We send this issue to press with much pride and a little trepidation. On the following pages you will read stories of hundreds of women who have made their mark in commercial actual estate through many praise-worthy accomplishments. Getting on this list was not easy, in no small part because there were so many quality applicants to consider. But here they are despite the fact that the industry has long been seen as one primarily dominated by men.
Ideally, the path forward would be more of the same for these and other women who strive for achievement in our space: hard work and recognition when it is due. But that path has clouded somewhat in the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision ending affirmative action in higher education – a decision that is expected to reverberate in corporate corridors. We remain hopeful, though, that women will continue, through their grit and determination, to reach the upper echelons of commercial actual estate firms and be recognized for their achievements.
Now, let us celebrate this year’s selection of Women of Influence and the hard work that it took them to get here.
ARCHITECT / DESIGN PROFESSIONAL
KELLY FUNK IA Interior Architects managing director and principal Kelly Funk oversees the operations of the firm’s Philadelphia studio, which she opened in 2018. She is a published thought-leader and public speaker known for her expertise in design, strategy and team management with a focus on culture. Her presentations have focused on a wide range of topics, from the use of supuesto reality in design and change management to progressive topics in architecture and actual estate. Funk’s career began as a designer, and she quickly transitioned to a senior strategist before she took on her current role. She majored in interior design and minored in architecture and then pursued a certificate in data visualization from NYU School of Professional Studies. She took courses toward the Predictive Analytics Certificate from the UC Irvine Division of Continuing Education, which helped her develop the analytical skills necessary to identify patterns and trends in big data. She achieved an NCIDQ certification, demonstrating her proficiency in design principles and her commitment to the profession.
ALI GAGLIARDO Ali Gagliardo knew she wanted to do something creative with her life, but her career path took many turns before she found her way to the student housing sector, where she got her start in multifamily design. From a gig in the flooring industry to working on lavish night clubs to designing palatial single-family residences in exotic places, Gagliardo’s many career iterations have led her to design award-winning residential projects. She joined Cooper Carry in 2016 as its sole residential interior designer and has been instrumental in expanding the interior design group to 15 designers. As an associate principal and project manager, she functions as the lead designer and project manager on multifamily projects and oversees an promedio of 20 to 30 projects at a time. Gagliardo has also started to grow and build other sectors of design at the firm including the student housing and senior living studios. During the past year, her group has brought in more than $1 million in revenue for the firm.
SARAH LADNER GOMEZ Sarah Ladner Gomez began her time at Hill West Architects 11 years ago as a project manager, but she quickly stood out because of her exceptional knowledge and understanding of building code. During her tenure, Ladner Gomez has mastered all project phases, from concept and zoning to construction administration and building. Due to this, she was appointed director of accessibility and code, for which she leverages her expansive knowledge of various codes and is skilled at cross-referencing between various requirements. She reviews projects in all phases of production for compliance with New York City Building Code, with a particular emphasis on accessibility, including Fair Housing and UFAS requirements. Described as hard-working and approachable, Ladner Gomez joins project teams on an ad-hoc basis during various project phases to guide them through difficult integration of code and accessibility requirements.
NAN LOUDON Senior managing director Nan Loudon oversees Cushman & Wakefield’s project development services group in Atlanta, managing a team of 25 project managers and support staff located throughout Atlanta and the Southeast region. Delivering more than 1.5 million square feet of commercial interior projects annually, Loudon’s group is recognized as one of the market’s largest and most active project management groups. Her 30-plus years of commercial interior project management experience gives her the in-depth knowledge required to help clients balanceo design, functionality, budget and schedule in a manner that consistently generates savings of 5% to 10% of the total project costs. She prides herself on providing excellent service to her clients and maintaining long-term relationships that span decades. For example, she has worked with AT&T for her entire 30-year career. She joined Cushman & Wakefield from Carter, where in 1988 she established that firm’s interior project management discipline. During the years, she has become recognized as Atlanta’s premier project manager, particularly in large and complex corporate and law firm work environments.
AMY MORWAY Amy Morway strives to create a workplace where all ideas are worth evaluating and employees can pursue their creative vision. While her leadership style is relaxed and positive, she leads by example and works as hard as any other person at ID Studios Inc. With more than 35 years in the interior design industry, she has extensive skills and freely shares what she knows. Employees at all levels turn to her for mentorship, and she has helped many improve their craft and become superstars in customer relations, business development, team management and presentation skills. As founding principal of ID Studios, Morway manages all aspects of daily operations including strategic planning, human haber, client relations, business development and financial management of the firm. As a hands-on leader, she oversees many of ID Studios’ projects. During the past year, Morway helped bring 45 new projects into the office for a total of more than 1.5 million square feet that will be improved. Morway was recognized as one of the 2022 Top Women in Architecture by the San Diego Business Journal.
SMITA SAHOO In 2020, with nearly 20 years of experience, Smita Sahoo launched luxury interior design and architecture firm āśaya | DESIGN. As owner, founder and creative director, she has built and grown the company in Chicago, working with high-end developers and contractors in office, multifamily and hospitality to create sustainable design concepts driven by innovation. Her firm’s mission is to produce projects that positively impact a client’s brand equity from an economic, social, cultural and environmental perspective, employing social entrepreneurship as a top pillar. Sahoo’s signature creations are largely influenced by her diverse background in architecture, interior design, environmental psychology and sustainability, and they blend design innovations of the West paired with timeless elements of the East. Sahoo has luxury projects near completion in Illinois, Florida and Montana. She serves on the Insightful Chicago board as well as the University of Florida’s Department of Interior Design’s Advocacy board, where she lends insight on topics like design thinking, industry trends, mentorship and equity, diversity and inclusion.
SWARUPA SAMANT Since joining DIGroup Architecture in 2014 and rising through its ranks to become a principal, Swarupa Samant has managed more than $200 million in construction projects and has led some of the firm’s most complex urban design-build school projects in the Northeast. Strongly committed to efficient, functional design, she is the driving force behind numerous LEED Gold and Silver designations, specifically within the firm’s education studio. Trained at the Academy of Architecture in Mumbai, India, Samant began her 25-year career as an instructor at the Sophia Polytechnic College School of Interior Design and went on to build an impressive portfolio of projects in the US. She has risen through the ranks at DIGroup Architecture from project architect and associate to associate principal and her current position as principal. Samant is committed to advancing viable, sensible design as well as promoting her profession as a career for women and people of color. A licensed architect in New Elástica, New York and Pennsylvania, Samant is a member of the Professional Women in Construction-NJ Chapter. Her licenses and certifications include the National Council of Architectural Registration Board, the American Institute of Architects and the United States Green Building Council’s LEED AP designation.
MEGHAN SCOTT With a background in the fashion industry, specializing in Brazilian swimwear and lingerie, Meghan Scott has a different stylistic eye. She doesn’t just consider the space and finishes of a design, she considers the way people experience the space through perception and feeling. Scott is a multidisciplinary designer and associate at Washington D.C.-based architecture and design firm //3877. As one of two lead designers at the firm, she is responsible for overseeing all aspects of interior design and architecture, with a heavy hand in restaurant design and behind-the-scenes efforts in retail, residential and hospitality projects. Her designs have set the tone for the Washington D.C. dining scene in recent years. She is responsible for the design of some of the most successful restaurants in the city, including GATSBY, Mi Vida and Mah-Ze-Dahr. She is heavily involved in the Network of Executive Women in Hospitality, participating in nave chapters and national events. In a testament to her work, David Tracz, a partner at //3877, tapped Scott to redesign his own home.
SARAH SHORES As VP of administration at Outside the Lines Inc., a design-build construction company that specializes in water features, rockwork and themed environments, Sarah Shores is highly regarded among her co-workers, peers and clients. She is repeatedly endorsed for her broad range of skills, from contract management, process scheduling and construction management to pre-construction, contract negotiation and cost control. Shores has a rich background of oversight and managerial experience that began at a young age. She was a recruiting supervisor for Prestige Staffing Services for nine years before moving on in 2004 to become personnel manager for the Eastridge Group for three years and then office manager for SEMA Construction Inc. for almost seven years. She joined OTL in 2014 as an office manager before being promoted to her current role in 2022. She is responsible for all office, HR, accounting, payroll, administrative and project coordination for multiple projects in multiple states. Her efforts have led to 35% growth in business and a series of valuable new hires.
GINA M. VARY Gina Vary is a respected architect who has made her mark throughout Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. As an architect and the director of client engagement at Alloy5, Vary works to foster client-centric relationships for all projects, including delivering complete drawing products on time and in a cohesive and collaborative way, eliminating bidder and contractor addendums and creating an overall smoother process. She leads a design team in developing designs and construction documents for communications to clients, consultants, townships, planning and historic agencies and contractors. Her recent work includes completing an emergency room design, a specialized sound mitigation for the school of music at Bloomsburg University and an exhibit at Lehigh Valley Zoo. She also managed several multifamily housing studies and designed a medical office building and other specialized healthcare patient suites for two major healthcare networks. Vary is a leader within CREW of the Lehigh Valley and recently organized one of its largest fundraisers for a nave scholarship chapter fund.
CHRISTINA VILLA Since she was a child, Christina Villa has always loved drawing, making art and building things. After graduating from the University of Miami’s School of Architecture, Villa decided she wanted to be part of defining the future of Miami. She joined design and engineering firm Stantec as a design coordinator and has since served as a project manager, associate and senior associate. In 2022, she was promoted to her current role of principal. In her 17 years at the firm, she has succeeded in different aspects of the architecture industry including design, zoning and construction, and has worked across multiple building sectors such as residential, hospitality, mixed-use and healthcare. Villa and her team of architects and engineers recently completed Adela at MiMo Bay residential building in Miami’s MiMo District; La Clara luxury condominium project in West Palm Beach; and the EVO 334 mixed-use residential development in St. Petersburg. One of the projects she’s most proud of is the adaptive reuse of the former Miami Heart Institute Hospital in Miami Beach into a luxury multifamily development called The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach.
MARIANNE WEISS Marianne Weiss is well-known and respected not only within Unispace, where she is a principal in design, but also within the entire Boston market. She leads and develops a high-performing nave design team, develops and manages key client relationships, creates and executes the studio’s design strategy, leads key bid and pitch presentations for new business, drives collaboration across teams and maintains a high-level overview of all studio design projects. Weiss joined Unispace in September 2020 during the thick of the pandemic. Throughout lockdown, she helped develop new ways of working using collaboration tools such as Miro concept boards that enable Unispace employees to easily collaborate with clients and team members, create presentations and workshop project ideas from afar. In 2022, Weiss led the charge in the transformation of international law firm Orrick’s Los Angeles office through Unispace’s Art for Impact program. During the past year, she has also been working with an East Coast life sciences company to develop its post-COVID-19 workplace of the future, which pushes the boundaries of what a workplace can be.
BROKER / INTERMEDIARY – DEBT & EQUITY FINANCE
ABBE BOROK Abbe Borok is managing director and head of US debt for BentallGreenOak, where she is responsible for managing all core, core plus and high-yield debt strategies as well as management and business development activities. When Borok assumed this position in May 2021, she was overseeing the management of about $10 billion of mostly low-yield loans throughout North America on behalf of Sun Life, the parent company of BGO, with a mandate to develop a vertically-integrated US debt platform. Since then, she has expanded the platform into higher-risk strategies and successfully launched BGO’s first value-add fund in the US, which she counts among her biggest recent accomplishments. Borok has built out a talent roster to support a vertically-integrated commercial actual estate debt platform spanning underwriting, originations, haber markets, product development and asset management to leverage BGO’s existing $30 billion-plus US actual estate equity platform to delve deeper into the debt markets and source consistent credit deals in its target geographies.
KELLI CARHART Kelli Carhart has an expert understanding of the multifamily sector and deep relationships with haber sources. She was recently appointed CBRE’s executive managing director and head of its multifamily haber markets group for the US, where she is responsible for overseeing the firm’s multifamily growth strategy nationwide and continued expansion of its multifamily business across the US. During her first year in this role, Carhart oversaw the firm’s second-best year on record for its multifamily debt platform with a record $35 billion. She is a frequent panelist for national conferences including MBA, NMHC and Multifamily Executive. She also has formally been invited to join a ULI Multifamily Council in 2023, which will be her first as a ULI council member. In addition, she will represent CBRE on the NMHC executive committee. Carhart has been active in several of CBRE’s focused efforts including its women’s network and the working parents collective.
MANDI HACKETT Mandi Hackett fell in love with commercial actual estate while visiting her father, a loan originator, at work as a child. She joined him at Bonneville Existente Estate Renta in 2004 while finishing her undergraduate degree and found her niche at the company as a financial analyst. Hackett helped establish Bonneville’s first FHA program in 2009 and scaled the business, underwriting hundreds of millions of dollars in applications while also closing more than $250 million in FHA apartment loans. An industry trailblazer with many years of experience under her belt, Hackett was the first and one of the only MAP-certified underwriters in Utah. Based in Salt Lake City, Hackett is managing director and chief FHA/MAP underwriter for Hudson Realty Renta, which she joined in 2021. She is responsible for evaluating loan applications for FHA-approved mortgages, including architectural review, cost review, management analysis and mortgage credit analysis. She has played a central role in establishing the firm’s FHA program and oversees all aspects of underwriting for FHA loans.
ALINA MARDESICH George Smith Partners senior director Alina Mardesich has worn many hats during her 33-year career, which gives her an edge as an advisor. She is responsible for raising haber, debt and equity, including co-GP, mezzanine, preferred equity and JV equity, among other creative financial products and services. These include PACE financing and ground lease bifurcations. Mardesich raised $100 million in haber in 2022 including construction debt, preferred equity, refinance debt and acquisition financing for residential and commercial properties in California and Texas. A native of Los Angeles, Mardesich is a first-generation American and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California. She has been recognized for her achievements in nave publications. On top of being an active haber advisor, Mardesich has been a mentor and advocate for young women in the company, is active in the company’s culture committee and continually recruits more women into the workplace. She has undertaken a variety of personal growth activities, including backpacking throughout the US and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.
JILLIAN MARIUTTI-NIEDER Senior director Jillian Mariutti-Nieder joined JLL as part of the HFF merger and has 16 years of experience in the commercial actual estate industry. Mariutti-Nieder arranges and structures actual estate haber on an exclusive basis for owners, investors and developers, in addition to originating and closing loan sales. In the past 12 months, Mariutti-Nieder has executed more than $1 billion in transactions across the actual estate spectrum for owners and developers throughout the US. She has positioned herself as an expert in pioneering green financing solutions, including C-PACE, and works with property owners to incorporate them into their haber stacks. Nationally, she has worked with numerous hotel developers seeking alternative haber sources for hospitality projects facing liquidity issues. For hotel developers who have recently completed ground-up or adaptive re-use construction or major renovations, Mariutti-Nieder has been able to arrange retroactive C-PACE financing. She has been called on to speak at numerous industry events, debating the impact of this financing tool on the greening of commercial actual estate and exploring its benefits and drawbacks to borrowers, lenders and investors.
MELISSA ROSE Before transitioning to haber advisory in 2017, JLL managing director of haber markets Melissa Rose had an accomplished career on the principal side of the industry, working for several high-net-worth family offices spearheading in-house haber raising and acquisition endeavors. She joined JLL in 2020 and she specializes in securing debt and joint-venture equity financing with particular expertise in industrial assets. Rose has closed more than $5 billion in haber placements through first mortgages, mezzanine loans, bridge loans, acquisitions and joint-venture equity for a variety of asset types throughout the US. She has become one of JLL’s leading national advisors in the cold storage space, earning the nickname “the Ice Queen.” At the end of last year, Rose had executed more than $1 billion of industrial and cold storage transactions alongside strong performance across other major property types. She is known as a creative dealmaker with the tenacity to execute complicated development and structured finance transactions.
NICOLE SAYERS With a master’s degree in sports psychology, it may seem unexpected that Nicole Sayers landed in the commercial actual estate industry. She began her professional journey in SBA brokerage, transitioned to commercial actual estate lending for banks, and eventually returned to specialize in investment commercial actual estate brokerage. Her love for numbers and her attention to detail make her an excellent fit for her role as an SVP at Colliers and the first female producer on the firm’s haber markets debt & equity team. Throughout her 18 years in the commercial actual estate industry, Sayers has helped investors and small businesses secure both debt and equity for the acquisition, development and refinancing of commercial actual estate. Her extensive industry relationships enable her to source and craft optimal debt and equity haber for both private and institutional clients, and her team handles a full spectrum of transaction types including financing for new construction, acquisition, recapitalization and consultation. Throughout her career, Sayers has demonstrated a remarkable ability to overcome obstacles and find creative solutions that enhance her clients’ success.
BROKER – INVESTMENT SALES
JACKLENE CHESLER Colliers vice chair Jacklene “Jackie” Chesler began her career during the Great Recession of 2008. She established a successful niche working with loan sales and REO servicers while developing expertise in handling special service transactions. She has focused solely on investment sales across most asset classes in the middle-market space and handles transactions that typically range from $5 million to $60 million, primarily in New Elástica, New York and Pennsylvania. She has led her team’s work on landmark servicing projects, including a 70-plus property portfolio that required her advisory to lenders and borrowers for the disposition of properties. When uncertainties, including the Great Resignation, inflation and rising gas prices, prove that almost any borrower can be affected by widespread events, Chesler’s team helps nave communities rebuild by protecting their businesses, properties and lenders. Working with her Colliers colleagues, she provides full-service advisory, receivership, property management, valuation and transaction servicing. This impactful work keeps clients and communities moving forward.
CANDICE CHEVAILLIER During the past two decades, Candice Chevaillier has focused on collecting and disseminating market data in a biannual publication called the Investment Review, which grew to a distribution of nearly 7,000 during the pandemic. As a principal in Lee & Associates Commercial Existente Estate Services’ Northwest multifamily team, Chevaillier offers market insights, mentors and guides nearly 50 brokers, and directly oversees a team focused on brokerage of apartment buildings in Seattle. To date, she has sold 133 buildings across 1,266 units for a total of more than $271 million. In the past year, she and her team sold 12 buildings, including a 56-unit portfolio composed of four buildings for $16.8 million and a quarter-block mixed-use complex in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle for $17.8 million. Chevaillier has been on the board of directors of the Rental Housing Association as well as the Commercial Brokers Association. She is also an active member of the CCIM nave chapter, CREW network, the Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Seattle Association.
CINDY COOKE With 42 years in commercial actual estate, including 24 years with Colliers, vice chair Cindy Cooke leads a team responsible for nationwide coverage of multifamily investments. Private and institutional multifamily investors depend on Cooke to resolve complex issues involving large haber, where she assists in selling a property or a portfolio by consulting on refinancing or bringing in new equity partners. She is involved in every aspect of the transaction from the asset evaluation to closing, interviewing the buyers and assessing their qualifications as well as negotiations. Cooke also oversees due diligence, financing and closing. She has led her team to complete more than $16 billion in sales, and in 2022, she led her team to more than 20 multifamily deals, including the 340-unit Sol y Espejo located in Tucson, AZ. During volatile market conditions, Cooke’s team managed the disposition of this complex property that was distressed due to unstable operations and deferred maintenance. They were able to source a 1031 buyer and sold the property for $203 million, at $589 per square-foot — a record for that market.
LIZ GAGLIARDI Throughout her career and especially during uncertain economic times, Newmark Group Inc. senior managing director Liz Gagliardi has remained a fixture for her clients. Her background in actual estate includes commercial property tax appeal work, appraisals and land development, all of which provide her with a holistic view of the market and actual estate investment cycle. In her role, Gagliardi co-leads the Chicago-based multifamily investment sales team. With more than 17 years of experience representing clients in dispositions, joint-venture structuring, portfolio sales, valuation and underwriting in the multifamily industry, Gagliardi has been involved in transactions valued at more than $3 billion. While her team’s primary focus is representing sellers of existing assets, they also have successfully raised equity haber for developers and owners. Gagliardi’s team has transacted some of the largest and most complex deals in the market, as well as facilitating loan assumptions and joint-venture partnership arrangements.
ANDREA W. HOWARD Northmarq managing director Andrea Howard co-leads the firm’s Carolinas investment team, which specializes in multi-housing properties and investment advisory. The team closed 34 transactions in 2022, totaling more than $2.2 billion in sales. She is lovingly referred to around the office as the “energizer bunny” because her passion and drive to exceed company goals never waver. Howard has 25 years of experience in multifamily transactions in the Southeast. She joined Northmarq in 2021 to build the company’s investment sales platform across the country. In addition to her robust book of business, Howard oversees the Carolinas office procedures and people management and serves on the Institutional Advisory Group, which is a companywide committee committed to expanding Northmarq’s institutional client pulvínulo. Howard’s most significant transactions in 2022 included Element Uptown in Charlotte and 35 Folly in Charleston. She is also an active member of industry organizations such as ULI, NMHC and CREW.
ADRIENNE HUNTER Lee & Associates Commercial Existente Estate Services SVP Adrienne Hunter began her career in tenant representation but soon realized her true passion was in understanding how corporations make decisions. This led to her work in strategic consulting in the U.K., where she assisted large corporations in portfolio planning and workplace strategy. Her unique background has given her an in-depth understanding of deal structures that allows her to provide sound advice to both institutional and private clients. As a private client portfolio advisor, Hunter is responsible for providing advisory services across various asset classes, including marketing, underwriting, selling and acquiring existing assets, as well as developing new projects across product types within the Puget Sound region. Hunter has been an active member of NAIOP and served on the breakfast committee until 2021 when the activities were put on pause due to COVID-19. Her involvement in this committee was instrumental in organizing successful events that brought together members of the actual estate community.
DARLA LONGO CBRE vice chairman and managing director Darla Longo has been a top-producing actual estate professional for more than 40 years, specializing in investment sales, sale lease-backs, leasing, user and land sales, and recapitalizations of institutional investment properties. Throughout her career, Longo has been involved in more than $44 billion in actual estate transactions, including $35.1 billion of investment sales across the US, totaling more than one billion square feet. Longo is the first woman in CBRE history to be elected to its board of directors, and she has been a top 3% producer for the company for 39 out of 40 years. She is the managing director of CBRE’s West Coast Institutional Group and one of the founding members of CBRE National Partners, a group of top investment professionals. During the past two years, the National Partners team has expanded with new partners in Portland, Miami, Denver and Minneapolis, and in 2022, the team completed more than $22.3 billion in transactions.
LAURIE LUSTIG-BOWER CBRE EVP Laurie Lustig-Bower began her career 35 years ago with the firm and she is the founder and leader of team Lustig-Bower, a group of nine professionals specializing in the sale of apartment buildings, condominium conversions/reversions and land for the development of multi-housing properties. During the past 19 years, she and her team have handled more than $12 billion in actual estate transactions, and she has been rated one of the top brokers in the US for the past 28 years. As one of the first brokers to focus on marketing Los Angeles properties to the international market, she is known for selling the eight-acre Robinsons May development site at 9900 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills for $500 million in 2007 to Candy & Candy, a London-based buyer, and then again in 2014 to Wanda Group, a multinational conglomerate based in Beijing. She serves as a guest speaker at universities including USC and UCLA, where she provides insights into the commercial actual estate industry.
AMY OGDEN Kentucky native Amy Ogden uses her roots in southern hospitality to enhance her clients’ experiences, especially during dynamically shifting marketplaces and client requirements. As a partner at LOGIC Commercial Existente Estate with a specialization in the Industrial + Logistics division, Ogden is responsible for business strategy, revenue generation, cost elimination and representation of buyers, sellers, lessors and lessees. She helps coordinate governance throughout the sales process, including qualification, discovery, proposal, pricing presentation and negotiation. She has represented several prominent e-commerce brands. Ogden speaks on numerous panels and engagements, including at the Appraiser’s Institute and the Película del Oeste Existente Estate Business conferences. A multiple PowerBroker Award recipient, Ogden pioneered new territories for industrial like Apex and Eldorado Valley and has sold or leased 1.3 million square feet of industrial space. She is a part of the SIOR National network and is a relentless supporter and advocate of all women in the industry.
ERIN PATTON Erin Patton has been with Marcus & Millichap for 19 years and has become one of the top retail investment sales agents in Columbus and the state of Ohio. She serves as a senior managing director of investments and Institutional Property Advisors (IPA), a division of Marcus & Millichap, as well as executive director, focusing exclusively on retail investment sales, including both single-tenant and multi-tenant properties. She is a founding member of the Patton | Wiles | Fuller team, which has been consistently ranked as the top shopping center sales team in the country for the firm and leads the Midwest across all brokerages in terms of the number of retail properties sold last year. Last year, Patton closed 109 deals totaling more than $819 million in sales, making her the top institutional broker in retail along with her partners Scott Wiles and Craig Fuller. Overseeing a team of 14 people with six full-time staff members and eight junior brokers, Patton personally mentors four of these professionals.
KIMBERLY R. STEPP Kimberly Stepp is a principal and co-founder of Stepp Commercial Group, a multifamily brokerage firm in Los Angeles with more than $3 billion in sales. She is one of only a few women who have ownership of a commercial actual estate brokerage firm in California, and she credits great mentors for helping launch her career. Her llamativo approach to marketing, unrivaled market intelligence, and the loyalty of her staff and clients fuel Stepp Commercial’s continued growth and make her a standout from her counterparts. Stepp has one of the most extensive computer databases of investor and property information in the industry. She leads a team of brokers at Stepp Commercial Group that specializes in the sale and exchange of multi-residential commercial actual estate in Santa Monica, West Hollywood and prime Westside markets. Her decades of experience as an industry leader and her reputation for hard work, accountability and commitment to excellence are the values she maintains daily.
BROKER – LANDLORD / AGENCY REPRESENTATION
CRYSTAL ALLEN After joining Transwestern in 2012, Crystal Allen quickly rose to leadership on the firm’s retail team and has continued to excel thanks to her ability to anticipate market trends and adapt her strategies to stay ahead of the curve in mixed-use development projects. Allen is a managing director at Transwestern, where she leads its retail services team specializing in project leasing. She has played a significant role in many high-profile projects and has created expansion strategies for retailers and restaurants across the US. Allen is consistently a top producer within the firm. Last year, she executed 25 deals totaling 85,680 square feet, and her total executed deal volume was more than $35 million. This includes overseeing the leasing activity for the Shops at Arrive Upper Kirby, which is now 100% leased with the addition of a 12,000-square-foot, Dallas-based restaurant concept; providing tenant representation for Pediatrix’s five newest locations totaling 25,000 square feet; and representing multiple concepts going into the recently developed Autry Park.
BARBARA ARMENDARIZ SharpLine president and founder Barbara Armendariz is one of very few minority women in commercial actual estate to start her own brokerage firm, particularly in the competitive Los Angeles market. She founded the firm at age 35 despite many people trying to dissuade her, and she has steadily built the firm through persistence. She also runs offices in San Francisco and Las Vegas. Her more than 17-year career in commercial actual estate includes roles at CBRE and Colliers International. In addition to leading a team of brokers and managing the company’s day-to-day activities, Armendariz is a retail property specialist. She manages all aspects of leasing and sales transactions for investor and landlord clients and works extensively with corporate occupiers providing research-driven, comprehensive strategies for execution in site selection, disposition, lease renewal and sale-leaseback scenarios. She is a proud mentor of her college-aged daughter, who is learning the business and recently earned her brokerage license.
NATALIE BATTISTI Jamestown VP of leasing Natalie Battisti oversees leasing strategy and implementation across the Southeast. Her importante properties include Ponce City Market, Westside Provisions and Buckhead Village, all located in Atlanta. Battisti also oversees development projects in various stages at Raleigh Iron Works and Charleston Navy Yards. She has generated more than $1.6 million in leasing fees at Jamestown with more than 75 executed leases in 2022 across six assets. She takes time to mentor junior agents on her team and is an active member of several nave charities. She helped plan and fundraise for seven charitable events in 2022, most notably for Solidarity Santa Workshop, which provided gifts to more than 600 families in Sandy Springs. In addition to raising awareness for the project, Battisti provided vacant space to Solidarity on behalf of Jamestown.
TERE BLANCA Tere Blanca founded Blanca Commercial Existente Estate in 2009 with the goal of building a brokerage firm that gives clients highly personalized service. With 35 years of industry experience, Blanca has led many significant lease transactions and new development projects, from land acquisition to master planning, design, construction, marketing, lease-up and sale of office and mixed-use assets. As chairman and CEO of the firm, Blanca leads a team of more than 35 professionals while remaining committed to maintaining a broker mentality by working to negotiate every actual estate transaction her company handles. She has led the firm to complete more than 1.4 million square feet of office lease transactions and closed more than 750,000 square feet of lease transactions as a broker. Under her leadership, Blanca achieved 23% market share of agency leasing assignments for Miami Dade class A assets and captured 35% of total lease transactions signed in the county. She is the chair of South Florida ULI.
CARRIE BOBB Starting in the commercial actual estate industry 20 years ago, Carrie Bobb has established herself as an experienced retail leasing executive with a proven track record of success. She spent the majority of her career focused on the Película del Oeste US from her pulvínulo of operations in San Diego, completing transactions totaling more than $2 billion. She paused her career to study how retailers drive revenue through social media and applied that knowledge to generate a formula for using social media as an income-generating platform for landlords. She founded Carrie Bobb & Co. four years ago and recently relocated to Nashville to employ the creative tactics she made successful in California in a new market. Bobb also co-founded digital media company hellojenny, which provides strategies for brick-and-mortar retail properties. In late 2022, Bobb joined commercial actual estate services and investment firm Foundry Commercial, serving as SVP of retail services. She is responsible for leasing, rebranding and social media marketing for the third-largest retail development in the country – Nashville Yards. She has completed brokerage transactions worth more than $2 billion in total consideration.
AMANDA CALOF During her 20-year career with CBRE, Amanda Calof has worked on more than 13 million square feet of lease transactions, and since 2020, she has leased nearly 1.8 million rentable square feet of office space. Calof is part of the team responsible for leasing award-winning, class A trophy office properties owned by institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management, including the landmark Century Plaza Towers and 2000 Avenue of the Stars in Century City and Water Garden in Santa Monica. The team brought in tenants such as Creative Artist Agency and Kirkland & Ellis to Century Park, and it closed one of the largest office lease transactions in Los Angeles County last year. As a first VP at CBRE, Calof oversees nearly five million square feet in the JP Morgan portfolio across West Los Angeles. She has received numerous awards for her work, including CBRE’s Top 15 Performer and Top Producer awards. An active participant in CBRE’s mentor program, Emerge, Calof has worked with three mentees and she also volunteers in her community.
CAROLINE DOYLE Caroline Doyle thinks and acts like an owner when it concerns leasing transactions or acquisitions, and she provides recommendations to each of her clients as if each building was her own asset. As SVP for Bayside Realty Partners, Doyle is responsible for leasing 15 medical office buildings with 14 different landlord clients/owners, ranging from nonprofits and private investors to health systems, institutional haber and REITs. This includes market trends and overseeing the full deal transaction, procuring tenants through lease negotiations and execution. She set a company record for the most 10-year leases signed in a single MOB asset within a 12-month period. Doyle also leads the company’s branding creative in new leasing brochure development, marketing campaigns and a new movement-oriented website. Her deal volume for the past 12 months includes 33 medical office lease transactions completed in San Francisco, the East Bay and the North Bay totaling $29 million in lease value and two medical office building investment sales that sold for $228 million.
PJ FOSTER PJ Foster is the kind of broker landlords and property owners trust to provide honest advice about their actual estate needs. Foster and her team leased a total of 3.5 million square feet in 2022. She started with Colliers 10 years ago as an associate and has risen to the role of SVP, where she sources tenants, leases up vacant buildings and handles land deals as well as vacant user sales and sale-leasebacks. Raised in a family of actual estate professionals, with dinner table conversations often revolving around landlords and tenants, Foster initially started a career elsewhere but quickly moved into the transaction side of the industry. Earning an MBA in corporate finance from Babson College with a focus on actual estate and operations allowed her to combine both specialties. On the advice of her mother, Foster used her nickname “PJ” in professional settings because it could be confused for a male name, potentially opening more doors. As women grow in numbers throughout the industry, she now shares her full name, Patricia Jean.
