Engel & Völkers Chicago

About Blair Thrush Lele

For more than 30 years, my priority has been to serve my clients and exceed their expectations. I have a deep knowledge of the residential arena as well as keen insight into economics and a passion for service. My reward is knowing that with my experience and dedication, I can help my clients make sound decisions that enhance their quality of life and are a good long-term investment.   

My inspiration came from my parents, true pros who helped change the Chicago residential landscape. A former IBM executive, my father played a key role in reviving several downtown neighborhoods. His passion for preservation started in the 1960s when he began acquiring and restoring historic homes in Lincoln Park and DePaul.

In 1972 when there were only 200 members of the multiple listing service, my mother founded a boutique residential brokerage, Mary M. Thrush Real Estate, along with a property management, company, Brown Bird Development. With a reputation for being elegant, honest, intelligent and a great deal maker, she was at the forefront of women-owned businesses and an inspiring role model. In 1980, the scope of my father’s business grew as he founded Thrush Development, a residential development company with projects in Lakeview, River North, the South and West Loop, Tri Taylor and Kenwood. After five years in operations for the brokerage division of The Northern Trust, I joined Thrush Development. It was remarkable to watch and realize all that is possible when you put your heart and soul into the pursuit of your vision.

I loved growing up in the city and feel a special kinship with the neighborhoods I serve. I attended Francis W. Parker School, a progressive private school that fostered both self-determination and compassion for others. After marrying and starting a family, we moved up to Evanston, enabling me to effectively serve both my city clients and those on the North Shore. Beyond my career, I have dedicated my time to raising my children, staying fit, and spending time with my aging parents.

Giving back has always been an important part of my life. Since my son became critically ill 15 years ago, I have dedicated my fundraising efforts to Make A Wish Foundation, Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Before that, I was a Founding Member and President of the Junior Board of Alliance Française de Chicago where I planned cultural events and served on the board of Chicago Children’s Charities.

I am thrilled to take the Thrush family tradition in residential real estate to the next level by joining Engel & Völkers Chicago. The company’s core values of competence, exclusivity and passion align perfectly with my values, and I feel like I am home.

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