Bisnow Honors Bay Area Power Women: Part 5
Today we bring you our fifth installment in our 10-part series highlighting some of the top leaders in Bay Area commercial real estate. Bisnow's first Bay Area 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 honor them at a special awards reception Sept. 21.
Amy Price, President and COO, Bentall Kennedy
A career in real estate intrigued Amy Price from the start because it was an opportunity to work across disciplines, integrating corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and investments. Amy tells us real estate professionals need to spend more time thinking about what will define success in the industry 10 years from now and be less anchored by what that looked like 10 years ago. It will only be a matter of time until technology disrupts the industry. Amy challenges herself to think about how she can bring her perspective, voice and experience to the table to influence others. Women have an advantage in this respect, she says, because they are more likely to see a situation or opportunity in a way that will challenge the status quo. Success, according to Amy, used to be defined by the what (doing good deals) but as the real estate industry has become far more competitive, that’s just the starting point. The strongest organizations are the ones which also value the how. They recognize the importance of building a strong and engaged team and creating an environment people want to be a part of.
Joy Ou, Founder, Group I
Even as a child growing up in Taiwan, Joy Ou loved finding creative solutions to challenging problems. In 1979, she moved to California to pursue a degree in environmental design at the Art Center College of Design. In the late '80s Joy founded Group I, dedicated to utilizing creative design to solve development challenges. She feels her most satisfying projects, such as the Book Concern Building, succeed because they provide aesthetic, civic and financial returns. Joy takes specific care to mentor the next generation of real estate professionals. “Keep an open mind,” she advises. “Always work on multiple solutions, always ask questions and be proud of who you are.”
Cynthia Parker, CEO, BRIDGE Housing
Cynthia Parker began her career as an intern planner for a metropolitan regional planning agency. When she heard her university planned to raze housing near campus, Cynthia couldn’t sit by and let it happen. She started a nonprofit and converted those soon-to-be demolished houses into affordable student housing. Now, as president and CEO of BRIDGE Housing, Cynthia gets the most joy from making a difference by bringing a meaningful quantity of affordable housing online where the need is most acute. She tells the next generation to learn as much as possible about every facet of the real estate industry. “Take the time to delve into community engagement and resident services, property management and operations,” she says. “All of these components inform how real estate should be developed and operated—we are talking about where people live.”
Rhonda Diaz Caldewey, Managing Director, Cushman & Wakefield
Rhonda Diaz Caldewey loves her industry niche because it allows her to collaborate with creative people who can make a difference enhancing neighborhoods and communities. Accommodating a need to bring a new restaurant or retail concept to life or reviving a historic building, such as her work on Historic Pier 70 and the conversion of an old warehouse into the successful Argonaut Hotel, brings authenticity and meaning to her work. The ever-changing lifestyles and preferences of consumers can sway the retail market substantially, she says. These shifts also affect commercial real estate at large. Recruited by a fellow Haas alum to the industry, she suggests experimenting with different niches that match one's inherent talents to find the best possible career path. Outside of work, Rhonda enjoys traveling the world to see architecture, whether modern or on an archaeological dig, spending time in the great outdoors and dancing to good music.
Darcy Mackay, Global Workplace Solutions President - West Division, CBRE
Technological innovation, Darcy Mackay says, challenges the traditionally inflexible industry of commercial real estate, and she is eager to see how advancements in building automation systems, energy management and workplace efficiency will affect change. Darcy got started in the industry in 1999 with Sedway Group, which was acquired by CBRE. She’s been focusing on occupier strategy, portfolio consulting and real estate and facilities outsourcing for the last 17 years. CBRE has given her the opportunity to integrate acquisitions, such as JCI’s GWS Division, which merged with CBRE in 2015. She's also been part of creating something new, helping to create an Advisory & Transactions business in 2014 that brought together CBRE’s global Transaction Management business and Occupier Brokerage. Darcy tells us, “Ultimately, actively making the choice to build diverse and well-balanced teams will create a sustainable workplace for all.” She is an avid yoga practitioner and loves to watch her hometown Steelers win.