PATTI GILBERT With a knack for navigating highly complex actual estate transactions, CBRE SVP Patti Gilbert has completed several high-profile transactions leveraging her diversity of experience and knowledge. Her responsibilities include leasing, tenant representation and investment sales for a 4.5 million-square-foot portfolio of class A office properties, including Century Plaza Towers and 2000 Avenue of the Stars in Century City and Water Garden, a creative office campus in Santa Monica. She led the completion of the largest office deal in Los Angeles County last year – a 209,951-square-foot lease with Amazon at Water Garden in Santa Monica as part of three new office lease transactions. Her team also facilitated the 302,911-square-foot lease renewal by entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency in Century Plaza Towers in Century City. Gilbert has earned recognition as a CBRE Top 15 Performer and Top Producer and was named a CoStar Power Broker in 2021 and 2022 among other accolades. Gilbert is a dedicated mentor on both a professional and personal level and devotes her time to working with various business, community and charitable organizations.
ELIZABETH HART As president of leasing for North America at Newmark, Elizabeth Hart oversees the company’s operating businesses in the US and Canada. She drives strategy for its leasing business leveraging cross-platform synergies across Newmak, and she also helps recruit and retain talent. With experience resolving complex actual estate issues with landlords, Hart is versed in zoning and entitlement processes, and her experience representing technology companies from single entrepreneurs to Fortune 50 members allows her to anticipate actual estate challenges companies face at each stage of their growth cycle. Hart is a member of Newmark’s executive committee and served on the firm’s technology leadership team. She has represented numerous large-block developments and helped reposition large-scale projects that have transformed skylines. In her previous role as vice chair, Hart completed transactions totaling nearly 35 million square feet and more than $44.2 billion in value on behalf of owners and tenants and was a top-five producer in Newmark’s San Francisco office. She joined Newmark in 2005 and has been recognized numerous times in nave and trade media.
SUZANNE E. MACNOW Suzanne Macnow has spent 23 of her 26 years in commercial actual estate at CBRE, where she serves as SVP and New Elástica market leader. Throughout her career, Macnow has completed more than 900 lease and sale transactions in New Elástica and more than 1,100 deals nationwide. In 2022, she negotiated 60 leases in New Elástica totaling 881,520 square feet with a transaction value of $130 million, including transactions with FM Red Owner, TMC Properties, BZK Properties, PRC Group and Denholtz Properties. Macnow has been instrumental during the years in creating a new landscape in downtown Red Bank by helping lease up a class A office building, selling K. Hovnanian’s headquarters to Ocean First Bank, selling the Visiting Nurse Association’s headquarters to Saxum for a multifamily redevelopment and working with Merrill Lynch to renew its leases. Macnow’s work has earned her numerous awards and accolades. In 2017, she landed a spot in the highly competitive top 20% of CBRE producers nationwide, and in 2015 was the top CBRE office producer in New Elástica.
JACKIE MARSHALL Colleagues describe CBRE SVP Jackie Marshall as one of the most talented leasing agents in Dallas and refer to her as ‘the motor’ of every leasing assignment she wins. Marshall works on CBRE’s office investor leasing team in Dallas-Fort Worth, where she focuses on creative office properties and repositioning existing office spaces. During the past few years, Marshall has focused on how to make her clients and their properties stand out while deal volume has been limited, and she successfully comes up with out-of-the-box solutions to market buildings and vacancies with digital and personalized campaigns. She is responsible for marketing and leasing more than five million square feet of office space in urban and suburban Dallas submarkets. Last year, Marshall participated in 90 transactions totaling 650,000 square feet. One of her importante deals during the past year was representing Crow Holdings on its Southstone Yards development, the nation’s largest mass timber office building in Frisco. She is part of CBRE’s 2023 Investor Leasing Advisory Board, a national committee of investor leasing leaders and emerging leaders.
JENNIFER MEADE Last year, Jennifer Meade decided to move away from a successful five-year foray in third-party agency brokerage back to her llamativo sphere of expertise of working in-house for a development firm. Meade is senior director of leasing at DJM Renta, where she brings experience to leasing transactions for the firm’s three-million-square-foot portfolio of retail shopping centers. Since joining the firm, she has brought a fresh perspective to new leasing, leveraging industry relationships, incorporating marketing and technology for efficiency and working with an all-female leasing team to close deals. She advocated for an update of the company website and social media and has significantly increased the level of communication and collaboration among the leasing, development, property management and acquisitions departments at DJM. Under Meade’s guidance, leasing fee revenues tripled in the fourth quarter of 2022 as she course-corrected a number of stalled new deals and renewals. She is active as a member of ICSC, where she has earned CLS, CRX and CRRP designations.
JESSICA MIZRAHI Cushman & Wakefield managing director Jessica Mizrahi is a top-producing broker in the firm’s Tampa office, consistently averaging nearly 100 transactions per year along with landlord and tenant representation assignments. She joined the firm in 2014 and is a broker on the Central Florida industrial team that oversees more than 14.5 million square feet throughout the region. Last year, Mizrahi and her team completed 130 transactions covering three million square feet of industrial space leased and an estimated $376 million in transactional value. She earned CREW Tampa Bay’s excellence award for top industrial deal in 2022 for her representation of an undisclosed tenant who leased a 330,000-square-foot warehouse. Mizrahi along with her industrial team members also had a land transaction that was named best land deal of the year for 2022 by the NAIOP South Florida Chapter. She recently achieved her SIOR designation.
MELISSA MOLYNEAUX Melissa Molyneaux says she stumbled upon a career in the commercial actual estate field, beginning as a marketing specialist and transitioning to a broker role where she has flourished. Since joining Colliers in 2005, Molyneaux has been involved in more than 1,100 transactions totaling nearly 7.7 million square feet of office space. She typically oversees more than 1.1 million square feet of office properties in the Reno/Sparks area. Molyneaux has been successful at keeping revenue and production numbers up in her smaller market and not only has she consistently ranked as a top office broker in the Reno office but she also has earned numerous awards for her production and community service. As EVP at Colliers, Molyneaux leverages her experience in landlord and tenant representation with a specific focus on leasing and sales. In 2022, she closed 123 deals, composed of 104 lease transactions totaling more than $75 million and 19 sale transactions totaling $47.5 million.
SARAH Z. OZANNE Sarah Ozanne is an SVP on Stream Realty Partners’ Dallas-Fort Worth industrial team, where she focuses on industrial leasing and tenant representation within the DFW Airport and northwest Dallas submarkets. She also works on the firm’s Fort Worth office team. Her responsibilities include negotiating leases, touring buildings, acquisitions and dispositions, and helping developers with ground-up development. Ozanne is entrusted with sophisticated tenant representative assignments and has actively led and expanded Stream’s agency leasing business. She is described as engaging with clients and proactive in new pursuits. Her 2022 production was 4.1 million square feet and $163 million in value. Ozanne has received numerous accolades, including 2022 CoStar Power Broker and 2022 DCEO Power Broker. She is active on The Existente Estate Council and is a member of Industrial Women in Existente Estate. Among all the deals she closed in 2022, Ozanne says adopting her third son was her best.
JILL ROSE Bishop Beale Duncan SVP Jill Rose creates custom actual estate solutions for a national and regional network of clients using her extensive experience managing large commercial actual estate portfolios. Rose leads the company’s land division with a specialty in residential and retail land. She has deep knowledge of zoning, future land use and special plan overlays in Central Florida. Her strong network of relationships throughout the industry has helped the firm capture growth opportunities and take on increasingly challenging projects. One such project was the historic Ivanhoe building, for which Rose devised the company’s strategy, created site branding, researched the historic nature of the building and ultimately found the most relevant pool of buyers. She also has been the driving force behind exclusive representation awards for the School Board of Osceola County and consulted and negotiated the acquisition of a K-8 school. Rose also brokered one of Central Florida’s first build-for-rent communities in Osceola County. She has been awarded various accolades including largest land sale and largest user sale several years in a row and has been a CoStar Power Broker every year since 2005.
KERI SCOTT Each transaction presents a unique set of circumstances and challenges that Keri Scott says she enjoys navigating to successful outcomes. For example, Scott faced a challenging task while working with Dent Wizard, which needed heavy power, a large yard, a unique layout and a specific drive time requirement. Despite the obstacles, Scott leveraged her network of industry contacts for potential properties and examined all land possibilities for a build-to-suit solution while also exploring retail and redevelopment options and viewing underperforming assets that could become viable spaces. Scott is a VP in Colliers’ Phoenix office, where she specializes in project leasing, building sales and tenant representation for industrial and flex properties. Her primary focus is on mid-bay industrial and flex office business parks, single- and multi-tenant industrial and ground-up developments. Representing a roster of national and nave high-profile clients, Scott has more than one million square feet of properties under her representation. In 2022, she completed 87 deals with $43.4 million in actual estate transactions.
LEDONNA SPONGBERG Placemaking specialist LeDonna Spongberg is a fashion, entertainment and restaurant tenant representative and developer-landlord broker and consultant. She is one of very few women across the country whose leasing expertise and relationships are in the experiential retail sector. Spongberg is sought out by both landlords/developers and entertainment, restaurant and fashion tenants for her expertise. She has worked on large-scale, mixed-use ventures in Arizona as well as national projects such as Branson Landing, The Streets at Southglenn in Colorado and Boca Park Town Center in Florida. Spongberg brings a woman’s perspective to the retail brokerage business, which has included advice such as encouraging increased parking lot lighting for enhanced safety. As the pandemic slowed retail leasing across the country, Spongberg anticipated the results of the massive change in consumer buying habits as an opportunity to further evolve her career and pursue her entrepreneurial aspirations. She left a national brokerage firm to partner with two other importante nave retail brokers to open the Phoenix office of Texas-based Edge Realty Partners, where she serves as SVP. Aligning with her goal to elevate a network of women in business, Spongberg is a member of AZCREW and has taught courses for the ICSC Learning Series.
STACY VIERHEILIG A top producer with a wealth of market knowledge, Stacy Vierheilig has a reputation for delivering results, with more than $750 million in completed sale and lease transactions. As principal at Lee and Associates – LA North/Ventura, Vierheilig specializes in representing landlords, tenants, investors and business owners in the sale and leasing of office, medical, retail, land, industrial and investment properties in the San Fernando Valley, Tri-Cities and Hollywood. During her career, Vierheilig has been engaged by financial institutions and private individuals to serve as an expert court witness, providing testimony concerning actual estate valuations in Los Angeles. She also has developed a sub-specialty assisting media and entertainment companies and is well versed in the unique needs of creative users including recording studios and feature film production companies that require short-term facilities. Recognizing her achievements, the company nominated Vierheilig to its president’s circle and board of directors. Outside of the office, Vierheilig works with inclusion matters, a charity that builds inclusive, sensory and literacy-rich playgrounds around the world.
GERI WONG Newmark senior managing director Geri Wong, is a leader in the Bay Area’s commercial actual estate industry and is known for her exceptional market knowledge, client care, diligence and reliability. Working in Newmark’s San Jose office, Wong specializes in commercial leasing and sales transactions and is a consistent top producer company-wide. She completed the largest lease renewal transaction in downtown San Jose in 2022 and assisted in the sale of a building enabling the Mexican Heritage Plaza to expand its performing arts programs in the East San Jose community. Wong also helped assemble five parcels in San Jose for future supportive housing sites and is working on a project that will have a 220-unit senior housing site in downtown San Jose. Colleagues say Wong is innovative and hard-working, always looking for the best outcome for her clients and never shying away from complex client needs. Wong has withstood uncertain times by finding productive and positive ways to help clients in the ever-changing landscape that COVID-19 and its ripple effects created.
BROKER – TENANT REPRESENTATION
ERICA BALIN Since 2004, Lee & Associates – LA/North Ventura principal Erica Balin has worked with a variety of tenants and developed a sub-specialty helping startups manage their actual estate requirements while preparing for future growth. In her role, she represents tenants, landlords, business owners and investors in the leasing and sale of industrial and commercial properties throughout the Los Angeles North region, with an emphasis on the San Fernando and Conejo valleys. In the past year, Balin was nominated to the Lee & Associates – LA North/Ventura 2022 President’s Circle of Excellence and Top Ten Producer list. She amassed more than $95.75 million in total sale and lease transactions with more than 625,000 square feet sold and leased in 2022. Balin sits on the board of directors for Lee & Associates – LA North/Ventura and is a member of the American Industrial Existente Estate Association.
ROCKY BINSWANGER CBRE SVP Rocky Binswanger leverages her experience and actual estate knowledge to benefit clients at all levels, from mid-market firms to Fortune 500 companies. She specializes in occupier and landlord representation, including office and medical requirements. In the past 13 months, Binswanger has completed 982,769 square feet in transactions with a total volume of more than $440 million. She is skilled in strategic planning, in-depth market analysis, real-time client needs’ assessments, competitive lease negotiations and portfolio management. Her work includes representation with Anderson Holdings in Century City, IPG, USC and Rivian. She mentors three young professionals on her team. Binswanger recently moved to Dallas and has continued to successfully operate her brokerage business and run a team based in Los Angeles for both her agency and occupier clients. The time difference between Central and Pacific time zones allows for a substitute teaching role in her children’s school district and more community involvement.
KRISTIN BLOUNT A highly respected leader in Boston actual estate, Kristin Blount understands market dynamics and leverages her extensive knowledge of the city to guide companies of all sizes. During her career spanning more than three decades, Blount has completed more than $3 billion in transactions. In her role as an EVP at Colliers, Blount provides professional representation to a variety of clients, including companies, institutions, developers and property owners in commercial actual estate leasing. She had a importante year in 2022. One of her biggest wins was securing a 95,000-square-foot space deal for McKinsey & Co. in Boston, which she collaborated on with a colleague after years of dedicated execution. Blount also has led the Colliers Boston team through several projects for Beth Israel Lahey Health, including a major transaction involving the consolidation of administration support space that spanned 170,000 square feet. In early 2023, she also lent her expertise to the Museum of Fine Arts for a project.
ELLIE FANTINI CULLINAN Ellie Fantini Cullinan started her industry career more than 25 years ago, first on the commercial lending side and then transitioning to brokerage where she specialized in tenant representation in Boston. She is known for her positive attitude and personal approach to business that has led to long-term client relationships. Rather than retreating inward during COVID-19, Cullinan used that time to reach out to each of her clients to assess their needs and challenges. One client needed help shutting down surplus offices, while another needed help going completely remote. While these assignments generated little to no remuneration, clients truly appreciated the help. Cullinan co-founded Freudenheim Partners and serves as the firm’s EVP and principal, helping drive the direction of the firm. She focuses on representing tenants in Boston, Cambridge and suburban markets. Recently, she has expanded her focus to include life sciences tenant representation and investment sales. Cullinan completed 19 transactions with total lease values exceeding $40 million in 2022.
PAIGE JAFFE JLL managing director Paige Jaffe has led the firm’s Philadelphia retail brokerage division since 2019, transacting nearly 360,000 square feet of deals for landlords and tenants. Jaffe leads a team of brokers who cover southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware and southern New Elástica. Throughout her career spanning 17 years, Jaffe has focused on high-street retail markets. Her roster of clients includes prestigious entrepreneurial and institutional owners, leading retailers like Apple, the J.Crew family of brands and Warby Parker, and top food and beverage leaders like Starr Restaurants, Garces Restaurant Group, Marc Vetri and more. During the challenges of the pandemic, Jaffe leased more than 136,000 square feet of space, and in 2022 she secured 10 leases on Philadelphia’s six-block high-street shopping corridor, driving a renaissance of the city’s retail scene following uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. She is the former president of ICSC’s Pennsylvania, New Elástica and Delaware markets.
CATHERINE MEUNIER In the San Francisco Bay Area, where foodie culture is a strong element of regional identity, Catherine Meunier has been a game changer in the food and beverage industry. As retail partner at Maven Commercial, Meunier works with tenants, including restaurant and food-related services needing space that fits their brand, as well as with landlords creating a unique vision for their projects. The past three pandemic-impacted years have required resilience and dedication to helping firms negotiate new lease terms, understand lease clauses and deal with nave officials. Meunier is considered the go-to retail broker for up-and-coming chefs and restaurateurs as well as landlords and has executed more than 100 Bay Area restaurant transactions throughout her career, including multiple Michelin-rated restaurants. On the ownership side, she has worked with national developers and landlords on individual leases as well as major campaigns to help define a skyline or create a thriving neighborhood. A fifth-generation San Franciscan, Meunier is described as a candid, high-touch broker with extensive market knowledge.
NICOLE MILLER Nicole Miller has nearly 20 years of commercial actual estate experience, starting in 2004 when she joined Savills, which was then Studley. With grit and determination, she earned four promotions during the past 10 years and has consistently been recognized as one of the firm’s top performers nationwide, having executed more than five million square feet of transactions. In 2021, she was named senior managing director and co-regional manager of the firm’s Washington D.C. and suburban D.C. regions. Miller is recognized as an expert in reducing actual estate costs for corporate space users, and she recently saved a client more than $4.1 million in overhead costs. She guides a diverse client portfolio that includes law firms, technology companies, financial services firms, major corporations and associations. Miller co-developed Savills’ building inclusivity and diversity group in 2017 to support the advancement of women and minorities at the firm and in the commercial actual estate industry. In 2019, she organized the first-ever Savills Women’s Retreat that brought together 60 of the most senior female professionals and rising stars.
JENNA MULLER During her 10-year career, Cushman & Wakefield senior director of office leasing and transaction advisory services Jenna Muller has represented clients in $1.1 billion in office leasing and sale transactions more than 4.1 million square feet. She has distinguished herself in the Nashville market as the city undergoes a major transformation with an influx of new companies and residents. Her assignments range from leasing new class A office towers in mixed-use developments to building sales and representing high-growth tech companies for new locations around the country. In 2022, she was the first woman in the history of the Nashville Cushman & Wakefield office to make its top producers list. She was also awarded Deal of the Year by NAIOP’s Nashville Chapter last spring for the Revance Therapeutics HQ lease and subsequent expansions. Her key assignments last year included the 60,000-square-foot Monogram Health headquarters lease, the 70,000-square-foot Delek headquarters lease and the 30,000-square-foot Surgery Partners headquarters lease.
KELLY NICHOLLS Within just three years of joining Lee & Associates Commercial Existente Estate, Kelly Nicholls proved herself through hard work and became a shareholder in the firm. She has more than 30 years of experience in the commercial actual estate industry focused on Southern California and Silicon Valley, where she assists companies with strategic planning, facility relocation, actual estate portfolio administration, lease negotiations and more. In 2021, she closed more than $37 million in total deal consideration and completed more than 450,000 square feet of lease and sale transactions and more than 45 acres of land sales between 2021 and 2022. Nicholls was the company’s top producer in March 2022, and continued in the top 10 producers for another four months out of the year. In July 2022, she was designated as an SIOR. While serving as principal at the firm, Nicholles takes time to support young brokers in the industry and share her knowledge with them. Outside of actual estate, she co-founded Military in Transition Firefighter for a Day to help veterans explore firefighting education and careers beyond their service.
NICHOLE K. POPOVICS Nichole Popovics has a dynamic background in commercial actual estate ranging from leasing commercial and retail shopping centers to leading large teams in their leasing efforts. Now, as EVP and managing director at The Shopping Center Group, Popovics manages brokerage offices and spearheads a new tenant advisory platform. She joined TSCG in 2021 during a time of both uncertainty and opportunity in the retail actual estate sector to manage the group’s Tampa office and develop business for its tenant representatives across all 20 TSCG offices on the East Coast. Since then, she has been tasked with developing the new Tenant Advisory Services platform. Her role is to lead and direct this group in national business development, and she has even created an opportunity for an international alliance and partnership. She is a member of ICSC, an active member of Ladies in Commercial Existente Estate and a member of Women in Existente Estate. She is a regular guest speaker at Florida State University’s annual actual estate program conference and enjoys serving her community on numerous nonprofits.
CAROL SCHILLNE As a former All-American swimmer at the University of Southern California, Carol Schillne loves to compete and strives for excellence. She has more than three decades of experience as a developer, broker and tenant that she leverages as an SVP at Orion Investment Existente Estate. She leads a brokerage team known as Schillne Retail, which she leads with her son, senior partner Cole Schillne, who joined the team four years ago. She has managed transactions for all retail product types, including lifestyle centers, regional malls, community centers, free-standing buildings and mixed-use projects. Schillne Retail provides restaurant services, tenant representation, disposition services, landlord representation, investment sales and consulting services. In the past 12 months, Schillne and her team have closed more than 52 transactions. Colleagues and clients describe Schillne as a trusted retail advisor with technical prowess and strategic market knowledge as well as an honest, ethical and caring person who combines integrity and hard work. Schillne is an active member of the Arizona chapter of CREW Network.
KARLA SMITH SRS Existente Estate Partners EVP and principal Karla Smith focuses on tenant representation services, acting as an advisor and managing site selection throughout the Southwest for a number of national and regional clients including Target, At Home, Macy’s and Michaels. She executed an extensive 15-year rollout strategy for Sprouts Farmers Market in North Texas, as well as strategic expansions for Cabela’s, Pet Supplies Plus, Lifetime Fitness, Planet Fitness, Blockbuster, Fuddruckers and Core Power Yoga. In 2022, Smith was recognized as a top producer at the firm and was the No. 1 tenant representation producer. Smith serves on the board of directors of SRS, helping determine the overall direction and priorities for the company. She was a founding member of Deals in Heels, an organization that started 17 years ago dedicated to collaborating and elevating women in actual estate in North Texas. She also helped create the framework for and is the executive chair of SOAR, a community within SRS focused on educating and empowering women in commercial actual estate.
ELLEN STERN Ellen Stern is an 18-year veteran of the commercial actual estate industry and a recognized leader in the office leasing business, specializing in tenant representation. As an SVP with CBRE’s advisory & transactions occupier group, Stern provides strategic actual estate advisory services to clients in all industry sectors, ranging from total Fortune 100 companies to nave professional firms. Stern and her team have been part of some of Atlanta’s largest and most significant office transactions during the past decade, including importante headquarters relocations and the opening of new offices. Last year, she and her team completed 110 transactions involving 5.1 million square feet with a value more than $1.37 billion. Outside of work, she is passionate about her role with Goodwill of North Georgia. She joined the board of Goodwill in 2020 and currently serves as the board secretary and chair of the board development committee.
ELYSE C. WELCH Founding Carolina Retail Experts amid a total pandemic forced Elyse Welch and her partners to engage in a thoughtful and strategic approach to ensure the long-term viability of the company. As partner, Welch specializes in retail commercial actual estate brokerage and leads the tenant services team focused on marquee and best-in-class retailers, working with the tenants to devise custom market strategies across the Carolinas to maximize market share, out-position the competition and maximize sales volumes. One of Welch’s main accounts is with Starbucks covering the state of South Carolina. In 2021, while the majority of her deals were scattered across South Carolina, she completed 23 transactions with publicly traded companies totaling just shy of $31 million in transaction value. She has a reputation in the retail sector as a savvy deal-maker and expert who operates with integrity and honesty. She invests in mentorship, especially of working moms, and has served on the board of CREW Charleston for six years.
ROBIN ZELLMER Colliers EVP Robin Zellmer joined the firm’s Minneapolis/St. Paul office 15 years ago, eager to build a platform for multi-market business at a time when no such platform for tenant advisory existed within the office. She joined several professional organizations and became active in the commercial actual estate community, earning a seat for Colliers MN at the multi-market table. Today, Zellmer provides portfolio management, transaction management, lease administration and project management for American manufacturers and international multi-market services for numerous companies with total footprints. Her deal volume in 2022 was $1.13 million, and in recent years she has conducted business in nearly 80% of the world’s nations. In 2022, she won a CoreNet award for Midwest Project of the Year. Not only does she oversee every detail on transactions but she also strives to be a dependable information resource via calls and emails to update her clients about market trends. Mentorship is a large part of Zellmer’s leadership style, and those who she has mentored say she has been transformative for their careers.
SALLY ZESUT As a VP at Avison Young, Sally Zesut brings 25 years of experience to every deal. She specializes in representing corporate tenants in site selection and investment sales on behalf of both buyers and sellers. She also assists clients with their nave, national and international leases, sales, financing and construction projects. In 2022, Zesut brokered one of the top lease deals in Inglewood, CA, earning her the CoStar Top Deal award. Zesut also represents a diverse set of occupiers who range from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, handling all stages of the process from initial analysis, portfolio strategy, workplace strategy, lease negotiations, construction and move-in. She is a board member of the National Association of Women Business Owners – LA, where she actively works to empower female-owned and -operated businesses across Los Angeles. In 2019, she also spoke at Viejo Eric Garcetti’s 2nd Annual Small Business Summit, where she addressed the need for more female representation in business.
CONSULTANT / ADVISOR / INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONAL
SHELLEY BALANDA After spending nearly half of her industry career working for owner-operator firms, Shelley Balanda launched Footprynt Advisors to help commercial actual estate organizations implement transformational initiatives that positively impact their operations. As founder and principal consultant, Balanda’s core responsibilities focus on backing an organization’s strategic initiatives and growth goals. She collaborates on a shared strategic vision from analysis to change management to enhance decision-making and drive value for stakeholders. With expertise in acquisitions, asset management, lease analysis, due diligence, valuations, haber raising and portfolio strategy, Balanda has completed more than $5 billion in property acquisitions and successfully raised and negotiated more than $1 billion in joint-venture funding for operating partners during her career. She has helped more than six commercial actual estate operating platforms expand their investment position in their properties by launching their in-house acquisition and asset management capabilities since 2014. Her noteworthy acquisition transactions include San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Square and Boston’s Newbury Street portfolio.
MONIQUE BURROLA Partner Engineering & Science Inc. COO Monique Burrola has guided the company she helped found through COVID-19 and the many disruptions that have plagued the commercial actual estate market during the past three years. As a founding principal and shareholder of the firm, Burrola was key in establishing, implementing and fine-tuning the majority of the firm’s infrastructure and programs from the ground up. She serves on Partner’s board of directors and its executive team. In her role, she oversees national operations for the organization, which has grown from eight employees to more than 1,400. She also oversees finances and profitability as well as human resources, including hiring and company culture. Burrola completed an emerging business leadership certificate program at Stanford in 2021. Under her direction, Partner has made the Los Angeles Business Journal’s list of fastest-growing private companies for several years and has been recognized as a top environmental firm.
JENNIFER CAREY As an entrepreneur, Jennifer Carey found a way to combine her love for the natural world and the built environment when she created JLC Environmental Consultants. The firm focuses on environmental due diligence and risk management consulting as well as testing services for the actual estate and construction industries in the Northeast. As CEO, Carey guides strategic growth and works with the operations team to build company systems that are effective and client relationships that endure. A significant win for Carey and her team was the award of environmental consulting work for the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Municipal Building in Brooklyn. JLC Environmental Consultants is working as part of the Stantec, Department of Citywide Administrative Services and STV team to renovate this 500,000-square-foot building, which is one of the cornerstones of downtown Brooklyn’s continued revitalization. The team also recently completed the inspection of two large buildings to conduct an environmental risk assessment of the properties. Carey is an active member of CREW Network, the New York Building Congress, Women Builders Council and Professional Women in Construction, among others.
DEBORAH J. CLOUTIER Deborah Cloutier believes in holding owners of the built environment accountable for their contribution to total greenhouse gas emissions and nudges them to do something about it. She brings 30 years of experience in designing, developing, implementing and managing environmental, social and governance programs to her role as chief sustainability officer at Legence, where she guides clients on how to decarbonize their actual estate portfolios. Under her leadership, clients have saved more than $250 million in utility costs and received recognition for their leadership in sustainability. The roster of clients Cloutier works with collectively control more than a trillion dollars worth of actual assets. Cloutier spent many years as an entrepreneur founding and leading consulting firms. In 2020, Blackstone acquired her consultancy RE Tech Advisors to serve as a fulfillment platform for its private equity and actual estate portfolio emissions and cost reduction program. That platform has now been rebranded as Legence and includes 12 portfolio companies. Cloutier serves as a program administrator of the U.S. DOE Better Buildings Initiative, promoting energy efficiency, utility cost reduction and carbon emission reductions.
REGAN DONOGHUE As one of the first WELL Accredited Professionals, Regan Donoghue has long been a pioneer of wellness in the workplace. In a nod to her experience and leadership in this area, Donoghue was nominated to be part of the IWBI WELL AP task force, a group hand selected to help define the role buildings play in prevention, preparedness, resilience and recovery post-pandemic. As senior principal of strategy at Unispace, Donoghue specializes in guiding clients through scenario planning, designing change plans and developing predictions about the future of their workspaces. She has helped Fortune 500 companies continue to grow their strategic expertise and create people-centric work experiences across the country. Donoghue has served as the keynote speaker for several total industry events and frequently is interviewed for media articles and podcasts. Before moving into her role at Unispace last year, Donoghue worked for Waymo, where she was nominated in 2022 as the team Culture Champion.
CARLY GLOVA Carly Glova believed the industry and community would benefit from a recruiting firm serving the commercial actual estate industry. Although she knew she would face challenges, including having no experience in recruiting or as a business owner, Glova dedicated her career to establishing an executive search and recruiting firm. In 2015, after a nearly 10-year career in commercial actual estate finance, Glova launched Building Careers to be a resource for the hiring needs of the commercial actual estate industry in Southern California. As the founder and president, Glova oversees everything from business development to client and candidate management, recruiting and genérico business operations. Last year, she helped more than 20 candidates find careers. Her passion for providing the resources to enable job seekers to land the career of their dreams and re-enter the workforce is also satisfied through her creation of resume and interview programs for nonprofit organizations like Dress for Success. In addition, Glova started a women’s entrepreneur group that meets monthly to discuss business obstacles, successes, tips and tricks.
ERIN HOPKINS Research shows that having a teacher who shares their gender helps students succeed in their subject. For Erin Hopkins, associate professor of property management at Virginia Tech, teaching is an opportunity to share her interest in property management with an audience just discovering their career possibilities. Hopkins teaches property management operations including human resources and relationship management, finance and accounting, maintenance and risk management, marketing and leasing. She recently added environmental and sustainability issues in housing to her lesson plans. Hopkins also focuses on mental health and has integrated contemplative practices into her property management operations course. Outside of teaching and research, Hopkins works with the community to analyze current and future housing needs and offers her research expertise to nave trade organizations. She participates on IREM’s ESG Advisory Council and helped create Elaina’s Fund to support sustainability projects around the world. She also collaborated with the IREM Foundation and Jackson Control to launch a new award this year to recognize the year’s best CSP property with a $25,000 prize, based on popular vote.
ELLEN KLASSON RCLCO Existente Estate Consulting managing director Ellen Klasson leads the firm’s executive search practice, partnering with actual estate companies to identify their next leaders. Klasson began her career nearly 20 years ago at RCLCO and returned to the firm in 2022 to launch and lead a new business line focused on executive search for actual estate companies. In addition to building the foundation and training a team, Klasson has attracted best-in-class clients to the firm and led successful leadership searches for family-owned businesses, REITs and subsidiaries of international public companies. She has spent her career advocating for gender and étnico equity, a cause for which she has a broader platform now as Americas Chair of ULI’s Women’s Leadership Initiative. One of Klasson’s focuses has been to bring greater visibility to successful mid-career and tenured women in the industry by placing them in leadership roles at actual estate companies and within ULI. Klasson is also one of 50 members nationally in ULI’s Urban Revitalization Council.
