Cresa employee spotlight: Regina X. Jiron, Senior Vice President

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.

Regina Xerez-Burgos Jiron is a Senior Vice President in charge of Operations for Cresa’s Washington DC and Baltimore-area offices. With over 20 years of experience in client relations and corporate administration, Regina provides strategic direction and overall guidance, with the objective of maximizing efficiency, growth and revenue goals, as well as day-to-day leadership and management of Administration, Human Resources, IT, Marketing, Research, Facilities Administration and Legal. She has been with Cresa for over 11 years.

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Regina with her son, Iggie, on his first trip to the Philippines in January 2020. Top photo: Taal Volcano in the background. Bottom photo: Island hopping to Boracay Island.

How did you get into the industry?

I was working for a healthcare non-profit in Washington, DC when a headhunter called me and asked if I would be interested in joining Cresa. I told her I didn’t have any commercial real estate experience, but she said they were not looking for a CRE expert but someone who could build and manage their operations.

What are some challenges you have encountered during your career and how did you overcome them?

I had to restart my career from scratch when I decided to come to the U.S. from the Philippines. I knew I had to work my way up the ladder again, despite having an MBA and management experience, so I started by taking a temp job in a top accounting firm in DC. They later wanted to hire me full-time, but I saw a better opportunity and took a full-time job as an executive assistant for a healthcare non-profit. They soon realized my skill sets, and I quickly rose in the ranks, assuming more responsibilities until I finally became Director of Operations. I knew my patience and hard work would reward me in the end.

Why are you passionate about what you do?

I have a passion for learning how things work, what motivates people and using that knowledge to make life easier and better for everyone. It fits well with my work in operations. Life doesn’t have to be complicated and there’s a solution to every problem.

Are there any specific projects or contributions to Cresa that you would like to share?

In my years with Cresa, I like that I’ve trained and mentored business managers from other Cresa offices. Cresa has a strong collaborative culture and I feel privileged to be able to work and interact with other business managers and help them succeed in their role.

What organization(s) are you currently involved with?

I donate in kind to A Wider Circle, a charity organization here in Maryland. Its mission is to end poverty by providing resources for families in need, such as help in starting a new home or securing a stable job. Donations such as furniture, kitchen stuff, and clothes furnish new homes for families coming out of a homeless or abusive situation.

I’m also active with OptionB.Org, launched by Sherly Sandberg. OptionB.Org’s mission is to help people build resilience in the face of adversity, specifically when dealing with loss. The theme is appropriate given what everyone has been through during this pandemic, especially people who have suffered loss – loss of a loved one or friend, job, home, or just the loss of a sense of normalcy. Since last year, I’ve been hosting weekly virtual dinner “chats” with a group of widows like myself. It’s a safe place to share our stories, inspire and support each other as we go through life-changing challenges. It has taught me that connecting with people around shared experiences can be a source of strength and hope.

How do you think we can better promote Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) within the CRE industry?

I joined Cresa’s DIB Retention Committee for this purpose. If we can push the boundaries further promoting the tenets of inclusion and diversity at Cresa, it’s a step towards changing the industry’s mindset. We have a hard hill to climb, but if we all sincerely work together, with honesty and an open attitude, we can leave our mark and change things.