How do you contribute to your community or your profession? My primary volunteer roles are as member of the Braintree Conservation Commission and chair of the Braintree Chamber of Commerce. Participating with the Conservation Commission in meetings and decisions on pending Braintree projects allows me to help the community grow responsibly, and it has the added benefit of better understanding the other side of the “table” when I am presenting in front of other towns’ permitting authorities.
What led you to your current profession? I started my career with a nationwide commercial real estate owner and developer specializing in smaller retail projects, headquartered in Florida. Six of those 10 years was after I moved to my husband’s home state of Massachusetts. Having enjoyed the legal end of my position, I attended New England Law, Boston in the evenings. Pregnant during the last year of law school, I applied to the courts and became a law clerk at the Appeals and Supreme Judicial Courts. The practical and legal analysis experience gives me different perspective on developments, particularly those that are likely to be litigated.
Who or what inspires you? An undergrad real estate professor explained his goal when designing large real estate development to make each house distinct enough to easily tell it apart from others, even if coming home after a few drinks (his explanation using more colorful terms). Humor tied to advice – that reminds me to consider what will be important to a project’s end user. That same professor was a mentor in my early career, and I am inspired by people such as him that can convey a message with a story that has a lasting effect.
What advice can you offer to someone who is interested in a career in your industry? My best advice is to join professional groups related to your area of interest. There are usually free or reduced memberships for students or new graduates. Some of my connections from Urban Land Institute, International Council of Shopping Centers and Real Estate Bar Association have been instrumental for advice, network introductions, and friendships in the same industry.