VANCOUVER: Power Woman Jennifer Podmore Russell
Deloitte Real Estate director Jennifer Podmore Russell has had no shortage of mentors. A 15-year career, including stints at Colliers and her own consultancy company (plus a dad in the industry) will do that. Leading Deloitte's real estate advisory practice, Jennifer creates real estate strategies and governance structures in tandem with clients in office, retail, industrial, residential, cultural, leisure, and hospitality sectors. (We'd say kitchen sinks, but it sort of falls under residential.) Balance for Jennifer—work, family, friends, community, her team—is a work in progress, she admits. She's learned the hard way not to micromanage, giving up the dream of being a "perfect Mom" and instead being the mom her 1-year-old daughter Gray needs. (Husband Scott chips in too.)
Mentoring started with dad David Podmore, who's CEO of Vancouver's Concert Properties (working the grill). Education on the biz was more through osmosis, she says; think dinner table talks and driving past properties. Integrity—doing a deal on a handshake—was the main thing she picked up from her father. Other mentors include Colliers vice chairman Kelly Heed and McCarthy Tetrault partner Lisa Vogt. And Jennifer's interests are aplenty. She's on the board of NAIOP Vancouver, as well as Atira, a non-profit dedicated to ending violence against women. She is co-chair of the BC Professional Firefighters Burn Fund, helping with a capital campaign. “You always have to give back, that's what my parents taught me,” she says. “Charity work satisfies a different part of my brain."