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EXECUTIVE Q&A By peter madrid

Rob Cortazzo

Arizona Manager Skanska Years in commercial real estate: 27 Years at company: 2 Q: WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE INDUSTRY? A: In college, I worked on a commercial construction project as a laborer with a diverse group of people. I saw the impact a project has on a community. I realized there was a career that combined all of my interests and was free from the constraints of an office. Q: HOW HAS THE INDUSTRY CHANGED SINCE YOU STARTED? A: The construction industry has become much more collaborative and team-oriented over the past 10 years. Those at the leading edge of the industry, who have embraced team-based approaches and alternative delivery methods, are realizing the benefits of successful and rewarding projects. Q: WHAT PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? A: During my time in Chicago, I was asked to step in as executive for a $500M Cook County Hospital Project that was having some challenges. Working with the county and designer, we were able to successfully accomplish all project goals and opened on time to serve 30,000 patients per month.

Robert Schadler

VP of Business Development Oldcastle Years in commercial real estate: 8 Years at company: 8

Brent Meszaros

General Manager Metrocenter Mall Years in commercial real estate: 20 Years at company: 2 Q: WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE INDUSTRY? A: My family has been in this industry for generations — from land speculation to brokerage to management — so I grew up understanding the importance of real estate in the Arizona economy. Property management is vital to this tradition. Building ownership may change, but properties always need professionals to maximize their value. Q: HOW HAS THE INDUSTRY CHANGED SINCE YOU STARTED? A: The biggest change was probably the computer. It allowed one credentialed manager to do the work of three. Groups like ICSC and IREM have also elevated our knowledge base, empowering us to understand and capitalize on shifting market fundamentals and critical new trends like the “clicks and bricks” movement. Q: WHAT PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? A: There are actually three: Serving as president of the IREM Phoenix Chapter; managing millions of square feet of quality retail centers for Vestar; and being selected to lead Metrocenter Mall during its resurgence in the marketplace. I’ve appreciated the opportunity to impact my industry and my community.

Kimberly Laten

Owner/Designer Color Design Development Group Years in commercial real estate: 15 Years at company: 7

Q: WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE INDUSTRY? A: The long-term satisfaction of seeing a construction project start as an idea, become a design, having a hand in making that design work, then work with a dynamic team to get it built knowing that no two projects are the same.

Q: WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE INDUSTRY? A: I have a passion for taking tired-looking properties and making them look fresh, new and more relevant. I also enjoy working with architects and developers on ground-up projects, helping them to select roof color, paint, stonework and pavers.

Q: HOW HAS THE INDUSTRY CHANGED SINCE YOU STARTED? A: Budgets have always been difficult but now construction schedules are being accelerated to an unseen point a few years back.

Q: HOW HAS THE INDUSTRY CHANGED SINCE YOU STARTED? A: I have observed many trends come and go. There have been major shifts in color palettes used in commercial and multi-family properties over the past 15 years. Today we are seeing more intricate and sophisticated choices. Color Design Development Group is able to superimpose multiple choices before finalizing.

Q: WHAT PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? A: Teaming up with many of our industry partners for Canstruction every year to benefit the Phoenix Food Bank. In 2013, we donated more than 6,000 cans — quite a feat.

10 | September-October 2013

Q: WHAT PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? A: I consulted on a 478-unit student housing project in Dallas. From ground up, it far exceeded everyone’s expectations.

Profile for AZ Big Media

AZRE Magazine September/October 2013  

AZRE magazine is published bi-monthly with its in-depth coverage, projects news, economic development issues and other compelling CRE articl...

AZRE Magazine September/October 2013  

AZRE magazine is published bi-monthly with its in-depth coverage, projects news, economic development issues and other compelling CRE articl...