Issue 2, 2020

Page 36

Jenna Borcherding Director of Development, VanTrust The number of total miles between Little Rock, Arkansas, and Phoenix, Arizona, that Jenna Borcherding, director, development at VanTrust, traveled in 2011: 1,300. “I moved to the Valley after working for Dassault Falcon Jet (a French aircraft manufacturer for business jets) in Little Rock, to be with my then boyfriend, now husband, Rob, whom I met while studying at The University of Alabama,” she says. “Phoenix was still reeling from the recession, but I was fortunate to get a sales job that introduced me to the commercial real estate industry.” Borcherding’s rapid ascent in the industry finds her successfully leading several development projects throughout the Western United States. As Director of Development at VanTrust, which has grown their footprint from its headquarters in Kansas City to four regional offices including Columbus, Dallas, Jacksonville and Phoenix, she now provides leadership for several of the companies’ projects. The fast-growing CRE operation offers clients an integrated suite of services across a spectrum of product types, including office, industrial, multifamily, retail and hospitality. “I am most proud of the reputation VanTrust has built across the country and our culture of collective success,” Borcherding says. “Our immediate access to capital allows us to be nimble and ultimately pursue great land and development deals. As a result, we are able to provide customers with fast and creative solutions to their real estate needs.” Beginning her CRE career in business development at DLR Group with specialization in engineering and design, Borcherding subsequently learned the construction side of the industry at Jokake Construction in a director role. “While working at Jokake, I set my sights on development,” she says. “I consulted with many mentors and realized I needed to establish a specific skill set that would be valuable on the development side of the business. I earned my real estate license and joined the office tenant representation brokerage team at JLL, working alongside John Pierson.” After three years in brokerage, Borcherding felt confident and ready to make the move to VanTrust. “I am grateful to our local team for embracing a former office broker without hesitation,” she says. “I love working with Keith Earnest, executive vice president. Keith has been my mentor since 2013. He was instrumental in explaining how owners and developers evaluated deals, which helped me understand how to best represent tenants during lease negotiations.”


Borcherding is heavily involved in VanTrust’s work developing office space in Chandler. The company already has found success with Chandler Corporate Center-Phase I (118,000 square feet of office) and is expecting to repeat with Chandler Corporate Center-Phase II (118,000 square feet of office) and Chandler 101 (20 acre mixed-use project). “Our team has also experienced amazing accomplishments in North Las Vegas, developing 6.0 million square feet of industrial buildings in just four years,” she says. “Whether it is ground-up or redevelopment, I love watching projects come to life.” CRE is a business of fostering long-term relationships, a point Borcherding learned early. “I joined the NAIOP AZ Developing Leaders Steering Committee in 2011, chaired their mentor program for three years, and was the chairman of the Developing Leaders in 2017,” she says. “I credit my involvement in industry organizations like NAIOP for getting me to where I am today.” And she wants to further capitalize on the relationships she has forged. “I am connecting VanTrust to the next generation of commercial real estate professionals. A group of us in our 30s-40s have ‘grown up’ together since entering the industry,” she says. “This peer group represents tenants, landowners, economic development organizations, etc., and controls a significant amount of business. Whether we once participated on a board together or used to work with one another, these relationships bring opportunity.” When Borcherding made the move to VanTrust, she was nine months pregnant and preparing to take on a new career challenge. “My husband, Rob, and I recently celebrated our son’s first birthday. Rocky has brought a whole new meaning to life, and our adventures are simply more fun with him around,” she says. “Our trips always involve the outdoors as we love to hike and fly fish. New Zealand and Montana are two of my favorite places, and I am usually planning the next trip as soon as we get home from the last.” With Borcherding situated in her role, VanTrust can expect great success ahead. “I’m optimistic that the downturn as a result of COVID-19 (while severe) will be short. Industrial has proven to be most resilient, but I think office development in Phoenix will continue to accelerate and provide exciting opportunities for companies and investors.”

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