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.

Barbi Reuter
Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR
Years in the industry: 30

Barbi Reuter has been with Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR since 1985, when the firm opened. At the time, she was a student at the University of Arizona studying regional development. Now, she is responsible for operations, research, finance, marketing and social media for the Tucson-based company.

What is the hardest professional or personal challenge you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?
About five years ago, I failed to define and articulate my role and value to my partners, after partially off-ramping and transitioning from a division leadership role to a company one. To overcome, I owned my shortcomings, worked with coaches and mentors, and battled back with actions to earn trust.

What do you consider your greatest professional accomplishment?
Personally, being awarded the BOMA International President’s Award for advancing CRE industry education was a true highlight. More recently, positioning our relatively-small firm in a tertiary market as industry thought leaders has been very rewarding.

What is your most memorable deal or project and why?
When I was in college typing leases for our company founder on Saturdays, he held up a commission check that was likely triple my single-mother annual salary. That got my attention. Determination not to live in poverty may have launched my interest in CRE, but the memorable deals are the firsts: The first receivership for a national bank, the first high-rise management account we landed, etc.

What is your favorite part of your job?
Making connections that advance someone’s success – whether a client, staff member or professional colleague through CREW Network or other CRE industry affiliations.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up and how did that aspiration affect your career?
Among my career aspirations were geologist, hair stylist, pilot, architect and judge. Judge may have come closest to my many years spent in commercial property management.

What is one little-known fact about you?
I’ve had (fleeting) onstage moments with Barry Manilow and Bobby McFerrin and once joined a group that sang in Carnegie Hall.