Meet the Team

The Rizzos are long-time Chicagoans with an established reputation in Chicago real estate that dates back to the 1970s. Headed up by the mother/daughter team of Sharon Rizzo and Kelly Rizzo, the Rizzo Group now specializes in short sale transactions. They have an experienced team of short sale-certified Realtors®, plus Sharon and Kelly's expertise in investment, development and luxury business.

Collectively, the Rizzos and the Rizzo Group have sold over $750 million in residential and investment real estate. They also developed a highly-successful educational seminar called “Building Wealth Through Real Estate”. Now, backed by the cutting-edge technology of Dream Town Realty, this team of real estate pros offers service unlike any other in Chicago.

Kelly Rizzo
Rizzo Group Team Leader

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2010 Top Producer, Awarded by the Chicago Association of Realtors

It was pretty much a given that Kelly Rizzo was going to enter the real estate industry. Her parents have been two of the most sought-after Realtors in Chicago since 1977, and she grew up living and breathing everything having to do with real estate. She began working for the nation's leading condominium developer in 1995 under the tutelage of her parents, Sharon and Santo. She became a licensed Realtor in 1999 and quickly began learning development as well as gaining a thorough understanding of general real estate brokerage.

Kelly gained expertise by working on 6 large condo conversions with a total of over 2500 units. In 2004 Kelly was co-sales manager of 2000 N. Lincoln Park West, which became the most successful vintage condo conversion in Chicago history.

In 2005 Kelly and her parents founded Rizzo Realty Group, a family run brokerage firm specializing in investment properties and vacation homes. In a three-year period the Rizzo family and their agents sold over 600 condominium units nationwide. They also gained a tremendous amount of positive buzz in Chicago by putting on 'Building Wealth Through Real Estate' seminars. These seminars were educationally based and made an effort to demonstrate that real estate is the best and most secure long-term investment.

Kelly recently decided that she wanted to get back to her roots of providing excellent service to homebuyers and sellers in Chicagoland. She was committed to finding the most cutting-edge tools available in the industry, and she quickly realized that Dream Town Realty was a perfect fit. Kelly looks forward to helping many clients experience the best Chicago has to offer.

Sharon Rizzo
Residential Specialist

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Sharon Rizzo is a familiar name in Chicago real estate. Her 32-year career is peppered with professional accolades, multimillion-dollar deals and industry recognition among local and national developers. More recently, she was a Chicago Association of Realtors Golden Eagle winner in 2003 (i.e. top agent in the city) with over $114 million in residential sales. In 2005, Sharon had more than $60 million in sales, making her the #1 CAR agent in Lincoln Park. That same year, she co-founded a family-run brokerage with her husband Santo and daughter Kelly, which later evolved into The Rizzo Group... now at your service through Dream Town's state-of-the-art offices.

While the main specialization of The Rizzo Group is short sales and distressed property transactions, Sharon remains the “go to” for development, investment and luxury sales. She has a lifetime of experience in Chicago real estate and has worked with many of the city's leading condominium developers. Despite economic changes and housing trend roller coasters, Sharon has always effectively navigated the market to provide unrivaled expertise and outstanding service to clients in all aspects of residential and commercial real estate.

Sharon has been in the business for the better part of three decades, but she also has an impressive history outside her real estate credentials. In addition to being a medical reporter and on-air broadcaster for NBC news, Sharon was a national spokesperson for two divisions of the Big Three automakers and a motivational speaker who presented around the country. She has a Bachelor's and Master's degree from Indiana University.

As a sales manager for condo conversions in the Gold Coast, Sharon was responsible for 6 major high-rise residential buildings. She also developed a highly-successful educational seminar “Building Wealth Through Real Estate” with her realtor daughter Kelly. The duo has traveled throughout the U.S. presenting the program, which demonstrates how real estate is one of the best and most secure long-term investments available to this day.

Lauren Shimmon
Residential Specialist

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Lauren Shimmon comes to Dream Town with over 5 years of experience in real estate. Having grown up in the western suburbs, and now residing in River North, Lauren has extensive knowledge of Chicago and all of its unique and diverse neighborhoods.

Previously focusing on new construction and investment real estate, the change in the market has recently shifted her focus. Lauren is one of the few short sale Certified Realtors in the city with a vast amount of knowledge in this growing sector of the market. She has helped numerous distressed homeowners get out from underneath their properties, as well as negotiated many short sales and foreclosures for her buyers. A contributing factor to her success with short sales and foreclosures is a result of her partnership with one of Chicago's leading foreclosure law firms.

More than ever before, knowledge is the key to providing exceptional service to your clients in this fast-changing and sometimes challenging real estate market. With Lauren's extensive background in investment real estate and now short sales and foreclosures, she can provide her buyers with the best chance to find the best deals. After all, buying a new home is a huge event in her client's life.

Lauren attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and was a member of the Women's Track & Field Team. She received numerous awards during her tenure at U of I and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Sports Marketing. She prides herself on her work ethic and her passion for helping individuals achieve their ultimate goal, whether buying or selling in today's tumultuous market.

Amanda Parker
Residential Specialist

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Amanda comes to Dream Town with a unique background in real estate. Although she's been a licensed Realtor for almost 2 years, as a lifelong Chicago resident Amanda has been involved in the real estate business for much longer than that. She comes from a family that has been amongst the top-producing agents in Chicago for the past 25 years.

