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Member Spotlight

Elena Ji

Current job:  Project Manager / Broker

Summary of your role in the company: I am a project manager at JLL on the Bank of America account. I am part of a team that manages the design, planning, construction and project financials for BofA real estate portfolio in Charlotte. I collaborate with GC’s, bank vendors, facility management teams on a day to day basis. I was intrigued by the multifaced of commercial real estate while working in construction and through networking, so I obtained my NC real estate license this year. I have also started shadowing and practicing commercial real estate brokering with my long time mentor (Debbie Gallimore) in my spare time as well.

How I chose my occupation: I actually fumbled into construction in college through an internship and just absolutely loved the challenging and collaborative environment. While working in construction, the initial process (site selection, etc) in CRE from working directly with clients piqued my interest so decided to learn more about brokering.

Years in the business: almost 6 years

My specialization is:   Construction management and commercial brokering

A good lead for me is:  Anyone who has commercial real estate needs or want to collaborate and just chat! 😊

The most satisfying part of my job is: Helping people and bringing their vision to reality!

Best leadership advice I have been given:  Be kind, be your authentic self, surround yourself with talented people and learn from them.

Greatest professional achievement:  The mentors I have built a long term relationship with.

Number of years with CREW: 1 year

Most significant CREW connection: so many great people in CREW! If I had to pick one, it would be Shawn McMillan. He is so kind and passionate about helping young CRE professional. I just adore him!

Place of birth/hometown: I was born and raised in Shenzhen, China and moved to Iowa when I was 14 as an exchange student (essentially grew up there through my high school and college years) so I considered Iowa my hometown as well. 😊

Number of years in Charlotte: 6 years

Family: Husband and recently a dog added to our family

My ideal vacation spot: right now is Hawaii

Hobbies/Interests: I’m a big foodie and love artsy activities. I used to do photography on the side.

Other professional organizations I belong to: CCIM, Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, AAREA

I wish I could: Fly an airplane! I am determined to take flying/pilot lessons when I get some free time. I want to fly to all my favorite vacation spots in my own plane!

Amy Johnson
Strata Project Management Group

Current job:  Owner of Strata Project Management Group

Summary of your role in the company: Co-founder and Principal of Strata.  Strata is a woman owned 3rd party construction management firm representing commercials users of space in their design, construction and relocation efforts.

How I chose my occupation: My career chose me!

Years in the business: 2

A good lead for me is:  Any commercial user of space that is considering are location or a renovation.

The most satisfying part of my job is:  Being part of and leading the team that creates something that enhances our client’s business.

Best leadership advice I have been given:  Do the right thing and work with people you like, respect and enjoy being around.

Greatest professional achievement:  My top professional accomplishment is starting Strata.  When I say yes to a commitment I am going to bring my best self to the project, people and opportunity because I am able to contribute to the success of someone else’s dream.

Number of years with CREW: 8

Most significant CREW connection: Some of the people that I met in CREW when I first joined have not only become great business connections but lifelong friends.

Place of birth/hometown: Roanoke VA

Number of years in Charlotte: 26

Family: 19 year old Son – Tyler

My ideal vacation spot: anywhere near the ocean

Hobbies/Interests: Spending time with friends and family, running, hiking, walking my dog, yoga, being active and creative.

Other professional organizations I belong to: Charity – Executive board member and head of the Real Estate committee for Ascend Non Profit Solutions

I wish I could: Travel more often and see the world

Alyssa Ard
Barringer Construction

Current job:  Assistant Project Manager at Barringer Construction

Summary of your role in the company: As assistant PM I am the connection between the field and client/designer. On a day to day, I help work up RFI’s, review submittals, and work through coordination in the field. Looking at a project as a whole I also manage the overall schedule to ensure construction is staying on track, and assist in managing the project finances.

How I chose my occupation: I’ve always loved construction from a young age and was always wanting to help my dad build our tree house or assist with home renovations here and there. My father, (2) uncles, and (3) of my cousins are all in construction, so you could say it’s in our DNA. I initially thought I wanted to be a structural engineer, but after having internship experience in both engineering and construction management I decided the construction side was more my speed.

