16C — October 25 - November 7, 2013 — Executive Women in Business — Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal


Executive Women in Business

Debbie Pomerantz, Gebroe-Hammer . . .

Valerie Montecalvo, Bayshore Recycling . . .

feeling” and discretionary responses. Do you feel there are any differences in the way that men and women develop business relat ionships and if so, what activities or venues do you partici- pate in? Pomerantz believes that relationship building is one of the most important tools every great leader can tap into to produce meaningful results. She feels there are definite differences in how women and men build rela- tionships – neither of which has a greater advantage over another. While men may golf with their clients, Pomerantz focuses on building rapport not just by focusing on busi- ness but by taking a genuine interest in clients and their families. She feels that a casual meeting is all about making a connection and what better way than to talk about family. Tell us a little about your family. Pomerantz has four daugh- ters and a son, ranging in age from 10 to 19, with whom she shares her infectious enthusiasm for her career. Her children take an active interest in their mother’s suc- cesses, challenges and tactics for overcoming obstacles. Her 16-year-old daughter has even expressed an interest in join- ing her mother as a broker- age professional one day. Her children know how committed their mother is to not only her career, but – most importantly – how devoted she is to them as well. If you are the primary caregiver to your children what obstacle and chal- lenges do you meet on a day to day basis? As is the case for most working mothers, childcare is the paramount challenge associated with successfully balancing a career and fam- ily. Since launching her “new” commercial real estate career, Pomerantz has overcome her initial inability to delegate on both the work and home front. She has learned to enlist a network of helpers who as- sist her with everything from school drop offs and pickups, to homework and housework. She notes that without this network of support, neither parenting nor her brokerage career would be possible. Who do you feel was most influential in your life when choosing this profession? continued from page 10C

family, friends and work into my busy schedule. Do you feel being awoman is an advantage in today’s business world? Why? Why not? Being a woman is an advan- tage because women balance so many factors and possess life skills that are extremely beneficial in business. I also think that women are, for the most part, more empathic and compassionate. Hard minded business people (whether male or female) who have no real compassion or concern for their clients and/or employees do not do well in the long run. Busi- ness owners need to know and understand their customer base and be willing to go the extra mile to be successful and profit- able with their projects. Being an approachable leader with an understanding and concerned demeanor, allows you to help those who are vital to your business. You also have to be willing to workwith unexpected circumstances or conditions. No one wants to lose a dedicated employee or loyal client because of a misunderstanding or mis- communication. Tell us a little about your family. My dad is a retired chemical transporter and my mom is a retired legal secretary. Both had incredible work ethics, of which I proudly emulate. My siblings consist of an older sister, Debbie and a younger brother, Frank. Both are married and have grown children. I have four nephews and a great niece. We are a close family unit. My husband/business partner (Frank) and I have two children; Nicole (25) works at our firm as the Director of Public Relations. Our son, Frankie (22), is a very successful professional race car driver who races sports cars in the European Le Mans Series, the American Le Mans Series, the World Endurance Champi- onship and the Continental Tire Challenge Series. If you are the primary caregiver to your children what obstacle and chal- lenges do you meet on a day to day basis? My children are now adults, but I did have many challenges when they were younger as I worked full time in the busi- ness. Even though I had care givers at home, the minute I walked through the door, my role changed significantly. Instead of being the CEO of a large recycling firm, I was nowa wife andmother responsible for making the householdwork. My evenings were spent running continued from page 15D

