Cresa employee spotlight: Jeffrey Garza Walker
Cresa is committed to building an inclusive workplace that encourages, supports, and celebrates the diverse voices of our employees. Our employee spotlight series gives our team members the opportunity to share their unique experience.
Jeffrey Garza Walker is Senior Vice President in Cresa’s Phoenix office who focuses on expanding Cresa’s capabilities in global portfolio services through key industrial clients with requirements in Latin America. Additionally, he assists companies in Latin America seeking to place operations within North America.
Left: Hiking South Mountain with my kids Jazmyn, Jared and Jacob
Right: Playing golf with my Cresa Compadres Rod Beach, Jason Malcolm and Joshua Rodriguez
How did you get into the industry?
I started work at the YMCA, International where I traveled throughout Mexico and Spain helping YMCAs get up and running, I even got to see the Dream Team play at the Olympics when I was in Spain. I had a career at the YMCA for some time but decided I wanted to work on my for-profit career. I moved to Phoenix and started as an account manager for Pepsi and then moved on to Cox Communications. I then decided to open my own business and opened Java Vida and grew it to a multi-site business, then received a buyout offer from a competitor. I had negotiated the leases for our locations and a mentor shared that I should go into CRE fulltime. I started in 2005 and have not looked back.
What are some challenges you have encountered during your career and how did you overcome them?
Building relationships is key to having success in life, and finding those that are willing to share knowledge and experience can be challenging, especially in the CRE industry. I had to work hard by developing various skill sets in every aspect of the business (retail/office/industrial/medical/multi-family), golf, networking within the brokerage community, obtaining an MRED degree from ASU to get to know the development community and creating a specialty, as the leading authority on Industrial CRE in Mexico/LATAM.
Why are you passionate about what you do?
I’m passionate about helping companies be successful, being a resource from the real estate perspective, and developing relationships that are deeper than just client interactions.
Are there any projects or contributions to your local Cresa office that you would like to share?
Garnering and growing some of our largest clients’ portfolios in Mexico/LATAM has been a pioneering effort for the Phoenix office, which has grown to other large portfolio clients throughout Cresa.
What organization(s) are you currently involved with?
Southwest Valley Chamber-Chair Elect, ASU MRED-Mentor Program, Global Chamber-Board member, Chicanos Por La Causa-CPLC, World’s Best Connectors-Board Member, New Canaan Society-Advisory Board
How did you become involved with this organization?
Networking within the Phoenix Valley for over 25 years has created numerous opportunities and relationships that have produced opportunities to serve with these types of organizations.
Why is their mission important to you?
It’s all about giving back and helping provide a better place/resources to grow other people/communities.
What has your involvement with this organization taught you?
That helping others and communities is the most satisfying part of the human journey.
How can other people get involved?
Network with others and ask how you can be a resource to others or organizations that serve communities/industries.
How do you think we can better promote DIB within the CRE industry?
By creating opportunities through:
- Entry level positions that attract and retain candidates of diversity by creating a plan that secures success by providing resources to get past the first 2-3 years in the industry.
- Creating a roadmap for seasoned professionals to be promoted into positions of significance that can affect change and retain them for the long term.
- Aligning with organizations that promote and foster candidates of diversity into the CRE industry.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I’ve always tried to see the human race as the place we all come from and can share/celebrate our uniqueness. While many obstacles exist that can prevent that type of inclusiveness, I’m trying to affect that type of change by bringing along others. I believe the CRE industry offers a platform that can create opportunity and impactful change. It’s my desire to bring others along and create a ground swell of more candidates of diversity for a better industry that’s inclusive and can obtain a far greater result from that growth. My mantra is to look for the opportunities in life, they are just waiting for you!