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Celebrating Veterans in Commercial Real Estate

Houston Other

We’d like to thank all the brave men and women who have put themselves on the line to protect our country. Today, meet six veterans of both commercial real estate and military service.

Marcus & Millichap’s Joseph Russo served in the Marine Corps for six years as an infantryman in a weapons company. During Operation Iraqi Freedom in ‘07, he was deployed to Anbar Province, and he served in Morocco for Exercise African Lion in ’07. He says the Corps taught him that every day on this earth is earned and not to be taken for granted. He believes that if you strive to be the best person you can be in the workplace, in your home and in your faith, good things will come. He joined Marcus & Millichap this March and is specializing in office and industrial investment sales in Houston and Louisiana.

TechKnowledge’s Frank Weber retired after spending 24 years in the Army, Army Reserve and National Guard. He spent most of his military career as a member of the Green Berets (the Army elite special forces), and has deployed around the globe to support numerous contingency missions—above, he’s in Afghanistan, but he’s also worked in the Balkans and Northern Iraq. Through the US Defense Language Institute, he learned Russian, and served as liaison to Russian Peacekeeping Forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, and the US Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine. His commendations include twice receiving the Meritorious Service Medal, several campaign medals,and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. Notably, he earned the Military Freefall Jumpmaster and Parachutist Badge, the Static-Line Jumpmaster Badge, and the coveted Special Forces tab.  

After graduating from West Point in ’01. Weitzman's Randy Hopper served in the Army for five years, ending as a captain. He says military service allowed him to develop a creative entrepreneurial approach to business, taught him to be a self-starter and helped him learn to focus on the details. He earned a Bronze Star. Now he’s leasing Central Square Midtown, and negotiated the site acquisition of the new Big Brothers Big Sisters HQ under construction. (Weitzman CEO Herb Weitzman also served in the military, including 7.5 years in the reserves.)

Kirksey’s Danielle Farley was an Air Force Captain and served for eight years. She flew many sorties over Iraq and Afghanistan as a navigator on the RC-135, earning an Air Medal, Aerial Achievement medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal. She also received five Meritorious Unit Awards, an Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, and an Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border and two devices. Her time serving taught her the importance of taking responsibility and maintaining accountability.

Skanska’s Andre Carr has served in the Army for 15 years, and is still an executive officer in the Reserves. He says the Army has taught him about who he is and what role he must play to complete any mission (Army or personal). He says his personal convictions and values cannot be separated from those of the Army, and he draws on the principles it instilled every day. He’s won many medals (including the Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War of Terrorism Service Medal and a few Parachutist Badges), and is one of only a handful of soldiers in the US that has earned the Paraguayan Airborne Wings. These days, Andre is busy working on Phase II of Capitol Tower.

Colliers’ Sheryl Thomas served in the Navy from 1996 to 2001, starting as an Aviation Boatswain’s Mate-Fuel (a below-water position) and ending as a Petty Officer 2nd Class and assistant weather forecaster/Aerographer’s Mate (positioned in the watchtower, much sunnier). She earned the Good Conduct Medal and was named an Expert Rifleman. Here she’s manning the fuel filter room aboard aircraft carrier CVN-72 USS Abraham Lincoln. Sheryl tells us that the core values of the Navy (honor, courage and commitment) are still relevant in her life today as she transitions to an entrepreneur. (Besides working at Colliers, she recently launched her own company, PlusCorp Photography & Marketing.)