Name: Suzanne deVries Decker
Title: Real Estate Special Counsel
Company Name: Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
Real estate association / organization affiliation(s): Fried Frank’s Women in Real Estate (WRE) group
What are some of your biggest accomplishments in the last 12 months?
I represented Blackstone Mortgage Trust (BXMT) in its $1.8 billion financing for Tishman Speyer’s construction of The Spiral, a 2.8 million s/f building in Hudson Yards in New York City. The financing was completed in six weeks and represents BXMT’s largest ever single asset origination. I have also been actively involved in the firm’s pro bono efforts. This summer I, along with 57 Fried Frank attorneys, am representing women detained in Texas to appeal the government’s negative decisions of their “credible fear” interviews, which occurred during the months they were involuntarily separated from their children.
How important is it for women to create a personal brand?
I think there is a common belief among women that if they put their heads down and work hard, they will eventually be recognized. While hard work is important, it is also important for people to know you, and to know you as more than a hard worker. There is great value in being visible in an industry as small as real estate. Relationships are what drive our industry so it is important to be out there.
What blogs, resources, podcasts or influencers have helped you?
I start my day with NPR’s “Up First” and The New York Times’ “The Daily.” My morning is typically filled with meetings and phone calls so podcasts best accommodate my on-the-go lifestyle. My biggest influencer is Jonathan Mechanic, chairman of Fried Frank’s real estate department. He knows New York real estate better than anyone and is a great mentor. I also strive to emulate Janice Mac Avoy, the co-chair of Fried Frank’s Real Estate Litigation Practice Group, who does what she feels is right even if that is the harder course of action.
How many messages are in your inbox right now and how do you manage email?
I try to be very disciplined with my email and only have one day’s worth of messages in my inbox. I keep the current day’s emails until the next day, when everything gets filed or deleted. This helps me keep things from slipping through the cracks.
What do you do like to do for fun?
I love to read (fiction), run (slowly), and knit (socks).
In one word, describe yourself: