Faces of PPM

Our people are our superpower at PPM. Get to know a bit more about who we are and the diversity, creativity, humor and talent of our nationwide team!

Jenny Chin
Senior Talent Acquisition Business Partner

Why did you choose a career in commercial real estate?

I fell into recruiting out of school and started out hiring for construction, architecture, and engineering skill sets. I realized that I enjoyed following projects and being a strategic partner for my clients within the construction life cycle, so joining PPM and moving into commercial real estate was an easy decision.

What stands out as a highlight of your career so far?

Every time I help someone find a better career or place to call home is always a highlight for me. However, the opportunity to see President Barack Obama speak during a Diversity & Inclusion conference in 2019, as well as getting my certification to be a Diversity Professional (CDP) this past year are two of the biggest moments in my career.

What opportunities do you see for yourself and the industry in the next five years?

As our industry increases the need for diversification, I believe that my skills and expertise will be leveraged to make our workplaces more diverse, inclusive, and equitable.

What advice would you give others or to your younger self who may be considering a career in commercial real estate?

Do not be afraid of coming to work as your authentic self. Identify a mentor early on and lean in!

What unusual talents or hobbies do you have? What are you most passionate about?

I recently got into photography as a creative outlet and am an avid yogi continually honing in on my yoga practice. I am always on the go travelling for the next foodie spot!

Brendan Totah
Senior Project Manager

Why did you choose a career in commercial real estate?

Commercial real estate wasn’t on my radar until a colleague that worked at PPM reached out regarding an open opportunity. After talking with her and going through the interview process, I felt that PPM was a great next step in my career. I decided to take a chance, and I’m glad I did because it completely paid off. I quickly learned the ropes of the job and received an opportunity six months later to relocate to Los Angeles to grow and develop the southern California team and market.

What stands out as a highlight of your career so far?

The opportunity to see each member of my team grow. To me, there is nothing more satisfying than supporting my team and helping them reach their career goals. Their successes are my successes, and I love seeing the smile on someone’s face when they are rewarded with a promotion. I pride myself on being my team’s number one cheerleader and always having their back. 

What opportunities do you see for yourself and the industry in the next five years?

I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to manage a variety of programs and initiatives alongside some great colleagues. I look forward to applying those skills down the line to lead an entire program. Everyone in the industry has an unique opportunity to grow and adapt because of the pandemic. Moving forward, I see companies adapting through increased cross-functional collaboration to create a re-imagined and innovative office experience.  

What advice would you give others or to your younger self who may be considering a career in commercial real estate?

I would tell others to jump right in and seize the opportunities the industry is offering right now. With all the changes from the pandemic, now is the time to be a part of something innovative and impactful.

What unusual talents or hobbies do you have? What are you most passionate about?

I’ve always been very active and enjoyed being outdoors; especially going to the beach and playing spike ball. During the pandemic I developed a passion for paddle boarding — going as much as possible on the weekends, usually at Marina Del Rey. When I’m not outdoors you can find me playing tug-of-war with my pup or traveling with my family and friends.

Hau-Wei Chang
Project Manager Lead

Why did you choose a career in commercial real estate?

I was teaching piano and music composition privately when a friend referred me. Turns out wrangling musicians has a lot of similarities to wrangling stakeholders!

What stands out as a highlight of your career so far?

The re-launch of a downtown Bellevue commercial building. This was a complex project with undefined scope and swim lanes. Culminated in a total of 15 move projects — and intersected with a large number of stakeholder groups. This project included complex lab builds, prototype device moves, 12 floors of reconfigurations, and seven floors of construction, all while still remaining occupied and open for operations.

What opportunities do you see for yourself and the industry in the next five years?

I look forward to continuing to work on a client’s expansion in the greater Puget Sound area.

What advice would you give others or to your younger self who may be considering a career in commercial real estate?

Learn. Everything. Keep your eyes and ears open and be a sponge.

What unusual talents or hobbies do you have? What are you most passionate about?

I can solve a Rubik’s cube in 70 seconds — count that as a COVID win. I’m most passionate about music still. I have a long history with it, and I will always find myself returning to the piano.

Malini Roopram
Project Manager

Why did you choose a career in commercial real estate?

I ended up in the field during the 2006 recession through a temp agency and I’ve stuck around since then. My first role was a temporary receptionist at Massey Knakal. I was eventually placed with the Facilities department at The New York Times, where I stayed for 10 years.

What stands out as a highlight of your career so far?

One highlight is learning about and witnessing our large, e-commerce client’s growth. When I take a moment to step back, I’m always very impressed by the scale and speed of its expansion.

What opportunities do you see for yourself and the industry in the next five years?

The events of the last year have completely changed the way we work, which opens the door to multiple opportunities to innovate and specialize my current space and workplace management skills. Regardless, I’m open to other prospects because I hope to add as much value through my efforts as possible.

What advice would you give others or to your younger self who may be considering a career in commercial real estate?

Continue to learn and grow since there’s a lot to discover in the industry. To do this, it’s important to be forgiving of and learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others.

What unusual talents or hobbies do you have? What are you most passionate about?

I’m more than 10 years out of practice, but I can still play the flute and read sheet music. I went to LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Arts in New York where I studied music in addition to the regular public school curriculum. It was a great experience going to school near Lincoln Center, but very competitive. Even though I don’t play anymore, I still appreciate and enjoy seeing live music regularly. These days, I’m most passionate about creating happy memories with friends and family.

Eric Stensrud
Project Manager II

Why did you choose a career in commercial real estate?

I’ve always enjoyed being part of a career that involves producing or supporting creative technological spaces. These types of spaces bring people together and are more meaningful than most realize.

What stands out as a highlight of your career so far?

I used to oversee tenant improvement projects for a school district, and now having launched a number of buildings, I realize how important it is to align the educational environment with the current job market.

What opportunities do you see for yourself and the industry in the next five years?

I think education is changing how schools will be developed and funded. As charter schools gain a larger presence, I see a need to focus on supporting that growing industry.

What advice would you give others or to your younger self who may be considering a career in commercial real estate?

It is a diverse career path that can open numerous doors. Take the opportunity because you will not regret it! I started my career launching new and re-modeled grocery stores for Albertsons and then found myself overseeing construction re-models for a school district. Whatever your interests, chances are that there is a commercial real estate career associated with it.

What unusual talents or hobbies do you have? What are you most passionate about?

I love to travel, and in 2020 I actually traveled around and stayed at VRBOs the whole year in different cities and states. I’ve travel to 42 countries, and when COVID subsides, I plan to take my daughter to Japan for a belated high school graduation gift.

Jessie Bresnahan
Senior Project Manager

Why did you choose a career in commercial real estate?

I thought CRE was going to be an interim career path, but I ended up loving the variety; no day is the same, no project is the same, and no client is the same. I also love problem-solving and being a Project Manager means I get to do this every day.

What stands out as a highlight of your career so far?

Every project brings a different highlight! But I think being on a punch walk on a Friday and welcoming my daughter to the world on Sunday was pretty epic. The whole crew knew we had a project delivery date and my due date to work towards, and that I wanted the project to be completed before I went on maternity leave. It was a close finish, but we made it!

What opportunities do you see for yourself and the industry in the next five years?

I’m looking forward to taking a more active role in the engagement, support, and advancement of women in the CRE industry.

What advice would you give others or to your younger self who may be considering a career in commercial real estate?

Lean in, stay organized and get outside your comfort zone.

What unusual talents or hobbies do you have? What are you most passionate about?

I love DIYing! I see fun projects everywhere (stores, HGTV, Pinterest) and love trying to create them myself. I’ve made a wood bench, built-in bookcases, blanket ladders, and picture frames that are all proudly displayed throughout my home. I will also happily grab a paint brush and re-create an art piece that speaks to me (or at least try to). I wouldn’t say all my projects go according to plan, but that’s when I love to problem solve and make it work.

Ashanti Hymans
Assistant Project Manager

1. Why did you choose a career in commercial real estate?

Honestly, it chose me. I came to PPM after a long career in retail management and customer service. When I applied for the role here, I had never even known this type of job existed. However, once I started, I found there were many parallels between what we do as project managers for our clients and retail managers do for customers. Since starting two years ago, I’ve been excited to learn about the field and it’s truly sparked a passion for this work that I did not know was possible.

2. What stands out as a highlight of your career so far?

A major highlight thus far would have been working with PPM’s blackpac DEI group and leadership to partner with community organizations in our major hub cities of New York and Seattle. It was a truly inspiring experience to connect with the leaders of those organizations and to understand the work that they do and highlight how PPM and blackpac can support them going forward.

3. What opportunities do you see for yourself and the industry in the next five years?

I hope to continue to grow within PPM and hope to bring my passion for community, training and philanthropy to the forefront of my work. I feel like there is an opportunity to connect with the community and allow them to see and understand the great work that we do.  Ultimately, I hope to help bridge that gap and help PPM remain a leader in community engagement and expose more people to potential careers in this field.

4. What advice would you give others or to your younger self who may be considering a career in commercial real estate?

Don’t be afraid to take risks and leave your comfort zone. Leaving my career in retail after 13 years was a terrifying feat but in hindsight one of the best decisions I have ever made.

5. What unusual talents or hobbies do you have? What are you most passionate about?

I am an amateur photographer and a have a fairly large Funko Pop collection, one of my most unusual hobbies is wandering around New York City on the weekend with a backpack full of pops finding awesome ways to photograph them. 

Eddie Battiest
Assistant Project Manager

1. Why did you choose a career in commercial real estate?

My background is actually in the oil and gas industry where I was a project manager and business analyst for more than a decade. I felt like it was time to make a change and pursue something I’d never done before. Commercial real estate seemed like a growing industry in the Austin area. Plus, I was attracted by the complexity of the work and how it impacts so many people’s lives. We all need a place to work.

