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VOL. 133 | NO. 8 | Wednesday, January 10, 2018

CW/CA Adds Fenton As Marketing, Research Director

By Kate Simone

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Laura Fenton has joined Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors as director of marketing and research. CW/CA’s Marketing & Research department serves as the commercial real estate firm’s in-house agency for brokers and clients, and in her role, Fenton leads strategic communication, marketing and research for business development initiatives, marketing on behalf of clients, public relations, advertising, internal communications, social media and community involvement. 

Hometown: Germantown, Tennessee

Experience: I have a total of eight years’ experience in the communication field, five specifically in commercial real estate marketing and communication. My background in writing first took me to Selma, Alabama, for a newspaper reporter position, brought me back to Memphis to work for the University of Memphis as a publications writer, and then allowed me to expand my skills into corporate communication and marketing within the commercial real estate industry. I’ve also earned a B.A. from the University of Alabama and a M.A. from the University of Memphis. Outside of work, I serve on the board of directors for Girls Inc. of Memphis and help Temple Israel students write sermons for Bar and Bat Mitzvah services. 

What talent do you wish you had? I’m always in awe of those who know more than one language fluently, whether that’s Spanish or sign language, and those who can read music. 

Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? Although I’ve had numerous mentors throughout my career, all of whom have had a profound impact on the person I am today, I’d like to thank my Germantown High School English teacher, Janey Jackson, for being the first teacher to explain to me the rationale behind my style of writing. I do not like the five-paragraph essay format due to its cold nature, instead preferring a more creative style, and Mrs. Jackson did not try to steer me away from my strengths as other writing teachers had prior. Our interaction may not have seemed significant at the time, but I now know it was the start of my path in journalism. Thank you, Mrs. Jackson. 

What attracted you to Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors? In short, the people and the professional opportunity. Every member of the leadership team is genuine in his or her dedication to the Memphis community, and I believe that together we are going to make the Mid-South a better place. I also have the opportunity to improve the processes and overall communication and marketing strategy of the office. There’s always room for improvement and I am excited to be a part of creating that new strategy. 

What are your goals in your new position? We have several openings on my team, so my first goal will be to create a team with people of varying expertise who will work cross-functionally to improve the company’s marketing efforts. I also would like to improve our public relations and social media strategy, especially when it comes to informing the community of the amazing philanthropy done by our company. We’re part of fantastic projects and we shouldn't keep all this good news to ourselves! 

How do your job functions in marketing and research fit together? Great marketing starts with the facts. A graphic designer can make a presentation beautiful, but it’s the customized information that separates a good packet from a great presentation. What are the client’s pain points and how can we solve those challenges? The response is a combination of strong marketing with personalized and detailed data. For this reason, both divisions work together constantly on projects and are well-suited in the same department. 

CW/CA’s real estate development map, 901REnews, shows 93 projects under construction in the region, totaling more than $5 billion in investment, plus 63 proposed projects totaling $2.3 billion. What’s the outlook for 2018? The 901 REnews is an incredible asset for the community. I encourage everyone to browse the website if you have not already done so. Several projects have been announced within the past few weeks, and we will be updating our stats soon. 

In the past year, it’s been exciting to see construction cranes up around the city again, and this year some of the projects will be delivered to the market. Once this happens, there may be a shift to a tenant’s market, as additional product will allow for more choices when relocating.
There were also a large amount of buildings sold to owners new to the market, bringing new perspectives to our community. As the year progresses, we will see how this plays out for the dynamic of the market. The Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors MarketBeat reports will be out soon and will have more detailed analysis of the upcoming year, so be sure to read the reports once they’re released. 

What projects coming online in the next few months are poised to have the greatest impact on Memphis? One project delivering in Q1 2018 is TraVure, the new Germantown mixed-use development along Poplar Avenue. It will have significant impact on the office market with the opening of a five-story Class A building, 150,000 square feet, in addition to 35,000 square feet of retail space with Class A office on the second floor. 

A new development to watch this year, which will also have a long-range impact on Memphis, is The Edge district. 

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? Earning my master’s degree is one of my top accomplishments. It was a challenge to work full-time and go to school part-time for 2 1/2 years. On graduation day, I was extremely proud of myself and it shows in my official graduation photo. I’m smiling from ear to ear! An education is something no one can ever take away from you, and I’m glad I put in the effort. 

What do you most enjoy about your work? I enjoy helping others. I joke that my job is to make others look good. 

If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? Kindness goes a long way. Whether offering a thank-you to a co-worker, asking how someone’s child or pet is doing, acting genuine when meeting new people at a networking event, or forgiving yourself for making a mistake, choose kindness. We are all human and no one expects you to be perfect.  

UT Methodist Physicians has added three new physicians to its staff. Dr. John Gleysteen earned his medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He completed a residency in otolaryngology at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon, and a fellowship in head and neck surgical oncology and microvascular reconstruction at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Yasser Khorchid received his medical degree from the University of Damascus in Syria and completed his residency in neurology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. And Dr. Arijit Chakravarty earned his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, where he also completed a residency in internal medicine. Chakravarty completed fellowships in general nephrology at Northshore-Long Island Jewish Medical Center and in transplant nephrology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.



Elizabeth McMahon has been named director of children’s services at SRVS, where she will lead the SRVS Kids & Families program. McMahon has worked in the pediatrics field since 2003, serving children from birth to age 18. She founded and was clinical director of Brightsong pediatric therapy and education services in Cordova, where she was also a speech-language pathologist

Jacqueline Green has been named SRVS’ director of community living. Green has 17 years’ experience in disability services, including a previous position as community transition coordinator for the state Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. SRVS’ Community Living Department is its residential services component, staffing homes across the city for individuals supported by the agency.

Christina M. Burdette, founder of The Burdette Law Firm, has received the 10 Best Attorneys of Tennessee Award for 2017 and 2018, as selected by the American Institute of Legal Counsel Family Law Division. The award is based on nominations from clients or fellow attorneys for professional achievement consistent with high client satisfaction. Burdette founded her Germantown-based firm in 1998 and focuses her practice on family law, estate law and advocating for citizens in tax law cases.

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