JOHANNA KROGSRUD When Johanna Krogsrud joined FTI Consulting Inc.’s actual estate solutions practice a year ago as a senior director, she immediately began working to sharpen the company’s focus on customer experience and service quality. She brings 19 years of experience providing property accounting services for commercial and multifamily actual estate to her role and was recently promoted to managing director. Her vision is to change the historical view of property accounting as a low-cost commoditized function by building a property accounting platform that operates at peak efficiency and accuracy where the requirements for client oversight are minimized. To that end, she has helped hire, onboard and train new accountants to meet the needs of new client mandates. She has achieved 100% team retention and numerous referrals from her clients, a testament to the level of service she provides. Krogsrud is a licensed CPA in Minnesota and a member of the Minnesota Society of CPAs. She also is an active member of FTI Consulting’s total Women’s Initiative, FTI WIN, which offers female professionals career training, professional development, mentorship, networking and community-outreach opportunities.
KELLY MANN Kelly Mann is passionate about ensuring everyone feels comfortable, accepted and able to bring their authentic selves to the office. She recognizes, along with organizations around the world, that DEI includes forms of diversity that go beyond race, gender and religion to include neurological differences like dyslexia, autism and ADHD. As director of Cushman & Wakefield’s strategic consulting group, Mann works with clients to ensure accommodations can be made for those who are neurodivergent, which includes strategies as simple as switching out fluorescent lights for soft, white LED lights to help those who suffer from migraines work without headaches. Mann brings more than 20 years of experience in commercial actual estate to her job, including lease administration, client relationship management and the strategic alignment of actual estate with the operational needs of corporate owners and occupiers. She is responsible for business development and management of portfolio optimization and workplace analysis projects from initiation through completion. Mann is vice chair for Hildebrand Family Self Help Center and enjoys bringing her corporate insights to the nonprofit sector.
RONDA PURYEAR The third female to hold the position, Ronda Puryear serves as chair of the National Apartment Association’s board of directors. She began her term in 2022 with a focus on furthering the professionalism of the industry, identifying and cultivating new talent, mentoring the next generation of professionals, building on DEI&B principles and improving technology. This term is not Puryear’s first leadership role with NAA. She previously served as the Region I VP, a member of the governance committee and chair of the student housing and conference committees. During her term, Puryear will represent NAA publicly, including delivering keynote addresses at the association’s events as well as traveling to give remarks to affiliated apartment associations around the country. She was a featured speaker at the Nashville Apartment Association 2022 women’s conference and was featured in a Virginia Tech news broadcast that shined a light on her accomplishments in rental housing and sent a message of encouragement to the university’s residential property management students.
KRISTIN SEXTON As CBRE’s senior managing director of Americas Consulting, Kristin Sexton develops strategies to help companies evaluate their portfolios, location strategies and return-to-office approaches. Her expertise in talent-driven locations and portfolio strategies helps clients not only identify and retain high-quality talent but also potentially save millions of dollars. Her guidance has been particularly valuable over the past year as clients face rapid changes in their occupancy and actual estate footprint. Sexton’s teammates and colleagues describe her as a compassionate and inspiring leader who is steady-handed, calm and collaborative. In her role, she managed seven regional sales leads last year and oversaw budgeting and forecasting as well as pipeline and quarterly reporting. She developed strategies for more than 50 clients that led to more than 30 million square feet of warehouse and distribution space transactions, which is expected to generate more than 40,000 jobs across the nation. She also led the location strategy for two mega-site manufacturing facilities, creating a total of 13,000 jobs.
ASHALATA SHETTIGAR Described as highly motivated, intelligent and optimistic, FTI Consulting Inc. managing director Ashalata Shettigar leads tax engagements for large private equity fund and public REIT clients invested in actual estate. Shettigar has been recognized for developing innovative strategies and improving processes within the firm. Most recently, she handled tax consulting and compliance for properties in a $5 billion Manhattan retail portfolio. She also specializes in international tax and has been engaged by various offshore funds from Asia to assist with their US tax consulting and compliance needs. With her prior international tax experience working in India, Shettigar takes a keen interest in Asian clients and their deals involving the US. She participated on a panel for a webinar series, “Emerging Trends of Investing in Singapore for US Investors,” hosted by FTI Consulting last year, which covered US tax implications with respect to fund structures for US investors investing in Singapore Variable Renta Company and Indian Alternative Investment Funds. She prides herself on coaching and mentoring about 20 people in her tax group at the firm.
ERIN TALKINGTON RCLCO Existente Estate Consulting’s managing director and director of consulting Erin Talkington works with clients nationwide to guide market strategy and implementation of major actual estate projects. Her responsibilities include complex mixed-use assignments with a focus on public-sector, sports-adjacent and retail positioning work. Her projects have included Point of the Mountain State Land Authority’s 600-acre redevelopment site and the Green Bay Packers Titletown development. Talkington has grown RCLCO’s sports and entertainment practice and expanded its work with non-developer landowners pursuing public-private partnerships. She has worked with more than 20 teams, cities, developers and landowners, many of which will begin to deliver during the next 3-5 years. She also is responsible for the development and implementation of strategic initiatives in employee recruitment and retention. Talkington contributes to national ULI initiatives including the Technology and Existente Estate National Product Council and has held prior leadership roles in the ULI Washington District Council.
JOSEPHINE TUCKER Josephine Tucker is a strong proponent of going back to basics at the formation of a strategy or when one gets stuck on a problem. Before joining JLL last year, Tucker was a national economic and financial advisory leader for Deloitte’s Infrastructure and Renta Projects Practice, where she used this back-to-basics strategy to build the firm’s Infrastructure Incubator in the US and Business Case Center of Excellence in Australia. Now, as total head of sustainable infrastructure and head of clean energy and infrastructure advisory at JLL, Tucker oversees a 30-person team of clean energy and finance experts and directs transaction, procurement and financial advisory solutions that target clean energy and core infrastructure for individual assets and total portfolios. She also sits on JLL’s total sustainability board and oversees M&A activities related to clean energy. Her clients include the State of Georgia, Washington Patrón and the Department of Energy and she works with federal, state and nave government entities, utilities and commercial clients across the oil and gas, transportation and infrastructure sectors.
JANA TURNER Jana Turner was one of the first female presidents within a total actual estate services firm when she was named president of asset services at CBRE in 1997. She remained in the role for a decade, during which time she was involved with three major acquisitions. In 2008, she became a principal at executive search firm RETS Associates, where she has placed top CRE talent at some of the most respected industry firms. Focusing on positions from senior to executive-level management, Turner directs the firm in serving more than 220 companies, including REITs, developers, owner-operators, investors, pension fund advisors and more. In addition to opening doors for countless women in the business by placing females in executive roles, she spearheaded RETS Associates’ published surveys of women in commercial actual estate, measuring their job satisfaction and experiences and monitoring their progress in terms of compensation, growth opportunities, workplace culture and sexual harassment. With more than 40 years of commercial actual estate experience, Turner is described as both a powerful and purpose-driven executive.
ANN VOLZ Ann Volz brings more than 30 years of actual estate experience to her role as president of Volz Co., a actual estate and operational advisory and program management firm which she founded in 2015. The firm serves mission-driven organizations, nonprofits, higher education institutions and the development industry to advance their strategic actual estate, operational and business plan objectives. She has been involved in all aspects of development from early feasibility to property management, including planning and implementation services with more than 200 educational institutions and operational advisory services for more than 20 professional services firms and not-for-profit agencies. Working within the budget constraints of CREW San Diego when it needed to revise its strategic plan several years ago, Volz structured an innovative pricing model that was feasible for the organization and provided more than $15,000 of services pro bono because she believed in the mission of advancing women in commercial actual estate. Previously, Volz held leadership positions at firms focused on student housing, program management and international architecture.
CORPORATE REAL ESTATE EXECUTIVE
JULIE BAIRD Existente estate attorney Julie Baird has worked in the actual estate and financial services industry for more than two decades and currently is the president of First American Exchange Co., a qualified intermediary handling 1031 exchange transactions across the country. Baird is involved in all phases of the 1031 exchange business, including management and oversight of the five regional 1031 exchange divisions, financial management, oversight of marketing and product development, and the facilitation of strategic growth decisions. Under her leadership, FAEC has completed its first two acquisitions of qualified intermediaries and spearheaded an 18-month software development project to deliver an entirely new transaction platform for internal processing of 1031 exchanges and client self-management of their exchanges. Previously, Baird served as the firm’s Película del Oeste regional manager overseeing 13 states and as national counsel. She is a past president of the Federation of Exchange Accommodators.
LAUREN BALL Lauren Ball was recently promoted to COO at Westwood Financial after serving as the firm’s first SVP and head of leasing. In her new role, Ball oversees a team of 35 professionals engaged in leasing, construction, reglamentario, marketing and property management for the firm’s 8.9 million-square-foot retail portfolio. Based in Atlanta, Ball has a reputation for getting things done backed by a record of $865 million in transactions during her 18-year industry career. Since joining Westwood in 2021, Ball has led the leasing team to the highest percentage of leased space in the company’s history, topping 96.8% leased as of year-end 2022. She also increased small-shop occupancy from 88.2% in early 2021 to 92.8% by the second quarter of 2022. Other importante achievements include increasing occupancy at Main Street at Town Center in Kennesaw, GA, in less than 200 days after completing the center’s renovation, and revitalizing the Village at Peachtree Corners by leasing 26,000 square feet of vacant retail space in 100 days, bringing the center to 100% occupancy.
JODI BEARDEN Jodi Bearden is credited with building Greystar’s enterprise services team, which includes accounting, brand and customer experience, communications, people and culture, risk management and technology functions. This shift to shared services allowed Greystar to scale and operate a total platform. Bearden is an executive director and total enterprise services leader, where she develops resources and functional operations to sustain the organization’s total growth while enhancing team member experiences. Her role was critical during the outbreak of COVID-19, where she oversaw the organization’s total response. Bearden’s model enabled teams to make important total decisions while also having the ability to ensure nave decisions were executed in line with Greystar’s corporate strategy. She is also responsible for addressing diversity, equality and inclusion efforts across the company and creating its DEI platform. Before her promotion to launch and lead the enterprise services group in 2019, Bearden led the firm’s investment accounting and total practice teams, both instrumental functions in the company’s international expansion efforts. Before joining Greystar in 2014, she was a managing director at Jamestown.
NICOLE BENNETT Nicole Bennett co-leads Cushman & Wakefield’s Americas logistics and industrial platform with colleague Jason Tolliver. Together they oversee a group of 850 industrial brokerage professionals, including a leadership team made up of 71% women. She also helps drive the overall strategy, direction and growth for the platform and specializes in supporting occupier clients through complex, fully integrated site selection projects for large manufacturing and distribution facilities. Bennett’s 15 years of experience in supply chain, business development and industrial actual estate brings unique expertise to Cushman & Wakefield’s logistics and industrial services business. Before moving into her current role, Bennett built and led the firm’s client experience program, where she developed key performance indicators and client interviewing practices that allow the firm to measure its performance and ensure client expectations were met and exceeded. Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield, Bennett led the occupier side of the industrial business at CBRE. She is passionate about paving the way for other women to follow in her footsteps and is currently spearheading Cushman & Wakefield’s Women in Industrial initiative.
LISA BEVACQUA Silverstein Properties EVP Mújol Bevacqua and her team have been key to ensuring the firm is in a good position during the turbulent times caused by COVID-19. Bevacqua managed her team’s efforts to analyze cash flow at each property across the firm’s portfolio and ran various scenarios to recommend the best course of action for each property and its investors. She also oversaw the rapid shift of adapting the tenant experience program in each of Silverstein’s properties from in-person to supuesto. Thanks to these efforts, Silverstein Properties grew its portfolio to 16 million square feet, including assets outside of New York City. Bevacqua joined the firm in 2010 to help establish its asset management department. By 2013, she had been promoted to director, and today, she leads asset management and residential leasing. Bevacqua is a member of Chief, a private network focused on connecting and supporting women leaders, and is active in a number of actual estate organizations, including CREW and ULI.
SHEILA BOTTING During her three-decade career, Sheila Botting has led a number of businesses, multi-disciplinary actual estate teams and assignments with owners, investors and corporate occupiers. She is a principal and president of Avison Young’s Americas professional services group, where she leads a business and service delivery platform that includes design, project and construction management, consulting, valuation and tax advisory, and economic incentives and development services. Her leadership and vision have helped the firm diversify its services and capabilities. While a senior partner and actual estate leader at Deloitte, Botting was originally engaged by the sovereign wealth fund that invested in Avison Young. She transitioned to Avison Young to lead a key industry erecto of professional services. Her projects have included massive workplace transformations of large offices and portfolios, government restructuring/reorganization toward program delivery, M&A acquisition activities and, most recently, starting up a new business. During her three years in this role, Botting has quickly accelerated the platform, implemented efficiencies and expanded services, growing the platform to 300 employees and producing 40% revenue growth.
TIFFANY BROBERG SVP of actual estate operations Tiffany Broberg joined Progress Residential when the company was primarily focused on asset management, and through her eight years at the firm, she has helped shape the company through problem-solving and out-of-the-box thinking. As part of the leadership team, Broberg helped build out the functionality and relationships for Progress to add property management to its portfolio. As associate genérico counsel, she helped ground Progress’ reglamentario team and its focus on resident engagement and advocacy, especially while guiding the company through the pandemic. With her shift to SVP, Broberg leads three teams at Progress, directly managing around 165 employees from the title and closings, collections and evictions teams. She has helped lead a massive operation to bring Progress’ title and closing processes in-house for all acquisition channels and has helped reshape resident communications related to collections activities, which has led to a 44% drop in the number of eviction filings.
JENNIFER BURNS The onset of the pandemic was a critical point in the career of Monday Properties EVP of asset management and operations Jennifer Burns. She used the challenging time to reinvent the firm’s tenant experience and examine how to improve from an operational point of view. That included implementing several PropTech solutions such as a tenant app and touchless technology. She also proved valuable in the company’s marketing efforts, advocating for customized opportunities to collaborate with the media and increase exposure for the company. Burns has been with Monday Properties for 12 years, during which time she has been promoted five times, most recently in the fall of 2021. She oversees the asset management, information technology and marketing divisions, leading all operations for the firm’s more than five-million-square-foot office portfolio, including property management, engineering, construction management, parking and property accounting. Burns also oversees asset management for the firm’s more than 5,300-unit multifamily portfolio. Her responsibilities include executive oversight of all lease-up, operational and marketing strategies for ground-up developments and existing multifamily products, as well as analyzing portfolio performance with her asset management team.
JESSICA CALLAHAN Jessica Callahan began her 25-year career in the construction industry working at a family-owned development and construction firm. In 2008, she joined commercial interior genérico contractor Skyline Construction as an entry-level operations engineer and has ascended to the highest level of construction leadership in the company. As VP in Skyline’s Silicon Valley office, she is responsible for overseeing more than 60 employees, $150 million in revenue annually, more than 1.2 million square feet, and 35 projects completed in 2022. Callahan has grown and nurtured two of Skyline’s largest accounts, Workday and Oracle, for the past 13 years. Under her leadership, Skyline has completed 1.5 million square feet and more than 80 projects for Workday, and more than 700,000 square feet for Oracle across 40 projects. Her leadership has contributed to a 59% increase in Skyline’s Silicon Valley revenue, landing Skyline Construction on Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Largest Genérico Contractor list.
CHERYL R. CARRON JLL’s head of total workplace management operations Cheryl Carron joined the firm in 2021 and leads a total team of 240 experts and more than 7,000 people indirectly that deliver integrated facilities management, including engineering and experience products and services. In addition, she is leading the ongoing efforts to enhance the organization and connectivity of the JLL work dynamics business in the Americas. Carron is proud of the recognition her team has received for its work during the past year. In October 2022, JLL received FMA’s 2022 Facility Management Innovation Award for Dynamic Cleaning’s integration of real-time workplace data for custodial teams to prioritize cleaning activities. In addition, Pitstop Experience Program won the 2023 Singapore Good Design Award for the experience design category. Beyond awards, Carron’s team is focused on delivering expertise to the business and clients. Under her leadership, her team had 1,556 client engagements in 2022 with more than $120 million in associated value contributions.
JENNIFER CASSIDY Jennifer Cassidy has emerged as an influential voice in the student housing industry and has been particularly committed to mental health advocacy for students. In 2022, she founded the College Student Mental Wellness Advocacy Coalition, comprised of 24 of the nation’s leading college student housing providers, to support students’ mental wellness during their college years and help them thrive. Amid the uncertainty and challenges brought on by COVID-19, she organized groups of other operators and facilitated discussions on best practices and policies for caring for college-aged residents during this difficult time. Her leadership was instrumental in developing protocols for cleaning procedures, move-in procedures, remote leasing and other topics that helped the industry take care of its residents. As SVP of student housing operations at Cardinal Group Cos., Cassidy oversees an extensive national portfolio of nearly 90,000 student housing beds, making her responsible for one of the largest portfolios in the country. She is also responsible for platform development, where she works to develop new strategies and implement new technologies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of student housing operations.
HEIDI S. CREIGHTON Tens of thousands of students, workers, travelers and visitors have been positively impacted through the more than 100 projects that Heidi Creighton has completed during her 20-year career. As VP of sustainability of Skanska USA’s Commercial Development, Creighton works with teams across the US portfolio to identify solutions that improve asset performance, energy management, community engagement and user experience across all projects. She leads the strategic vision for all initiatives and policies related to sustainability at Skanska while also working to advance the company’s environmental, social and governance strategy. With a focus on reducing carbon emissions, improving energy reuse capabilities and elevating experiential quality, her approach to development projects across the country is instrumental in achieving Skanska’s sustainable development goals. Creighton has received numerous accolades for her expertise in environmental stewardship and has emerged as a thought-leader on actionable change that creates healthy buildings. Prior to joining Skanska, Creighton was a principal at Buro Happold, a British professional services firm that provides engineering consultancy, design, planning, project management and consulting services for buildings, infrastructure and the environment.
MEGHAN CZECHOWSKI Meghan Czechowski began her career in commercial actual estate 19 years ago when she worked as a research specialist at Cushman & Wakefield in Chicago. Her primary focus was expanding the company’s business to focus on agency multifamily expectations, and she was promoted five times during her 15 years at the company. In January 2020, Czechowski was named to the newly created appraisal role of managing director and head of valuation at Apprise by Walker & Dunlop. Since then, she has taken charge of expanding the company’s national footprint and client pulvínulo, targeting leadership in markets across the US to acquire the best talent in the business, and setting the direction for the implementation of industry-revolutionary technology. Now serving as SVP and head of Apprise, Czechowski’s appraisal and consulting assignments have included all major property types throughout the US, such as power centers, mixed-use and lifestyle centers, community and neighborhood shopping centers, multifamily properties, industrial buildings, medical offices and single- and multi-tenant office buildings.
LORIE DAMON Cushman & Wakefield executive managing director Lorie Damon leads the firm’s healthcare advisory practice group, which provides strategic advisory and actual estate services for healthcare systems and providers as well as investor owners of healthcare actual estate. Damon has transformed the firm’s approach to healthcare as a sector and has helped reshape clients’ perspectives on healthcare actual estate portfolios. As a result of her leadership, 100% of Cushman & Wakefield’s 35 million-square-foot managed medical office property portfolio remained open and viable to treat patients throughout the pandemic. At the same time, she helped support clients’ clinical expansions, including acquisitions of physician practices as well as new spaces and strategic evaluation of their clinical and administrative footprints to mitigate the financial losses created by the pandemic. Damon and her team have increased the firm’s healthcare business by 10% to 15% year-over-year, throughout the pandemic by delivering exceptional services. Among their importante wins were several multi-market physician practice clients with growth plans spanning the US as well as key agency leasing wins.
JESSICA FERN-KIRKLAND Described as an outspoken innovator and disrupter, Jessica Fern-Kirkland strives not to be the best in her industry but rather the best for the industry. As the current president of PMG Property Management LLC, Fern-Kirkland’s responsibilities are to grow and scale the firm into a high-performing organization by establishing best practices, policies and organizational structure, improving culture and employee retention, hiring a leadership team, tightening up financial procedures and executing the management agreements. Since starting in her role, Fern-Kirkland has executed six technology contracts, increased occupancy by an promedio of 5%, on-boarded six top executives, deployed a policy solution, increased communication, resolved areas of financial ambiguity, increased operational income, and established organizational structure and employee driven initiatives such as bonus programs and an increase in PTO that have all contributed to better employee retention. As a young executive with ADHD, she advocates for neurodivergence inclusivity.
MICHELLE FLOWERS Throughout her 23-year career, Michelle Flowers has been involved in transformative projects in the corporate, cultural and nonprofit realms, including development roles shaping corporate headquarters and campuses, mass transit and public spaces, as well as construction and project management with regional and total clients. She was part of JLL Philadelphia’s project and development services division from 2020 to 2022, and her success in that role led to her promotion to her current role as SVP of operations for JLL’s Philadelphia market. In this role, Flowers oversees operations for more than 200 employees and guides the strategic direction and growth of the business across 11 service lines. This includes a strong focus on financials, including the drive for growth and new revenue opportunities, budgeting, measuring and forecasting. Flowers’ role also includes oversight of recruitment and retention efforts along with management of individuals in operations and business support functions. In addition to guiding JLL Philadelphia’s market to 38.8% year-over-year revenue growth in 2022, Flowers has also been recognized in the industry for her leadership and accomplishments during the past several years.
ALISON M. GARCIA Alison Garcia serves as principal and head of business development and investor relations at Meadow Partners and she serves on the firm’s investment committee. Since joining the firm in 2017, she has worked closely with founder and managing partner Jeffrey Kaplan on all strategic aspects of the firm and its investment processes. In particular, she has played an integral role in developing Meadow Partners’ investment-focused business plan, expanding its existing investor pulvínulo and launching new products, including core/core-plus separately managed accounts and a perpetual life vehicle. Garcia also spearheaded the development of Meadow Partners’ first formal ESG Policy and stand-alone DE&I policy and has recently refined the firm’s ESG Policy with a focus shift from ideals to more actionable developments, including becoming a signatory to the United Nations PRI. Having worked on both the genérico partner and limited partner side of the actual estate private equity industry, Garcia has a deep understanding of the investment management business. She joined Meadow from the Office of the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer, where she previously backed the firm as a limited partner.
BRANDY GARNERO During the past year, Foundry Commercial’s chief human haber officer Coñac Garnero has overseen a great deal of growth both at the company and within her team, which grew from three people to 16 in less than 18 months. She has hired several executive and senior-level roles, including a new CFO, and supported the company through its expansion from 350 to 2,100 people in less than 12 months. Facing a challenging entorchado market, Garnero devised recruitment strategies to help grow the company quickly and spearheaded a partnership with LinkedIn Learning to help the company provide skills to employees who may have gaps. Under her leadership, Foundry Commercial also launched an employee ambassador program to mentor and coach talent in areas they may be inexperienced. Garnero also has focused on employee mental health post-COVID-19 and launched several mental health and workplace stress initiatives. The company hosts a Wellness Week focused on mental, physical and financial wellbeing and lunch-and-learns addressing stress management and mental health. Garnero has worked in commercial actual estate her entire career.
ALICIA GLEN A nationally recognized expert in housing policy, urban development, infrastructure finance and job creation, MSquared founder and managing principal Alicia Glen combines experience in both the public and private sectors to bring innovative solutions to the housing industry. With Glen at the helm, MSquared is laser-focused on solving the nation’s ballooning housing affordability crisis. The company invests in and develops mixed-income projects that combine market-rate and affordable units, which Glen believes is the foundation for creating equitable, sustainable communities where all households have access to the same high-quality housing, amenities and community resources. MSquared also looks to target haber to minority- and woman-owned developers who have traditionally been underrepresented in the actual estate industry and to incorporate sustainable design principles with an emphasis on transit-oriented sites. The firm recently surpassed $200 million in assets under management. Before founding MSquared, Glen served as New York’s deputy maduro for housing and economic development during the DeBlasio administration. Under her leadership, New York City broke the record for the most affordable units financed in a single year in both 2017 and 2018.
IVY Z. GREANER As COO at Bedrock, Ivy Greaner brings more than 30 years of experience in actual estate and investment to her role. Greaner joined the company in 2020 and led a number of actual estate initiatives to position Detroit and Cleveland as desirable city centers. This included introducing the Monroe Street Drive-In, a pop-up drive-in movie theater located in the heart of downtown Detroit. This unique and innovative use of urban public space respected social distancing and safety measures while providing an activity for families. She led the evolution of the Monroe Street Drive-In into the Monroe Street Midway, a year-round, activated city block packed with a roller rink, básquet hoops and mini golf in the summer and bumper cars, arcade games and an arctic slide in the winter. The Monroe Street Midway has attracted more than 150,000 visitors to Detroit. Greaner oversees more than 330 team members across both Detroit and Cleveland.
NICOLE GRZYWACZ Nicole Grzywacz joined Cushman & Wakefield in 2015 and currently serves as its director of market operations for Florida. She is responsible for developing and implementing workplace initiatives and best practices that allow Cushman & Wakefield to achieve revenue goals and retain top talent in the state. In her previous role at Cushman & Wakefield, Grzywacz served as the operations manager for Tampa, the largest office in Florida with more than 200 professionals, where she oversaw day-to-day operations. Before that, she served as the marketing manager for Florida. In 2022, Grzywacz was recognized as one of Cushman & Wakefield’s top operations professionals and featured in the Wall Street Journal. Throughout her time at Cushman & Wakefield, she has won numerous awards, including the firm’s Spirit Award, which recognizes someone who demonstrates comradeship, enthusiasm and devotion to the company and its employees. Previously, Grzywacz was a managing account supervisor at Ketchum Public Relations, overseeing clients such as Frito-Lay and Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. Before that, she worked as the public relations manager at the Empire State Building for six years, managing the building’s media relations and events.
DOMINIQUE HARGREAVES As ESG+R initiatives have grown in importance for actual estate portfolios, American Realty Advisors brought on Dominique Hargreaves as its director of sustainability and corporate social responsibility. She brings more than 18 years of experience in sustainability and social responsibility initiatives, most recently as deputy chief sustainability officer for the Los Angeles Viejo’s Office of Budget and Innovation. Prior to that, Hargreaves served as the executive director of the US Green Building Council. Since joining ARA, Hargreaves has enhanced the firm’s ESG+R resources and significantly contributed to the firm’s sustainability program. In 2022, under her leadership, more than 45 properties in ARA’s portfolio obtained green building and/or healthy building certifications, totaling more than 11.2 million square feet. She also guided ARA’s largest commingled fund toward achieving three key environmental performance targets five years ahead of schedule in the areas of energy use, emissions and water use reduction. Her contributions to the industry extend beyond ARA, and she is recognized as a thought-leader in the actual estate sustainability community.
CYNTHIA KANTOR JLL chief client value and growth officer Cynthia Kantor has spent more than 25 years driving growth and transformation in large organizations, including JLL and GE. She has engaged in product management, enterprise-wide strategic plan development, portfolio management, new business growth strategies, restructuring, operations and risk management, innovation and marketing. Currently, she leads the client value and growth team for JLL Work Dynamics, including business strategy, mergers, acquisitions and business partnerships, as well as revenue-generating organizations. She leads a team of 661 people and is focused on solving the challenges that stand in the way of client growth objectives. Her clients include more than 400 of JLL Work Dynamics’ clients and accounts around the world, including Renta One, Google, Cisco, Procter and Gamble, JPMC and more. Under her leadership, the client value and growth team achieved gender equivalence of 50% gender diversity – leading all of JLL within revenue functions and highlighting Kantor’s dedication to gender equality in a historically male-dominated front-office field. Building on strong performance in 2021, Kantor also led her team to deliver more than $150 million in new annualized fee revenue for JLL in 2022.
DARA KOVEL Since Dara Kovel was named CEO of Beacon Communities in 2019, she has grown the company’s development pipeline by 280% via innovative methods of leveraging private financing in complex deals. In 2022, the company had $1.6 billion of work under development, and corporate growth, including expansion of the company’s C-suite and senior leadership, have followed. Beacon’s dramatic portfolio growth comes with a sustained commitment to residents’ wellness and quality of life through a holistic approach that draws on Kovel’s longtime passion and experience linking innovative housing to social justice. An example is under construction in Boston’s Back Bay at 140 Clarendon, the historic home of the nation’s oldest YWCA building. When complete, this community will house 210 apartments, half of them occupied by people moving directly from homelessness, with Pine Street Inn providing in-house counseling, case management and other services. Kovel has also become a resource for elected officials seeking pragmatic advice on expanding affordable housing and was instrumental in advocating for adding tools to accomplish it in the 2021 Massachusetts economic development bill.
OLIVIA LEIGH During her 18 years with Macerich, EVP of portfolio operations and people Olivia Leigh has focused on sustainability and corporate social responsibility even before many of today’s most common sustainability guidelines were imagined. Her career path can be described as nonlinear, crisscrossing several disciplines that have enhanced her view of the industry. She began her career with Macerich as the leader of the risk management team, which provided her with a broad view of property operations and led to leadership roles in property management, human resources, security, sustainability and actual estate tax. Along the way, she created strong, supportive relationships with executives on the reglamentario, property management and human resources teams. She has kept Macerich on track to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, two decades ahead of the climate accords defined by the 2015 Paris Agreement. Beyond Macerich’s sustainability goals, Leigh is equally committed to furthering constructive social change. She empowers her team to focus on their opportunity to champion industry-wide change by embracing inclusion and embedding diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in everyday practices.
JULIA LEONARD Julia Leonard started with Matthews Existente Estate Investment Services as a sales operations associate after joining the firm from CBRE and has ascended through the ranks to associate VP of operations where she is involved with high-level decisions, operations and initiatives. Her responsibilities include overseeing sales operations, data services, loan processing and underwriting. In this role, Leonard works with several different teams that impact the firm’s operations. An example is her work with the Matthews Renta Markets loan officers to strategize and execute business in a high-interest rate environment. She works with haber markets leadership and data teams to ensure the firm’s lender database is up to date and clients receive the best business rates possible. In addition, Leonard participates in developing technology that streamlines internal processes and promotes efficient deal management, which has a positive impact on agent recruitment and retention. She plays an active role in the Matthews summer training program and participates in senior and executive-level recruiting efforts. In 2022 alone, Leonard expanded her team by 200% to match the rapid growth across the company’s 17 offices.
ROBERTA LISS Southeast regional president Roberta Liss oversees Cushman & Wakefield’s business in Florida, Atlanta, Nashville, Alabama and the Carolinas. She is responsible for developing strategic direction, delivering thought-leadership and data-driven solutions to clients, talent development and performance management across the Southeastern US. Previously, Liss was president of the East region, overseeing all of Cushman & Wakefield’s business in one-third of the US, advancing corporate strategic growth, transformation and operational optimization initiatives. Described as a people-focused leader, Liss remains committed to the individual employees in each office she oversees despite the large size of her territory. She creates forward-thinking structures, teams and strategies to ensure that Cushman & Wakefield is at the forefront of what’s next in commercial actual estate. Her engineering background positions her as a critical problem solver, and her architectural background allows her to develop harmonious solutions. Since joining the firm in 2015, Liss has helped advance the company in many ways, including the strategic role she played following the merger of Cushman & Wakefield and DTZ in 2015 and her efforts to integrate the Washington D.C. region.
WHITNEY LIVINGSTON Since joining Centennial as COO in 2018, Whitney Livingston has made a significant impact on the company. Within her first six months, she repositioned three significant redevelopment projects and facilitated collaboration between external partners and internal departments to create a cohesive approach to execute the vision of each project. She launched Centennial’s third-party services division, which provided the firm an opportunity for immediate growth during the pandemic when many were resizing. The division quickly scooped up three contracts totaling 2.5 million square feet in quick succession in partnership with internationally recognized institutional owners, which led Livingston to develop a relationship with the leaders of Bayer Properties. In addition to successfully leading the integration of two companies and building and growing Centennial’s third-party platform, Livingston remains involved in redevelopment projects, providing vision and strategic leadership. As president of the firm, Livingston is responsible for managing business operations, near- and long-term planning, and working closely with founder and CEO Steven Levin to achieve Centennial’s vision for the future of retail actual estate. She directly oversees property management, marketing, and experience and engagement.