2. What stands out as a highlight of your career so far?

Honestly, working for PPM has been one of the highlights of my career. The culture here is the best I have ever seen. The support everyone gives is a breath of fresh air. In my past work experiences, it always felt very political and structured. You really couldn’t be yourself. You were a number, not a name. At PPM, we are encouraged to express ourselves and the people here are united around shared goals. We truly work collaboratively, not competitively. PPM brings the best out of people, and that is what really differentiates us in the marketplace. Our people really are our superpower. It’s fun to be a part of that.

3. What opportunities do you see for yourself and the industry in the next five years?

It’s really exciting to be in on the ground floor of this new market in Austin for PPM. With the rapid growth of Austin, I see myself assisting with developing new systems to help processes run smoothly. It’s like a new beginning, starting something where there is nothing but opportunity. And being able to be hands on with it from the beginning is exciting. I see myself growing with the market, adding value to the company, engaging in new relationships and new partners.

4. What advice would you give others or to your younger self who may be considering a career in commercial real estate?

Go for it! You can’t go wrong with commercial real estate. It is very rewarding and generally quite stable. Commercial real estate isn’t going anywhere so long as we need shelter and space to do our work no matter where it is.

5. What unusual talents or hobbies do you have? What are you most passionate about?

One thing people might not know about me is that I love to dance. Specifically, I love two kinds of dancing – hip hop and zydeco line dancing. My family is originally from New Orleans, so I grew up with zydeco and love the culture. I am also passionate about my family and helping those who are need. On the weekends you can usually find me cooking with my family. 

Teal Jarzyna
Associate Director

1. Why did you choose a career in commercial real estate?

Honestly, this career chose me. I had a friend in the industry who recommended me for a position because she was aware of my years of experience in the service industry and understood how my interpersonal skills would be a value in the field.

2. What stands out as a highlight of your career so far?

It is a toss-up between traveling internationally (Costa Rica and Hong Kong) to deliver on launch projects, and leading a team that delivered over 50,000 office moves in one year for our client.

3. What opportunities do you see for yourself and the industry in the next five years?

These are unprecedented times which allows for so much innovation in the field. Five years from now, I see the industry being focused on variations of flexibility within workspace and the technologies that support more on-demand personal interaction within the space. At this time, I see myself leading teams that will help drive these creative changes for our customers.

4. What advice would you give others or to your younger self who may be considering a career in commercial real estate?

My dad always had this saying when I was growing up: “Life is about problem solving.” This was one of the best pieces of advice he gave me. Over the years, I realize it taught me not to be scared of the problem, but instead to be open to finding the solution. To those looking to start a career in the CRE field, I would use the same sentiment. Be open to learning and working with others to find the best solutions for your client.

5. What unusual talents or hobbies do you have? What are you most passionate about?

I have been doing CrossFit for 10 years now, so I can walk on my hands, and lift a bunch of weight (pre-Covid). This year, in light of gyms closing, I have been working on building my home gym. 

I am not only passionate about my own fitness goals, but I also love helping others reach theirs as well. It is truly a transformative moment when you can help someone reach a goal they never thought possible.

Nai Saelee
Senior Project Manager

1. Why did you choose a career in commercial real estate? 

I was looking for a career change and was drawn to the growth of the tech industry in my hometown. I saw commercial real estate as a way that I could help put together the building blocks of my community. I started as a Punchlist Coordinator at a local commercial furniture company, then quickly transitioned to a role at a large account as a vendor partner at a global online retail company, supporting its organizational growth by coordinating internal transfers. My career took off from there. It’s amazing to see how much the account and program services has evolved in the past six years and continues to grow.

2. What stands out as a highlight of your career so far?

Two years ago, I relocated to New York City from Seattle to support PPM’s growth in the region. I am incredibly grateful to have had this opportunity to dive into a new scene and culture to build a team from the ground up. It’s been an exciting and humbling experience learning the ins and outs of the NYC machine and contributing to the evolution of the company. 

3. What opportunities do you see for yourself and the industry in the next five years?

Among other things, the pandemic has really shaken up the way many people work and live. It’s challenged us to look at these experiences in a different way. We have this great opportunity to reimagine the workplace — to rethink services and programs that can optimize space, providing the best needs for our clients. I believe PPM’s nimbleness and agility is a huge advantage and we can create trends and changes in the workspace and beyond.

4. What advice would you give others or to your younger self who may be considering a career in commercial real estate?

Work on building and strengthening your professional network. Practice your pitch and do mock interviews. Your education will help you move through an organization, but your network will take you right up to the front door. Research and dive into areas of interest, share them with your colleagues and connections through school and friends. With six degrees of separation, you’re bound to meet someone who knows someone who can get you that recommendation for your next opportunity or interview.

5. What unusual talents or hobbies do you have? What are you most passionate about?

No particularly unusual talents, but I’ve mastered my indoor plant care skills and built up my tolerance for cold while running outside during NYC winters. I am passionate about identifying and sharing growth opportunities and lifting others who may not have access to success. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of mentors and leaders who have provided the exposure to many facets of CRE as well as leadership training. Just as people have advocated for me and opened up space to have a seat at the table, I want to do the same for others.