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.
Executive vice president
Banner University Medicine Division
Years in the industry: 37
Kathy Bollinger began her career as a speech-language pathologist, where she says she learned the importance of communication. Really, though, after 37 years, she admits her most valued word is “yes.” Stretch after stretch of opportunity in the Banner system, Bollinger considers her highest achievements to include being the founding CEO of Banner Heart Hospital and, most recently, negotiating the acquisition of University of Arizona Health Network and affiliation with the University of Arizona. She was then asked to lead the new enterprise, which influences hundreds of millions of dollars in new construction.
“We are creating history, one decision, one conversation at a time,” she says.
Bollinger is responsible for oversight of Banner – University medical centers around the state in addition to Banner – University Medical Group. She is also responsible for operating efficiency and clinical excellence and oversight of the University of Arizona Medical Schools’ relationship with Banner Health. Lastly, she serves on the Banner Health executive team and has responsibility to integrate the services of Banner Health to ensure a well-coordinated integrated care delivery system.
What is a challenge you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?
I have certainly had many professional challenges, but the one challenge that I felt most poorly equipped to handle was the day I received the diagnosis of cancer. My great boss provided me a context to move forward. He said, “Develop a plan and work the plan. Trust your care team and prioritize yourself. I’ll cover your work responsibilities.” I learned the most profound things about leadership through my own very personal patient experience.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I’m highly-motivated to leave Banner Health stronger, kinder, better coordinated and more effective than I found it.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wasn’t a child that had a plan. I enjoyed many things and have always been curious. I assumed I would do something amazing. It happened!
What is one little-known fact about you?
I love Motown.