2019 Ones to Watch: Ilana Ettinger, Knotel

November 05, 2019 - Spotlights

Name: Ilana Ettinger

Company: Knotel

Title: Associate General Counsel

What do you consider to be your greatest success in the past 12 months?
Since joining Knotel in September 2018, I’ve seen the business grow at an exponential pace to meet customer demand for our product globally. When I started, we were operating in four cities. Since then, we’ve negotiated deals with major landlords in India, Japan, France, Canada, Brazil and across the U.S. and Canada, as well. My greatest accomplishment is working alongside our real estate team to bring the Knotel concept to landlords and execute on the expedited Knotel leasing process in those markets, allowing us to meet the demand for our product efficiently.

What advice can you offer to someone who is just getting started in your industry?
Take chances with your career. If an opportunity presents itself, take the leap, answer the email, have the conversation. Sheryl Sandberg suggested that it’s better to think in terms of a career jungle gym than a career ladder and I agree. I’ve kept my finger on the pulse of the industry by attending conferences and maintaining a strong network and have aligned myself with the most forward-thinking players to stay current. 

Who are some leaders that you admire and why? 
Prior to coming to Knotel, I worked at the Durst Org. I admire the entire Durst family for their environmental stewardship. Even though they run a 100+ year-old company, the Dursts continue to innovate and take on ambitious projects. Their sustainability practices include composting for commercial tenants in their portfolio, a Co-Gen plant at One Bryant Park (the first skyscraper to achieve LEED platinum certification) and urban bee farms. It is admirable that the Dursts have been so proactive in addressing the impact of the building industry on the environment and have used their platform to implement state-of-the-art solutions. 

What was your favorite thing to do when you were a kid?
This may be corny, but from a young age, I loved touring properties with my father who is a commercial real estate broker. He would talk to me about the challenges he was facing in the deals he was working on and use me as a sounding board for creative ideas. I was fascinated that he could tell me the story behind many buildings in the city. That’s where I first developed an interest in the business and I continue to feel the same excitement today! 

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