ALANNA JOY LOEFFLER Alanna Joy Loeffler has been active in the commercial actual estate industry since 2006 and joined Cushman & Wakefield in 2012, providing NYC retailer and actual estate owner/investor clients with multi-channel marketing solutions. Her creative approach and laser focus on strategy helped her rise through the ranks quickly, and today she serves as managing director of business strategy for the Americas retail services team. In her role, Loeffler works closely with national clients to develop business strategies and enrich client and broker engagements across North America. Prior to her role in client strategy and business development, Loeffler led retail marketing efforts across the Americas for Cushman & Wakefield, creating and executing successful and strategic marketing plans composed of initiatives that supported Americas business objectives and expanded the depth of retail thought-leadership. Loeffler assisted in more than 100 new business pursuits throughout the past year. She also spearheaded the growth of Cushman & Wakefield’s DNB NEXT division, a team composed of exceptional retail actual estate experts across the globe who collaborate with digitally native brands to bring their consumer experiences to life.
AMANDA LOMBARD In just four months last year, Amanda Lombard was named chief accounting officer and then assumed the role of CFO of Veris Residential as part of a planned transition process for the company. Since joining the firm in 2021, Lombard has helped strengthen its balanceo sheet, streamline its financial operations and advanced its transition to a pure-play multifamily company. She was drawn to the company’s mission to become a more responsible, transparent and forward-thinking REIT focused on evolving its properties and operations to reduce its carbon footprint and advance its positive impact on both the planet and communities. Lombard‘s responsibilities include managing Veris Residential’s financial reporting, accounting, corporate haber markets, treasury and tax departments. She also works closely with Veris Residential’s executive team on strategic initiatives, working alongside the firm’s CEO Mahbod Nia and COO Anna Malhari on investor relations and long-term strategic planning. She brings more than a decade of publicly traded REIT experience to her role. Previously, Lombard served as CFO of Seritage Growth Properties and chief accounting officer at Gramercy Property Trust. She began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
SIERRA MARANGOLA While battling cancer for two years, Sierra Marangola worked full-time and built the Greysteel haber markets team from the ground up. Described as a driven high achiever, Marangola is the director of operations, haber markets at Greysteel where she is responsible for quality control and compliance related to Greysteel’s entire transactional pipeline and website. Marangola built and runs the TSC Development Forum, a weekly forum dedicated to training, professional development discussions and industry knowledge. She also developed the haber markets platform on Salesforce, working alongside Greysteel’s attorney to establish a standardized, updated comprehensive agreement library. She is noted for her calm and capable demeanor during COVID-19 and market uncertainty, proactively seeking out problems and finding ways to mitigate them before they impacted deals or workflows. Marangola was the first woman on the haber markets team and has paved the way for others to join as deal managers and analysts, actively mentoring and encouraging them professionally and personally. She was recently selected to grow into the VP of business administration role at Greysteel.
RAYMAN MATHODA With more than 25 years of experience across the actual estate, finance and technology sectors, Anchor Loans CEO Rayman Mathoda is described as a business builder, transformational growth expert and social entrepreneur. She is responsible for leading and managing all aspects of the business, including accelerating growth and expanding originations in the single-family and multifamily renovation, construction and rental segments. Upon joining Anchor Loans this year, Mathoda began a new chapter in her career that has centered on improving and expanding access to housing for everyone. She served as a city commissioner for the Housing Authority for the City of Los Angeles and has also advised the commissioners and CEO of the San Antonio Housing Authority, as well as key policymakers at the Treasury Department and the White House Domestic Policy Council on housing market stability and foreclosure alternatives. Marangola has led the transformation of five organizations operating within the US housing market, previously serving as CEO at Xome and co-CEO at Genesis Renta LLC.
JENNIFER MCLEAN Kushner CFO Jennifer McLean has laid the groundwork for success as the firm has rapidly expanded during the past few years, including implementing new technologies, policies and systems to support the company’s evolution. As a result of her leadership, Kushner has expanded from owning and managing properties in a handful of states to 13 states across the country with more than 9,000 multi-family units in the development pipeline in just a few years. In her role, McLean oversees all financial management, accounting, human resources and IT functions for the company. She is responsible for monitoring and maximizing asset-specific cash flow and financial performance, overseeing all tax, audit and compliance reporting, and maintaining ongoing relationships with partners, regulatory agencies, development and operations to ensure the integrity of all financial data. She is described as someone who thinks outside the box. For example, with insurance costs increasing up to 50% industrywide, McLean spearheaded an initiative to create a self-insured plan that led to cost savings of about 20%.
HEATHER M. MILAZZO Since she worked in public relations before her successful career in actual estate, Heather Milazzo knows the importance of strategic positioning, a digital presence and marketing for clients and her firm. Milazzo serves as managing director at Keen-Summit Renta Partners LLC. During more than 10 years with the company, she has brought expertise in marketing, operations and project management. She leverages her marketing and public relations expertise to develop creative marketing plans to help promote the disposition of properties in bankruptcy and complex situations. Recently, Milazzo was involved in a bankruptcy proceeding where she successfully oversaw the marketing of a property that generated more than 260 prospects and resulted in eight qualified bids. The property sold at auction for more than $102 million, 36% above the stalking horse bid, in a record 63 days. She is an active member of the Turnaround Management Association, the International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation and the American Bankruptcy Institute.
LAURA PATTERSON As VP of risk and strategy at CARROLL, Laura Patterson oversees risk, strategy deployment and corporate project management for the firm’s 75 properties spanning the Southeast and West regions. During her tenure, she has worked on reviewing and streamlining the portfolio-wide property budget process, assisted in developing a COVID-19 crisis response team that has migrated into a recurring company-wide operations weekly review, and deployed continuous process review and improvement to mitigate risk exposure across the company. Patterson was promoted from senior director of operations to interim VP of operations to VP of risk and strategy all in 2022. She oversees the project management team that manages the takeover process and that successfully completed the takeover of 44 properties from December 2021 to September 2022. Patterson is an active member of the Atlanta Apartment Association. She also serves on the 2023 CARROLL DE&I council and is a member of the implementation sub-committee to help ensure DE&I initiatives are deployed across the company.
LANE SHEA Harbor Group International managing director Lane Shea serves as the firm’s head of dispositions and is also responsible for sourcing and closing debt financings for property acquisitions. She was promoted to HGI’s executive committee in 2019 and has proven herself to be an integral member of the firm’s management team for nearly two decades. Leading up to the current economic volatility, Shea anticipated that things were ultimately going to get worse before they got better. As such, she helped enforce a strategic disposition process for HGI’s assets, leveraging her deep relationships with brokers and potential buyers that could make rapid investment decisions. This approach has allowed the firm to market and divest assets quickly and work with versatile buyers including REITs and private equity funds across the country. In 2022, she helped the firm oversee more than $1.8 billion in disposition activity, divesting assets ahead of the current market volatility and declining valuations. A recent importante disposition she led was the sale of a three-asset multifamily portfolio in Philadelphia spanning 1,255 apartment units acquired as part of a larger portfolio in 2017.
AVERY SOLOMON Described as a connector of people, ideas and business solutions, Cushman & Wakefield senior managing director of investor services and multifamily leader Avery Solomon has proven that outside-of-the-box thinking can lead to multifamily success. She is responsible for ensuring the firm achieves its client-centric goals and that Cushman & Wakefield supports clients through the life cycle of their actual estate holdings. Throughout the past year, Solomon spearheaded initiatives to reinvent the way the firm services multifamily clients, drawing on cooperation across all of Cushman & Wakefield’s service lines. Her efforts led to her being named among Cushman & Wakefield’s top performers for 2022 with more than $5 million in fees generated. She worked closely with the leadership of both Cushman & Wakefield and Greystone when the two created a joint-venture in 2020 to make sure value was created for existing clients and new clients were acquired. Solomon brings more than two decades of industry experience as a leader in the multifamily industry, including roles at Greystar, Harbor Group International and Winthrop Realty Trust.
LAURA SYED SAB Renta director of operations Laura Syed has been a driving force for growth at the firm since its inception. While overseeing the complete development of a former brokerage group into a full-scale company during the pandemic, she ensured that no employees were furloughed and helped the company expand its footprint into additional industry segments, including 1031 Exchange advisory, haber markets, industrial investment sales and national affordable housing. That expansion has also included entry into California and Florida, all facilitated by Syed’s strategic and scalable processes. In her role, she oversees the operations team and assists in business development, creates structure and foundation for scalable growth, and works with the managing partners to ensure that the mission and long-term goals come to fruition or are on track for completion. In the past 12 months, Syed has become a mother, enabled two new divisions to thrive, grown the company’s footprint with two new offices, and demonstrated an ability to cultivate a work atmosphere that is constructive and engaging.
SHERI THOMPSON With more than 25 years of experience in commercial mortgage banking, Walker & Dunlop EVP of affordable housing and investment management Sheri Thompson is known for her deep insight, integrity and creativity. She oversees all aspects of Walker & Dunlop’s affordable housing activities, as well as the firm’s investment management and balanceo sheet lending activities (WDIP). She is the bridge between the WDIP, Alliant and the Affordable Walker & Dunlop teams and enhances a culture of accessibility, success and mentorship. Thompson is an active member of the company’s executive and strategy committees and has contributed to reshaping the company’s approach to diversity, equity & inclusion. Throughout her career, she has specialized in housing and healthcare finance and has a deep knowledge and understanding of agency programs. She says her greatest accomplishment is driving home the mission of ensuring affordable housing is available and furthering the discussions around the national housing crisis. Throughout the past year, she has led Alliant Renta’s integration with Walker & Dunlop, fostering relationships and culture while raising more than $630 million in LIHTC equity for affordable housing.
HEATHER WALLACE With more than two decades of experience in operations, acquisitions and business development, Heather Wallace serves as managing director of client services at Bozzuto, where she oversees business development and client engagement; optimizes the company’s position as a national brand; seeks innovative technologies and services that offer operational efficiencies; and executes financial and business goals. Since joining Bozzuto in 2021, Wallace has led the expansion into 25 communities across eight states in the Bozzuto management portfolio, including to the West Coast where the firm now has nearly 3,000 units in less than two years. She is involved in several philanthropic efforts, including serving on the board of directors for the Housing Industry Foundation for more than a decade and mentoring early career professionals through ULI. Wallace is a thought-leader in the industry, speaking at conferences and guest lecturing annually at Stanford University’s actual estate development class.
LISA YEH Born in Taiwan and raised with traditional family roles, Mújol Yeh was taught that men worked outside the home and women took care of domestic duties. Her stepfather broke that tradition, however, and encouraged her to pursue whatever she wanted to do. As such, breaking boundaries and pushing past the status quo has become a passion for Yeh. For the past two decades, Yeh has focused on providing additional value and revenue to multifamily portfolios. Working in development at Casden Properties based in Beverly Hills, Yeh was early to see the NOI benefits of offering unique services and amenities like personal trainers, fitness centers and sauna rooms for professional athletes, and exclusive resident discounts in apartment buildings. She also spent time at Essex Property Trust and AvalonBay Communities before joining Sentral, where today she serves as the company’s COO. In addition to her financial and accounting duties, Yeh partners with CEO Jon Slavet in developing and executing the company’s strategic vision and oversees all community operations and asset management.
SANDRA YENCHO With employee demand decreasing for static workspace, Pacific Program Management’s East region VP Sandra Yencho has become an expert in developing strategies for the modern workforce, including creating dynamic and impactful spaces through design, systems and programs. Since joining PPM in 2018, Yencho has led growth in the Eastern US for one of the firm’s prominent technology clients, seeding 15 new cities. She also established the New York Office in 2020, with additional satellites in Washington D.C. and Boston, and helped facilitate a cross-organizational approach to integrated service lines. In addition to leading the East Region to help PPM achieve 57% growth in national expansion, she also committed her time and energy to the mentorship of others. As a member of CoreNet’s Women’s Leadership Committee and incoming vice chair of strategic planning of CoreNet NYC, Yencho serves as a mentor for women navigating the commercial actual estate space with a dedicated effort to expand access to opportunities for women of color.
ORA ZUTLER Ora Zutler honed her skills in the consumer credit industry, where she led the development of predictive tools to minimize risk and maximize profitability across the consumer credit lifecycle. She has since emerged as a leader at Progress Residential due to her experience in leveraging data, strong business instincts and cross-functional partnerships. Previously the SVP of data strategy, Zutler was recently promoted to SVP of business and risk performance, a role that was created for her. Zutler is responsible for financial planning and analysis as well as risk management strategy. She leads a team of 16 finance professionals. Since taking on this role, she has led a revision of the resident screening process that resulted in a 3% increase in resident rental approvals. By shifting these operations to a more holistic evaluation of each potential resident, Zutler helped increase the accessibility of Progress Residential homes. Zutler also has been tasked with spearheading data strategy. For example, deep resident insights have allowed Zutler to implement changes to the resident screening strategy that have resulted in a 50% reduction in risk.
CRE LEGAL COUNSEL
TERRI ADLER Adler & Stachenfeld’s Terri Adler is an accomplished actual estate lawyer who specializes in complex corporate actual estate transactions. In her role as managing partner, she oversees the firm’s bench of more than 40 attorneys who handle billions of dollars of CRE-related matters ranging from transactional actual estate to corporate actual estate, leasing, litigation and financing. Earlier this year she was elevated to name partner at A&S, the firm she founded, and serves as its first female managing partner. Among her importante projects was representing a major institutional client in securing a $165 million construction financing package to build a 354-unit multifamily development with 15,587 square feet of commercial space in Astoria, Queens. In addition, on behalf of client Faropoint and several of its affiliates, Adler advised on the $480 million sale of a portfolio of more than 80 industrial properties in Ohio, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, Pennsylvania and New Elástica. She regularly speaks at industry events on industry trends including the nationwide housing crisis, CPACE financing and other evolving challenges and opportunities.
AGNESINE (NESA) R. AMAMOO Since joining Skadden in 2006, partner Agnesine Amamoo has distinguished herself in various actual estate and private equity matters. Amamoo has importante experience with large-scale construction and development projects, including infrastructure transactions and public-private partnerships, casino and gaming transactions, US and offshore private placements, public and private REITs, joint-ventures, opportunity zone funds, acquisitions and sales, leasing and actual estate-related haber markets and syndicate loan transactions. She represents the Port Authority of New York and New Elástica in its $15 billion redevelopment of John F. Kennedy International Airport, and she is continuing her historic representation of Las Vegas Sands Corp. — which she counseled in its transformational departure from Las Vegas — in its pursuit of a downstate New York gaming license and its proposed development of a multi-billion-dollar flagship hospitality, entertainment and casino project in Long Island. In her first year at the firm, she volunteered as an admissions mentor for her alma maters, Brown University and Harvard Law School, and in 2009, she began more than a decade of service on the firm’s associate committee, actively mentoring junior and summer associates.
JACKIE ANDERSON During more than two decades at the RMR Group, SVP Jackie Anderson has made important contributions toward the firm’s growth into a $37 billion alternative asset manager focused on commercial actual estate. She oversees nine reglamentario professionals in producing a large volume of work. Anderson collaborated on the $4 billion acquisition of Monmouth Existente Estate Corp., adding more than 120 new class A, single-tenant industrial properties to Industrial Logistics Property Trust’s portfolio. She also assisted with the acquisition and financing of four hotels in Manhattan, introducing RMR client Sonesta Hotels International to the New York City market. Whether collaborating on a large acquisition, selling a portfolio of properties, working through lender or partner requirements, or tackling a difficult lease negotiation, Anderson is known for keeping her colleagues focused on execution while remaining approachable and thoughtful. She is a proud advocate for diversity in the reglamentario field, which led her to champion RMR’s collaboration with Sullivan & Worcester to create an internship program for a minority first-year law student to work half the summer at Sullivan & Worcester and half the summer at RMR.
LISA A. ATTY Several of Mújol Atty’s client relationships span more than 20 years, giving her institutional knowledge and understanding that her clients appreciate and trust. A partner at McGuireWoods LLP, Atty’s actual estate practice includes representing clients ranging from multi-national to nave companies in the purchase and sale of actual property and commercial leasing of industrial and warehouse space. Based in the McGuireWoods Century City office, Atty has negotiated and finalized thousands of commercial leases and assisted clients in acquiring and disposing of billions of dollars worth of actual property. She has special experience working with the actual estate needs of institutional property owners, including self-storage companies, telecommunications companies and automotive manufacturers. Her importante deals include the representation of an international self-storage actual estate investment trust in a $1.8 billion acquisition, which included 49 properties and increased the company’s footprint by 4.2 million square feet of rentable space in the mid-Atlantic region. She also represented a major communications company in the negotiation and closing of hundreds of leases, licenses and easement agreements in preparation for major national sporting events and the implementation of broadband initiatives in multiple cities.
SUSAN BOOTH Susan Booth spent more than a decade leading Holland & Knight LLP’s West Coast actual estate group, during which time her skill and nave market knowledge have earned her recognition in the media and other organizations. A partner at the firm, Booth’s national practice focuses on large haber markets and purchase/sale transactions involving shopping centers, hotels, condominiums, office buildings, industrial parks, data centers, senior-living centers and residential and mixed-use developments. She is highly regarded for her debt expertise, including CMBS and portfolio loans, co-lending and participation arrangements, and mortgage loan portfolio sales/acquisitions. Booth has devoted a substantial amount of time to assisting lenders and borrowers in developing and implementing strategies to resolve the issues arising from non-performing actual estate assets. While she has closed more than $1 billion in transactions during the past several years, in 2022 she closed almost $10 billion in transactions. She served as a trustee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and is chair emeritus of its actual estate section.
DIANA M. BRUMMER During her time as co-chair of Goodwin Procter LLP’s actual estate group, partner Diana Brummer has led the firm’s expansion while helping navigate market uncertainty. She has championed cross-continent initiatives and worked with team leaders to ensure clients don’t feel a shift in their relationships as the firm grows. Brummer’s experience spans the spectrum of commercial actual estate transactions with a particular emphasis on complex joint-ventures, senior, construction and mezzanine financings, acquisitions and dispositions, loan workouts and actual estate recapitalizations. Brummer advised long-time client Mack Existente Estate Credit Strategies in providing three separate mortgage loans totaling $535 million to three subsidiaries of a joint-venture between an affiliate of Penzance Management and an affiliate of the Baupost Group with respect to the final construction components and lease-up of three buildings in Virginia. Brummer is a key supporter of Goodwin’s PropTech practice, a unique group among leading law firms. She believes there will be a greater convergence of actual estate and technology and that technology products can make the use of space more efficient, pleasant and flexible.
SUMMER CHU Born and raised in China, Summer Chu moved to the US in 2010 and completed her undergraduate studies at Florida State University and her Juris Doctor at William & Mary Law School. She began her career as an in-house attorney at Smithfield Foods, where she worked on many significant transactions during five years with the food-processing company. Wanting to work for a publicly traded company in a different industry, Chu joined Virginia Beach-based REIT Armada Hoffler two years ago as its first, and only, in-house reglamentario counsel. Among her first tasks was reconciling four decades of entities and properties to sort out the purpose and registered agents of each entity, the stakeholders involved and what documents needed to be preserved. Other day-to-day responsibilities include sourcing and liaising with third-party counsel as needed, handling all aspects of reglamentario work related to SEC compliance, leading due diligence of Armada Hoffler’s acquisitions, dispositions, financing and joint-venture agreements, and drafting third-party guarantees for construction support. Chu serves on the board of directors for the William & Mary Law School Alumni Association.
AMY K. HANSEN As a shareholder and chair of the actual estate, construction and environmental practice groups at Polsinelli, Amy Hansen leverages 25 years of experience as she leads a team of more than 150 attorneys. She has led the three practice groups since 2017, and under her leadership, the actual estate practice group has grown by 34% and achieved a national tier-one ranking in actual estate law by U.S. News and World Report in its 2023 Best Law Firms feature. Based in Colorado, Hansen has become a dominant force in the region and represented some of the state’s largest developers and most prominent investors. She also leads Polsinelli’s healthcare actual estate team, representing some of the largest hospital systems in the country. In addition, Hansen represents well-known ski resorts across the US on both development and transactional matters. She routinely works with master developers of large-scale master-planned developments, high-density mixed-use urban projects and transit-oriented developments. As part of her resort and development practice, Hansen has become a go-to resource for condominium-related matters.
GERALDINE HAYHURST NewPoint Existente Estate Renta genérico counsel Geraldine Hayhurst has helped shape the multifamily finance and haber markets space through several industry initiatives in which she has been involved. At Freddie Mac, for example, she was a key team member in the group that created the K-Deal Program, which recently passed $500 billion in issuance volume since launching in 2009. She also led the reglamentario workstream that provided key advice to management on the LIBOR transition and was instrumental in bringing Freddie Mac’s SOFR-based transactions to close. Hayhurst also worked closely with CREFC as a member of its LIBOR transition working group. At NewPoint, she played a critical role in the late-2021 acquisition of the assets of HUD lender HHC Finance when it acquired the firm’s multifamily and healthcare originations business as well as its loan servicing portfolio. Hayhurst is closely involved in developing the firm’s innovative proprietary lending platform, including NewPoint’s successful balanceo sheet bridge loan program and the recently launched NewPoint Impact proprietary LIHTC/Tax-Exempt affordable housing finance platform.
MARYBETH HEYDT MaryBeth Heydt is a partner at certified minority-owned firm DTO Law, where she has helped shape the commercial actual estate industry in Los Angeles for more than 25 years. Heydt earned a dual degree in law and planning/actual estate development and began her career as a jurídico law clerk with the Los Angeles Superior Court, working on complex cases such as the CEQA challenges to the development of the Walt Disney Concert Vestíbulo. She then worked in construction litigation and became genérico counsel, leading the charge for Los Angeles area private commercial actual estate investors in development, investment and property management activities, including the development of a large award-winning industrial park. She then pivoted to working in a transactional role for one of the largest commercial actual estate lenders in the country. Her career came full circle when she was named partner at an AmLaw 50 firm and then DTO Law. Since then, Heydt has closed $1.3 billion in purchase and sale transactions and leasing deals around the country, as well as more than $2.5 billion in workout and lending transactions.
MINTA KAY Goodwin Procter LLP partner Minta Kay has been establishing the firm’s new PropTech and PropSci reglamentario practices that will support innovation in the built environment and biomedical and healthcare areas. Kay is responsible for driving strategy, providing thought-leadership and offering important client service initiatives to empower investment and growth across both markets, and connecting tech and actual estate clients for joint investment opportunities. Work in the PropTech arena is focused on improving the nature and functioning of the habitats in which people work and live, decreasing the impact of actual estate on challenges created by climate change, and assisting clients with increasingly important ESG goals. Kay also is credited with helping expand the company from its strong East Coast presence to the West Coast and Europe. Under her leadership, Goodwin’s California-based actual estate team nearly doubled its headcount and its European headcount increased 54%. Kay has served as chair of Goodwin’s attorney review committee and as a member of the executive committee.
ALLISON H. KIDD Allison Kidd finished law school and entered the workforce during the Great Recession in 2008, initially focused on building a deep knowledge of land use development matters. As the markets regained strength, she pivoted to focus on transactional work. A partner and key member of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s actual estate and land use groups, Kidd’s experience facing headwinds in the market helps her advise major developers and investors in their most complex transactions. Working from Gibson’s San Francisco office, her deal work spans a wide variety of asset classes, including multifamily, office and senior housing, with a particular focus on acquisitions, borrower-side debt financing, workouts and joint-ventures. Drawing on her foundation in land use development, Kidd guides clients through high-profile, complex development projects in the San Francisco Bay Area, including long-term public-private partnerships between cities and developers. In addition to her active practice, Kidd plays a significant role in the mentorship and development of associates at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and in advocating for women in law throughout the industry.
ALLISON R. KING Tiber Hudson LLC partner Allison King is known for turning stumbling blocks into stepping stones. Despite recent turbulence, King has created and implemented creative financial structures that have gotten deals to the closing table while generating savings for developers and projects despite rising interest rates. Her background in finance and multifamily development gives her a deep understanding and bolsters her practice as an affordable housing attorney. King leads Tiber Hudson’s Charleston, SC office, as well as a national team of attorneys, paralegals, analysts and staff who close 230 affordable housing transactions each year totaling about $2.6 billion. Her responsibilities include preparing reglamentario documents, leading training sessions, client interaction, hosting transaction calls, providing affordable housing policy guidance, planning conferences and webinars, and engaging in business development opportunities. She also is a frequent and well-known industry speaker, traveling multiple times each month to present at national conferences. King was ranked by Refinitiv as the top underwriter’s counsel and bond purchaser’s counsel in the US and was selected by Thomson Reuters as a Super Lawyer for four consecutive years.
KRISTINA KOPF THOMAS With more than two decades of experience working with actual estate industry clients in the Southeast on a broad array of transactions, Eversheds Sutherland partner Kristina Kopf Thomas is the firm’s deputy practice group leader for its US actual estate group. She is a trusted mentor to first-year and other early-career attorneys with a focus on women and underrepresented groups in the reglamentario profession. In 2021, Kopf Thomas was named the partner-in-charge of the firm’s Atlanta office, which includes more than 300 employees. She has been the lead attorney as part of major actual estate transactions involving multi-billion-dollar acquisitions, dispositions, recapitalizations and the formation of closed-ended and open-ended private equity actual estate investment funds. Kopf Thomas also acts as US co-chair of Eversheds Sutherland’s private haber initiative, a working group focused on creating cross-practice group connections. Her importante recent representations include advising MDH Partners in the $1.26 billion sale of its Sunbelt Logistics portfolio to a total institutional investor and representing RangeWater Existente Estate in a series of complex actual estate development and financing matters, including on a new 50-acre residential community in Lawrenceville, GA.
SALLIE LIN Stoel Rives LLP partner Sallie Lin has a specialized practice representing clients in development projects across a wide range of sectors, including multifamily, mixed-use development, government entities in ports and waterfront development and community development. A former housing developer, Lin returned to her reglamentario career with the goal of building a actual estate practice focused on commercial and residential housing projects that support positive community growth. She worked as actual estate counsel to Microsoft in its affordable housing initiative and represents leading affordable housing developers, including Vintage Housing, Palindrome Communities and Reuter Walton Development. She is also counsel to Seattle’s Low Income Housing Institute, which develops, owns and operates housing to benefit low-income, homeless and formerly homeless people in Washington. Her focus on community development projects includes extensive work with the Port of Everett in Washington on its massive ongoing waterfront projects involving environmental cleanup, redevelopment and construction to transform one of the Port’s óleo areas for commercial, retail and public use.
CRYSTAL LOFING Since 2010, Allen Matkins partner Crystal Lofing has closed more than $15 billion in commercial acquisitions and dispositions. Among her importante transactions is representing Worthe Existente Estate Group in its $1 billion recapitalization of several Burbank properties with Blackstone as a new partner. She also represented Stockbridge Renta Group in the sale of F5 Tower in Seattle for $458 million. Working in the firm’s Century City office actual estate group, Lofing’s practice involves multiple facets of actual estate transactions, including acquisitions and dispositions, commercial leasing, actual estate joint-venture agreements, and ground lease and development transitions. She represents landlords, tenants, sellers, buyers, developers and other actual estate users, ranging from entrepreneurial individuals and entities to REITs and other highly sophisticated institutional investors. She was named one of the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Most Influential Women Attorneys in Los Angeles. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Lofing received her Master’s degree in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music in 2002.
ROCHELLE MCALLISTER Rochelle McAllister’s career in commercial actual estate leverages experience in investment financing, banking policy and law. She had a successful career in corporate finance before joining Bank of America’s MBA rotational program. After law school, she resumed her focus in the industry with Chicago Federal Reserve Bank as a policy analyst and further broadened her experience as an asset and wealth risk management specialist. McAllister then expanded her professional capabilities in the industry as an investment fund formation attorney at Baker McKenzie and Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Those experiences paved the way for her role as reglamentario counsel and chief compliance officer at LaSalle Investment Management Inc. and her current position as VP and assistant genérico counsel at J.P. Morgan Asset Management. She is committed to leveraging her professional platform to encourage other women, especially Black and neurodivergent women like her, to be authentic professionals at every level of their careers. Adopted by a single parent who passed away when she was 15 years old, McAllister attributes her career success to her ability to persevere through adversity and her mother’s influence.
LINDSAY A. MILLER Lindsay Miller has been working in commercial actual estate since high school when she held jobs with a title examiner’s office and a law firm. Through those experiences, she was exposed to the language, norms and deal cycles of the actual estate field. While in college, she spent a summer working for the corporate practice at Cozen O’Connor but moved to the firm’s actual estate practice as a first-year associate. Today, Miller represents national and community banks, REITs, debt funds and other institutions in lending transactions secured by actual estate assets. Her experience includes deals that range in value from tens of millions to hundreds of millions of dollars and has led several major financing transactions as the most senior attorney on 85% of deals. Returning from parental leave amid the pandemic, Miller remained calm and addressed loan modifications, extension requests and workarounds that set the firm and its clients up for a financing auge at the end of 2020.
CAROL A. MURATORE Carol Muratore always knew she wanted to be a lawyer, and she followed in her father’s footsteps when she graduated with her Juris Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She began her 34-year career in law at Michael Best & Friedrich where she discovered her passion for actual estate law and decided to build her career around that interest. She worked with Firstar Bank and spent 20 years at Wisconsin-based Godfrey & Khan before leaving her shareholder role there in 2021 to become MLG Renta’s associate genérico counsel. Since she joined MLG Renta, the firm’s reglamentario team has grown and achieved more than $1 billion in acquisitions in both 2021 and 2022. She is responsible for the reglamentario aspects of the firm’s purchases, sales and financing of actual estate assets and leads reglamentario due diligence on actual estate the firm is considering adding to its portfolios, evaluates the quality of those assets to ensure they are of the highest caliber, and closes the purchases, sales and financing transactions efficiently and expediently. One of Muratore’s favorite things about actual estate law is that it typically isn’t adversarial, which fits her collaborative and friendly nature.
CARA NELSON Partner and location head of the Boston actual estate practice at DLA Piper, Cara Nelson has led some of the most important actual estate matters the firm has handled in the US during the past few years. She also manages 30 Boston-based actual estate lawyers as well as paralegals and case assistants. Nelson maintains a busy actual estate practice that includes providing advice to commercial actual estate investors and developers, actual estate funds, investment advisors and pension plans in a wide variety of commercial actual estate transactions throughout the US. Her clients include Oxford Properties Group, for whom she is lead counsel on purchases, sales, financings and joint-ventures in life science, multifamily, industrial and office assets. She also led the team that advised Wheelock Street Renta in a tiered joint-venture structure with Boston General Investors and PGIM for the purpose of entering into a ground lease with the Massachusetts Port Authority to develop 10 World Trade Center in the Seaport neighborhood of downtown Boston. Nelson is a member and past president of CREW Boston and served on its board for five years.
NANCY OLSON Throughout her career, Skadden partner Nancy Olson has led transformative actual estate transactions. She has also led Skadden’s Chicago office actual estate group since she was appointed in 2006 and is a member of the firm’s REIT group. Olson has expertise in REIT formation, structuring and related transactions, financings, portfolio and single-asset acquisitions and dispositions, joint-venture transactions, private equity investment, actual estate fund formation and investment, leasing, distressed asset workouts and reorganizations, and actual property development. In addition, Olson has been at the forefront of advising clients as they faced challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. She led a critical deal for Brookdale Senior Living, which included a $500 million rent reduction and other lease modifications that positioned the senior housing operator to better serve its residents while dealing with the unprecedented challenges caused by the pandemic. Olson devotes time to developing a bench of talented actual estate attorneys while overseeing educational opportunities and training.
