Power Women: Chelby Sanders
Next in our Power Women series is a lady who's not afraid to put in some serious time. Nabbing the Hilton Hotels HQ relocation to Dallas took almost three years of CBRE SVP Chelby Sanders’ time and efforts. (Some people finish college in less time.) She began pursuing the Hilton deal in early 2007. She networked her way to the CEO by leveraging relationships both inside and outside of her firm and arranged for the CEO and his team to meet in Dallas. Chelby's team (then at JLL) was hired and secured the regional HQ, and then ultimately the entire Hilton portfolio. “That reinforced how tenacity, forming relationships, and making connections are key to the business,” Chelby says. Here’s Chelby with Skanska’s Kimberly Burke at Bisnow’s Power Women reception earlier this month.
Last year, Chelby scored another major HQ relo when she and partner/CBRE EVP Josh White inked the Neovia Logistics (formerly Caterpillar Logistics) deal in Las Colinas. “Neovia was an awesome transaction to work on because of the big impact on the City of Irving and Las Colinas, where Josh and I focus,” she tells us. The deal involved some creativity because the state didn’t come through with the incentives Neovia expected, but Chelby and Josh negotiated with the landlords to carve out the additional money needed to keep the deal in the Metroplex and not in Atlanta.
Here’s Chelby (far right) hanging with a table full of powerful women including Avison Young’s Susan Blair, Cresa Dallas’ Susan Arledge, Younger & Partners’ Kathy Permenter, E Smith Realty’s Sharon Morrison, and Billingsley Co’s Marijke Lantz. She’s a relative newcomer to commercial real estate with 11 years on the job. She’s worked for Bill Cawley, JLL, and The Staubach Co before landing at CBRE two years ago. JLL’s Carl Ewert was among the mentors who played a pivotal role in getting her real estate career kickstarted. “Carl (who also mentored Josh) taught us about the importance of developing a relationship with the client, both inside and outside of the office,” she says. (If we didn't have clients, we wouldn't have any friends.)
Chelby thrives on competition, which is a good thing since she started her career as a stock broker. She advises young people in the industry to formulate a plan and follow it. When she first started working, she set goals including a five-year, no-complaint clause. She vowed not to complain, focus on the fundamentals when she was discouraged, and just take the one step at a time. She’s here with her two daughters, Alexis (13) and Taylor (15) in Hawaii last year. When she can squeeze it in, she enjoys Pilates. She is also active in leadership roles with the YWCA and CBRE's Women's Network. Most days, she’s driving her daughters to their club soccer and volleyball events.