Peter Colovos has a favorite credo-it’s IBM’s Watson, “Think.” This mantra exists in every real estate project Peter and his team is involved.
Founding Prairie Real Estate Group in Chicago, IL in 1994 was a culmination of transforming Peter’s passion of architecture construction and real estate experience into a career. Matching the right business with the optimal space is essential and what Peter has been doing in real estate since 1980. Creating the optimal combination/blend of good architecture and design product that enhances their tenants’ quality of life is the keystone of The Prairie Real Estate Group.
Born in Chicago, Peter’s fortitude and strong desire to learn afforded him exposure to all facets of real estate ranging from complex construction to investments and acquisition. Peter has a keen sense of creative adaptive re-use of existing properties as well as rehabilitation and revitalization. Using his experience from Chicago and other large and small vibrant urban centers, Peter offers a smart and innovative urban twist to his properties which is reflected in the design and construction of each unique space.
Working with a team of like-minded professionals, Peter and his group strategically seek out properties in areas where perhaps others may not realize the potential. Prairie Real Estate Group has commercial and residential real estate investments throughout the Midwest.
As Operations Coordinator for Prairie Real Estate Group, Christine Wilke is responsible for managing the Benton Harbor office. She also has several other roles within the organization including tenant development and marketing of Prairie Real Estate Group’s properties. Christine also manages broker relationships as well as public affairs.
Thriving in a fast moving and ever changing atmosphere, Christine’s 20 plus year background in office administration, sales forecasting, special event planning and facilities management is a perfect fit for Prairie Real Estate Group. Her sense of urgency and ability to accurately assess situations is essential in quick resolutions. Christine’s skillful way of working with people and building strong professional relationships contributes to Prairie Real Estate Group’s over arching goals and growth.
Throughout her career, Christine has supported executive teams and CEOs of local organizations. Christine is adept at making certain that the smallest of details are given attention and anticipates needs before they arise. As a member of the Prairie Real Estate Group team, Christine’s insights and experience are important to the overall strategy of revitalization through commercial and residential real estate investments.
Cynthia Brown Colovos
Until June, 2013, Cynthia Brown Colovos spent 20 years helping to grow Mickey’s Linen, the family business that her father built, and she ran with her three brothers. After retiring, Cynthia took on the role of assisting her husband, Peter Colovos, at Prairie Real Estate Group. Cynthia brings to Prairie a unique skill set of knowing what data is needed to run a successful business and how to apply technology to capture it and measure it.
Aside from her business and technology skill set, Cynthia is all about helping create a collaborative work environment that is organized, efficient and productive while never losing focus on making an impact on the community and the environment.
Paul Forestieri brings to Prairie Real Estate Group a highly effective blend of technical finance and accounting expertise, business analysis acumen, and entrepreneurial drive. After Paul graduated from Michigan State University and received his MBA in Business Policy/Economics from The University of Chicago, he worked at many different companies to streamline processes and uncover opportunities to maximize profit and reduce costs. In addition to his prior work experiences in financial control, business planning & analysis, and internal audit, Paul was a founding partner in a plumbing contracting business engaged in Industrial, Commercial, and Residential new construction, remodeling, and repair services.
Paul brings to Prairie his dynamic problem solving skills, along with root cause analysis to identify and resolve functional deficiencies – all vital contributions in helping Prairie Real Estate Group achieve overall performance excellence. When Paul is away from his work at Prairie he enjoys spending time with his children and traveling to be with other family and friends.
As the architect at Prairie Real Estate Group, Michael provides a complete array of services including project programming, design, construction documents, interior finish selection, and construction administration for all Prairie Real Estate Group projects. Michael draws upon his knowledge, creativity and experience to plan the renovation of Prairie properties as well as to assist potential tenants when designing their spaces.
Prior to joining the Prairie team, Michael worked at an architecture firm in Grand Rapids where he specialized in high performance academic and corporate facilities. Included among those projects were the former Saranac Machine Company building (circa 1920) at 376 W. Main, now known as “Saranac Flats”; and the former I&M building (circa 1928) at 330 W. Main for Prairie Real Estate Group.
Through this work it became evident that Michael had a like-minded vision of design aesthetic and a shared passion for historic renovation, so when it came time for Prairie to expand and create an in-house architecture department, it was clear that Michael was the right person for the job.
Michael holds a Master’s Degree in Architecture from North Carolina State University, a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Lawrence Technological University, and has received numerous awards for his design work throughout the country. He is also a LEED Accredited Professional and was the sustainable design manager on the first Silver Certified collegiate residence hall in the nation.
RESOURCES AND RISK
With over 25 years of experience in the accounting arena, Lisa Ankenbruck gained broad exposure to a wide range of industries and companies in various fields including medical manufacturing, oil, and real estate which she now brings to Prairie Real Estate Group.
Lisa combines strong fiduciary excellence within the context of Prairie’s overall business strategy to ensure positioning for continued growth and the diligence of potential opportunities. Acting as subject matter expert, leveraging her fiscal expertise and experience, Lisa assesses risk across the organization. She serves as point for securing the most lucrative funding for all renovation projects through traditional and institutional lender financing, federal and state programs, and private investors.
Lisa holds a B.S. in Accounting from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University and is a Certified Public Accountant. She is an active member of the Cornerstone Alliance Board’s Finance Committee and has served as board member/treasurer to the Benton Harbor Downtown Development Authority and the New Territory Arts Association.