BENTON HARBOR - From Berrien Springs to West Palm Beach, Fla. and back again, Kerry Wright II has made a name for himself, but always with one goal in mind.
"Success for Kerry Wright each year is measured by selling real estate," said Wright, the Director of Sales and Marketing for Harbor Shores.
Most recently, Wright finished second out of 847 area agents in 2014 for sales. In 2011, he was recognized as the top agent out of 700 agents in Southwest Michigan.
But before finding success in real estate, Wright, father to three girls, grew up in Berrien Springs. He earned an undergraduate degree from Albion College before pursuing a master's degree in education at Aquinas College.
At first Wright believed he would follow that path and be lifelong teacher. He even taught public speaking to high schoolers in Chicago for two years.
"I knew I wasn't going to be a teacher for my whole life after doing it for two years. I just knew it wasn't the right career path for me," Wright said. "I have always been drawn to sales and quite frankly, I feel like this is what I was meant to do."
Wright's real estate career began in 2005 as a sales associate for Pulte Homes in West Palm Beach, Fla. Having success early on, Wright personally opened four communities in Fla. and was later promoted to manage a sales team of eight to 10 people for Pulte Homes in Chicago.
"[My wife and I] wanted to get back up to the Midwest, knowing that eventually we wanted to get back home," Wright said of his transfer to Chicago.
In 2008, Wright was brought on to Harbor Shores as a sales associate, but within six months was promoted to real estate sales director.
"To say that I got in at the beginning is an understatement. I mean, looking back it was an unbelievable opportunity," Wright said.
In 2008, Wright said that Harbor Shores "was still very much an idea on paper." While the golf course was being built, none of the neighborhood infrastructure, roads or underground utilities were in.
But two years later in 2010, Wright's first Harbor Shores milestone was reached: the very first home in the Hideaway neighborhood was completed and sold.
"To get that first [home] sold really gave me and our team the confidence that we had the right product; we had the right marketing," Wright said.
Today, sitting in his office in Benton Harbor, Wright has seen - and had a heavy hand in marketing - the completion of dozens more homes.
"We've got about 50 to 60 homes complete and we have done that in less than five years, which I think is pretty remarkable," Wright said.
Today, Harbor Shores has about 110 homes in its inventory, Wright said. He said the goal is 500 homes, which is at least another 10 years away from completion, but the success seen so far is due to a couple of reasons.
"Number one, you have incredible people that have come together to support a common cause," Wright said. "The most important, obviously, is Whirlpool and what they have done for the community; the tools that they have given me to do my job is incredible."
As for the future, Wright will continue marketing and selling Harbor Shores homes while raising his three daughters, Lauer, 5, Sydelle, 3, and Maylin, 1, with his wife, Erin, in St. Joseph.
"I love real estate sales. I can sincerely say that I love waking up every day and going to work," Wright said. "I pinch myself every day. I love what I do."
Name: Kerry Wright II
Job: Sales director for Evergreen Real Estate, which has a listing agreement with Harbor Shores.
Town: St. Joseph
Fun fact: Wright has a master's degree in education from Aquinas College.