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.

Tiffany Diaz - Chief Operating Officer

Tiffany Diaz Meet Tiffany! Tiffany is our C.O.O. but if she could write her own title it would be Juggling Queen! Tiffany has been with us for 6 years! You’ve likely interacted with Tiffany if you ever interacted with any of her staff! She values training her staff and empowering them to be the best that they can. She loves her job because she feels “blessed that I get to spend the better part of my day working with my family! Also I love the energy and excitement our students have when they achieve their goals and pass the test! It’s a thrill to see our students succeed!” Tiffany has a background in commercial property management and construction. She also has her Managing Broker’s License and RPA Designation. She also works with investors to manage their rental properties. On her time off, she loves to help BBQ Pitmaster husband with his catering business and hanging out with her rescue dogs.

Three values Tiffany lives by are:
1) Win/Win or No Deal 2) No success without Perseverance 3) Everyone can add value to the team.

Roxanne Vertnik - Director of Student Services

Roxanne Vertnik Meet Roxanne! Roxanne has been with us for 10 years and currently serves as our Director of Student Services. However, if she could write her own job title it would be “Chaos Coordinator”. You’ve likely interacted with Roxanne if you've ever been enrolled in a class with us, since she handles all communications with enrolled students- answering questions, helping select the best course for them, and ultimately trying to set them up for success! When asked what her favorite part about being a part of the YHA team is, she states “I truly love helping people whether it be students or staff. Everyone at YHA has always made me feel like family...part of the team & even on my first week of work with YHA they asked my opinion about something & that has always stuck with me. You can't kick me out now, lol!!” Before working here she has done all sorts of things, from being a teacher's assistant, to cosmetology, to receptionist, account receivable and payroll! When she is not at work, Roxanne loves to spend time with her family and pets, as well as shopping at second hand stores, flea markets, and antique shows.

Three values that Roxanne lives by are:
Have a good moral character, integrity, and always be trustworthy.

Paulette DePaul - Chief Financial Officer

Paulette DePaul Meet Paulette! Paulette is the CFO but if she could write her own job title it would be Accounting Contessa. Paulette has been with us for about 6 years and works mostly behind the scenes by processing payroll, handling HR, reconciling accounts, and paying bills. You’ve likely interacted with her work if you ever taken a class at out Bloomingdale location where she likes to keep the class stash of soda and bottled water stocked. When asked by she loves her job, Paulette states “We’re very family-oriented. I LOVE working with my husband, daughter, nephew and, occasionally, granddaughters. The office environment is warm and friendly. The staff is hard-working but also lots of fun to be with.” Before working with us, Paulette worked as an administrative assistant for over 40 years! On her time off, she likes to read and travel (afterall, her grandbabies live all over the country!)

The three values Paulette lives by are:
Family, Faith, and Serving others.

Josh Ramirez - Student Support Specialist

Josh Ramirez Meet Josh! Josh is our Student Support Specialist, but if he could write his own title it would be “your go-to guy”. You’ve likely interacted with Josh if you’ve ever taken a Zoom course with us, looked up classes on our website (he keeps the website up to date), or registered for a class over the phone. He also jokes that he is the assistant to the custodian, since he occasionally takes the trash out. When asked, Josh says he loves his job because “it’s the first time I actually feel like we are working for others. I used to work as a manager at Chick Fil A and even that felt like we worked to have better numbers and not customer satisfaction. Here students come first, and I think it shows with the dedication our staff has to them.” Before working for YHA, he worked his way up from busboy to manager at Chick-fil-a. Now, he is in the process of getting his real estate license in order to better help the students he serves. On his time off, he likes to play video games and spend time with friends and family. Josh lives by treating others like you would want to be treated and always be calm and collected. He tries to carry this out by being respectful and kind to students, especially when students are having issues.

Katherine Santoro - Project Coordinator

Katherine Santoro Meet Katherine! Katherine is our Project Coordinator but if she could choose she’d go with Project Manager since she tries to do pretty much anything that comes her way. She has been with YHA for almost 3 years now. You’ve likely interacted with Katherine if you ever received a course completion, had a final graded, or played a review game. When asked, Katherine says she loves her job because “I love everyone that I work with. They are very understanding when my MS kicks in and they are very kind and caring. They have a lot of patience. I also love my job because I am always doing something different. I have gotten a lot of experience in projects I have never done before.” Prior to working for YHA, she was a barista at Starbucks and manager at Destination Maternity. So, if you ever need help with finding a drink from Starbucks or get pregnant and feel like you are overwhelmed with finding what you need, she is your girl! Katherine is a huge dog lover and has 2 Shelties that she loves to play with.  They are her babies! On her time off, she likes to hangout with friends, go to the movies, comedy shows, and concerts. 

Three words she lives by are:
Motivation, optimism, and love.

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.