WOMEN OF FIRE
A few months ago, Banker & Tradesman asked its loyal readers to nominate deserving women in the finance, insurance and real estate sectors for our 2017 Women of FIRE awards. The nominations poured in and the judges narrowed it down to 15 women who stood out from the crowd.
Every building has a story to tell. Robin Adams, senior interior designer and associate at architecture firm CBT, helps buildings tell their tales.
As senior vice president of personal lines at Partners Insurance Group, Lori Chaput has a lot on her plate. She’s in charge of ensuring organizational effectiveness, managing activities of assigned staff for personal lines and establishing operational goals – to name just a few of her responsibilities. But for Chaput, the greatest pleasure of her job comes from working with others in the company.
Working on a gubernatorial campaign in which the candidate lost by the largest margin in Massachusetts’ political history might not seem like an auspicious start, but for Susan Elsbree, it was the beginning of a dynamic career.
Property management can be a complicated job – but it’s even more so when your portfolio includes affordable housing with high-needs residents. Communication, respect and humility are essential, said Melissa Fish-Crane, principal and COO of Peabody Properties.
A passion for real estate seems to run in Karen Fish-Will’s blood. Fish-Will was introduced to the business at a young age, beginning with afternoons spent at her father’s construction company after school.
When most people think of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, real estate management is not the first job that comes to mind. In addition to providing clinical treatment and conducting cancer research, however, the internationally renowned organization also owns a real estate portfolio totaling more than 2.5 million square feet. And Wendy Gettleman, vice president of facilities management and real estate, is responsible for overseeing it.
Elizabeth Gruber knows how to balance the strengths of the private market with the need for more housing production in Massachusetts. Her description of the New Market Tax Credit as an instrument to bring the discipline of private capital into a process promotive of public welfare, sums up her philosophical approach to doing well by doing good.
After 40 years in property management, Diana Kelly has seen it all, working with all kinds of people in all kinds of housing and nearly every situation imaginable.
About a dozen Lowell girls, ages 12-14, are about to get an education in real estate. They’ll learn about leasing, engineering, construction, branding and marketing – all the fundamentals, from a building’s concept to completion.
Gwendolen Noyes grew up on an organic farm in Illinois in the 1950s “long before organic farms were something that was ‘cool,’” she said with a laugh. More than being uncool, Noyes described the lifestyle as “fairly isolated” for a kid. “I didn’t have a neighborhood. … So, I started drawing and thinking about [ways to create] community for farming-oriented people.”
Kerry Olson Hawkins is known in commercial real estate circles as a star broker in the Boston suburbs, but in her personal life the CBRE first vice president has put down roots in the densely-populated Charlestown neighborhood, where she’s reaching out to diverse populations.
After 16 years in the corporate world, Sheryl Simon was ready for a change – and she saw an opportunity to make a mark in the world of Massachusetts’ luxury real estate market.
Like her fellow honorees, it’s astounding that Martine Taylor finds time to sleep. Currently she is the executive director of South Shore Habitat for Humanity and also serves on the board of Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly, Boston; volunteers with her church (First Baptist Church, Needham); is chair of the Religious and Cultural Committee of the Ocean Park Association and is co-chair of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce.
Lynn Tran, assistant comptroller of Lawrence, doesn’t spend too much time thinking about the occasional bad headline about her city. She’s too busy keeping her eye on the numbers. There are accounts to reconcile – who has time for anything else?
If you had to pick a philosophy to describe the work of Margaret Wood, project director at Pinck & Co., “think big” would be a strong candidate.
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