Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice
Current job: Associate at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP
Summary of your role in the company: As a senior associate in the firm’s real estate practice group, I represent clients in all aspects of commercial real estate transactions. I represent landlords and tenants in lease negotiations, buyers and sellers in real estate acquisitions and dispositions, and lenders and borrowers in real estate financings.
How I chose my occupation: After being sure I was going to become a veterinarian (I graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science), I more or less went to law school as a default when I realized becoming a vet wasn’t my path. After my second year of law school, I summered with Morrison & Foerster in New York and found the work that their real estate group did was among the most exciting and dynamic work around. I joined the group after graduating law school, and the rest is history.
Years in the business: 9
My specialization is: Any type of commercial real estate transaction!
A good lead for me is: Lenders looking to extend real estate financing, borrowers looking to obtain financing, landlords or tenants in need of representation with a lease negotiation, and buyers or sellers of real property.
The most satisfying part of my job is: Working through complicated or unusual issues on a transaction, and reaching a resolution that all parties are happy with.
Best leadership advice I have been given: Leadership does not have to look a certain way or follow a certain model. The best form of leadership you can provide is rooted in your authentic self and how you can bring your personal strengths to the table to guide and support your team and your clients.
Greatest professional achievement: Before becoming licensed to practice in North Carolina, I first practiced in New York City for over five years. Being sworn in to the New York Bar with my parents, my brother (also a lawyer) and my husband watching was a highlight of my career. Nine years of successful practice later, that day still stands out in my mind as one of my proudest moments.
Number of years with CREW: 2
Most significant CREW connection: Dawn Royle is the person who urged me most strongly to get involved in CREW and who took me to my first event as a guest. I think of her as my CREW fairy godmother.
Place of birth/hometown: Queens, NY
Number of years in Charlotte: 3
Family: Husband Sean, two kids (5-year old daughter, Laila, and 2-year old son, Gavin) and two cats (Lynah and Hermione)
My ideal vacation spot: There are too many places to visit left on my bucket list to choose just one!
Hobbies/Interests: Baking. I actually entered last year’s Gingerbread Lane gingerbread house competition at The Ballantyne. I didn’t win anything, although my mom is certain there was a miscount of the votes. (Thanks, mom.)
I wish I could: Do arm balances in yoga. I manage to fall on my face every time I try.
Perkins + Will
Current job: Director of Interior Design and Practice Area Leader for Corporate Commercial at Perkins+Will of NC.
Summary of your role in the company: At Perkins+Will, I am responsible for corporate, commercial, and corporate interiors growth for our firm throughout the region. As design leader of our interior projects, I am ultimately responsible for the successful outcomes achieved in creating creative and large office, professional services, retail, and hospitality environments for our clients. Our team has designed innovative, dynamic, and sustainable workplaces for world-class clients including Lenovo, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Microsoft, UNC Charlotte, Moore and Van Allen and Electrolux, among many others.
How I chose my occupation: My love for design and architecture started at the age of four with Legos. I was constantly trying to design the perfect playhouse. As I got older, I found myself analyzing spaces thinking about how to improve them. At 14, I decided to become an interior designer, however further intrigued by structure, I decided to study architecture for an all-encompassing understanding of design as it related to space.
Years in the business: 17+
My specialization is: Consulting with many of the region’s most successful organizations and institutions and leading design teams for many of our most complex commissions.
A good lead for me is: An organization looking to provide an empowering workplace, a building owner looking to better position their asset, a developer looking to build a project that will tell a compelling story.
The most satisfying part of my job is: Interacting with organizations and my team for the common goal of exceeding our mutual expectations.
Best leadership advice I have been given: Using “we” or “us” over “I”.
Greatest professional achievement: I’d say what I am doing now, I love watching our team continue to grow on every level.
Number of years with CREW: 5
Most significant CREW connection: My first CREW connection was Jean Russell, who introduced me to the local chapter and encouraged my membership. Every other significant connection has evolved from this initial meeting.
Place of birth/hometown: San Salvador, El Salvador
Number of years in Charlotte: 5
Family: One wonderful, handsome and talented husband Chris and a fabulous, vivacious daughter Viviana, currently 10 years old.
My ideal vacation spot: I have several including the natural and diverse beauty of my country El Salvador where I can be surrounded by family and friends; the old world beauty and world-class cuisine of Italy; and the gorgeous calming waters and sea life of the Cayman Islands.
Hobbies/Interests: Tennis, golf, reading, spending time with family and friends.
Other professional organizations I belong to: Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Executive Committee, CoreNet Carolinas, Golf and Tennis Committee
I wish I could: Influence economic mobility opportunities in my home country of El Salvador through the growth of my project VV Threads.
Feel free to include any additional information about yourself that you would like! Throughout my career, I have used my diverse background to influence my design work. Living in different countries such as Italy and El Salvador, as well as a melting pot city like New York has heightened my awareness and sensitivity to people, business and culture. This comes into play working with clients and partners across a wide range of industries.