M id A tlantic M id A tlAntic Real Estate Journal — 40 Executive Women in Business — October 26 - November 8, 2018 — 17 I sI ss Real Estate Journal — Women in Business — October 26 - November 8, 2018 — 17C Women in Business
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Jennifer A. Greenlee, AIA, LEED AP Principal Newcomer Associates Architecture and Engineering
Christie L. Houlihan Senior Director & Counsel Houlihan - Parnes Realtors, LLC
What was your most notable project, deal or transaction in 2018? I worked on brokering the sale of 445 West 21st St., New York, NY, a 9,375 s/f, 10-unit multifamily property in the heart of Chelsea. The deal was unique as the seller, a family, had owned the property for over 100 years, and even maintained the original deed in perfect condition. Our firm worked on this project for 14 years as the seller was debating whether to sell, so it was exciting to see the deal come to a close and our clients ultimately satisfied. Who do you feel was most influential in your life when choosing this profession? Houlihan-Parnes Realtors, LLC, based in White Plains, New York, is my family’s commercial real estate business, now owned and managed by the fourth and fifth generations of our family. We are a vertically integrated real estate investment and management firm, with a portfolio of more than 8.5 million square feet of office, retail, industrial and mixed-use space and approximately 25,000 multifamily units. I grew up watching my dad, James. J. Houlihan, Managing Partner, grandfather and uncles working in the business, which heavily influencedmy career path. My dad’s entrepreneurial spirit and genuine passion for his work inspired my career decisions—he has always been a unique example of someone who is truly energized by his career.His independence also influencedme, as I chose to practice transactional real estate law for five years at New York law firms before returning to the family business, and prior to that worked in Congress, so my experience and perspective is certainly different than that of family members in the business.
Why did you choose the field/profession you are in today? Architecture was first suggested to me during college visits by an advisor who recognized that I enjoyed art and math. The balance of understanding a building’s context, envisioning and defining space with color, texture and daylight alongwith creating effective function through coordinated structure and systems meets my need for creativity and focus on efficiency. I enjoy the range of scale frommasterplanning campuses, to thinking through the detailing of materials coming together. What unique qualities and or personality traits do you feel make you most sucessful in your profession? A large part of my work has been with churches, libraries and board directed institutional and corporate projects. I believe my ability to ask the right questions to help identify priorities, listen well to find consensus, and gauge the level of project involvement each client prefers has resulted in successful projects, referrals, and repeat work. As project team leader for our in-house structural, mechanical and electrical staff, I am able to track progress and coordination of all disciplines through the clients’ eyes. With each project, I continue to ask questions of engineers, specialty consultants, and vendors to growmy education and meet our clients’ expectations. I also hope to make the process lively and enjoyable for all involved – clients and staff- for the dedicated time together.
Faith Hope Consolo Chairman Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Christine R. Chandler Group Vice President - Chief Credit Officer & Chief Operating Officer M&T Realty Capital Corporation
What was your greatest professional accomplishment in 2018? Staying in the game! Amid this challenging retail landscape, I am able to have a continuous pulse on the market from fashion to food to fitness. Success is being able to reinvent oneself and to continuously expand and grow the business without compromis- ing the service. What unique qualities or personality traits do you feel make you most successful in your profession? I have taken a role as an in- dustry mentor which is legendary and over the years, have taken leadership roles on the Board of Directors for the national Commer- cial Real Estate Women Network, its New York chapter, NYCREW, International Council of Shopping Centers, and the Association of Real Estate Women, for which I was a past President and for which I founded the AREW Charitable Fund. The cascade of influence I have created on the Commercial Real Estate community is well known, as I am a powerful voice in the global community and go- to resource for industry notables and neophytes. Do you feel being a woman is an advantage, disadvantage or no advantage in today’s business world? Why? Why not? When I started in this business, it was men only. I navigated my surround- ings by working twice or three times as hard as everyone else. At Garrick-Aug, we had contests to see who could get the most signs up around the city – after I won, and won again, and kept winning, they wouldn’t let me play anymore! Commercial real estate, in general, has since become a lot friendlier to women, though this is still a cutthroat business. Do your homework, read constantly, know all the brands, personally connect with your landlords, and get out there to pound the pavement.
Why did you choose the field/profession you are in today? When I first got married, I worked with my husband helping with his residential construction company. After the birth of our daughter, I realized that I needed to get a job with health benefits. One of our clients worked at First National Bank and suggested that I consider a job in banking – she thought I had good organizational skills. She helped get my foot in the door and I landed a job in Commercial Real Estate. I worked full time (with a toddler) and went to school at night to earn my Finance degree. I was fortunate to have people see potential in me and was offered different positions within CRED and the multifamily mortgage banking subsidiary. I really didn’t choose this career – it chose me – I grew up here and I wouldn’t change anything about it! What was your greatest professional accomplishment in 2018? My greatest 2018 accomplishment is being promoted to Chief Credit Officer and Chief Operating Officer for M&T Realty Capital Corpora- tion. For the past thirteen years I have been the Chief FHA Underwriter (Multifamily and Healthcare.) I went from managing a team of 20 specialized in FHA to a team of 66, which includes Agency Under- writing, Closing & Delivery and our Information Technology team for the company. My strength is organization and communication – but that is not useful if I don’t have the right team working with me to be successful. At M&T, we have a dynamic group of people that work together to deliver outstanding service to our customers. .
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