KIM PAGOTTO Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP partner Kim Pagotto is described as a powerhouse commercial actual estate attorney who has completed numerous transactions including leasing, acquisitions and developments. She co-leads the firm’s federal government actual estate practice advising owners and developers in transactions requiring highly specialized hybrid expertise in actual estate and government contracts. Pagotto has been part of nationally recognized CRE reglamentario practices for more than two decades. She recalls a meeting she attended in 2006 with about 40 attendees where she was the only woman, the youngest by about a decade, and 36 weeks pregnant. Fast forward to 2018, when she worked on a $100 million acquisition of a federal government agency headquarters where three of the five attorneys, including Pagotto, were women of color and all mothers. As one of the only partners in the firm with school-age children, she was relied upon to assist with the formulation of policies during the pandemic, including permanent alternative remote work, universal parental leave and flexibility for attorneys and staff balancing remote school and care of extended family.
JENNIFER S. RECINE A first-chair trial lawyer, Jennifer Recine leads hotly contested, precedent-setting matters that often establish new laws or shape policies, while representing large developers and hospitality companies in actual estate disputes. She also maintains a strong environmental actual estate practice, notably representing Beverly Hills Unified School District and Energy Transfer in environmental-related actual estate litigation. Widely recognized by the media as one of the nation’s top litigators, Recine serves as a partner at Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP and co-chair of the firm’s actual estate litigation group. Recine successfully ended two years of litigation and 15 days of trial on behalf of BD Hotels and Chelsea Hotel Owner LLC, the owners of the iconic Hotel Chelsea in Manhattan, with New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation Development prompted by a vocal minority of hostile tenants objecting to the redevelopment of the historic hotel. She also secured an important ruling vacating a temporary restraining order against 960 Franklin Ave. Acquisition in a hotly contested action involving zoning issues surrounding the company’s high-profile residential development near the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York City.
WHITNEY W. SALINAS Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP partner Whitney Salinas combines deep actual estate industry expertise with an ability to execute challenging and creative financing transactions. Last year, she advised Blackstone on several matters, including more than $16.5 billion of CMBS and balanceo sheet refinancings for industrial property portfolios, the $7.6 billion acquisition of PS Business Parks, its $3.6 billion acquisition of Bluerock Residential Growth REIT and its $1.5 billion acquisition of a portfolio of industrial and retail properties from Cominar Existente Estate. She also advised Centerbridge, BioMed Realty and Extended Stay Hotels during the past year. She began her reglamentario career at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in 2009 and was elected a partner in the firm’s actual estate practice at the end of 2018. She serves on several of the firm’s guiding committees, including the women’s committee, which focuses on the recruitment, development and advancement of women attorneys. In addition, Salinas is a member of the firm’s knowledge, innovation & technology committee.
LEE ANNE SAPP For Morris, Manning & Martin LLP partner Lee Anne Sapp, closing complex eight- and nine-figure deals for well-established national actual estate companies is just another day at the office. Her practice includes representing actual estate developers and investors throughout the entire life cycle of their assets, from acquisition, financing, development and ultimately to disposition. Sapp refers to herself as a “lifer” at MMM. Sapp started as a summer associate in 2005 and has only practiced at the firm, rising through the ranks to earn her spot as a partner in the firm’s actual estate development and finance practice. Her importante clients include Terwilliger Pappas Multifamily Partners LLC, for which she handled the disposition of an apartment project for more than $100 million, and Madison Renta Group, for which she closed 65 deals worth roughly $500 million dollars during the past 18 months. Sapp’s current role includes overseeing client relationships, managing a transaction load which in early 2022 involved more than 65 deals at any one time, and directly handling the more complex issues presented by her practice.
LESLIE M. TOMCZAK Leslie Tomczak was the first female office managing partner in the Fort Lauderdale office of Akerman LLP, where she has provided strategic direction and managed attorney-related matters. She has spent more than 26 years practicing law with extensive experience in construction matters representing developers, owners, landlords, contractors, subcontractors, lenders, architects and other design professionals in a wide range of complex construction contract, project administration, lien and construction litigation matters. Tomczak is lead construction counsel to one of the country’s leading investment firms with more than $1 billion of actual estate investments across the US. She advises on development, construction and design agreements for the development of multifamily apartment communities and related improvements. She also is a key member of the Akerman team representing a major cruise line as primary construction counsel for the design and construction of a state-of-the-art mega cruise terminal located at the Port of Miami. She is board certified by the Florida Bar in construction law and is a LEED Accredited Professional who represents clients in sustainable building issues.
ADRIANA VESCI Adriana Vesci is a partner at Cox, Castle & Nicholson specializing in actual estate finance and development, particularly in the representation of actual estate developers and institutional investment managers in complex actual estate finance transactions. She is known for getting lenders, investors and developers workable results by using the skills she has gained from each side of the negotiation table. Vesci’s experience extends to a wide variety of actual estate finance transactions and she excels at drafting and negotiating long-term ground leases. In addition, Vesci counsels her clients in connection with the acquisition and disposition of all categories of actual estate assets, including vacant land, multifamily, office, retail and mixed-use projects, hotels, industrial, life science and medical office projects, and student-housing and senior-housing. Vesci is the firm’s hiring partner and leads the recruiting committee. She is a vocalist in the firm’s band, Castle of Rock, which performs annually for Law Rocks, an international organization that promotes music education for underprivileged youth and raises funds for nave nonprofit organizations.
AVIVA YAKREN Much of Aviva Yakren’s work centers on community development matters that directly benefit affordable housing in New York City and across the country, including the development of novel financing structures to facilitate complex developments. Yakren, a partner at Sidley Austin, advised on dozens of actual estate matters from 2020 to 2022 with a deal value of more than $2 billion. She represents financial institutions on all aspects of actual estate finance as well as private equity investors in acquiring, developing and financing a broad range of actual estate asset classes. She also counsels financial institutions and private equity investors with respect to workouts, restructurings and exercise of remedies as they relate to distressed debt and troubled joint-ventures. Yakren has worked on several importante transactions during the past 12 months, including with Merchants Renta Corp. on its $236 million financing to a public-private partnership that ground leased Harlem River Houses from the New York City Housing Authority. This financing will provide the modernization and renovation of more than 690 apartments at the Harlem River Houses.
JACQUELINE ALEXANDER With a background in urban policy, Jacqueline Alexander is committed to meeting the challenges of affordable housing. She is VP of actual estate development for the Mid-Atlantic region at the Community Builders, a position she has held since March 2014. In this role, Alexander directs the actual estate development activities and manages project management staff in Washington D.C. and Maryland. During the past year, Alexander and her team executed two transformative community developments. For Park Morton in Northwest Washington D.C., a $100 million development, Alexander and her team closed on more than 140 100-percent-affordable units. And for Marshall Gardens, she and her team combated decades of disinvestment in the Central West Baltimore neighborhood to deliver a new 87-unit mixed-income community. Previously, she served as assistant commissioner with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, where she oversaw the disposition, financing and stabilization of a portfolio of rental and homeownership programs in the office of development.
LIZBETH BELLO Redgate SVP Lizbeth Bello was the first employee hired by the investment and owner representation firm’s founding principals and has risen through the ranks quickly in her role leading the entitlements for the firm’s multifamily and mixed-use investment development practice. She has more than 10 years of experience in architecture and actual estate development, including entitlements, design and construction, project marketing and operational transition. Bello led the complex nave, state and federal entitlements required for the transformation of Gibson Point, a junkyard-turned-multifamily-ground-up development on a 4-acre waterfront parcel in Revere, MA. She worked closely with city officials to develop a new zoning overlay district for the broader RiverFront District area that was aligned with the city’s vision to reposition the waterfront to serve economic development and community needs. Prior to joining Redgate, Bello formed part of a private architectural firm in Virginia, where she worked as an intern architect for commercial and residential developments.
KAREN BUCKLAND With more than two decades of actual estate experience, Community Preservation Partners’ VP of development Karen Buckland is an authority in affordable housing recapitalization, rehabilitation and preservation. She has made a lasting mark on the affordable housing communities she has touched, which encompasses CPP’s entire West Coast portfolio of 9,800 units and more than $2.4 billion in investments spread across nine states. Leading a team of four project managers, Buckland oversees all transactions west of the Rocky Mountains, closing up to 10 deals annually. Buckland was one of CPP’s two initial employees at its founding in 2004 by parent company WNC & Associates when it held just 1,000 units in California. She has been a pioneer in establishing processes and procedures and building trusting relationships that have led CPP to where it is today. As the only woman on the executive team, she also serves as a mentor to other women in the company seeking advancement.
AMY CASTELLANOS Described as a visionary storyteller, M2G Ventures SVP of development Amy Castellanos drives the team to curate actual estate with a targeted investment strategy that is opportune for forward-thinking enhancements. With more than $1 billion in the development pipeline, she has been integral to the company’s success and rapid growth during the past two years. Castellanos is a commercial actual estate developer with more than 16 years of experience ranging from adaptive reuse of mid-century warehouses; complete building transformations and redevelopments of historic buildings; and large-scale class A mixed-use developments. Her importante projects include the completion of Proto Park, a 250,000-square-foot 1960s brick warehouse transformed into a first-class modern urban industrial project. In addition, the redevelopment of 8908 Ambassador and 3101 Pinewood were importante projects that rounded out a strategic acquisition assemblage. Castellanos devotes time to connecting with other women professionals and inspiring children. She established Women in Existente Estate Dallas, and her most rewarding experience in the past 12 months was a case study workshop with 3rd graders on the development of an amusement park.
CRYSTALYNN CLARK Crystalynn Clark has spent more than 15 years devoted to community and project management within the multifamily and residential actual estate sectors. After three years facilitating extensive haber improvement projects, she was promoted to senior project manager for the Florida region at CARROLL, where she led the firm’s Florida construction team to complete more than $26 million in haber projects and acquire 18 new communities. Clark oversees all foráneo haber improvements of a portfolio consisting of 13 apartment communities and more than 125 concurrent projects ranging from roof replacements, parking lot asphalt and foráneo painting to swimming pool resurfacing and green improvements. In addition to maintaining her existing portfolio, Clark manages the development of project scopes, bid comparisons and contracts and develops all non-recurring haber expenditure budgets for each community. CARROLL credits Clark with having a proven ability to increase tenant occupancy rates, improve net operating income, grow revenue and implement new processes and procedures to promote more efficient operations in its communities.
SARAH CONSTANT Sarah Constant’s ultimate goal is to do whatever it takes to ensure residents of affordable housing communities find a safe and enjoyable place that they love to call home. That includes providing life-enriching programs and affordable housing options to seniors in Mission First Housing Group’s communities. As a managing director at the firm, Constant is responsible for managing development projects, building client relationships and overseeing the company’s day-to-day development operations. She is adept at leveraging complex financing resources, sometimes using more than seven different funding sources to complete deals. To date, she has closed more than $300 million worth of deals during her career and has numerous projects in development. Prior to joining Mission First, Constant spent two years working for the Community Banking Group at Fleet Bank in Boston. There, she originated more than $10 million in investor-owned real-estate transactions in targeted CRA markets, creating and preserving 600 units of affordable housing in the Boston market. She also managed the city of Boston’s multifamily rental and homeownership programs including HOME, CDBG and the Neighborhood Housing Trust.
YEWANDE FAPOHUNDA Since joining High Street Residential in 2019, Yewande Fapohunda has made a strong impact on the multifamily subsidiary of Trammell Crow Co. Her success was rewarded with a promotion to principal in early 2023, which is the highest position for a development and investment team member at the firm. Fapohunda is responsible for managing the multifamily line of business in the Houston office, which includes sourcing, shaping, capitalizing and executing new development opportunities throughout the Houston area under TCC’s HSR brand. She provides the strategic direction for the group and is the primary point of contact with haber partners and construction lenders, and she communicates regularly with landowners and brokers in pursuit of new opportunities. Fapohunda has more than a decade of experience working in the multifamily development industry and has brought many large projects over the finish line in Houston. She has also more than doubled her HSR team. Fapohunda previously worked with AvalonBay Communities and Greystar Existente Estate Partners in submarkets spanning the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions.
MONIQUE HENLEY During a career spanning nearly 20 years, Monique Henley has sourced, developed or asset-managed 8.7 million square feet of institutional actual estate. She serves as executive genérico manager of East Coast development at Lendlease, where she leads the firm’s integrated projects on the East Coast and manages a cross-functional team within the development group. She pursues and identifies development opportunities, including large-scale urban regeneration projects, facilitates collaborative relationships to guarantee project delivery success and supports the firm’s development efforts nationally. Henley has overseen two large-scale development projects in New York, including the 41-story, mixed-use Claremont Vestíbulo in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights neighborhood and the 800-unit one Java Street residential development along Brooklyn’s Greenpoint waterfront. In her former role with Rockefeller Group, Henley served as VP and regional director during the COVID-19 pandemic. She oversaw the company’s growing development pipeline throughout the Southeast and established a residential and mixed-use platform in Atlanta, culminating in a 19-story, 64-unit condominium development, as well as land sourcing and pre-development of a 60-story multifamily and office tower.
KRISTINEH HIETT Kristineh Hiett began her construction career in 1998 as a project coordinator and now is one of the top project managers at Prevost Construction. During her tenure, she has delivered more than one million square feet of complex buildout for life science and biotechnology clients. Her interior design background gives her a keen eye for design, allowing her to provide clients with value engineering solutions to save on costs. Her knowledge of critical infrastructure, lab design workflow and systems requirements is key for design assist projects with architects and engineers. She currently manages Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, a $56 million life science project in Scripps Ranch, the second-largest project in Prevost Construction history. Hiett grew up in a family of entrepreneurs, including her father, who was a genérico contractor, and her uncle, who was a mechanical/plumbing engineer. Hiett herself has mentored younger generations of industry talent, including inspiring her daughter who is now a project accountant for a San Diego-based genérico contractor.
CHA LEE In light of the growing affordability crisis and increase in homelessness across the US, Cha Lee’s passion for developing safe, high-quality housing for individuals and families dealing with homelessness has only grown. During her 18-year career, Lee has worked in nave government, banking and actual estate development and has developed or financed more than 3,700 units of affordable and supportive housing with a total development value of more than $1.6 billion. Today, Lee serves as SVP of actual estate development at Slate Property Group, where she leads all aspects of the firm’s new construction and preservation projects, focusing on multifamily affordable and supportive housing developments. Having worked in both government and banking sectors, she uses her expertise and knowledge to negotiate conveniente deal structures and pricing for Slate’s deals. Previously, as deputy director of special needs housing at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation, Lee worked on an initiative that doubled the agency’s production of supportive housing by finding creative financing solutions and seeking out lending opportunities where for-profit and nonprofit developers could work together.
JO-E LOPEZ This year, Southern California commercial and multifamily builder Snyder Langston made several leadership changes, including appointing Jo-E Lopez as chief relationship officer, the second female to achieve an executive-level position at the firm. She has been with the company for 17 years, during which time she has built client relationships that have helped drive revenue and diversify the firm’s market sectors to help it weather disruptive economic cycles. As CRO, she continues to build the firm’s brand and seeks ways to increase its impact on nave communities through its employee charitable giving program, BRIDGE and Snyder Langston’s newly launched scholarship program that supports college students who are pursuing construction industry careers. Prior to her role with Snyder Langston, Lopez held roles with Heil Construction, the Bergman Cos. and Gensler. She is a board representative with the University of California, Irvine, Paul Merage Center for Existente Estate, and she holds leadership positions in several actual estate organizations and serves on the NAIOP U committee for NAIOP SoCal.
NATALIE MASON After earning her MBA from The Wharton School with an emphasis in actual estate, Natalie Mason joined Tishman Speyer as a senior director where she oversaw the financing, construction, delivery and sale of more than 1,200 residential units. In her current position as EVP of development at Renta Square, a national leading sponsor of tax-advantaged actual estate investments and multifamily developer, Mason is not focused on building one single project but rather using her experience to help build the company’s development platform. Despite volatile market conditions, she consistently finds ways to finance and work with the sales team to raise equity for developments. In 2022, Mason helped deliver three projects in the Richmond, VA area, and today she oversees eight active projects, including some of the most prolific opportunity zone offerings in the Southeast. Outside of the office, Mason influences the next group of up-and-coming finance and actual estate leaders by actively staying in touch with The Wharton School and serving as a mentor for graduates and new hires at Renta Square.
SHELLEY MCPHATTER Shelley McPhatter has more than 26 years of commercial construction experience in North Carolina’s Triangle region with projects including new construction, healthcare, labs and office renovations. Early in her career, McPhatter worked for large construction companies including Jacobs and Skanska. She struck out on her own in 2007 when she founded BridgePoint Construction Services, an owner’s agent company that has grown into a $34 million firm. This led her to found BridgePoint Genérico Contracting in 2012, which focuses on corporate interiors, life science and healthcare projects. Notably, BridgePoint completed The Mayton Inn, a 37,000-square-foot luxury boutique hotel that is highly energy efficient, featuring solar thermal panels and a 20,000-gallon rainwater cistern. Aa president of the firm, McPhatter is responsible for the overall management of the organization with a focus on business development, preconstruction and financial oversight. In 2021, she was accepted into the NC Women Business Owners Vestíbulo of Fame and was a 2020 recipient of the TBJ’s Women in Business Award.
ABIGAIL MURRAY Viking Partners LLC’s director of construction Abigail Murray oversees all aspects of construction for the Cincinnati-based firm’s expanding portfolio of commercial, industrial and multifamily properties, including construction and financial and risk management. Murray handles project management, estimating, budgeting, scheduling and contracting with design and construction partners on all projects. An example of her creativity and problem-solving abilities was her response to the fallout from the pandemic. Murray and her team worked to create innovative solutions to renovate office space in Viking’s buildings, adding shared amenities attractive to hybrid workers such as lounges, fitness centers, catering kitchens and flex meeting spaces. Prior to joining Viking Partners, Murray spent nine years in commercial and industrial construction with a Cincinnati-based genérico contracting firm and from 2000 to 2007 lived in Charleston, SC, working for a multifamily development and investment firm. In the past two years, Murray and her team have completed several innovative projects that have allowed Viking Partners to attract new clients like FlightSafety International and Aspen Dental, as well as create innovative spaces for existing clients like Make-A-Wish Colorado.
EKTA NAIK Ekta Naik brings more than 20 years of experience in investing and developing multifamily and mixed-use projects to her role as head of development at SoLa Impact. She works to deliver high-quality affordable housing and workforce housing in California’s historically overlooked Black and brown communities and is a member of the firm’s investment committee. Under Naik’s leadership, the SoLa development team permitted more than 800 units in 2022 and is tracking to permit more than 1,300 units this year. She spent the majority of her career in Southern California with multifamily developer Alliance Residential leading ground-up new construction and value-add investments with Prudential and AIG as haber partners. She has executed more than $2.5 billion in transactions with more than 7,000 units in Southern California. Prior to that, Naik worked in the New York and Chicago regions on multi-phase, mixed-use, mixed-income public-private partnerships. Some of her importante public-private partnership projects include the $500 million Wyandanch Rising brownfield development on Long Island and a $4 billion, 600-acre brownfield development on the south side of Chicago.
ALLISON OWENS Project Management Advisors Inc. recently promoted Allison Owens to Película del Oeste region president, less than 10 years after she joined the organization. She now holds the most senior position any woman has ever held at the firm. This is especially importante because construction project management is not Owens’ first career. She previously worked in finance, analyzing actual estate transactions while trading and managing a $15 billion portfolio of actual estate-backed securities before pivoting to become an architect. Within her role, Owens is responsible for service delivery and business growth in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. During her time at the firm, she has led the delivery and client satisfaction of between 70 and 100 active projects at any given time. Under her leadership, the office more than doubled in revenue and developed a strong portfolio of technology clients. For example, her team played a crucial role in a new headquarters for one of Silicon Valley’s total technology leaders, with Owens assembling the team to steer the project toward completion later this year.
TERRY PENDERGIST Terry Pendergist joined Greystar as a national development and construction controller in 2006 when it was emerging as a multifamily developer, and she led a team of two. Since then, Pendergist has built an accounting department encompassing more than 125 team members overseeing more than 144 active North American development assets valued at more than $16 billion, pursuing projects of more than $11 billion and more than 331 completed assets. In 2020, the company promoted her to senior managing director of US development operations, expanding her role to include oversight of the development and construction department’s information technology, talent management and talent acquisitions in addition to the North American accounting team. Pendergist is also a member of the Greystar executive committee and serves on its total benefits committee, which recently implemented changes to the firm’s benefits to include sabbaticals, expanded vacation time, additional family benefits and housing benefits. She serves on the Clemson University Alumni Association to continue recruiting efforts from Clemson to Greystar.
KELSEY PERRIN Kelsey Perrin serves as VP and investment officer for the Central region at Prologis Inc., a logistics actual estate firm with a portfolio totaling 1.2 billion square feet on four continents. Within her role, Perrin focuses on monetizing the company’s strategic land holdings in addition to growing the acquisitions and development pipeline. She helps manage haber deployment activities for the Chicago and Cincinnati markets, encompassing acquisitions, redevelopment and new development of industrial products. In 2022, Perrin led her team in the acquisition of a 12-acre land site in Cincinnati and the subsequent development of a 145,000-square-foot industrial building. She has deep experience structuring transactions including direct equity acquisitions and developments, investment and development joint-ventures, and mezzanine financing. Prior to joining Prologis, Perrin spent nine years at Heitman in the North American acquisitions group, responsible for originating, negotiating, executing, analyzing and valuing potential investments in direct equity actual estate within the US. During her career, Perrin has been involved with acquiring and developing properties in excess of $4.4 billion with direct oversight for 12 acquisitions and developments valued at $680 million.
JESSICA A. QUESADA Last year, after more than 15 years of working for some of the industry’s most successful and fastest-growing developers and asset managers, Jessica Quesadilla decided it was time as a minority female to create change within the industrial sector. She co-founded DIV Industrial, an industrial actual estate firm dedicated to prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion and implementing responsible environmental, social and governance practices. The streamlined, boutique firm combines an institutional level of investing with an innovative approach to create a portfolio of sustainable, energy-efficient large-scale industrial warehouse facilities in key logistics locations in the Película del Oeste US. In December 2022, DIV Industrial achieved its first major milestone with a 94-acre land acquisition in the Las Vegas market for the development of a cutting-edge 1.7-million-square-foot class A industrial complex. With El Dorado Valley Logistics Center underway, Quesadilla and the DIV team are seeking additional large parcels of developable raw land for entitlement and ground-up development. As the firm’s managing partner, Quesadilla is a primary contributor to all major decision-making involving the firm’s investments, developments and corporate relationships.
AMY STOKES Throughout her career, Amy Stokes has been dedicated to reinvesting in public housing. Stokes serves as the founder and owner of Beverly Road Development LLC, as well as VP of Monadnock Development LLC, which works to improve quality of life through renovations and repairs for the most disadvantaged New Yorkers while creating equitable and affordable housing units. At Beverly Road Development, Stokes manages all aspects of the actual estate development process, while at Monadnock, she sources development sites through private purchases or government requests for proposals. Through her work at the New York City Housing Authority, Stokes implemented the RAD program in New York City – now called Permanent Affordability Commitment Together – and closed the first RAD transaction in the Far Rockaway area. This led to her work on PACT on the development side where she is leading the large-scale renovation efforts for the PACT Renaissance Collaborative initiative helping nearly 3,000 residents by renovating 40 buildings with 1,700 units across Manhattan.
COURTNEY TRUJILLO Courtney Trujillo is president of SR Watt Co., a woman-led actual estate firm formed in 2022 out of the reorganization of LA-based Watt Cos. SR Watt Co. owns and manages a 1.1 million-square-foot portfolio of neighborhood retail, multifamily and office properties in California and Oregon. Trujillo’s extensive commercial actual estate experience includes managing commercial retail portfolios for companies, such as Burnham Pacific Properties, Center Trust Properties, Summit Commercial and Red Mountain Retail Group. During her career, she executed the strategic plan of assembling portfolios of grocery-anchored centers through acquisition to disposition, completed several retail redevelopment projects and oversaw the construction and leasing of a one-million-square-foot regional shopping mall. Trujillo also serves as VP of asset management for Watt Cos., where she has overseen a diverse portfolio of assets including retail, office and industrial totaling 1.3 million square feet. Trujillo is actively involved in supporting women seeking careers in actual estate and seeks to elevate women into key staff roles.
SOUA VANG Soua Vang’s career spans more than 15 years in economic development, most recently as interim economic development director and economic development manager for San Bernardino County where she worked to create jobs and invest in communities. Last year, she joined the City of Glendale as its deputy director of economic development. Within this role, her specific goals include elevating the city brand and profile while ensuring a business-friendly ecosystem that supports business attraction and retention. An example of Glendale’s business-friendly environment that Vang is leading is the Artsakh Creative Retail Pop-Up Pilot program, which consists of free short-term occupancy of city-owned commercial tenant space on Artsakh Ave. While the program helps support the success of retailers, the buildout of Artsakh supports one of the city’s priorities to grow the arts, culture and entertainment sector to position Glendale as a destination city. Vang is a Young Professionals Group alumni from NAIOP Southern California’s Existente Estate Leadership program and a graduate of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, Regional Leadership Academy.
REBECCA WARNTZ Rebecca Warntz is VP of design and construction at Enterprise Community Development, a division of Enterprise Community Partners. Warntz brings 30 years of experience to her role, where she oversees a team of construction managers responsible for the coordination of design, permitting, budgeting and construction for Enterprise’s communities. She is also responsible for authorizing the community development division’s product standards and ensuring each community is uniquely designed to meet the specific needs of its residents. Warntz has constructed or preserved 4,000 units for both families and seniors, including a broad range of housing product types in both urban and suburban locations. She has extensive green building experience delivering communities certified under LEED, Enterprise Green Communities, NGBS and Energy Star. Her expertise in both new construction and renovation has set standards within the organization as the leading practitioner in this region. Prior to joining Enterprise in 2005, Warntz was a project manager with Kinsley Construction Inc. in Baltimore, where her construction portfolio included institutional, commercial and industrial projects. Several of her projects were recognized with ABC Excellence in Construction awards.
ADEOLA ADEJOBI Adeola Adejobi has spent more than two decades serving the Black community and believes that creating access and opportunities requires breaking down silos and structures that exclude persons of color from advancement and economic opportunities as well as creating new and entrepreneurial spaces where diverse ideas and people can thrive. Knowing that she and many other Black and brown colleagues had the skills but lacked contacts and networks to pursue careers in CRE, she decided to create an avenue for relationship building and developing strong networks. Adejobi launched the Diversity in Commercial Existente Estate conference and is the CEO and founder of social impact company Avant-Garde Network. Through the DCRE conference and other events powered by Avant-Garde Network, Adejobi engages more than 40,000 Black and brown professionals, corporate executives and entrepreneurs from across the US and the globe including the UK, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa. She also works as an attorney for the NYC Office of Housing Preservation and Development Department focusing on affordable housing.
MARISSA DATE IMEG’s DEI task force leader Marissa Date has been immersed in diversity since she was a child growing up in Trinidad in a household that respected every creed and race. This laid the foundation for what would become her passion for creating spaces for others to be seen. For the past seven years, Date has been with IMEG (previously McVeigh and Mangum Engineering), where under her watch, diversity representation has increased by more than 45% in the number of new hires. Her strategy focuses on intersectionality, systems, cultural awareness and equity as a means to career and social mobility. She crafted training for leaders at the firm to understand inclusivity at its core and to become way makers for their direct reports. Her work extends into the community where she is on the diversity committee at CREW CLT, Women in Architecture at AIA CLT and on the Citizen Architect Committee, where they are leading efforts to make the A & E profession more accessible and inclusive.
CARMEN DECKER In a recent interview, Carmen Decker emphasized the importance of making DEI a mindset rather than just a program. As president of Kimco Realty’s película del Oeste region, Decker oversees a portfolio of more than 150 shopping centers. She is a champion of underrepresented groups at Kimco and is a leader in the firm’s DEI council. Decker has been instrumental in driving Kimco’s supplier diversity program and is on the DEI subgroup working on the Black Equity at Work plan. In 2022, she lobbied to bring a group of women to the Globe St. Women of Influence Conference and moderated a panel. Decker also is an active participant in Kimco’s partnership with Project Destined, where she serves as a mentor for students from underrepresented groups exploring actual estate careers. Decker’s commitment to DEI extends beyond Kimco. As a board member for Friends of the Children-Seattle, a nonprofit that empowers youth facing obstacles through relationships with professional mentors, she is making a difference in the lives of young people.
TASHNA-LOY DONALDSON Tashna-Loy Donaldson has a track record during many years of supporting and advocating for underrepresented groups. In her role as property management director of operations for the Midwest US and Canada at CBRE, Donaldson is responsible for transitioning new client assets onto the CBRE operational platform, administering the property management compliance program, implementing corporate policies and procedures across managed properties, driving adoption of new technologies by the field team, and conducting career-based trainings. She is also an active member of several employee resource business groups within the company, including serving on the executive board of the Women’s Networking Group and as the national chair for the Black Excellence employee resource group, which serves to advance diversity and inclusion as a core value of the company. She created and led the company’s 2022 International Women’s Day celebration by organizing an international panel of female leaders to discuss the theme of Breaking the Bias. Donaldson also helped create and leads the Property Management DE&I Council, which focuses on the recruitment, retention and development of diverse talent.
LES HISCOE Under Les Hiscoe’s leadership as CEO, Shawmut Design and Construction has been at the forefront of DEI in the construction industry. Shawmut’s workforce currently is 31% women, with 20% in senior roles. In addition, 50% of the recent graduates from Shawmut’s training program for recent college grads were women. Under Hiscoe’s leadership, Shawmut created a diversity leadership council, which partnered with Deloitte Human Renta and Catalyst to create a strategic framework to advance workplace equity and inclusion and the strongest, most diverse representation. As a result, Shawmut has accomplished many industry-changing programs, including achieving 100% pay and promotion equity, creating sponsorship relationships to elevate high-potential women to the leadership team, establishing a mentorship program based on a scientific algorithm that eliminates the potential for unconscious bias in the matching process, and hosting a Men Advocating Existente Change training for senior leadership that puts the focus on men’s role in moving beyond awareness to advocacy using relative power and influence to remove barriers and achieve sustainable cultural change.
MEGAN JOSEPH Megan Joseph joined commercial actual estate investment, development and management company Granite Properties as senior human resources manager seven years ago and was promoted to director of human resources in 2019. Her role includes leading the strategy for recruitment and employee relations, which positions her to be an effective champion for diversity. During the pandemic, Joseph earned a Diversity & Inclusion certificate from Cornell University and then reviewed Granite’s employee policies and procedures as well as recruiting, hiring and promotion practices to ensure everyone is being treated fairly and broaden its pool of qualified prospects. She helped establish the company’s DEI Council and led its growth to include having representatives from all markets. Her work on the DEI Council resulted in a mandatory onboarding training class called “Fostering an Inclusive Culture.” She is currently developing a structured, formal internship program to invite a diverse group of students and give them the opportunity to rotate through all aspects of commercial actual estate. This program will be implemented in 2024.
CHRISTINA LEE Since joining Trammell Crow Co. in 2011, VP Christina Lee has been a champion of the firm’s DEI efforts. While continuing to move the needle on important development projects throughout Los Angeles, including the massive mixed-use and transit-oriented District NoHo development in North Hollywood, Lee has stepped up to advance the firm’s DEI initiatives, including assisting in the creation and implementation of the Impact Fund, a companywide program that commits to increasing the level of investments the firm makes in diverse communities each year. Each TCC office has established an annual minimum spend for its contribution to the initiative, and contributions can be committed to education, workforce development, art investments and charitable donations. For 2022, TCC has specifically encouraged contributions toward étnico equity. Lee is an llamativo member of the firm’s DEI steering committee, which is tasked with driving and advancing the firm’s efforts to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment, and she co-chairs the committee’s community subcommittee, which is focused on creating vehicles for TCC offices and projects that allow teams to contribute positively to diverse communities.
