Katie Yanushonis is vice president at The Meridian Group, responsible for the leasing of Meridian’s existing office assets and new developments.  In this role, she oversees all aspects of leasing, including tenant and broker relations, lease negotiations, and working with the investments team to ensure each building’s leasing strategy remains consistent with its overall business plan. Prior to joining Meridian, Yanushonis was a Vice President of Leasing at Boston Properties, focusing on the company’s office assets in DC and Northern Virginia. She sits on the board of the Commercial Real Estate Brokers Association (CREBA) of Greater Washington, DC and NAIOP Northern Virginia, and is also a mentor in the Urban Land Institute’s Washington Mentorship Program. Yanushonis graduated from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University with a B.S. in Business Administration.

Q: How did you end up working in commercial real estate?

I graduated from MSB with a double major in marketing and management.  I thought I wanted to work for one of the big advertising firms, but that didn’t work out.  So I started interviewing for jobs in the DC area and came across a marketing and research position at Lincoln Property Company.  I got the job with no understanding of commercial real estate, but quickly learned to love the tours, presentations and deal making.

Q: Can you name some ways you see yourself helping other women break into the industry?

Creating more diversity within commercial real estate is a huge passion of mine – I lead TMG’s DEI committee and focus on DEI initiatives within most boards and organizations I participate in.  At the moment, my biggest focus is exposing commercial real estate to people who may not otherwise know about the industry at a pivotal time in their lives with the hope that it becomes a career opportunity for them long-term.  I am working with Georgetown’s WIRE (Women in Real Estate) program to help with programming and networking.  The group is coming to one of our assets in late March to hear about the life cycle of an asset – from acquisition to stabilization – and all of the speakers are women who have been involved in the project.

Q: How are you approaching your professional future?

It’s a challenging time to be leasing office space in the DC market, so I’d say “carefully”.  But in all seriousness, I am approaching my future with eyes wide open and with a constant willingness to adapt to the conditions that come my way.  We’re experiencing unprecedented market conditions and while it’s extremely challenging, I think it forces you into a level of creativity and flexibility that we haven’t had to do before.  I’m also trying to be mindful of a healthy balance between work and home life so that I always feel present and available for my kids.  Navigating the professional landscape with young children can be tough, but it’s made easier with a great partner and a great company who supports flexibility in how you get your job done.  I’m very thankful for that and hope that this mentality continues within the industry.