Welcome to our 2020 edition of Women of Influence. As we have been doing for many years now, we have based our selection of nearly 200 candidates on such criteria as career achievements, community outreach and mentorship within the industry. And as we experienced in previous years, we found it hard, to say nothing of humbling, to sift through the applications and select just the right nominees. As you will see as you flip through the following pages, these women come from diverse backgrounds with a wide array of specialities. What they have in common is they have all made a distinctive mark in commercial real estate.
ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN
CHRISTINE CAVATAIO Christy Cavataio has built a reputation as a trailblazer and innovator in commercial design. She has worked on healthcare, urban planning, education and civic work projects totaling more than $8 billion in value during her impressive 29-year career. Last year, she was named president and COO of the Cuningham Group, where she guides the firm’s strategic vision. She hit the ground running, leading a repositioning of the firm’s brand to improve performance and develop new forward-thinking strategies. When she isn’t pushing design concepts forward, she is mentoring the next generation and helping to cultivate young careers.
BLIMA EHRENTREU As the founder and CEO of The Designers Group, Blima Ehrentreu is an accomplished interior designer that has led more than 100 projects in the last three years and has expanded into the Florida market. But, her work surpasses simply design buildings. She is invested in the community and in supporting women in the construction industry. Last year, she launched TDG Gives Back, an initiative to offer complimentary design services to non-profits and charities. The program has already awarded interior design services to three non-profit groups. She serves as a Women in Construction ambassador and her business is a certified Women-owned Business Enterprise.
MITRA ESFANDIARI Mitra Esfandiari is a true trailblazer. As a senior principal at RDC, she is the first female principal and partner at the firm. In the role, she drives the firm’s mixed-use design practice area forward, leading her team through every design phase, from conceptual design and entitlement to construction. In the last year, the platform has expanded with new significant projects that include transit design and encourage alternative modes of transportation. Esfandiari supports gender diversity and inclusion, and has launched flexible work schedules and onsite childcare for staff. As a result, three women are on track to achieve leadership positions.
PARISIMA HASSANI In 1989, PariSima Hassani founded Westgroup Designs, a small architecture firm committed to serving clients and driving value. Today, as CEO and managing principal, Hassani continues to deliver client’s visions. She has grown the firm into a team of 40 architects, planners and interior designers, with 50% women and 60% minorities on staff. The company has designed spaces totaling more than $535 million in value with an 80% return-client ratio. In the last year, Hassani has focused on growing the healthcare platform, increasing business by 40%. She is dedicated to grooming leaders, and supports professional licensure for all staff and implements flexible work schedules.
TAMALA HERD With 20 years of industry experience, Tamala Herd is a seasoned expert in design across asset classes. She started her career in hospitality and restaurant design, and has worked on all major brands, including Hyatt, Hilton and Marriott’s Autograph Collection. Today, she is the design manager at Bridge Commercial Real Estate, where she focuses on creating contemporary workspaces and oversees the creation of design guidelines and finish standards for office assets. It’s a role that keeps her moving. In the last year, she has completed 27 design projects, including Royal Club at Royal Centre office park in Alpharetta, GA.
JULIA LINDH As executive managing director at MKDA Stamford, Julia Lindh is a recognized leader in the Northeast market. With 40 years of design experience and architecture licenses in three states—Connecticut, New York and Alabama, Lindh—has an impressive portfolio of projects, including the repositioning of buildings like 700 and 850 Canal St. for ClearRock and 2187 Atlantic St. for Black Diamond. She oversees every interior and architectural project in her office, and manages the day-to-day operations. Lindh is a member of NAIOP, and she is a top fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Assoc.
ALEX LOPATYNSKY Alex Lopatynsky is laser focused on growth, both for herself and her firm. As the principal and managing director of the New York office at Cooper Carry, she has doubled the size of the office in the last two years, overseeing a team of 15 that focuses on multiple building types and design sectors. In her 30-year career, she has built an impressive portfolio, including repositioning Port Chester Town Center in Port Chester, New York, and the Bergen Town Center in Paramus, New Jersey. She is a member of numerous industry organizations, including CREW, AIA, NCARB and is working toward becoming a WELL Accredited Professional.
KAVITHA MARUDADU With 20 years of experience and a standout portfolio, Kavitha Marudadu’s work catches attention. In the last two years as associate principal at DMAC Architecture, she has been called on to manage the design of the 575,000-square-foot, $80 million expansion of Midtown Athletic Club and Hotel in Chicago along with six other Midtown expansion projects, and she has started working with high-profile clients including Hilton Hotels & Resorts and a major airline. Under her leadership in the past two years, the firm has designed more than 1 million square feet and grown from a team of 12 to 18.
ANDREA SCHAUB Andrea Schaub is known for her exceptional work in the hospitality field. In her 27-year career, Schaub has worked on landmark projects in the Washington D.C. metro, like the Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C. and the dual-branded Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn hotels at Columbia Place. In 2015, she became a principal at Cooper Carry, and has played an essential role in growing the firm’s new business prospects by 35% and recruitment by 40%. She is also spearheading efforts to create an equitable and inclusive work environment, serving as a principal member of the firm’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council.
ANITA SUMMERS In her 30-year career, Anita Summers has worked on more than 500 restaurant design projects. Her noteworthy portfolio includes Rathbun’s and Krog Bar in Atlanta, Legal Sea Foods in Boston and Fearing’s at The Ritz-Carlton in Dallas. As a principal at The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry, Summers focuses on pre-design, planning and project management, managing the many moving parts of a restaurant that others don’t see. In the last year alone, she has worked on a half dozen restaurant projects, and she was featured in Architect Magazine. Summers is a member of AIA and a fervent supporter of diversity in the architecture field.
KIA WEATHERSPOON In 2012, Kia Weatherspoon started Determined By Design to democratize quality design and create an accessible standard for everyone. Today, the company has become a staple in the Mid-Atlantic region for affordable and supportive housing, designing more than 2,000 units, managing $1 million in procurement and has supported the development of more than 120,000 square feet of affordable housing and retail in underserved communities. Today, Weatherspoon is currently managing more than 20 projects through the firm and is providing Design Equity training to teach other companies how to create equitable design practices. Weatherspoon is a U.S. Air Force Veteran and an active member of ASID.
BROKER/INTERMEDIARY—Debt and Equity Finance
VALERIE ACHTEMEIER During her 35-year career, Valerie Achtemeier has become a preeminent leader in finance and capital sources. She has secured more than $32 billion in commercial real estate loans and joint equity transactions, and has strong relationships with every corner of the capital stack, from life companies to debt funds to investment banks. She currently is an EVP at CBRE, where she serves an institutional client base and places capital for industrial, office and retail deals. In her role, she has participated in some of the largest transactions, including the sale of Oregon’s largest single-phase spec industrial site for $93 million in December.
SHARON KARAFFA Sharon Karaffa’s success is self-evident. Under her leadership as vice chairman and co-head of production, Newmark Knight Frank has had triple-digit growth in sales to debt conversion rates, with a 40% increase in conversion rate growth and a 20% increase in debt production growth in a single year. As such, she has set the strategic direction of the firm’s multifamily capital markets group. She leads a team of 50, which generates $15 billion in multifamily debt annually, and she continues to recruit top talent in key markets. She is an active member of MBA, NMHC and the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
ADRIENNE KAUTZMAN Adrienne Kautzman focuses on relationships over transactions—a strategy that naturally drives strong transaction volumes. A 17-year veteran and a director at Berkadia, Kautzman specializes in providing financial solutions to owners and investors in the hotel industry. In her career, she has secured more than $600 million in transactions for more than 40 hotel properties, and has underwritten more than $2 billion. In the last year, she has secured $140 million in financing for four ground-up hotel developments. She hopes her impressive record is an example to other young women in the industry.
ANITA PARYANI-RICE Regularly ranked among the top capital markets professionals in the industry, it isn’t hard to see why Anita Paryani-Rice is an influencer. In her 27-year career, she has placed $4 billion in debt and equity transactions across all property types, including multifamily, hospitality, retail and office across the country. An SVP at Marcus & Millichap Capital Corp., Paryani-Rice closed $400 million in debt and equity deals alone in the last year, earning her the title of the top female financing professional at the firm. Loan originators regularly seek her help to close larger, structured deals to provide clients with the best execution.
GILDA RIVERA As an SVP at George Smith Partners, Gilda Rivera is responsible for the origination for all income-producing properties throughout the nation. During her 16-year career, she has secured more than $2 billion in financing and is one of the top-producing female originators at the firm. She also tackles challenged deals. Last year, she secured financing for a distressed retail asset in Downtown Los Angeles that other lenders were not willing to finance. She was able to secure funding through an out-of-state lender. Rivera holds herself to high ethical standards and regularly focuses on underserved markets, Asian and minority communities and small real estate brokerage firms.
SUSAN TJARKSEN A managing director at Cushman & Wakefield, Susan Tjarksen is a trailblazer in the multifamily space. In her 35-year career, Tjarksen has led more than 200 transactions and has planned, built, designed and financed apartment and mixed-use projects with more than $3.5 billion in total revenue. Now, she is focusing on the co-living market, leading a global effort to secure $1 billion in programmatic debt and equity for New York City-based Six Peak Capital and leading marketing efforts for a number of co-living assets. Tjarksen is also the co-founder of Enodo, an AI-assisted multifamily underwriting and valuation platform that leverages data to support investment decisions.
BROKER – INVESTMENT SALES
ADRIENNE BARR Adrienne Barr has become know for breaking pricing records in multifamily. In the last 12 months, she sold a 10-unit apartment property in Santa Monica for a record price-per-square-foot and a 28-unit building at a record cap rate. Barr is currently a managing director at Berkadia, and in her 19-year career, she has completed more than $1.9 billion in multifamily investment sales in the Los Angeles market. Last year, she closed $175 million in transactions. When she isn’t breaking records, Barr is an active member of CCIM, State Bar of California, and “The Army,” a network of female commercial brokers in Los Angeles.
GAIL BOWDEN For 20 years, Gail Bowden has been advising medical office clients in the Southeast market to make informed investment decisions. For the duration of her two-decade career, she has worked with SVN Commercial Advisory Group as a senior investment advisor. Last year, Bowden was ranked the number two broker in the company. Bowden is also committed to mentorship and diversity. She leads several women’s groups to usher women into the CRE industry and she works with new entrants into the company to ensure the firm’s future success.
CINDY COOKE In her nearly four-decade career, Cindy Cooke has worked on every variation of multifamily deals, from large portfolio transactions to affordable housing and new market rate development in Arizona. As a senior SVP of Colliers International, Cooke leads a team of 15. Last year alone, she closed 40 properties, a total of 9,384 units and nearly $1 billion in value. She was the top multifamily broker in the company, and earned Colliers International’s Everest Award, given to brokers in the top 10%. She is an active mentor, helping to guide the careers of young professionals and promote self-growth.
MARY CUMMINS Mary Cummins has been a dominant force in the Southern California real estate market for 36 years. As president of Cummins Real Estate, she represents investment clients in all asset classes and raw land sales, focusing on the Latino community. In addition to investment brokerage, Cummins is a real estate appraiser and is regularly called as an expert legal witness. In her career, she has served as a witness in Ambassador Hotel litigation involving Donald Trump. As an industry influencer, she has served as a thought leader, discussing widespread community issues like the rising development costs and red tape and the housing crisis in Los Angeles.
MIRELA DULU As managing broker at Cagan’s Realty, Mirela Dulu advises individual and institutional clients on multifamily investment deals. In her 25-year career, Dulu has led sale and lease transactions across all property sizes, from four units to 1,000 units. Along with her partner, Heather Gallagher, Dulu closed the 154-building, 924-unit Heritage Village Pointe acquisition in December of last year, paving the way for the largest condominium deconversion program—by total number of units—in Illinois, and one of the largest in the US. The $94 million transaction took 11 months and is an example of the complex transactions for which Dulu and her team is known.
CHRISTINE M. ESPENSHADE Christine M. Espenshade’s 24-year career has touched every segment of the commercial real estate industry. She worked in asset management, underwriting, property management and accounting before finding investment brokerage in 2009—and she hasn’t looked back. As a vice chairman at Newmark Knight Frank, her team closes $1 billion in real estate deals annually in the multifamily sector, representing large institutional owners, real estate investment trusts, investment funds and local families. In her professional brokerage career, she has managed more than $8 billion in assets. Espenshade is an active member of CREW Urban Land Institute’s Multifamily council and the National Multifamily Housing Council.
KARLY IACONO As the VP of investments at Marcus & Millichap, Karly Iacono is among the firm’s top producers. For several years, she has been ranked in the top 2% of brokers in North America, frequently taking on complex transactions on behalf of national net lease investors. This includes deals with zero cash flow debt structure and buyers with CMBS debt defeasance requirements. Iacono launched CRE Fast Five, an educational video series for investors and industry professionals, just one example of her commitment to supporting career growth as well as diversity. She is an active participant in the firm’s diversity initiatives and a member of CREW.
LYNN LACHAPELLE Lynn LaChapelle is part of an elite group to forge the path for women in the CRE industry. In the last 35 years, she has worked on some of the most noteworthy institutional deals in the San Diego market, racking up total investment advisory and lease transactions of $10 billion in value. In the last year, she has closed office, life science and mixed-use deals totaling $225 million. LaChapelle is passing on her knowledge to the next generation. As a managing director at JLL, she organized the firm’s first women’s leadership conference and serves on San Diego Women’s Business Network board at JLL.
