Women of Influence honoree: MaryAnne Gilmartin, MAG Partners LP and Mack-Cali Realty Corp.
Editor’s note: This profile is one of 10 spotlights we’re publishing this week featuring this year’s New York Business Journal Women of Influence honorees. We asked each of the 10 to complete a survey form through which we can share with you some of their background, their achievements and their industry insights. You can see all of the profiles that have been published to date, along with related coverage, here.
Name: MaryAnne Gilmartin
Companies: MAG Partners LP / Mack-Cali Realty Corp.
Titles: Founder and CEO / Interim CEO
Where born: Queens, New York
Education: Fordham University (B.A.S., Master’s)
In my job, I’m responsible for: The people, places and things that drive value. I have a deep affinity for the built environment and think of our role in the metro area as civic developer, owner and operator. Above everything, it takes great people to do great things, so my primary duty is to act tirelessly as chief talent officer. As a project manager by training, I work hard to resist the temptation to do and, instead, build the great people that will design, build and operate the great buildings. Running firms like Mack-Cali Realty Corp. and MAG Partners is all about nurturing and unleashing a culture of excellence and creating endless possibilities for the people around you.
The most challenging part of my job is: Finding enough time in the day to do everything I want to do. My mind is constantly churning; there’s always more to do no matter how much you delegate. I wouldn’t change it for anything, but I make sure to dedicate thinking time to work “on” the business and not just “in” the business.
I know I’ve done my job well when: The New York metro real estate industry looks like the people we serve. Our industry’s diversity (or lack thereof) still does not reflect our diverse and eclectic customer base, and that needs to change. When the real estate industry is defined by an inclusive, diverse and merit-based pool of professionals at every level, mission accomplished.
A tip I’ve learned that’s helped me with networking is: Place a great value on human connection and the power of your words and deeds. Reputation and integrity take time to build and an instant to destroy.
The best advice I’ve received for career development is: Stay curious and always be learning.
The attributes I look for in a candidate when hiring are: Passion, purpose and guts.
Do you serve as a mentor for someone? If so, how do you try and fill that role?: Because I feel like it’s my duty to give back, I have always mentored young professionals over the years. There is no magic elixir, but telling my story and sharing what I have learned along the way can empower the next generation of real estate minds.
Do you have a mentor yourself? If so, what do you look for from that individual?: Mentoring has played an outsized role in my professional evolution. The role of mentor or mentee is critical to the career development of the women in our field. My two most influential mentors have been Bruce Ratner and Mary Ann Tighe. With both of them in my corner, I hit the career lottery.
Knowing what you know now: What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?: Invest in Zoom.
How would you describe what the year 2020 has been like?: Nothing typical. Challenges spinning out from L&L MAG to MAG Partners and assuming the role at Mack-Cali have kept me busy.
What’s been the biggest challenge of this pandemic-driven year for you?: Not being with my MAG Partners team. We have Zoomed three times a week, but nothing beats that personal connection you get from being in the office. Oh, and making sure the kitchen is always stocked for my three kids. I forgot how much they eat.
What, if anything, has developed for you this year that could perhaps pay dividends in the years to come?: Does becoming interim CEO at Mack-Cali count as a developed skill? I’ve always been nimble but have continued to stretch myself this year, and that will always pay off in the long run.
Charities/foundations/causes I regularly support: I’m honored to be on the board of trustees for Brooklyn Academy of Music and New York Public Radio, two wonderful organizations that serve NYC with great news and culture.
Favorite vacation spot: Anywhere with a beach.
Book I’ve read recently that I’d recommend: One that I’ve actually gone back to a few times is “The Elegance of the Hedgehog.”
TV show, movie or program you would find me watching if I had several hours of viewing time available: I’m actually looking for a new show right now. Any suggestions?
Something about me that would surprise my fellow Women of Influence honorees: I am an introvert
Hashtag for my life: #idontdo#