Immediate past president
With a membership of more than 47,000 members statewide, Illinois REALTORS® is a thriving trade organization. The 2017 Illinois REALTORS® leadership team — Doug Carpenter, Matt Difanis, Dan Wagner and Mike Drews — continues to serve the organization’s vision, which is “to protect and promote private property rights through advocacy, while educating and serving Illinois REALTORS® and the public.”
Doug Carpenter, managing broker of Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group’s Orland Hills office, is president of Illinois REALTORS®. Since entering the industry in 1985, he’s held several roles in the REALTOR® organization, including serving as president of his local association and as CEO of the Three Rivers Association of REALTORS®.
A licensed real estate continuing education instructor, Carpenter volunteered with the nonprofit Illinois Real Estate Educational Foundation for several years. Carpenter is also actively involved in his local community: He served as senior organist at Trinity Lutheran Church in Oak Lawn for 18 years and supports the American Cancer Society.
President-elect Matt Difanis entered the industry in 1998 while he was pursuing his Juris Doctor at the University of Illinois College of Law. He was featured in REALTOR® Magazine’s 2004 Class of “30 Under 30,” and today is co-owner of RE/MAX Realty Associates in the Champaign County area. “I love being a small business owner, where community involvement and tens of thousands of dollars per year of nonprofit event and organization sponsorship allow me to promote my business while making a meaningful impact in the communities I serve professionally,” he says.
Difanis is a member of the Asian Real Estate Association of America Greater Chicago, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals Chicago and the Chicago REALTIST® Dearborn Chapter. The memberships allow him to cultivate relationships with diverse and gifted groups of real estate professionals, with the goal of tapping into that talent pool to strengthen the Illinois REALTORS®.
He also gives his time to a cause that’s close to his heart. “My family and I invest significant time and money into supporting impoverished children in the Philippines, which is my wife’s home country, where part of her childhood was spent in poverty that is unimaginable to most Americans,” he said.
Dan Wagner, treasurer of Illinois REALTORS®, has been in real estate for 13 years. He’s held numerous leadership roles within the REALTOR® organization, including serving as president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® in 2016. He’s currently senior vice president of government relations at The Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Inc. in Oak Brook. With Inland, he works with local, state and national associations to educate elected officials about the importance of commercial real estate and private property rights.
Wagner’s biggest accomplishment this year: “going on the road and meeting with financial advisors to spread the word about Inland’s efforts to protect our commercial real estate industry, especially the 1031 Like-Kind Exchange. The Inland Real Estate Group continues to be the largest provider of securitized 1031 products in the United States.” In his spare time, Wagner volunteers with the Conservation Foundation and Wellness House.
Mike Drews is the 2017 immediate past president of Illinois REALTORS® and a broker-associate with Charles B. Doss & Co. in Aurora. “With the busy schedule we maintain as the Illinois REALTORS® leadership team, I’m very proud to be able to serve my buyers and sellers and stay on top of my real estate business,” Drews said. Throughout his 38 years of experience, Drews has been particularly knowledgeable on issues of industry ethics and professional standards, having been a three-time chair of the Illinois REALTORS® Professional Standards Committee.
Drews was honored with the Illinois REALTORS® Political Involvement Award in 2011. Drews is also a member of several organizations in the Aurora area, including Aurora Noon Rotary Club and the New England Congregational Church.