“It was really early in my career, back when I was at Arthur Andersen…. I was reviewing some of my work that had been done with my boss. You would be doing so much work and it took so much time (on a mainframe computer), and he said to me, ‘While yes, you’re technically correct, this isn’t what they need.’
“I had taken their instructions very literally and done exactly what they asked for. He said, ‘You are providing client services. You’re a consultant. You’ve got to understand what they’re going to do with the deliverable.’
“(Clients) may think they know what they want, but really dig deep to find out what they need.
“That notion now applies to real estate. When you are negotiating a lease, for example, the client or the broker will ask you some things and it isn’t a matter of yes or no. If we can’t do it, let’s truly understand what they’re trying to get at and maybe there’s an in-between and we can get them to the same spot.”
Professional experience: Walsh holds a bachelor’s in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She worked for Arthur Andersen and then as a vice president at Boldt Development before helping to establish Irgens in 1998. Walsh has served in a variety of roles, and was senior vice president and chief operating officer before she was promoted to her current role in 2014. As president and COO, Walsh oversees day-to-day operations including property and facilities management, design and construction administration, leasing, project management, information technology, and marketing and communications.
In the news: Irgens recently acquired the 20-story BMO Harris Bank office tower and adjacent seven-level parking structure and surface parking lot in downtown Milwaukee for $7.1 million. It held a groundbreaking last month for the construction of the new $132.6 million, 25-story BMO Tower on the parking structure site, which will be home to BMO Harris Bank’s Wisconsin headquarters and Milwaukee law firm Michael Best & Friedrich. Irgens will redevelop the former BMO building into a mixed-use development.