After selling his family's beer distribution business in 1963, Tony Perry started a commercial real estate firm and developed residential subdivisions, shopping centers and office buildings in the Chicago South Suburbs.
Tony grew to be a true legend in the industry. His national network of invaluable contacts and his participation in various professional trade organizations - many times in leadership roles - has helped define what the Perry Group, Ltd. is today.
In the early 1980's, Tony had a front row seat to that era's economic debacle and he then had the vision to move from the traditional development model to creative economic development practices. Back then, while Tony struggled (and succeeded) in repaying his banks back what he owed on then stalled commercial developments, he began to understand the challenges that banks, municipalities, developers and industries would need help navigating through new and intricate economic development programs. Based on this keen (and painful) understanding, he became one of the preeminent economic developers in the Chicago region. Around this time, Tony got immersed and proficient in the advent and use of community development financial programs such as Tax Increment Financing, Enterprise Zones and other municipal incentives.
In 1983 Tony also created and operated a non-profit entity which accepted donation of an 800,000 square foot abandoned and antiquated manufacturing plant in Bradley, Illinois, and redeveloped the property, using state and federal grants, into a highly successful jobs incubator and home to many industries employing hundreds.
In 1991 Tony introduced Christmas in April, a community volunteer campaign which provided reahabilitation assistance to elderly and low income home owners. Under his 10 year stewardship, more than 400 homes were rehabilitated through the assistance of literally thousands of volunteers.
In 1995, Tony created the Northern Illinois Commercial Association of Realtors (NICAR). Tony was also active in the national leadership of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) as well as the Certified Commercial Investment Membership (CCIM).
With his many achievements and accolades, from several industry lifetime achievement awards to his 2000 induction into the Illinois Senior Citizen's Hall of Fame, and 2004 Leonardo da Vinci Award of Excellence for Entrepreneur by the Sons of Italy, America, Tony was always counsel-emeritus.
Tony passed on in January 2020 at 88 years old, but his vision, character and image will always be the touchstone of Perry Group, Ltd.