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Creg McDonald and his wife Liz manage a real estate team that includes not only a number of highly experienced and professional REALTORS© but the full-time administrative staff and inside sales agents. Creg and Liz founded The McDonald Group in 2009 and their experience, combined with that of their team members, allows them to provide the utmost service and professionalism to their clients and partners.
Working with The McDonald Group means that clients benefit from the unique qualities of each team member. Our real estate professionals excel in the areas of negotiations, knowledge, marketing, and understanding of the needs of buyers and sellers. Creg, Liz, and their team work hard to ensure that their clients benefit from the last innovations in the real estate industry.
In short, each one of our real estate brokers shares their commitment to providing an outstanding client experience throughout your home buying or selling process in Champaign County and surrounding areas.
Featured Agents

Ashlee Ackerman


Meet Ashlee! She grew up around the Monticello area and is pretty rooted in the Champaign area communities. She started the industry working behind the scenes knowing some day she was going to go all out on the Brokerage side of things! Her goal was to learn as much as she could about the details, and all the intricacies that go along with such an involved process. This way when she made her move to an agent she was even more equipped to handle the most important questions regarding your purchase or sell! She understands and has already identified everything you are going to have questions about. Therefore she is able to get way out in front of anything that may arise. She has the unique ability to forecast and understand your needs and represent you at the highest level. Ashlee is passionate at what she does. She's an absolute control freak that wants to be the best and strives for perfection. She also has the same expectation for you and your home buying/selling experience.

Jackie Ehmen



As a native of Champaign County, I have a vested interest in seeing our area grow and prosper. The real estate market has had its challenges the last few years, but improvements are really happening. In addition, the interest rates are remaining quite low. I began my real estate career in 2003 and am proud of the more than four hundred families that I have helped buy, sell or invest in real estate. One of my greatest moments is seeing a dream for a homebuyer become a reality. I am committed to ensuring efficient, complete service for my clients. It is my belief that I am competent, caring and honest with everyone that chooses to work with me. Being with a Brokerage that has the “close knit” family feeling fell right in line with my strong family orientation. I am a mother of two wonderful children and grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren. I will assist you with quite possibly one of the larger purchases of your lifetime as if I were assisting one of my own.

John Gilman



John is originally from Decatur, IL and graduated from Millikin University . He moved to Champaign/Urbana in 1988 and was with American Family Insurance for 20 years as District Sales Manager. John acquired his Real Estate Broker license in 2010. He and his wife Tina have been married for 29 years and have two daughters; Morgan and Logan. Both live in Nashville, TN. John attends St. Matthews church and enjoys golfing, hunting, and travel. He is active in Young Life and has been on the board of directors for 10 years.John is a prior school board member for Montessori Schools in Savoy and he's an avid St. Louis Cardinal and U of I sports fan.

Cindy Johnson



Cindy comes to the McDonald Group team as an experienced real estate agent. She grew up in the area and sold real estate for several years before heading west to Arizona. Cindy sold successfully in the Phoenix area until she was offered an opportunity to work in Senior Living. With her passion for helping others, especially seniors, she jumped at the chance. Cindy returned to the Champaign area in 2016 to be closer to family, friends, and an elderly mother. She continued her career in the senior living world for a few years. Then, she realized there was a great need in the Champaign-Urbana area for a real estate agent who could be all-encompassing for seniors. Someone to not only assists in selling their home and downsizing but is also a great advisor on where they should live next. With her knowledge and connections in the senior living communities in the area, she can save you time, frustration, and stress and possibly even save you money! She can assist with the entire process. Cindy will tell you she strives to be the "real estate concierge." She always puts her client's needs first and provides a higher-value service at no extra cost to her clients. So, whether you're a first-time buyer or someone needing to sell their home for a better lifestyle, she will give you that all-encompassing service. Your needs and wants come first…..because she wants YOU to be happy! On her days off, you will find Cindy with her family or grandchildren, cycling, golfing, or relaxing with her husband and friends. Her motto is "Stay positive, have fun, and live life to the fullest."