Without question Pomer- antz counts her children as among her biggest fans, ad- vocates and career support- ers. She enlists them in her work when appropriate and has, on occasion, brought her children with her on sales calls. The whole family shares in Pomerantz’s career suc- cess by marking each closed transaction with a celebratory dinner. What is the funniest, most unique situation you have faced / conquered during your business ca- reer? Several years ago, Pomer- antz had planned a client din- ner meeting. After giving her family a general idea of when she would be meeting the cli- ent and when she expected to return, she went to the desig- nated restaurant. Although the client was delayed, the dinner went off without a hitch – or so she thought. Unbeknownst to Pomerantz, her family had planned a surprise birthday party, based on the timeline she had given them. When she did not show up as originally expected, family and friends decided to bring the party to her – and her client, who enjoyed the celebration. This event gave new meaning to “surprise” for Pomerantz. What outside activities do you enjoy during you free time? Pomerantz enjoys anything and everything her five chil- dren enjoy. She values the opportunity to share in their individual passions, support- ing them in their own endeav- ors and spending as much quality time as possible with them on a one-on-one basis and as a family. She also donates time, materials and financial support to their membership organizations and respective schools, where she served as a past member of the Board of Directors. What do you feel is the key to your success? Commercial real estate bro- kerage is a profession that can be both rewarding and unpredictable. Key to Pomer- antz’s continued success is her capacity to embrace old- school sales methods while integrating much of the new technology that is changing the face of investment broker- age. Her ability to be honest, build relationships and employ creativity when it comes to facilitating a sale all create staying power. Pomerantz also is a good listener who is un- waveringly loyal to both firm and her clients. n

to football practice or games, participating with Nicole in all-star cheerleading in multi- state competitions, martial arts practice and the multitude of activities we had on our sched- ule. I fell into bed each evening exhausted but happy to be able to participate with my children in their busy lives. Who do you feel was most influential in your life when choosing this profession? I would say my most influ- ential person in business was my husband Frank. Unlike me, whose parents worked for others, Frank’s family owned a thriving local Italian Res- taurant. It was amazing to me the amount of time that was devoted to running a successful business. Frank worked from an early age alongside his fam- ily—learning quickly the skills required for success. Witnessing my parents work ethic and add- ing Frank’s business acumen, prepared me for the enormous amount of challenges in today’s business world. What is the funniest, most unique situation you have faced / conquered during your business career? There was one very precipi- tous event that does comes to mind. It was on Earth Day of 2010. We were planning a re- ception at our waterfront site to showcase our newly designed, state-of-the-art Construction and Demolition Recycling Sys- tem. Early that same week, we had received a call from our Port Agent asking us if we could assist an International Marine Wildlife and Conserva- tion Group. We jumped at the opportunity to host the “Sea Shepherd” and their ship, The Steve Irwin at our waterfront facility. After the ship cleared Cus- toms, the Captain and Crew invited everyone on board for a tour of the ship and presenta- tion on their mission. We were able to get the word out to the public through the media and calls to our local environmen- tal groups. So for the entire weekend we opened our site to the public. The event cemented a long-term relationship for us with the Organization, Captain and crew. What outside activities do you enjoy during you free time? My entire family is extreme sports enthusiasts. We also enjoy boating and water sports. When I have some downtime, one of my favorite pastimes is touring old estates and study- ing architecture. I love interior decorating too so nothing brings me more pleasure than a reno-

continued from pg 6C for me in real estate, as most of the people I work with are men. Tell us a little about your family. My husband, Andy, and I have homes in New Jersey and New York. Andy works for the U.S. Dept of Home- land Security, and I am proud that he was a Marine. I have two grown stepchildren. My Dad, who is deceased, was a metallurgic engineer, and my Mom was a PamAm flight at- tendant. I have a brother who lives in Florida. My Mom, two sisters, brother-in-law, and five nieces and nephews live in New Jersey. Who do you feel was most influential in your life when choosing this profession? My Dad, William T. Er- ickson III, was a genius. He inspired me to want to be the best, and I started my career in his field. What is the funniest, most unique situation you have faced / conquered during your business ca- reer? I spent eight years travel- ing the country (including thousands of hours on planes and in cars) with my two male clients while opening more than 140 retail locations. We celebrated weddings, chil- dren, and other special family events together, and they re- main my clients and the best of friends today. What do you feel is the key to your success? I am ambitious, determined and driven, and I have an out- standing ability to multi-task. However, my success stems mostly out of fear of failure. This makes me continue to raise the bar and challenge myself to do more. n vation or construction project either at home or the office. What do you feel is the key to your success? Resiliency! As a recycler, I have made it my mission to find use for what others deem debris. I keep a keen eye on the bottom line and conserve energy whenever and wherever possible. These are life practices not just strategies for tough times. Although it helps when going through a rough patch to have developed thrifty, practical economical business practices. I have turned a passion for re- cycling and conservation into a rewarding career. n Nancy Erickson Cushman & . . .

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