Having graduated from the University of Iowa in 2009, Amanda partnered with her family and the Rizzo Group — one of Dream Town's most prominent, top-producing teams. She entered the real estate industry at a rather turbulent time; however, this could not have been better timing for her career. With distressed sales being a large percentage of Chicago's real estate transactions, Amanda has developed a real expertise in dealing with short sales and foreclosures. For the past year, she has negotiated directly with banks and lenders and has become very familiar with all of the in's and out's of this ever changing sector. With that knowledge and experience, she has a completely different skill set when representing her clients in any type of transaction. Whether it is a distressed sale, luxury sale, investment, development or rental, she will negotiate the best deal for her clients. Amanda's goal is to learn as much about this market as possible and she is a firm believer that in the long run this will put her a cut-above any other agent in the city.

Amanda currently resides in Lincoln Park. She graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Communication Studies and minors in Spanish and Human Relations. Amanda was a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority throughout her four years. She loves attending sporting events, and is a huge Chicago sports and Iowa Hawkeye fan. Amanda prides herself in her diligent work ethic, her ability to listen to exactly what her clients are looking for, and the wealth of knowledge she has gained over the past years that now benefits her clients.

Rick Panlilio
Residential Specialist

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Rick has always believed in, as well as taken a lot of pride in being a solution provider, resource and connector. He has used these abilities over the past 10 years to help his clients with their Real Estate needs and more. With the current state of the Real Estate market, there have been more opportunities than ever where Rick's skills have been an asset to his clients.

Prior to becoming a Realtor, Rick worked for a large fortune 100 company for over 17 years, first in Operations Management and later on in Project Re-Engineering. Those years provided Rick with the experiences to always "think outside the box" to help improve processes and procedures, and resolve issues. It was during those years in Corporate America that Rick was introduced to Real Estate investing and developed a passion for it. Rick eventually bought and sold properties from single family homes to condos, both locally and out of state, and currently still owns a few properties in the city. Once leaving the corporate world, Rick decided to take on Real Estate full time and share his knowledge and passion with others.

Rick enjoys networking and introducing people to each other. Rick has been able to build a reputation among his peers and contacts as a "go-to" guy, even in areas unrelated to Real Estate. The reason for this is his strong network of solid contacts that he surrounds himself with. Not necessarily being the subject matter expert, but knowing the people who are the experts is the key. This network allows Rick to be able to handle all facets of Real Estate. By leveraging Rick's network, others have benefited from it as well.

Growing up in diverse neighborhoods of Chicago's north side from his grade school years, and then all the way up to his college years at Loyola University, Rick experienced all the culture and diversity the City had to offer. He still continues to enjoy the City even though he has lived and raised his family in Lake County since being married. Rick enjoys time with his family whether watching movies, eating out, shopping, vacationing, or just plain hanging out. He has taught his children the importance of relationships, helping people and to be not part of the problem, but to be part of the solution. Rick hopes that his children will embrace the same beliefs, and pass them on to future generations.

Kimberly Rizzo
Residential Specialist

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Hayley Westhoff
Residential Specialist

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Hayley was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago and is proud to call this magical city her own. Hayley graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University with a bachelors degree in business and communications. Her adventurous spirit and admiration for the Latin culture brought her to live in Seville, Spain for a year after college to immerse herself in the culture and become a fluent Spanish speaker. After returning from Spain, Hayley moved to Los Angeles and used her business degree along with her Spanish speaking skills to work as an account manager for a Latin American based company. In 2004, she then returned to school to obtain her masters degree in education to fulfill one of her dreams of teaching Spanish in the public school system. She landed a job and taught in the Beverly Hills 90210 school system teaching middle school and high school from 2005-2012.

Upon returning home to Chicago, Hayley decided to put all of her various skills and experiences together and fulfill her other dream of working in real estate. Working side by side with the Rizzo Group, which has been in the business for 35 years and earned Top Producer and Top 1% of 2013 by the Chicago Association of Realtors, Hayley draws upon the experience and expertise of this iconic group.Known for her strong negotiation skills and professionalism, you can be assured Hayley will give you impeccable service from the very beginning until the keys of your dream home are in hand, and she will work tirelessly to get you the best deal possible. Knowing real estate is the biggest investment in life one can make from a financial and lifestyle standpoint, Hayley focuses on informing her clients so they can make smart and educated choices. With her extensive teaching background, she exceeds at educating home buyers and sellers on the details of the process and latest market trends so that they can make wise financial decisions. In addition, her teacher nature reflects that Hayley is patient, honest, loyal, and handles every dealing with integrity. With a great eye for design and extensive knowledge of renovations, she also specializes in finding diamonds in the ruff for buyers willing to do a little work, helping them with cost effective ideas for renovations and design to create their dream home within their budget.

On her off time, Hayley and her husband are passionate about traveling the world to learn all about different cultures and try different foods. Her love for languages always has her learning something new; she is currently learning sign language with Italian next on the list. She also loves to take her baby girl and dog on long walks through the lovely streets of Chicago to admire all the action, character, and beauty the city has to offer.

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