I started my commercial real estate career at Cushman and Wakefield and built an affinity for solving operational problems with creative real estate solutions. Every company’s top two expenses are their human capital costs and their facility costs. Creative management of how a company houses its staff and operations can add to NOI, while also enhancing recruiting and retention of the intellectual capital that fortifies the business.
My firm is Colorado Commercial Companies (C3). We specialize in helping users, owners and investors to infiltrate the difficult to penetrate commercial real estate market. I have handled office, industrial and land transactions for buyers, tenants, sellers and Landlords for over twenty years. My favorite part of the business is solving the puzzle of each unique deal. I work with two awesome professional partners, Ashley Weiler and Jonathan Ungar.
Where are you from originally? Do you enjoy living in Denver?
I am a Colorado native, born and raised in Boulder. I spent five years based in Minneapolis/St. Paul, and as I was heading into my sixth winter, I decided I needed to get back to some Colorado sunshine. The rest, as they say is history. There is no better place to live than Colorado! In my off time I bike and hike, garden and cook.
Who are a few of your women role models and why?
There are so many feisty, capable female role models in Colorado and nationally. Locally, I have been lucky to be mentored by Colorado standouts including Barb Grogan, LaRae Orullian and Kathy Hodgson. Each of these women established respected, lucrative careers in traditionally male dominated industries. Each built diverse, far flung professional networks that create tremendous value for their clients/constituents.
The ability to bring people together and create unique solutions is fun and it helps differentiate service providers from one another.
What drew you to Shift and how has being here helped reach your career goals?
Shift was a decision that was a long time coming. As a relatively small firm, we wanted a work environment that added a more social component to our business than traditional office space would. We also wanted a platform that could result in increased referral business.
C3 is a small firm. I like to say we are like ants…we lift many times our weight in business annually, but we do it with a small tightly knit staff that believes in work/life balance, prosperity, excellence and fun. We came to Shift to integrate into a larger professional community and have fun working!
As a woman in the work force, what are some challenges and obstacles that you have faced and overcome?
Commercial real estate is a business of extreme competition. There are times when the competition moves from the field to street fighting. I have built a career of choosing ethics over return and it has positioned C3 as one of the top boutique firms in Denver for the last 15 years. Our clients know that we are focused on their goals and the long-term relationship—not our commission.
As a woman in the workplace I have found many challenges, but most of them have been navigable. My industry requires information exchange and flow. My networking is non-traditional. The men in my business do not often reach out to ask me to join a foursome, but I can get the same information in less time with breakfasts and lunches. As in all things, you work from your strength. My career has allowed me to work with many of the top brokers in Colorado. Those historic deals have built a network that I can rely on for information, support and resources.
What advice would you give to women entering the work force?
Do something you love. Making this fundamental choice early on will allow you to take joy in long hours and the challenges that accompany the creation of career. Be willing to sacrifice for what you want to achieve. There are choices every executive needs to make related to work/life balance. Be honest with yourself. Have fun. Work with good people. Build solid teams.