20 Under 40 Class of 2017

Alissa Gerke
Owner, Select Realty Group LLC and Rockbridge Preschool
Age:
39

Hometown:
St. Louis.

Years lived in Columbia:
11.

Tell us about your job:
I’m the owner of two small business, each very different with its own set of objectives, challenges, and accomplishments. Select Realty Group has established Realtors who focus on customer service over volume — our primary focus isn’t necessarily building a business empire, but rather ensuring that community members thrive through home ownership. Without having the recognition of a big brand name, we have more to prove to our clients, and you can expect us to be proficient and dedicated to each one.

I purchased Rock Bridge Preschool because it gave me an opportunity to be more involved with my children while allowing me to focus on my career. A main focus there is giving parents peace of mind when they leave their child with us as they attend work. Our families know our team of teachers, and they know that their child will be loved, nurtured, and cared for in a safe and fun environment. We’ve made many improvements to the facility, playground, and educational components, and we will continue to build on that.

Who is a mentor in your life?
I spend a lot of time with other community business leaders and listen to their thoughts and ideas, which, if I can do it, will translate to changes or improvements that make sense for my business. There is a lot of talent in Columbia!

What are some misconceptions about your job?
That I have all the free time in the world! I spend a lot of nights and weekends working. While I can move my schedule around to work around my family, I still need to be accessible to clients, and thankfully today’s technology allows me to do so.

What is the single best thing about your job?
The relationships that are created — with my team, my clients, and families.

What was the last professional goal you accomplished?
At the end of 2016, it will be celebrating the third full year for Select Realty Group continuing year-over-year growth.

What motivates you?
Providing for my family and allowing us to do things we love.  

If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?
The construction aspect of real estate is really interesting to me. My husband and I built our home ourselves. Or there’s always selling homes in the Caribbean!

Which accomplishment are you most proud of?
My husband and I somehow created two amazing little girls.

What’s your favorite community project?
I’m currently the committee chair of the silent auction for the 2017 Hugh E. Stephenson Jr. MD Heart and Stroke Ball. It’s a large undertaking, and thankfully I have a great committee.

What is the single biggest lesson you’ve learned in business?
Don’t be afraid to go after what you want.

What is your favorite business book you’ve ever read and what impact did it have on you?
I’m more of a business magazine (Forbes, WSJ, and, yes, CBT!), Ted Talks, and industry blogs type of girl.

If you had unlimited funds, what is the one specific thing you would do to improve Columbia?
Land values and city fees have driven costs of new construction out of reach for many hard working individuals and families. I’d donate land and develop a community for home and land ownership at obtainable price points we don’t see in Boone County.

What is one goal you have for 2017 and how do you plan to achieve it?
To continue to grow Select Realty Group while volunteering my time to serve as the 2017 president of the Women’s Council of Realtors. The leadership team will bring resources, programs, and networking opportunities to the Realtor community and its strategic partners. Rock Bridge Preschool currently has a wait list, and we will continue to build on our reputation, provide teacher training and support to benefit our children, and maintain a safe, fun, and clean facility.

What trait do you most want in a co-worker or employee?
Integrity. It says a lot about a person.

If you could improve one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I can overanalyze the heck out of a situation. I’m working on “letting it go” and trusting in my instincts.

What do you do for fun?
My family and I love experiences. Whether locally or abroad, new or old, we like to try it.

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