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  • Writer's pictureMAREJ

“Success is an evolution that happens over a lifetime of professional & personal achievements”

Dana Miarmi

Senior Vice President, East Coast Industrial, PDS

Years with company/firm: 2

Years in field: 2

Years in real estate industry: 17

Real estate organizations/affiliations: NAIOP, NBAA, WiM, Fulfill NJ

Who or what has been the strongest influence in your career? Without question, my parents. My father was a successful businessman and watching him rise to the C-suite through hard-work, dedication, and loyalty had a major impact on the businesswoman I am today. My mother started out as an administrative assistant and, over a 40-year career with the same company, trained her way to its top ranks. Her desire to learn and my father’s incredible work ethic instilled in me a real passion for my work as well as a drive to succeed.

What impact has social media/networking had on your career? I had the opportunity to meet most of my network through real estate and industry events that I attended early in my career. Over the years, those relationships have strengthened and grown into trusted alliances with a wide range of professionals, many of whom I now consider personal friends. There’s no doubt that network has played a significant role in my career.

What was the most defining moment for you? Becoming a full-time, working mom. Not only does this drive me to want to create success within my company, but it motivates me to set an example for my daughter that women in business can have a work-life balance while achieving success within their careers.

Who do you feel was most influential in your life when choosing this profession? It’s not who, it’s what. Being afforded the opportunity to travel at a young age really opened up my cultural lens and made me appreciate the built environment. I honed my artistic skills in middle and high school and ultimately pursued architecture at The Catholic University of America. Practicing architecture while managing complex projects for nearly two decades allowed me to translate those skillsets to the real estate community where I can ultimately provide the best added-value to my clients.

What inspiring word of advice would you give to a young executive graduating from college today? I’ll leave you with this… “Every choice you make leads to the next choice which leads to the next, and I know it’s hard to know sometimes which path to take, but trust your gut, your intuition. There will be times in life when you need to stand up for yourself. Times to hold on with all you have and times to let go with grace. Sometimes the right thing to do is to throw out the old schools of thought in the name of progress and reform. Sometimes the right thing to do is to listen to the wisdom of those who have come before us.” – Taylor Swift, 2022 NYU Commencement Speech

What impact do you want to have on your industry, or change you want to see or make happen? Many people have touched my professional life in a way that has contributed to my success, and I feel very lucky for that. It inspires me to pay it forward by helping others and, hopefully, inspiring them. I absolutely feel that women are under-represented in architecture and development and that is one area where I am committed to making change happen. As a graduate of the Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning, I have served on various design juries over the years and used them as an opportunity to help broaden the spectrum of the type of work that is out there for aspiring young professionals, especially women. There are a variety of technical skill sets required for building different types of properties. Within industrial real estate there are even more sub-sets and that creates exciting opportunities to fill a void in the profession for specialized project management. I want to help more women develop a technical background that they can leverage towards a career in industrial real estate and hope to grow not only my own team with female project managers, but also encourage others as they grow in their career that this market sector is worth pursuing.

When was the moment you realized you made it - when you realized you could play at the top of your field? I still believe I have a way to go before “making it,” and that’s part of what keeps me striving for more. I started out as an architect and, after 15 years, decided to transfer my knowledge and skill sets to the commercial real estate sector, where I’ve been able to apply my expertise to project development within the industrial market. It’s a sector that’s undergoing rapid transformation and it feels good to know that my expertise of industrial design and development is enhancing JLL’s ability to deliver exceptional value for clients. I knew it had been the right decision when I was asked to co-lead the East Coast Industrial PDS team after being with JLL for a year. I’ve been able to recruit the appropriate experts in their respective markets to provide the very best services to clients in an array of businesses, creating new asset classes within our industrial market. It’s rewarding to see the results of my work contribute to the overall growth of the business, but for me real success is an evolution that happens over a lifetime of professional and personal achievements.

What career accomplishments are you most proud of and why? I’m proud to have built some amazing buildings during my tenure as an architect. I worked on a half-million square foot manufacturing facility for the next generation Gulfstream aircraft. I’ve helped establish standards of excellence in the design, construction, and lifecycle of manufacturing facilities for submarines at General Dynamics Electric Boat. I have assisted with the design of international skyscrapers, worked on multi-million-dollar airport terminals, and provided process planning manufacturing layouts to a host of manufacturing and life science clients. I’ve also worked on a multitude of small projects that I know have made tremendous differences in people’s lives. It’s hard to explain what it feels like to know your work will be there long after you’re gone, helping people live, work, and enjoy their surrounding environment. That’s an incredibly satisfying feeling. But it has also been an accomplishment to continually hone my skills working on many different types of properties and to then share that knowledge as a leader, mentor, and colleague with many others throughout my industry.

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