Take Five With:
Vicky Gunning, Managing Partner, Locke Lord LLP
2017 TREC board secretary
1. Who was the greatest influence for you in pursuing a career in commercial real estate law?
My Uncle Danny Beltz was one of two lawyers in my hometown of Stroud, Oklahoma. Back in that day, Oklahoma lawyers wrote the title opinions (instead of title insurance), and I was fascinated by his research on titles. When I graduated from SMU and joined what was then Liddell Sapp, I was willing to be any kind of a transactional lawyer, but someone told the corporate partners that I was doing real estate. No one has ever fessed up to doing that to this day, but I feel so blessed because I have loved being in the commercial real estate industry.
2. You are very active with both TREC and the Dallas chapter of the Commercial Real Estate Women’s (CREW) Network. Why do those organizations mean so much to you?
The message of positive change in both organizations is energizing and effective. There is a lot of power in joining together for a purpose bigger than ourselves. TREC has been transformational in improving Dallas. CREW is also powerfully improving the industry by advancing the achievements of women. CREW Network’s research (where I serve on the international board) has shown that women in our industry face an average income gap of 23.3 percent. I’m excited to work with strong men and women who advocate for change to make commercial real estate a meritocracy and a lifetime attractive career for everyone.
3. If you had a free afternoon – no work, no family responsibilities, no chores – how would you spend the time?
I would get on a fishing boat with no land in sight and fish for sailfish. And while waiting for the fish to bite, I would stare at the beautiful ocean and read a really good book.
4. If you could have dinner with anyone from history, living or deceased, with whom would you dine and why?
I would have dinner with Phoebe Palmer, a preacher and evangelist in the mid-to-late 1800s. I read a book about her by Elaine Heath earlier this year and was significantly impacted by her preaching (nearly 200 years later, which is amazing). She seems to have been lost in history, and I would love to ask her how she persevered to have such a large influential worldwide ministry as a woman during that time period. It couldn’t have been easy or without significant pushback.
5. One of TREC’s foundational statements is a challenge to our members to “Build the city you imagine.” What kind of city do you imagine Dallas ultimately becoming?
I imagine Dallas becoming an even more welcoming city where young people flock to achieve their dreams of a fulfilling career (in commercial real estate, of course), a city where there is no child poverty, a city where neighbor helps neighbor and a city where the business community becomes even more vibrant and engaged in giving back by having every industry follow the incredibly effective TREC model.