From staff reports
It was announced with a literal passing of the baton — a golden one, no less — but Champions School of Real Estate founder and CEO Rita Santamaria has handed the daily business operations of the well-regarded school to Kimberly Dydalewicz, who has served as company president for the past five years.
The move was announced to the company’s nearly 60 full-time employees at the company’s 2019 statewide retreat, where Santamaria handed an engraved golden baton to Dydalewicz at the school’s Austin campus.
“My passion is my business. I love it dearly,” said Santamaria, who founded the school 35 years ago.”I’ve never allowed myself to get up in the morning and think anything other than Champions School of Real Estate. I still have so many ideas. I want to take Champions School of Real Estate to places we haven’t even gone to yet. This is another defining moment for our company; Kimberly and I both know that she’s ready to take on the day-to-day operations.”
Dydalewicz has been with Champions for 21 years, and was promoted to president in 2014. During her tenure, the school has grown to eight campuses throughout Texas, including an online campus, eight ChampionsLive Studios, curriculum development, and more than 150 full-time staff and contract instructors, as well as a massive Houston North Campus relocation project — a 21,000 square foot educational facility that will open early 2020.
“I have watched Champions School of Real Estate grow since I was seven, and this company has been the main focus of my life for over two decades,” said Dydalewicz. “I am invested. Being honored with the responsibility of managing the day-to-day operations of Champions School of Real Estate is a responsibility that I don’t take lightly. My vision for the future is to continue the growth of Champions School of Real Estate while maintaining a firm hold on the values and work ethic on which my mother built this company. We are a family business who incorporates family values with our day to day operations. I believe that is the key to having the largest real estate school in Texas.”
Dydalewicz, who relocated from Plano to Georgetown last year, is based out of the company’s new Austin campus.