The NHS students of teacher Tara Meinke’s class in the Arete program have embarked on a journey to help us learn about the unique and diverse members of this community that make Neenah a great place to live, work and play. Special thanks to these students for sharing their creativity with us. Humans of Neenah (as well as a walking tours of Neenah) will be ongoing features on our blog.
“My heart belongs to Neenah”
“There are so many things I love about Neenah”, exclaimed Dawn Christensen, a successful real estate owner. “My favorite place is Riverside Park and the beautiful memories I have there as a child growing up. I love the people, the places, and the feeling of family!”
Dawn has lived in Neenah for 49 years. She moved here with her mother and father. Her father was an officer on the Neenah police force. Her mother, Rosie, had always been in food service.
Dawn has owned divisions of Century 21 for 25 years, right now she owns Century 21, Ace Realty, which will be kept in the family for years to come. “I have sold over 1,000 homes in Neenah over the years, one by one, including empty lots, commercial properties, residential, etc.” she said with a proud smile on her face. “I bring a lot of relocation buyers to the Neenah area.”
When asked why she chose real estate, without hesitation she simply said “I didn’t pick real estate, it sort of picked me.” Confused, I asked for more information. She replied “I started out working at Kimberly-Clark, and also was a property manager. One thing led to another, and here I am.” She also mentioned that her business is the #1 individual office in the Fox Valley.
A question that came up was, “If your office is in Appleton, why do you focus on Neenah?” Little did I know that her business is all of the Fox Valley.
“My heart belongs to Neenah. I’m a NHS grad, raised 5 children, and now have grandchildren here,” she beamed. She went on, “I love to support and give back to the area that helped and supported me.”
Dawn is a very hard working person, she doesn’t quit. She made her company grow using her gift of determination. Century 21, Ace Realty grows by people knowing the area for relocation, recruits great agents, and treating people fairly. That comes easy for her, but it wasn’t always easy. When making her business she had small children. She had help with this, but she also needed more houses to work than other jobs. She made that work. Her hardest obstacle was competing to get her name out there.
What would she do if her business failed? She responded “I also own 21 for Tots. It’s a 4k preschool that I have owned for 18 years.” In the day care they take children from 6 weeks old and up. “My passion is people and I love kids. Teaching would have been my next choice,” Dawn confessed. So what’s next? What’s your ten year plan? “Hopefully in 10 years, the business will still be going strong. I work side by side with my youngest child Brittany. She has been here 12 ½ years and I have made her the internal boss. Retirement is not in my vocabulary yet! Dawn finished with delight.
-Humans of Neenah Blog Post by NHS student, Angel Selwitschka