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How do you bid adieu to a legend? There were probably 1,000 people who would have lined up to contribute to this article, but an impending deadline forced us to limit the list. There were several resounding themes… On a mission. True leadership. Sincere. Tough as nails. Authentic. Cares for her people on a personal level. Dialed in. Dedicated. A friend. A sister. Passion. Ownership mentality. Classy. A secret weapon. Fiercely loyal. Refreshingly candid. Selfless.
Susan McGuire’s impact at Foundry and beyond has undoubtedly been dynamic and far-reaching.
At the end of September, Susan will be leaving Foundry to enjoy a well-deserved retirement doting on grandchildren, relaxing with her husband Jerry, and just generally being present with her family in a way that her one speed hasn’t afforded her to date. That one speed – as anyone who has ever worked with Susan knows – is full throttle, and the enthusiasm she brings to winning and retaining business is infectious.
Susan joined Foundry in 2011 with the acquisition of Crosland Partners.
“My first recollection of Susan was not actually meeting with Susan, but rather hearing about her from the Crosland partners that she was so important to their retail platform. I felt like I knew her before I ever met her,” said Paul Ellis. “Susan has been with us since the beginning in Charlotte; there is no question we would not be who we are in Charlotte and in the retail segment without Susan’s leadership.”
Since joining Foundry, and under her leadership, the company has transitioned from a local-only property management option to a go-to solution for global institutions in Foundry’s markets. We have expanded throughout the southeast in building management; we have become known as retail leasing subject matter experts; and we have become SOC1/Type2 certified. When she joined Foundry in 2011, we had 8 million square feet of building management business. As she closes out her career here, we will have close to 50 million square feet. She has obviously been part of an enormous growth story.
“From the very beginning, Susan has been warm and inviting and such a great force of nature in planning Foundry’s future growth and business development plans,” said Scott Renaud, Chief Operating Officer. “She has been a secret weapon, an elite real estate professional, a passionate leader, and a friend.”
“She has been a secret weapon, an elite real estate professional, a passionate leader, and a friend,” said Scott Renaud, Chief Operating Officer.
“Susan is an assassin that oozes class and integrity. She is refreshingly candid and fiercely loyal. She has been like a sister to me personally and professionally. When dealing with people, situations, pursuits, and challenges, she has always provided sound leadership and recommendations on how to tactfully approach and think through challenges. I will always be full of gratitude for the impact that Susan has had on me and others,” added James Mattox, Principal, Retail Services.
“When I learned I’d be working with Susan, I knew I’d be learning from THE BEST,” said Keely Hines, Senior Vice President. “How lucky was I to have a female mentor and leader? I felt like I had won the lottery! Susan’s sincerity and dedication to her company, clients, associates, and family cannot be measured – she is truly invaluable and irreplaceable.”
“Susan is indeed an expert at real estate asset operations and management, which has also made her really great at developing and winning business,” added Senior Vice President Tommy Trimble. “She is the ultimate client-first leader and an incredible mentor and cheerleader for her team; and she will fight for what is right for both. What may be most impactful about her, though, is her sincere selflessness and concern for her team and their well-being both professionally and personally, and her willingness to do anything to help without expecting anything in return.”
The terms “iconic” and “legend” can be thrown around a lot, but only a select few truly earn the right to be called an icon or legend. Susan is one of them.
“Susan is always there for her clients. She’s a consummate student of real estate, always trying to learn more and apply the lessons to her business. She’s built a 40-year career in a male-dominated industry, and she leaves a legacy for future leaders. She is an absolute trailblazer. She leaves this industry with her head held high not only because she was successful, but because she never compromised who she is,” noted Charles Jonas.
When asked what has surprised him most about Susan over the years, Charles Jonas reflects: “Almost every day, she brings in her own meals. I think the reason is two-fold: she was born to be thoughtful about how she spends money; she’s very value-focused. But also because – and I think this is the main reason – she just wants to sit in the breakroom with the team, having personal interactions with them, learning about what’s going on in their lives.”
James Mattox added: “There will be a huge void left with Susan’s departure, but I am comforted in knowing that she has been a great leader and that she has led and taught so many at Foundry how to be better leaders and better people. She leaves a great legacy whereby she truly helped build Foundry into what it is today and what it will continue to evolve into. She has her fingerprints all over Foundry, and those fingerprints will not smudge or fade but continue to shine with her great legacy.