Vice President, CB Richard Ellis in Detroit. Downs specializes in office and industrial investment sales. She advises clients on site selection, acquisitions, dispositions, land assemblage, and sale and lease negotiations and acts as construction liaison among landlords, tenants, and contractors for general and technical tenant improvements. She has extensive experience representing telecom and datacenter clients. Locally, Downs has represented Clear Channel Communications, the Southeastern Michigan Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustees, First Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust, AGA/U.S. Linde Gas, Navigant International, and Lason and Teksid, Inc. Prior to joining CB Richard Ellis, Downs was the national account representative for General Motors, overseeing all office transactions assigned to Colliers International. Involved in commercial real estate since 1987, she has held positions in market research, property management, and sales for Eric Yale Lutz & Associates, Grubb & Ellis, Paragon Corporate Realty Services, Colliers International, and Trammell Crow Co. Downs is president-elect of CREW Detroit, a group dedicated to promoting diversity and excellence within the commercial real estate profession in southeast Michigan, and a recent graduate of Leadership Detroit. She and some of her fellow graduates of Leadership Detroit have formed a Leadership Detroit Education Support committee and developed a Quality Education Best Practices Summit, which hosted business and community leaders with the goal of partnering to increase quality education options for Detroit children. Downs also was selected by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce to attend the Business LEADs Institute in Washington, D.C. She chairs the Southeast Oakland County division of the American Heart Association and is a volunteer at the Alternatives for Girls and First Step Project Against Domestic Violence.

WHERE BORN: “Dearborn.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “Barack Obama. The president really reflects a common sense agenda. In reading the The Audacity of Hope, I was impressed with his ability to look at an issue from all angles. Part of his popularity is based on the fact that he makes opposing sides know they’ve been heard and understood and their points of view taken into consideration. From a political standpoint, most people can meet in the middle if they’re basing their decisions on common sense.”

LAST BOOK READ: "The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It’s absolutely extraordinary.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Dynamic, strategic, intense.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED:  “Toward the greatest era of opportunity that we’ve ever encountered. CB Richard Ellis is the largest real estate advisory firm in the world. When we took over real estate for Ford Motor Land Development, part of that deal was absorbing employees and we brought them to CB. From an industry standpoint, in unprecedented times comes a lot of opportunity. It depends on which side of the fence you’re on. If you’re a buyer, you can pick up assets at unprecedented prices. A lot of wealth is going to be generated in the next 36 months. Michigan particularly is a great value. We’re talking to investors from around the country, and we have to lay out what we have to offer against the state’s national reputation. From an asset standpoint, it’s unusual to have a region that has multiple world class universities and health systems, layered with a skilled workforce and manufacturing infrastructure. You’d be hard pressed to find any other place like it in the world. We’re positioning as a leader in the new economy and creating the legacy of the auto companies in new and different ways.”


FAVORITE PLACE: “The coastline of Michigan. Anywhere by the water.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “Cooking and entertaining.”


MY HIDDEN TALENT: “Salsa dancing.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “As someone who really loves people.”