This is my first blog post, and it’s intended to give readers a view of the person (me, Nancy) behind the credentials.

And I hope it’s fun to read —

With an undergraduate degree in business from Cornell and 20+ years of experience in commercial real estate, I often surprise people when I tell them that I once dreamed of owning my own restaurant.

Chef Nancy?
I began experimenting with cooking the family dinners when I was in high school, giving Mom a break after years of cooking and baking for the five of us.   It went well for a while with everyone enjoying Chef Nancy’s Cuisine, though things started to get a little dicey when I set the oven on fire while raising dough for home-made pierogies.  But my days as Chef Nancy at home were numbered when I served flambéed hamburgers and Dad wanted “just regular food“ for dinner.

Running a Restaurant?
Undaunted, I let my passion for food and cooking drive my college selection, choosing Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.  With food preparation occupying most of the freshman curriculum I had a moment’s concern about adding more than the usual freshman 15, but Cornell was a wonderful, diverse experience with students from all over the world.  This was particularly true in the Hotel school, where a freshman class of only 100 students meant I had the opportunity to meet friends who are still in my life decades later.

For whatever reason – maybe I was wise enough to recognize that there was more to running a restaurant than preparing great food – I took advantage of the opportunity to taste a bit of the real world outside of the hotel school, with classes in economics, business law and calculus.  I even took a full minor in Accounting.  Good thing!  By the time I graduated I had no interest whatsoever in owning a restaurant any more – mostly because I would always be working while everyone else was playing!

How About Manufacturing Widgets?
Instead I thought I might like to manufacture, distribute and account for – maybe widgets.  But reality intruded after graduation since I needed to get a job.

I began my career with PKF, an accounting firm specializing in hospitality accounting. My first assignment was actually a real estate feasibility study, determining if the town of Augusta, GA, needed another hotel.  The work was interesting and each day was different, two characteristics that are necessary for me since I suffer from a very short attention span.

Finding a Niche at Last!
Over time I found my way into real estate and knew that I had, at last, found my niche.  The combination of a great education and years of experience help me every day to understand the nuances of my clients’ work, whether they manufacture widgets (as I once wanted to do), or are business owners, investors, bankers or developers.

Just as I knew very early that owning a restaurant was about more than food preparation, I am very well aware that a commercial real estate transaction is never about the building.  It’s about what you can do inside.

So let’s talk food, widgets and real estate. It will be a tasty conversation