INA, Ill. – INA, Ill. – Pinckneyville businesswoman Mary Pericolosi is the latest to join Rend Lake College Foundation’s Board of Directors.
She was born in Maine and moved to Pinckneyville from Connecticut in 1978. She and her husband, Lawrence, own and operate Custom By Contempri Inc./Gateway Development in Pinckneyville.
The company develops commercial offices, churches, community centers, entire neighborhoods with single-family homes and assisted living facilities. Its projects over the years have spanned the region: From facilities here in southern Illinois like The Manor at Mason Woods in Pinckneyville, The Manor at Salem Woods in Salem, The Manor at Craig Farms in Chester and the upcoming assisted living facility in Jerseyville, to low-income housing in the Metro East area and subdivisions in St Louis.
What’s unique about this operation is that not only does it plan and work with governmental officials, area engineers, architects and contractors to provide affordable housing, but it co-owns many of the projects it develops.
Pericolosi said she finds great joy in being involved in providing a “home environment” with built-in services and social activities for senior citizens.
“The Assisted Living facilities give seniors options,” she said. “Besides providing comfort and security to the residents, it seems to give them a new lease on life. They have many choices of activities and get involved with the ones they like. Their families enjoy visiting and many partake in monthly functions, such as family night and other parties.”
Pericolosi and her daughter, Esterina, are both RLC alumna. Esterina, 29, graduated from RLC in 2001, went on to earn a degree from St. Louis University, and now works as an executive assistant for a California engineering firm. Pericolosi holds a bachelors degree in biopsychology from McKendree University and completed two years in the Occupational Therapy Program at Washington University. She sees a lot of benefit in lifelong learning and gaining experience. “...It helps you think out of the box, when you have more experience, you have more to bring to the table,” she said. “I’ve always stayed close to what Rend Lake does and I participate whenever I can.”
Her advice to students is “broaden your horizon. Some individuals get tunnel vision,” she said. “... They focus too much on a specialty or major too soon ... and don’t take the time to explore what they may have a talent for.” Those who think college isn’t for them should think again, she said. Not pursuing education is a sure way to leave a talent undiscovered or undeveloped, she added.
Pericolosi’s interests are wide-ranging. Whether it’s creating something with her hands or volunteering, she likes seeing a project from conception to fruition. She is looking forward to learning more about what ideas her fellow RLCF board members are working on and hopes she can contribute to the cause, she said.