JODI V. MEADE An expert in the automotive property sales niche, Jodi V. Meade has played an integral role in defining the asset subclass during her 35-year career. She launched the automotive properties group at CBRE, and six years ago brought her team to Avison Young, where she is a principal and director. In her career, she has led more than $1 billion in transactions on behalf of an impressive client list that includes GM, Ford Motor Co. and Premier Automotive Group. Meade is equally as dedicated to supporting other women in the industry. She is the founding member and co-chair of the AY Women’s Networking Group, and has worked to expand the program nationwide.
DARCY MIRAMONTES Darcy Miramontes started her career with a bang, and hasn’t slowed down since. In her first year on the job, she earned a rookie of the year award, and now, as a managing director at JLL, she is a top producer with a long list of well-deserved accolades. Miramontes represents both private and institutional clients in large-scale multifamily deals, like the $87 million 264-unit apartment deal in Oceanside that she closed in December. She is a trailblazer not only in investment sales but in women’s advancement in CRE, and is active in ULI Women’s Leadership Initiative Committee, JLL Women’s Network, CREW San Diego and the JLL Latino Employee Resource Network.
JILL MOZER Jill Mozer has spent two-and-a-half decades building her deep knowledge of the commercial real estate market. As managing director and national sales director at Black Creek Group, Mozer has leveraged her skillset to build the firm’s 1031 exchange program, understanding tax advantages that meet the firm’s investment needs. Mozer has executed $1 billion in real estate transactions through the exchange platform, and $200 million in 2019 alone. Mozer is also actively involved in the women’s network at Black Creek and works with University of Denver and University of Colorado to mentor students and recruit new talent.
JANET D. NEMAN An EVP at Kidder Mathews with more than 30 years of experience, Janet D. Neman closed more than $1.6 billion in real estate transactions in her career. She is regularly one of the company’s top producers and has been named Broker of the Year on more than one occasion. In the last 12 months, she has closed $100 million in deals and has another $200 million currently in escrow. Neman is as dedicated to community support as she is to closing deals. She is a member of a number of organizations, including the International Society for Children with Cancer, City of Hope and the Jewish Federation.
ERIN PATTON Erin Patton doesn’t just have an impressive investment sales volume; she has the best investment sales volume. As senior managing director of investments at Institutional Property Advisors, a division of Marcus & Millichap, Patton leads the top institutional and multi-tenant retail sales team in the country for the firm. In the last 12 months, she closed an impressive 60 deals totaling $335 million. She also leads the firm’s institutional initiative in the Midwest and created the retail division of IPA in the Midwest. Still, she finds time to play an active role in CREW and ICSC.
BRITT RAYMOND Britt Raymond has made a big impact in her little more than a decade-long career. She has already hit $500 million in total transaction volume, and in 2019, she celebrated her bet year yet with $150 million in total sales volume. As a VP in the national net lease group at SRS Real Estate Partners, Raymond specializes in anchored shopping center transactions, with a roster of clients that includes institutions, merchant developers, private investors and retailers in New York City. A true leader, Raymond is dedicated to helping women succeed in the industry, and is an active member of Girl Gang New York.
JULIA SILVA Since 1992, Julia Silva has been a leading investment broker in the Florida market. In her 30-year career, she has been involved in 1 million square feet of industrial development and 750,000 square feet of office development. Silva joined JLL as managing director in February 2020, but prior, she led the largest industrial capital markets team in Central Florida, responsible for 100 transactions totaling 4 million square feet and $170 million in 2019 alone. In between transactions, she also launched Women in the Biz last year. The group is dedicated to advancing women in the industry and sharing success stories.
BROKER – LANDLORD AGENCY REP
MEREDITH BALL As a partner and SVP of office agency leasing at Foundry Commercial, Meredith Ball leads institutional agency leasing for the Southeast market. Her client roster includes Cousins Properties, New York Life and Portman Holdings. In the last year, she closed her largest transaction to date, a 560,000-square-foot lease for Cousins Properties in the Charlotte Business District, a deal that earned her the title of top office broker by the Charlotte Region Commercial Board of Realtors. When she isn’t closing deals, Ball is mentoring junior team members and playing an active role in the CRE community, with organizations like CRCBR.
RACHEL COULTER Known for her ambition and leadership, Rachel Coulter is helping to pave the way for other professionals in the agency leasing business. As a managing director at JLL and co-leader of the JLL Austin agency leasing team, Coulter oversees a large team of brokers, analysts, research professionals and marketing support and is regularly ranked as a top-producing broker at the firm. When she isn’t closing deals, she is dedicated to mentoring and recruiting top talent. Recently, one of her mentees won a 600,000-square-foot lease for a client. She currently sits on the board of the Real Estate Council of Austin.
DEB L. COWART A broker associate at Coldwell Banker Commercial Arnold and Associates with nearly 30 years of industry experience, Deb L. Cowart is known for handling complex and detailed transactions. She is one of the top performing brokers at the firm and has collected an impressive roster of clients that includes both local and national players. In the last year, Cowart has closed office, industrial and retail lease deals and completed apartment and land site dispositions. This year, she plans to increase her sales volumes yet again. As a lead broker, Cowart also works closely with her staff to foster new talent and support growth.
SUSAN GREGORY Based in the highly competitive Silicon Valley market, Susan Gregory is a leader in office leasing and advisory. Throughout her 22-year career, she has averaged 100 transactions per year, handling everything from site selection and negotiation to financial analysis. She is highly specialized in new office development, where she guides projects from pre-leasing to 100% lease-up. Gregory is currently an EVP at Colliers International, where she has been a Office Broker of the Year finalist and inducted into the company’s hall of fame. She is a member of SIOR and ULI.
HOLLY HUGHES Holly Hughes has built a reputation as a trusted leader to oversee client investments and drive value. After only four years of joining Colliers International, she was named president and COO of its Atlanta market. With vast experience in leading real estate portfolios and transacting deals on behalf of institutional clients, Hughes is widely-known for her expertise in landlord representation. She continually seeks to meet clients’ needs by supporting corporate services locations, developing tailored solutions for clients, focusing on future goals and leveraging Colliers’ business lines. In her current role, she is responsible for all day-to-day operations and growing existing business. While achieving outstanding customer satisfaction ratings, she serves as an active member of CREW, BOMA and IREM.
LESLIE LANNE Since joining JLL in 2017 as a managing director of institutional landlord and tenant representation services, Leslie Lanne has established the JLL New York City Industrial business from the ground up, combining the New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania practice groups to better serve clients’ needs. She has handled more than 8 million square feet of new projects in New York and New Jersey. Her impressive career has spanned nearly two decades and she has closed more than 100 million square feet in lease transactions. Lanne has received the Top Gun Award from JLL and serves on the firm’s national industrial council.
MINDY LISSNER Mindy Lissner is an seasoned expert in guiding industrial investment transactions. For nearly her entire career, she has covered the northeast market at CBRE and has built an impressive tenant roster that includes General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., US Gypsum and Duke Realty. Last year, Lissner closed 175 transactions, 57 multi-market transactions, 129 lease transactions and 46 sale transactions, all totaling $1.8 billion in value. Through her nearly three-decade career, she has completed $6 billion in transaction volume, earning her a spot as a top producer in New Jersey. She is an active member of CREW and NAIOP.
ALEXIS L. MICHAEL As managing director at Hines, Alexis Michael delivers creative amenities, secures prestigious tenants, manages third-party teams, repositions assets, negotiates transactions, and creates tremendous RIO and portfolio prominence. Directly driving leasing, she recently assisted in allocating and deploying $200 million in capital for portfolio improvements, while increasing the firm’s portfolio occupancy to 99%. Throughout her 13-year career with Hines, Michael has generated value within many high-profile assets. She is currently leasing the six-million-square-foot, 12 property, Hudson Square portfolio. Within this project, she led and executed one of 2019’s largest leasing deals in lower Manhattan, with a record 960,000-square-foot, single-tenant lease. In addition, she serves as a founding member of the firm’s women’s network.
JOANNE PODELL Joanne Podell is among the most sought-after tenant and landlord retail leasing brokers in New York City. Throughout her 27-year career, she has brokered some of the most noteworthy deals in the market, including signing Nike to 650 Fifth Avenue, and has a roster of top clients, including Empire State Realty Trust, Ann Taylor, TD Bank and Dean & DeLuca. She is an executive chairman at Cushman & Wakefield, and is regularly a top 10 producer at the firm. While her accolades are too numerous to list in full, they include launching Cushman & Wakefield’s Women’s Integrated Network, which has grown to 1,200 members.
CYNTHIA WASSERBERGER Currently the vice chairman of JLL, Cynthia Wasserberger has been a pillar in the New York City office leasing market for more than 24 years. During her noteworthy career, she has closed more than 100 lease transactions totaling 10 million square feet in New York City for notable owners like RXR Realty, SL Green Realty and Boston Properties. Her deep and impressive client list also includes Merrill Lynch-Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and State Street Bank. At JLL, Wasserberger leads new business development and execution and she oversees JLL’s Hedge Fund Report, which analyzes alternative investment activity in New York City.
MICHELLE WOGAN As an EVP at Transwestern, Michelle Wogan has consistently landed on top. For the last 16 years, since joining the firm, she has been ranked a top producer and has been recognized as one of the top 15 commercial real estate women in Houston. An office leasing broker in the Southwest market, Wogan leads a three-member team and represents more than 20 office buildings totaling more than 4.5 million square feet. In the last year, she has closed 675,000 square feet in lease deals valued at more than $74 million. Outside of the office, she is an active member of HOLBA, CREW and Woodlands Chamber of Commerce.
BROKER – TENANT REP
ALLISON BITTEL In her 19-year career, Allison Bittel has closed more than 6 million square feet in transactions, both large and small in the Southeast region, and has built an impressive roster of clients, including AT&T, Ericsson, Freddie Mac, Graphic Packaging and Lincoln National Life Insurance Co. Formerly of Cushman & Wakefield, Bittel joined Colliers International last year as SVP in the firm’s Atlanta occupier services group and has launched The Women’s Collective at the firm, an organization that connects female executives in the Atlanta area. The collective has garnered attention, and Bittel has spoken on Good Day Atlanta and CNN to promote the group.
DIANA BOUTROSS For more than two decades, Diana Boutross has represented some of the most well known private equity and institutional investors clients in the New York City metro. Currently an executive managing director of retail services at Cushman & Wakefield, Boutross is credited with bringing Outback Steakhouse and World of Beer back to New York City, leasing the first Whole Foods in Williamsburg and guiding Starbucks Coffee Co. through an expansion into the outer burrows. With more than 25 years of experience, she has represented landlords, a list that includes The Related Cos. and Durst Organization, and has been named Cushman & Wakefield’s top retail broker for deal volume.
CHRISTINA CLARK As managing principal at Cresa, Christina Clark works with rapidly growing technology companies and manages more than 6 million square feet in global real estate portfolios. Her client list includes Twitter, Palo Alto Networks and New Relic, and she is regularly named one of the firm’s top producers year-over-year. Last year alone, she closed more than $200 million in lease transaction value and negotiated leases early to secure more favorable terms for her clients. She is actively involved in the industry through CoreNet Global’s Northern California Chapter, Global Young Leaders Board and the Board of Commercial Real Estate Women.
LISA DAVIDSON Since joining Savills in 1997, Lisa Davidson has accomplished some lofty goals. She is regularly in the top 10% of producers at the firm and is an expert in managing real estate needs for clients and reducing real estate costs for corporate users. In her 25-year career, she has executed more than 25 million square feet of transactions, and today serves as the vice chairman and chief diversity officer at Savills. Last year alone, she closed 22 leases totaling more than 876,000 square feet. In addition to representing occupier clients, Davidson launched Building Inclusivity and Diversity to advance women and minorities in the CRE industry.
CATHY A. DELCOCO Cathy A. Delcoco has carved out a unique niche, representing large-scale, national portfolios for major corporations, defense contractors and technology companies. Delcoco joined CBRE 20 years ago, and has grown her team from two to 11, producing $25 million annually in revenue and earning her the prestigious title of vice chairman. Last year, Delcoco completed transactions totaling 3.9 million square feet and more than $672.3 million in value, generating a total revenue of $24.7 million for CBRE. She is a member of Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Assoc. and is regularly recognized as a top producer at her firm.
LISPAH HOGAN With 30 years of experience as a tenant advocacy specialist, Lispah Hogan has worked with some of the most well known occupier clients in the country. In her career, she has closed more than 23 million square feet of lease transactions with a 350,000-square-foot lease for Southwestern Energy and a 195,000 square feet for ConocoPhillips among her most notable deals. Currently an executive managing director at Newmark Knight Frank, Hogan has completed more than 30 transactions totaling close to $400 million in value in the last year. She is currently the secretary and treasurer of the Houston Office Leasing Brokers Assoc.
MEREDITH LAPIER Meredith LaPier has led an standout career in commercial real estate. She started at a national REIT, where she managed portfolio leasing for the Washington DC region. Then, nearly starting over, LaPier transitioned into the brokerage business, and found success yet again. Now, she has clocked more than 20 years at CBRE, building her business into a team of 11 with a total revenue stream of $25 million annually. With her partner Cathy Delcoco, her team is the only female-led tenant brokerage team at CBRE, where she has the title of vice chairman and is regularly one of the firm’s top producers.
ELINORE CARRINGTON “CARRI” LYON Elinore Carrington Lyon is one of the leading nonprofit brokers in the New York Metro area. With more than 30 years of experience, she has built a client list that includes New York Cares, Human Rights First and the National LGBTQ Task Force, and she currently serves as the co-chair of the national not-for-profit advisory group at Cushman & Wakefield. In the last year, she has coordinated a 30-year lease acquisition for New York Legal Assistance Group at 7 Hanover Square and a 15-year lease acquisition for The Wallace Foundation at 140 Broadway. She is an active member of WX/Women Executives in Real Estate and the Real Estate Board of New York.
