by Eric B. Lewis, MAI, FRICS
President, Valuation & Advisory Americas
We’re recognizing the individuals within our Valuation & Advisory (V&A) group who have hit major anniversary milestones. I had the chance to talk with Donna Shelton, who has worked at Cushman & Wakefield for the last 25 years…
You’ve been with Cushman & Wakefield for 25 years. What drew you to Cushman & Wakefield originally? And what has made you stay with the company throughout the years?
I was originally drawn to the Cushman & Wakefield brand and the ability for growth within the company. I have always worked in the real estate industry, either in an operational and/or administration capacity, with mortgage lending, property management, and home building. Having worked in the real estate industry I knew that Cushman & Wakefield was a well-known name. It just made sense to join the best company and grow with the firm.
What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
I really appreciate the variety of my job and the people that I work with. I’m very proud of the administration team that we’ve put together over the years, particularly the area administrators that I work with directly. They are very dedicated to the company and take care of everyone in their areas. I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work with.
What advice would you give to recent new hires?
Work hard, learn everything you can from whoever is willing to teach you, and patiently wait for the good opportunities – they are out there. I started in brokerage as an administrator but once I became familiar with the different departments within Cushman & Wakefield, I set my sights on Valuation & Advisory. A position with the team opened up about a year and a half after I started and Valuation & Advisory needed an Eastern Area Administrator. I applied and have been with the team ever since!
Name a career lesson you’ve learned along the way?
Don’t let stress overwhelm you. What you don’t get done today you can do tomorrow! Unfortunately, I’ve seen many folks leave over the years and many have just burned out. I encourage everyone to ask for help when they need it – there is always someone willing to help you!
What does a typical day look like for you?
I never know what each day will bring, which is why I like my job so much. I process all new hires and employment term changes for our team and I am the Valuation & Advisory contact for finance/commission accounting and the IT associated with that function. That part of my role also puts me on several committees.
I’m always available to resolve other’s problems, issues, and questions within our service line or find the right person to help resolve them. I never know what’s going to happen from one day to the next, but I know it’s going to be engaging all day long!
What was the most interesting or unique assignment you’ve been a part of?
I’m still very proud of being the person that worked with outside programmers to design our group’s internal job tracking software. Our system in 1998 wasn’t Y2K compliant, so I helped work with developers to create and ensure it would be when it rolled out on 1/1/2000. It is still the system that we use today to track all of our assignments from beginning to end. We are on our third version and I’ve been involved in the creation and maintenance/enhancements of each progression.
When you’re not in the office, what do you like to do?
In my free time I love to spend it with my 20 month-old grandson!
Eric Lewis is the President, Valuation & Advisory Americas. In this role, Eric is responsible for the overall operations of the Americas V&A group, which spans 640 professionals across 6 core services, 17 practice groups, and 70 offices. He drives the primary business objectives and activities for V&A in the Americas, including our aggressive growth and technology initiatives. In 2018, the group appraised more than 56,660 properties valued at over $832 billion USD.