Tina Derderdian Managing Director, Sonnenblick-Eichner Co
Tina Derderian (left, with her cousin Sonja) started her career in investment banking on the corporate side, where professionals don't always have an industry focus. However, after joining Sanwa Bank (following a stint on the acquisitions team at Countrywide), Tina found that she enjoyed the creativity of real estate. "It's more interesting than breaking down the cost of components for a gasket manufacturer," she says. And every deal has a sense of urgency. One of her most challenging transactions was getting a non-recourse loan in 2009 for a newly developed hotel. The client needed to refi out of a construction loan but had achieved only 55% occupancy, and Tina was surrounded by naysayers. "Everyone knows what the market was like at that time, and hospitality was hit especially hard." The existing lender was threatening foreclosure, which gave Tina even more incentive to get the deal done, she says. Outside of work, Tina likes snow skiing and biking, and is such an animal lover that she once crashed her mountain bike to avoid running over a rattlesnake. The rattler seemed to appreciate the gesture. "He didn't try to bite when I used a really long branch to move him off the trail," she says.