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Realty Association Executive Brian Bernardoni

Brian Bernardoni

Brian Bernardoni

This month, we highlight the career of Brian A. Bernardoni, a truly accomplished individual in many fields and many endeavors. He is an interesting product of an Italian neighborhood and an accomplished, dynamic and respected community leader.

Brian A. Bernardoni of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® is the senior director of governmental affairs and public policy serving Chicago real estate professionals. He is a resident of the city of Chicago in the Little Italy community and is regarded by many as a powerful voice on real estate matters in Chicago.

Bernardoni works with the association’s leadership and volunteers to assess and monitor legislation impacting the entire Chicagoland real estate industry. He also lobbies and provides legislative strategies for its emerging economic development and commercial real estate interests. He lobbies the city of Chicago, the county of Cook and Congress, where his efforts were integral in drafting and passing pro-real estate legislation. Bernardoni also is, as an appointee of Mayor Daley on the City of Chicago’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program Advisory Board, among other city council working groups.

Bernardoni is the immediate past national chairperson of the National Association of REALTORS® Governmental Affairs Directors, an elected position he held for two terms. He is as a member of NAR’s Executive Magazine Editorial Advisory Board, the NAR Real Property Operations Committee and serves on the NAR Housing Opportunities Working Group. A prolific fundraiser, since 2003 he has raised over $1 million for RPAC, the Realtors Political Action Committee.

Bernardoni has also shared his expertise beyond the field of real estate. He is a past two-term chairperson for the Association Forum Public Policy Committee, where he contributed to their magazine as well as worked to pass major not-for-profit reform measures in the Illinois General Assembly.

Prior thereto, Bernardoni served as executive director of the University Village Association, located in Chicago’s Near West Side, serving Chicago’s Little Italy. As executive director, Brian’s efforts increased economic development, real estate planning, media visibility and tourist interest in the Near West Side/Chicago’s Little Italy. As a lobbyist for Chicago’s high-rise office building industry (BOMA/Chicago), he managed issues including tax increment financing, electric deregulation, building codes and education funding. A former human relations commissioner for Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, he was responsible for drafting, lobbying for and then passing the city’s first matriculation ordinance.

A former print and radio reporter, spokesperson and a prolific public speaker and writer, Bernardoni frequently is sought out to speak to governmental, political, academic and not-for-profit organizations throughout Illinois.

A vigorous researcher, he has contributed to several books, including “We Get What We Vote For … Or Do We — The Impact of Elections on Governing,” “The Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball,” “Haunted Baseball,” “Classic Cubs — A Tribute to the Men and Magic of Wrigley Field,” “Hoodoo: Unraveling the 100-Year Mystery of the Chicago Cubs,” and “Living the Dream — An Inside Account of the 2008 Cubs Season.” A Wrigley Field tour guide for 13 seasons, his own book on Wrigley Field is anticipated in the next year.

Bernardoni has an extensive civic background, having served on several boards and commissions. He has dedicated his time and energies with full participation in Chicago’s CAPS program and was also a member of Cook County States Attorney Community Prosecutions Committee. He is a graduate of Chicago’s first FBI Citizens Academy, where he has served on its Board of Directors since its inception.

Since 1984, he has also been active in both political and community organization consulting as well as in public speaking on campaign politics throughout Illinois, having worked on political campaigns at the local, state, and national level with many different constituencies including veterans. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science in 1991 and is completing his course work for a master’s degree in political science from Illinois State University.

He currently is the president of the Cliff Dwellers, and holds board seats on the Civic Federation and the Chicago Baseball Museum, is vice president and a member of the executive committee of the Little City Foundation and treasurer of the Chicago Area Public Affairs Group.

Brian and his wife Carrie are the parents of three daughters: Genevieve, a sixth grader, Cecilia, age 2, and Olivia, age 1.

About Leonard F. Amari

Leonard F. Amari is a founding, co-managing partner of Amari & Locallo, a law firm that focuses exclusively on real estate tax assessment issues. He is a J.D. recipient from The John Marshall Law School, with honors. Amari has been a John Marshall trustee since 2000 and was elected president of the board in 2007. He is past president of the Illinois State Bar Association, a member of the Chicago Bar Association’s State and Local Taxation Committee, and a member and past president of the Justinian Society of Lawyers. He has received numerous honors from many organizations recognizing his service.