Hilgenberg honored for lifetime achievement

Local Realtor third in state to win award
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Leader photo by Greg Mellis Terry Hilgenberg, of Shawano, received the The Wisconsin Realtors Association Lifetime Achievement Award. Hilgenberg is only the third person in Wisconsin to receive this honor.

Terry Hilgenberg, of Shawano, recently received the The Wisconsin Realtors Association Lifetime Achievement Award.

Hilgenberg, a real estate agent and broker associate of Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group in Green Bay, president of Hilgenberg Realty LLC and a partner in Hilgenberg & Associates Inc, is only the third person in Wisconsin to receive this honor.

Michael Theo, WRA president and CEO, said the award recognizes that, “Terry has set the bar pretty high in leadership. We are thankful for all he has done.”

Theo said that Hilgenberg has been a mentor many in the industry, including himself. He cited Hilgenberg’s work in public policy as an important reason for the award.

“I had a legislative background (before becoming WRA’s president). I knew how to work inside the capitol,” Theo said. “Terry helped bridge that with what is happening in the industry.”

“For example, Realtors care very much about the quality of schools. Because schools are funded—when I started, even more than now—with property taxes, we had to find a balancing act between quality schools and affordable housing. We have to strike a balance, and Terry is great at articulating all the moving parts,” Theo said.

Hilgenberg said he was surprised to receive the award when it was presented at the WRA state convention in the Wisconsin Dells Sept. 17.

The two previous award winners were mentors and friends, he noted.

“I feel very honored to be a part of this,” Hilgenberg said. He cited his business partners, staff, family, and a “tolerant bride of over 40 years” (Bonnie Hilgenberg) as key to his success.

Hilgenberg became a licensed real estate broker in 1973 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a master’s degree in real estate and a bachelor’s degree in business administration in accounting.

Hilgenberg has been active in real estate at the local, state and national levels. He served as the chairman of the WRA in 1988, and was recognized recognized as the State Realtor of the Year, now known as the WRA Distinguished Service Award.

He also has been the regional vice president and sat on the executive committee of the National Association of Realtors and has served as the chairman of the board of trustees of the NAR’s political action committee. He has held many positions with his local association, including past president.

As a second-generation Realtor and real estate professional, Hilgenberg and his brother and partner Phil have been involved in all aspects of real estate: residential, commercial, industrial, farm, recreation, development, investment real estate and auctions.

Hilgenberg now focuses on commercial and industrial real estate. He admitted that Bonnie Hilgenberg would like him to “work less,” but did not commit to a change in his schedule.

“My dad was still coming into the office at 86 years old. I don’t know if I want to do that, but it’s not work if you like doing it,” Hilgenberg said.