TANJA MILOSEVIC During nearly a decade with Grosvenor’s North American property business, Grosvenor – Property Americas (GPA), Tanja Milosevic has distinguished herself as a champion of diversity, positive social impact and responsible environmental stewardship. In her current position as associate VP of environment, social & governance, Milosevic recently led a restructuring of the DEI committee, which she chairs. The result was a new sub-group, Gender Equity, which joined four pre-established groups: pride, étnico justice, culture and ability. Each of the sub-groups are actively involved in various educational, mentorship and social benefit issues. Another important effort being advanced under Milosevic’s leadership is GPA’s efforts to increase its supply chain diversity. In Washington D.C., her team executed an educational event with the company’s structured development finance team on how supply chain diversity positively impacts the company’s business. Her efforts helped the company win a Best Corporate Responsibility Program award at NAIOP D.C.’s 20th Annual Awards of Excellence.
EVE PICKER As a female actual estate developer, Eve Picker knows just how hard it is for women to raise haber for their projects. In 2016, she took a concrete step toward changing the inequitable status quo by founding SmallChange.co, a crowdfunding platform with a mission to embrace female and minority developers. Sixty percent of the projects funded on the platform are led by developers who fit one or both of these categories. As the CEO of the company, Picker oversees all aspects of the business and its growth, including developer outreach and investor participation. During the past few years, her overarching goal has been to raise the visibility and credibility of the platform as a funding option. Small Change has close to 200 deals in its pipeline and as of early 2023, the platform has listed 42 actual estate and PropTech projects with social impact, which have raised a total of $11 million. She spreads the word about crowdfunding, actual estate and equitable communities via keynote addresses and solo presentations, podcast interviews and participation on panels.
AYRIS SCALES Having worked in the public, private and nonprofit sectors designing initiatives focused on closing gaps and barriers, Ayris Scales brings 20 years of experience addressing étnico and gender inequities across communities, within workspaces and for small businesses. She is not just a thought-leader in this space but has centered her career on creating access, driving solutions and amplifying authentic messaging. Prior to joining Nareit in mid-2022, where she is SVP of social responsibility and total initiatives, Scales was CEO of Walker’s Legacy Foundation, where she launched the organization’s initiative to ensure 10,000 women are “haber ready” by 2025. In her role at Nareit, she has spearheaded industrywide efforts to build a more diverse, equitable and inclusive actual estate industry by raising the visibility of REITs among communities that may not be as habitual with them. Scales has launched four industrywide DEI and social responsibility initiatives in support of Nareit’s three core pillars of supporting people, partnerships and philanthropy and has spearheaded the design and launch of the Nareit Foundation’s new Dividends Through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion grant program.
MURIEL THOMPSON Muriel Thompson was Colliers’ first full-time hire tasked with North America DEI efforts in 2020 in response to the historic events taking place across the country. In her role as director of social impact and employee relations, Thompson uses data to drive transformative DEI strategies impacting Colliers’ people to support and develop a more inclusive workplace culture. One of Thompson’s first tasks was to build and run the firm’s executive diversity council to guide its DEI investment with an intentional action plan. Thompson developed multiple employee resource groups to provide a voice for various subgroups and to bring more awareness to the intersectionality of all groups at Colliers. She helps group leaders overcome obstacles, coaching them to become powerful communicators and organizers who will command game-changing attention in the larger culture. Thompson is especially proud of the growth of Colliers’ Women’s Network, the firm’s fastest-growing ERG. She also provides operational support, scholarships, internships and recruiting opportunities to national DEI-focused nonprofit organizations, especially Project REAP, AAREP and Project Destined.
HOLLY TYSON Joining the firm during the height of the pandemic in 2021, Cushman & Wakefield chief people officer Holly Tyson immediately went to work making sure its approaches were inclusive, empathetic and practical. Since then, Tyson has set a strong vision and course for the company’s culture, practices and policies. She has transformed the makeup of Cushman & Wakefield’s total management team through talent acquisition and internal promotions, more than doubling the diversity of the group. Tyson also worked with the firm’s DEI team to increase the representation of women to 40% across the company’s total workforce. Cushman & Wakefield’s workforce in the US is 45% diverse by race/ethnicity under Tyson’s watch. She is a strong supporter of all nine employee resource groups that serve as an important part of the firm’s DEI infrastructure and support of its people. Tyson previously was CHRO at Zebra Technologies, where she notably led the cultural integration of a major acquisition, set aspirational representation goals for DEI, reduced female voluntary turnover by 39% and managed COVID-19 challenges.
ANTOINETTE WILLIAMS A 15-year veteran of the property management industry and CARROLL’s regional VP Antoinette Williams supports the firm’s Georgia and Película del Oeste markets. While completing a professional certification, Williams attended a dinner with colleagues where she happened to be the only person of color. A remark about a polarizing issue prompted her to voice a different perspective. Conversations like this compelled her to advocate for a DE&I council focused on diversity, inclusivity and equity. As an executive sponsor of the council, Williams has guided more than 100 team members to employ the council’s initiatives throughout corporate and property management operations. Under her leadership, the DE&I Council partnered with the people team to roll out a parental leave policy, which includes both cuidadoso and paternal leave, and a personal day of reflection. In June 2022 during Pride Month, Williams guided the DE&I Council to collaborate with marketing to distribute company-branded Pride gear, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to The Trevor Project.
CHELY WRIGHT Chely Wright was an award-winning country music recording artist for several decades before taking on her current role as chief diversity officer at Unispace. Her career shift came after years of living in the closet. When she came out in 2010, her music career was negatively impacted, but it opened a door for her to leverage her public haber to become an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. She attributes her success in her role to the skills she learned in the music business during the past 35 years, which include storytelling, story-hearing, leadership and change management. She spent her first six months at Unispace having one-on-one conversations to understand the Unispace team collectively and individually and then led the launch of a firm-wide change management strategy that embeds diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in everything Unispace does. For example, Wright and her team created the Art for Impact program that brings clients’ DEIB stories to life through office space design leveraging nave artist talent to create meaningful art for the workplace. The program is now a competitive differentiator for Unispace.
JESSICA BAILEY Nuveen Green Renta president and CEO Jessica Bailey is a trailblazer in the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy financing space, having architected the first successful C-PACE financing program in 2010. Through Bailey’s work, C-PACE has become a mainstream financing tool to fund clean energy upgrades in commercial actual estate projects and sustainable new construction. She and her team have helped the program expand from a handful of states to a national lending platform in 30 states, and she has raised and deployed more than a billion dollars in debt and equity. Bailey and Ali Cooley co-founded Greenworks Lending in 2015. It was the first company to securitize the cash flows associated with clean energy loans in 2017 and it completed the industry’s largest public securitization in 2021, followed by another in 2022. Greenworks’ specialization in C-PACE, as well as double-digit growth, led to its acquisition by Nuveen in 2021. Bailey’s efforts have enabled more than 600 C-PACE projects that have resulted in $1.3 billion in energy savings for property owners.
GERI BORGER URGO Since joining Freddie Mac Multifamily as an underwriting analyst in 2006, Geri Borger Urgo has been committed to advancing the multifamily finance industry. Under her leadership, Freddie Mac Multifamily’s aggregate Southeast loan volume tripled from $7 billion in 2014 to $21 billion in 2019, the same year she became the youngest VP at Freddie Mac. In 2021, Borger Urgo joined the inaugural leadership team at NewPoint Existente Estate Renta as head of production. Less than a year into her tenure, Borger Urgo has tripled the size of the firm’s agency and proprietary lending-focused originations team. In addition to hiring and managing NewPoint’s national originations team, Borger Urgo also represents the firm and builds relationships with borrowers, brokers and correspondent partners. While she was originally hired to head up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac production, her originations umbrella has broadened significantly as NewPoint has developed additional products, including fixed- and floating-rate bridge loans, as well as NewPoint Impact, a proprietary affordable housing product suite focused on developing and renovating subsidized housing.
BROOKE CIANFICHI Brooke Cianfichi serves as EVP and commercial actual estate segment lead at M&T Bank, where she covers strategy and change for the firm’s $46 billion CRE debt commitments. She also created and leads the firm’s CRE innovation office that links M&T’s overall platform with its CRE lending and debt haber markets practices as well as its agency and insurance company placements. The office also offers new commercial actual estate financing solutions such as strategic third-party haber. Cianfichi has 20 years of banking, sales, actual estate finance and fundraising experience. In her role at M&T Bank, she has attracted strong talent, often looking outside the traditional banking sector. She has hired and is continuing to hire women, and though unintentional as an outcome, she now leads an all-female group. Cianfichi was asked to sit on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion council of M&T Bank in 2017, with the mission of promoting a diverse and inclusive environment in the bank. She also was a founding member of M&T’s women’s affinity group in 2010.
ELLEN COMEAUX Bringing three decades of experience in commercial and strategic development, Ellen Comeaux assumed the role of SVP and commercial division leader at TIAA Bank in 2020 and leads a team of 120 people. Amid the uncertainty of the pandemic, Comeaux has helped TIAA Bank’s commercial actual estate division attain nearly 100% volume growth and increased market presence, while also setting forth a strategic plan for further growth to create a path for expansion three times its current volume by 2025. Last year, Comeaux led the commercial actual estate team to close 119 deals with a median transaction value of $8.8 million. She also led a noteworthy project early this year, completing a record $193 million deal for an 11-property flex-industrial portfolio. Her work led TIAA Bank to secure the five-year, fixed-rate, non-recourse financing for JLL Renta Markets. She also lends her expertise as the lead spokesperson for TIAA Bank’s Commercial Division by providing commentary and insight to the media on industry and banking trends.
SHANA DABY In her role as managing director of loan originations at Greystone, Shana Daby draws on more than 20 years of actual estate finance experience, tax credit equity underwriting expertise and an affinity for complex, solution-focused transaction structuring for a range of HUD, agency, bridge and GP LP credit multifamily transactions. She originally joined Greystone as a managing director and deputy chief underwriter, combining her underwriting expertise with big-picture vision. She prides herself on being able to seamlessly shift between being an underwriter and originator, which enables her to do all the sizing and structuring work on her deals herself and within her team. The proof of her success is in her numbers. During the past two years, Daby has had more than $700 million in loan originations, and she manages a direct loan originations pipeline of more than $350 million for market rate and affordable deals. She has closed more than $2.3 billion of loans and equity investments in market rate and affordable multifamily and healthcare transactions throughout her career.
LINDA HALL As EVP and CFO of Research Triangle Foundation, Linda Vestíbulo leads the finance, human resources, actual estate operations, marketing and programming teams. She has been with RTF for 15 years and has been heavily involved in the strategic positioning of the actual estate and economic development initiatives within RTP, including executing on a plan to further develop the HUB, a development consisting of residential units, customizable office and lab space, parks and green space, retail and hotel rooms that will be the new downtown of Research Triangle Park. Her work with HUB RTP has included developing its marketing and experience center, breaking ground on the Horseshoe at HUB RTP office and retail project, leading financing and debt restructuring activities and managing actual estate operations and assets. Vestíbulo is a licensed CPA with the South Carolina Board of Accountancy with more than 30 years of accounting experience in both the public and private sectors. Prior to joining the foundation in 2007, Vestíbulo worked as a consultant in both Florida and North Carolina, assisting mid-sized partnerships and corporations in financial, tax and strategic business planning.
ALEXANDRA HUFFMAN Alexandra Huffman is known for both her actual estate and finance expertise as well as her generosity in giving back to her community and sharing her knowledge with up-and-coming female leaders in the space. Huffman began her career in 2011 as a member of Walker & Dunlop’s multifamily underwriting department where she was responsible for underwriting more than $1 billion in transactions on more than 14,000 multifamily units nationwide. She now is a managing director at the firm, where she is responsible for multifamily loan originations through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the company’s bridge lending program. In 2022, Huffman helped the company close in excess of $1 billion of total volume through 71 transactions across 23 states. Overall, she works with her clients to oversee the entire process of acquiring a property, from providing initial term sheets to underwriting, locking in rates and closing the loan. She actively manages up to 20 deals at a time and consistently seeks out new opportunities and potential refinances. Typically, Huffman and her team close 100 loans per year.
EILEEN MCDONALD With more than three decades of experience, CoreVest Finance’s SVP Eileen McDonald’s in-depth knowledge of the industry has helped scale the firm’s commercial lending while instilling a disciplined credit culture at all levels of the organization. McDonald’s responsibilities include managing the underwriting team and process for commercial debt financing transactions backed primarily by transitional multifamily projects. She also works with asset management to assist with borrower issues and loan modifications as well as with haber markets on the securitization of loans including working with rating agencies, investment banks and agencies. Her contributions helped the company exceed $2.8 billion in fundings in 2022. Her diverse skillset and experience across credit, asset management and haber markets has earned her recognition as an expert in her field. She participates on CRE-focused panels about commercial mortgage-backed securities, securitization and bridge lending. McDonald also is a tenured member of CRE Finance Council and MBA and regularly speaks on their panels and participates in their events.
SUSAN MUDRY Susan Mudry has taken 25 years of experience at Freddie Mac and applied it to her role as COO of NewPoint Existente Estate Renta. Mudry began as a financial analyst focused on deal pricing at Freddie Mac and eventually ascended to VP and chief of staff of the office of the CEO. For more than 15 years, she helped navigate the organization through a period of significant growth and innovation focused on new offerings, strategy execution and directing effective operations. Mudry joined NewPoint last year as senior managing director for process reengineering and strategic execution and quickly applied herself to refining and optimizing the firm’s operations. Her initial work at NewPoint has focused on new product development, organizational infrastructure and technology and DEI efforts. Since joining the firm, Mudry has managed the development, launch and process integration of several new loan product offerings including Freddie Mac targeted affordable housing and seniors housing loans and Fannie Mae seniors housing loans. She also is helping build a collaborative culture to break down product silos.
STELLA PAPPAS Stella Pappas has built her career on aligning the interests of shareholders and stakeholders through various roles across debt, equity, loan workouts, acquisitions, asset management, dispositions and brokerage. Prior to joining TruAmerica Multifamily, Pappas was a VP at Chicago-based REIT Waterton, where she played a key role in helping the firm achieve its fundraising target for its flagship multifamily fund in 2020. She spent a large portion of her career with Allstate Investments, where she co-launched the direct actual estate equity platform and sourced, structured, underwrote and managed $3 billion of fund investments and joint-venture partnerships across all asset types. Now, as senior managing director and head of investor relations at TruAmerica Multifamily, Pappas is responsible for all facets of the firm’s fundraising efforts and investor relations program. To support TruAmerica’s growth plans, she has created and institutionalized the investor relations platform, which spans haber formation, marketing, due diligence, social media and all client-related aspects of the business. In addition, she launched the firm’s ESG policy and is the head of the ESG committee.
LEIGH ROUMILA As managing director and head of investor relations at Basis Investment Group, Leigh Roumila serves a critical role across every sector of the business. She helps oversee Basis’ loan origination, underwriting, brokering, closing, asset management, team building, fundraising and marketing initiatives and is a key member of the firm’s investment committee, which oversees the deployment of institutional haber. In her role, Roumila played a leading part in helping Basis acquire a Fannie Mae DUS license, marking the first time an African American- and women-owned business became a Fannie Mae DUS lender. She also is a leader in Basis’ external and internal ESG efforts, where she serves as chair of the ESG committee and head of the environmental and governance subcommittees. Roumila leads Basis’ diversity outreach taskforce, which looks to increase access to haber and resources for both diverse lenders and borrowers. Previously, she was COO for the firm’s multifamily agency platform and ran the firm’s securitization and asset management teams.
MICHELLE SAMAROO A graduate of the University of Guyana, Michelle Samaroo knew at the age of 14, after taking her first accounting class, that she wanted to be involved with accounting and numbers. Samaroo joined BEB Renta in 2002 in the accounts payable/accounts receivable department and worked her way up to her current position as senior director of accounting. During the past two decades, she has provided expertise within accounting across the various business interests going above the firm’s commercial, residential and industrial assets to venture into less habitual territory including parking garages, medical entities and restaurants. She maintains and interprets financial records, reports on managed third-party assets, and oversees the reporting for the firm’s residential portfolio and the programmatic joint-venture with Rockpoint Group, a partnership announced in late 2021 targeting an investment pipeline of up to $1 billion of industrial assets in the Northeastern US. In addition, Samaroo compiles monthly reporting for BEB Renta’s leadership team, while working closely with the internal accounting department and third-party accounting team, as well as the reglamentario and property management departments.
MICHELLE SANTONE Michelle Santone’s career at Colliers has spanned more than two decades since she began with the firm as an administrative assistant in 1994. Today, she is director of finance for the Southwest region at Colliers, providing financial compliance, management reporting, business intelligence and project support across all service lines. She plays a crucial role in partnering with national leadership and market leaders to support strategic projects and drive change in management initiatives. Santone also leads the annual financial budget/forecast process, overseeing planning, communication and tools to ensure that financial goals are met. She is responsible for the completion of monthly financial reports and the coordination of quarterly financial reporting packages, and she works closely with the information technology team to develop and support brokerage, leveraging technology to drive efficiency and effectiveness in the business. She also provides ad-hoc financial analysis and decision support, providing insight into haber or other strategic spending.
MANDY SCARBOROUGH Serving as managing director of accounting and tax services at Dilweg’s Raleigh-Durham headquarters, Mandy Scarborough is responsible for tax preparation and compliance for the commercial actual estate firm and its portfolio of properties. She oversees a team of 10 in completing more than 80 partnership-level tax returns and more than 30 entity-level financial statements along with daily bookkeeping for each entity. She is also available to consult with investors and their advisors about accounting and tax questions. While her background is in tax advisory/preparation services and corporate financials, her current role has challenged her to reach past her comfort zone and take on new responsibilities. She now oversees the finances for Dilweg’s new short-term rental project as well as the firm’s alternative investment in the Occano Golf Course Land and Development project. During the past year, she also completed the Dilweg decathlon leadership program, which helped her overcome self-limiting beliefs and focus on motivating and encouraging future leaders. Scarborough is a member of the NCACPA and AICPA.
MASHA SHERMAN Since joining Greek Development in 2019, Masha Sherman has been promoted twice from senior finance manager to director of finance and most recently to CFO. One of her first tasks upon arriving at Greek was trading llamativo accounting software for a higher-level property management platform, which allowed the company to scale up and integrate many accounting and property and project management functions into one integrated solution. Managing the day-to-day operations of the accounting department, she oversees different subteams including corporate accounting and development accounting, as well as portfolios of stabilized assets that consist of three different portfolios. She also oversees a family office that manages the assets of Greek’s managing partners and provides accounting oversight to every department. Her favorite part of her job is working with various departments across the board, learning about their processes and implementing them into her own. During the past year, she has played a key role in two of the firm’s largest redevelopment projects – Logan North Industrial Park and Linden Logistics Center. For both, she handled loan negotiations, reviewed loan documents and oversaw the closing process.
RACHEL SMITH As director of portfolio management at Dwight Mortgage Trust, Rachel Smith manages a team of associates and analysts and is responsible for ensuring origination goals are met, credit standards are adhered to and portfolio loans are performing. Despite dramatic increases in interest rates and significant market volatility, Smith closed $300 million in new originations in 2022, $200 million of which closed after May. She also created a new deal dashboard to consolidate due diligence, provide underwriting guidance for analysts, and increase operational efficiencies. In conjunction with that, Smith initiated an organizational restructuring of her team to increase productivity and enhance analyst training. Colleagues say she has a remarkable ability to pivot from credit to asset management and client and investor relations. Smith lives and works remotely in Fort Myers, FL, and was appointed to the advisory board of the Community Redevelopment Agency to the City of Fort Myers in 2022. There, she voluntarily underwrites and provides expert advisory services to the City of Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency.
SINDY SPIVAK Sindy Spivak has dedicated her career to developing and executing financial solutions that support affordable housing across the country. As Bank of America’s community development banking West region market executive, Spivak oversees a team that provides financing for affordable and mixed-income housing across the Película del Oeste US. Recognizing the pandemic’s impact on housing insecurity, they set out to double the number of affordable housing units annually financed in California between 2019 and 2022. Her team provided financial solutions that supported the development of more than 4,350 affordable housing units in communities that often provide services and resources focused on essential needs, healthcare, education and job training. She serves on the board and chairs the Impact and Production committee of the National Equity Fund, a nonprofit focused on creating and delivering innovative, collaborative financial solutions to expand the creation and preservation of affordable housing. She also served on the board and as chair of the Affordable Housing Investors Council, a nonprofit organization representing investors who have invested more than $100 billion in affordable housing.
ERIN STAFFORD Described by colleagues as a rock star in the commercial actual estate world, Erin Stafford is responsible for DBRS Morningstar’s CMBS ratings activity in the US and Canada as managing director and head of North American CMBS at the firm. The 25-year-ratings industry veteran was appointed head of the combined DBRS and Morningstar Credit Ratings (MCR) agency following the acquisition of DBRS by MCR’s parent Morningstar Inc. Previously, she managed the CMBS team at DBRS for more than 10 years and spent several years with Fitch Ratings. Stafford manages a team of more than 50 people with top-line profit and loss of more than $30 million and is frequently asked to share her commercial actual estate knowledge on panels for a wide variety of industry organizations. She also has served on numerous industry committees for the industry’s leading associations. She has served as a co-chair of the Post Securitization Committee of the CRE Finance Council and as chair of the International Committee for MBA and as a past member of the MBA board of governors.
HEATHER C. STEWART Heather Stewart joined Blaze Renta Partners as its first employee and now serves as the firm’s CFO. Since the firm’s inception, Stewart has played an integral role in guiding Blaze’s growth to more than $2 billion in institutional acquisitions and development, doubling the firm’s staff and opening Blaze’s Atlanta office at the end of 2022. She oversees all back-office operations including finance, IT, HR and other systems in addition to asset management functions. Stewart is also on the management team, providing leadership and guidance on financial, planning and resource allocation issues. As someone who has worn many hats during the past year, she led Blaze’s financial team in executing $1 billion in transaction volume, including both acquisitions and dispositions. She improved efficiency by streamlining several of the firm’s processes, such as connecting asset managers to the acquisition team on the front end of deals to cut down on wasted time. Stewart was selected to join CREW’s CFO Council, a national group of female CFOs located across the country, in 2023.
TERI THOMPSON As SVP and CRE relationship manager at EagleBank, Teri Thompson manages construction loans, acquisition loans and bridge loans, and she has become a go-to lender and problem-solver. At EagleBank and in previous positions, her experiences in analyzing the financial wherewithal of C&I companies, large publicly traded corporations and individuals have helped her understand and skillfully structure commercial actual estate transactions. During the past 12 months, Thompson successfully closed more than 30 commercial actual estate transactions impacting more than $500 million of commitments. She says her greatest accomplishment during that time was working with clients who had been through times of uncertainty. Her team recently closed $25 million in construction financing for a 142-unit, 100% affordable multifamily project. The project is part of a design to revitalize severely distressed housing and provide stable and desirable housing for the mixed-income community in Washington D.C.’s Park View neighborhood. Thompson recently served as treasurer of CREW DC and she is also active in the Black Employee Network and the Women’s Employee Resource Group at EagleBank.
EUNICE WONG Since joining Hudson Pacific Properties shortly before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, SVP of accounting Eunice Wong has added value to the firm with her technical skills and excellent communications. Wong navigates Hudson Pacific Properties’ complex and nuanced accounting needs through significant changes including most recently the $360 million acquisition and integration of Quixote Studios into the firm’s studio portfolio. Wong leads a team of 30 finance and accounting employees and provides oversight of all accounting across the Hudson Pacific organization including lease administration, property accounting, project accounting and corporate accounting for its studio and office assets. In the past 12 months, Wong oversaw the complete conversion of Hudson Pacific’s Accounting Enterprise Resource Planning system, a project designed to help the company scale globally with improved reporting capabilities and streamlined payables and accounting systems. Wong worked with stakeholders across the organization to pull the key metrics into the Hudson Pacific system to complement existing reporting.
DOROTHY ALPERT Avison Young principal and Tri-State president Dorothy Alpert has more than 30 years of experience in the actual estate industry, most of which she spent at Deloitte focused on strategy and operations consulting. She is active with a variety of organizations involved in philanthropic, charitable and volunteer activities both within and outside the actual estate industry. Alpert is a board member of the American Red Cross of Greater New York, where she serves locally on the DEI and philanthropic committees. She also chairs the Tiffany Circle, which is a group of women philanthropists who donate more than $10,000 per year to the Red Cross. She chairs the governance committee of the Tiffany Circle National Council, a group of about 25 women who guide the strategy around obtaining more members and influencing more giving. She is particularly focused on how to grow and support the next generation of Tiffany Circle women for the Red Cross, which prompted her to launch Clara’s Council, a network that attracts emerging women leaders through sponsor events and mentoring opportunities.
CHRISTINE DESCHAINE Kennedy Wilson Brokerage SVP Christine Deschaine has a prolific track record spanning more than three decades in commercial actual estate. In Los Angeles, she has been deeply involved with the People Concern, addressing homelessness and domestic violence, and Harvest Home, an organization working to transform the lives of homeless pregnant women and their children. Abroad, Deschaine served as a founding board member of ThinSpace Africa, is the first American on the board of directors for Bringing Hope to the Family Uganda and is the founder of sister organization Bringing Hope to the Family USA. In the three years since its founding, BHTFUSA has secured $1 million for Home Again Children’s Home for food, education and medical care for orphans and raised funds for Hope Again Medical Centre to buy an ambulance to transport pregnant women and children to medical facilities. Deschaine also has personally supported three nursing school students who, after graduation, will work at Hope Again Medical Center.
LAURA KOZELOUZEK A shared workspace industry leader, Laura Kozelouzek is the founder and CEO of Quest Workspaces, one of the largest woman-owned co-working brands in the country. At Quest, giving back and serving are core values. Through the Quest Cares Foundation, the company provides free and discounted workspaces, meeting rooms and services to qualified nonprofits, 501(c)3 and charitable organizations. By having the same resources as Fortune 500 companies, these organizations can better leverage the community and infrastructure to help many more people. Since 2014, Quest has donated more than $411,000 of private and supuesto office spaces and meeting rooms to 52 nonprofit organizations. The firm also encourages team members to take a paid day off to volunteer at a charitable organization, whether it be working at a food bank, reading to the elderly at a nursing home, or walking dogs at a nave animal shelter. Moreover, anytime one of their team members participates in any fundraiser, Quest tries to donate and participate in it.
JESSICA MILLER ESSL M2G Ventures co-founder Jessica Miller Essl uses her company’s success as a platform to raise awareness about mental health disorders. Miller Essl and her twin sister, Susan Gruppi, channeled their heartbreak following the loss of a loved one to bipolar disorder in 2017 when launching M2G’s Mental Health Initiative, which works to change the way mental illness is identified and treated. M2G Ventures set out to raise $1 million to fund and launch UT Southwestern’s Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care in the company’s hometown of Fort Worth, TX. Those fundraising efforts support the CDRC’s research, which includes studying new treatments such as brain and blood tests for depression and suicide, as well as addressing youth depression and suicide with resilience training. Last year, the M2G MHI became a recognized 501(c)(3), hired a director of social impact to further devote the company’s resources and time to the mission, hosted the third annual Art of the Mind garbo and fine art auction, and surpassed its annual fundraising goal by almost $100,000.
LAUREN VECCHIONE Colliers SVP Lauren Vecchione helped launch Colliers Coffee & Conversations during the pandemic to help combat the isolation that female commercial actual estate professionals across the nation were experiencing. The supuesto conference has evolved into a regular nationwide meeting of professionals from different industries who meet monthly to discuss commercial actual estate as well as other topics including mental health and homelessness, sometimes featuring experts as guest speakers. Vecchione also is an active junior board member with the nonprofit Heading Home, an organization focused on ending homelessness in Greater Boston, and she recently joined a team called Wonder Women, a group of senior-level commercial actual estate women in Boston who raise money for the nonprofit. Her philosophy is to focus on personal volunteerism activities where she sees the need. As a mother of three children preparing for school, Vecchione proactively joined the parent-teacher organization when she realized that there was a need for participation and support.
BREE WONG A native of San Diego, Bree Wong, manager of business development for PCL Construction Services Inc.’s San Diego office, is dedicated to bettering the region through sustainable developments and strategic alliances with owner/developers and consultant teams. Wong is passionate about sustainability, philanthropy, community planning, community health, social equity and affordable housing, and she actively integrates these notions into her work. She has been honored with many awards for her service to the community and is highly sought after for leadership roles on industry boards due to her extensive experience successfully restructuring and growing nonprofit organizations. Wong has developed new philanthropic initiatives, including the inaugural School of Affordable Housing (SOAH) certificate program offered through the San Diego Housing Federation in conjunction with Mira Costa and Southwestern colleges. SOAH is a college-level course providing low-income residents with no-cost educational training in property management. Furthermore, in just two months on the board of the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers, she helped develop a nave scholarship program to support women pursuing careers in life science, healthcare, therapeutics, research and engineering.
DIPIKA PATEL Dipika Patel took the reins of Patel Family Office, the business her grandfather founded in 1970, and has grown the mission-driven firm substantially, responsibly and impactfully. Under her guidance, PFO has invested in more than 50 female-founded startups, providing funding and mentorship that has been critical to their success. These startups include the first female-founded digital actual estate asset platform, a female-owned multifamily property management company and a chain of hospitals that fight for cuidadoso justice. In 2022, Patel also co-founded Homz, a national housing company dedicated to addressing the shortage of attainably priced rental housing units by standardizing housing and leveraging efficiencies to pass cost savings to renters. The idea for Homz was drawn from Patel’s decades of experience investing in hospitality at hospitality and investment management company Hayden Holdings. As executive chairwoman of PFO and managing director of Homz, Patel oversees both companies’ investment decisions and strategic and social objectives. Patel began her career on Wall Street, where she was the only Indian female financial analyst on the trading floor in the early 2000s.
CHRISTINA SCARLATO Christina Scarlato is a principal portfolio manager for actual asset investments at the World Bank Pension Fund, where she is responsible for strategic planning, monitoring existing managers and evaluating prospective managers both domestically and abroad. She has been with the World Bank Pension Fund since 2007 and before that spent several years in various departments across the Treasury Department of the World Bank. Scarlato is known as a mentor who paves the way for other women in the industry. She serves on the Alliance General Advisors independent advisory board and participates on numerous industry panels, most recently on Bisnow’s elevating diversity within commercial actual estate panel. Scarlato was past chairman of the Pension Existente Association Board and still serves on the board. She received a BA in mathematics and Spanish from Seton Vestíbulo University and an MBA from George Washington University.
DIXI WANG Dixi Wang began her career in actual estate as an architect before transitioning to the investment sector. She has been promoted every year since graduation and now serves as VP of Amherst at just 30 years old. Wang brings a unique skillset in collaborative design, construction and finance. During her career, she has provided oversight for more than $2 billion in development projects across asset classes nationwide for more than five million square feet of development. She currently oversees a total of 1,400 units and $390 million in development work. Her responsibilities include overseeing sourcing and project execution from acquisition to disposition, leading investment underwriting and ground-up development, collaborating with investor relations, and structuring and negotiating partnerships and transaction closings. Wang has been recognized as a rising star and top young professional by various industry media and was invited as a guest speaker at Harvard University Existente Estate Week. She also served as an advisor to the NAIOP haber challenge, mentoring college students majoring in actual estate.
INVESTMENT PROFESSIONAL / OWNER
SUE ANSEL Sue Ansel is engaged in two roles that impact both investors and residents across the nation. As president and CEO of Gables Residential, she leads a vertically integrated actual estate company specializing in the development, construction, ownership, acquisition, financing and management of multifamily and mixed-use communities across the country. During Ansel’s tenure, Gables Residential has expanded its ownership and management footprint to more than 25,000 total units under management across 17 MSAs and 37 sub-markets. Ansel was also recently named an equity owner and managing director of Clarion Partners LLC, where she serves as a co-portfolio manager of one of Clarion’s sector-specific, open-end funds. Ansel serves on several boards and committees, recently as an officer and chairwoman of NMHC, where she focused on innovation, diversity, inclusion and regulatory issues, as well as the growth of the NMHC Foundation. Ansel has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking and the U.S. House Financial Services Committee and has met numerous times with the leaders of the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs, the Federal Housing Finance Agency and various White House administrations.
