Stephanie Poulakidas, Vice President of Sales
Melissa Archer-Wirtz, Chief Operating Officer
CONLON/Christie’s International Real Estate
CONLON/Christie’s International Real Estate is a name synonymous with the best of the best premiere boutique brokerages. That distinction is largely attributable to two women whose expertise helps sustain its stellar reputation: Melissa Archer-Wirtz and Stephanie Poulakidas. In her role as Chief Operating Officer, Archer-Wirtz is responsible for the general operations, corporate strategy and financial management of the company, and developing creative campaigns that incorporate imaginative marketing to increase visibility throughout Chicagoland and the world. Poulakidas, the brokerage’s vice president of sales, supports buyers, sellers, and investors, in addition to fostering the professional development of the brokerage’s more than 250 agents.
A political science and international development graduate of the University of Iowa, Archer-Wirtz began her real estate career at a large, new home developer, where she honed her sales, marketing, and human capital management skills. Today she leverages those skills to build the CONLON/Christie’s brand. Her efforts have not gone unnoticed, as Michigan Avenue Magazine featured her its “The List” in 2014, the same year the brokerage won Christie’s International Real Estate “Affiliate of the Year,” thanks in large part to her hard work. “I’ve developed new community start-up campaigns, global branding strategies, and individual broker marketing,” she says, adding she takes pride in strategizing with budgets both small and large.
Poulakidas earned her Realtor’s license during college at Indiana University, but her initial focus was on a career in accounting and financial consulting with an international accounting firm. She received her CPA and completed an MBA program with a concentration in real estate finance at DePaul University. Her entrepreneurial spirit and desire for more professional autonomy led her to real estate. Her first year in the industry, she was named Rookie of the Year by her former brokerage. “My background allows me to better counsel clients about one of the most important financial decisions they’ll ever make so it will be the right economic decision for them,” she says. That includes, for example, the investors she advised on the purchase of a two-flat at the start of the economic downturn – two years later, they had it appraised for more than the sale price, despite the market’s rock-bottom status. As vice president of sales, Poulakidas has close relationships with agents, helping them develop innovative strategies to increase their business. “I coach, counsel, and mentor our advisors to help them define and achieve personalized sales goals,” she says. “I love this agent-facing role. It is extremely fulfilling to offer ideas and suggestions to my fellow agents to help them prosper.”
When she isn’t working, Archer-Wirtz enjoys traveling, spending time with loved ones, and volunteering to help disadvantaged youth. She also coordinates the company’s annual golf fundraiser. A self-described foodie, Poulakidas also volunteers with several organizations, serving as the past president and treasurer of the AIDS Legal Council and working with the nonprofit Common Threads. She also serves on various committees with the National Hellenic Museum, and is co-chairing the 90th anniversary gala of St. Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Church. “I consider myself extremely fortunate to work in an amazing company in an industry that never fails to excite me,” says Poulakidas, and Archer-Wirtz agrees. “We’ve transitioned from a 20-person shop to a more than 250-person team, and the future looks as bright as ever!”
Thanks to MILA for letting us use their beautiful location for our photo shoots.