The Leader Magazine

DEC 2018

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the lea D er December 2018 53 How long have you been with your company? Twenty-five years. a nd how long have you been in corporate real estate (C re )? Fourteen years. Tell us about your career path. Early in my career, I had various business- development roles and, along the way, was given "other duties as assigned" responsibilities for disaster planning, safety, new building openings, etc. In 2002, as part of my business strategy and development role, I was asked to manage the development of a new building for the company's regional headquarters. What a great opportunity to start with the basics as we considered location options, business requirements, and our unique workforce culture. That strategic planning process lead to the construction of a new building and the first multi-story parking structure in the city. When the company merged with three other Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in the region, I transitioned to a CRE role. When you started your C re career, how did you learn what you needed to know? I asked a lot of questions and was fortunate to have a very supportive executive team and vendor partners, and a patient family. Jeanie Kirkpatrick Kuypers, MCR Assistant Director, Workplace Strategies and Services Cambia h ealth Solutions d id you have a mentor, either formal or informal, who helped guide your skill growth and provide support and advice? Tell us about how that relationship came to be and how it helped you. As our company expanded into a four-state footprint, I was asked to join the corporate real estate team led by Senka Lenn, who shared her experience and enthusiasm for the profession. Senka's willingness to share her vision for the organization, determination to bring professionalism and transparency to our team, and relentless drive to improve the services we provide, pushed me both professionally and personally. What was the best advice you received related to your career, and whom did it come from? l ooking back, why do you believe it was the best advice? Ah, that came from my mother-in-law: "When someone invites you to do something, enthusiastically say yes." When I recall times that I was invited to present at a board meeting, lead a team, take on a new role, or just chat over a cup of coffee – I learned something new, experienced something new, made new friends and often took on a new world view. In many cases, when someone says you can do something you've never done before, you can and should. What was your personal reason/ motivation for seeking the MC r designation? When did you earn it, and how long did you take to complete the program? My education and experience in business development was a great foundation for managing real estate projects with the same commitment as if I were running my own business. Early in my CRE career, I attended a CoreNet Global Summit and, through that, felt the MCR class offerings would provide the exposure to all facets of CRE and connection with industry peers that I was looking for. I took my first class in 2012 and completed my MCR in February 2018. Thinking back to the total MC r learning experience, what aspects of the MC r program were your favorites? Everything about the experience was great. Class locations and accommodations were convenient and comfortable; the staff was skilled, interesting and very open to conversations. My favorite aspect was the amount of sharing that took place between the attendees; everyone was there to learn from each other. How has achieving the MC r designation helped you professionally, and what would you say to other C re professionals who don't yet have their MC r ? So many CRE professionals "fell into" this business; they didn't grow up saying, "I want to manage or sell a building some day." The MCR provides that industry-wide exposure and opportunity to meet and learn from new people – all with similar professional challenges but providing different methods to address them. In addition, the CRE profession now has a seat at the executive table and the need for solid data for decision-making is essential in today's economy. Tell us about your family. d o you have any hobbies or special interests? I married the love of my life two weeks before taking my final MCR course in Houston this past February. Maybe I'm the first to attain an MCR while technically on their honeymoon! I enjoy traveling, kayaking and spending lots of time with family and friends. For more information about the Master of Corporate Real Estate (MCR) program, visit or contact Amy Dreher at MCR PROFILE

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