Power Women: Barbara Houlihan
Peloton Commercial Real Estate SVP Barbara Houlihan knew she wouldn’t be happy sitting behind a desk all day, but she didn’t start just anywhere; she launched her real estate career in 1999 working for Lucy Billingsley.
It helped to have an influential brother make that introduction, too. That’s Barbara with brother, JLL’s Carl Ewert. When he vouches for your work ethic, that means a lot to people, she tells us. When Barbara joined Billingsley Co, it was because Lucy wanted to bring leasing in-house and took a chance hiring the newcomer. "It was really nice to work for someone who wanted to work hard, make money, and give back simultaneously,” Barbara tells us. When One Arts Plaza was built, Barbara was tapped to handle the leasing there with the now Peloton founders TD Briggs and Joel Postmueller. One of her biggest coups: getting Thompson & Knight into the tower.
She moved to Peloton in 2005 and says it’s been an easy fit for her. She enjoys the people she works with: "These are the people you want to be friends with outside of work, which makes coming into the office really seamless. Whether it’s personal or work life, I love these people,” she says. (We agree except for the person who has been stealing our lunches out of the fridge!) Barbara joined NTCAR early on in her career and became the NTCAR prez. She also serves on the board for Carry the Load an the Edge Scholarship committee.
Here’s Barbara, CASE Commercial’s Susan Gwin Burk, Cresa Dallas’ Susan Arledge, brokers Allie Beth Allman and Brenda Sandoz, and Dallas Chamber’s Nancy Davis. Barbara originally wanted to be a counselor (but the graveyard shift working a telephone hotline cured her of that desire after she wanted to tell a few people to get out of their situations or to get a job). After she graduated from UTD, her first real sales job was selling contacts to doctors for Bausch & Lomb. (You may be seeing right now because of Barbara.) After years of working as a manufacturer's rep, she realized that she had reached the pinnacle of all she could achieve there and made the leap into commercial real estate with Carl's encouragement.
Here is Barbara and husband, Bob, participating in the Carry the Load event on Memorial Day 2013. They were walking for Army 2nd Lt Peter Burks, who went to school with their son. She loves to hike and ski and basically do anything outdoors, she says. The family heads to Montana as often as they can to fly fish on the Blackfoot River, as well as hike, and ride. Barbara and the kids also took on a hike to Machu Pichu in Peru, hitting the 14,000-foot peak called Dead Woman’s Pass (appropriately, on her birthday). They hiked up on the fourth day of the trip hitting the trail about 4:30 to the peak to see the sun rise.