Val Achtemeier EVP, CBRE
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As an EVP in CBRE's debt and structured finance group, Val Achtemeier routinely closes $1B to $1.5B in debt financings per year and works with key investment sales teams to focus on the West Coast and national industrial transactions. Growing up on an Iowa farm gave Val (with daughter Lauren and their dog Sophie) an understanding of the risk/reward story of land, debt and development very early on. "I liked the entrepreneurial side of real estate and the negotiating, because I had seen my family members buy and sell land and finance it." Her father instilled confidence, but also the value of hard work and drive, she adds. Val started her career with The Principal Financial Group, which provided excellent training for women in professional and executive levels. "This was 1986; they were ahead of their time and opened up a lot of doors for women." It was also a good avenue to meet successful real estate owners throughout the country, like Ed Roski, who hired Val to run his capital markets platform at Majestic Realty. Part of the secret to longevity, she says, is having an appropriate work/play/family balance. She's taken her daughter on personal and business trips throughout the world. She's says it's essential to empower young women so they gain the confidence and credibility to succeed in all facets of their lives.