The Staff at Your House Academy

Meet Our Qualified Team Members

Vince DePaul - Director, Real Estate Instructor


Vince DePaul Vince DePaul is Director of Your House Academy. Vince began his real estate career in 1976 and is a real estate broker and a licensed real estate and continuing education instructor. He has taught real estate at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, Illinois for several decades. For ten years he produced and hosted a weekly, live call-in radio broadcast in Chicago called “Your House” where he was known as “Mr. Real Estate.” In 2015, Vince received the prestigious Educator of the Year award from the Association of Illinois Real Estate Educators (AIREE). More about Vince »


Mike Fair - Director, Real Estate Instructor


Mike Fair Mike Fair is the Director and President of the recently merged Illinois Academy of Real Estate and Your House Academy. Mike has developed and instructed real estate courses since 1984 and has helped thousands of students pass their real estate exams.

Mike joined the real estate business in 1974 and his experience includes: new home construction, real estate sales, property management, real estate office management, financing, and education. Mike has served as content advisor for Dearborn Financial Publishing, Hondros College and Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP), Illinois’ exam provider.

He is a member of the National Association of Realtors®, the Illinois Association of Realtors®, the Real Estate Educator’s Association, and the Association of Illinois Real Estate Educators. In 2016, Mike received the organization’s important Educator of the Year Award, the second year in a row in which Your House Academy’s teachers have won this award.

Mike is happily married to his wife Laurie and has five adult children and five grandchildren. His students enjoy and appreciate Mike’s intelligent, gentle, no nonsense approach to teaching.


Lee Baker - Real Estate Instructor

Lee Baker Lee Baker began his real estate career in 1992, after retiring from the United States Army. He started at Hillside Realty and then moved to Elite Realty. He received his broker’s license in 1994 and started teaching with Illinois Academy of Real Estate/Your House Real Estate Academy in 1999 and has been with them ever since. Lee has a large family which keeps him busy, including his wife, three daughters and nine grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. Lee is also very active in his church.

Colleen Basinski - Real Estate Instructor

Colleen Basinski Colleen has been a licensed sales broker for over fourteen years, and a managing broker and a Realtor Coach and consultant for the last eight years, as well as a licensed pre-license instructor for the State of Illinois. She has served on her local Realtor association board of directors, and the local and state government affairs committees, professional standards committees, professional development committees at the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors and the Illinois Association of Realtors. Her sales team, BAZ Realty Network at Keller Williams has consistently produced at the multi-million dollar level and is currently ranked in the top 20% of their Market Center. Colleen Basinski is passionate about empowering agents as business owners and supporting them in achieving their personal and financial goals.

Pat Cal - Real Estate Instructor

Pat Cal began his real estate career in 1977. He has been teaching real estate classes for over 35 years. Pat uses his experience as a broker, managing broker, real estate author and developer to make his courses engaging and full of real world information that his students can really use. Pat is a native of Rockford, Illinois and has 3 children.

Paula Calzolari - Real Estate Instructor

Paula Calzolari Paula Calzolari is a Real Estate Broker and has been a workshop leader with Your House Academy since 2001. Paula skillfully uses her experiences in real estate sales, new construction sales, mortgage origination, and as a landlord/property owner to share memorable and comedic stories with her students. Paula creates a casual and fun atmosphere in her pre-license workshops. In fact, when Paula is not selling homes or teaching, she can be found performing limited engagements at Second City in Chicago.

Gina Clifford - Real Estate Instructor


Nancy Doherty - Workshop Leader

Nancy Doherty

Nancy Freeman - Real Estate Instructor

Nancy Freeman Nancy has been the Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Realty of Joliet for over 35 years. She is licensed to teach CE and Pre-Licensing for Brokers and Managing Brokers. She has authored over 10 courses and a book titled “Go For It”. She has joined AM560 The Answer, Real Estate Revealed radio show. Training and teaching is her passion.

Jill Insco - Real Estate Instructor

Jill Insco Jill Insco earned her Business Administration Degree from National Louis University and began her real estate career in 1975. She has enjoyed an outstanding professional career as a Realtor and a successful Managing Broker. Jill is a licensed instructor and has been teaching pre-license and broker classes since 1997. Students continually rate her overall performance a “10” and appreciate her ability to “stay on track.” Her reviews are excellent and to her credit … “Her students pass the state exam!”

Steve Johnstone - Real Estate Instructor

Steve was born and raised in the Chicago area, and now lives and works in Naperville. He has a Masters degree in Teaching from Chicago State University. He spent many years working in the home building and remodeling industry, and he has been a Real Estate Broker for many years. All of this gives him the background to effectively teach Real Estate classes and help his students understand the Real Estate business. Steve is a Viet Nam Veteran and an Eagle Scout and is still active in Scouting.

Ed Kettley, Jr. - Real Estate Instructor


Tony Lamia - Workshop Leader

Tony has been a real estate broker and instructor since 1981. He has also been teaching business and accounting classes at Rock Valley College since 2002. Tony has numerous years of experience in real estate appraisal, management and development. In addition to his real estate and teaching experience Tony is also a licensed member of the Illinois Bar Association and has served in the U.S. Navy.

Jennifer Mark - Real Estate Instructor

Jennifer Mark is an outstanding Real Estate Broker and workshop leader. Before starting her real estate career, Jennifer received her Master of Business Administration from Northern Illinois University and received Bachelor degrees in Business Finance and Business & Economics from Benedictine University. Jennifer’s students appreciate her real world examples and value her knowledge of the topics and her positive attitude in her classroom.