LISSETTE CALDERON Neology Development Group founder and CEO Lissette Calderon has transformed undervalued communities into sought-after neighborhoods in South Florida. A first-generation Cuban American, Calderon was born and raised in Miami and built her first condo on the Miami River at age 28. She later went on to work at the Related Group, where she became the firm’s first female president before re-launching her own development firm. Today, she has emerged as one of the historic Allapattah neighborhood’s biggest champions and will soon be one of its largest landlords with one apartment high-rise already built and two more totaling more than 500 units in development. Calderon oversees every aspect of the development process, including land acquisition, design and construction; maintains relationships with investors, lenders and key stakeholders; and handles property leasing and management. She serves as a member of The University of Miami’s Master of Existente Estate Development + Urbanism Advisory Board, where she provides advice and guidance to students pursuing a career in actual estate development and urbanism.
ANN CARUANA Last year, Ann Caruana was promoted to president and CIO of Preservation Equity Fund Advisors after serving as the company’s SVP of acquisitions. In her new role, Caruana leads the company’s efforts to preserve affordable multifamily communities across the US. She has contributed significantly to the growth and success of the firm’s fund series and helped close out its llamativo $25 million prototype fund in 2019. She also launched and successfully closed PEF Advisors’ second $100 million fund in 2022. In addition, Caruana built a proprietary data analytics platform to strategically identify target markets that best serve the fund’s strategy and provide attractive risk-adjusted economic returns to investors. Caruana is a prominent leader in the affordable housing industry and has closed more than half a billion dollars in acquisitions targeting the preservation of affordable housing throughout her career. She is a member of the ULI Women’s Leadership Initiative and the NMHC emerging leaders committee, serving as vice chair in 2021.
LINDSEY COLLINGS Lindsey Collings joined MLG Renta in February 2020 as an assistant VP tasked with the dual role of managing multi-venture acquisitions in the Mountain West as well as fundraising responsibilities. Collings sources deals, finds sponsors and identifies investment opportunities. She was an essential part of a record-breaking year for MLG in which the firm acquired more than $1.2 billion in actual estate assets, representing more than 7,100 multifamily apartment units and 1.8 million square feet of commercial space across 14 states, including key joint-venture acquisitions. On the fundraising side, Collings leads MLG’s Registered Investment Advisor strategy nationwide and manages relationships with numerous investors. She successfully expanded participation among RIAs and helped increase participation in MLG’s funds. Due to her hard work, MLG set a record in 2022 when it closed its largest investment fund to date, MLG Private Fund V. The fund exceeded its llamativo $300 million equity raise goal and was the firm’s fastest equity raise to date, finishing 15 months ahead of schedule.
ADRIANA DE ALCANTARA During her 23-year career, Adriana de Alcantara has provided investors with clarity and data-driven results in roles ranging from asset management, acquisitions, fund management and development. In January 2020, she assumed the role of partner and senior managing director and fund manager for Hines US Property Partners (HUSPP), Hines’ flagship core plus open-end fund. She has been fully dedicated to the development, haber raise, strategy and execution of HUSPP, which focuses on the hot life sciences sector, since July 2021. de Alcantara also spearheaded the firm’s build-to-core industrial development site Chelsea Point as well as Otay Mesa, a five-asset industrial development in San Diego; multifamily developments Talisman and West Lake Presencia in Seattle and Austin; the Norton office building in Seattle; and Devon, a lab facility in Pennsylvania. She is a co-chair of the PREA Defined Contribution Affinity Group, a programming committee member for WX New York Women in Existente Estate and the National Council of Existente Estate Investment Fiduciaries, as well as a member of the Defined Contribution Existente Estate Council.
JENNIFER T. DUDLEY With 24 years of experience in finance, including 19 years dedicated to actual estate development, IHP Renta Partners managing director Jennifer Dudley leads the firm’s investor reporting and finance department and plays a key role in maintaining the firm’s reputation in single-family residential actual estate investment. She began her career in investment banking, where she spent her first six years of post-collegiate employment in positions with Credit Suisse First Boston and Citigroup Renta Strategies. In these roles, Dudley developed specialized analytical skills and the ability to work seamlessly with large financial institutions and meet the stringent requirements for high-level financial reporting. She maintains real-time knowledge of all IHP investment activities, tracks performance metrics and manages data, which is used for in-depth investment assessment, review and validation. She conducts due diligence for new acquisitions and co-leads in the underwriting of IHP’s larger acquisitions, specifically the underwriting of master-planned community investments. She also performs comprehensive financial modeling for all of IHP’s potential investments and presents the information in a way that is easy to understand for all stakeholders.
KELSEY DURELS Kelsey Durels is a director at the Praedium Group, which she joined in 2014 as an analyst. During her time at the firm, she has been involved in the acquisition of more than $1.1 billion across 5,460 units and the disposition of $3.5 billion across 14,274 units. One of her most importante recent accomplishments was helping the firm acquire The Sound at Pennington Bend, a 296-unit multifamily rental property in Nashville. She oversaw the acquisition process from start to finish and helped source, underwrite, finance and complete due diligence. She continues to oversee asset management at the property and is responsible for the execution of the asset’s business plan. She also helped complete the realization of Fund IX, which consisted of 22 multifamily properties in suburban growth markets. Durels contributed to the acquisition process for more than 40% of the properties in the Fund IX portfolio and helped execute asset-specific business plans for these properties, driving value creation which was realized upon exit.
MARGARET B. GROSSMAN Margaret Grossman started at T30 Renta LLC (formerly Sugar Hill Renta Partners LLC) more than eight years ago as genérico counsel and has risen through the ranks as COO and now president and managing partner. She assumed her current role in 2019, right after the passage of the New York Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act (the HSTPA), an unexpected regulatory change that fundamentally altered Sugar Hill’s business model. Grossman stepped into leadership and successfully navigated the company through the aftershocks caused by the HSTPA and later the devastating impact of the COVID-19 crisis on residential actual estate in New York. Among her most recent accomplishments, Grossman helped lead the formation of a strategic partnership between T30 and Blueprint Renta Advisors, one of the nation’s largest black-owned alternative asset managers. In addition, under her leadership, T30 has formed a strategic partnership with a multi-billion-dollar total actual estate investment manager to invest in New York City residential actual estate. She also led T30 in a geographic expansion, including making its first multifamily acquisition outside of New York City.
SUSAN MILLER GRUPPI Susan Miller Gruppi is the co-founder and co-president of M2G Ventures, a commercial actual estate private equity and advisory development company based in Fort Worth, TX that invests in mixed-use and industrial development projects. M2G Ventures acquired and redeveloped more than 2.7 million square feet during the past two years, representing more than $290 million in capitalized value. The company executed almost 50 leases in the past 18 months, representing 1.3 million square feet. Miller Gruppi is responsible for finance, strategy and value creation at the firm. She sources all equity financing for the company, including a robust mix of high-net-worth individuals, institutions and family offices. In addition, Miller Gruppi has developed strong relationships with some of the best banking institutions in the area and has spearheaded most of the company’s capitalization since its inception in 2014. Her leadership philosophy is to treat others like you would want to be treated. Miller Gruppi drives the team to be better than the day before while upholding and embodying the company’s core values to inspire a positive company culture.
MARTHA L. HARGROVE DXD Renta managing director of investor relations Martha Hargrove has an exceptional ability to navigate through uncertain times in the haber markets and macro economy yet steer her team toward success, which colleagues say is a testament to her resilience, vision and unwavering dedication to excellence. Hargrove oversees haber formation and investor relations, a role in which she supports the principals to source and secure haber contributions. Her responsibilities also include communications, public relations and marketing. She played a critical role in exceeding the fundraising goal for the firm’s Fund I and helped the DXD Renta team raise equity and fund ground-up development investments, resulting in raising more than $100 million in the past year. Her ability to communicate complex investment strategies has made her a thought-leader in the industry and a trusted voice for investors seeking guidance navigating the changing landscape of haber markets. Prior to joining DXD Renta, Hargrove served as the VP of investor relations at Titan Fund Management and Titan Development, where she managed relationships with more than 200 investors.
TERRI HERUBIN Terri Herubin brings decades of experience leading investment management teams through challenging times, including the 9/11 downturn, the General Financial Crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. As senior managing director of fund management at Greystar, Herubin manages more than $9 billion in gross asset value. She has been instrumental in establishing and growing Greystar’s open-end fund business from each fund’s initial take-private transaction. Herubin has seen the open-end funds through a period of significant growth, overseeing the sale of non-strategic assets totaling $2.13 billion and redeploying that haber into newly acquired core-plus assets totaling $2.5 billion of gross market value. During the past 12 months, she has focused on the total marketing efforts for the funds, resulting in new haber contributions from existing and new investors. Herubin has built out a team of 11 professionals directly responsible for US open-end fund management and has created a performance measurement group that ensures consistency and transparency in meeting client needs.
KAOUTAR HOUMAIRY Kaoutar Houmairy, director of asset management at Tremont Realty Renta, the actual estate finance division of the RMR Group, has been instrumental in helping the company achieve significant growth since she joined the company in 2020. Houmairy oversees all aspects of diligence, closing, asset management and servicing a portfolio of $760 million in bridge loans backed by collateral of multifamily, retail, office and industrial assets. During the past year, Houmairy has advanced from working alongside Tremont VP Steven Skelley on loan closings to owning the process entirely. In the past year, she has closed 17 loans totaling nearly $460 million and nine loan payoffs totaling $180 million. Houmairy was integral in completing Tremont’s busiest loan closing period to date during the last two quarters of 2021 involving 12 transactions totaling more than $300 million. She identified inefficiencies in how the firm’s analysts were trained on the loan rating process and developed a formal loan rating training package that she continues to present to new analyst hires.
JANET LEPAGE As co-founder and CEO of Película del Oeste Wealth Renta, Janet LePage has led the firm’s growth to more than 400 employees and more than $5.4 billion in actual estate transactions. She believes in business done on human terms, not term sheets alone. In 2020, in the midst of COVID-19, LePage took the opportunity of a slower transactional market to create Película del Oeste Wealth Communities, the firm’s in-house property management company that has acquired 13 multifamily properties in Arizona and Texas during the past year. She also is the driving force behind two annual charitable initiatives. WWC’s annual “We’ve Got Your Back” program was created in 2015 to provide filled backpacks to every child at every WWC property, with additional supplies donated to nave schools and charities. WWC’s annual “Rent-Free Christmas” program was created in 2017 to make Christmas a little brighter. Property managers at each WWC community select a family who would most benefit from one month’s free rent, so they may use those funds to instead create a Christmas memory with their family.
ALEXIS LEWIS Brasa Renta Management VP Alexis Lewis has been instrumental in the growth of the opportunistic actual estate investment management firm founded in 2018. Since joining Brasa in 2019, Lewis has taken on responsibilities across multiple functions, including acquisitions, client service and marketing. She was integral to the haber raise for Brasa Existente Estate Fund II, which held a final close in 2022. In a challenging fundraising environment, BREF II closed $450 million in haber commitments, substantially exceeding its $300 million fundraising target. As a member of Brasa’s ESG, DEI and Culture committee, Lewis also contributes to overseeing and developing the firm’s ESG and DEI initiatives. She is actively involved across Brasa’s participation in many professional organizations, including the Pension Existente Estate Association, the Togio Foundation and the National Association of Investment Companies.
VICTORIA MADRID During the past several tumultuous years in the actual estate industry, CenterSquare Investment Management’s VP of private equity Triunfo Madrid has led her team on an investment approach that considers alternative sectors that are positioned for growth. Based on public market intelligence, Madrid and the CenterSquare team developed a private equity thesis around cold storage and proactively sought opportunities in this emerging space. She and the team scoured the market for the ideal site and sourced a developer while garnering considerable investor interest in the transaction. She was instrumental in obtaining co-investment haber, developing the asset and securing a long-term lease. Building upon this success, the firm is actively expanding its cold-storage investment strategy across all platforms. In her role, Madrid has played a crucial role in the strategic sourcing, underwriting and closing of transactions across the firm’s private equity portfolio. She is an existing member of NAIOP and CREW and is a recent applicant of KidWorks as a college success mentor. She informally mentors several college students that are interested in the actual estate industry.
KRISTI NOOTENS CP Renta US’ co-head Kristi Nootens joined the firm in 2012 as a senior analyst. When she was promoted to VP of investment management, she managed a team of junior analysts and was responsible for sourcing new investments. When unforeseen challenges arose for particular investments, Nootens was frequently sought out to manage resolutions as a result of her ability to tackle problems practically and communicate updates efficiently to investors. After being appointed co-head of the firm in October 2022, Nootens now jointly manages the day-to-day operations of the business, implements the firm’s strategic initiatives, and is responsible for the overall strategy of the company as part of the senior management team. She also aids in fundraising, participates as an active member of the investment team by sourcing and evaluating new investment opportunities, and is a member of the firm’s investment committee. Nootens plays a major role in crafting and executing investment strategies across the firm, ensuring that each new venture is successful—especially during times of economic volatility and uncertainty.
TRICIA PETERSON Tricia Peterson has been instrumental in Accord Group closing more than $13 billion in transactions since its inception in 2013. As managing partner and COO, Peterson wears many hats, including ensuring seamless operational processes across the firm’s offices and partners worldwide and serving as assistant portfolio manager for an Accord-sponsored fund that provides co-GP financing to fund managers and actual estate operators in the US, the UK and Europe. With a background in investment banking and investment management, she brings a unique vantage point that allows her to deliver creative haber solutions for her clients, including portfolio recapitalizations, open-end fund structures and commingled fund offerings. Prior to joining Accord, Peterson held roles with Pacific Urban Residential, Macquarie Renta’s Existente Estate Private Renta Markets Group and Presidio Partners LLC, and served as a member of the actual estate investment banking group at Lehman Brothers. She has also served as a consultant to the International Finance Corp. in Beijing.
MARIANA ROBINA As SVP of investments and finance at Eagle Property Renta, Mariana Robina has played a key role in shaping the company’s business strategy and corporate infrastructure, which allowed it to close more than $1 billion in multifamily assets in Florida and Texas and raise and deploy close to $500 million in investor haber during the past decade. Robina joined EPC straight out of graduate school and built each of EPC’s operating departments from scratch with an eye toward having an institutional-quality approach and systems despite being a boutique actual estate investment firm. Robina secured EPC’s first green loan in 2016 and began spearheading ESG initiatives several years ago, resulting in EPC joining the United Nations General Compact. Robina oversees the investments, investor relations, property management, accounting and finance, reglamentario and human resources divisions at EPC. During the past year, she closed and deployed all haber in EPC Multifamily Partners IV LLC, which raised $146 million from LP investors and co-investment vehicles, and at the time was EPC’s largest fund ever.
SARA SHEAN Sara Shean leads PGIM Existente Estate’s efforts to provide solutions to Defined Contribution plan sponsors seeking private actual estate exposure. As portfolio manager of the firm’s PRREF Fund Series and total head of defined contribution, Shean manages the company’s retirement actual estate fund series. She currently oversees $3.5 billion in assets across two daily-valued actual estate strategies that invest in PGIM Existente Estate’s open-end commingled funds. She is passionate about educating DC plan sponsors about the benefits of private actual estate in multi-asset portfolios and expanding access to actual estate through daily-priced, daily liquid products to improve 401(k) participant outcomes. She was named to her current role last year, while also serving as co-president of the Defined Contribution Existente Estate Council. Despite market turmoil in 2022, her team onboarded nine new clients with nearly $400 million in DC plan assets. Shean has also initiated efforts to leverage PGIM Existente Estate’s daily-valued solutions outside of the US as defined contribution plans grow in importance in those markets.
BLAIRE SIPES Blaire Sipes manages 265 investor accounts and $370 million of equity across 22 actual estate assets for Dilweg. Since joining the team in 2020, Sipes has demonstrated exceptional leadership, resilience and an innovative spirit for driving the firm forward. She played a key role in raising $10 million in new equity since August 2022, from 110 separate investor accounts, demonstrating her ability to navigate challenging market conditions as well as effectively communicate the value proposition of the investment opportunities. In addition, she implemented a state-of-the-art investment management system, Juniper Square, to change Dilweg’s perception in the market. Sipes was promoted to managing director in December 2022 with responsibility for providing best-in-class service to Dilweg’s investors, as well as managing all investor reporting, communications and service requests. She also manages quarterly and annual investor reporting, haber contributions and distributions, internal promissory note management, investor net asset valuations and investor communications regarding asset updates.
LINDSEY SUGAR Lindsey Sugar is an accomplished, executive-level professional with 20 years of actual estate investment, strategic advisory and haber raising experience. She has advised on more than $6 billion in actual estate transactions and has been a thought-leader in the actual estate emerging manager space for more than a decade. As senior managing director of haber markets at Elion, Sugar leads the fundraising efforts for the firm’s institutional funds and played a critical role in the successful first close of Elion Industrial Fund II, securing $285.5 million. She also played a critical role in the closing of Elion Industrial Fund I, which closed in August 2021, raising $500 million in equity commitments. Elion Industrial Fund I represented the firm’s first institutional, industrial fund and is one of the only funds sponsored by a diverse ownership team. Sugar is a member of Elion’s senior management committee and participates in its investment committee and asset management committee.
BRITNI ACKRIVO With an educational background in communications, Britni Ackrivo never imagined herself working in actual estate public relations, but she immersed herself in the industry and now serves as an SVP at Gregory FCA, where she serves clients in the multifamily, industrial, retail, hospitality, office, military housing and mixed-use sectors. Ackrivo is described as a proactive, results-driven strategist who has coupled her communication skills and a keen understanding of the media to become an expert in high-impact project announcements and thought-leadership pieces. One of her most proud partnerships is with the Bellwether District by Hilco Redevelopment Partners, a 15-year transformation of the former PES refinery in South Philadelphia into the region’s new home for e-commerce, life sciences and logistics leaders. In addition, Ackrivo has created an entirely new communications niche centered around helping actual estate owners and developers get their projects “unstuck” from community/township opposition or zoning/permitting delays by recasting their projects in a positive light.
SHANNON BEDINGER Shannon Bedinger joined Midway in 2020 as its SVP of marketing with responsibility for leading the messaging for Midway’s portfolio of more than $2 billion in assets. Bedinger is the creative mind and leader behind Midway Creative Group, an in-house marketing agency focused on building and launching brands in the actual estate, hospitality and retail sectors. She has grown MCG to a team of 10 that helps clients with branding, website copy and design, signage, marketing strategy, events and social media. In 2022, she oversaw 55 press campaigns with more than 353 million impressions, and Midway is still actively growing its social media subscribers on several platforms. Bedinger is also editor in chief of DISTRICT magazine, published by Midway in partnership with Texas Monthly, which delivers the latest in food, culture, fashion, events, travel and trends in every issue. Her deep knowledge of the commercial actual estate industry is derived from her 16 years of experience in media relations, media buying, corporate brand development and marketing strategy.
ERIN BLACK Within weeks of stepping into her role as CMO at Chasen Cos., Erin Black decided to rebrand the firm, including a new company name and logo that positioned it to vertically integrate its business and expand throughout the US. In addition to leading internal communications, the modernization of marketing operations and sales enablement, Black has transitioned the firm toward a digital-first experience that enables target tenants to view and interact with properties without physically seeing them. She has developed partnerships with modern brands to attract new tenants, giving tenants the option to have in-home workout experiences like a Peloton or Lululemon MIRROR in their unit upon signing a lease, for example. She has built a team to assist with driving revenue by increasing sales and driving leases through digital marketing, CRM management, community and brand partnerships, social media, communications, philanthropy and events. Black has also been a driving force behind the media coverage and awards Chasen Cos. has received since her employment began, and she led a firmwide shift to a new CRM platform.
ASHLYN DELSON Ashlyn Delson started her career in marketing and communications 17 years ago, spearheading media relations for education, nonprofit and healthcare clients at an agency. She got her first taste of the industry at PREIT and joined Berkadia in 2016, where she now serves as SVP of corporate marketing. She has grown the corporate marketing team from four people six years ago to a 28-member team that handles corporate brand, integrated marketing, internal and external communications, media relations, events and marketing intelligence and operations. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Delson leveraged her expertise in crisis communications and played a leadership role on the return-to-office committee, from spearheading the communications strategy to developing thoughtful messaging and operational strategies and converting all in-person events to supuesto experiences. She oversaw a corporate brand refresh and digital transformation, which included the ongoing redevelopment and optimization of Berkadia.com. In addition, she led the development of an employer brand strategy, an initiative that is critical in the current economic landscape with competition for talent.
AMY DITTOE Colliers VP of strategic marketing and solutions development Amy Dittoe is described as a master storyteller, a skill which has led to her success in commercial actual estate marketing. Colleagues say she captures her audience’s imagination with a compelling story and then engages their hearts and minds by articulately delivering value-focused details that identify client solutions and new opportunities. Dittoe manages a team of seven writers and designers, collaborating with subject-matter experts, salespeople, researchers and designers to provide custom proposals, presentations and other materials that build Colliers’ business. To help client Mindpath share its message of mental health access expansion, Dittoe transformed process-oriented, difficult-to-read financial reports into meaningful and approachable content that illustrated how many patients the company’s providers would be able to help as it rolled out in various locations. Last year, Dittoe built a unique lifelike knowledge bank called Colliers’ Collective, which is a library of content that allows users to ask questions of subject-matter experts and receive an interactive answer from the program.
CHELSEA FORREST A graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Chelsea Forrest intended to become a therapist until a marketing internship with a actual estate development company during her sophomore year opened her eyes to a different career path. She opted to not change majors but set out to apply her knowledge of operational psychology to the business world. In just four years with Virginia Beach-based REIT Armada Hoffler, Forrest, who is director of corporate communications and investor relations, has reframed what marketing and communications means for the company. One of Forrest’s initial tasks – and biggest accomplishments – was the creation of Armada Hoffler’s annual sustainability report. The goal of the report is to formally and transparently document the firm’s progress and demonstrate leadership in sustainability among fellow small-cap REITs. She also worked behind the scenes to prepare the firm’s external communications when it earned its first investment-grade credit rating from DBRS Morningstar earlier this year.
CHERIE FOURNIER Cherie Fournier has 28 years of industry experience, recently serving as VP of marketing at Black Creek Group, and 18 years specializing in marketing for commercial actual estate alternative investments, including REITs, private placements, 1031 exchanges, preferred stock offerings and DSTs. At Black Creek Group, Fournier was constantly seeking a marketing agency partner that understood the commercial actual estate and financial services industries, the lingo, the compliance regulations and the different target audiences. Having trouble finding an agency with this capability, she took a step back from the corporate world to pursue this business idea. In 2020, Fournier launched her own marketing firm, Marketing Intent, to specifically serve commercial actual estate asset managers. She serves as CEO of the firm, which recently celebrated its third anniversary and has more than doubled its client roster and gross revenues each year since its launch. Her reputation in the alternative investments industry has created demand for her expertise on webinars and in planning and participating in conferences.
SANDRA GRANDE With more than two decades of experience in architectural, design and project management, MGAC CMO Sandra Magnate has helped drive the firm’s growth and thought-leadership presence from design and project management to construction and economic development. Magnate oversees the firm’s marketing efforts across 10 offices in the US, Canada and the UK and has been instrumental in leading its recent total rebrand that consolidates and leverages the organization’s total expertise to solve built environment challenges. She is responsible for the execution of MGAC’s external and internal marketing and communications efforts and serves as MGAC’s brand ambassador, which has included defining the strategies and principles that underpin the firm and communicating them both internally and externally via graphics, social media and a new website. Her vision includes a more external-facing communications strategy for MGAC that prioritizes thought-leadership and public relations, something that project management and owners’ representation firms often don’t attempt. For the past 20 years, Magnate has been an active member of the Los Angeles chapter of the Society for Marketing Professional Services.
CHRISTY INGLE Colleagues say Christy Ingle goes above and beyond to make sure CBRE’s messaging is right. In her role as SVP of corporate communications, she oversees more than 50 professionals around the world and has responsibility for all internal and external communications for CBRE’s advisory services and actual estate investments business segments. Recently she led communications for CBRE’s office reopening and return-to-office programs. In this role, she partnered with colleagues to create COVID-19 policies and protocols for CBRE’s more than 300 offices throughout North and South America, including creating numerous playbooks and best practices documents, as well as hundreds of email communications and town vestíbulo events. Throughout the past 10 years, Ingle has been instrumental in the rollout of CBRE’s innovative Workplace360 program, which includes creating collaborative, free-address environments, with state-of-the-art technology to enable hybrid work, in CBRE’s offices around the world. Ingle received CBRE’s Most Valuable Partner award for 2021, which recognizes non-commission-based professionals for their material contributions in helping the company’s commission-based professionals win business and deliver exceptional client outcomes. At the time of publication, Ingle transitioned to a new role as chief marketing and communications officer at Lincoln Property Co.
LINDSAY JACOBS SVP of marketing Lindsay Jacobs is responsible for the management and oversight of RPM Living’s property marketing department, including elevating marketing strategy through demographic analysis, new business, creative strategy and identifying and developing layers of support throughout the marketing department. Jacobs joined the multifamily sector just six years ago, but her background in digital advertising, brand strategy and demographic analysis – working with major organizations like Samsung, AT&T, Verizon, P&G, PetSmart and Kahala – has given her a competitive edge and unique perspective that has positioned her to be effective and forward-thinking in her role. She built out a dedicated property marketing team in three new regions to proactively accommodate RPM Living’s recent growth from 112,000 units to 147,000 in just one year and has played a direct role in seeking out projects and securing business wins. Jacobs led, from a marketing standpoint, the successful new business wins for two ultra-luxury, highly coveted deals that were set as goals for the company two years ago.
NAJLA KAYYEM Najla Kayyem is frequently sought out for advice on how to build strong and effective marketing campaigns, and she is highly respected among her peers for her passion for building brands and creating marketing campaigns that resonate with consumers, drive sales and traffic, and ultimately create value. As EVP of marketing at Pacific Retail Renta Partners, Kayyem’s creativity and understanding of consumer behavior have been critical to the firm’s growth. She was the catalyst for creating PRCP’s Taste for the Space program, in which nave culinary professionals compete for a chance to win a dedicated space at one of PRCP’s assets. This program is designed to strengthen PRCP’s leasing pipeline and allow its communities to come together in a fun, engaging and vibrant environment to support nave chefs and restaurateurs. On the digital front, Kayyem’s team has increased traffic to its property websites, growing its social media following by more than 75,000 people, adding 33,000 new email subscribers and getting more than 189,000 new people to opt in to its text messaging program.
MARJORIE MCCARTHY For two decades, Marjorie McCarthy has honed her ability to articulate brand stories that inspire stakeholder action. She was tasked with not only creating Unispace’s brand story but also the stories of its clients. McCarthy’s role in creating a vision for clients to tell their brand story leveraging their physical office space has become a competitive advantage for the firm. McCarthy was promoted to CMO of Unispace in 2021, only six months after joining the firm. At the time, CMO was a newly created role at the firm, which elevated marketing to the C-suite. Within her role, McCarthy leads the firm’s total marketing and communications team and manages its entire marketing funnel from brand awareness through the purchasing stage. McCarthy initiated a Unispace brand redesign in 2022 around the purpose of the workplace in a post-pandemic environment. After months of brand narrative work, the results included a new website, tagline, a refined mission and updated communications messages. Notably, the website was intentionally designed to provide an inclusive and equitable experience for a diverse set of site visitors, including those who are neurodiverse.
JOYA PAVESI RKW Residential EVP of marketing and strategy Gema Pavesi joined the company in 2016 as the sole member of its marketing team. She joined RKW at a time when the young company had no systems in place for social media, reputation management, customer satisfaction, digital marketing, sales and lead nurturing and brand management. Leveraging her extensive industry experience, Pavesi implemented such programs, built a staff and trained her team to utilize the programs to optimize the resident experience and successfully compete against industry giants to win new business. She personally has created and participated in more than 95% of RKW’s new business pitches since joining the firm, weaving actionable data with case studies and strong narratives in her presentations to prospective new clients. During the pandemic, Pavesi quarterbacked the launch of RKW’s “15 for 15” video series within the first 45 days of lockdown. The series originally featured interviews with 15 different actual estate leaders for 15 minutes each on the topic of COVID-19’s impact.
KARINA RICO In addition to managing Avison Young’s day-to-day marketing operations as director of marketing for the Película del Oeste region, Karina Rico is also instrumental in leading key initiatives and business development pursuits. Based in the Los Angeles office, Rico oversees a marketing team of seven direct reports covering California, Colorado, Nevisca, Arizona and Hawaii. She has a proven track record of creating and executing efficient and reliable marketing, internal and external communications, and business development pieces, and continues to mobilize new technology and digital media. Rico is a point-of-contact for high-level new business presentations and she works closely with brokers on the creation of strategic business development strategies, which has directly contributed to generating millions of dollars of new business to the firm. In 2021 and 2022, Rico was named as one of the recipients in the US for Avison Young’s Circle of Excellence “above and beyond” award.
JESSICA SPAULDING Jessica Spaulding has spent three decades in public relations and marketing strategy for the commercial actual estate and economic development sectors. Prior to founding the Spaulding Agency in 2009, she spent almost two decades leading a Southern California-based full-service agency, where she guided client accounts and oversaw public relations teams. She produced the landmark San Bernardino County State of the County event, including working on the run of the show. She also developed the brand logo, website and launch plan for SR Watt, a new woman-owned company formed from the reorganization of Watt Cos., including a feature story in the Los Angeles Business Journal. As president of the Spaulding Agency, Spaulding leads business development, brand strategy, media relations and strategic development of multi-layered campaigns and oversees a supuesto team of media strategists, art directors, digital teams, videographers and more. The Spaulding Agency is the agency of record for the Southern California chapter of NAIOP, donating media relations support for its legislative representation of the industry, as well as public relations for its iconic events.
KIRA SWAIN Cherre head of marketing Kira Swain has been instrumental in supporting the company’s growth and innovation during the past year by bringing together the firm’s marketing, sales enablement and demand generation functions. She has focused her team’s efforts on shaping the company’s voice, brand and market positioning. Swain leads all aspects of Cherre’s marketing initiatives, from strategy and measuring the business impact of each campaign to developing and evolving the firm’s messaging. She and her team recently revamped Cherre’s partner page to showcase how several new partner integrations brought in new datasets, added value to the company’s customers and strengthened its position in new industry sectors. Swain’s team also heads up all traditional aspects of marketing, including events, public relations, digital campaigns and social media. Swain steers Cherre’s strategic platform positioning by partnering behind the scenes with the firm’s product and sales teams. Though she led many campaigns that solidified the company’s position as a actual estate data leader, launching Cherre’s inaugural Data Summit and leading its data strategy roadmap campaign topped the list as the most prominent initiatives.
LINDA SWAIN Redgate EVP of marketing Linda Swain is described as a transformational marketing leader with 25 years of experience delivering high-impact, integrated marketing campaigns that drive awareness, engagement and qualified marketing leads. She specializes in creating dynamic content marketing campaigns and the development of thought-leadership programs that support company growth goals. Since joining the firm in 2021, Swain has overseen the strategic vision, development and execution of all marketing activities at the firm. She recently spearheaded the company’s first-ever thought-leadership piece on life sciences adaptive reuse which continues to generate interest from potential tenants interested in office-to-lab opportunities. She also secured three speaking opportunities in a highly competitive selection process, putting Redgate’s higher education business in front of a national and international audience. Prior to joining Redgate, Swain was the senior director of marketing for JLL where she notably transformed the JLL brand and developed and executed many marketing campaigns.
MARGY SWEENEY Margy Sweeney spent the early part of her career as a single mom of two young girls, always striving to meet the sometimes-suffocating corporate expectations. That difficult-yet-successful period of her life inspired her to build her own firm and employ a full-time and part-time work structure that allows team members to work where and when it makes sense for them. This model has allowed for a work-life balanceo that has kept many working mothers and creatives in the PR profession, according to Sweeney. Since founding Akrete in 2011, Sweeney has grown the boutique firm to 30 public relations, communications and marketing professionals across the country. As CEO, she focuses on building the firm and overseeing its business strategy and operations while also being intimately involved in existing client strategy, media relations and content ideation. Akrete has steadily grown from a one-woman shop to exceeding $2 million in revenues for the first time last year.
