Published On May 02, 2019 in 
Leadership & Development and PECO Culture

Our May Women Leader of PECO is Candace Gschwind, Leasing Professional. Candace joined Phillips Edison in 2012 as a Leasing Assistant and her energy, enthusiasm, and love of learning have propelled her career since. 
During her first two years with the company, Candace identified and implemented a series of solutions designed to improve and streamline processes. As a result of her sharp eye for detail and proven insight into the business, she was given the opportunity to take on the role of marketing liaison for the leasing department. There, she implemented an email program that resulted in 12 deals in the first year. This success earned her the opportunity to try her hand at leasing two shopping centers.
Candace completed three deals within the first three months and quickly moved into the role of junior leasing agent. In 2015, Candace was promoted to Leasing Associate and awarded a portfolio of eight centers throughout OH, IN & KY. After an outstanding year, during which she completed 18 deals, she was again promoted to Leasing Professional. Candace serves on the Advisory Board for PECO NOW (Networking Opportunity for Women) and is active in the group’s Development Committee, helping to find and develop learning and growth opportunities for women at PECO. 
With ICSC RECon, the CRE industry’s biggest conference, quickly approaching, we sat down with Candace to get the scoop on how she’s getting ready for the event and what advice she’d give to first-time attendees. Here’s what she shared!
What are you doing to prepare for ICSC RECon?
RECon is an excellent opportunity to network and meet face-to-face with other industry professionals from around the country.  With that in mind, my priority in preparing for the event is making sure that I get to meet with the people I want to talk with – and that means setting appointments! I like to be the early bird when it comes to setting meetings. I start reaching out to brokers and retailers in March when their schedules are wide open.
What is your favorite part about the RECon Conference?
My favorite part about RECon is meeting with contacts for new and expanding concepts. Learning how these brands got started and seeing the vision of where they are going is exciting. Being in the presence of entrepreneurial mindsets brings a different energy to the show.
What do you feel is the most challenging thing about attending RECon and how do you deal with it?
Scheduling conflicts do happen. If a meeting doesn’t happen for some reason, I always have a plan to make the most of my time anyway. Of course, first I always try to immediately reschedule - but if that’s not possible, I don’t let the time slot go to waste. I walk the floor and try to meet someone new, or I check to see if there is a roundtable discussion or speaker I can sit it on. Finding ways to utilize gaps in my schedule is better than simply waiting for the next meeting.
What advice would you give to a first-time attendee of this event?
Do not underestimate the time you have available to network outside of the conference. Some of my most meaningful connections came from the airport, sharing a cab to the show, or grabbing coffee at the hotel. It’s important to remember that you are always representing your company - even when you’re outside of the convention center.
Want to meet Candace during ICSC RECon? Stop by the Phillips Edison Booth S233 Q Street. Schedule a meeting and get the details here.

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