Salesperson and operating partner/owner
Keller Williams Synergy Real Estate

For Wong, real estate started as a way to earn money before heading to graduate school in business or law. But in her fourth year in real estate, she earned $1.3 million in gross commissions; she decided to stay in the business she had come to love. By the end of 2001, she had assembled a sales team—two administrative assistants and three buyer specialists. Three years later she opened Keller Williams Synergy, which now has 115 salespeople.

Her goal: Run a business with a family environment that promotes both professional and personal growth—but continue to work as an active sales team leader. Her seven-member team posted sales of $178 million from 284 transactions in 2004.

Maternal instinct: “They call me ‘Mama Bear,’ because I’m nurturing,” she says. She also inspires others by the example she sets. “I’d never ask someone to do something that I wouldn’t do.”

Serving others: Wong gives back to her community and has encouraged her staff to follow her lead. Together they raised $40,000 last year for The Smile Train foundation, which provides free surgery for children with facial deformities.