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Experienced, Engaging, and Committed: An In-Depth Look at the Pinnacle Real Estate Academy Instructors

Photo of Pinnacle Real Estate Academy Team
Pinnacle Real Estate Academy Team

No matter what kind of school you may attend, there is one thing that remains true… teachers make all the difference! Pinnacle Real Estate Academy is proud to have the most experienced, engaging, and committed instructors in the Grand Strand area. In fact, 3 (soon to be 5) of the nation’s 178 REEA Gold Standard ranked instructors teach at Pinnacle. Here are the professionals that make Pinnacle the premier real estate education option.

Jennifer Nicely

Jennifer Nicely is the captain of the ship! In 2012, after many years of working in the field as an agent, broker-associate, sales manager, speaker and property manager; Jennifer opened Pinnacle Real Estate Academy. As CEO/BIC/CDEI of the company, she oversees all aspects from curriculum development to actual teaching in our classrooms. Jennifer holds ABR, e-Pro, SPS, and C2EX designations and currently serves on 8 different boards and committees for professional, legislative, realty, and charitable organizations/foundations. She was the recipient of the 2022 REALTOR image award and is one of the REEA Gold Standard ranked instructors that teach at Pinnacle. You can also catch Jennifer as the co-host of the tv show “Getting Real with Real Estate” which airs weekly on WMBF.

Photo of Pinnacle Real Estate Academy Instructor Chris Kavanagh

The third REEA Gold Standard ranked instructor at Pinnacle Real Estate Academy is Chris Kavanagh. Chris is a real estate professional and company trainer/coach, helping clients maximize their Grand-Strand real estate ventures. He received his South Carolina real estate license after moving to Myrtle Beach from New York in 2005. He is a graduate of Leadership Coastal Carolinas Association of Realtors and Leadership Grand Strand, both of which are 9-month programs aimed at developing and recruiting some of the most dynamic and committed leaders in the Grand Strand area. Chris is also a member of NAR, SCAR, and Pinnacle’s Director of Instruction.

Photo of Pinnacle Real Estate Academy Instructor Rich Christenbury

Rich Christenbury has over 20 years of experience in medical sales and real estate sales, moving to eastern South Carolina in 1991 and obtaining his real estate license in 2004. He has held roles as both a real estate agent and broker in charge and currently works full-time as a broker in North Myrtle Beach. Rich looks forward to helping students learn the fundamentals of the real estate process and imparting his sales experience to new South Carolina real estate professionals. He will also be receiving the coveted REEA Gold Standard Instructor ranking in 2023.

Photo of Pinnacle Real Estate Academy Instructor Melissa Urso

Melissa Urso moved to Myrtle Beach in 2007 and has since been a licensed real estate agent and broker-in-charge with Pinnacle Real Estate Academy. Fluent in Italian and English, she has taught both languages at the High School and College level for over 20 years. With a passion for real estate and extensive experience traveling around the world, she is dedicated to helping her clients buy and sell their homes quickly and efficiently. Melissa received her Broker-In-Charge license through Pinnacle Real Estate Academy in 2017 and is licensed in both North and South Carolina after years of being a licensed agent in Florida. She will also receive the coveted REEA Gold Standard Instructor ranking in 2023.

Photo of Pinnacle Real Estate Academy Instructor Beth Williamson

Beth Williamson is a distinguished Realtor® and Broker in South Carolina, with 23 years of experience and numerous professional designations, including CRS and GRI. She actively contributes to the real estate community, serving on advisory groups and boards, and is on the verge of earning the ALC designation. Alongside her business partner, Sammie Jo Lewis, Beth co-founded Core 1st Realty Group, and her dedication to education is evident through her recent GSI designation from the REEA Conference. Balancing a fulfilling family life, she enjoys boating and traveling with her husband, two sons, daughters-in-law, and two dogs. Beth is also an author, with her book, “I Just Want to Pee Off the Porch,” detailing her rural real estate adventures, soon to be published.

Photo of Pinnacle Real Estate Academy Instructor Jason Whedon

Jason Whedon, with over two decades of experience in various industries including sales and process development at Fujifilm, moved to Myrtle Beach in 2009 with his wife Mandy and their four children. His diverse background also includes significant contributions to the North Myrtle Beach Fire Department and serving on its Policy Committee. An entrepreneur at heart, he founded Carolina Shores Home Watch, addressing the needs of absentee property owners, before transitioning into real estate in 2018. In the real estate field, Jason has focused on building a loyal client base and advising on equity growth strategies. He is deeply involved in the community, participating in outreach and serving on the CCAR Educational Advisory Committee.

Photo of Pinnacle Real Estate Academy Instructor Kim Gordon

Kim Gordon, a University of South Carolina alumna, boasts over 25 years in finance and 15 years in the real estate industry, with experience at Georgia Pacific, DuPont, and Roche, and has served on the Pee Dee Association Board of Realtors. Throughout her career, she has focused on mentoring agents and mastering various real estate programs and software. Residing in the Pee Dee area for over 30 years with her husband and three children, Kim has been a top producer and recipient of numerous accolades, including Realtor of the Year and The Good Neighbor Award for her community service. Her transition from Century 21 King to United Real Estate of Florence marked significant achievements in real estate sales and listings. Beyond her professional success, Kim is dedicated to serving the less fortunate and actively participates in fundraising for scholarships, highlighting her passion for helping others and her community.

Photo of Pinnacle Real Estate Academy Instructor Tricia Tennyson

Tricia Tennyson, licensed as a Real Estate Agent since 2014, holds licenses in Ohio, North Carolina, and South Carolina, and is an Ohio Dominican University graduate. She has earned several Realtor designations including C2EX, AHWD, ePro, and CRS, and also possesses certifications in Real Estate Mentor and Executive Coaching. A staunch advocate for homeowners’ rights, Tricia is a Major Investor in RPAC and moved to North Myrtle Beach in 2022, having owned and vacationed there for over 14 years. She is a mother to two adult children, Taylor and Matt, and a passionate sports enthusiast. Tricia and her husband Scott currently enjoy life in the Crescent Beach area of North Myrtle Beach.

At Pinnacle Real Estate Academy, the experienced, engaging, and committed group of instructors are determined to help students unlock their real estate success inside and outside the classroom.

Please visit https://pinnaclerealestateacademy.com/ for more information about Pinnacle Real Estate Academy and its instructors.

*Updated February 15th, 2024

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