Inside Cover D — October 22 - November 18, 2021 — Women in Business — Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal


Women in Business Susan Korath, Cecilia Lassiter, Esq. and Dana Reynolds CREW New Jersey recognizes some of its top women in business

Susan Korath Financial Controller, Maridian Properties; Commercial Realtor, Keller Williams Commercial Years with company/firm: Maridian

Cecilia Lassiter, Esq. Member of the Firm and Co-Chair, State and Local Tax & Incentives Practice Group Sills Cummis & Gross P.C . Years with company/firm: 6 years Years in field: 12 years Years in real estate industry: 12 years

Dana Reynolds Business Development Manager The Holder Group Years with company/firm: 2 years Years in field: 2 years Years in real estate industry: 2 years

Who or what has been the strongest influence on your career? Principal of The Holder Group, Drew Holder, has had a very strong influence on my career. He took a chance on hiring me when I had no previous experience in con- struction and has dedicated significant time and energy into training me. Drew has taught me that you can be very successful and still be a caring, kind-hearted per- son. I am grateful to work for someone with his sense of character and someone who I know will look out for me. The networking groups that I am a part of, in particular CREWNew Jersey, have had a huge impact onme. I am very thankful for all the people that I have met within the industry. You don’t get anywhere alone! I appreci- ate the people that have taken me under their wing, given their time to help me with a connection or a piece of advice, anything really…I will always be grateful. Both of my parents have significantly helped me. They have taught me to work hard, to always be respectful but stand my ground, and to place a lot of value on other people’s time/help other people whenever possible. And my Dad has taught me to always add a good laugh where you can, which I firmly believe adds to a happy life. A good laugh is always needed! Why did you choose the field/profession you are in today? I’ve always known that I needed to be in a career that involved being around and helping other people. My favorite part of my job is being able to connect people with one another—especially people that I know can have a significant impact in each other’s careers. If I can do something that will help someone and I know that they have good intentions, I will do whatever I can to help them close that deal, secure a relationship, or provide any insights/background information that could be useful. What inspiring word of advice would you give to a young woman about to go into the field of com- mercial real estate or your allied field? Be you. You can’t be anything that you are not and don’t change yourself to fit the mold that you think other people expect you to be like due to your position—the things that come naturally to you and that are a part of your inherent personality will turn out to be some of your biggest assets and strengths that you bring to the table. What impact has social media / networking had on your business? Networking has had a huge impact on our business. It is through the relationships that we have developed through networking groups such as CREWNew Jersey, NAIOP New Jersey, CORENET New Jersey, BOMA New Jersey, IFMA New Jersey and HFMSNJ that we have been able to get into relationships that we have been lucky to turn into wonderful clients. It is through networking that I have met many amazing people, who have been generous with their time, information, and relationships—which I am very grateful for. Social media has also had a significant impact in helping us grow following and in getting our information out there. MAREJ Real estate organizations/affiliations: CREWNew Jersey, NAIOP New Jersey, BOMA New Jersey, CORENET New Jersey, IFMA New Jersey

Tell us how and when you began your career in the profession you are in: I have an Accounting degree from William Paterson University and an MBA in Finance from Pace Univer- sity. I started my career as an accountant in UPS back in the early ‘90s and shortly thereafter, as a Treasury Analyst in the Treasury Department at what was then Liz Claiborne (later became Kate Spade). In the early 2000’s, after finishing my MBA, I started working as a Staff Accountant for Saddleback Realty (now called Saddleback Real Estate Developers) and then went on to join Tulfra Realty in 2007 as Controller and then CFO. While working at Tulfra, I also got my CCIM designation. In 2018, I felt the “itch” to do something different, got my real estate license, and joined Keller Williams Commercial; however, my numbers back- ground never escaped me. I also work as a real estate investment consultant for various clients. What is your current position? I am still a commercial realtor with Keller Williams but I also work as the Financial Controller for Maridian Properties in Hoboken. What was your most notable project, deal or transaction in 2021? After joining Maridian a year ago, I was proud to be part of a team that secured over $30 million in financ - ing for a portfolio of investment properties in Hoboken (mixed use and residential apartment buildings). It was a long and arduous transaction, with many hurdles, but we saw it through. Quite a satisfying experience to have seen it come to fruition. Who or what has been the strongest influence on your career? Probably my husband. I tend to be a “workaholic”, that has always been my personality, and I’ve learned from him (and am still learning) to put things into perspective and maintain a healthy balance between work and life. He is also my greatest supporter in all my professional endeavors. What unique qualities and or personality do you feel makes you most successful in your profession? From a work ethics standpoint, I would rate myself as a hard worker and someone who always strives for excellence. I believe in doing everything with integrity and earning the trust of my clients and colleagues. When working with my clients, their needs become my own and I strive to provide them the best service possible; after all, they have entrusted their real estate needs to me. Tell us a little about your family: Married with 2 children. My daughter is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music from the University of Rochester. She is now a musician and a Music Teacher, and my son is a 3rd year Finance Major at Rutgers University. MAREJ Properties – 1 year; Keller Williams – 3 ½ years; Years in field: 30 Years in the Accounting and Finance Fields Years in real estate industry: 18 years Real estate organizations/affiliations: CCIM, CREW NJ

Tell us how and when you began your career in the profession you are in: I beganmy journey into lawwhenmy husband was involved in a lawsuit with his business partner, and over the course of two years of litigation and a five day trial, all the attorneys that we dealt with in the case told me that I should go to law school. This prompted me to seriously consider law school for the first time in my life. After graduating from law school, I started working for a small, boutique law firm that specializes in bonds and redevelop- ment representing government entities. Today, I am on the other side of the deal representing private developers on large scale redevelopment projects. What is your current position? I am aMember of the firm of Sills Cummis &Gross P.C., and Co-Chair of the firm’s State and Local Tax & Incentives Practice Group. What was your greatest professional accom- plishment in 2021? My greatest accomplishment in 2021 was reach- ing a goal that I had set for myself with respect to origination. Another highlight was making the ROI Influencers: People of Color list. What was your most notable project, deal or transaction in 2021? I am proud to say that our firm handled one of the first and largest Emerge awards in the State of New Jersey, promising to create one of the largest fintech hubs in the country, including creating 1,927 new jobs and retaining 1,063 existing jobs that were at risk of being located outside the State of New Jersey. How do you manage the work/life balance? It’s hard, but it has gotten easier recently – at least in my situation. I think companies have realized that people can work from home and be efficient. Working from home the past year and a half has allowed me to spend more time with my kids. What unique qualities and or personality do you feel makes you most successful in your profession? You have to be good at what you do, but you also have to be personable. I think every job in some aspect involves saleswomanship! I am a very outgoing person, and I think this has helped me in my career. MAREJ Real estate organizations/affiliations: 2021 President-Elect of CREW NJ; 2022 President of CREW NJ; Center for Real Estate, Rutgers Business School, Advisory Council Member; Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, Advisory Board Member; The Foundation for University Hospital, Trustee; The Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges, Board of Directors

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