Workplace Strategy Manager, CBRE

Debra 2

How many people does your business employ?

CBRE has approximately 44,000 employees and 300 offices worldwide. I am on a MUFG Union Bank account team of about 110 employees.

How long have you lived in SD. If not a native where did you live before and what brought you to this city?

I was a Navy brat, so after brief one year stays in both Japan and the Philippines- I moved to San Diego in 1959, before starting school. I have lived in Poway since 1964 and raised my family here.

Are there any specific fields of work that you would like to see join IFMA that we don’t have members in now?

With outsourcing firms being so task specific for their positions, I think we could market more to overall corp. real estate-type functions; like me, now more focused on strategic occupancy planning.

What is the most influential book you ever read and why?

The BIBLE. In a nut shell, it gives me hope during challenging times, and continues to inspire me to strive to be a better person.

What was the best advice you ever received in your career?

NEVER say “not my job”! That advice has served me well over the years and has been a major factor in my career growth. It doesn’t matter if it’s in your job description, it matters that you are willing to do whatever it take to get the job done- and done right.

What has been the greatest challenge you’ve experienced in your career?

I have to say I have been very fortunate in that things have come fairly easy to me in my career. But the thing that rocked my world was leaving SAIC after 22 years. The company was going in a different direction and outsourced all their corporate real estate and facilities operations nationwide. At that time, I was in a hybrid position which included some government relations, corporate dining and conference services, and other “odd” jobs, in addition to performing regional space planning. There was no place for me in the new org with the outsource vendor. Luckily, they did need me at the Union Bank account where I have been for over 3 years now.

But there were a lot of tears, fear, and self-doubt to overcome in order to find myself and be successful once again. I empathize with others in that situation, and try to make myself available to anyone who needs talk, vent, or cry about their own experience.

What is your biggest pet peeve at your job?

At any job- that would be OFFICE POLITICS!! Life is too short in my book, so I don’t put a lot of energy in playing the game. I always end up on my feet due to honest, hard work- but it can be painful! I am not looking to get better at it either… maybe I should?

What is your favorite after hours hobby and why?

Chargers Football! Love the game, love my team, love the camaraderie! Plus they have cute ‘girl’ team clothes now!

How do you “de-stress”?

That’s easy- hanging with family and friends!

Alan is my hubby of 34 years now. I have 3 sons, 2 daughters-in-law, and now I have 3 wonderful and adorable grandsons, Caleb age 5, Jacob age 4, and Evan age 3. They do keep a grandma busy!

I also do a lot with my Mom, Kay. She is my very best friend and we do most everything together- from travel, sports, Broadway musicals, you name it. She is a great sport and up for anything. I hope I am as sassy and spry when I am her age!

If you were to sum yourself up in one word, what would it be?

Positive