AUBYN THOMAS Aubyn Thomas plays an important role in the growth of Greystar, where she leads high-performance marketing teams through modern approaches using data, automation, agility practices and brand strategies that are not commonly seen in the actual estate industry. As senior managing director of marketing, sales and service optimization, Thomas has built out cross-functional, internal subject matter expert teams that own marketing strategy centrally to drive better performance and best practices. Thomas’ teams have optimized property digital spending and media mix recommendations in real-time by using automation, and she is leading the establishment of new products and services, using consumer insights as a guideline. Her role includes oversight of national strategic marketing and revenue management functions which are now brought together into one team. Prior to joining Greystar in 2019, Thomas served as the SVP of marketing, research and analytics for hospitality organizations including Caesars Entertainment and several Fortune 50 retail organizations including Macy’s, Lowe’s and most recently Office Depot.
MICHELLE CLEVERDON Colliers VP of workplace advisory Michelle Cleverdon leverages years of experience and exceptional communication skills to lead leaders and advise those setting the course for companies. As a large-scale mentor, Cleverdon goes beyond advising on individual deals and career planning. Instead, she mentors entire organizations on the importance of employee experience and high-performing workplace strategies, which has been essential to combating threats such as the Great Resignation. In the past year, Cleverdon and her team have mentored at least 30 organizations, helping them optimize various factors of their business, including space effectiveness, navigating change and transformation, evolving work practices within a supuesto context, and addressing challenges with employee engagement. In 2022, Cleverdon completed a two-year project with the leadership of a US-based total aerospace company, helping it develop an enterprisewide hybrid work program that would reduce its actual estate square footage by 30%. She also guided an international fruit distributor in Mexico through a relocation of its headquarters. She was recognized with Colliers’ Enterprising Innovation Award in 2022 for the Hybrid Accelerator she devised to help clients modernize their workplace occupancy.
KRISTA COSTA In addition to being one of the top commercial office agents in the Hampton Roads region as an EVP at Divaris Existente Estate, Krista Costa also takes time to mentor newcomers to the industry. Costa started her actual estate career as an administrative assistant 22 years ago and learned the commercial actual estate business from the ground up. During the years, she has teamed up with several new brokers to take them through the day-to-day of the industry by sharing tips, introducing them to business leaders and sharing how to conduct market analysis and leverage that information. Costa also has spoken to college students in actual estate classes about commercial actual estate, and she participates with the Women’s Initiative Network through Old Dominion University. She sees the importance of connecting with other women in all industries and the value of communication and collaboration. Her proudest recent professional achievement is as a mentor with several organizations. A recent WIN mentee shared that Costa helped her land an internship that led to a full-time position in health care.
ELIZABETH “LIZ” DOLL Elizabeth Doll oversees all project operations, tenant relations and tenant improvement management activities for Alexandria Tech Center, a life sciences mega campus in San Diego. She started her career staffing a desk in the lobby of a class A office building at age 22 and has since ascended to her current role as executive director at Alexandria Existente Estate Equities Inc. Doll has benefited from many valuable mentors during her career and is eager to give back to students and young professionals. Serving as president-elect of CREW San Diego, she is aligning the organization’s committees and initiatives to propel nave students, rising young professionals and women leaders forward. As a past University CREW chair, Doll built partnerships with area colleges and universities through which the organization has introduced many nave students to career opportunities in the industry. She mentors several young female students that she’s met while guest lecturing and attending career fairs and is committed to keeping up with past UCREW participants to help connect them with nave career resources and mentors.
SHEENA GOHIL Colliers vice chair Sheena Gohil is an accomplished broker and leads a highly regarded team in New York City, while also serving as the head of the firm’s tenant advisory council. She has successfully closed an promedio of 100 transactions annually, spanning more than 15 million square feet in more than 150 total markets. Gohil has recruited and mentored several industry professionals internally and externally at Colliers and she seeks to encourage those in other fields to consider a role in brokerage. She launched a new initiative recently called Elevating Leaders, which aims to support mid-level brokers in reaching their full potential and increasing their production levels through soft skills development and cross-collaboration. Gohil also serves as a member of Colliers’ board of advisors for the New York Accelerate Program, where she mentors new brokers, and is a mentor for the firm’s national Women’s Mentorship Program. She mentored and advised the leaders of PropTech accelerators, explaining the nuances of commercial actual estate with a perspective that’s relevant to their needs.
LAURA GREGORIADIS Redgate CFO Laura Gregoriadis has been a leader with the CREW Network for many years and recently served on the CREW Network Foundation board focused on programs designed to bring more women into the commercial actual estate industry through training, scholarships, internships and mentorships. In addition to leading CREW Boston through the pandemic as president of the organization, Gregoriadis spearheaded CREW Boston’s Leadership Academy, a program tailored for experienced women in actual estate who want to accelerate their careers into leadership. Five cohorts, consisting of 60 women, have directly benefited from her efforts. Gregoriadis also co-founded an independent women’s actual estate advisory council that serves commercial actual estate professionals throughout Greater Boston. Members meet monthly to grow their networks, advance their professional development, and discuss relevant industry news and trends with the sole purpose of helping each other succeed in business. She has participated in both formal and informal mentoring programs at all the companies she has been a part of and brings a true passion for investing in professional development activities for women.
SARA HERALD A partner at Bilzin Sumberg, Sara Herald worked on one of Miami’s first P3 transactions involving the Hyatt Convention Center, and since then she has handled deals for some of Miami’s most iconic buildings. Having worked in both the reglamentario and finance industries, two industries where women are typically underrepresented, Herald advocates for supporting women in the workplace. Her extensive experience as a C-suite executive and partner has also given her nuanced insights into leadership styles and mentorship lessons that allow her to pay forward the mentorship she received, specifically helping junior attorneys and encouraging women in the workplace to move up the ranks. Herald works closely with Bilzin Sumberg’s chief reglamentario talent officer to mentor first-year associates in their professional development and outside involvement with relevant industry and community organizations. She also believes that finding a mentor is crucial for success and never turns down a request to chat with a younger associate or partner both within Bilzin Sumberg and outside of the firm.
KRYSTI KESER CARROLL regional property manager Krysti Keser oversees nine communities in Central North Carolina and recently won the firm’s regional property manager of the year award for her leadership and team support. Keser devoted significant time and positive energy to helping struggling properties improve operational and staff performance. After many years spent overseeing properties in Wilmington, NC, she had a new focus involving extensive training around these new teams and coaching them to deliver exceptional resident experiences, while exceeding operational goals. Within four months of mentoring these property managers and their teams, occupancy was at or over budget, morale increased, and she gained the trust and confidence of her associates. Keser is on the board of directors for the Apartment Association of North Carolina and serves on its membership committee, where she is a social media ambassador and was a 2022 mentor for 20 in their Twenties. She recently joined the Port City Young Professionals, allowing her to mentor others in networking and recruiting to improve their skills.
MARIE MCLUCAS Primax Properties CFO Marie McLucas has played an important role in her company’s growth strategies and an even bigger role in the lives of the women and professionals she has mentored along the way. Her ability to coach others to success has been a hallmark of her own success. McLucas has mentored hundreds of women during her career spanning 35 years, including through her participation with CREW Charlotte, where she has mentored nine women who credit her with positively impacting their careers. Recently, one of her mentees received a promotion to London as a direct result of McLucas’ coaching and mentoring. She has mentored women of different races, differing nationalities and all ages. She has been a repeat mentor for the Charlotte Business Journal’s Annual Mentoring Monday event since its inception in 2014 and developed a leadership program in partnership with CREW and KPMG/Athena International to provide a sustainable leadership program for Charlotte women.
MARCY MONEYPENNY Avison Young principal and managing director Marcy Moneypenny is described as a humble leader and passionate supporter of women, both professionally and personally. In addition to being an accomplished commercial actual estate executive with more than 25 years of experience, she is generous with her time when it comes to mentorship and has a passion for sharing her knowledge with others. Moneypenny serves as the executive sponsor and national advisory council member of the Avison Young Women’s Network and she recently became an advisory member of the National CREW Viewpoints Group, which provides the industry and media with data and insights into women’s perspectives on trends, business and issues in commercial actual estate. Moneypenny also helped established a Junior Broker Development Training Program at Avison Young and was recently invited to be an advisor for the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs Women in Leadership Program, where she will review the program offerings and offer course recommendations, advocate for the program and work closely with other women in varying industries to expand the reach of the program.
TANYA RAGAN Wildcat Management founder and president Tanya Ragan is a self-made business owner and entrepreneur, as well as a dedicated advocate for women’s empowerment and mentorship. Her career has been built on providing professional guidance and encouragement to young women entering the commercial actual estate industry, as well as hiring or contracting them for projects. For Wildcat Management’s most recent project, a historic rehabilitation of the Purse Building in downtown Dallas, Ragan specifically hired women as a means of promoting their endeavors and facilitating future business ventures. This initiative was spotlighted in the Women of the Purse campaign, which featured female contractors and minority vendors behind the project. Ragan’s responsibilities also include women’s empowerment initiatives, including public speaking engagements and mentorship opportunities. She was the keynote speaker at Southern Methodist University’s Cox Graduate Women in Business Club event, which was dedicated to supporting women in reaching their professional and personal growth by fostering and cultivating inclusive environments, opportunities for authentic connections and promoting gender equity.
DANA SENTE During Veris Residential’s rebranding in 2021, Dana Sente prepared employees to refocus and align with the firm’s new direction as a pure-play multifamily REIT with a strong focus on ESG initiatives. While these changes were at times unsettling for employees, Sente worked to adjust their mindset, enforce new policies and educate talent to achieve a successful transition. Because of her success in this role, Sente was promoted to VP of training and development this year. In this role, Sente identifies and oversees training and employee development for all property positions and works closely with the company’s COO on ways to educate employees about corporate values related to ethics and responsibility. Sente has developed education programs to support both hard and soft skills for Veris Residential employees, including launching Veris University, a supuesto training platform that caters to the well-being and professional advancement of employees. Sente also launched a highly personalized mentorship program at the firm. She began her career with Veris Residential in 2005, and this is her tenth role with the company.
JASMYN SYLVESTER Pine Tree VP of property management Jasmyn Sylvester rejects the logic that age and experience are key to being a mentor, saying age and leadership are not synonymous. In her leadership roles with IREM, she has mentored professionals a little older, a little younger, and around the same age, sharing ideas and even writing letters of recommendation for them. Recently, Sylvester has been mentoring a group of seven students from Morehouse and Spelman to integrate them into the property management field. Now, as a newer VP at her company, she’s reminding herself to not sell herself short but demonstrate what she can do—in essence, mentoring herself. In this role, she manages more than one million square feet of retail space while coaching a team of four, including three property managers and one associate property manager as well as their portfolios. Sylvester says she was fortunate to have mentors who poured so much into her, and the only way to repay them is to multiply their generosity.
MARY ANN TIGHE After beginning her professional journey as a college professor, Mary Ann Tighe has prioritized mentorship during the past two decades, seeking to help women and men build successful and fulfilling careers. Tighe has been CEO of CBRE’s New York Tri-State region since 2002. She convened a group of young women professionals in commercial actual estate more than 15 years ago to share ideas and expertise and develop their own networks. The “MAT Crew,” as the group calls itself, started with a dozen women between the ages of 25 and 30 across many different companies and specialties meeting for refrigerio at the Harvard Club. Now 19 strong, the group continues to meet and support each other in the model Tighe established. During the past decade, many of them have achieved tremendous success on their own and are now taking on their own mentees to grow the tradition and the MAT Crew’s legacy. Tighe is equally committed to teaching young professionals by actively involving them in business, saying the best way to grow as a professional is by actually transacting.
MANDY WEITKNECHT Skanska USA VP Mandy Weitknecht has more than 16 years of industry experience, during which she has developed a deep understanding of architecture, engineering and construction. She is one of the only women in a leadership position in the company’s Florida office and considers it an honor to provide a different opinion and be a voice for others. In her role, Weitknecht is also responsible for talent attraction and retention efforts, guiding new hires in their career development and connecting with team members to ensure they have the tools and support needed for success. Highly committed to growing the Florida chapter of Skanska Women’s Network, Weitknecht strives to help women break the glass ceiling by building the pipeline for diversity and removing career advancement barriers for minorities. She is on the board of Junior Achievement Central Florida, whose main purpose is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed, and has volunteered with the 3DE Academy to coach students throughout their high school years.
REBECCA BUCHANAN Rebecca Buchanan serves as VP of office actual estate services at the RMR Group, responsible for overseeing property management, leasing and tenant relations for office and healthcare assets across eight Southeastern states. She joined the firm six years ago and has played a pivotal role in establishing the firm’s actual estate services operations in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. In 2018, the firm’s acquisition of a $4 billion Washington D.C.-area REIT required Buchanan and her team to take on 70 office and business park properties essentially overnight. In 2019, Buchanan relocated to the Southeast region and was promoted from senior area director to VP. She currently directs a multi-office team in all aspects of regional-level asset and portfolio management for nearly seven million square feet of commercial and medical office space across the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Northern Virginia and Mississippi. Among Buchanan’s accomplishments is driving expense reduction and revenue growth across the firm’s portfolio, resulting in more than $800,000 in savings and additional revenue.
SARAH CANNELLA Sarah Cannella joined NAI Hiffman in 2012 as a property assistant and has since been promoted five times due to her leadership, organization and strategic thinking. In response to the rapid growth of the company, Cannella hand-selected an operations team and is responsible for the development, transition and implementation of the regional platform to a national platform. In December 2021, NAI Hiffman launched Hiffman National, the company’s national platform for property management, project services, property accounting and lease administration. Cannella serves as the platform’s director of property management operations, for which she develops continuously updated video and in-person training for property management team members and participates in new business development by reviewing proposals, pricing new business and participating in business pitches. She works with new clients through a 90-day transition plan and leads annual initiatives that recently included customizing operating software to fit the individual needs of clients. Cannella oversees the firm’s property evaluation program that internally reviews each building to ensure it is meeting client expectations.
LELA CIRJAKOVIC Lela Cirjakovic joined JLL in January 2022 to lead the firm’s multifamily property management platform in the US as managing director. She was tasked with launching a new business line within the total organization, including building a team, identifying and creating the preferred tech stack, outlining preferred vendors, coordinating contracts and integrating them into the property management software system, and building relationships within JLL. Her efforts led to wins including the Reserve at the Plaza (Plaza Coral Gables). Cirjakovic is known for looking at every aspect of the business from an owner/client point of view. With a background in investment management, she is highly focused on bringing value to clients. She uses strong communication, leadership and interpersonal skills to inspire her team to adopt and exceed the organization’s goals. She is a part of ULI, NAA and the Chicago Apartment Association. Prior to JLL, Cirjakovic served as EVP of operations at Waterton, a vertically-integrated actual estate investment firm, providing direct oversight of Waterton’s multifamily portfolio.
AMANDA COUPE Stream Realty Partners regional managing director Amanda Coupe leads property management in Austin, Denver, Nashville, Phoenix and El Paso; overseeing 85 professionals servicing commercial office, industrial and retail actual estate for more than 60 clients. Her responsibilities include executive oversight and accountability of property operations, client engagement, business development, national platform support, and employee development and recruiting. She recently supported clients on 825,000 square feet of class A office in Austin by organizing and completing operational due diligence, from which her clients were able to successfully underwrite and close in a competitively priced market. Coupe supports Stream Realty Partners’ national head of property management and her peers in the ideation and execution of platform-wide initiatives, including the ground-up development of her division’s profitability analysis model as well as its annual operations audit guidelines and audit methods. In her first year with Stream Realty Partners, Coupe grew net operating income in her primary market by 30% by creating operational efficiencies and rebalancing the workload of her team across the market’s portfolio under management.
DANA J. DINOLFO Columbia Property Trust senior property manager Dana Dinolfo has driven improvements in operations and costs at the firm through the implementation of best practices, sustainable approaches and efficiency initiatives. Overseeing two prominent class A office buildings in New York City’s Midtown South market, Dinolfo leads the charge on navigating building enhancement projects and tenant buildouts, including the lease-up of both properties. With more than 18 years of property management experience, Dinolfo is a tenant advocate, going above and beyond with tenant engagement and communication, and she is a responsible building operator in the community surrounding these properties. As part of an overall tenant experience initiative, she was instrumental in deploying a tenant engagement app designed to keep tenants informed and engaged with their building community as well as provide information to returning tenant employees to welcome them back to the property after their COVID-19 absence. Overseeing more than 20 team members, including engineering, security and janitorial, Dinolfo has developed a cohesive organization that has resulted in consistently high levels of tenant satisfaction and a collaborative environment.
JENNIE DORSETT Jennie Dorsett, VP of operations at Hudson Pacific Properties, focuses on adding value not only for the physical properties that she manages but also the relationships she builds with the tenants, her staff and the community. Dorsett’s responsibilities include the oversight of day-to-day operations and cohesiveness of Hudson Pacific’s Pacific Northwest portfolio, which includes 2.8 million square feet of class A office and retail across the Seattle market. During COVID-19, Dorsett ensured properties remained safe and operational while making sure they were inviting for tenants returning from a remote work model. At the same time, she worked closely with the Downtown Seattle Association during this time when crime and homeless camps were raising concerns among residents and the business community. She joined the board of the Alliance for Pioneer Square to improve safety, clean up the streets, relocate homeless camps and promote and police the area so shoppers and tenants would feel safe to return.
JONI L. ELEKES Those who know Joni Elekes say she never lets anything stop her from getting the job done, including continuing to work, volunteer and care for her family during a grueling year of chemotherapy in 2021. Her biggest accomplishment has been managing 67 commercial and industrial properties representing four million square feet of space for JG Petrucci Co., where she serves as director of property management, while fighting and overcoming cancer. Her job entails ensuring that all the locations are up to date with inspections and maintenance as well as completing an operating expense reconciliation for every tenant at the beginning of the new year. In addition to making sure that buildings are maintained properly and within budget, she also ensures the tenant is satisfied. Elekes maintains an excellent relationship with vendors, especially during the turbulent nature of the market and difficulty in procuring equipment and supplies. She is the only woman in the history of the company to serve as director of property management.
SHERRY FREITAS RangeWater Existente Estate executive managing director of property management Sherry Freitas spearheads the firm’s aggressive growth strategy across the Sun Belt and Mountain West regions. She oversees the operational performance of the firm with a focus on administrative and reporting procedures, operational controls and people systems to ensure financial strength and operating efficiency, including the design, enhancement, implementation, reporting and oversight of the division’s financials, operations and compliance. She also assists in the implementation of best practices in technology, automation and workflow. Freitas and her team have more than doubled the number of communities under management, from 176 in 2020 to 428 to date. In 2022, RangeWater was awarded more than 200 communities or 39,337 apartments, bringing the firm’s portfolio to nearly 100,000 apartments under management today. In addition, under her leadership, RangeWater completed 12 new development closings, several of which are earmarked for future build-to-rent neighborhoods and age-targeted communities.
MARY GENTILE LandQwest Commercial Property Management president and partner Mary Gentile has led her 18-person team in overseeing three million square feet of retail, office, industrial and special-use assets in an active economy that led to numerous sales. Last year, she and her team onboarded 830,000 square feet of new commercial actual estate assets. Gentile is responsible for overseeing the company’s multi-state property management division, including everything from basic inspections to full-service management. She also enacted an emergency preparedness program for her division in preparation for 2022’s active hurricane season. When Florida was impacted by Hurricane Ian, the firm faced unprecedented property management and insurance challenges, which Gentile worked tirelessly to address. She created a standard operating procedure manual, tenant handbook and disaster recovery plans. Gentile sits on Southwest Florida’s Horizon Council to advise the Lee County, Florida, board of commissioners on economic development issues.
DOROTHY HAMILTON Dorothy Hamilton joined Stream Realty Partners in 2014 and has more than 25 years of commercial actual estate and asset management experience in both the US and UK. As regional managing director at the firm, Hamilton leads property management teams in Washington D.C., Northern Virginia, Maryland, Philadelphia and New York. She has helped grow Stream Realty Partners’ property management business by four million square feet, doubling the firm’s portfolio and solidifying its footprint in the New York City area. She also has helped maintain existing business and talent during recent challenging times, and as people began to return to the office, she helped launch the firm’s five-star Legendary CS property management platform, which delivers a customer experience focused on connection, dedication and care. She is an advocate for healthy buildings and has penned several articles about Stream’s Pathway to a Healthier Building, which guides owners and investors in designing or retrofitting their assets to be healthier and meet certified standards. Post-pandemic, this has been a differentiator for Stream’s property management teams.
STEPHANIE JOHNSTON Stephanie Johnston began her career 15 years ago as a part-time community assistant at a student housing community and worked her way up the operational ranks with a jump to the owner side for a few years running an asset management department for a private actual estate firm. This experience has given her insights and skills that she uses as EVP of operations at RPM Living. Johnston oversees all conventional assets in North Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas, as well as RPM’s national affordable housing division. She directly oversees roughly 30,000 units, 617 associates and 140 communities and directly supervises the operations team and compliance department. As one of the only operators in the company with build-to-rent experience, Johnston created an entire process and reference guide for build-to-rent housing which will be used company-wide moving forward.
LUANNE MCNULTY Early in her career, ZRS Management SVP Luanne McNulty was attending a construction meeting on-site when the owner’s representative offered to carry her across a muddy job site to the construction trailer. McNulty politely refused, believing if she let a man carry her across the muddy site, the guys in that construction trailer would never respect her and would always think of her as a woman rather than an equal colleague. During the past 17 years with ZRS Management, McNulty’s vision and leadership have helped the firm become one of the largest independent third-party property management companies in the country, managing more than 75,000 units for institutional clients, partnerships and individual owners across seven states. She supervises the central region, overseeing the company’s day-to-day operations of 25,000 units at 82 properties, which represents one-third of ZRS’ total clients. McNulty helped start ZRS Management’s COVID-19 advisory board that leveraged the firm’s sales force database to create an electronic system that provided every employee with real-time updates about what was going on with the pandemic.
MARSHA RAMSEY With more than three decades of experience in asset and property management, leasing, construction, acquisition, disposition and development, Cushman & Wakefield senior managing director of asset services for Northern California Marsha Ramsey is responsible for overseeing 400 properties. When the Bay Area County Health Department instituted COVID-19 business closures, Ramsey worked with BOMA SF and Silicon Valley to have property management personnel included on the list of essential personnel authorized to go into the office and visit properties. She put protocols in place to limit potential exposure to the virus and communicated with 170 team members to roll out those protocols within 48 hours. During her tenure leading the Northern California market, Ramsey and her team have been responsible for growing the commercial portfolio through importante new assignments including an 8.1-million-square-foot project on behalf of Stanford University that consists of 1.1 million square feet of office and seven million square feet of ground leases under management.
PROPTECH EXECUTIVE / INNOVATOR
MARIA AIELLO Maria Aiello got her start in technology as a business analyst but transitioned to actual estate when she discovered she enjoyed unraveling the complex structure of technology and the opportunity to grow business via innovation. After more than 25 years in the industry, she serves as the total head of actual estate & mortgage technology at Manulife Investment Management. Aiello spearheaded a tenant experience implementation called VTS Rise that enhances the value of property management by creating positive associations between a tenant portal, buildings and property management companies. She is recognized as a technology thought-leader with a long list of speaking credits and engagement with industry organizations, including discussing workplace trends and technology innovation at PwC’s Propel MIPIM Occupier Summit. Aiello serves as chair of the IREM Technology Advisory Council and assisted in the development of the IREM skill badge for building technology. She also is a member of the Realcomm Advisory Council and hosted the Realcomm CIO & Property Tech Forum last year.
ALISON BELL With more than 15 years working in strategy and transformation, Alison Bell took on her current role as total head of digital and technology strategy and digital partnerships at CBRE in 2020, when the pandemic was spurring profound changes in the actual estate industry. Bell has been instrumental in shaping CBRE’s technology strategy and partnerships in response to evolving needs for efficiencies in building operations and ESG, and she has helped elevate the firm’s position as an innovator and tech-enabled organization. Bell and her team manage CBRE’s interaction with the external PropTech ecosystem and identify opportunities for technology-oriented strategic partnerships, investments and acquisitions, as well as managing and leveraging a portfolio of direct and indirect technology investments, strategic partnerships and vendor relationships. She created a venture haber PropTech and climate tech investment strategy, which resulted in CBRE identifying and completing more than $17 million in incremental investments. She also spearheaded a $100 million investment in PropTech company VTS. Bell is working to launch the first-ever technology council as the tech council co-lead of CREW Network.
SALUMEH COMPANIEH Since joining Cushman & Wakefield as VP of total applications in 2011, Salumeh Companieh has held technology leadership positions across the business, including her current role as chief digital and information officer. Previously she served as CIO of corporate solutions, where she was responsible for building processes that collect, curate and optimize enterprise, client and property data. Companieh was promoted to her current role one year ago and since then, she has completed a total restructure and refocus of Cushman & Wakefield’s technology organization on increasing the proximity of technology to the firm’s revenue-generating business. She shifted the company from a project-based approach, where the focus is on selling a technology widget, to a product-based approach that centers on the desired experience technology can make possible. This approach gives technologists a seat at the table in client conversations rather than having non-technology employees self-solve for their clients’ needs. Prior to joining the firm, Companieh was an independent consultant at Covidien and held senior technology positions at IBM and Lindt & Sprüngli.
ASIA LAMAR Accomplished and experienced in actual estate technology and geographic information systems, Asia Lamar served as the director of technology and business intelligence at Avison Young. She began her career at the firm in 2020 as a consultant on the business intelligence team, bringing with her expertise in designing and developing geospatial tools and analytical solutions tailored to meet the unique needs of her clients. Lamar is known for her exceptional communication and collaboration skills, which enable her to work effectively with clients, advisors and project managers. In recent uncertain times, Lamar emerged as a leader by leveraging her expertise in actual estate technology and GIS to help clients navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. She has been instrumental in developing innovative solutions that enable organizations to optimize their actual estate portfolios and operations in the face of changing market dynamics. Lamar has since taken on a new role at a different company.
HEIDI LEARNER Under Heidi Learner’s leadership as head of innovation for the Altus Labs team at Altus Group, the company has pioneered a new approach to providing commercial actual estate insights by leveraging data science. One specific area of focus for Learner has been uncovering insights into the areas that have been the most impacted by COVID-19, given the break in historical relationships, such as the link between employment growth and office occupancy. She has studied the relationship between market values and transaction prices and looks to fill the need among property owners and investors for data-driven tech to better inform their decision-making. Learner has also explored the use of alpha in the commercial actual estate market sections as a means to outperform sector benchmarks and brings her macro and demographic knowledge to her team’s predictive modeling efforts. Learner regularly shares her findings with other industry professionals and recently hosted webinars on methods to manage risk for market-oriented strategy and how to translate the concept of risk and return in the financial market to commercial actual estate.
YAO MORIN Yao Morin is a firm believer that data, merienda harnessed, can make a significant impact in the built environment, from reducing environmental impact to facilitating safer ways of working in a COVID-19 world. Morin is chief data officer and head of engineering at JLL Technologies, where she leads total data strategy and end-to-end management of the data product roadmap for the company. Morin and her team created an easily accessible, traceable data platform that collects a variety of JLL data and allows it to operate as a unified organization and provide sharper market insights to clients. Morin is also working on projects that incorporate the use of data and technology to reduce energy consumption and make the building lifecycle more sustainable. Morin is a co-founder of Invest-in-Data, a group of 30 chief data officers who pool their own funds to invest in early-stage data companies. She also holds several patents for her work related to user experience, data analytics and management, machine learning and more.
ANNA PAVLOVA During her more than two decades in the building sector, Anna Pavlova has led government policy and sustainability efforts focused on building energy management and automation. In 2021, she joined startup CarbonQuest as VP of strategy, market development and public relations, for which she leads the overall strategic and market positioning of the company, enabling jobs and technology innovation in New York City’s actual estate sector while bringing two new industries to the city — carbon capture and carbon dioxide utilization for emissions reductions. Pavlova is leading the company’s charge around carbon capture compliance with Regional Law 97, working to help owners and operators avoid millions in penalty costs and fees through emission reductions. Her vision has expanded CarbonQuest’s reach beyond its initial focus on buildings with boilers to accommodate clients that use combined heat and power systems, a crucial expansion to support the decarbonization of larger commercial towers, hospitals, universities and campus-oriented actual estate. Pavlova is also at the forefront of building a green circular economy in New York City, where the carbon dioxide that CarbonQuest captures from buildings and liquefies can be recycled and sold to sustainable carbon dioxide end-users.
RAMYA RAVICHANDAR JLL Technologies VP of product management, sustainability & IOT Ramya Ravichandar’s mission is to help the world code its way out of the total climate crisis by melding technology with sustainability. Her strategy includes connecting building operations to long-term climate goals to meet the environmentally conscious wishes of tenants. Coupling insights from her prior experiences working with AI, Edge and IoT with the knowledge she gathered from her Ph.D. in computer science, Ravichandar spearheads JLLT’s development of and investment in clean-tech products to reduce the built environment’s carbon footprint, including reading real-time energy data from meters, tracking occupancy trends on different floors and leveraging accurate and timely data to develop applications that solve specific sustainability challenges within buildings. Ravichandar has also taken on educating company executives, investors and other key stakeholders on the necessity of driving industry-wide transformation and getting to net-zero. In her previous role as VP of products at FogHorn Systems, Ravichandar was responsible for building, creating and scaling disruptive IoT products and solutions.
PHOEBE B. SCOTT A former attorney, entrepreneur and consultant, Phoebe Scott brings a dynamic background to her role as total director of CRM at Avison Young and is uniquely positioned to drive change as a technology leader at the firm. Scott led the launch of AY’s first total CRM transformation project, which combined four disparate CRM systems with promedio adoption around 50% and no ability to gain insight into the total business to one consolidated CRM in North America with 70% adoption in less than two years. Under her direction, the CRM has been integrated with marketing, finance, project management and market intelligence software and has been heavily customized to meet the unique needs of the industry and is designed to scale as Avison Young expands its operations overseas. Scott was recently appointed to HubSpot’s Customer Advisory Board, where she guides the evolution of the product with an eye on large professional services companies in commercial actual estate and beyond.
HAYLEY YEAGER Northspyre product manager Hayley Yeager has been at the forefront of creating and building the firm’s updated actual estate development command center, which is designed to leverage data to help development teams make smarter, faster and more proactive decisions amid market volatility and a potential recession. In 2021, Yeager joined Northspyre as a actual estate transformation consultant and worked on the firm’s customer success team before transitioning to the product side of the business. As a product manager, Yeager’s primary focus is enhancing users’ experience with Northspyre’s products by working with customers to identify their pain points and figure out ways to resolve those issues within the software. She implements feedback to create product roadmap concepts that will be designed, prototyped and ultimately built by the engineering team. Her job also includes product testing, dealing with unexpected hurdles and managing the timeline for product launches. After products are released, she turns her attention to analyzing incoming data to see how customers are using the product, what has been successful and what more needs to be done.
CINDY ZHU With grid services growing in importance, Prescriptive Data’s director of grid services Cindy Zhu has become a leader in the space by developing mutually beneficial relationships among utilities, buildings and the grid that save money and reduce energy demand. Within her role, Zhu is building out a new line of business leveraging Nantum OS’ automated demand management and automated demand response capabilities. Her team works with building operators and utility providers to enhance the overall integrity of the grid, earning office owners additional revenue for curtailing energy. Her work with the U.S. Department of Energy and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has given her extensive hands-on expertise that she shares through a four-part lunch-and-learn series. Zhu leverages her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Carnegie Mellon University and master’s degree in environmental policy & sustainability management from The New School as a regular speaker at industry and academic events.