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Bisnow Honors Los Angeles Power Women: Part 5

Los Angeles Other

Today we bring you the fifth installment in our 10-part series highlighting some of the top leaders in SoCal commercial real estate. Bisnow's Los Angeles Power Women recognizes 50 influential players in the industry. We'll bring you profiles on each of these women (read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4) and then honor them Oct. 11 at a special awards reception.

Carol Schatz, President/CEO, Downtown Center BID and Central City Association of LA


Carol Schatz, president and CEO of both the Downtown Center BID and Central City Association of LA, is known as DTLA’s biggest champion. However, before she landed in DTLA, she was an SVP at the California League of Savings Institutions and then deputy regional director for the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp, where she oversaw the liquidation of billions of dollars in assets of failed savings institutions in the 12 western states. The most rewarding part of her job these days is touting the success of DTLA’s transformation. “Being a pivotal player in Downtown’s complete transformation has given me the greatest satisfaction,” she says. The possibilities are endless in DTLA, according to Carol. She sees construction costs and land prices as challenges developers face as a result of the progress that has been made. “We’ve become a victim of our own success,” she says. Carol also has concerns about the “misguided” anti-development legislation now being tossed around. She advises women and others getting started in the industry to “trust your instincts, and don’t take no for an answer." Away from the office, she enjoys the opera and theater as well as traveling, hiking and swimming.

Susan Rorison, COO, NewMark Merrill


NewMark Merrill COO Susan Rorison (pictured with her husband, Cord Kirshner, in St. John, US Virgin Islands) began her career at what was then known as Prudential Realty Group. She fell in love with retail real estate after she became the firm’s Western Region retail specialist. Susan enjoyed having “an interesting portfolio of regional malls,” ranging from The Crocker Galleria in San Francisco to Sherman Oaks Galleria. She also had great partners and mentors, she says. One of the things she values most about her job is giving back to her colleagues and the communities in which NewMark Merrill operates. Susan also appreciates being part of “an environment where we do the right thing for our people, our tenants and our communities,” she says. She acknowledges there are challenges, including making sure “our product stays relevant” in an industry that is changing so rapidly. “Constant vigilance is necessary to understand and take advantage” of the impact of shifting demographics and technology, Susan says. For women just getting started in the industry, she says to nurture relationships, be your authentic self and look for opportunities to get out of your comfort zone. In her personal life, Susan loves to spend time with her family and friends. She and her husband are part of a gourmet cooking group and enjoy concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, where they have a box. Her love of the outdoors includes taking the time to swim and bike.

Maria Stamolis, Co-Head of Real Estate Investments and Director of Asset Management, Canyon Partners Real Estate


Maria Stamolis is the co-head of real estate investments and director of asset management for Canyon Partners Real Estate. She is responsible for the oversight and management of CPRE’s multibillion-dollar portfolio of real estate debt and equity investments, and she holds a seat on all real estate investment committees. She also serves as the fund executive for the Canyon Catalyst Fund, the firm’s real estate emerging manager program with CalPERS. Maria got her start in the industry less than a year before the 1987 market crash, working as a project manager for a New York City developer. The crash presented her with the opportunity to do her first loan restructuring in 1988, and by 1993, a job offer in LA changed the course of her career, enabling her to move from specializing in workouts and loan restructurings to portfolio management. In December, she will celebrate her 10th year with Canyon. This year also marks her 23rd year as a New York City-to-LA transplant. In her free time, Maria enjoys outdoor activities with her husband and two teenage sons (pictured above).

Anita Paryani Rice, VP, IPA Capital Markets


IPA Capital Markets VP Anita Paryani Rice (pictured here with her husband, Max, and her children, Maya and Michael) fell into the industry by happenstance while working on a master's degree in urban planning and development at USC. After her friend helped Anita get a job as a real estate analyst, Anita later worked at Lincoln Property and then went into mortgage brokerage at HFF. She landed at Marcus & Millichap’s IPA Capital Markets Division 12 years ago. The most rewarding part of her job is determining her own success, she says. "If I don’t work hard, then I don’t close deals," Anita says. The industry does have some challenges, including fluctuations in the market since there's "nothing steady about being in real estate." However, she finds that challenge keeps her job interesting. For women going into the industry, Anita advises surrounding yourself with good people. When she's not in the office, Anita likes to travel and spend time with her children and husband. They all recently went on a trip to India, which she says was "a marvelous experience."

Silvia Saucedo, Founder and Principal, Saucedo Group


Saucedo Group founder and principal Silvia Saucedo (above in Kenya) practiced law for a decade, first in private practice repping big public agencies, including the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority and LAUSD in their eminent domain acquisitions. Her practice then shifted to CEQA and land use, repping real estate developers. She also served as the youngest police commissioner in the City of LA and the first Latina on the LA Department of Water and Power Board of Commissioners. Silvia founded Saucedo Group seven years ago. Its focus is on land use, CEQA and entitlements for private developers and property owners. She takes pride in bringing quality housing and retail to neighborhoods that have traditionally been ignored, while also advising public agencies on how to monetize their land to maximize the public services they provide. The length of the entitlement process can pose a challenge for her clients. For women going into the industry, she says creating mentors and a strong support system is key. Aside from work, she enjoys traveling, volunteering and leading a girls’ camp two weekends a year.