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Bisnow Honors Bay Area Power Women: Part 7

San Francisco Other

Today we bring you our seventh 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 2Part 3Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6) and honor them at a special awards reception Sept. 21.

Meg Spriggs, Managing Director, Shorenstein Properties

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Meg Spriggs began her career in the finance and software industries, but real estate called quickly. “I wanted to spend my time on something more tangible, like real estate,” she says. Meg enjoys collaborating with stakeholders such as city officials, community and neighborhood groups, and design teams. Her end goal is to create housing that positively affects the built environment and creates a meaningful return on investment. She also hopes to empower young women to be strong and assertive early on so that they may fully develop their professional confidence. “In business, you can’t be tentative,” she says.

Margaret Duskin, Executive Director, Cushman & Wakefield

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During an informational interview process in college, Margaret Duskin learned there were no women in office leasing in San Francisco. This was not reasonable, in her view, and she took up the challenge to break into the field. Now as an executive director and a recognized office market expert, Margaret says she is constantly inspired by being able to solve problems and help others, both in business and in higher pursuits. Ramping up for a career in commercial real estate in the Bay Area is a two- to three-year process. It is critical for anyone trying to get started in the industry to select an employer that cares about women as a successful part of the organization, she says, not simply in support roles, but as leaders and achievers. Technology has aided the quality and delivery of work product and some communication, but Margaret says analysis and reporting are not enough to provide the service, interaction and guidance needed for optimum results. Margaret enjoys spending time with her husband at their home in wine country and cheering on her Bay Area sports teams.

Georgia Collins, Senior Managing Director, CBRE

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Georgia Collins has spent most of her career in workplace strategy and helped CBRE grow and expand its consulting practice. She gets the most joy from building highly capable teams and mentoring them to be the best versions of themselves. With her colleagues, Georgia loves to tackle complicated and ambitious problems facing her clients. Much remains to be done, and that excites her. Her enemy is complacency. With an eye to the future of workplace strategy, Georgia wants to focus on creating appropriate metrics for the firms she helps. “The best workplace strategies reflect an organization’s unique culture, leadership and business priorities,” she says. “As a result, these are the companies that tend to identify breakthrough solutions that redefine benchmarks.”

Kay Sargent, Senior Principal, HOK

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Kay Sargent developed a childhood fascination with design into a long and storied 32-year career. Throughout her journey, she developed an expertise in many fields, including corporate design, master planning, security design, workplace strategies and design for well-being. “I think the highlights have been the assignments where I have been able to serve a higher calling and need,” she says. Kay is particularly proud of her work in helping create secure government facilities that safeguard the country. She tells aspiring women designers it is a great industry to build a career. Her advice includes getting a top-tier education, networking and continuously learning. “But above all else,” she says, “stay true to yourself.”

Amber Schiada, VP and Director of Research, JLL

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Amber Schiada began her career as a real estate analyst with a college internship under famed economist Ken Rosen. “I worked there all through college, and learned so much about how to analyze the economy and real estate markets,” she says. She took on ever greater responsibilities until she landed a full-time offer after graduating from Cal. Today she heads JLL’s research efforts in Northern California. Amber is energized by the prospect of deeply analyzing noisy data to provide insight in a succinct and creative format. In the end, she says, her greatest pleasure is in helping investors and developers make better real estate decisions.