Name: Jennifer McLean
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company Name: GFI Capital Resources Group, Inc.
Years in real estate industry: 28
In the last 12 months, which project, transaction, honor or accomplishment are you most proud of and why?
The Beekman Hotel has been a huge project for us and it’s one that I’m especially proud of. I have also been very actively involved in a couple of troubled asset restructurings and have led transitions at GFI Management, which has taken the company to a higher level of profitability and increased the bottom-line cash flow of the portfolio by 40%.
What were your biggest fears when you started out in your profession?
I can’t say that I had any fears however when I first started out, the one thing that was apparent was that there were not a lot of women in commercial real estate at the time. In the end, though, it probably worked in my favor, but the concern about being kept on an equal playing ground with my peers was present. When it came to succeeding, I had no concerns about that.
What was your first job and what did you learn from it?
I began my professional career in public accounting with Plante and Moran as an auditor providing audit consulting and tax services. Many of my clients were in real estate including developers, investors and managers, which actually launched me into the real estate industry. During my time at the firm, I learned how to develop an investment strategy and asset positioning, which I still apply to my position today.
What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is from Henry David Thoreau: “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” This quote means a lot to me because I feel so lucky to have advanced in a career that I feel suits me so well. I am very proud of the person I have become both professionally and personally and I can contribute much of that to my career and the journey it has taken me on.