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Power Women: Ryan's Ginny Kissling Has A Knack For Numbers, But She Dreamed Of Life On The Road

This limited series profiles DFW Power Women who have made their mark in the Dallas-Fort Worth commercial real estate industry. Each of the women profiled will be honored at Bisnow's Dallas-Fort Worth Power Women event Nov. 12

The global president and chief operating officer for Ryan LLC, Ginny Kissling, has an impressive background in executive leadership and is an expert on taxation. But Kissling, who also is a member of Ryan's board of managers, was more interested in big rigs.

Ryan Global President and COO Ginny Kissling

Bisnow: What did you dream of becoming as a child? How does your current career feed that inner child inside of you?

Kissling: As a child, I dreamed of being a truck driver. Yes, a truck driver. We had a family friend who was a truck driver and he always had such great stories full of adventure. I wanted to experience adventures. In my teenage years, my dream of being a truck driver shifted. I found my passion in accounting and followed that dream by getting my Master's in Tax from [The University of North Texas]. The inner child inside of me loves solving problems, and I do that today while running a global business where there is no shortage of adventures.

Bisnow: If you could teach women growing in the industry today just one thing, what would it be?

Kissling: Self-confidence. You control your thoughts, feelings and actions. Believe in yourself as you can do it. But know that you have to want it first.

Bisnow: Who inspires you on a daily basis and why? 

Kissling: My kids inspire me. Everything I do is for them and to show them what it means to be a good person and a leader in our world. There is no greater joy than seeing your kids grow to be responsible adults.

Bisnow: What is your biggest career failure and what positive lessons did it teach you? 

Kissling: That’s a tough one. We all experience failures at times. I’d say it’s probably the time I missed an important filing deadline for a client. This failure led to them missing the opportunity to realize savings. That one hurt because I didn’t just fail myself, I failed my client — and my clients mean everything to me. But I did learn a valuable lesson: It’s not just about the failure, it’s about how you respond. I learned to acknowledge failures, ask for help in resolving them and take responsibility. None of us are perfect, but we are each accountable for how we respond during the failures we experience during our careers and in life.

Bisnow: Describe your greatest career accomplishment.

Kissling: My greatest career accomplishment was taking a tax refund case to the Texas Supreme Court and winning. We came up with a creative tax refund issue that was denied at all levels. After our client agreed to appeal it to the Texas Supreme Court, it was decided in our favor after 10 long years of appeals. It taught me that creativity (as everyone told us that our interpretation of the tax code was wrong) and perseverance pays off. 

Hear from more business leaders at Bisnow's Dallas-Fort Worth Power Women event Nov. 12 at The W Dallas Victory.