KENISHA ROBNETT In her 15-year career, Kenisha Robnett has intentionally represented clients both large and small, believing that first-time investors and mom-and-pop shops need quality representation. As an EVP at RE/MAX Commercial/Platinum Access, she represents tenants as well as clients with acquisitions and dispositions. In the last year, she has also become a member of the teaching staff at CCIM Institute, making her one of the first black female instructors in the organization’s history. Earlier this year, she was also named as the Georgia CCIM Chapter secretary and treasurer. In addition to CCIM, Robnett is an active member of Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors and Georgia Association of Business Brokers.
JODI SELVEY Specializing in office tenant representation, Jodi Selvey is a pillar in the Southeast brokerage market. With more than 30 years of experience, she has a client roster that includes Insight Global, Verifone, Lyft and Spanx, and she works closely with clients to secure headquarters locations, advise on site selections and execute building sales. She is an EVP and principal at Colliers International, where she has been one of the top producers for five years in a row. This year, she is the treasurer and 2021 president elect for the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors.
KRISTI S. SIMMONS In 2013, Kristi S. Simmons was named principal at AQUILA Commercial, becoming the first female partner in the company’s history. The honor was well earned. Simmons is a leader in office tenant brokerage in the Austin market, and has been a top producer at the firm every year since she joined. She also co-leads the tenant representation team in an effort to establish best practices and drive growth. In addition to her leadership at the firm, Simmons maintains an active representation business, closing 19 lease transactions last year totaling 130,000 square feet. Simmons is an active member of CREW and a mentor for the UCREW committee.
Corporate Real Estate Executive
NINA ALBERT As the VP of real estate and parking at the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority, Nina Albert oversees millions of square feet in real estate and plays an integral role in shaping communities in Washington, DC. Partnering with state and local governments, Albert works to bring mixed-use assets near metro stations and spur economic development and enhance value to the community and riders. In addition to mixed-use development, she is currently overseeing 1 million square feet of office construction for WMATA that will serve as headquarter buildings. Albert has a degree in mechanical engineering from Tufts University and an MBA and MRP from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
KERRIE BARTEL-CHRISTENSEN Kerrie Bartel-Christensen marries strong leadership in corporate real estate with a background in finance to drive value at Providence St. Joseph Health. As the executive director of regional real estate and operations, Bartel-Christensen oversees the Oregon region, a portfolio that includes eight acute care facilities and more than 192 non-acute facilities, totaling 8.4 million square feet, and a construction pipeline of $70 million. In addition to overseeing the Oregon region, she is also involved in the company’s system-wide initiatives, which includes meeting with leadership to determine how the system can serve patients in and out of the hospital.
SARAH-LYNN CINQUEGRANI In her storied 16-year career, Sarah-Lynn Cinquegrani has worked in every facet of the industry, starting as a tenant services coordinator. Today, she is the SVP of global real estate services at Bank of America, where she oversees more than 950 locations totaling nearly 8 million square feet in 16 central US states. The job involves leading a team of 15,000 employees and closing an average of 245 lease transactions annually. Last year, Cinquegrani oversaw a $250 million investment in the firm’s Chicago colocation strategy to invest in flexible workspaces. Outside of the office, she is an active member of industry organizations, including HOLA and CoreNet.
MEGAN CREECY-HERMAN Megan Creecy-Herman is a trailblazer in industrial investment. As the VP and investment officer at Prologis for the Southwest region, she works on some of the most noteworthy deals in the nation. In her 18-year career, she has completed $1 billion in industrial transactions. At Prologis, she oversees investments and the firm’s combined 15 million-square-foot portfolio in Phoenix and Denver. This summer, Creecy-Herman will officially step into the role of head of operations for the west region. She belongs to several industry organizations, and served as the first female chairman of the NAIOP Arizona board of directors.
CLARE DE BRIERE As a 25-year industry veteran, Clare De Briere has been involved in some of the most innovative real estate development projects in Los Angeles, including The Ratkovich Co.’s the Bloc in Downtown Los Angeles and The Hercules Campus in Playa Vista. Today, she is EVP at Skanska Commercial Development, where she continues to drive innovation. Last year, she launched the firm’s first commercial development division with a fully entitled project at 9000 Wilshire in Beverly Hills. Plans for the development include a 40,000-square-foot office building with an 11,000-square-foot rooftop deck and lounge, which will be designed to meet LEED Platinum standards.
LINDSAY FIERRO Lindsay Fierro started her career with a bang. After completing her MBA at age 23, she joined NAI Global in an administrative role, but was quickly promoted to marketing director. Today, she is SVP of operations for the firm, where she manages all aspects of the company and is second in command, reporting directly to the president and CEO. Since she took on the role, the company has added 90 members with offices in more than 100 locations throughout the US. She maintains a high personal commitment to ethical standards and services, and manages a 23-step onboarding program for new members to quickly integrate them into the NAI brand.
KIMBERLY GIFT Kimberly Gift began her career as an engineer, but quickly shifted into real estate investment management and earned a Masters in sustainable real estate development from New York University. Today, she serves as COO at Dwight Capital, specializing in capital sourcing for multifamily assets, and as the director of construction management for Dwight City Group. In her dual role, she oversees HR, quality control, diligence and IT as well as leads development projects on the East Coast. Outside of the office, she is an active member of Urban Land Institute, OSHA and LEED Green Assoc.
MELISSA GLIATTA Through her 17-year career, Melissa Gliatta has built a portfolio spanning three continents and a reputation as a dedicated leader. She is the COO at Thor Equities, where she oversees asset management, leasing, development and property management departments. Last year, Gliatta launched a life science platform, Thor Sciences—buying two properties totaling more than 1 million square feet and $250 million in value—and a logistics platform, ThorLogis—acquiring a 2.2 million-square-foot, seven-property portfolio for $312 million. She is also paving the way for women in the industry and at the firm, hiring women to serve as Thor’s CFO and EVP and head of asset management.
JENNIFER ROTH Jennifer Roth oversees an extensive portfolio as Bimbo Bakeries’ senior director of real estate. The portfolio totals 1,200 facilities and 20 million square feet, and includes office, industrial, retail and manufacturing facilities that require portfolio management and strategic planning to ensure efficient delivery of the product. To create that efficiency, Roth has implemented analytic technology, project management solutions and automated rent payments, which collect $6 million monthly. She is active in the industry, participating in BBU’s Women’s Leadership Circles, SIOR and she is the current vice chair of the executive board for IAMC.
ROBIN M. ZEIGLER As EVP and COO of Cedar Realty Trust, Robin M. Zeigler plays a integral role in the company’s operations. She oversees operations, management and redevelopment of the company’s grocery-anchored shopping centers and mixed-use redevelopment properties, and always takes a personal approach in community outreach to ensure projects are aligned with the needs of the community. In the past year, these projects include South Quarter Crossing, a 1-million-square-foot redevelopment of two successful shopping centers in Philadelphia’s South Philly neighborhood. The project is rife with opportunity in market-rate residential rental housing and retail anchor, junior-anchor and pad offerings.
JENNIFER CAREY Jennifer Carey founded JLC Environmental Consultants in 1987, and has grown the company into a staple in the environmental consulting industry. Under her leadership as founder and CEO, the company has completed more than 50,000 projects, including Willets Point Redevelopment Project at Citifield and the renovation of the luxury flagship St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan. Carey is dedicated to helping large and small clients and driving the revitalizations of the existing building stock. She is an active member of CREW, Women Builders Council, Professional Women in Construction and the Long Island Real Estate Group.
CHRISTINE CHIPURNOI As SVP of USI Insurance Services, Christine Chipurnoi leads one of the largest national practices of risk management and insurance solutions. In her role, she handles all aspects of corporate risk insurance, which includes everything from workers compensation and builders risk to executive risk coverage. Chipurnoi is a top producer at the firm and one of Insurance Business America Elite Women 2020. Outside of the office, Chipurnoi is an active participant in CREW Network, serving on the board, and is an advisor for the Insurance Brokers Association of New York, where she was the organization’s first female president in 2015.
DIANNE CROCKER Dianne Crocker has built a reputation as an expert on growth opportunities for consultants, risk management practices and commercial real estate market trends. With more than 20 years of experience, she currently serves as principal analyst at Lightbox, leading a team that analyzes property risk management trends and works closely with environmental, engineering and A/E consulting firms to perform Phase I Environmental Site Assessment. Crocker, however, is best known for creating the environmental ScoreKeeper, a market model that tracks commercial real estate property due diligence trends.
KELLY DOUGHERTY In her 15-year career, Kelly Dougherty has become one of the nation’s foremost authorities on building energy and sustainability. As a VP at FirstService Energy, Dougherty has reduced the carbon footprint of the firm’s managed portfolio by 15%, saving clients costs while also complying with new environmental policies implemented by New York. Dougherty has provided guidance for more than 400 buildings during her career, influencing 200-plus energy projects resulting in 9 million kWh saved annually. To provide the best solutions for clients, she works closely with leaders and government agencies to stay informed on the latest regulations, incentive programs and technologies impacting the market.
DAMLA GERHART As senior managing director at CBRE, Damla Gerhart leads CBRE’s workplace and design practice in the Americas. In the role, she oversees a team of 90 professionals across practice areas to align workplace strategy and business objectives. Gerhart has built a reputation as an authority on workplace research tools, the implementation of workplace solutions and change management processes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, workplace strategy has become essential as companies transition employees to productively work from home and ultimately return to work. During her career, Gerhart has worked at Kimberly-Clark Corp., Ernst & Young and at JLL.
ANN ALEE HAMBLY In her 35-year career, Ann Alee Hambly has played a role in shaping the CMBS market, from working as a servicer to launching the first borrower advocacy space in the market, 1st Service Solutions. Hambly founded the company in 2005, leveraging her vast experience and understanding of the CMBS market. As a leader in the industry, Hambly is regularly featured as a keynote speaker at conferences across the country and she released CMBS 911, a book outlining the nuances of CMBS financing. She has earned a several accolades and has published several informational articles in industry publications.
REBECCA KARP In only five short years, Rebecca Karp has grown her development and real estate advisory start-up Karp Strategies into a leading firm with a team of 15 professionals. The firm works on the revitalization of public housing, public transit models and equitable economic development gained through community-driven planning in the greater New York City Metro area. These projects have included overseeing transformation of the post-Amazon Long Island City waterfront and the realization of the cross-borough Brooklyn-Queens Connector transit line. Karp, who has a 15-year career, serves both as an urban planning strategist and oversees operations to achieve the firm’s goals.
LISA KNEE A tax partner at EisnerAmper, Lisa Knee advises real estate and private equity clients. She serves as the co-leader of the firm’s real estate services group and national leader of the real estate private equity practice. This year, Knee has co-edited the second edition of the firm’s Qualified Opportunity Funds book for real estate investors, spearheaded a special study in collaboration with Preqin on real estate private equity market trends and analysis and was an editor of Real Estate Private Equity Insights. Still, she found time to organize an internal mentoring and training program to increase employee engagement.
KATHRYN PEACOCK As a principal and environmental and engineering consultant at Partner Engineering and Science Inc., Kathryn Peacock quantifies risks for CRE professionals so that they can make informed investment decisions. In her 21-year career, Peacock has consulted on thousands of transactions and development projects and helps professionals understand best practices. To that effect, she has authored articles and studies quantifying risks and how they impact deals. Currently, those risks include the safety requirements related to COVID-19. Peacock is actively involved in CREW, MBA, BOMA, a member of the content and education committee at Environmental Bankers Association and a board member of her local Phoenix chapter of Risk Management Association.
LINDA WHITE As SVP of technology and occupier services and head of technology solutions at Colliers International, Linda White curates innovative IT solutions, develops portals and creates efficient communications between platforms to open the gateway for Colliers’ technology. With 15 years of experience, White’s client roster includes SAP, Nokia, ServiceNow and Nestlé, advising them on infrastructure and web services and communication tools. However, her chief duty is to optimize Colliers360, the firm’s business intelligence system, which she has evolved from a baseline through two updates. The updates resulted in awarded business from several Fortune 500 companies. White also supports career growth of young professionals as a mentor in the Colliers Woman’s Program.
PAY WU For more than 25 years, Pay Wu has represented corporate decision makers and is known for guiding strategy, operations and workplace initiatives for large corporations. As the executive managing director at Cushman & Wakefield, Wu leads a team of 2,500, focusing on building client relationships, both old and new, and in driving the firm’s financial performance. Last year, she was promoted to Tri-State regional lead of global occupier services, and she has expanded to advise clients on smart buildings, robotics processing, labor strategies and market deployment. Outside of the office, Wu serves as senior advisor for CoreNet’s New York City chapter.
CRE Legal Counsel
LORYN ARKOW In Loryn Arkow’s two-decade career, she has worked on some of the most high-profile deals in the Los Angeles market. These deals include the $525 million sale of La Jolla Commons and the iconic sale of CBS Television City to Hackman Capital Partners. Her clients include TruAmerica Multifamily, Clear Capital, JPMorgan and CBS. A partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, Arkow has recently focused on expanding her Asia inbound work, particularly in Korea, advising clients like Hana Alternative Asset Management Co., Samsung SRA and KTB Asset Management Co. Arkow also co-chairs the Women’s Affinity Group of Stroock’s Los Angeles office.
JENNIFER BOJORQUEZ As a multifamily housing, finance and restructuring partner at Troutman Sanders, Jennifer Bojorquez specializes in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac multifamily loan origination and servicing, and she works with clients on troubled loan transactions. In the last two years, Bojorquez has counseled clients—including Capital One, Berkadia Commercial Mortgage, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase—in loan transactions totaling more than $2.5 billion. Her achievements have earned a number of accolades, including the Most Valuable Service Partner SPIRE award from CREW-OC and a nod from Capital One as their go-to attorney for their Newport Beach Agency Finance team.
