NEXT GEN: Women to Watch
This is an HTML version of an article that ran in the July/August 2013 issue of Real Estate Forum. To see the original story, click here.
The individuals on the following pages may not have a long track record but they’ve already made a mark in the business. Meet 20 young professionals who have the potential to be future leaders of the industry.
Pamela Abalu, 35
Global Head, Design and Construction
New York City
Pamela Abalu’s appetite for challenges is matched by her intelligence, drive, creativity and perseverance. Those qualities have propelled her from her home in Africa to an already-successful career here in the US at the fairly young age of 35. She currently assumes leadership of the CRE-Global Project Management Group of internal experts and external partners, responsible for all design and construction activities across MetLife’s corporate-owned and -occupied property portfolio, comprised of more than 25 million square feet at 2,000 sites in over 60 countries. She is a member of the American Institute of Architects and the US Green Building Council and is active in the Children of Promise Foundation and My Mentor Life. “Women are not a minority,” she says, “but their presence as leaders has been shown to occur in parallel with success on all levels, for companies, nations and globally.”
Lauren Berkey, 30
Vice President, Global Accounts
Cresa Washington, DC
Currently the vice president of global accounts, Lauren Berkey is on the team that exclusively represents BAE Systems North America’s national real estate portfolio. She is often tasked with educating peers on the various lease administration solutions and conducting training on Cresa’s proprietary software. She’s a published co-author of the report, “Benchmarking the Creative Class in Arlington, VA,” and has planned multiple symposiums and events. This year Berkey competed for and retained the national account work for BAE Systems’ 24-million-square-foot portfolio for a second five-year period; she has served on the account for seven years. She also has started an internal focus group of national account managers to promote collaboration and idea sharing across the company. “I have witnessed a 20% increase in women retained for business development and leadership roles in my office alone,” she says.
Elysa Berlin, 28
Massey Knakal Realty Services
New York City
While over the past six years Elysa Berlin’s team has grown to seven members, she’s still the only female working in a salesperson position on the transaction side with Massey Knakal. In 2012, she originated $165.7 million in aggregate property valuations, $29.3 million in active listings and $1 million in property sales. Berlin was also the first female member of Royal Capital Holdings, a real estate networking group. In the industry, she has observed many changes: “Previously, women tended to have more of a presence on the residential side,” she says, “but recently I have seen a significant increase in women transitioning to the commercial side. In particular, a lot more women are working in asset management roles, analyst positions and retail leasing. The networking organization AREW has really been a catalyst in bringing women in real estate together.”
Elizabeth Braman, 39
ReadyCap Commercial LLC
As one of the first four executives at ReadyCap, Elizabeth Braman counts 2013 as a banner year professionally. This latest endeavor fully capitalizes on her over 15 years experience in commercial lending, business development and sales. She was the 2012 president of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of CCIM and received CREW-LA’s Rising Star Award the prior year. Braman teaches courses in real estate at the University of California Los Angeles extension program. At ReadyCap, she is responsible for hiring and managing the entire nationwide sales team, currently numbering 14 direct reports and projected to grow to over 20 by year’s end. She is steering ReadyCap to be one of the first small-balance lenders to return to securitization in Q4 2013 or Q1 2014. “The ever-increasing number of women distinguishing themselves as industry leaders provides a continued infusion of healthy competition, collaboration, innovation and diversity into the business sector,” Braman says.
Monetha Cobb, 37
In 2010, after 10 years of service, Monetha Cobb decided to leave her nationally known company to join a startup looking to open its third office in Atlanta. Through persistence, hard work and a positive attitude, she built Franklin Street’s retail tenant services group, which she now heads. Advising top-of-class retailers including PNC Bank, Dollar Tree Stores, Bealls Outlet, Cabela’s and Cato, Cobb has completed more than 116,000 square feet in leases worth $9.6 million since June 2012. She’s also involved with Camp Twin Lakes Jr., delivering life-changing camp experiences to over 9,100 children with serious illnesses, disabilities and other challenges.
Katie Culp, 36
Managing Director & Principal
At 23, Katie Culp was the youngest county economic development director in the state of Indiana. She now leads a national consulting practice that assists clients with location analysis and incentives negotiations. With 15 years of economic development experience, she’s negotiated over $200 million in incentives for roughly 11 million feet of office and industrial space. Culp manages a team responsible for over $350 million in incentives for 15 million square feet space across the US. She has been nationally recognized as an exceptional site selection consultant by economic development agencies and CRE executives alike.
Vanessa Delgado, 37
Vanessa Delgado’s career began in city planning and economic development work for city governments. At Primestor, she manages a staff of six people involved in planning, community relations, sourcing of development sites, project management, construction management and entitlement procurement. Among her projects in active construction are a $100-million, 380,000-square-foot shopping center and a $30-million office building. Moderator of the ICSC Hispanic Markets Panel and a member of the Mercy Housing Board, Delgado is sensitive to the needs of local communities and works positively to build support for developments.
Nicole Evans, 38
Ballard Spahr LLP
Salt Lake City
Nicole Evans leads a national, broad-based practice in resort and hospitality law that includes everything from resort and timeshare development in North America to fractionals, condominiums and condo-hotels. She has assumed the first chair responsibility for all timeshare work and is the frontline attorney responsible for the largest engagements within the Resort and Hotel Group. She has spent the past 13 years building an impressive real estate practice with a focus on resorts and hotels. Additionally, Evans has lead outside timeshare counsel for Diamond Resorts International and has assisted with the due diligence of all timeshare assets and firms it’s acquired since 2007. Over 10 years, she’s also dedicated 418 hours to pro bono service, representing people interested in adopting children in the Utah foster system.
Kelly Gedinsky, 29
Winick Realty Group
New York City
“Every year I strive to complete as many deals as possible, fundamentally attempting to accomplish twice as much as the previous year,” says Kelly Gedinsky. So far, she’s been able to maintain that goal, having leased over 500,000 square feet of retail in her six years at Winick Realty Group and becoming a manager and mentor to a younger group of retail brokers. Currently handling the leasing efforts for 1270 Lexington Ave., 353 W. 14th St., 323 Park Ave. South, 2000 Broadway and the retail at Columbus Square, Gedinsky also works with international, national and local retail tenants on their expansion efforts in the Tri-State area and the US.
Elisa Konik, 29
Director, Corporate Occupier & Investor Services
Cushman & Wakefield
New York City
Elisa Konik helped to co-found Artemis, C&W’s women’s business development group and day-to-day develops and manages the strategic direction of the firm’s client-facing technology suite. Having joined C&W’s Valuations & Appraisal practice in 2007, Konik worked to develop the firm’s first business intelligence tool, an interactive web-enabled software that provides colleagues and clients with high touch visibility into portfolio performance, market trends and statistics. She hopes to create an innovative platform of services for clients and inspire a creative, collaborative and supportive workplace for her colleagues.
Next: ...MORE WOMEN TO WATCH