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Top Execs Talk First Jobs

San Diego

Labor Day has come and gone, which means we have to start thinking about work. We asked some San Diego real estate executives to tell us about their first-ever jobs. (We all remember those first jobs, usually more fondly than they deserve.)


Colliers International-San Diego Region regional managing director Jim Spain had his first job as a women’s shoe salesman at his father’s shoe concession in the Harris Company department store in San Bernardino. Jim started working at 17 and worked many busy summers and weekends. “Even if I had to bring out 30 pairs of shoes to sell one pair or none, it didn’t matter,” he tells us. “It was all about the customer.”


Colliers International San Diego region SVP Tucker Hohenstein took his first job right out of high school, working for Walz Construction, a GC specializing in residential and shopping center projects in the San Luis Obispo area. It was an experience that sparked his interest in the commercial real estate industry. After four years working with Walz Construction, Tucker returned to school at USC, working his way through USC as an independent GC on residential remodels


Zephyr Partners COO Chris Beucler’s first job was working for his father, who was a prominent real estate developer in Scottsdale, Ariz. At the age of 12, Chris had a summer job at an apartment building that was under construction, sweeping trash and construction debris out of the units.