AMY CARBINS Amy Carbins is a partner and the co-head of DLA Piper’s real estate practice in its Washington DC office. In addition to advising clients on structuring, negotiating and executing complex transactions, Carbins also leads a team of 200 attorneys. In the last year, she represented TFCO in the acquisition of approximately 800 real estate assets from the Sears bankruptcy estate; represented Stack Infrastructure in its securitization, which included an $850 million issuance of asset-backed secured notes; and represented Transform Holdco in the sale of its subsidy Innovel Solutions for $1 billion. Between deals, Carbins also spearheaded a diversity and inclusion training program at the firm.
CHRIS C. CHEN As managing director and associate general counsel at Prologis, Chris C. Chen oversees the firm’s real estate transactional and litigation practice and oversees its environmental services group. This involves managing a 19-person team spread across the globe as well as approving companywide capital deployment for new development projects, asset purchases and sales in Asia. In 2019, she completed the $4 billion acquisition of Industrial Property Trust; worked on the launch of the $1.7 billion open-ended Prologis China Core Logistics Fund; and worked with the firm’s capital deployment team on $2.9 billion of new developments.
MEG GEORGE Meg George has rapidly risen to success. She is the youngest women named managing partner at Akerman and the youngest person to be appointed to the firm’s board of directors and executive committee, all while maintaining her thriving land use practice. Her work includes representing Riverside Investment and Development in a $1 billion redevelopment of Chicago’s Union Station, and representing Fulton Street Cos. and Huizenga Capital Management in the acquisition and development of a flagship office and retail complex in the Chicago’s Fulton Market corridor. George is also LEED accredited and dedicated to building green communities, launching Chicago’s first Sustainability Task Force.
ELLEN M. GOODWIN As an advisor to banks, funds and insurance companies Ellen M. Goodwin has overseen several multi-billion dollar transactions over the course of her 30-year career. She is currently a partner in the New York office of Alston & Bird’s real estate finance and investment group and the former co-chair of the group. This year, she has served as lender counsel for the $1.2 billion financing of 5 Times Square, and she represented Wells Fargo Bank in the origination of a $414 million mortgage for a 130-property portfolio. She is an active participant in community organizations, including Street Law and Interfaith Nutrition Network.
JANE HINTON In the two years since joining Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP as a partner, Jane Hinton has made a big impact. She has played an integral role in working in the firm’s cannabis group, which is analyzing the cannabis market’s impact on real estate. In 2019 she closed more than 20 deals across the U.S. worth nearly $1.5 billion. Last year, she also represented a co-living operator in an agreement to raise $1 billion in debt and equity. Outside of the office, Hinton is a member of CRE Finance Council and the Los Angeles chapter of the Women’s Network.
KIMBERLY W. KEABLE Kimberly W. Keable is at the helm of one of the few small law firms serving the commercial real estate market. She is the president and managing attorney of Keable & Brown, PA, a two-attorney firm that handles everything from development to leases, acquisitions and title review. As a result, Keable wears many hats, overseeing the firm’s day-to-day operations, marketing strategies and campaigns and advising her clients. In the last year, she has closed $26 million in real estate transactions. Keable lends her leadership savvy to CREW Upstate, serving as chair of the board of the community outreach committee and on the executive committee as treasurer.
NANCY KENNERLY Whether representing a client in an acquisition, development deal or lease, Nancy Kennerly is known for taking a no-nonsense approach to legal representation, in turn saving time and money for her clients, a list that includes joint ventures, partnerships and limited liability companies. Kennerly is a co-managing partner at Kennerly Lamishaw & Rossi LLP with 30-plus years of experience. She is listed in Who’s Who of American Real Estate Lawyers, in The Best Lawyers in America and was elected to the American College of Real Estate Lawyers.
VALERIE H. KITAY Valerie H. Kitay regularly stands out in a room. Not only because she is frequently the only woman at the table, but because she is a diligent leader capable of handling the most complex deals. She is the general counsel for Savanna and the only female member of the firm’s senior management committee. She also serves as chief compliance officer. In the last year, Kitay worked on $1.2 billion in debt financing across the firm’s portfolio, $260 million in co-investment and on several high-profile acquisitions and dispositions. This activity earned her General Counsel of the Year at the Lexology Global Counsel Awards.
DIANE M. MCDERMOTT Diane McDermott is considered one of the leading leasing attorneys in the Massachusetts market. McDermott is the partner at Holland & Knight LLP, overseeing the firm’s leasing practice and working on some of the biggest deals in the market. This includes representing Norwich Partners in a ground lease deal for the development of a 24-story hotel in the Boston Theater District and representing Northland Investment Corp. in the $96 million refinance of a mixed-use project. McDermott is on the board of directors at Women’s Lunch Place and a member of Town of Holliston Affordable Housing Committee and Finance Council for Local Community Organization.
SANDI L. NICHOLS A partner at Allen Matkins, Sandi L. Nichols is an established environmental attorney. She has nearly 40 years of experience assisting clients with environmental due diligence and contract negotiations across all asset classes of commercial real estate. While she currently heads the environmental and natural resources group at Allen Matkins, Nichols was formerly managing shareholder of Washburn, Briscoe & McCarthy and led the firm in a merger with Stoel Rives. She has represented Clean Water Act/RCRA in a citizen suit; a major petroleum refining company in administrative proceedings before the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board; and a multifamily residential homebuilder in defending claims of violation in a city storm water ordinance.
LAUREN B. PREVOST By the age of 34, Lauren B. Prevost had made partner at Morris, Manning & Martin, but her success was only beginning. Today, with a 28-year career and 19 years at the firm, Prevost is chair of the real estate capital markets group and has represented REITs in public and private securities offerings totaling more than $25 billion and REIT joint venture transactions and mergers and acquisitions totaling $21 billion. In just the last year, Prevost led more than $10 billion in transactions, representing clients across asset classes. She is a member of NAREIT, the Institute for Portfolio Alternatives.
VERED RABIA As a partner in the real estate group at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Vered Rabia has never met a transaction she couldn’t master. In her 22-year career, she has worked on investment deals, developments, financings, restructurings, partnerships and joint ventures and compiled a client list that includes Empire State Development, Brookfield Property Partners and Qatar Investment Authority. Most recently, Rabia has worked on the $3 billion expansion of the new terminals 6 and 7 for JetBlue Airways and JFK Millennium Partners and the proposed $7.5 billion lease for the new terminal one on JFK’s south side.
ERIN ROTHFUSS For the last 15 years, Erin Rothfuss has played an integral role in growing the real estate practice at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, where she advises clients across the vast spectrum of real estate-related needs. In 2017, Rothfuss was named co-chair of the global real estate department at the firm and has served on the executive committee, hiring committee and pro bono committee. In the last year, she advised Stockbridge Capital Group on the acquisition of a $570 million 6.4 million-square-foot portfolio and advised Stockbridge Capital Group in the acquisition of an $800 million 8.7 million-square-foot industrial portfolio.
KAREN SCANNA As one of the top real estate attorneys in New York City, Karen Scanna has worked on some of the highest profile real estate projects in the region. As a partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, Scanna specializes in public-private partnerships and has worked on Citi Field and The World Trade Center, two of the most significant projects in the city’s history. Her impressive career earned her a place on Crain’s New York Business’ list of Notable Woman in the Law last year. Always striving to shatter the glass ceiling, Scanna is a long time member of WX-New York Women Executives in Real Estate.
JANIS SCHIFF For nearly four decades, Janis Schiff has represented property owners, asset managers and investors in real estate matters across all commercial asset classes in the Washington DC market. As a partner at Holland & Knight LLP, Schiff represents both domestic and foreign clients, including BIG Shopping Centers USA and ALTO Real Estate Funds. Some of her most significant deals include the $1.5 billion Wharf development in Washington DC and a $650 million Midtown Center mixed-use project. Schiff has complied a long list of accolades during her career, and is ranked as a band 3 lawyer by Chambers and Partners.
JENNIFER A. YASHAR As a real estate partner at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, Jennifer A. Yashar specializes in negotiating large and complex lease transactions for both landlords and tenants in New York City. She regularly advises major owners in significant transactions, including advising Brookfield Properties in its leasing activities at Brookfield Place and Manhattan West and Related Companies in its more than 1.5-million-square-foot lease to Facebook. Most recently Yashar was also tasked with spearheading the firm’s coronavirus task force. As co-chair, she is a touch point to handle client needs and concerns during the crisis.
MEG EPSTEIN One of very few women to launch their own development company, Meg Epstein founded CA South in 2016. Gaining expertise early in her career through hustle and perseverance, she leveraged her skills to scale her business quickly. As founder and CEO, Epstein currently has nine projects under development, representing 750,000 square feet. In 2019, she grew the boutique firm by raising her first investment fund. As an advocate for her community, she has generated hundreds of jobs and created value in underutilized areas. Forever changing the landscape of Nashville, she leads by example as a development trailblazer and a role model for young women.
DAVIS GRIFFIN Having focused on healthcare development for more than 14 years, Davis Griffin is able to expertly identify and execute solutions to best deliver quality care to patients. As a principal at Trammell Crow Co., Griffin is responsible for each aspect of the development process across all healthcare property types. Within the past year, she led her team to complete numerous small community hospitals, valuing $175 million. While partnering with prominent health systems to implement strategic operational plans, she embraces teamwork, shares expertise, puts clients’ interests ahead of her own, acts as a resource to her colleagues and serves a champion for women in the sector.
DANIELLE HANDY With a background in city government, Danielle Handy holds extensive expertise in land use planning and project management. She carries her established relationships and successful partnerships with elected officials, government agencies and the public to her current role in private development, as a project manager for RocaPoint Partners. She effectively coordinates construction efforts through a keen understanding of the development landscape’s future. As an integral player in various developments throughout the Southeast, she continues to bring multi-million and billion-dollar projects to life.
CLAIRE JOHNSTON Throughout her tenure with Lendlease, Claire Johnston has established herself as a well-regarded executive through a variety of leadership roles. She is currently spearheading the firm’s largest Americas project as managing director of Google Ventures; the business unit responsible for a $15 billion project. Within the role, she is overseeing the development of an estimated 15 million square feet of residential, retail, hospitality and other community uses. She has led numerous complex projects and business units for the company; from supporting US military families though sustainable housing, to redeveloping underutilized neighborhoods around the globe. Creating thriving communities, she continues to ensure success for everyone involved.
HOLLY KNIGHT Throughout Holly Knight’s more than 25 year industry career, she has advocated for affordable housing. In 2015, she formed BGC Advantage to acquire, create and rehabilitate housing communities. As CEO, she partners with non-profit and housing authority entities, and has completed 65 affordable housing transactions, resulting in more than 3,800 units. She remains committed to bettering residents’ lives, while integral to each development’s financing. Through her limitless creativity, she ensures every project detail is carefully selected for maximum livability and sustainability. She closed the largest multifamily tax-exempt bond deal in Mississippi, and last year, she expanded the company’s footprint to 13 states across seven new markets.
LISA LARA Co-founding RAAM Construction in 2004, Lisa Lara has served as the driving force behind the growth of the firm. With a strong financial background and an analytical mind, she ensures success in contracting market-rate and affordable multifamily construction projects throughout California. As EVP of operations, Lara has led the firm to transact more than $81 million in projects to date. While managing a team of professionals and implementing proper technology to streamline processes, she works closely with project stakeholders to ensure needs are met. As a female and a minority in the male-dominated field, Lara additionally works to incorporate diversity throughout the company and industry.
JO-E LOPEZ Bringing 20 years of architecture and construction experience to her position, Jo-E Lopez serves as VP of Snyder Langston; overseeing strategic planning, marketing, client relations and business development activities. She is the second female to achieve partner at the firm and she is additionally one of three company leaders selected to carry out the firm’s succession planning. Supporting the firm’s growth to continually meet its annual revenue mark, she sustains sales through a continuous project flow. She elevates the status of the firm, helps build the brand and ensures the best experience for clients.
PENNY MAUS A dynamic leader in the San Diego market, Penny Maus is reshaping and reinvigorating the bayfront to ensure equitable coastal access to all. As real estate department manager for Port of San Diego, Maus is at the forefront of local efforts to strengthen the city’s waterfronts. She seeks and promotes development opportunities, spearheads community improvement projects, attracts new businesses, enhances existing lines of business, represents tenants and landlords and increases access to the area’s bayfronts. Maus leads her team to manage a vast portfolio of assets, provide enhanced amenities to tenants, and offer visitors and residents solutions for low-cost, overnight accommodations along the coast.
CAROLYN T. MENDEL Originally joining The NRP Group in 2017 to spearhead its expansion throughout Massachusetts, Carolyn Mendel continues to increase the firm’s geographic footprint throughout the US as VP of development. With a mission to create exceptional rental opportunities for people, regardless of income, Mendel tailors creative, multifamily projects to the unique needs of their site and community. She directs all aspects of multifamily development, while curating the company’s development pipeline. Within the past year, Mendel sourced new projects comprising 600 units, totaling $167 million. She additionally serves a founding member the company’s WIN Network; aiming to connect and empower women in the workplace.
MALLOY PETERSON Leading with authenticity and sincerity, Malloy Peterson is passionate about transforming her communities. With more than two decade of development experience, specializing in urban mixed-use projects, Peterson serves as SVP of Development at Selig Enterprises. She currently serves as the lead development executive for The Works; the company’s 80-acre adaptive mixed-use project in Atlanta. She oversees the construction processes, presents the latest pro forma, communicates with leasing prospects and engages the community. With each project, she respects and celebrates the site’s history by listening to neighbors and hosting community tours. She also launched the firm’s internship program; remaining committed to young professionals and diversity in the industry.
