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DOWNEY - Russell Skersick, vice president and general manager of Downey-based Century 21 My Real Estate Co., won the Realtor of the Year Award from the Downey Association of Realtors in 2010.
Then, under his watch, the franchise won the prestigious March Fisher Diversity Award, given by corporate Century 21 Real Estate LLC honoring the firm for its "extraordinary commitment to cultural diversity and improving minority homeownership."
The Realtor of the Year award recognizes a realtor's "professionalism, participation with the local real estate association, and his community involvement."
Such awards, of course, serve to reinvigorate the recipient's spirits and spur him to greater efforts.
Russell's real estate career started in 2005, the year he obtained his license. He was with Prudential 24 Hour Real Estate (at Lakewood and Florence) for four years, then worked for a year with Shorewood Real Estate in Hermosa Beach before joining Steve Roberson's company here in Downey, which he calls his home turf.
His dad, 63-year-old William, was born here in 1950 and still maintains his home in Downey. For most of his years, as a state- and U.S.-certified welder, he owned and operated a sheet metal shop, first in Downey and then relocating to Paramount. William in 2004 joined Costco, where he is lead man whenever Costco opens a new store. Among Costco store openings he has overseen over these years are those in Lakewood, San Dimas, Pacoima and Victorville.
His mom, Gail, works as administrative assistant in the engineering department of the Central Basin Water District.
Attending Downey schools on all levels (he played pitcher and centerfield, and was captain of the baseball team in his senior year) Russell, right out of Downey High, worked for a while as a physical education assistant at Downey Unified School District, as well as for the parks and recreation department of the city of Downey. During one four-year stretch, he worked at Del Rio Lanes; he also set pins at Keystone Lanes in Norwalk. It was during this period when he met future wife, Nicki, who also worked at the bowling alleys.
One slow day, after receiving a real estate flyer in the mail, mom Gail casually suggested to Russell that perhaps "You should be doing this." Russell heeded her advice and did. To his surprise, he found it to be enjoyable.
Russell has thrived under Steve Roberson's overall leadership. But that's not all. Russell says: "Any success or accomplishments that I may have had have very little to do with me and are a direct result of the amazing people in my life who have, and continue to give me, tremendous guidance and support. This is what I'm most grateful for."
To start with, there's Roberson, he says. "I owe him a lot for allowing me the opportunity to get involved in community volunteer undertakings. As you know, his involvement in the community is outstanding. He has pointed me in the right direction from the beginning, and for this I'll forever be grateful."
Then there's Darlene, Steve's wife, who is the administrative manager of the firm. "She helps with the training program, too, as well as George Gordon, like Steve a longtime broker/agent."
A close professional collaborator is Jeanette Baumann, current vice president of the Downey Association of Realtors. "She's been extremely helpful to me," says Russell, who was Downey Association of Realtors president for 2012 and is the current regional representative to the California Association of Realtors for the real estate associations of Downey, Montebello and Rancho. "We work closely with her."
A member of the Rotary Club since 2011, Russell is also currently board member and treasurer of the Downey YMCA and is an enthusiastic supporter of the Arc Walk, the Downey Chamber of Commerce and Keep Downey Beautiful.
Russell has a philosophy that has served him well so far.
"With hard work and a positive attitude anything can be accomplished," Russell says. "Ability and talent are overrated. A person can overcome any deficiency in ability and talent with hard work and a positive attitude."
Published: Oct. 3, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 25