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Education Champ, Real Estate Guru to Deliver Commencement Speeches

On Saturday, June 24, 2017, National Louis University will recognize the exceptional work of student graduates at its 2017 Chicago campus commencement ceremonies.

Dominic Belmonte, Golden Apple Foundation CEO, will deliver the keynote speech at National Louis University’s  commencement for National College of Education (NCE) graduates.

Rick Davidson, an NLU alum and former president and CEO of Century 21 Real Estate, will address the College of Professional Studies and Advancement (CPSA) graduates. Davidson currently heads Everest Group, parent company of Everest-Troop Real Estate.

The university will hold two separate commencement ceremonies for its two colleges.
The NCE commencement ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. and the ceremony for CPSA graduates will begin at 2 p.m. Both ceremonies will take place at the Arie Crown Theater at 2301 South Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.

About Dominic Belmonte

Dominic Belmonte serves the Golden Apple Foundation as its Chief Executive Officer. He began his career in 1976 teaching English at York High School in Elmhurst, Illinois, and served as English Department chair for the last seven years of his 20-year career there.

He received the Golden Apple Award in 1987, only the second year of its existence.  In 1989 he co-created the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois to encourage students in high school and the first two years of college to consider a teaching career. The advanced teacher preparation and mentoring experience is now Golden Apple’s largest program.

In 1996 he co-created the GATE (Golden Apple Teacher Education) program, for mid-career professionals in other fields who wished to change careers into teaching. It offered an alternative pathway to teacher certification for mid-career adults wishing to teach secondary math or science or elementary school children. Belmonte was also past chairman of the Golden Apple Academy of Educators.

Belmonte is the author of two books: Teaching from the Deep End (2nd ed.), and Teaching on Solid Ground, both published by Corwin Press in California. He earned his B.A. and M.A. in English at the University of Illinois at Chicago and was conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from St. Xavier University in 2011.

About Rick Davidson

In April 2017, Rick Davidson was named partner and president of the Everest Group, parent company of Everest-Troop Real Estate, a Salt Lake City-based firm with 18 real estate offices in Utah and California and All Valley Escrow, an escrow services provider in California. Prior to his recent appointment at the Everest Group, Rick retired as president and chief executive officer of Century 21 Real Estate LLC, a position he held for more than seven years. Davidson is an honors graduate of the College of Management and Business at National Louis University.

In his role at CENTURY 21, Davidson led the world’s largest real estate franchise organization of approximately 7,300 independently owned and operated offices and more than 110,000 independent sales professionals in 76 countries and territories worldwide.

In 2013-2017 Davidson was recognized in the Swanepoel Power 200 list of the most powerful people in residential real estate, and in 2011- 2017 he was included in The Inman 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders. Additionally, in 2015, Davidson was honored by the International Franchising Association with the IFA Ronald E. Harrison Diversity Award.

Prior to his position at CENTURY 21, Davidson served in a dual capacity as president and chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates (CBC) and as chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate, LLC (both wholly owned subsidiaries of Realogy Corporation). In his post as president and COO of CBC, Davidson was responsible for the overall success of this global commercial real estate franchise. As COO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate, Davidson was responsible for the company’s global operations.

Prior to his appointment by Realogy, Davidson founded and was the president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Commercial Capitol Realty Services. This was an independently owned and operated commercial real estate services firm in the Greater Washington, DC market.

Davidson currently serves as immediate past Chairman, International Board of Directors for Easter Seals, Inc. and is a member of the Board of Directors for the International Franchise Association. He is actively a Big Brother with Big Brothers/Big Sisters.