AMY ROSE As the first female president and CEO of Rose Assoc., Amy Rose leads development projects and participates in new ventures, while focusing on the firm’s strategic positioning. Leading numerous partnerships for the firm throughout her career, she has also directed the company to complete more than $2 billion in adaptive reuse and ground-up projects in New York City within the past five years. She is currently leading four new projects, totaling $1 billion in development costs, while pursuing an aggressive growth strategy to expand the firm’s 17,000-unit portfolio. She provides advisory services and consulting to investors and financial institutions, while additionally lending her expertise to numerous industry organizations.
RAINEY SHANE Rainey Shane views an opportunity to preserve, transform and reimagine, where others see hopeless decay. As VP and adaptive reuse director for JLL’s project and development services group, Shane is dedicated to reimaging old buildings. In her role, she assembles and leads teams to manage, develop and deliver complex projects throughout the Southeast. Preserving history, she reinvigorates treasured structures and works on transformative, high-profile projects, while partnering with owners, developers and tenants to achieve best outcomes. Educating others on the economic benefits of adaptive reuse developments, Shane additionally facilitates various internal training programs for the firm, while involved with countless industry organizations and non-profit charities.
CATHY THURINGER Joining Trammell Crow Company in 1988 as an administrative assistant, Cathy Thuringer has served as a vital component to the company’s success, through its many facets of business. As managing director, Thuringer is responsible for all development and acquisition projects for the firm and its residential subsidiary, High Street Residential. In 2019, she led her team to secure the highest in-process and in-pipeline activity in the history of the firm’s Phoenix business unit. As a well-respected leader, she sources new pursuits, executes deals, attracts capital and oversees day-to-day operations. She leads successful projects by effectively communicating with clients and placing a high value on teamwork.
ANN H. CONE Having worked on both sides of housing within development and lending throughout more than 35 years of agency financing experience, Ann Cone utilizes her expertise and double perspective to provide clients with debt and finance. As SVP of CBRE capital markets within the debt and structured finance division, Cone specializes in agency financed loans within multifamily and affordable housing. Throughout her career, she has successfully closed more than $1 billion in housing. Additionally, she co-founded and serves as executive director for the affordable housing nonprofit, Housing Resource Center, she serves on the Southeast Mortgage Advisory Council and in 2019, she served as CREW Atlanta president.
SUZANNE COPE A seasoned industry executive, Suzanne Cope has obtained extensive loan origination expertise in multifamily mortgages through various leadership positions. Playing a pivotal role in growing Hunt Real Estate Capital’s affordable housing group, Cope originally served the company by re-launching and developing its affordable housing lending platform through agency executions. Rejoining the firm in 2017, Cope now serves as managing director, where she originates and closes affordable and multifamily loans nationwide. Within the past year, she closed more than $254 million in deal volume. She recently served a multiyear term on the Fannie Mae originator committee and was recently appointed to the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association board.
MICHELLE DODGE As a well-respected commercial banker within her community, Michelle Dodge employs a unique approach to her role by possessing financial insight, understanding the importance of building a brand and planning for future growth. As Truist’s first VP and commercial banking relationship manager, Dodge provides clients and investors with access to the capital markets and investment capabilities. She introduces current and prospective clients to Truist’s products and services, while managing and expanding the company’s business opportunities. Through her expert knowledge in relational and strategic decisions, she guides clients through business complexities, credit processes, policies and regulations to consistently ensure sound solutions and reach successful outcomes.
KIM LIAUTAUD With prior industry finance experience, Kim Liautaud joined BMO Harris Bank in 2012 as a member of its private institutional lending team. She quickly rose to lead the team as head of US commercial real estate, where she currently directs and oversees more than 120 professionals. She has successfully elevated the company’s commercial real estate group from a Midwest mid-tier player to a top national bank, across all sectors and industries. Under her leadership, the team executed its best year in 2019; booking more than $4 billion in new loan volume, while maintaining strong credit quality. Through her guidance, she continually shapes young female professionals into strong bankers.
TRISHA MILLER With an extensive history as a finance executive in building fundraising teams from the ground up, Trisha Miller has played a significant role in launching some of the first alternative investments to retail investors in a mutual fund format. Enabling top performance, Miller has launched well-regarded retail investor funds to raise more than $10 billion in the past decade. With a record in expanding retail fundraising initiatives across prominent firms, she now serves as executive managing director at Robert A. Stanger & Co. Inc. Advising top-tier management companies and individual investors, Miller constructs investment strategies and appropriate fund structures, while distributing and increasing access to alternative investments.
NICOLE PECOULAS Beginning her career in 1989 as an assistant lease administrator, Nicole Pecoulas has secured vast experience and in-depth knowledge throughout her industry career, spanning more than three decades. As managing director at Barings, Pecoulas is responsible for all commercial loan origination activity within the central region of the US. Her creativity in negotiating deal terms has allowed her to close on a multitude of loan structures across all major property types. Throughout her time with the company, she has closed more than $2.6 billion in financings, and in 2019, she successfully closed more than $300 million in core and structured loans.
HEATHER ASHWORTH VOLZ Since becoming the only female commercial relationship manager throughout the Carolinas region for Iberiabank, Heather Ashworth Volz has brought on more than $4 million in new commercial deals within just a few months. Initially hired on at Iberiabank to grow its retail/consumer branch in a new market, Volz was quickly promoted due to her unique perspective regarding client interactions. Through a holistic approach to her clients’ needs, she works with business owners and investors to provide appropriate solutions through banking services. While additionally serving the company as VP, Volz currently manages more than $20 million in loans and $35 million on deposit.
KAREN WILLIAMSON Starting her industry career in retail banking more than 30 years ago, Karen Williamson now serves as one of only four Capital One commercial real estate market managers. As SVP and California market manager for the company, Williamson is responsible for all loan production, as well as expanding the bank’s regional footprint. Through her well-respected reputation and industry tenure, she works to provide developers with a wide range of banking services, such as debt, capital markets, treasury management and fund finance. As the sole originator within the region, she accumulated more than $1 billion in balance sheet loan commitments within the past three years.
JOHNSON CARTER As an agent at Collett in North Carolina, Cortney Johnson Carter has completed more than 2.5 million square feet in retail leasing deals in the Southeast market. While her professional success has earned her a CoStar Power Broker Award, her philanthropy is what stands out most. Carter volunteers and fundraises on behalf of Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and regularly volunteers at Serenity Place to provide dinner and childcare to support mothers struggling with addiction. She works with Miracle Hill Turkey Fry to bake hundreds of pies at Thanksgiving for the needy and hikes 29.3 miles to support CureSearch annually.
CHERYL A. GRAY Cheryl A. Gray is known for excelling at her goals. As the head of special projects and operational excellence at QuadReal Property Group, she is one of only a handful of women leading the proptech market. When her daughter tragically died of cancer last year, she set out to accomplish her daughter’s lifelong goals as well. Gray and her husband launched Elaina’s Sustainability Fund through the IREM Foundation to support sustainable building practices and improve the impact that buildings make on our environment. They donated $50,000 to start the fund, which will support initiatives that reduce demand for resources and improve employee wellness.
AMY J. HALL With more than 23 years of experience as a broker, Amy J. Hall brought a lot to the Caton Commercial Real Estate Group when she joined as COO in 2018, but chief among them was increasing the firm’s humanitarian focus. This included creating professional development plans and personally mentoring each broker. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, she quickly implemented work-from-home policies and worked individually with brokers to review business plans and advise them on ways to support their clients. She believes in fostering the growth and development of all individuals, both inside and outside of the industry.
JENNIFER LITWAK As the executive director at non-profit Housing on Merit, Jennifer Litwak has overseen the development of 2,700 affordable housing units and has helped under-resourced residents find permanent homes. Litwak launched the non-profit in 2011 with one staff member. Today, she has a team of 15 and has closed more than $322 million in multifamily acquisitions. The organization also helps to provide female veterans with housing grants through the Awards of Merit for Housing Assistance program. Litwak has also helped to develop the maternity housing program for Home Start, which provides affordable supportive housing to pregnant women and mothers of young children.
AMY STAUDINGER Amy Staudinger has had a long career as a project manager, first launching her own firm, S2 Enterprises, before her team joined Colliers Minnesota in 2018. In her 21-year career, she has expanded her product expertise to include high-tech industrial, data centers, healthcare and life science facilities. Since 2013, Staudinger has offered her unique skillset pro bono to One World Surgery, an organization that provides primary and surgical care to underserved communities. She also serves as a board member for Hearts and Hammers, and participates in a range of local organizations, including Healthcare Institute Midwest Chapter and ACE Mentor Program mentor.
COLLEEN WEVODAU By day, Colleen Wevodau is a senior manger at Baker Tilly, overseeing financial statement audits for commercial and residential real estate, real estate opportunity funds, real estate developers and property managers, but her spare time is equally as dedicated. She supports Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Real Estate Games, and hosts the annual event at Barker Tilly. She served a two-year term as president of Calvary Women’s Services, an organization that she has supported for more than 30 years. Through the organization, she has secured $50,000 in grants and corporate fundraising, allowing the group to double its capacity to serve women in the DC community.
COLLETE ENGLISH DIXON As the first woman of color to lead a university real estate education program in the US, Collete English Dixon provides opportunity and education to students and champions industry diversity as the executive director of the Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate at Roosevelt University. Within the past year at the university, she launched an undergraduate real estate major, developed two real estate graduate certificates, created a new Master’s degree in hospitality real estate, and increased available scholarship funding, while overseeing operations and academic program development. In addition to numerous, impressive accomplishments throughout her more than three decade industry career, she successfully raises the visibility and number of women and minority leaders in the industry.
RAMONA FARRELL Ramona Farrell has been integral in branding and growing GreerWalker, since joining the advisory firm in 2018. As a certified fraud examiner and certified financial crime investigator, Farrell serves the firm by providing solutions to client matters as director of forensic and valuation services. She works on federal fraud investigations and conducts internal investigations for national clients, while additionally serving as a university adjunct professor; teaching business ethics. She speaks on fraud awareness to assist with detection and prevention within the industry. A true connector and an internal change agent, Farrell is often described as a life coach, who is willing to invest time in others.
LISA PENDERGAST As a tireless advocate for Commercial Real Estate Finance Council’s members, Lisa Pendergast is dedicated to setting industry standards and best practices as executive director of the trade association. Providing analysis and commentary on commercial real estate credit fundamentals and relative value within the private-label, agency CMBS and structured-product markets, she continually communicates with national policymakers and implements initiatives to benefit members. As a top-ranked research analyst, she provides expertise on debt-related issues and leads her team to provide policy and advocacy resources. She has held numerous well-respected, leadership positions throughout her extensive career and she currently co-chairs the securitizations working group of the Federal Reserve’s alternative reference rates committee.
MELISSA ALEXANDER Foundry Commercial As an industrial real estate broker with both agency leasing and tenant representation experience, Melissa Alexander has been involved with transactions nationally and globally. In 2017, she moved to Nashville to serve Foundry Commercial as VP. In effort to stay on top of the latest industry news, while reestablishing her brokerage business in a new market, Alexander co-created a monthly, online Twitter conversation, which evolved into a successful podcast, CREchat Live. Bringing innovation to the industry as a model of social media engagement, Alexander’s podcast has garnered praise and participation from prominent industry professionals, organizations and media outlets, while shining a light on women within the industry.
CARLA HINSON Beginning in the industry in 1998, Carla Hinson holds vast technology experience spanning diverse industries. Commencing her real estate career on the retail team of an oil and gas company, Hinson has since sought out and implemented leading edge technology and processes to support operations and improve client experience throughout a variety of roles. Since joining Newmark Knight Frank as executive managing director of its global corporate services technology division in 2019, Hinson has achieved numerous, innovative accomplishments. Directing and restructuring a robust team of experts, she oversees technology implementation and delivery throughout the US, while integrating adjacent service lines and assisting companies in understanding their portfolios in relation to the COVID-19 crisis.
RACHEL JOHNSON As chief information officer, Rachel Johnson handles the NRP Group’s information technology and computer systems; managing its infrastructure, network and software solutions. Aligning and supporting the strategic goals of the business, Johnson implements and ensures successful crisis management, remote work strategies and new initiative launches, while creating new company tools. She designed an in-house IT solution to manage all operations cohesively. By layering a custom-built software program as the architect of the powerful platform, Johnson has enabled the company to triple its development pipeline, enter four new metros and launch two new, stand-alone businesses, over the past five years.
SARA MAFFEY Sara Maffey’s vast industry expertise has led her to launch and lead new companies, departments and service lines. Pioneering the concept of placemaking within multifamily and mixed-use developments, she works to connect all industry aspects, support local authenticity and drive business value through social connectivity. As managing director of placemaking at Transwestern Real Estate Services, she implements intentional experiences within developments, by understanding local economies, guiding design, developing marketing campaigns and linking stakeholders across ecosystems. While curating and examining tenants, amenities, design and programming, she serves the company’s board of directors as well as Transwestern’s Lab, providing analysis of assets and potential.
ERINA MALARKEY Erina Malarkey serves as one of few female executives who is shaping the industry through technology. As co-founder and CEO of real estate SaaS company, Remarkably, she is responsible for the strategic vision and direction of the venture-funded, SaaS solution’s cloud-based multifamily intelligence software. In the past year, she has led the company to raise $5.2 million in funding from investors, while launching an industry software platform for early adoption from top owners and managers. Malarkey previously co-founded VMO, where she acquired and served an impressive client list; assisting owners, investors and developers in leasing up buildings, maintaining stabilization and achieving revenue goals throughout markets across the country.
