2021 Women in Commercial Real Estate: Darla Brooks, Controller/Director of Human Resources, Acella Construction Corp.

What led you to your current profession? When I was 28 years old, I had the pleasure of working for and growing with a well-known GC firm out of Boston, owned by a husband and wife. Being a part of this team and witnessing what they built over my 10 years of employment is the real reason I’m still in the industry today.

What trends will dominate your industry in the coming months? Any trend that involves making life easier in the “COVID” world we now live in.

In the past year, what project, transaction or accomplishment are you most proud of? Tackling a brand-new position at this point in my career. Joining this team at Acella has shown me that every company is unique and that my skills and experience are valuable with the right general contractor.

What is one characteristic that you believe every woman in commercial real estate should possess? Composure…always be composed no matter the situation and you’ll always be respected. You can lose respect you took years to earn in just seconds.

What time management strategies do you find to be the most effective for you? Rise early. Whether it’s for an early morning workout or to get to the office early, rising early sets the tone for the rest of the day.

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What are some of the benefits of being a mentor or having a mentor? The benefits of having a mentor, especially one that is not insecure about showing you what he/she knows, can be the difference in your next move being horizontal or upward. I was lucky enough to have a mentor that gave me the tools to move upward. As far as being a mentor, for me, it’s one of the most gratifying roles you can be in, especially when you see your mentees move upward.

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