involved in our club, and I served on various committees during the last 25 years.
“I was its third president, I am a Paul Harris Fellow and I am able to help other business people make a difference. For example, we: provide high school student scholarships; send kids to Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) camps; volunteer for Meals on Wheels when needed; and donate to the United Way of DeKalb County, local food banks and other local projects,” says Hammon, a broker for Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell in Sycamore.
The roots of her involvement in the Rotary Club come naturally, as her grandfather, her dad and her husband were proud members. “I saw the joy and the difference Rotary made in their lives and the work they did in the community and the bonds they made with other business leaders. They were able to get a lot done in a shorter period of time because they went to the person at the top of the organization and were able to use their resources to get things done.”
What keeps her involved?
“My club is a morning club, and I have breakfast with 35 of my best friends. We know each other well and we share both our joys and our sorrows with each other.
“Celebrating the achievements of the others is a wonderful thing to be able to do. My granddaughter attends the meetings with me when she is in town. She is 10 and is involved anytime she is available when there is an event. We have 18 Paul Harris Fellows in our family, and my husband was the District Governor for Rotary in the 2012-13 year. He gave my dad a ‘50 years in Rotary’ plaque signed by numerous members of two Macomb clubs. It was one of my dad’s proudest moments at his age of 92!”
Appreciating her associations and her mission
Hammon became a REALTOR® in 1985 and soon became involved with her local association, now known as the HomeTown Association of REALTORS®. She’s served twice as HomeTown’s president and was its REALTOR® of the Year twice, too. On the state level, she served on multiple committees from 1989 through 2014. “One year, I was the convention chair for a state convention held in downtown Chicago when Mayor Richard M. Daley showed up to speak. We did not know he was going to speak, so we just introduced him, he spoke, thanked us and left!”
Hammons says her local association committee work has taught her much about what’s going on in the area. A side benefit is that she may sometimes gain business because of the contacts made with others. But she emphasizes that more business is not why she helps others.
“Helping others is what we do in our business,” she says. “If you are only in this business to do real estate, you are missing the real reason to be in our business. We help people find homes so that they can build wonderful lives in those homes. Getting paid for our work is wonderful but it is not the main reason we should be in this business.”
Read the Illinois REALTORS® blog for weekly stories about the community involvement of Illinois REALTORS® during the association’s 100th anniversary year. If you have an idea for a REALTOR® to highlight with an article, please send it to: email@example.com. To read more stories like this one, go to: http://www.illinoisrealtor.org/membermonday #MemberMonday