SARAH MAYO Sarah Mayo has assisted in securing substantial funds throughout her numerous roles at CrowdStreet. Responsible for all tools, technology and resources provided to investors, she continually invents improved operations for the company’s investment platform while directing her team to fundraise for all marketplace offerings. As senior investor operations manager, Mayo recently overhauled CrowdStreet’s end-to-end marketing strategy, which resulted in the company’s highest email click-through rates and an increased webinar registration rate. She also recently implemented an AI-based, chatbot tool to streamline investors’ experience and dramatically reduce team members’ workload. The tool resulted in a 60% increase in investor base in the past year, while only growing its investor relations team from six to eight professionals.
SARA NEFF Sara Neff has steered Kilroy Realty Corp. from having zero sustainability programs to being recognized as North America’s top sustainable office real estate company a total of six times. Upon installing numerous sustainable software solutions, Neff launched the company’s innovation lab in 2017, requiring each region to implement one sustainable project, annually. As SVP of sustainability, she has procured a suite of technologies to strategically reduce each building’s environmental impact. She has successfully achieved LEED Gold or Platinum certification for each ground-up development at KRC since joining in 2010. Her work has significantly reduced KRC’s energy consumption, water consumption and carbon emissions.
CHRISTINA URQUHART Throughout her more than 26 year industry career, Christina Urquhart has observed the workplace environment drastically shift. Redefining company culture and assisting landlords and corporations in differentiating themselves, Urquhart creates socially-activated and culture-driven properties as founder and CEO of Simpli (previously Charm City Concierge). Providing virtual and onsite concierge services to more than 45 million square feet of commercial space, Urquhart continuously seeking relevant solutions, programs and virtual offerings as the workplace continues to evolve. She launched the firm’s app in 2019 to spur engagement and offer customized insights; leading to a 10% revenue growth and a 15% increase in managed square-footage.
CJ ZHAO Through her improvements to Amherst Capital’s technology infrastructure, CJ Zhao has revolutionized the company’s data analysis and modeling capabilities. As managing director and head of modeling at the firm, Zhao has played a substantial role in the firm’s technological growth and development. While evolving and adapting to better understand complex market conditions, she works to anticipate trends, predict consumer behavior and create investment strategies by building out proprietary analytical tools and technologies to collect data. Designing valuation algorithms needed for mortgage securities and building a comprehensive, option-adjusted-spread model, she plays a hands-on role in offering a broader view of the market and advancing Amherst’s capabilities.
PAMELA SCHMIDT BONEHAM A respected member of the real estate investment community for more than 30 years, Pamela Schmidt Boneham commenced her industry career in 1983 as the first woman to join LaSalle Partners’ services division. Demonstrating her capabilities across industry roles, Boneham now serves as managing director and head of capital strategies for Barings; where she drives strategic decision-making and is involved in all matters relating to the firm’s performance. In 2019, she successfully oversaw the underwriting of $1 billion in investment opportunities within the central region. She serves on the firm’s US real estate equity investment committee and valuation committee and actively participates in industry organizations to promote diversity within.
KATHLEEN S. BRISCOE Integral to the growth of Dermody Properties’ investment management business, Kathleen Briscoe serves the firm as chief capital officer and partner. Responsible for all aspects of the firm’s capital strategy and execution, Briscoe provides valued skills and relationships through her extensive expertise. She proved critical in the launch and fundraising of Dermody Properties Industrial Fund II, which raised $619 million in capital, and she additionally led efforts in the majority portfolio sale of Dermody Properties Industrial Fund I, the same year. She also serves as a member of the company’s executive committee and investment committee.
JENNIFER FRANCIS As an established senior leader at the RMR Group, SVP, Jennifer Francis oversees several critical areas at the firm while directly contributing to company growth. Francis heads the firm’s asset management team and portfolio of more than 1,300 properties, and she additionally leads the company’s credit risk group, development group and analyst team, while providing stewardship and direction as president and COO of the firm’s national REIT, Diversified Healthcare Trust. In 2019, she lead the substantial repositioning of the REIT’s $8.4 billion portfolio, and she additionally drove significant leasing activity across RMR’s managed portfolio; overseeing 7.6 million square feet of leasing volume, representing $1.3 billion in rental revenue.
ANDREA KARP Ensuring that no stone is left unturned, Andrea Karp thoroughly examines each transaction at Black Creek Group, as managing director, head of due diligence. Leading the extensive process, she shapes and implements a checklist to identify items that could impose unforeseen obstacles or impact a deal’s value. Under Karp’s guidance, her team has inspected and closed more than $19 billion in transactions. In 2019, she oversaw the underwriting for 11.2 million square feet of leasing and she was crucial in acquiring 13.4 million square feet in properties; three times more than 2018. She is also a co-founder and current board member of the firm’s women’s network.
NANCY KOZINSKI Bringing extensive real estate and portfolio management experience to ML Realty Partners in 2007, Nancy Kozinski has since assisted in growing the firm and advancing it within the industry. Overseeing all operations, Kozinski serves as COO, a member of the firm’s board of directors, and a senior officer on the company’s leadership team. Since assuming her position, ML Realty Partners’ portfolio value has increased 20% and its net operating income has increased 30%. Providing diverse, strategic direction, her firm decision-making and ethical, long-term outlook offers superior results for the company.
WESLEY M. LEPATNER Originally hired by Blackstone to launch its Core+ business, Wesley LePatner now serves as global COO of Blackstone’s Core+ real estate business, as well as senior managing director of Blackstone’s real estate group, and COO and director of Blackstone’s REIT. She previously assisted in launching BREIT and all three open-ended, regional Blackstone Property Partners funds. She leads significant growth for the now $50 billion business of Core+ and she helped close out 2019 with $13 billion in assets for BREIT; nearly tripling its previous year total. She also sits on the firm’s real estate investment committee and chairs its women’s initiative.
MAUREEN P. MENARDE With more than 25 years of industry experience in equity and debt capital markets, Maureen Menarde serves Verde Capital Corp. as managing director and COO. In addition to managing all facets of day-to-day operations, she is responsible for sourcing and structuring transactions for the firm. Through her extensive experience in structuring equity investments and senior and mezzanine debt, Menarde has successfully assisted in securing and arranging billions of dollars’ worth of off-market, tax-advantaged, direct real estate investments. Proving essential to the firm’s mission, she assists in facilitating and providing capital to developers and operators across all asset classes.
MIMI NGUYEN Mimi Nguyen strives to excel in all she attempts as an Asian-American women who came to the US at just two years old. Beginning her industry career in high school, Nguyen worked tirelessly within various departments to master all aspects of the business. She joined KBS in 2000, and has since managed and closed $7.8 billion in transactions as EVP of underwriting. In addition to sitting on the firm’s investment committee board, she creates and implements many internal procedures and she spearheaded the firm’s due diligence process. As a highly-dedicated, powerhouse for the company, she was instrumental in recently launching the firm’s first international publicly-traded REIT; comprising $1.2 billion of 11 assets.
MIA PARK Throughout the past 20 years, Mia Park has worked at prominent consulting firms and banks as a well-respected, accomplished leader. She currently serves as executive director with JP Morgan’s asset management group in the firm’s New York City headquarters. Within her position, Park is responsible for performing portfolio management duties specific to separate US and international investor accounts. Providing financing for all asset types, she and her team recently enabled new investments and re-investments by global fund investors, ranging in size of up to multi-billion dollars. Through her unmatched work ethic and intellect, she serves as a role model to her fellow employees.
DEBORAH PETERSON SCHWARTZ Valued for her multifamily expertise, Deborah Peterson Schwartz was promoted within her first year at Barings to run a closed-end multifamily fund. She has now managed three closed-end multifamily funds for the firm; achieving impressive results for each. She serves as managing director and co-portfolio manager for Barings’ $3.6 billion US flagship open-end fund. Responsible for portfolio strategy, portfolio structure, reporting, valuation and client relations, she recently led the multi-year repositioning of the fund, while leading the acquisitions of $150 million in new assets and the sale of $450 million in assets in 2019 alone, to better position the portfolio.
MAREN R. STEINBERG With extensive global industry experience, Maren Steinberg co-founded JCR Capital, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walker & Dunlop Inc., in 2006. Within her roles as chief investment officer and EVP, Steinberg actively deploys capital while supervising underwriting and responsible for investment execution and asset management of the firm’s three active private equity vehicles and three active separate managed accounts. Under her direction, the firm has secured $1.2 billion in assets under management and an investor base of more than 135 unique investor relationships. Steinberg is additionally a member of Walker & Dunlop’s Executive Leadership Committee and Risk Committee.
ANNE-MARIE VANDENBERG Anne-Marie Vandenberg has proven essential to growing RREEF Property Trust. As president, COO and a member of RPT’s board of directors, Vandenberg is responsible for the investment performance of the public REIT. Under her direction, the real estate fund, sponsored by DWS Group, achieved noteworthy growth in 2019. With the addition of several new properties, RPT grew to more than $422 million in assets last year, increasing assets under management by nearly 58% and net asset value by 46%. Prior to leading investment strategy operations as portfolio manager, Vandenberg held various positions within DWS Group; directing large divisions and achieving success.
ELENA WALSH Elena Walsh has overcome many unique challenges as the only female in her role at Barings since 2000. Proving herself as a knowledgeable expert, Walsh currently serves as the managing director and acquisitions officer for the company. She executes acquisitions, including joint-venture development and forward purchases, across various sectors and product types, nationally. In 2019, she successfully secured and closed $205.8 million in transactions. Furthering team efforts for the company, she assists other areas of business by cross-selling and strives to share her expertise by working closely with analysts.
TAMMI WARNER Joining TruAmerica Multifamily in 2014, shortly after its inception, Tammi Warner has been involved in nearly every transaction at the company. Leading property due diligence, debt compliance and loan coordination, Warner ensures every deal is successfully completed, from contract through compliance, as director of transactions and underwriting. With vast expertise from finance to legal reviews, she proactively leverages her valuable connections to move deals forward. Helping lead the efforts to enter new markets and establish a national presence, she has assisted in growing the firm to develop a $9.6-billion portfolio, comprising 42,883 units throughout the US.
MARKETING / COMMUNICATIONS PROFESSIONAL
SANDY BENAK With more than 35 years of industry experience, Sandy Benak has worked at Granite Properties for two decades. Joining the company as leasing manager, Benak was recently promoted to senior director of corporate marketing. She successfully created the company’s first in-house marketing department and she was serves on Granite’s leadership team. She positions the firm for continued growth by developing value propositions for each team, leading marketing for new initiatives and innovation and ensuring consistent branding nationwide. She serves as editor of the firm’s annual publication and she recently created a comprehensive program to elevate customer experience through development offerings and philanthropic events.
KAREN BENOIT Karen Benoit has served as SVP of marketing at Kidder Mathews for more than 30 years. Committed to maintaining and growing the firm’s cohesive, market presence, Benoit directs overall strategy and implements initiatives to better showcase the company’s expertise and offerings, drive traffic and improve materials. Increasing Kidder Mathews’ customer base and positively impacting its annual revenue, she has recruited and built a team of 70 marketing professionals companywide, and she has additionally developed and led four re-brand strategies within the past 15 years. While serving on the company’s executive team and strategic planning committee, she has earned Kidder Mathews numerous awards and accolades.
SARAH BERMAN Constantly identifying challenges and developing creative communications programs, Sarah Berman works to increase business and reach new audiences as founder and president of The Berman Group. Well-regarded for her results-driven approach to delivering integrated, omni-channel marketing campaigns, she leads her firm to offer public relations and special events services to a range of industry businesses, institutions and non-profits. Working to support industry innovations and develop client growth strategies, Berman additionally serves as executive director to numerous trade associations. Guiding The Berman Group to represent such organizations, she and her special events team produce more than 600 industry events each year.
TRACI DONATTO Traci Donatto’s contributions and systemic changes as director of marketing continue to positively impact Newmark Knight Frank. Within her role, Donatto directs and implements strategic marketing and external communications efforts for the company’s global corporate services business unit. While generating quality content and ensuring broader alignment, she became the first-ever billable marketing resource in NKF’s global corporate services history, upon adopting a new software program to create a new revenue stream. She directed NKF’s first female-led, cross-platform account team to win a national account, and in 2019, she created and rolled out the first-ever global marketing collateral library and infrastructure for the global strategy service line.
KENDALL S. GUINN Upon entering the industry in 2007, Kendall Guinn quickly mastered all aspects of the marketing field. She joined AQUILA in 2014 and has since improved efficiency and produced measurable results for the firm through marketing efforts, including a branding overhaul and website redesign. As chief marketing officer, Guinn leads her teams to spur innovation, from property marketing campaigns to corporate marketing initiatives. She spearheaded the firm’s in-house video department and transformed the company’s website into an educational tool. Resulting in direct, substantial revenue, the company’s website generated nearly 400 qualified leads in 2019 and additionally experienced a nearly 600% increase in traffic, compared to 2017.
TRACEE JONES Tracee Jones has helped countless agents succeed in the industry through marketing strategies. As co-founder of Qualified Agent Academy, Jones offers the expertise and tools to challenge, educate and ensure success for clients. Through her company, she creates websites, video marketing, podcasts, listing presentations and more, while mentoring and training agents. She authored the book ‘Making Real Estate Work,’ and she recently served as one of the few, if not first, female CEOs of the National Commercial Real Estate Association, where she managed its expansion strategy, created its new website, produced promotional videos and grew its marketing and training to assist professionals in the industry.
