Bisnow | July 11, 2023
This year, Bisnow’s fourth Denver Women Leading Real Estate event highlights a slew of women who are pushing the boundaries of the commercial real estate world, helping to raise the fortunes of younger generations of real estate professionals and taking charge of a traditionally male-dominated space.
The 18 women celebrated this year range from project managers and public housing professionals to sustainability experts and developers. The list also highlights women making a name for themselves in luxury leasing, architecture, landscape design and banking.
All of them have done so in an evolving but still male-dominated industry, especially at the boardroom and executive levels. Women make up 25.6% of the highest-ranking executives at the country's largest commercial real estate firms, according to Bisnow’s 2022 industry analysis.
That is something this year’s honorees aim to change.
“The construction industry has been lacking in female operational leadership for as long as it has been in existence,” Mortenson Senior Vice President Maja Rosenquist said. “I've been able to pave a path for large commercial construction that I hope many women are able to follow in the future.”
Other women like Marsh McLennan Senior Director of Sustainability Shea Jameel shared stories about advocating for their dreams, even when it seemed like the whole world was against them.
“When I started down this path, I heard a lot of 'nos' when advocating for sustainability,” Jameel said. “I persisted, and now the industry recognizes sustainability initiatives are a must-have to remain relevant.”
Each of the women highlighted here also shared a passion for mentoring young women in real estate and said that supporting one another is one way to make the industry better as a whole.
“Design needs the perspectives of many, and women and people of color have a critical voice in shaping our cities and community spaces,” Livable Cities Studio President Meredith Wenskoski said.
This year’s Denver Power Women, profiled below, will be honored at a July 27 event to recognize their achievements and offer attendees education, networking and resources for professional development.
Also among the honorees this year are CBRE Managing Director of Project Management for the Mountain Northwest Laura Kucharczyk, Avison Young principal and industrial services specialist Dawn McCombs, and D.A. Davidson Cos. Managing Director and public finance banker Laci Knowles.
2008 was a difficult year for architects who specialize in rollout retail projects. But for Dimple Manghani, that year also opened up a world of new opportunities.
Manghani was one of the key figures that pushed MBH Architects to diversify its portfolio to include luxury retail, medical, workspace, fitness, banks and shopping centers following the Great Recession.
In 2019, Manghani’s name was called again as MBH expanded into the Denver market. She opened the office with a team of three and has since expanded her team to 15 people. Manghani expects the team to continue growing as MBH expands its expertise in affordable housing and mixed-use development.
“I feel a deep sense of accomplishment at not only spearheading the launch of the MBH Denver office but also being able to pivot when needed, to obtain new clients as well as support teams to grow our existing client base into the region,” Manghani said.
Manghani said one thing that has helped MBH grow exponentially is that the team is willing to “check their egos at the door” for the greater benefit of the company and its clients.
“I strive to impress that philosophy through my actions and influence the next generation of leaders to lead not just with a strong mind but also with a whole lot of heart,” Manghani said.
First posted here.