Cheryl McDonald - Real Estate Instructor

Cheryl has trained and coached thousands of brokers since 2003. Cheryl began her career in real estate at Baird & Warner as a corporate sales trainer, then took a position in the National Sales Division at American Invesco and then transitioned into broker management with Dream Town Realty. After ten successful years in the real estate industry, Cheryl joined Keller Williams as a Productivity Coach and then transitioned into her current role as Director of Training where she assists agents in creating their online presence and teaches pre-licensing and continuing education classes. Cheryl has a Master’s degree in Human Performance and Training.

Bob Parsons - Real Estate Instructor

Bob Parsons Bob Parsons is a Real Estate Broker, Appraiser, and Licensed Instructor. He began his career at Starck Realty in 1998 after taking the pre-licensing class from Your House Academy. He has been a Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser since 2002. He is a life-long Elgin resident, loves dogs, and walks in the parks daily.

Mike Popowcer - Workshop Leader

Mike Popowcer

Tom Poziwilko - Real Estate Instructor

Tom Poziwilko Since 1998 Tom has been affiliated with the Starck brokerage, currently Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Starck. Tom has possessed a Florida real estate license where he held the position of Statewide Property Management Trainer for Coldwell Banker Corporate, providing property management education to licensed real estate agents. During the course of his real estate career, Tom has provided clients with education, sales, marketing, leasing, purchasing, and consulting services. Tom draws upon his real estate experience with required pre-licensing itinerary, tying together textbook with real world.   

Sarah Reiss - Real Estate Instructor

Sarah Reiss Sarah has been licensed since 2005. She's a short sale and foreclosures specialist, a member of the Three Rivers Association of Realtors, and a founding chairperson of  the Young Professionals Network in Three Rivers. She was named Realtor of the Year in 2014 by that organization. Sarah is a consistent multi-million dollar producer, and she has been a resident of Channahon since 2004.

Steve Rettig - Workshop Leader

Steve Rettig Steve uses his real world knowledge and terrible sense of humor to keep students engaged with the material and subject matter of real estate.  He was first licensed in California in 1995 and worked mostly in financial services and mortgage banking until selling real estate full time in 2007 in one of the most competitive real estate markets in the U.S., the greater Los Angeles/Orange County area. Steve came back to Chicago and was the Midwest Regional Team Leader for Coldwell Banker Real Estate for over 2 years until landing at Keller Williams Realty as a Business & Productivity Coach. He is licensed as a Managing Broker in Illinois and still retains his Salesperson/Broker license in California. Steve spent a majority of his childhood in Germany and credits his diplomacy (and German language skills) to his upbringing as a “military brat.”

Regina Richardson - Real Estate Instructor

Regina began her real estate career in 1987. She started as a sales agent for Century 21 Dabbs. In 1998, she became a broker/owner of Richardson Real Estate, Inc. Training and counseling are important to Regina. She began investing in properties in 2000 and added property management to her portfolio. In 2009, Regina became a licensed CE and Pre-Licensed Real Estate Instructor, where she taught at Mainstreet Organization of Realtors. Regina is passionate about helping people earn their certifications, designations, and license in real estate.

Gina Schaal - Real Estate Instructor

Gina Schaal Gina Schaal feels that the relationship between a Real Estate buyer or seller and their agent is based on trust, shared goals and understanding. She strives to continually improve and to do this, she listens to the client, takes their needs and wants into consideration and devotes her time to meet those needs.  Gina says, “I’m in the people moving business…. moving towards the next home, business location, or investment, etc.  Either way, it’s moving forward towards something different and another door to open.  It’s my job to help find the next door.  I’m happy to help.” 

Tigi Tasso - Real Estate Instructor


Vic Valenti - Real Estate Instructor


Clayton Waite - Real Estate Instructor

Clayton Waite began his award winning real estate career in 1987 and has loved it ever since. He served as a Marine Corp Sergeant and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Education, English and Public Speaking. Clayton taught as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, high school teacher and a County Public School Speech Therapist for several years. As a licensed real estate instructor since 2000, his students continually remark about his teaching skills, sense of humor and his ability to make a tough subject easy to understand.

Gary Wright - Real Estate Instructor

Gary Wright A real estate practitioner since 1999, Gary has been involved in multiple facets of residential and commercial real estate as a broker, property manager, investor, and rehabber.  Gary received a Master’s Degree in Education from Saint Xavier University in Chicago, Illinois and taught science part time at the secondary level for many years.  He operates his business through Keller Williams Preferred Realty in Orland Park, Illinois.  Gary strives to help his students gain a greater understanding of the Real Estate business by relying real-world examples that bring the material to life; having a solid knowledge base that covers even the most obscure aspects of the business; and a sense of humor. Gary lives in Oak Forest with his wife and two daughters.  In his free time, he enjoys fishing, camping, and traveling with his family.  He also loves working with his hands on home remodeling projects and restoring antique vehicles and modifying muscle cars.  

Office Staff

  • Vince DePaul
    Director, Real Estate Instructor
  • Mike Fair
    Director, Real Estate Instructor
  • Erin Conrad
    Marketing Coordinator
  • Paulette DePaul
    Chief Financial Officer
  • Tiffany Diaz
    Chief Operating Officer
  • Brian Little
    General Manager & Assistant Director
  • Claudia Ponce
    Registrar
  • Roxanne Vertnik
    Director of Student Services
A REALTOR® is a licensed real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, (NAR) the largest trade group in the country.

Every agent is not a REALTOR®.  You become a REALTOR® after you pass your real estate course, pass the state license exam, join a real estate company and then join the National Association of REALTORS®.

According to the NAR, the term REALTOR has one, and only one, meaning:
"REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics."

Michael Fair, President and Director of Your House Academy is an NAR member.