No matter whether she’s on the clock or fundraising in the community, Jessica Hickok has proven that she’s not afraid to roll up her sleeves and get to work.
After receiving her real estate license in 2000, Hickok began working as an assistant to Paul Dizmang of Dizmang Properties Inc. Today, she serves as the company’s vice president of operations, which includes managing the firm’s real estate education and training courses and more than 600 tenants in its property management division. She also coordinates listings and pending contracts.
Last year, Hickok served as the chairwoman of the Missouri Association of Realtors’ Young Professionals Network, which she co-founded. This networking group and mentoring program allows young real estate professionals to partner with seasoned veterans. In establishing its mission and charge, the group inspired three other cities to start their own local chapters. The experience has allowed Hickok to work with other professionals throughout Missouri in order to help those getting started in an ever-changing industry.
“It is a great feeling to see the success of many that have implemented proven technology skills, from online marketing (and search engine optimization) when they had no presence on the Web at all,” Hickok says. “The mentoring program has been as valuable to me as it has to those I have taught.”
In 2007, as Dizmang Properties’ office manager, Hickok developed new sources of income through Web 2.0 – social media, video blogging and Twitter.
“Now … I produce seminars, continuing education and training classes for Realtors,” she says.
Hickok was instrumental in starting a local chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in 2008.
“Our first meeting had nine people, but it quickly grew, and within six months, we had our first organized fundraising event, Walk to Cure Diabetes, which was attended by more than 500 people and raised more than $35,000,” she says.
In its second year, the chapter was able to hire a full-time employee and raised more than $75,000 to fight Type I diabetes.
“The only way we will ever find a cure is to do extensive research in medical science, and doing that takes an enormous amount of money,” she says. “Together, we can find a cure – and Springfield will be part of that success.
While Hickok says her community involvement is primarily focused on the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, she tapped into the knowledge she’s gained through her efforts to help another nonprofit, A Sporting Chance, in its efforts to raise funds and present extra-curricular activities for children and adults facing diabetes and other challenges.
“When I start a project, I make it mine,” she says. “I am all in, and failure is not an option.Click here for full coverage of the 2011 40 Under 40.