2012 Corporate Honoree: Pisoni Real Estate

Pisoni Real Estate is Corporate Honoree for HerrinFesta Italiana 2012. The Pisoni family has been on the business scene of the Herrin area for more than half a century.

Pisoni Insurance and Real Estate was founded  in l942. Tony and Mary Pisoni, parents of current owner, Richard Pisoni, knew the value of thrift and hard work. Tony Pisoni was born in Herrin, Jan. 7, l906 to Charles and Maria Tapella Pisoni who immigrated to America from Italy. Mary Pisoni was born Sept. 22, l907 to Emil and Caroline (Carnaghi) Pessina in Herrin. Both families came to Herrin from Cuggiono near Milan at the turn of the 20th century.

When Tony Pisoni began to sell life insurance for George Berra in the Depression of the l930’s the small beginnings of a company were apparent. He would open and build his own business by helping others and use his ability to relate to people to add customers. In the middle of WWII Pisoni Insurance opened its doors in downtown Herrin at 301 North Park Avenue. Their current location is at 700 South Park Avenue.   Tony and Mary Pisoni were Grand Parade Marshals for HerrinFesta Italiana in 1997. He died December 2, 2003. He was 97. Mary Pisoni died December 5, 2004. She was 97.

Richard Pisoni continued the success of his father after graduation from Herrin High School in l952, two years at Southern Illinois University, and a transfer to the University of Illinois where he majored in economics and business and  graduated in 1956. He served in the U. S. Army from 1956-58 in Korea. He joined the family firm in 1959. His brother Don also a graduate of the University of Illinois is president of Don Pisoni Interior Decorating in St. Louis.

Richard married Margaret DeMuri in June, l959. She died August 22, 2010. They are parents of three children, Richard and Amy Pisoni of Herrin – he is an Illinois State Policeman, Leslie and Mark Hood of St. Louis , MO – she is a CPA and John and Stacey Pasoni of  Marion,  – he runs his own  excavating company. Richard  has five grandchildren, Joel Pisoni and Rachel Pisoni of Herrin, Matthew Hood of St. Louis, Faith Pasoni of  Marion, and one adopted grandson, Christopher Meier of Tunnel Hill.

Richard credits the early growth and success of his business to a company of women, “People always say behind every successful man is a good woman. My father was fortunate to have three good women, my mother and my two aunts, Ann Pessina and Louise Clavenna, who were office managers and bookkeepers at the office. We continue to have an outstanding staff, Deby Eaton, Maxine Smith, Cheryl Ruzich and Susie Spezia. At different times all of my children have taken their turn in the office, Ricky Pisoni, Leslie Hood and John Pasoni.”

Richard moved Pisoni Insurance into new directions through the l960’s and l970’s and into the 21st century as the company became more and more invested in real estate sales in Herrin and throughout southern Illinois. The company supports numerous rental properties and handles property management. They have currently handled the largest commercial sales in Herrin for the last five years.

A community volunteer, Richard is dedicated to the city he calls home. He is a 4th Degree Knight of the Herrin Knights of Columbus, a member of Herrin VFW, Herrin Rotary, Herrin Chamber of Commerce and a past member of the Herrin Eagles and Herrin Elks clubs. He has served as a Director of Herrin Security Bank since l980, is treasurer of the Williamson County Airport Authority and serves on the advisory board for REDCO (Regional Economic Development Corp). He worked behind the scenes for many years to aid in annexation of additional properties for the City of Herrin.

He continues to serve as one of the original members of the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic School Foundation began in 1987 that spearheads numerous projects and fundraising programs at OLMC which serves students from the area K-8.   He was selected to be an honorary member of the Henry J. Rehn Society in the SIU College of Business.  He is a avid supporter of Saluki athletics.

Ever proud of his Italian heritage, Richard has visited Italy twice and hopes to someday go again. He feels that Herrin remains a dynamic city with a wealth of goodwill in the region and the uncanny ability to build on the future in spite of losing their major industrial base common in the last century. He sees new activity in the housing industry, the continued growth of Herrin Hospital and a growing census for Herrin that are all good signs for the years to come.

Cris Trapani, HerrinFesta President says, “Pisoni Real Estate is a family owned business that has grown into a regional company. Their attention to detail and ability to help others is well known. Festa is pleased to name them as Corporate Honoree for 2012.”

Pisoni Real Estate and owner Richard Pisoni, his family and staff will be honored at the Festa Honoree Banquet May 22 at 6 p.m. at the Herrin Elks Club and will ride in the Grand Festa Parade May 26 in Herrin. HerrinFesta runs May 21-28 in and around the Herrin Civic Center.