Kitty Wallace EVP, Colliers International
Kitty Wallace (with her family in front of the White House) sold the Brockman Lofts--80 units over Bottega Louie--just as Downtown LA was coming out of the bottom of the market. Today, she's selling another notable site--the seven acres surrounding Yamashiro restaurant in the Hollywood Hills. She was headed for an investment banking job in New York when her father passed away, and she went back home to Northern California to live with her mother. Working in the shoe department at Nordstrom—using her HP calculator to add up buyers' purchases—she eventually became the youngest merchandise manager in the company, with 500-something employees and thousands of customers. However, she and her husband wanted to have children, and she was working six and a half days a week. "I thought commercial real estate would be a much better option for me to spend time with a smaller group of clients." She went to work selling apartments, working with Karoline Sauls and Raffi Krikorian in the Encino office of Sperry Van Ness. Winning the listing for a $200M portfolio in north LA County from Bascom marked an early milestone in her career. Catching the attention of a local investor who noticed Kitty was selling a lot of property—she was the No. 1 broker in Santa Monica—as well as institutional buyer AIMCO, were other pivotal events. "Those were the times when I felt that there's light at the end of the tunnel, and all this work finally paid off." She and her husband have two children and enjoy entertaining (one of her specialties is cooking for parties of 30-plus guests).