Four and a half decades ago the average new home price was $58,000 and a regular gallon of gas cost just $.86. Rocky II was playing at the movie theaters and Dallas was the leading show drawing viewers to their TV screens in 1979, the same year Jerileen (Jerri) Hammer began her 44-year career.
In fact, the official letter of Jerri’s job was announced on September 18, 1979, by BettyAnn Croteau who served as executive vice president of the Anoka County Board of REALTORS®. Over the years, through restructuring and mergers, Jerri also worked at North Metro REALTORS® and, most recently, the Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS®.
While so much has changed in nearly every facet over 44 years, Jerri’s knowledge of the job and warmth in her various roles, including member services, have remained a constant.
“Jerri was hired when the MLS moved to the Anoka office, and she instantly took to the MLS, becoming very knowledgeable of everything including how to run the computer,” said BettyAnn, who worked with Jerri until her own retirement in 1997. “Jerri was always very sharp and personable, and everyone who encountered her really liked her.”
This sentiment echoed beyond the Association staff to the Realtors®, as well.
“Jerri has been a rock for the Association and especially the North Metro area. She’s someone I could always count on to walk me through any issue and, with my company located in the same building as the Association office for many years, she was also my sugar supplier,” said Realtor® Jerry Teeson, who remembers when Jerri first started her job and doesn’t deny his sweet tooth. “Jerri is an example of SPAAR’s culture in how she shows caring and kindness to all members. She does it with a smile on her face, a twinkle in her eye and caring in her heart. She will be missed.”
Jerri acknowledged that business changed as membership grew and with the transition from MLS books to online accessibility, work became faster and busier. Throughout Jerri’s years at the Association, she has worked with thousands of members and dozens of colleagues. She said despite all the changes, Jerri values her interactions with the Realtors® she grew to know and enjoy.
“The Realtors® have been so nice,” said Jerri, sharing that over the years she’s had the opportunity to work with extended families as Realtors®’ children and grandchildren started following in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents. “It’s been such a wonderful working experience!”
Jerri will retire at the end of 2023 and in her next chapter she looks forward to spending time with family and doing volunteer work. Her love of animals has her interested in pursuing opportunities with the Humane Society.
“Jerri was the first person I met when I went into North Metro REALTORS® to sign up to be a Realtor®, and that same smiling face still greets us today after so many years,” said Realtor® Mike Hunstad, who became a Realtor® in 1997. “Jerri has been such a key part of the Association. She will be truly missed!”
SPAAR members are welcome to join in a farewell celebration for Jerri on Friday, December 8, from 1-3pm. The event will take place at the Riverwind Community Center in Coon Rapids.