Learning from his builder father and sales associate mother, Veneklase can build a home from start to finish. He began investing in real estate at 19. As a sales associate, he hit the big time when he teamed with a large developer in Grand Rapids. “I was the first sales associate to talk him into paying a commission on a condo sale,” says Veneklase. Today, Veneklase is the developer’s exclusive sales associate, closing 262 transaction sides in 2007, totaling more than $50 million.
ON HIS OWN: Veneklase hasn’t lost interest in construction and design. “The developer I work with has taken old buildings and saved them,” he says. “The fun part is that he lets me be a part of everything—from the design and construction to the marketing.” Veneklase is soaking it all in so that he can develop his own projects in five to 10 years.