With the first day of summer behind us, The ABC’s of Ackerman spent the afternoon with our Chief Financial Officer, Vivian Barnes. Vivian is celebrating 21 years at Ackerman & Co. this month. Let’s dig in and find out more about one of the members of our executive team!
A.) What brought you to Ackerman & Co. and how long have you been here?
I came to Ackerman in 1996.
Right out of college, I started to work in banking. In the banking world, I did some loan work related to commercial real estate. A friend of mine called me in 1990 about an opening at Cushman & Wakefield, and I got my start in commercial real estate there. I’ve been working specifically in commercial real estate since for 27 years.
B.) Can you tell us a little about what you do at Ackerman & Co.?
My title is Chief Financial Officer but I function more as the Chief Operating Officer. I run all the operations for the company, which includes human resources, information technology (IT), property management, accounting, and office management.
C.) What is the best part of working at Ackerman & Co.?
The diversity of what I get to do. I get to work in so many different departments, and all of our departments’ functions are to support the sales and investment side of the company.
D.) What is the most exciting thing about commercial real estate to you?
The constant change.
E.) What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Working with a great team of people to get all the many things that we get accomplished.
F.) What advice do you have for someone trying to break into your field?
Be flexible, and try to learn as much as possible in all different areas.
Now time for some personal questions!
G.) What are some of your greatest achievements in life?
My three boys, my marriage of 34 years, and my work at Ackerman.
H.) What’s something that surprises people about you?
I grew up with six sisters.
I.) What book do you think everyone on the team should read?
Gone with the Wind. Scarlett O’Hara’s quote “Tomorrow is another day” is sort of my mantra on life.
J.) If you could have lunch with a U.S. president or someone famous, who would it be and why?
Probably Jimmy Carter, he was a great humanitarian.
K.) Do you have a bucket list? What’s one thing on your bucket list that you can share with us?
Definitely a Mediterranean cruise.
L.) What about some of your hobbies?
Playing with my grandbaby Lowry, Pilates, and cardio kickboxing.
M.) Who has been the most important person in your life?
My husband, Bill.
N.) What lessons has your work life taught you?
To appreciate everyone’s contributions to the success of the company.