Pictured above: Sigal and Ronny Urman
Sigal and Ronald “Ronny” Urman are a dynamic duo who are very involved in the Israeli-American community in the Valley and are business partners at Urman Investments. The two are also the founding partners of Illumination, Symphony of Light, the world’s largest drive-through animated light show that will be returning for the 2019 holiday season.
Amidst their busy schedule, they took a breath and answered some questions about their faith, family and how to maintain work/life balance when you are always together.
Q: When and where did you meet?
A: We met in Tel Aviv, Israel, at a house warming event through mutual friends in 1997. We got married in 2002 in the beautiful forest in the north of Israel.
Q: Can you remember a specific moment in time when you knew you would end up marrying Sigal/Ronny?
A: From the first moment we laid eyes on each other – we both knew!
Q: When did you decide to come to the United States? Why Arizona?
A: During 2008, the real estate crash happened in the United States. Our family had been doing business in Arizona for many years. Since we were also involved, it was a perfect opportunity to move from Israel to Arizona to pursue some of these ventures and seek new and exciting opportunities. The only tough part about moving was that we had to leave our son, Yakir, in Israel to serve in the army. He joined us later in Arizona, which made us feel complete again.
Q: How often do you return to Israel?
A: We try and make it back one to two times a year to visit with family and friends.
Q: Describe your positions at Urman Investments.
A: We are the owners of Urman Investments, which is a real estate investment and property management company. We are both involved in most aspects of the business and enjoy being a part of the growing real estate market in Arizona.
Q: You both work together at Urman Investments and are founding partners of Illuminations. What is your advice or tips you can share on working with your spouse? How do you successfully practice work/life balance?
A: Working together with your spouse is never easy; however, we have learned to agree to disagree and from that point to appreciate each other’s views and knowledge, which in turn allows us to create together beautiful and lasting projects.
Q: Yakir and Leeor are your children, what are their ages? I know Yakir is a partner with Illuminations, how does it feel to work with your child? Does Leeor work with you also?
A: Yakir just turned 30 last January, and Leeor is almost 16. Working with our children is the most uplifting, enjoyable feeling we as parents can have. When Yakir joined us, it changed our outlook regarding real estate investments by bringing to the table the understanding of the millennium generation. The outcome made the projects up-to-date and more successful. When we decided to fund the Illumination project, we knew that if Yakir were involved in the day-to-day operations, it would be a tremendous success. Watching his hands-on approach and his constant development of new ideas took Illumination to the next level. We are tremendously proud of his work.
Leeor works with us from time to time at events, as well as around the office doing miscellaneous office work and always re-designing the office layout. She is a true interior designer in the making. It has been most uplifting to have them both around to spend time with us in the business and watch them grow right in front of our eyes. We love our kids very much!
Q: Sigal, you have worked with Shevet Shemesh (Israel Scouts of Arizona) and the IAC. Why is it important for you to be involved with these organizations? What is your involvement currently?
A: It is great that there are a lot of different organizations that support Israel throughout the Valley. I felt that the local Israeli community needed more of a connection to Israel – the local Jewish community, the values of the Jewish people, and most importantly the Hebrew language. Currently, I am the chairman of the Israel Scouts of Arizona chapter called Shevet Shemesh. I truly believe by being involved in these organizations I can help make a difference by building a bridge between the Israeli American Jews. The first four years have been challenging; however, the relationships forged with the children, leaders and parents, have been nothing short of amazing.
Q: Do you keep kosher, or observe Shabbat? If so, how do you think these rituals affect your marriage and parenting?
A: We are proud of our Israeli roots and are members of Beth Tefillah. We are attempting to pass on as many of our beliefs and understandings to our children and allow them to learn from our example and ultimately have a strong foundation of their Jewish heritage.
Q: If there is any other information that you would like to share?
A: One thing we would love to accomplish is to continue to help build bridges between Israeli and American Jews. Most importantly, to be involved in organizations that support the children of the community so they can be proud of their Jewish heritage. We want to be able to give them a purpose and a sense of belonging. We feel we have started doing these things, however, there is always more to do, and it’s a community effort. We are so very proud of the community we live in and are excited about it being a part of our future.