Gail Goldstein SVP, Avison Young
Gail Goldstein's career took an exciting turn this year—after 25 years of leasing and managing buildings for institutional owners like Equity Office (where she ran 2.5M SF in Santa Monica and West LA as regional director of leasing), Spieker, and Heitman, she joined AY to set up a new agency leasing team. But getting into the commercial real estate industry at all was a "fluke," she tells us. "My father passed away very suddenly when I was a sophomore at USC, and it required that I leave school and move home." To earn money, she got a job doing office work at Dolan and Knight Property Management, thinking it would be an entree to sell homes. However, one of her bosses asked if Gail had any interest in shopping centers, resulting in her first industry foray: leasing and managing University Village, a large shopping center across from the USC campus. During that time, she would work all day and take one class a semester nights at USC until she graduated in 1989. "I took the long way through college, but I think my education was really more meaningful because I had so much hands-on business experience." Gail and longtime boyfriend Rob Bird (above) of Budget Rent-a-Car are avid Dodgers fans, ballroom dancers, and deeply involved in charity work. The couple also provide economic support to a 7-year-old girl who lives in a village in Benin, Africa.