I manage the day-to-day operations of the asset management team within Lument’s Real Estate Investment Strategies group. Our team oversees balance sheet loans—employing expertise and tools to service our loans and mitigate the risks in our portfolio.

You could say that I entered the commercial real estate industry by accident, but it was a happy accident. I accepted a lending assistant role at a local bank to support myself while I was looking for my first job after graduating from the University of North Texas with a B.S. in accounting. I enjoyed it and decided to stay.

After accumulating experience and responsibilities as a lending assistant, I was able to secure a role as a Fannie Mae asset manager at RED Capital, one of the Lument legacy companies. Shortly after beginning, I was offered the opportunity to manage balance sheet assets. I’ve been doing that for six years now, throughout the transition from RED to Lument.

I have a collaborative leadership style and I think it’s important to listen to my team’s ideas. For example, if they have a loan that needs to be modified, I think through the situation with them, listen to their thoughts and ideas about how to handle it, and collaborate to find a solution. My goal in this strategy is to use every challenge to build on my team’s knowledge and experience.

I’d like to think I play a mentor role at Lument, as mentorship is very important to me. To that end, I recently volunteered with the women’s network at the CRE Finance Council, an industry trade association, to mentor a younger woman. Because while there are more women in commercial real estate now, young women should have access to a more personal resource—someone who can answer questions, give advice, and listen to their concerns.

The most important mentor for me was my mom. She was a single mother, and life was not always easy for us. I was born in Kenya, and when I turned 12, she sacrificed everything to move us to the United States so I could get a better education. Just watching how hard my mother worked was a big motivator for me growing up. It really gave me a strong work ethic and I still draw inspiration from that.