Vice President of Marketing, SoCal
Los Angeles, CA
Meet Karina Rico
What is your role at Avison Young?
Vice President, Marketing - Southern California. I work closely with regional leadership, principals, staff and two dedicated regional team members to oversee external marketing pursuits, RFPs, business development assignments and internal communications.
How did you get into commercial real estate?
Growing up, I wanted to become a lawyer, and post college, I worked for small law firms for almost 10 years; however, I was a horrible test taker when it came to the LSAT. I took the test twice and did not score well. I decided to make the transition to CRE when a friend told me about an opportunity at their CRE firm, Grubb & Ellis, along with an opening to work with an investment sales team. That was 15 years and I have never looked back.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life and why?
It is hard to narrow down one "big influence," since I have been blessed to have worked with incredible mentors and leaders throughout my career. My parents taught me from a young age to work hard and not give up when the going got tough. From a professional perspective, my biggest influence in my marketing career has been Mary Tamaki—the current U.S. Director of Marketing at Avison Young. We met in 2008 while I was working at JLL, and, throughout our long-running partnership and friendship, she has taught me the importance of leadership, team building, and creative problem solving. She is living proof that being well-rounded is an essential factor in success.
What is the best advice you've ever received?
I worked with a self-made multimillionaire and real estate investment fund entrepreneur that quite literally never took "no" for an answer. He taught me that perseverance pays off, and that, when the will was strong enough, there was always a way.
How has Avison Young supported you as a woman in business?
Avison Young is truly a collaborative culture. From our CEO, Mark Rose, to our senior leadership who lead the company, to our local Managing Directors, Principals, and staff - we truly are inclusive.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I took control of my health in May 2018 and embarked on a health and fitness journey. I have since lost 50 lbs., reversed my Type II diabetes, and continue to make strides to my fitness goals each and every day. Currently, I average between 12-15k daily steps in walking. As a single mom to a vibrant and energetic 7-year-old boy, Santiago, my son is my constant cheerleader and walking partner—we take evening walks, as I bring him along in his wagon and he chooses the music we listen to, like a personal workout DJ. Considering how I completed my first marathon when I was 21 years old, I realize that I have always enjoyed walking, and I'm so grateful to have rediscovered that passion.