Reit Magazine - January/February 2021 - 60

PERSPECTIVES
What was it like entering the REIT industry
as a woman in 1977?
I was a 21-year-old student at
San Jose State when a professor
encouraged me to interview for
an analyst position at BRE in
San Francisco. At the time, BRE
was externally managed-the
advisor was a subsidiary of
Bank of America-with only
about 25 employees. There
was one woman who was the
assistant treasurer, and except
for the administrative assistants,
the rest were men.
I was naïve but determined,
and ultimately hired as a summer intern making more than
double what I was currently
earning at my college job at a
savings and loan. Other than
the assistant treasurer, BRE had
never hired a woman, particularly on the real estate side, and
they had never hired anyone
without a graduate degree from
a prestigious school, generally
Stanford and Harvard.

Q

Connie Moore served as
BRE's president and CEO
from 2005 until the completion of the merger with Essex
Property Trust (NYSE: ESS)
in 2014. She also served as
a member of BRE's board
of directors since 2002, and
from 1993 to 2002, Moore
held several executive positions with Security Capital
Group, including co-chairman
and chief operating officer
of Archstone Communities
Trust. With more than 40
years of experience in the
real estate industry, Moore
currently serves on three
public boards, one corporate
board, two university boards,
and one nonprofit board.
At the end of 2020, Moore
was named as chair of the
Columbia Property Trust,
Inc. (NYSE: CXP) board of
directors.

60 |

reit

BY DIANE RUSIGNOLA

I

n 1977 when Connie Moore was first hired into the REIT industry as an analyst at BRE, " diversity " and " gender " were not a part
of the corporate office lexicon. In an atmosphere more akin to
the television show " Mad Men, " including conference rooms full of
men smoking cigars and comments during retail deals about how
she knew what it was like to shop, Moore describes the early years of
her career as serendipitous.
As the middle child of three daughters, Moore was raised to go to
college for two years as a cultural experience, but to then to get married and have children. When she first started working at a savings
and loan during her freshman year at San Jose State, she looked up
to her female boss, a recent graduate of her alma mater and the head
of the accounts payable department. But Moore had no expectations, and also no true mentors at that time. " Women have come a
huge way, but you had to learn how to do it yourself, " she says.
Along her climb up the corporate ladder, Moore remained
resolute in her love of business, and notes that the best award she's
ever received was Person of the Year. She insists that a company can
be its best version if in every encounter, whether with an associate,
shareholder, or customer, it considers the other's point of view.
Moore recently spoke with REIT magazine about the importance
of doing the right thing in business, how she's made strategic points
without making issues personal, and always aspiring to be a good
executive, regardless of her gender.

Were you surprised
to be the first female
chair of Nareit in 2009?
Nareit didn't make it about
being female. I had been running a REIT, and the sentiment
was, " Why wouldn't Connie
be chair? " I so appreciated
that. I was never referred to as
" Nareit's first female chair. " I
loved that.

Q

Based on your board
experience, how have
REITs and commercial real
estate been most impacted
by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Depending on the industry,
companies have had different
challenges and opportunities.

Q



Reit Magazine - January/February 2021

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Reit Magazine - January/February 2021 - Contents
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