Karen A. Pecoraro Environmental Consultant, Director of Client Services ATC Group Services LLC
Karen A. Pecoraro
Environmental Consultant, Director of Client Services
ATC Group Services LLC
Karen Pecoraro, ATC Group Services (ATC) North Region, environmental consultant and client services director, and 2016 Past President of CREWBaltimore. I am experienced in environmental management for commercial real estate transactions and asset performance, evaluating the needs of investors, owners, A/E representatives and managers of commercial real estate and institutional property in their assessment and management of environmental conditions. I am also responsible for the development, implementation and coordination of business plan objectives for the ATC office Columbia, Maryland. I have worked in environmental consulting for over 20 years.
How long have you been a CREW Member?
What was the experience or motivating factor that compelled you to join CREWBaltimore? Was there someone who influenced you to join?
It was the male executives at my firm, ATC, who strongly urged me to join. My vice president understood that our national client base in commercial real estate was present in CREW and we should be there as well. Heather Ridgeway, CREW Atlanta, also worked with ATC at that time and had only positive things to say about CREW. My education in science/engineering and career in environmental consulting were heavily influenced and represented by men and, until CREW, my professional networking mirrored that experience. I went to my first CREW event, the convention at National Harbor, and was completely sold on the national organization and the fun cadre of CREWBaltimore members I met there.
List any CREWBaltimore positions held or committees you have been a part of.
I served as chapter president in 2015 and continue serving as past president and chair of the nominating committee in 2016. My first chapter committee was programs; I was hooked and become programs director the following year. I continue to work in the programs, membership, finance committees and, more recently, sponsorship. As president and past president I have served in an advisory capacity to the public relations and outreach committees.
In 2015 I served on the CREW Network nominating committee, and that was nothing short of an extraordinary experience. One president-elect positon, and three director positions for the CREW Network board were available for 2016; there were two and 18 candidates, respectively, for the committee to evaluate. Twenty women, some of the highest performing professionals in CRE, had put a lot of work in responding to Network’s robust questionnaire about their qualifications and experience. These candidates, and the entire nominating process, made a great impression on me. I am currently serving on the CREW Network Industry Research Committee.
How does CREWBaltimore support your career?
Serving on the board of directors and chapter Committees has given me and my employer brand visibility and professional recognition within the local and national commercial real estate community. This has been especially valuable in the past three years, as ATC underwent a merger and name change, followed by a return to private equity ownership and another name change.
Committee work has fostered close relationships with CREWBaltimore members and their recognition of me professionally. Serving on the board of directors has put me in direct contact with decision makers in the local and national commercial real estate markets and has expanded my client base in both. Working on the Network Nominating Committee and speaking on a panel at the Spring Leadership Summit provided broad and positive exposure to me professionally.
Finally, there are legacy CREWBaltimore and Network members who have been very generous to me in their mentorship, furthering my professional development and personal satisfaction with my career.
Have you done business with another CREW member, locally or nationally?
Yes to both; The Brick Companies, Cap Ex Management Group, Colliers International, Jones Lang LaSalle, NorthMarq Capital, Venable, to name a few. Many times CREW members have connected me to business with non-CREW members.
Has CREWBaltimore contributed to your leadership skills and experience?
Yes, immeasurably. Through the volunteer work available through CREWBaltimore, I have been able to take on challenges and decision making that builds confidence in the workplace and in all aspects of business. Serving on the board, especially as president elect and president, gave me the big picture of how chapter operations intersect and what resources are needed to make a chapter successful. I don’t think I realized how much I had gained until I exited from those roles and realized the changes in my workplace. Now my input and actions are sought at a very different level in my firm’s business initiatives.
What do you do in your spare time? Provide a fun fact about yourself.
I really enjoy cooking with my 5th generation cast iron cookware. One is a 15-inch diameter skillet that weighs 11 pounds, perfect for roasting two chickens (another 10 pounds). My great-great grandmother must have been a strong woman!
What 3 business tips can you share with others?
– Think in terms of what clients need, not necessarily what services you have to sell them. Serve as a connector for your clients to the services they need.
– Surround yourself with trusted advisors who are smarter/more experienced than you, the ones who will give you their best criticism.
– This one I stole from Morgan Stanley’s Carla Harris, an incredible speaker at the CREW Network convention in Seattle. “Never submerge what is uniquely you. If you bring your authentic self to the table, people will trust you. Most people are not confident in their own skin. So if you are authentic and honest, people will gravitate toward you.” Read about Carla or watch a video online where she talks about “the meeting before the meeting.” I can’t do it justice here, she is such a great speaker.
What is your guilty pleasure (TV show, sweet treat, etc.)?
Anything on Netflix with zombies. Seriously love my zombie fix. Someday I will return to binge watching documentaries (especially if they involve zombies).
What are you passionate about?
My three sons are the light of my life. Each stage of their lives has proven more fun and interesting to me than the one before. Now they are young adults and I am fascinated at how they are building their futures. From a purely work perspective, everyone who knows me knows I am a data junkie. I am an analyst by profession and at heart, I love making sense out of the data whether environmental or market. I would do this even unpaid, but let’s not let that get out.
What is your favorite app or social media outlet?
LinkedIn and CREWBiz, and in combination they offer a powerful resource for business intelligence.
What is your dream vacation spot?
Any destination warmer than Maryland in February!