Wendy Berger speaks on BisNow Industrial Panel

With Recreational Marijuana In Illinois, ‘The Train Has Left The Station’ Chicago Industrial August 2, 2018 Chuck Sudo, Bisnow Chicago Want to get a jump-start on upcoming deals? Meet the major Chicago players at one of our upcoming events! Wash Hydro DC Cannabis Plants Bisnow: Jon Banister Medical marijuana has not been the boon for Chicago-area industrial real estate it has been for other areas of the country. The future of legal cannabis may hinge on the Illinois governor’s race, and industrial real estate professionals should pay attention. Democratic gubernatorial nominee JB Pritzker has made legalizing recreational marijuana use a plank in his campaign platform, differentiating himself from his opponent, Gov. Bruce Rauner, who opposes legalizing marijuana and has done little to expand legal medical marijuana use in the Land of Lincoln. Pritzker has said throughout his campaign that legalizing marijuana is a step toward criminal justice reform, as arrests and convictions for possessing cannabis skew heavily toward people of color. Although he has little in the way of details, Pritzker also promises to put a framework in place to license businesses to sell marijuana to consumers for their personal use. Pepper Construction Vice President Jake Pepper, Logistics Property Co. CEO Jim Martell, WBS Equities CEO and founder Wendy Berger, Meridian Design Build Executive Vice President Howard Green, FCL Builders Principal Fred Johanns and Heitman Architects Director Paul Heitman Bisnow/Chuck Sudo Pepper Construction Vice President Jake Pepper, Logistics Property Co. CEO Jim Martell, WBS Equities CEO and founder Wendy Berger, Meridian Design Build Executive Vice President Howard Green, FCL Builders principal Fred Johanns and Heitman Architects Director Paul Heitman At Bisnow’s Midwest Industrial and Logistics Summit at the Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel Wednesday, WBS Equities CEO and founder Wendy Berger said legal recreational marijuana use in Illinois is no longer a question of “if,” but “when.” “The train has left the station,” Berger said. She said the state’s limits on medical marijuana cultivation and processing have curbed the demand for space. Illinois’ medical marijuana pilot program allows for 20 cultivation centers and 60 dispensary licenses, while the range of conditions to qualify for a medical marijuana card is narrow. Still, demand is growing. Over 14,000 new patients were added to the program last year, positioning medical marijuana for a breakout 2018. Legalizing recreational use could create a boom. A March poll by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University showed that 66% of respondents favored legal marijuana. Cook County voters voted in favor of a nonbinding referendum on the subject in the March primary, by a two-to-one margin. Berger said legalizing recreational marijuana use in Illinois would open up things and lead to increased demand for smaller industrial facilities. “We’ll see more processing space and more production space. A cultivator can take a low-ceiling facility and turn it into a processing facility,” she said. It will not happen overnight, but it could be a huge economic and real estate driver. Berger believes Illinois will legalize marijuana within the next two election cycles, and that it can become a $2B to $3B industry.

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Wendy Berger honored as one of BisNow’s Power Women 2018

Hard Work, Risk-Taking, Humility And A Little Flash: How To Be A Power Woman Chicago Power Women December 5, 2018 Brian Rogal, Bisnow Chicago Want to get a jump-start on upcoming deals? Meet the major Chicago players at one of our upcoming events! Local legend Goldie Wolfe Miller kicked off Bisnow’s Chicago Power Women event yesterday by quoting former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright: “There should be a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” Group of honorees at Chicago Power Women Event Dec. 4 Bisnow Goldie B. Wolfe Miller with some of the more than 30 honorees at the Chicago Power Women event on Dec. 4. It was a message the overflow crowd of 500 was ready to hear. In her morning keynote speech, Wolfe Miller, who once ran the largest woman-owned commercial brokerage in the nation, praised the successful women of real estate who feel a responsibility to mentor the younger generation. Few if any women have done as much as Wolfe Miller to educate and train others to make it in the male-dominated world of commercial real estate. Some of the best lessons come from her own life story. In her 40-year career, she was frequently the only woman in the room, especially in the early days. As the daughter of Holocaust survivors, born in a displaced persons camp in the aftermath of World War II, the ability to surmount challenges may have deep roots. “We came over on a boat, as immigrants, with nothing,” she said. Her parents instilled values such as strength, determination and a belief in education. Along with hard work and a willingness to take a few risks, those qualities should serve anyone in any field, she said. “It’s not magic. In fact, it’s pretty boring. But at least it works.” Wolfe Miller started her career with the legendary Arthur Rubloff, the developer of Chicago’s Carl Sandburg Village, and learned the importance of attitude. “I never thought of myself as a woman in real estate,” she said. Instead, she was a real estate professional who happened to be a woman. When she became the firm’s top producer, “I wasn’t the top woman producer.” Goldie Miller at Chicago Power Women Event Dec. 4. Bisnow A crowd of about 500 attended the Chicago Power Women event on Dec. 4. The importance of humility was another lesson. Throughout her career, Wolfe Miller sometimes felt like the smartest person in the room. However, if someone feels that way, frequently “there are going to be other people in the room even smarter,” and their voices should be heard. “That doesn’t mean you can’t have a little flash,” according to Wolfe Miller, who also proudly calls herself an “attention hog.” It also doesn’t mean you can’t be assertive. An audience member asked Wolfe Miller to recall her first great deal, and she told a story about pre-leasing 600K SF for 3 First National Plaza, a downtown Chicago tower finished in 1981. These deals allowed developer Hines to break ground, and Gerald Hines told her, “’You know Blondie, you did a great job.’” To that she replied, “I just leased 600K SF for you, so you should know my name is Goldie. He never forgot it.” The next generation of female leaders in Chicago real estate then took the stage for a panel on how they succeeded and what others could do to raise up even younger executives. Hard Work, Risk-Taking, Humility And A Little Flash: How To Be A Power Woman Bisnow/Catie Dixon Fifield Realty Chairwoman Randy Fifield, Conor Commercial Chief Investment Officer Molly McShane, Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate at Roosevelt University Executive Director Collete English Dixon, Freeborn partner Anne Garr and WBS Equities founder Wendy Berger at Bisnow’s Chicago Power Women 2018 event. “For me, it’s about being courageous,” WBS Equities founder and CEO Wendy Berger said. The serial entrepreneur has started several firms and is still looking for cutting-edge business opportunities, most recently as a co-founder of Illinois Women in Cannabis. She also advised everyone not to underestimate the power of knowledge. Berger is an industrial real estate specialist, a sector many ignore because the properties seem less spectacular than gleaming office towers. “I think that means great opportunities for women.” In her career, she decided “to be an expert on really sexy things like refrigeration.” Berger said she is always mentoring four or five women of different ages and levels of experience. Conor Commercial Chief Investment Officer Molly McShane said she does likewise. “It’s our duty to give back. There’s an honesty in returning the favor to others.” Women should have a set of mentors rather than just one, she said. McShane learned about tactics from one mentor, for example, and leadership from another. IN 29 DAYS! DON’T MISS THE 2019 SEATTLE FORECAST — Seattle 1.23.2019 “It’s good to have a kitchen cabinet of mentors,” said Collete English Dixon, executive director of the Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate at Roosevelt University. She didn’t have mentors at the beginning of her career, and feels that may have caused a few missteps. After a set of midcareer mentors took an interest in her success, “things became much smoother.” Fifield Realty Chairwoman Randy Fifield echoed all these sentiments, but also reminded audience members that mentors can’t do everything. “You are your own best advocate. It starts with the person you see in the mirror. I am always looking for ways to be creative and stand out.”

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