Central Illinois Business Magazine
INNOVATION > THE OUTER LIMITS          December 2016

The ultimate entrepreneur


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Alex Ruggieri is the consummate entrepreneur. Ruggieri is the senior investment advisor at Sperry Van Ness-Ramshaw Real Estate. It seems every aspect of business that has his golden touch applied to it, is destined to succeed.

And he is very successful, indeed.

Those of us looking at a successful entrepreneur often think there is some kind of luck involved, and this may be true to a small degree, especially if one considers the phenomenon of being in the right place at the right time. However, entrepreneurs have a propensity to look ahead, to spot trends early on-or even create a trend- and the ability to see how they can mold that opportunity into a profitable venue for their business. They're risk takers and forward thinkers. They're innovators.

Ruggieri enjoys being a commercial real estate broker, and spoke candidly from his office, which is located at 505 W. University Ave. in Champaign. He has been in real estate for over 35 years. Ruggieri is a member and a graduate realtor institute designee of the National Association of Realtors. He is also a certified commercial investment member, or CCIM. Ruggieri earned a master of business administration degree in business and finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has a weekly radio show on WDWS-AM, entitled Central Illinois Business which focuses on entrepreneurship and business leadership.

And recently he was awarded the 2016 Realtor of the Year for the Champaign County Association of Realtors

But it's more than that.

He travels to places like Cannes, located in France, where he represented our area and our commercial interest, with an eye to strengthen development in the Central Illinois area. In fact, there is more than 100 million dollars that came from out of state to support recent commercial builds in Champaign-Urbana. The trail leads back to Ruggieri and his efforts.

One would think that Ruggieri had a goal of selling commercial real estate when he entered the business. Surprisingly, not so. And as he explained himself, he spoke in a demeanor that was of a gentile gentleman, not that of a hardcore business tycoon. His friendliness was warm, pleasant and very down-to-earth.

"I am a family oriented person. I knew if I sold houses, I would be working nights and weekends-times when my family would be doing things I didn't want to miss. This job allowed me to be a better father to my four boys and my daughter and a better husband," Ruggieri said.

Readers may be surprised at this response, but, this is typical of a successful entrepreneur. They have a goal and they seek to fulfill it by looking for a career that fits their life vision.

"When it comes to your career, you need to never give up. Don't believe your detractors. People give up too early. Stay the course. Joseph Campbell said, "Follow your bliss." I had a commitment to do this job. When it got bad, I got better at my job," he said.

Indeed, that was when Ruggieri returned to school and obtained his CCIM and his master degree.

"In order to compete and get better, I visited different markets and went to conferences six to eight times a year. At first I didn't make anything. It didn't pay off in the short-term," he said.

It helps that Ruggieri is aligned with Sperry Van Ness, which is a world business, and working with Ramshaw under the leadership of company president, Jerry Ramshaw, it's no wonder that Team-Ruggieri is a success. He was awarded the Partner's Circle Award for being in the top five percent in the business. He was also inducted into the Society of Exchange Counselors, founded in 1961 on the philosophy that real estate is a people business.

"I was selected as a counselor of real estate. You have to be selected by a board," he said.

He has a service attitude and philosophy; a concept where he believes in how he can serve the person, not what he can get from that person. He simply just enjoys his career.

"I like so much about it. Every transaction is different. I get to work with movers and shakers," he said.

Call the Ruggieri team today at 217-841-4382 or visit the website at: ruggieriteam.com.



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