The 12 women who made AZRE’s Most Influential Women in Commercial Real Estate list are an extraordinary bunch. While that seems implied in the recognition, it’s something that goes beyond their professional achievements. Many of these women have held minimum wage jobs, slowly working through the ranks to a C-suite. A few have known the struggles of being a single parent and what it’s like to be the only female voice in a boardroom. All of these women are active in their communities and industry organizations. And, all of them are changing the Arizona landscape one deal, drawing and deadline at a time.
Senior vice president
American Realty Capital Properties
Years in the industry: 20+
Karen Halpert is a natural-born leader, though that doesn’t mean she hasn’t had a lot to learn along the way to heading up a property management group at one of the largest REITs in the country. She manages a team of 59 professionals responsible for the financial performance and operations of approximately 5,700 office, industrial and retail properties throughout the United States.
What is the hardest professional or personal challenge you’ve faced?
It took me several years to really understand and define success for myself … I found that “having it all” and “doing it all” are not the same thing.
What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
Balancing work and a home life while being a solid team player at both is always a challenge. Wanting to be home for my family forced me to become efficient in ways I didn’t think were possible. Improved organizational skills, in turn, allowed me to take on new professional challenges and opportunities as they were presented.
What is your most memorable deal or project?
The first and only time I ventured away from property/asset management and into development was just prior to the great recession, overseeing office development and leasing at CityNorth.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I enjoy interacting with my team, peers and other professionals inside and outside of my organization. I feel fortunate to be a part of the commercial real estate industry and surrounded by so many smart, hard-working and ethical individuals.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up and how did that aspiration affect your career?
I had always planned to become a doctor but changed majors when I learned I would be footing the bill for my education. I switched to business, which led me to real estate, and I’ve never looked back.
What is one little-known fact about you?
While in high school, I edited a couple of astronomy books written by my father.