Stephanie Martin


Creg McDonald

Managing Broker/ Owner


Creg is a University of Illinois graduate and loved living in Champaign so much that he never left. He has had a long and successful business career in Champaign, developing real estate and businesses over the last 30 years. Creg created The McDonald Group Real Estate Company in 2009 and has had the # 1producing real estate team in Champaign-Urbana for the years of 2012,2013,2014. While his real estate knowledge is extensive, his commitment to hard work, honesty and caring for the needs of his clients is what sets him apart. Creg has deep ties to the C-U Community. He believes that “giving back” is of the utmost importance. He has been a member of various charity boards over the last 30 years and most recently has begun donating his time and talents as an auctioneer to charity events and has raised over $500,000. Creg is very proud of his two daughters, Mia and Kelley. He is married to his amazing wife, Liz, who just so happens to work with him. He will admit that he is the second best Realtor in the family. Creg enjoys golf, boating, The St. Louis Cardinals, University of Illinois and high school sports.

Liz McDonald



A graduate of The University of Illinois, Liz has been a resident of Champaign County since 1985. She grew up in Grayslake, a northern suburb of Chicago. She has helped buyers and sellers in Champaign County for over 25 years. Liz specializes in buyer representation, working with a wide variety of clients ranging from U of I faculty to first time home buyers. She has earned designations from GRI and ABR. Liz is married to husband, Creg, and together they have 2 daughters, Mia and Kelley. As a family they enjoy U of I sports, boating, golf and travel. She has been involved with many community organizations including First Presbyterian Church of Champaign, Copper Creek Church, Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club, Champaign County YMCA and various Unit 4 Schools organizations.

Mike Nelson



Mike was born and raised in Champaign. He's extremely passionate about the area and loves to call Champaign home. Mike became a licensed real estate agent in 2014. He has a 20 year career at the United States Postal Service in Champaign. Mike is extremely familiar and knowledgeable with the Champaign area. He takes a lot of pride in helping others make great decisions in real estate purchases. Please call Mike if you are looking to buy or sell real estate in Champaign County area.

Allison Nickerson

Operations Manager / Broker


Taylor Redeker



Taylor joined The McDonald Group after specializing with home buyers for 2 1/2 years at another local real estate company. Taylor joined the community several years ago, receiving a bachelors degree in Media Studies from The University of Illinois in 2015. She is excited to bring her competence, knowledge, enthusiasm, and passion for helping clients with both the buying and selling aspects of real estate.

Paula Shurtz


Paula Shurtz has over 40 years of experience in the local real estate industry. Paula specializes in residential homes and lot sales throughout Champaign County. Her philosophy is that buying a home is one of the largest financial investments you'll make - so you deserve the attention, knowledge and service of a full-time professional. Paula was awarded a Certificate of Excellence acknowledging her #1 status in Individual Sales in April of 2016.

Jeff Van Buskirk


After working in the automotive service industry for over 40 years, Jeff has decided to change career paths and begin the wonderful real estate journey! Connect with Jeff today to achieve your real estate goals.

Sophie Youse



Sophie Youse is a distinguished real estate broker, bringing a wealth of experience and a unique background to her profession. A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Sophie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, showcasing her analytical and interpersonal skills. During her college years, Sophie was an active member of the Delta Beta chapter of Delta Gamma, demonstrating her commitment to excellence and teamwork. Her passion for sports is evident in her status as a devoted Kentucky fan, although she has embraced a newfound affection for the Orange and Blue. Sophie's journey into the real estate industry was shaped by her early career in the bustling city of Chicago, Illinois. Working with renowned fashion retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Michael Kors, Sophie honed her skills in the fast-paced world of retail. Her remarkable achievement with Abercrombie & Fitch involved spearheading the launch of 15 multi-million dollar international stores across 10 different countries in Europe and Asia. This experience was pivotal in fostering Sophie's exceptional attention to detail and her ability to cultivate enduring relationships. In 2014, Sophie took a significant leap into the world of real estate management as an Assistant Property Manager for Acadia Realty Trust, a distinguished real estate investment trust based in New York State. Here, she skillfully managed a diverse portfolio of 12 commercial real estate properties, including two shopping centers and 10 urban mixed-use properties. Sophie's tenure in this role cemented her expertise in real estate operations and property management. In 2015, Sophie decided to return to her hometown of Champaign, and she subsequently became an integral part of the TMG family. As a dedicated agent for both buyers and sellers, Sophie tirelessly pursues her clients' objectives, ensuring they not only meet their real estate goals but also relish the journey along the way. Sophie combines her international retail experience, management expertise, and unwavering commitment to her clients in her role as a real estate broker. With her unique background and dedication, she is well-equipped to guide clients through their real estate endeavors, whether they are buying or selling properties. Sophie's extensive experience and strong attention to detail ensure that her clients are in capable hands, fostering an exceptional and enjoyable real estate experience.
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