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.

Alison Melnychenko
Vice president, marketing
Years in the industry: 30

Alison Melnychenko isn’t the type of person to put herself in the spotlight, though she has made a career of putting others in it.

“I wear many hats, but primarily I work on business development, marketing campaigns and public relations efforts for DTZ and our clients,” Melnychenko says. She has handled multiple re-brandings of her firm, often works across multiple offices and runs an in-house printing press for a brokerage firm of 90 people.

How long have you been in the industry?

My first job after graduating from ASU was with a Phoenix advertising and public relations agency, where I worked primarily on commercial and residential real estate accounts, so, technically, I have been working in the industry for 30 years. However, I grew up with real estate being part of my life since my father was a developer and real estate agent. I remember helping with open houses and events for his properties when I was still in high school.

What is the hardest professional or personal challenge you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?

Keeping relevant and knowledgeable in a constantly changing marketing and PR field. When I started, billboards were hand-painted and press releases sent via the post office. I’m a quick study and I know when to ask for help.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up and how did that aspiration affect your career?

I wanted to be a teacher, because I was always helping my friends write their papers for school. I still write papers, but, instead of a classroom of students, I work with an office full of real estate agents.

What is one little-known fact about you?

At the age of 15, I was a “kringle girl” at O&H Danish Bakery, which was the only bakery outside of Denmark at that time that made Danish kringle.