We value all our instructors and are proud to have them instructing our courses. We want you to know that at the Larabee School we hire experienced instructors who have a passion for real estate and want you to be successful. Read more about them and what they love about their jobs below.
Mari Jo Mentzer – Director of Education
A native of Missouri Valley, Iowa, Mari Jo earned her degree in adult education from Bellevue University. She has more than 20 years experience in real estate industry, with three years specializing in real estate education. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking in Colorado and writing. Mentzer has three adult children and two adorable grandsons with whom she enjoys spending her free time.
“I’m a long time resident of Lincoln and have enjoyed every moment of it! I’ve been working in real estate as a residential sales agent since 1998. Prior to real estate, I attended UNL and graduated with a bachelors degree in Broadcast Journalism. I worked in my field of study at radio stations and KOLN-TV for about 12 years before discovering real estate.
I’ve always enjoyed getting to know people and their stories, hence my interest in journalism, couple that with my interest in residential renovation and construction, and you have the makings of a real estate agent. I found myself intrigued by the idea of real estate as a career, and after interviewing a few people in the field, decided to make the switch! Real Estate has been a fantastic decision for me personally and knowing that my knowledge and experience now connects people to one of their most important and intimate purchases provides a sense of pride in my vocation.
Becoming a teacher seemed an logical step in my real estate experience. I love sharing information and stories that have made this career so incredible. I hope, through my teaching, students find validation in their decision to explore real estate and enjoy the many opportunities it provides.
I have four incredible kids, all of which are in various stages of school here in Lincoln…..from UNL down to Prescott Elementary. I have a wide variety of interests that include mountain climbing, restoring historic homes, performance, singing, growing grapes for a local vineyard, making wine and of course my favorite pastime, raising my kids.
If you are considering real estate, remember it’s not just a career, but a lifestyle that is not only fulfilling….but one that provides you with a lifetime of meaningful stories!”
Judy has a number of career achievements including her presidency of the Women’s Council of Realtors in 2003, a CRB and GRI designation, Director for the Realtors Association on the MLS board, RAL realtor of the Year in 2009, President of RAL – 2011, RAL Presidents Achievement Award recipient – 2003, RAL Outstanding Service Award recipient – 2004, a governing board director for the Graduate Realtor’s Institute, past chair of the RAL Education Committee, NRA Professional Standards Committee member – 2004-2010, National Realtors Professional Standards Committee – 2010-2012, a NAR member, NRA member and RAL member in addition to instructing for the Larabee School. She enjoys teaching and wants to do her part to help future agents succeed.
Tami has been licensed in Real Estate since 1993 and has been a licensed Broker since 2003. Her start in the real estate industry began in the title industry while being a licensed title agent. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education and a minor in Business Administration. She is currently a Managing Broker with a real estate company. Tami has been with Larabee for over 5 years teaching pre-license course, developing, teaching continuing education and assisting new agents with their training.