ERIKA KIM Born and raised in Mexico City, of both Korean and Spanish descent, Erika Kim had overcome many obstacles prior to moving to San Francisco as an immigrant to establish her industry career. Determined to succeed with a Master of Business Administration degree, Kim now serves as VP of marketing at Avison Young. She successfully improves marketing material quality, new business development processes and client-facing deliverables, while positioning the firm for success. Executing industry events and supporting the firm’s revenue generation, Kim also delivers companywide marketing programs to expand business lines. She has created and launched more than 50 property marketing campaigns, representing more than 10 million square feet throughout the West Coast.
LINDA MCDONOUGH Achieving success through various positions and company mergers, Linda McDonough’s ability to adapt to marketing changes has consistently proven beneficial. Constantly absorbing changing industry dynamics, customer needs and market demands throughout her career, she has remained at the forefront of social media use; utilizing various platforms to drive leads, build brand awareness, share relevant information and better-position companies within the crowded marketplace. As McCall & Almy’s VP of marketing, McDonough delivers compelling marketing resources, establishes short- and long-term corporate goals, devises business opportunities, increases media visibility and advance the company overall.
AMY MILLARD Originating from a technology background, Amy Millard applies her SaaS marketing expertise and her CRE knowledge to advance the industry. As CMO of VTS, Millard has led significant marketing efforts for the firm and its platform. In addition to guiding two marketing teams, delivering valuable offerings and promoting innovations, she implements creative business strategies and launches new products for the firm. Directing marketing for VTS’s most successful year to date, in 2019, Millard marketed the launch of the firm’s newest VTS platform generation, she spearheaded marketing efforts for the firm’s $90 million series D funding, and she additionally led the launch of the firm’s new retail software.
PAMELA MURPHY Joining Lee & Associates in 2015 as a research and marketing intern, Pamela Murphy now serves as director of marketing and public relations, international. At 27 years old, she offers a fresh industry view, while specializing in marketing strategy implementation. Committed to collaboration, Murphy spearheaded interoffice communication to unify branding efforts and share resources across the firm’s North American offices. Within the past year, Murphy launched several internal and external marketing campaigns. She is also responsible for international public relations, website and social media management, developing companywide marketing materials, hosting monthly training calls and coordinating the company blog.
LEA STENDAHL Passionate about assisting industries that may overlook branding or lack innovation, Lea Stendahl holds extensive experience in developing differentiated views and validating brands through an innovative process and targeted audience. Continuing to creatively position brands, Stendahl currently serves as CMO at Suffolk, where she recently led an entire re-branding campaign. Driving measurable business and showcasing the construction industry’s impending disruption, Stendahl successfully redefined Suffolk’s identity to build on the core business of equity. She executed integrated marketing, a diversification strategy and expanded services by defining the company’s ‘why’ and evolving the brand into something more meaningful and contemporary to add value and differentiate itself.
KATHERINE STONE With a proven track record of amplifying brands through effective marketing, public relations and digital campaigns, Katherine Stone utilizes her 27 years of corporate and non-profit experience to solve complex challenges and drive results. Joining Cooper Carry in 2018 to serve as brand director, Stone successfully expands service offerings, tailors tactics and pitches new and existing clients. She additionally launched and directs the firm’s branding services group. Celebrating Cooper Carry’s 60th anniversary, Stone is currently overseeing a strategic campaign to advance its national reputation throughout 2020. As an advocate for industry women, she co-created and co-hosted the first women’s group at the firm’s headquarters.
LORI VALENCIA Playing a prominent role in each stage of Matthews Real Estate Investment Services’ growth, Lori Valencia has created and implemented digital marketing initiatives, technology solutions and marketing strategies as director of marketing. Beginning her career at the firm as a marketing coordinator, Valencia has built her property marketing team and process from the ground-up. Constantly introducing new resources, she created the firm’s proprietary, internal marketing system, as well as its property marketing and email marketing processes; taking nearly 600 properties to market within the past year. While overseeing marketing materials across five divisions, she increases operational efficiency and maximizes exposure for the firm.
ALEXANDRA WILLIAMS In addition to paving the way for women and diversity in the industry, as a Hispanic female leader, Alexandra Williams has achieved significant contributions throughout her short time with Barings. Joining the firm in 2018 and promoted to director the same year, Williams also supports the firm’s global fundraising initiatives as a member of the real estate equity product management team. While working with various internal teams to advance existing European and US funds, and fostering client relationship operations, she effectively transforms complex data into compelling mediums for the firm’s marking materials to bolster the brand.
MENTOR KAREN BURGES Countless professionals have benefitted from the mentorship efforts of Karen Burges. The driving force behind NAIOP San Diego, as executive director of more than 30 years, Burges leads the association’s membership, which she has grown from 50 professionals to more than 750. A catalyst for the professional growth of the chapter’s members, she continues to launch and spearhead mentorship programs, while improving and expanding services to bolster and elevate the careers of others. She works on-on-one with young professionals to build lasting relationships and offer beneficial connections, and she encourages female board members to lead through mentoring initiatives. She well-known as a trusted, proactive advisor.
MARY CLARE CODD Beginning her industry career in 1979 as the first female broker in Syracuse, NY, Mary Clare Codd aims to offer the same support to younger colleagues that she received as a young professional. Aside from Codd’s substantial and noteworthy deal volume that she has achieved throughout her career, she utilizes the industry as a vessel to help others grow. As executive managing director for Colliers International, she promotes young professionals and teaches them to succeed by taking them under her wing and allowing them to accompany her to industry events. She mentors students and works with countless new brokers; helping them navigate and prosper within the industry.
ANN DUNCAN Throughout her more than 30 year industry career, Ann Duncan has consistently pursued mentoring efforts for the next generation of leaders. Through her constant, direct approach to mentorship, she inspires individuals to seek leadership positions and encourages them to achieve their goals. Upon the acquisition of her firm, Duncan joined Savills and now serves as EVP, director and head of occupier services. While more than doubling the group’s recurring revenue, she holds numerous organizational membership positions, mentors coworkers to reach new professional levels and mentors elected officials on public policy. She continually assists others in making a difference and delivers positive results through her enthusiasm, expertise, accessibility and fearless curiosity.
VICKY FAJARDO Serving the highest executive position held by a woman within Cushman & Wakefield’s New Jersey operations, Vicky Fajardo works as the director of operations for the top performing region. While managing brokerage and business line staff, she leads recruiting, retention, mentoring, training and development programs for the firm. As a respected advisor, advocate and life coach for her employees, she offers beneficial mentoring and support. Leading by example, she directly impacts young professionals’ career development and offers invaluable guidance and counsel for industry veterans. She seeks ways to empower, develop and strengthen women, and serves as a champion for them to take on more leadership roles.
LEAH GALLAGHER Starting as a temporary receptionist at Transwestern more than 20 years ago, Leah Gallagher is grateful to the mentors that helped her grow and evolve throughout her career. She strives to return the compassion and leadership that she once received, by offering support and commitment to each employee. Dedicated to her team members, she constantly seeks ways to elevate and recognize them as an empowering role-model. As the city leader for Transwestern’s San Antonio office, Gallagher helps increase the firm’s portfolio and leasing revenue, while leading its Women’s Initiative; connecting and promoting female leaders, and additionally assisting each employee accomplish goals and grow professionally and personally.
CHRISTINE GORHAM As the 2020 president of CREW Network, Christine Gorham leads the 12,000-member global organization to transform the industry and advance the women within it. She additionally previously served as chairman for the CREW Network Foundation; dedicated to mentoring and educating female students on career options within the industry. She has founded numerous committees and programs dedicated to mentorship and diversity, and she continues to prioritize others’ growth through strategy, education and commitment. As director of development at Caddis Healthcare Real Estate, Gorham oversees executive strategy and client/project development for the Southeast region, while persistently engaging leadership, inspiring women, encouraging skill development and motivating members.
CATHY JANKE Cathy Janke is equally as dedicated to her position at Capital One, as she is to her community involvement and mentoring. As SVP, Janke serves as the firm’s sole production originator in North Texas; having closed more than $20 billion in transactions throughout her career. She devotes substantial time giving back to the community by serving on various boards and educating young professionals. With more than 30 years of banking experience, she offers a wealth of knowledge to her mentees. Through her invaluable, extensive work as a respected resource, she positively impacts others, while developing the next generation of women in the industry.
DEBORAH S. MCDONOUGH Deborah McDonough’s desire to promote women in the workplace began early in her career. As director of tax at Cherry Bekaert LLP, within the accounting firm’s real estate practice, McDonough not only acts as a technical resource, but she serves as an expert in her field. She aims to create relationships, share knowledge and generate career opportunities by coordinating mentorship programs, providing leadership, developing training initiatives and facilitating growth for colleagues and young professionals. McDonough mentors students by chairing the new career outreach CREW committee, and she additionally serves as an advisor to other mentors; offering frequent guidance on how to handle coaching issues.
MICHELLE NEEDLES As a lifelong champion for empowering women, Michelle Needles serves as a pioneering voice for gender equality within Colliers International. As SVP of enterprise solutions for the firm, Needles holds an impressive track record as a seasoned transaction professional and an admired expert. Furthermore, she co-founded the company’s diversity & inclusion program, its mentorship program, the women’s business development initiative and more. Through her work, she offers networking opportunities, mentor pairings, training/onboarding, structured guidance and countless teachable moments. Setting an example as an empowering role model, Needles continues to selflessly dedicate herself to creating opportunities for the advancement of women.
DEBORAH R. PHILLIPS In addition to her abundance of credentials and accolades as president of The Quadrillion, Dr. Deborah Phillips works to promote and support women, minorities and underserved populations in the industry. Students of her class at Georgia Institute of Technology refer to her as a champion, a fairy godmother, a fun motivator and a leadership coach. She founded the Real Estate Career Academy as a platform to create industry awareness and offer educational resources. She privately funds women to attend conferences and often personally sponsors professionals to pursue industry distinctions. A mentor to hundreds of women, she continues to break down barriers and launch careers.
CLAIRE ROBERTS Upon being told many years ago that women could not handle the business, Claire Roberts worked relentlessly to launch a career in the industry to meet the challenge. Starting as a broker, Roberts now serves as VP of Colliers MN. As a brokerage expert and a trusted advisor, she works diligently to ensure that women can overcome industry barriers and access great opportunities through tenacity and persistence. She offers women a voice through formal and informal mentorship programs. She partners with college real estate clubs and CREW Network to secure job opportunities, provide in-depth guidance, and help the industry be not only inclusive, but welcoming.
JENNIFER ROBISON As a strong female executive, Jennifer Robison excels in her role as SVP and chief accounting officer at Phillips Edison & Co., where she oversees all aspects of the firm’s accounting functions. Through passion, extensive expertise and exceptional leadership skills, her work leads to better outcomes for individuals, both professionally and personally. Taking pride in the growth of her team, Robison employs a holistic approach to mentoring; focusing on development through training and community building. She assisted in developing the firm’s networking opportunity for women program dedicated to recruiting, as she helps advance the next generation of industry leaders.
BARRIE D. SCARDINA From an early age, Barrie Scardina held a passion for helping women, minorities and LGBTQ+ community members advance in the workplace. Promoting diversity and inclusion, she identifies individual values and fosters confidence through kindness and compassion. As executive managing director and head of retail, Americas at Cushman & Wakefield, Scardina leverages her expertise to build relationships and help professionals succeed. Through her ongoing devotion to mentorship, she works to empower individuals and change lives for the better. While involved with the firm’s women’s integrated network, she creates and sponsors additional inclusion programs; providing development opportunities through her unending loyalty, innate ability to inspire and authentic devotion to serving others.
CORIE SPANKOWSKI Through her tenacity and engineering skills, Corie Spankowski sets a high bar for operational excellence in her role as director of operations at ARCO/Murray. While supporting associates in executing national construction projects, Spankowski provides career guidance and serves as a mentor to project managers within her division. She developed and currently oversees the firm’s onboarding process; encompassing a six-month training platform and mentorship program. She spearheads monthly calls to unite women across the organization and was the driving force behind the firm’s first annual Women in Construction panel and event. Continually building careers, Spankowski holds the distinct ability to tap into others’ strengths and help them succeed.
KAREN TEPERA Upon observing very few women executives at industry meetings, Karen Tepera founded Women Asset Managers for top multifamily female leaders. The now global organization and educational summit connects, uplifts and nurtures powerful women in real estate; allowing them to share skills and experiences. Under Tepera’s leadership, the organization inspires diversity and inclusion and promotes intentional career choices among leaders and companies. Responsible for Greystar’s business development as managing director of client services for Central North US, Tepera additionally conducts weekly interviews to continually assist professionals in finding industry positions. She has also founded numerous internal initiatives and programs to benefit interns with professional opportunities and educate students on the industry.
JENNIFER VASQUEZ As VP of business development and corporate communications for C.W. Driver Cos., Jennifer Vasquez leads by example as an active advocate for her employees. She holds a deep passion for mentoring and educating the next generation of construction leaders; often sharing her personal story and lessons learned to inspire industry up-and-comers. She engages with young professionals to help them achieve goals and encourages them to take control of their careers by identifying strengths and mapping out individual plans. She encourages all professionals to lean on mentors to rise to their best self, and she provides lessons in leadership and strategic thinking through various organizations.
AMY WEISSBERGER Joining Morgan Properties in 1994, Amy Weissberger worked her way up the corporate ladder and now serves as SVP of corporate strategy. She evaluates and streamlines operations across all levels, while she continually turns properties, training programs and departments into successes for the firm and its employees. Regarded as a relatable, credible property management expert, Weissberger advises team members on how to set and reach professional and personal goals. Modeling tremendous leadership, she is gifted in managing all personality types and recognizes individual strengths. As an experienced businesswoman, educator and mentor, Weissberger prioritizes others’ growth to guide the next generation of leaders.