Years in the business: 4 years

My specialization is: I’m still relatively new in the work force so I haven’t specialized yet, but if I had to choose, I would say the projects I work on tend to lean toward hospitality and high-end offices.

A good lead for me is: Anyone looking to build a lasting relationship! We pride ourselves in forming meaningful relationships with our clients and partners grounded in trust, honesty, and shared goals, and always strive to serve as a trusted resource throughout the entire construction process, from early in design all the way through post construction. We have a diverse portfolio and serve clients in a variety of market sectors including hospitality, corporate interiors, healthcare, industrial/manufacturing, institutional, commercial, life sciences, and mission critical.

The most satisfying part of my job is: I have a great sense of 3D visualization, which allows me to see an empty space, look at a set of drawings and visualize in my head what that looks like. The best part of my job is seeing what’s in my head come to life. I also love construction because with every job I do I’m leaving my mark on the community and on the planet. I absolutely love showing my family the work I’ve done and realizing that even the smallest job has an impact on our community.

Best leadership advice I have been given:  The best leadership advice I’ve received is to recognize the accomplishments of your team members. Every person has a role to play in executing a project and if you don’t recognize each part, you’re doing a disservice to your team. Also, when you recognize someone for their hard work and they believe you genuinely appreciate the work they do, they will want to work harder and strive for excellence.

Greatest professional achievement:  Completing the Myers Park Country Club renovation and having it nominated for a Heaviest Hitters Award (and hopefully winning!)

Number of years with CREW: 2 years

Place of birth/hometown: Flourtown, PA (Right outside Philadelphia)

Number of years in Charlotte: 4 years

Family: Mom, Dad, and a younger brother

My ideal vacation spot: My dream vacation is Iceland but really, I love anywhere in Europe

Hobbies/Interests: Snowboarding, hiking, relaxing and spending time with friends/family

I wish I could: Teleport! I would make traveling to new places and back home to see family so much easier!

Bryan Johnson
Colliers International


Current job:  Executive Managing Director | North Carolina Market Leader 

Summary of your role in the company: I lead the brokerage business for Colliers in North Carolina where I have the honor and privilege to work with the top commercial real estate professionals in the business who cover every aspect and asset in the commercial real estate service industry creating world class outcomes for our clients.

How I chose my occupation: Luckily it chose me.

Years in the business: 23 

My specialization is:   People! Helping grow, mentor, coach and develop the top talent in our industry to reach their maximum potential is not only one of my key strengths it is a core responsibility in my role.

A good lead for me is:  Good and Talented People! 

The most satisfying part of my job is: Celebrating all the wins of my team and being there to move past our losses. 

Best leadership advice I have been given:  Hope is not a plan, have a vision, establish the right people to execute that vision and then trust them to do it.   

Greatest professional achievement:  Being in this role that allows me to be a part of each and very professional life allowing me to share in their success that accomplishes their dreams and goals.

Number of years with CREW: On and off  for 20 yrs (Phoenix and Charlotte) 

Most significant CREW connection: My rock star wife, Tiffany Johnson!

Place of birth/hometown: Millis, Massachusetts 

Number of years in Charlotte: 12 yrs

Family: Before mentioned rock star and amazing wife, Tiffany with our own crew of Brady 17, Patrick 14, Joseph 7, Giada 4 and thank god for my parents Dan 74 & Dottie 71. 

My ideal vacation spot: Sitting on a beach with Tiffany and watching our kids play in the water and sand! 

Hobbies/Interests: When there is time 😊 Yoga, Peloton, Anything outside and or at a lake /  ocean and great food and wine with Tiffany!

Other professional organizations I belong to: CRCBR, American Heart Association, ICSC, CoreNet, Scouts of America, Champ Sports Outreach, IFBL, MACS (Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools)  

I wish I could: Travel more with my wife!

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