The Trusted Adviser
December 2018 | Volume 11 · Number 10


A Fond Farewell

Year-End Retirements

December 2018 Retiree Announcement photo banner

ATG is unusual among most businesses in that we have a very long-term and loyal employee base. In 2018, we celebrated 39 employees who have been with us for 20 years or longer. Of those, many have served 30, 35, even 44 years!

Now in our 54th year, the era of retirements has begun. We honored the most recent group December 11, 2018, at Hamilton Walker's in Champaign. Guests of honor invited their spouses, co-workers, and direct reports. We thank them for their service and wish them all the very best of luck. 

Jerry Gorman
Years of Employment: 36
There are few people affiliated with ATG who don’t know Jerry Gorman. His role is difficult to summarize, and his impact on the organization is almost impossible to describe. Simply put, he helped build it.

After five years in the private practice, Jerry started at ATG in 1982 as a Staff Attorney. There were a dozen employees, a small office in Chicago, and a historic $6 million claim that threatened our very existence. We survived, Jerry stayed, and business not only recovered, it boomed. Jerry’s responsibilities shifted and grew over time. In recent years as a Senior Vice President he was responsible for overseeing all aspects of ATG’s downstate operations, maintaining involvement in underwriting, technology, and corporate legal matters. A natural leader and educator, Jerry was always involved in planning and delivering training programs for member attorneys, so when ATG formed its legal education division in 2007, he was the obvious choice to run it. Today, ATG Legal Education offers a variety of programming on real estate and estate planning topics and serves thousands of attorneys. Gorman established ATG’s best known education event, the Harold I. Levine Real Estate Institute, which covers industry topics, boasts well-known industry speakers, and attracts an audience of 225-250 attorneys each year.

Jerry was also responsible for Metro East operations, spent several days each month in Chicago, and traveled to all points in between. In three decades on the road he recruited, trained, and built relationships with Illinois lawyers, many of whom are our longest-term and most prolific agents. Jerry is well known as a speaker, author, committee member, and leader in bar and industry associations, most notably the American Land Title Association (ALTA) Forms Committee. The latter gave him nationwide exposure as one of the legal minds behind crafting every paragraph of ALTA commitments, policies, and endorsements. Gorman was also an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois College of Law where he taught Real Estate Transactions from 2013 to 2017.

While retiring from his role as Senior Vice President in early 2019, Gorman will remain at ATG part-time to assist with the transition in downstate leadership and retain his role with ATG Legal Education. We hope he stays a while.

Diane Hoffman
Years of Employment: 15
As Assistant Manager of ATG's Human Resources Department, Diane had a host of duties that spanned onboarding new employees, coordinating benefits, assisting with the employee evaluation process, and many things in between. She was usually the first person a new employee would meet aside from his or her manager, and a great ambassador for ATG. She made new ATG and subsidiary employees feel welcome, introduced them personally to co-workers, and answered their questions and requests throughout the orientation period. Known for her patience, dedication, and thorough grasp of everything in the ATG Employee Handbook, Diane was also a great planner of in-house events and festivities to bring staff together and build camaraderie. We will miss you, Diane!

Bruce Kelso
Years of Employment: 15
Bruce took over as manager of the bustling Title Services Department in 2003. He came to ATG after managing an ATG title agency in Champaign where he handled all aspects of the transaction from search through policy preparation and closing. He inherited some challenges, brought order to a difficult process, and managed tidal waves of work and requests for our busy agents as they completed real estate transactions and issued title insurance to their clients. Bruce has implemented and trained staff on many procedures, assisted with developing new methodology to improve work flows, and taken a hands-on approach to agent service and direct communication that is unmatched. While the Title Services Department reports to ATG's new Senior Manager – Title Production, Terry Hennigan, longtime Assistant Manager, Bill Ludwig, will remain in charge of day-to-day tasks within the Champaign Title Services Department and its staff. Best of luck, Bruce!

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Bruce Kelso, Diane Hoffman, Jerry Gorman, and Peter Birnbaum.
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ATG held a December luncheon for retirees Jerry Gorman, Diane Hoffman, and Bruce Kelso at Hamilton Walker's with ATG officers and managers, followed by a happy hour celebration at the Champaign office.
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A reunion of the HR group: Barb Billhardt, Diane Hoffman, Mona Stevens, and Rebeckah Songer.
Retirement photo 8These two have worked together for 36 years: Retiring Senior Vice President Jerry Gorman and President Peter Birnbaum. 

[Last update: 12-20-18]

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