Member Spotlights

Monika Nessbach

Current job:  Owner & Principal designer of designbar LLC

Summary of your role in the company: Bosslady

How I chose my occupation: Owning and running designbar is my second career. With a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Business I naturally pursued a corporate career. Halfway through, I realized that I wanted to work in a creative field and started taking ID classes at night. I always loved art and design and once I started dabbling in Interior Design, I knew in my heart that this is what I wanted to do. I left the corporate world after 14 years and various successful managerial positions within the company that I worked for and started the (at times very hard) venture of entrepreneurship. 

Years in the business: 9 in total (4 years full time)

My specialization is: Commercial Design (Hospitality, Corporate, Retail, Multifamily)

A good lead for me is:  Developers & Builders, Restauranteurs, Investors as well as Architecture Firms that outsource their Interior Design work

The most satisfying part of my job is: To be able to change the landscape of a community one space at a time. As designers we have the unique chance to make a mark in our environments and to create spaces for the now and for years to come. It is such an amazing feeling of accomplishment when you walk into a public space that you created in your mind and to see people enjoy it.

Best leadership advice I have been given:  “KISS (Keep it simple, stupid)” and “Wake up, kick ass, be kind, inspire others, repeat”

Greatest professional achievement: Create my own company & a culture of empowering others

Number of years with CREW: 1

Most significant CREW connection: Everyone I meet is significant

Place of birth/hometown: Duisburg (Germany)

Number of years in Charlotte: 19

Family: all of my family is in Germany

My ideal vacation spot: Anywhere, where there is a white sand beach and teal-blue water

Hobbies/Interests: Fitness & Cycling (I’m a cycle instructor on the side)

Other professional organizations I belong to: IIDA, DBRG, leading PAD (former CORA)

I wish I could: Travel & work internationally

Andrea Williamson
Paragon Bank

Current job:  Commercial Development Officer, Paragon Bank

Summary of your role in the company:  Provide a full range of banking products and services to manufacturers, service companies and real estate developers/investors.  My primary focus includes financing owner occupied and investment real estate.

How I chose my occupation:  I moved to Charlotte upon graduating from college to work for a large, national bank and complete their relationship development program.  While I originally went into a more general commercial lending role, I was always drawn to commercial real estate (I even married a commercial real estate broker).  When my group within the bank was phased out, an opportunity arose to join the real estate construction lending group.  I immediately jumped at the opportunity and have loved it ever since. 

Years in the business:   15

My specialization is:   Commercial real estate lending (both owner occupied and investment)

A good lead for me is:   A new or existing commercial property owner who is in the process of buying, selling or re-financing commercial real estate.

The most satisfying part of my job is: Helping business owners and commercial property owners meet their financial and real estate goals.  I enjoy taking the time to get to know my clients and understand their business in order to develop the best possible financial solution. 

Best leadership advice I have been given:  Never let them see you sweat.  In all professions there are challenges and struggles along the way that need to be worked through—this is especially true with real estate transactions.   I firmly believe that you may not be able to control every situation or the outcome but you can control your attitude and how you deal with it---and that is what people will remember about you.

Greatest professional achievement:   After working 10 years out of college and having my second child, I decided to stay home to raise my family.  I envisioned staying out of the workforce for about five years until my children were in school.  However, five years turned into ten as a result of the “great recession” in the late 2000’s.  Entry into the workforce after ten years was a challenge on many levels, most significantly from a network and technology standpoint.  While it was a lot of work to catch up, I am proud to have embraced the challenge and appreciate all I have learned along the way.  I am once again financing commercial real estate which has always been my true passion.

Number of years with CREW: 4

Most significant CREW connection:  I recently agreed to co-chair the Membership Committee with Angie Beard.  I have greatly enjoyed getting to know Angie better and could not ask for a better partner.  She is extremely organized, pro-active but most importantly, she is someone who “gets it done”.   I’m looking forward to working with Angie in 2018 and getting to know her better.

Place of birth/hometown:   Ithaca, NC

Number of years in Charlotte:   24 years

Family:  My husband Marshall, our three children, Marshall (18), Mollie (16) and Sarah-Katherine (13) and two dogs, Bailey and Tucker.   

My ideal vacation spot:  Anywhere that includes a beach, sun and my family.

Hobbies/Interests:   In my free time I enjoy walking (esp with friends and dogs), yoga, gardening, travel and spending time with family.

I wish I could:  Freeze time---my kids are growing up too quickly!!

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