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Developing Leaders Spotlight: Bringing an Entrepreneurial Spirit to Law

Only six years after receiving her Juris Doctor degree, Jessica Kimble, a recipient of NAIOP’s 2018 Developing Leaders Award, co-founded York Kimble Law, PLLC, a boutique commercial real estate firm in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She said that she developed an appreciation for entrepreneurship growing up in a family of small business owners and is passionate about commercial real estate law.

Jessica Kimble

In her work as an attorney, Kimble has experience representing developers, financial institutions, investors and corporate clients in commercial real estate transactions, including development projects, real estate investments and dispositions and leasing. She also has experience in creditor rights and business and corporate law matters, including corporate formation, mergers and acquisitions, and general governance matters.

She has been a member of NAIOP North Carolina Piedmont Triad since 2014 and serves on the chapter’s Developing Leaders committee, which plans and organizes DL events.

Outside of the office, Kimble serves as a longtime volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County; she is currently a member of the board of directors and a member of the resource development committee. Feeling driven to use her commercial real estate expertise to help the organization achieve its goals, she became a founding member of the local organization’s land acquisition task force. The task force focuses on the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, working to redevelop entire neighborhoods – not just provide houses – to better serve the existing population of each neighborhood.

NAIOP asked this motivated high-achiever for her take on leadership and the commercial real estate industry.

NAIOP: What are characteristics that you believe every leader should possess?

Kimble: Emotional intelligence. This characteristic alone does not make a great leader, but I believe that you cannot be a great leader without it. Having the ability to understand and manage your emotions, as well as the emotions of those around you, is essential to creating a strong working relationship and a motivated team. 

NAIOP: What do you wish you knew when you were first getting involved in commercial real estate?

Kimble: No two deals are the same. It doesn’t matter how many times you have represented a developer in the acquisition of a multi-tenant building or a borrower in the refinance of CRE, each transaction will have its own set of facts and issues that come up no matter how simple or complex the transaction may seem and no matter how much it may look like a similar deal that you’ve handled in the past.  

NAIOP: What would be your ideal commercial real estate project to work on and why?

Kimble: My ideal commercial real estate project is representing a developer in an assemblage development. These projects can span over several years and include many different phases throughout the acquisition and development process. As legal counsel in an assemblage development project, I get the opportunity to work on almost all areas of commercial real estate law while also working closely with other commercial real estate professionals such as civil engineers, land use consultants, land planners, contractors and brokers throughout the project. 

This is part of a series of profiles of NAIOP’s 2018 Developing Leaders Award recipients, who have distinguished themselves through exceptional commitment and contributions to the industry. This prestigious award was presented at NAIOP’s CRE.Converge 2018 conference in Washington, D.C. Watch this two-minute video to learn more about NAIOP’s Developing Leaders program. Applications for the 2019 Developing Leaders Award are now open.

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