PROPERTY / FACILITY MANAGER
ASHLEY T. ATWATER Ashley Atwater’s leadership has led significant growth for MBB Affiliates LLC. As co-founder and principal of the firm, she increased revenue by 45% from 2018 and 2019, upon a 47% increase from the preceding year, while doubling the size of its portfolio. Leveraging previous experience with national industry firms, Atwater oversees the firm’s property/facility management staff, develops operational plans, leads corporate marketing campaigns and maintains client relationships. As a female and minority owner, Atwater strives for parity in the workplace and industry; implementing metrics at MBB Affiliates to ensure equal opportunity for professionals and guarantee projects within underrepresented, urban communities.
SANDRA BOYLE Working with dozens of the industry’s largest owners and developers as clients while assisting with large-scale property portfolio management, Sandra Boyle has achieved impressive growth for Cushman & Wakefield’s assets under management. Recently promoted to executive managing director of asset services for the West, Boyle is responsible for overseeing more than 236 million rentable square feet across eight states. In addition to securing significant portfolio wins and expanding full asset management capabilities to 35 major markets for the firm, Boyle additionally served as the founding chair and first female president of the BOMA San Francisco Foundation; promoting the industry in local colleges and universities.
JOSEPHINE CHAN Since joining RiverRock Real Estate Group in 2014 as property manager, Josephine Chan has expanded her position to senior portfolio manager. In this role, Chan is responsible for all property management aspects of the one-million-square-foot, mixed-use development, CityLine Sunnyvale, in Sunnyvale, CA. Working with many high-profile, office and retail tenants, she has successfully increased the property’s occupancy from 57% to 100%, while ensuring long-term tenant relationships. Throughout the past three years, she has directed the five-building development’s renovation and repositioning, assisted with seamless tenant move-ins and worked with the city to expedite permit processes on behalf of ownership.
SHERVONNE CHERRY Supporting the shift and demand for flexible workspace throughout her career, Shervonne Cherry has successfully furthered Spark Baltimore’s mission and co-working model since its inception in 2016. She assisted in launching the company’s flagship space and has directed its expansion from one floor, servicing 22 companies, to six floors and 150 companies. She helps staff facilitate strategic partnerships, supports Sparks’ clients and is responsible for pre-leasing. As director of community and partnerships, Cherry oversees its expansion into new cities; ensuring consistency across each location while incorporating local expression.
TORY GLOSSIP Within her first year at Colliers International, Tory Glossip has quickly made a positive impact due to her innovative thinking, proven track record and ability to drive value creation and revenue growth. As managing director, Glossip continually exceeds her extensive client list’s expectations, while leading a team to provide a full range of management services. In addition to overseeing a portfolio of more than 4.8 million square feet, Glossip has reached beyond her responsibilities by leading a new effort to gain business for the company, by regularly promoting its services and expanding its visibility to potential clients.
MINDY GRONBECK Mindy Gronbeck works to ensure that every facet of property management is accurately in place and completed at Hawkins Companies. With more than 21 years of retail real estate management experience, Gronbeck serves as director of property management; guiding her team on lease management, budget preparation/compliance, property maintenance and operations, and tenant/vendor relationships. Showcasing her impressive emergency planning abilities, Gronbeck was fully prepared when a fire erupted at a building, tenanted by her corporate offices and others, in 2018. Displaying strength and professionalism, she ensured the property properly recovered, safely moved tenants back in, quickly revived businesses and managed the insurance process.
SARAH V. JONES Starting over in commercial property management three years ago, upon ‘retiring’ from regional VP to raise her children, Sarah Jones brings more than two decades of multifamily experience to her current role of real estate manager for CBRE. She manages day-to-day responsibilities, such as rent collection, financial reporting, capital improvement plans and tenant relationships, while positively impacting clients’ bottom line. Handling a mixed portfolio, she manages nearly three million square feet of industrial, retail and office space. Serving as the single point-of-contact for all owners, team members and vendors, her professional relationships continually secure new business for the company.
MARLA MALONEY Yielding best results and a positive impact, Marla Maloney achieves the ideal balance of driving growth and client satisfaction. Leading Cushman & Wakefield’s property management operations as president of asset services, Americas, Maloney sets the tone for excellence as a key driver of merger and acquisition activity. Expanding its platform into new markets and establishing its presence in Canada, she steadily grows the firm’s more than 869-million-square-foot asset services portfolio. While integrating new property management firms to the brand, Maloney serves the firm’s Americas executive committee, its strategic accounts leadership team, and as the executive sponsor for its leading in education & awareness of disabilities group.
MEGAN MATTHEWS Beginning her career as an analyst at JLL in 1999, Megan Matthews has since performed numerous roles across the US throughout her more than 20 year career with the firm. She built a powerhouse property management team in Dallas within four years, growing its portfolio from five million square feet to 40 million square feet, before doing the same for the Mid-Atlantic region. As managing director, Matthews runs the largest share of the firm’s management business, comprising more than $25 million in revenue. While managing more than 100 client relationships and more than 200 assets, she continually adds institutional clients into the firm’s portfolio.
AMBER MOLINA Throughout her more than 15 year industry career, Amber Molina has held a range of property management positions across a variety of sectors. Gathering vast experience in overseeing property operations, financial reporting, construction management, parking operations and lease negotiations, Molina now serves as senior property manager for CommonWealth Partners, where she manages a 500,000-square-foot, high-rise office portfolio in San Diego. Committed to advancing the industry as a strong advocate, she has lobbied on behalf of commercial real estate on the local, state and federal levels. A member of BOMA San Diego since 2011, Molina currently serves as president of the chapter.
KIMBERLEY R. MORGAN A champion for others’ success, Kimberly Morgan is equally commended for her property management accomplishments and her intentional leadership style. As director of property management for Stream Realty, Morgan develops and implements best practices while building and retaining talent for the firm. In 2019, she handled the lease negotiations and administrations for more than 55 million square feet of space, while leading her 52 direct reports and training her associates to manage her previous portfolio. A tough negotiator and a knowledgeable expert, she works on behalf of owners, investors and team members to accomplish professional development and ethical client relations, while breaking down barriers for others.
BLAKE PETERSON A dynamic expert in operations, construction and finance, Blake Peterson serves as a resource to her team and the industry. Expanding Transwestern Real Estate Services’ business portfolio and nearly doubling its asset services team, Peterson leads 51 professionals and oversees more than nine million square feet of assets, as SVP. Upholding high standards of service for clients to optimize building performance, Peterson successfully won more than three million square feet of new property management assignments in 2019; nearly doubling the company’s Bay Area footprint. Offering the perspectives of landlords and employers to benefit working mothers, she also contributed to San Francisco’s Lactation in the Workplace Ordinance; working directly to draft and pass legislation.
LYNN E. SCHEMMEL Demonstrating operational excellence throughout her more than 25 year career, Lynn Schemmel serves as VP of The RMR Group and as SVP of its real estate services division. Rising through the company’s ranks upon joining in 1997, Schemmel now oversees operations for more than 40 million square feet throughout 25 states. Instrumental in numerous portfolio acquisitions, she continuously leads a team of 120 professionals, managing 388 buildings and 679 tenants. Committed to environmental stewardship, she was the driving force behind the company’s real time energy monitoring program, which has secured $1.85 million in cost savings for its managed properties since its implementation in 2017.
MOLLY STENGEL Entering the industry in 2015 without any knowledge of the field, Molly Stengel quickly ascended leadership roles within Hughes Development Corporation, before assuming her current position of director of property management. Within the role, she personally manages 500,000 square feet of space, while overseeing the management of 1.8 million square feet and numerous vacant land parcels. Within the past year, she has significantly improved the company’s property management department by streamlining organizational processes and thoroughly training new property managers, while organizing a tenant-wide CPR/AED certification course and an active shooter course. She contributes to lease renewals and onboards new tenants while spearheading various facility improvements.
2020 WOI CATEGORY STANDOUTS
JUDI A. BUTTERWORTH ORION Investment Real Estate In addition to serving her current position as ORION Investment Real Estate’s SVP and team lead within its retail investment and leasing division, Judi Butterworth has succeeded as a pillar within the industry throughout her 40-year career. Thriving through both her professional and humanitarian efforts, Butterworth has been involved with transactions totaling more than one million square feet, while making significant contributions to industry and civic matters. She created and leads the industry women’s groups, Commercial One and Women Brokers of Phoenix, and she previously chaired the Phoenix housing commission. Working predominately within homelessness and addiction recovery, she serves as a founding board member for the homeless women’s recovery campus, Changing Lives Center; she serves as a board ambassador and teaches weekly addiction recovery classes for the Phoenix Rescue Mission.
CINDY M. CLARE Bell Partners A true team builder and a recognized multifamily leader, Cindy Clare has received numerous industry accolades for her countless contributions to the sector. She has held prominent, leadership positions throughout her 35-year industry career. Since joining Bell Partners as COO three years ago, Clare has directed phenomenal growth for the company, while overseeing the operations of nearly 50,000 apartment units, handling community management for both company-owned and third-party communities, and establishing a national property management team. She has served as IREM’s Northern VA chapter president and regional VP, as chairman of the National Apartment Association and as president of AOBA. She currently serves on the Virginia Tech residential property manager advisory board and as an IREM faculty member; instructing the next-generation of industry leaders.
PAMELA J. GOODWIN Goodwin Commercial An entrepreneur from the age of four years old, upon starting a lemonade-stand venture, Pamela Goodwin achieved a long record of success in assisting local and national clients with commercial real estate acquisitions, before founding her own company in 2006. With more than three decades of experience on both the landlord and tenant sides of the industry, Goodwin serves as CEO of Goodwin Commercial; specializing in developing retail pad sites. While guiding clients to yield successful results, Goodwin benefits the industry by serving as a member and past Dallas chair of ICSC, a member of Lewisville’s zoning board of adjustments, a member and contributor for Forbes Real Estate Council, a board advisor for Women’s Leadership Live, an author of two industry books and a national industry speaker.
LYNN G. KIOUS Newmark Knight Frank A more than 30-year industry veteran with a depth of leadership experience, Lynn Kious has achieved countless professional accomplishments and accolades throughout her career. Within her role as senior managing director at Newmark Knight Frank, Kious serves as a corporate advisory services specialist; representing global multi-market companies. In 2019, she led her team to complete $230 million in global transaction volume, including $193 million in sales and 470,000 square feet of lease negotiations, while consistently surpassing clients’ financial targets by 15% to 30%. She serves on the executive steering committee for the firm’s network of women and she is an active member and former board member of CoreNet Global and CoreNet Southern California. She is a top ranked Senior Leader of Corporate Real Estate faculty member and a passionate volunteer; raising awareness for homeless women in downtown Los Angeles.
MARIBEL WATSON KOELLA
NAI Koella | RMMoore Progressing through an array of leadership roles, Maribel Watson Koella has spent 50 years cultivating success as an industry trailblazer. As Tennessee’s first and only female, industrial SIOR and the first woman chair of NAI Global’s advisory board, she guides progress as a go-to resource for industry needs, issues and requirements. Upon co-founding her company in the 1980’s, she piloted a strategic merger to form NAI Koella | RMMoore. As the majority owner, director and principal, she has doubled the company’s combined pre-merger sales volume and nearly tripled its managed properties within the past two years. While additionally managing a robust, personal portfolio, she serves the industry and community as a member of countless boards and commissions. She serves as a senior member of NAI Global’s women’s alliance and the founder of the Urban Land Institute’s Knoxville chapter.
LAURIE LUSTIG-BOWER CBRE Commencing her career within the industry 32 years ago at CBRE, Laurie Lustig-Bower now serves the firm as EVP. In cultivating and leading a team of professionals, Lustig-Bower has handled more than $10 billion in transactions within the past decade, while specializing in multifamily sales, developments, conversions and marketing. She has ranked nationally as a top broker at CBRE for the past 25 years and she currently serves as the firm’s top multifamily producer within the Pacific SW region. As one of the first brokers to market Los Angeles properties to international clients, Lustig-Bower is highly-regarded as a leader within the field. A founding member CBRE’s women’s networking group, she additionally serves on the firm’s board of directors and as an advisory board member to its investment properties group and its private capital group.
CAMILLE RENSHAW B+E A truly innovative leader, Camille Renshaw serves as a pioneer within the net lease space. Founding B+E, in 2017, Renshaw created the first NNN trading platform and has since expanded the company’s offices to six cities, nationally. Leveraging the largest data set within the NNN industry through the platform, Renshaw offers buyers and sellers the ability to conduct full transactions online with real time, predictive pricing and AI-driven exchange. Under Renshaw’s leadership, in 2019, B+E successfully brokered the largest commercial real estate deal transacted on a digital platform. She also launched 1031 Trade, as the first trading platform for conducting 1031 exchanges. As CEO, she manages all operations while seeking and implementing innovative technology to continually advance B+E’s proprietary process. In addition to her technical contributions to the field, Renshaw serves as an advisory board member, a speaker and an educator within the industry.
VICKY SCHIFF Mosaic Real Estate Investors Since beginning her investment career three decades ago, Vicky Schiff has achieved success throughout each of her ventures as a serial, real estate equity entrepreneur. Co-founding five firms since 1996, she currently serves as the co-founder, managing partner and COO of Mosaic Real Estate Investors. With extensive real estate equity and distressed investing experience fueling her success, Schiff has rapidly grown the company since its 2015 inception; securing more than $2.4 billion in originations by seeking underserved sectors, focusing on risk mitigation and aligning itself with investors by establishing a zero fee model. She is committed to serving various industry, non-profit and educational organizations, as well as public and private companies and funds, as an advisory board member and chairman. She serves on Young Presidents Organization’s executive committee, launched its women’s international network and additionally founded an international women investors organization.