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Building The Plane While Flying It: Women In Austin CRE Are Soaring

Bisnow’s inaugural Austin Women Leading Real Estate event highlights the trailblazers, the women who “do hard things,” in the words of one of this year’s honorees.

Whether they're top performers at large companies, branched off to start their own firm, made their name as a champion of diversity and inclusion or sustainability, or are an all-around industry innovator, these 24 influential women leaders from all sectors of the commercial real estate world are an integral part of Austin’s explosive growth.

This year’s cohort celebrates investors and developers, women in legal, city and professional services, and sales and leasing dynamos. It also highlights women making a name for themselves in operations and asset management, and those redefining construction, architecture and design.

All of them have done so in a changing, but still male-dominated industry, especially at the boardroom and executive level. Women made up 23.5% of the highest-ranking executives at the country's largest commercial real estate firms, according to Bisnow’s most recent industry analysis in 2021.

“Women are making huge strides and we have a long way to go,” said 2022 honoree Beck-Reit Commercial Real Estate owner and founder DeLea Becker, who emphasized trailblazers don’t simply set out on a new path.

“They investigate, plan and prepare. Then they leap and build the plane while they are flying it,” she said.

All 24 of this year’s Austin trailblazers will be honored at an Oct. 19 event that will recognize them and promote the importance of employing and developing viable career paths for women in CRE via education, networking and resources for professional development.

Twenty of this year’s class are profiled below. Bisnow’s 2022 class of Austin Women Leading Real Estate also includes TM1 Properties CEO Amy Tiemann, Gables Residential Vice President of Investments Jennifer Wiebrand, Site Selections President Susan Harris and Broaddus Construction Chief Financial Officer Heather Wakefield.

— Katharine Carlon, Central U.S. editor

September 29, 2022
Beck-Reit Commercial Real Estate owner and founder DeLea Becker +
Heritage Title Co. owner Laura Beuerlein +
Carter Design Associates owner Donna Carter +
Stream Realty Managing Director of Office Leasing Rachel Coulter +
Page Principal Wendy Dunnam Tita +
JLL Executive Vice President-Tenant Representation Diana Holford +
Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Laura Huffman +
Capella Commercial Partner and Designated Broker Helen Jobes +
ECR Managing Director of Management Services Tiffany Lauchlan +
Prospect Real Estate CEO and Pearlstone Partners Partner Emily Lee +
Foundation Communities Chief Real Estate Officer Vicki Beal McDonald +
Husch Blackwell Partner Nikelle Meade +
Avison Young Principal and Managing Director Erin Morales +
STG Design Inc. CEO Sandra M. Paret +
Gensler Regional Managing Principal Judy Pesek +
Ryan Cos. Senior Vice President of Real Estate Development Marcy Phillips +
University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business - Real Estate Center Director Mandy Pope +
HPI Real Estate Management Inc. President Cynthia Powell +
Austin Habitat for Humanity CEO Phyllis Snodgrass +
Investors Alliance Inc. owner Diana Zuniga +