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MERRILLVILLE — McColly Real Estate has named a new president as founder Ronald F. McColly transitions to a chairman role.
The firm, which is the largest independent residential real estate company in Northwest Indiana, named General Manager Tracy Parus as its new president.
"This will be my 48th year selling real estate, starting in 1974 when I founded the company," McColly said at a gathering of agents at the Innsbrook Country Club in Merrillville. "Tracy Parus has been there 28 of my 48 years. What I've seen is I've seen a person that is a listener and a winner."
McColly started the company that was long based out of the Twin Towers in Merrillville with four agents in 1974. It has grown to 500 sales associates and 23 offices in Indiana and Illinois, also serving the Chicago Southland and Central Illinois.
Parus started her real estate career after graduating from the McColly School of Real Estate in 1995. She first worked out of the Highland office and then moved to the Lakes of the Four Seasons office. She became managing broker of the Lakes of the Four Seasons office in 2002, moved it to a larger location and rebranded it as the Winfield office to encompass the wider area.
"Under her tenure, the office grew from a handful of agents to a thriving location where agents felt comfortable with her knowledge and management style," McColly said. "Realizing her love for management, Tracy managed many McColly locations in Porter County and Lake County from 2010 to 2017."
She became general manager in 2017 and was the company's No. 1 recruiter of new agents.
"I just want to thank everyone here," she said. "You guys are the reason why McColly is able to provide superior service that your clients have grown to know and trust. Whether you're a broker working for us or a manager of one of our brokerage offices or an administrative employee at one of our offices, you are valued more than you know."
Parus said she couldn't do the job without the entire staff.
"They do an awesome job, all the managers do," she said. "All of us here have supported each other, during good times and tough times. We've had good deals. We've had bad deals. We've learned from one another and given encouragement to one another. We've gotten better every day. We've supported one another. It's truly amazing. This is a very competitive business and I've seen the willingness to help one another over and over again. And I have to thank you for that."
McColly plans to continue working for the company he founded as chairman. Parus will take the helm of the day-to-day operations.
"I want to thank the McColly family for their support," she said.
She thanked McColly for his mentorship.
"Your mentoring and guidance have helped me grow into what I am today. I continue to learn from you every day," she said. "I appreciate the opportunity to work under you and to not only call you boss and to call you my friend. I know we've had good days and had bad days over the last 28 years or so. And we'll continue to have good days and bad days. That's life. As I've said to you, if we agreed on everything, one of us isn't needed. However, if we are surrounded by great people like those here today, we will have more good days than bad."
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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.