Elaine H. Melby was born and received her early education in Nashville, Tennessee. She is the oldest of three children born to the late Edward and Lillian Hill. Her parents and immediate family members were excellent role models for her as she developed into a young adult who valued family, hard work, a strong faith, and the importance of exercising “The Golden Rule” in every relationship, whether personal or business. She graduated in 1971 from Middle Tennessee State University with a BS degree in English and Secondary Education and has done post-graduate work towards her Master’s degree at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

After a teaching career that involved both college and junior high school teaching positions, Elaine entered the real estate business as a licensed Illinois sales agent in the late 1970’s. Elaine has served as an agent, a trainer and recruiter, as well as a manager for the company that she purchased in the early 1980’s. After serving as Broker/owner of the five-office company for over 20 years, Elaine sold the company in April 2006. She remains on staff as manager of the Carterville, Carbondale, and Murphysboro operations, as well as a trainer for the entire company.