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.

Brian Little - General Manager & Assistant Director

Brian Little

Meet Brian! Brian has been with us since 2011, and his official title is Assistant Director. If he could choose his own job title he would choose Tec Whisperer, Office Dad, or Content Contender. You’ve likely interacted with Brian if you’ve ever taken any of our courses as he orchestrates a lot of what goes into them! His favorite part of his job is learning and studying, as well as working with the students. Brian has a Bachelors of Youth Ministry as well as a Real Estate Broker’s License and Instructor's license.  He is a teacher at heart and loves working with students of all ages, he does this at YHA as well as his church where he has served as the youth pastor since 2006. When he’s not at work, Brian enjoys cycling, camping, tabletop games (board games, card games, heck even Ping Pong & Foosball).

Three values that Brian lives by are:
Learning, helping others, and that education is the means by which we improve our lives.

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.

Chiara Pries - Office Manager & Student Support Specialist

Chiara Pries

Meet Chiara! Chiara’s official title is Office Manager and Student Support Specialist, however if she could make up her own job title she would call herself “Office and Student Enthusiast”. You’d likely interact with her if you’ve ever had the pleasure of calling the office, received class materials, or participated in one of our classes. Chiara first started with us in October 2020 and has been keeping the office running smoothly ever since! When asked why she loves her job, Chiara responds “I LOVE my job because of the fun yet professional environment I get to work in. I get to work with some of the most interesting and skilled people I know, and I continue to learn something new every day. And sometimes we fill the office with 800 balloons.” Before YHA, she received her Bachelors of Arts in Intercultural Leadership from Judson University. She has prior experience working in retail management and at a fortune 500 company. Once, she got ordained as a joke but then ended up officiating a wedding (haha)! On her time off Chiara loves to travel and take naps.

Three words Chiara lives by are:
Integrity, commitment, and transparency.

Josh Ramirez - Student Support Specialist

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.

Kathrine Santoro - Administrative Assistant

Kathrine Santoro Meet Kathrine! Kathrine is an Administrative Assistant, but if she could choose she’d go with Project Assistant since she tries to do pretty much anything that comes her way. She has been with YHA for a little over a year. You’ve likely interacted with Kathrine if you ever received a course completion, had a final graded, or played a review game. When asked, Kathrine 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 Your House, 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! On her time off, she likes to hangout with friends, go to the movies, go to comedy shows, go to concerts and go to the driving range.

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

Jay Calvin - Technical Support Specialist

Meet Jay! Jay is our Technical Support Specialist, and if he could rewrite his job description he would keep it just as it is. Jay has been with us for nearly 9 months now. You’d likely interacted with Jay if you ever had an IT question, watched a video for us, or interacted with technology while working with Your House Academy. Jay loves his job because he loves working with technology, helping people, and talking with students. He has worked with technology for his whole life and is working towards a certification in the technology field. On his time off, he loves to play with his son, play sports and video games.

Three words he lives by are:
Communication, confirming, and honesty.

Ari Young - Marketing Coordinator

Meet Ari! Ari is our newest employee here at YHA, starting in January 2021. Her official title is Marketing Coordinator, but if she could choose her own title, she would choose Email Designer Extraordinaire. You’ve likely interacted with her if you’ve ever received an email or flyer from us, as she is the one who designs them. When asked why she loves her job Ari replied “I love this job because I get to work with my family, and it is empowering to be able to help people take advantage of a career that is as unique and dynamic as Real Estate”. Ari has a degree in Youth Ministry, and has prior work experience in marketing, HR, and floral design. On her time off, Ari likes to spend time with her husband and rescue dog, drinking coffee, and trying not to kill her house plants.

Three values that Ari lives by are:
Always buy second hand, life is short so make it count, and pineapple absolutely belongs on pizza.

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.