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Rachel Howitt President & CFO, NAI Capital

Los Angeles

Rachel Howitt got into real estate during the early ‘90s financial crisis, joining husband Michael Zugsmith’s firm to lend an extra hand. In 1995, the office became known as NAI Capital and Rachel took on an even greater role, helping expand the company to 14 offices in SoCal with 280 brokers and employees. (Prior to that, she had attended UMASS and Brown, concentrating on metallurgical engineering, coming to California to work on unmanned spacecraft while simultaneously going to UCLA's Graduate School of Management.) Today, she oversees NAI Capital's financial and administrative matters, and she's also responsible for exploring strategic alliances to enhance the depth and scope of its services. As a board member for the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate, she mentors young women in the industry. “It’s critical they have a support system,” she says. “Part of being a leader is lifting others to a whole new level, inspiring them and motivating them.” She's also a member of the NAI Global Leadership Board and takes part in philanthropic activities like the Milken Institute, the Tiger Club at Occidental College, and Step Up 4 Vets. Fun fact: Rachel used to race Porsches and BMWs.