Meet Elena Wilcox: Born in Russia, master’s in literature

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Home: “Born, raised and educated in Arkhangelsk, Russia, I came to visit friends in the United States more than 20 years ago, and I decided to stay.”

Family: “I met my husband here in the U.S., and eventually moved to Newport with him. We have two sons, ages 21 and 12, and a 16-year old daughter, who is actually my niece and the daughter of my late brother. She has lived with us for four years now.”

Past careers: “While still living in Russia, I earned a degree, the equivalent of a master’s, in Russian Literature, and I taught in that field for a time. When I came to the U.S., at first I worked as an Au Pair for a family in Boston for a few months, before getting back to what I wanted to do at the time. For several years I worked on my PhD at Brown and taught in their department of Slavic Languages, but before long I had a house full of kids, which made it very difficult to focus on my dissertation.”

Why real estate?: “I began selling real estate in 1996, and I love it. I love selling unique, high-end, beautiful homes. Sales and negotiations can be challenging, but I enjoy a challenge. And I take it personally — my clients’ needs become my own needs.

Working with people: “I have met so many wonderful people. In fact, most of what I have learned about Americans in the past 23 years, I learned through real estate. I have a wonderful network here in Newport.”

Living in Rhode Island: “I love Rhode Island, its history and its architecture. Real estate is very exciting and fascinating field to work in. There is always something new: new people, new properties, new stories ... It is very fulfilling to bring two parties — sellers and buyers — together to a mutually satisfying agreement, and to complete the sale.”

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