How Marriage and a Successful Business Life Can Co-Exist
For Penny and Gil Jelmberg, true success comes from a belief in their abilities, family life, and a focused commitment to improving the lives of others. Through all the trials of life and business, Penny and Gil maintained a loving connection now for over 45 years.
Before meeting each other Gil and Penny both had strong starts to their business careers. Their love of building something together has proven how business life and home life can co-exist.
Penny’s career began in an attorney’s office, and at the age of 22 she transitioned into bookkeeping, and then sales at an office equipment company. Her sales ability was impressive, and despite how others reacted to her success – good or bad – Penny focused on making the most out of her opportunities.
Starting out in accounting Penny was motivated to join the sales team. “I wasn’t supposed to be selling office equipment at the time because I was really one of the few women to be doing so. There were a lot of doubts because of it,” Penny says.
However, she didn’t let this doubt discourage her. She was keen to help others benefit from the coming tech changes, and this kept her moving forward.
One person in awe of her strong character was a colleague named Gil. As one of the owners of the company, Gil felt she was overqualified, too young, and destined for bigger and better things. However, the other owners vetoed Gil’s thoughts and hired her for the sales position anyway. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Initially, their acquaintanceship blossomed into a trusting friendship, and then into something more. After a few years of working together, Gil worked up the courage to tell Penny how he felt and since the feeling was mutual, it was sealed with a kiss!
Penny and Gil married in 1975, and they kept trailblazing in their career endeavours. They purchased a business in the advancing technologies industry in Washington state. One of their first endeavours was to install the first ever scanning systems in Safeway grocery stores around 1977. Then, they established an Internet Service Provider company in the 90’s, and Penny once again showed herself as a driven and successful salesperson.
During this time, Penny saw her original tribulations as a salesperson pay off as their Internet Service Provider company expanded across 13 states! As CEO Penny’s strong work ethic showed other women they too could be a valuable part of any organization, in whatever role they desired. Her work during this time has been recognized with several awards and designations, including the Chamber Person of the Year; Chamber President; Board of United Way; and Board of TC Economic Development.
Penny and Gil always made sure they balanced a healthy personal and family life too. This included their three children, Lisa, Christian and Josh.
“There was never a night we didn’t have dinner together,” Penny says. “It was a rule. It’s impressive that we never missed having dinner together, despite how busy we were. Family always came first!”
Many people have asked Penny how a married couple can work together and maintain a strong and happy relationship. Penny credits their foundation of friendship. “We started out as truly good friends and we stayed that way,” she says.
By the year 2000, the kids were grown up, they had sold all of their companies, and it was time to think about their retirement years. Penny fell in love with the Coachella Valley’s stunning nature and pleasant weather, and she and Gil thought it was the perfect place to start their new lives. They have lived in both Sun City Palm Desert and Sun City Shadow Hills. However, after moving in, traveling, and much needed peace and quiet, Penny and Gil’s business brains began to get restless. Naturally, they turned to their family.
Together with their sons Josh and Christian, they started a real estate company that is now well-known to the Valley: The Jelmberg Team. Their family-run business began to expand, and all employees became part of their treasured family unit. For Penny, helping people find a home they love is a big motivator.
“Whether they’re leaving the Valley for new prospects, or beginning a new chapter in their lives here, We’re here to help them in their journey,” Penny says, “I don’t need to do it for the sale. I do it because I want to help people find their new life.”
The Jelmberg team is hosting their annual Charity match program for 3 incredibly deserving causes of Streetlife Project homeless outreach, Coachella Valley Horse Rescue, and Father’s Heart Ranch foster home. See pages 40 & 41, to learn more about how you can contribute to your local charities this holiday season!
learn more about the Jelmberg Family at: www.jelmbergteam.com/blog/jelmberg-advantage/