Featured Alumnus: Nick Malinosky '00
How did Nick Malinosky ’00 go from a young athlete who never went to school to selling multi-million dollar private estates complete with ocean frontage, private docks, infinity pools, and manicured lawns? The short answer: Avon Old Farms. The long answer has a lot to do with mentorship, building confidence, and structure, all of which are hallmarks on an Avon education.
To start, Nick Malinosky says that when it came to attending private school, there weren’t other options: it was Avon or nothing. His name was known in Connecticut youth hockey, he had an uncle who had attended Avon, and he was a local, hailing from just over the mountain in West Hartford.
“When Avon took a chance on me and gave me the opportunity to enroll, thankfully I was smart enough—and my family was smart enough—to know this wasn’t something I could afford to pass up,” Nick says. “I was on the fast track to nowhere good, and Avon really turned my life around.”
What Nick says made the biggest impact was the structure Avon demands. From pre-season football practices at Avon that had him walking down the trail to the fields before sunrise, to sit-down dinners and enrichment at the end of a long day, he credit’s the Avon schedule with getting his academics back on track within a year.
“When I first arrived at Avon, sports were the easy part, academics were hard. But, for some reason, the faculty really rallied around me and refused to let me fail; I couldn’t fail with all of their support and follow-up. It was an incredible transformation, and one that gave me a lot of confidence to make a new path for my future.”
Nick says that for him, it was the fear of the unknown, the fear of failure, that used to hold him back. However, with the support of faculty like Jim Detora, Kevin Driscoll, John Gardner, and Chandra Narsipur, his fears about the demands in the classroom quickly turned into excitement. Once he was on even footing, the faculty then began challenging him with more and more responsibility on campus, even making him a monitor.
“They could have very easily kicked me out of school because I wasn’t putting anything in initially, but their investment certainly paid off. All of a sudden, I was involved in everything around campus.”
Nick was a three sport athlete, playing football, hockey, and lacrosse. He made the honor roll his junior and senior years, and joined several clubs including the environmental club, theater club, and community service club. Around the same time that he began turning a corner as a young Avonian, he discovered a vision for his future.
“I visited my friends’, the Tiernans’, home in Florida and immediately fell in love with the world of real estate. I remember asking if they would let me join their firm after I finished college, and when they agreed, my mind was made up.”
First, Nick attended Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York where he studied political science. However, just as planned, after graduation he headed south to Florida to join Allmon, Tiernan & Ely, Inc. He says it was not easy—at all—and it took his career six or seven years to turn into anything that would support him financially. However, Avon taught him how to aspire and persevere, and eventually things started happening for him.
“At first there were no listings, and it wasn’t a salaried job, so I worked as a bartender to make ends meet. It was extremely difficult being young, new to the business, and not knowing anyone in the area. Then, I had my first listing. Then it was two, and eventually three,” he explains. “By my eighth year, I was doing okay. By my 10th, things were good. And now, things are great. Without my Avon experiences, I definitely would have quit before things took off, and I have no idea what I would be doing. But Avon taught me to stick with it, and I am so thankful for that.”
For 50 years, Allmon, Tiernan & Ely was a market leader for the luxury real estate market in Delray Beach, Gulf Stream, Ocean Ridge, Manalapan, Point Manalapan and Hypoluxo Island. It was then bought out by The Corcoran Group, and eventually Nick went into business with Randy Ely. (Their website, randyandnick.com gives a great look at the type of luxury real estate Nick now deals with on a regular basis.) On the site, Nick shares that his dedicated focus lies in the marketing and sales of South Palm Beach County's finest luxury estates, with Manalapan, Ocean Ridge, Gulf Stream, Delray Beach, Highland Beach and Boca Raton as his specialty markets.
“With a sole focus in the beach area, Nick is one of the most successful luxury real estate agents in the country. Nick fully understands and delivers the level of quality service and professionalism his discerning sellers and buyers expect.”
Together, Nick and Randy Ely offer a combined 40 years of experience in the beach area and are ranked as top producers in the luxury real estate market earning them local, state, and national recognition. Nick credits the Avon values—especially integrity—paired with hard work and determination with earning the trust of his clients.
“I know I learned all of that at Avon,” he says. “The schedule at Avon and the ownership young men need to have of their time and how they spend it there can be life-changing. I laugh looking back at having 20 minutes to myself to just sit on my bed in the Quad and rest. And I mean truly just sit there and do nothing, that’s how demanding it was, and that’s how I learned to keep myself organized. On top of that, I work with families in their private homes. People have to trust you, your word, and your brand. Avon helped me build my character into one that others can trust their home with.”
In 2017, Nick married his wife, Katherine, and in 2019 they welcomed a little girl, Maisie Parker, into the world. He has hosted Avon events at his home in Florida, and he returns to campus as much as possible, and even served on the National Council from 2018-21 to give back to the school that has given so much to him.
“Avon friendships will always be stronger than any others, because we were all going through extreme changes and transitions together,” he comments. “Everyone at the end of the day was there for the same reason: to grow, to become a good man. Going through that while living so closely with your friends and struggling through life with them forged bonds that nothing can break.”