SYCAMORE – If you live in Sycamore, you probably have seen Jeannine Prombo around town.
Prombo is a broker with a real estate office in Sycamore. She is also involved with many nonprofit organizations and volunteers at her church. She finds the time to be involved with the community while always making sure that she has time for home-cooked meals and Friday movie nights with her family: her husband, Dan, and her daughters Paige, 12, MacKenzie, 10, and Jada, 4. Prombo is due to give birth to her fourth child in January.
Prombo studied broadcast journalism and communication in college and hoped to be a TV weather reporter. She first became involved in real estate 11 years ago because she thought that it would be a flexible way to have a job while raising kids. She also received her medical assistant certificate and hopes to one day help people by traveling on medical missions.
Prombo met with MidWeek reporter Katrina Milton to talk about what life is like owning a business, helping with charities, and being a mother and wife.
Milton: Have you always lived in Sycamore?
Prombo: I’ve been here about seven years now. We moved from the Geneva area. Most of my life was spent in Geneva, and I graduated from Geneva High School. To make a long story short, my in-laws moved out here, and my father-in-law is the police chief here in town. That’s what brought us out this way, to be closer to family. It’s just a really nice town to be a part of, very small, quaint, and easy to get around. And that’s the beauty of Sycamore. You feel like you can go to the post office and everyone knows who you are. Whether you’re in church or the supermarket, it’s just really nice that the same friendly faces are around. ...It’s that small-town feeling. It’s different when you’re working in the city, where you don’t see the same faces every day or have those same relationships all the time.
Milton: How does a typical day start for you?
Prombo: Being a mom and also having your own business, you have to be disciplined and organized in order to run both ships. It’s all about time management and managing your time correctly. ...I am an early riser, waking up before 5 a.m. if I can. I get my emails out of the way, my to-do list for the day going, work-wise. …I’m in the office until about 7 a.m., and then I rush home. I get the girls ready for school until about 8 a.m. I make lunches and I braid and put bows in hair
Milton: Do you have any time for yourself?
Prombo: I do have 30 minutes in the morning that is my own time, drinking coffee and hanging out with Rosie, our dog. Rosie actually spends a lot of time with me in the office, and that’s where I am at 5 or 5:30 a.m., in the office.
Milton: Can you tell me about some of your involvement in the community?
Prombo: Well, for Ladies’ Night Out, which is to raise breast cancer awareness, we helped set up a pink lemonade stand. My daughters and a couple of their friends helped run the lemonade stand. We were able to donate a planter and be a part of the festivities. We raised $106 from our little lemonade stand. ...We also helped sponsor a golf outing in Elgin for wounded warriors and veterans for wars. That particular project raised $27,000.
Milton: Are you also involved with your daughters’ schools and church?
Prombo: Recently, I became part of homebound ministry, I am a greeter at Masses, and I am on the committee for the casino night fundraising event at St. Mary’s in Sycamore. …I think that it’s a nice connection to be involved with the Catholic Church, with the school, and my kids. It’s a walk down the street, a couple of blocks from the office. I absolutely love the community that it’s in, the people are great, and it feels like a second home over there.
Milton: How did you meet your husband?
Prombo: I actually was an events and marketing coordinator at Delnor Health and Wellness Center, at the hospital in Geneva. Dan’s sister, Sara, and I worked together. When she introduced me to him, there was a t.v. playing behind us that had breaking news. It was the Columbine shooting. You know how you hear people talk about where they were when JFK was shot? ...The way he reacted, our friendshp really grew from that story. We were both so shocked by it. To make a long story short, a relationship blossomed from it. We met in April and by that following January, we were engaged. Within a year, we were married, and we’ve been married for 15 years.
Milton: What are some of the things that you do to spend time with your family?
Prombo: I grew up in a house where my mom loved to cook and we sat down to dinner every night. I think nowadays, it’s so easy to get caught up in life. Things are moving so quickly, and you only have your kids around for so long. They don’t stay young forever. With sports, my two oldest girls are very involved in softball. They have practices and games, friendships and sleepovers. We try as a family to have a sit-down family dinner five out of seven nights of the week. We all try to participate in cooking. We also try to have Friday nights to be our family movie night, and we rotate as to who is picking out what movie. I can’t tell you that it is always easy and consistant like that, but we really do try to make it work.
Milton: How does your husband Dan help you with the business and at home?
Prombo: He is the managing broker/ owner of the business. ...He is definitely a great partner to have. I think that our relationship is so 50/ 50. He’s great with doing the dishes, doing laundry, cooking, and cleaning. If I didn’t have that kind of relationship, it would just be really hard to be a mom with four kids running a business. Because I have somebody who is so strong next to me, it gives me more of an opportunity to take this on. Otherwise I wouldn’t, it would be too hard.
Milton: Without your husband and children, what would life be like?
Prombo: Oh, my gosh. I mean what’s the point of life then? I lost my mom 11 years ago to breast cancer, which is a big part of why I helped with Ladies Night out. ...She was my best friend and she also was in real estate. She was an inspiration to me, but I didn’t get involved in this business until after she passed away. Losing my mom, who was my best friend in life, and without my kids and my husband, I wouldn’t know what to do. Dan’s my rock and my kids are my inspiration. I’m blessed. If I didn’t have people like that in my life, I couldn’t do this.