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RISING STARS

The Executive Turning Realtors Into Trailblazers

Meet the Rising Star changing the real estate industry into a collaborative network

Tristine Walker Imagery
GREY Journal

The world is full of fearless innovators. Meet the Rising Stars making a difference in their communities and industries.

Who is Jenny Delaney?

Jenny Delaney is the Executive Director of Elite 6 Dinners, a non-profit organization that brings together the most influential voices in real estate to give back to the community. Having worked in the restaurant industry for a decade, she now runs a full-time team of realtors in Chicago.

Jenny Delaney Executive Director of Elite 6 Dinners
Jenny Delaney Executive Director of Elite 6 Dinners. Photo courtesy of Tristine Walker Imagery

Banding Real Estate Leaders Together

Jenny is disrupting the real estate industry by getting realtors, lenders, and attorneys positively involved in the community. Every year she and her team select six new members in participating cities to raise funds and awareness for worthy causes. Members are nominated by their peers and then dinner invitations are sent out to the individuals that best exemplify Elite 6’s pillars. No one knows who has been selected until they arrive at dinner, thus adding an air of mystery and breaking the mold of a conventional networking event.

Instead of focusing on competition and sales, Jenny gathers these leaders to shift the real estate industry into a more charitable and collaborative network. Some of their members have included Tommy Choi, current President of the Chicago Association of Realtors, and several representatives of the National Association of Realtors in Congress.

Elite 6 Dinners members (from left) Emily Phair, Scott Gerami, Erin Mandel, Mike Del Preto, Rachel Scheid, Kelli Fogarty, Judy Gibbons, Nykea Pippion-McGriff, and Tommy Choi
Elite 6 Dinners members (from left): Emily Phair, Scott Gerami, Erin Mandel, Mike Del Preto, Rachel Scheid, Kelli Fogarty, Judy Gibbons, Nykea Pippion-McGriff, and Tommy Choi

A Fierce Giver

Jenny grew up in rural Missouri, mastering the art of fishing, riding ATVs, and shooting bows and guns by the age of 7. Being cautious and self-reliant, her parents trusted her to explore her surroundings and look after her younger sister. By the time she was 12, Jenny’s parents began hosting foster kids and it was during the six years that followed Jenny believes she truly grew up.

“I will never forget the way the children would look when they would arrive at our home. Sometimes in the middle of the night, sometimes five siblings at a time, but always scared and broken. You really see the worst in humanity when you bring abused, neglected children into your home.”

Jenny Delaney

As a result of her parents’ selflessness, Jenny learned not only to value what she had, but to step up and help those kids in need. She developed strength and compassion and still recalls the heartbreak she felt when foster kids would have to go back home after their parents met the minimum requirements to regain custody. Most of the time, those children would return to horrible lives and Jenny’s family was powerless to stop it. Now, as an adult, Jenny declares herself a fierce giver and an advocate for everyone who is overlooked and under-served.

Building Elite 6 Dinners

Elite 6 Dinners Board of Directors: (from left) Hannah Herbst, Jenny Delaney, Keah Gonzalez, and Amanda Philio
Elite 6 Dinners Board of Directors (from left): Hannah Herbst, Jenny Delaney, Keah Gonzalez, and Amanda Philio

After a decade working in the restaurant industry, Jenny decided to pursue a career in real estate. However, she realized quickly that her new industry was notorious for wealth and competition. While everyone around her was busy celebrating their new suits and number of transactions, Jenny felt that their actions and influence should be what was important.

“If people cared as much about world issues as they do sports, the world would be a better place.”

Jenny Delaney

In 2017, Elite 6 Dinners was founded. This organization seeks out strong leaders in real estate who are not only successful in what they do, but who also give back to their communities. Each member represents one of their six pillars: Change, Impact, Community, Charity, Legacy, and Success. All of their members volunteer, sit on charity boards, donate money, and organize events for causes.

In their first year, Elite 6 Dinners helped raise almost $30,000 for hurricane disaster relief. Most recently, they were featured in Chicago Agent Magazine for their fundraising event with Imerman Angels. The exposure has lead to many new collaborations with huge names in the real estate business and other organizations. Elite 6 Dinners is supported by local Chicago businesses, such as Swift & Sons, and has teamed up with Hero Coffee Bar as their retail partner. They will also be holding a national fundraiser with Melissa Higgs of The Social Chicagoan this fall. With all the positivity she has witnessed through Elite 6 Dinners, Jenny has solidified her belief that she is on the right track with her organization.

What Keeps Her Up at Night?

“Babies in cages. I can’t even.”

This article was originally published on GREY Journal.

D. A. Romo
Lifestyle blogger and content creator. I keep you entertained while your boss thinks you're working. After earning his BFA in digital filmmaking, David spent years honing his skills as a screenwriter and producer. He then took a chance and quit his day job to pursue writing full time. In an unexpected turn, David found a completely new role as a marketing associate and copywriter for GREY. Currently, he has one published book and is writing an adventure for a tabletop RPG.

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