New York, Park Avenue. – The elevator takes me up to the seventh floor. I’m here for an appointment with Merrie Frankel, to learn more about her perspective on what it takes to be a successful board member. I’ve read about her, and to say the least, what I’ve read has piqued my interest. I look forward to hearing her ideas about diversity, about what she considers essential in the modern professional realm.
“The world has become so complicated that companies need diversity in order to understand and relate, not just gender diversity, but diversity of experience”
Merrie Frankel is a member of the Board of Directors of Agree Realty Corporation and a number of nonprofit boards. As a financial specialist she holds a unique place in the professional arena. Having held top executive positions with companies ranging from Salomon Brothers to Moody’s, being a frequent speaker at real estate conferences, and teaching at Columbia and NYU Universities, it is safe to say that her track record and scope are unparalleled. She is firmly rooted in the present and applies her wealth of experience to push forward.
She takes a brief moment to think. “I’ve had six careers and am embarking on the seventh. Millennials will average twelve careers. That is real diversity. Diversity is more than gender, it’s about enriching your knowledge, broadening your horizons. Applying your intelligence and expertise to add value in multiple fields. When you learn more, you can do more.”
Merrie has a lot to add to the equation. “At the end of the day, it’s fun to see how the sausage is made. The process may be different for each deal or project, but the principle is the same, no matter what industry you’re in. It starts with taking a genuine interest, gathering the information, forming an opinion, applying it, and sharing your insights. I look forward to every new challenge I’m given the opportunity to tackle.”
She makes it sound so simple. But it’s clear that the woman before me combines her experience with a sharp mind, comprehensive expertise and a passionate motivation to connect. “I love applying the information to help formulate policy.”
Clearly, industry is no obstacle. “Retail also has my interest. When you consider the sector, there are numerous links to real estate. It’s the perspective you take, how you connect the dots.”
With that, we say our goodbyes, Merrie needs to go to her next appointment. I hope to meet again soon to hear about any new ventures she will undoubtedly undertake.
Links to related articles: Forbes – REITs Deserve Cornerstone Status Bloomberg Moody’s Washington Post – How REITs impact your life and America’s economy New York Times – Transit Hubs: A Growing Lure for Developers
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