Tell us about a problem or challenge that you have faced or are currently facing as a leader. How have you or how are you currently overcoming that issue?
I have always understood the value of good business relationships. Having spent several years directly managing mixed-use developments, I had built an appropriate level of contacts for the scope of the role. However, once I began to move up the corporate ranks, I quickly realized the need to broaden and refresh my contacts. I began to volunteer with ICSC, our industry organization, over the course of a few years, not only had I right-sized my contacts, I also increased my industry knowledge and influence. In addition to chairing the ICSC Red River Conference, I have the honor of serving as the Marketplace Council Director for Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
How would you describe the business environment for women in North Texas? What has improved and what still needs work?
As the traditional thoughts about what being a woman in business means continues to expand, the business environment is ripe with opportunity for women. In fact, women are leading characters in the stories evolving from businesses and entrepreneurship. North Texas has a robust pipeline of possibilities. Commercial real estate, in particular, still has room for improvement in the areas of gender and diversity. However, important progress is being made as more women occupy brokerage positions, occupy the C-suite and start their own businesses than ever before.
How have you drawn professional inspiration from other women?
Women have been woven through the fabric of my career from the beginning. They have been advocates, mentors, colleagues and friends. Their unique perspectives and life experiences have helped me to be as comfortable being a knower as I am with being a learner.
How did you get into your industry? Was there a moment you knew you wanted a career in your industry?
Many years ago, I was an office manager for a real estate and development company. I loved everything about the energy, the deals, the problem-solving, etc. I learned as much as I could but knew I wanted to be a key problem solver. This is what led me to property and asset management and is likely why I am referred to as an obstacle remover.
What is something that may not be top of mind for others but that you think will change our industry in the future?
I believe that by creating environments where diverse ideas and perspectives are celebrated, the level of innovation and entrepreneurship will be elevated and the industry will continue to flourish.
What professional achievement are you most proud of?
Ten years ago, I was honored to receive the Dallas Business Journal Minority Business Leader Award. I was so excited and appreciative of this level of acknowledgment. I specifically remember thinking that it would be nice to have a career’s worth of work and service that would stand alone so that the accomplishments had nothing to do with the fact that I was a minority. So, to receive this award 10 years later and to simply be a Dallas Business Journal Women in Business award honoree is an achievement that I am especially proud of. I am proud to have been chosen as Cedar Hill Woman of the Year, to have chaired the BSW Partnership representing 12 cities in economic development, and most recently, I became a newly elected City Councilwoman for my city, Cedar Hill.
You couldn’t have gotten to the place that you are without…: A clear sense of three things. First, that nothing is really about me, that service is everything and that I have a creator and a purpose.
Hobbies: Traveling, volunteering, gardening
Favorite female musician/female-led band?: Lauren Hill and the FugeesContinue Reading