Led by Johnson, H. Jon Runstad (founder/CEO) and Walt Ingram(EVP/CFO), Wright Runstad manages more than 5 million sf of spacein 16 properties in the Pacific Northwest. The company also has 1million sf under construction and 3 million sf in its developmentpipeline. In addition to its six female vice presidents, thecompany also has several female property managers.

|

In some cases the new VP titles were in exchange for greaterresponsibility, and in other cases the promotions resulted from thecombination of experience and performance, Johnson says. "It's acoincidence that the promotions happen to be all women but it issomewhat unique in our business," Johnson says. "Finding andkeeping good talent is really important to us; that's really thestory here."

|

Two of the six VP positions—SVP/director of development andVP/operation—were already held by women, Cindy Evans and ValarieTomey, respectively. The four other positions—VP/director ofleasing, VP/project development, and two VP/controllerpositions—were filled through the promotions of Susan Murphy, DianeUndi-Haga, Lisa Bergeron and Mary Richards, respectively. The fourwomen's tenure with Wright Runstad totals 54 years.

|

Bergeron has been with the company for 12 years, and Richards'tenure with Wright Runstad & Company spans 19 years. Bergeron'srole as past treasurer and director of tax is now expanded toinclude oversight of accounting, financial reporting and taxstrategy for multiple operations and development entities. Richardsis a 20-year veteran of the company. Her controller role isgenerally broader and focused more at the corporate level.

|

Murphy with the company for 15 years despite a break to manageglobal real estate for Amazon.com and a stint as VP/leasing forEquity Office Properties Trust—is responsible for leasing andmarketing more than 4 million sf of Class A office and retail spacein Seattle and Bellevue. She formulates marketing strategies fordevelopment projects.

|

Undi-Haga, who has been with the company for nine years,oversees project design and construction of City Center Plaza, aclass A office high-rise in Bellevue that will be completed laterthis year. Undi-Haga will continue to serve in leadership roles onfuture large-scale projects, Johnson says.

|

A 2005 study conducted by the Commercial Real Estate Womennetwork found that the percentage of women in the industry hadincreased from 32- to 36% over the previous five years. It alsofound that given comparable levels of experience significantly moremen make more than women and achieve more senior level positions.Last year, CREW followed up the report by outlining strategies thatcommercial real estate companies can use to ensure a more diverseworkplace in which women play greater leadership roles.

|

Johnson says Wright Runstad offers family leave benefits as welljob sharing, flexible hours and the ability to work from home, allthings mentioned in the report. Two of the VPs have "a reduced-hourwork schedule" in order to accommodate other things in their lives,Johnson says.

|

"Whether it's for family or other things, it doesn't matter," hesays. "If it keeps them motivated and creative, so be it."

|

In addition to the fringe benefits, Johnson says Wright Runstadpays its female VPs salaries commensurate with that their malepeers in the industry. "If you are not consistent, word getsaround," he says.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.