Senior Manager of Marketplace Operations, CrowdStreet
AWE Accelerator Rachel Lehman is a high-achieving, goal-oriented Senior Manager of Operations with an eye for innovation and a natural ability to lead. In her role on the CrowdStreet Marketplace production team, Rachel leverages user data and feedback to deliver consistent and engaging multimillion-dollar investment opportunities to an audience of over 50,000 high-net-worth investors transforming the way they do business.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us, Rachel. Can you please tell us about your current job title/responsibilities?
I am the Senior Manager of Marketplace Operations at CrowdStreet. In this role, I lead the team of Project Managers and Coordinators responsible for launching commercial real estate deals on the CrowdStreet Marketplace and managing each fundraiser. My role is at the core of our business and requires a wide breadth of knowledge and problem-solving capabilities to allow me to make tough decisions quickly and keep production moving.
Did you always envision yourself working in Operations? How did you stay focused on your goal or pivot when necessary?
I did not always have a clear picture of where my career would take me. I needed to try on roles that didn’t fit before I ultimately found project management and people management. My goal from very early on was simply to find a career that allowed me to utilize my strengths and felt natural to me. While I had ambition, I knew I wouldn’t go far until I was in the right lane.
What do you think the 3 most important keys to your success have been?
- Coming as my genuine self to work, and creating space for others to do the same.
- Building a career based on my natural strengths and passions.
- Putting effort into developing and fostering relationships.
Did you have any mentors or sponsors while rising through your career? Anyone you want to shout out?
100%! I would not have made the leap of faith to try my hand at Project Management without a push from Jen Stille who was a mentor for me at ThoughtWorks during a pivotal time in my career. I knew I had more to offer but needed someone else to help me find courage and that was Jen. Also, Bianca Garchar (another AWE graduate) and Chris DeLap taught me everything I know, supported my goals, and gave me the tough feedback I needed to hear. Lastly, the entire Women@Hyatt organization deserves a shoutout. I am a better colleague, leader, and person for having had the opportunity to be a part of Hyatt Corporation.
It’s fantastic that colleagues and leaders at your organization have recognized your work!
I am proud to have a 100% approval rating from my 13-person nationally dispersed team. After they collectively sponsored my promotion in August 2021, we achieved over $1.05B in equity, setting industry-wide records. In 2021, I was the recipient of the CrowdStreet Leadership Award.
Tell us about your experience with AWE Accelerator? How has being a part of AWE changed how you show up to work everyday?
After taking the 8-week course I keep a post-it note on my desk to remind myself to stay accountable, to actively engage my network, to recognize and avoid negative storytelling, and to practice resilience in my everyday life. I feel confident that if I apply these three tools out of the abundance of tools shared in the AWE Accelerator courses, my career will grow organically.
What was your favorite AWE Accelerator session/training?
My favorite session from the course was the session on storytelling. What I liked about that session in particular was that we were challenged to come up with a strategy to solve a tough problem as a team. I had the opportunity to partner with brilliant cohort-mates and build something together. Since we all came from a variety of positions and industries, we had to quickly identify the strengths in the room and put them to work. The result was something I was really proud of.
What is your motivating force in business and in life?
Simply put, I want to leave things better than how I found them.
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
I am an AWE graduate, I have no fear! I plan to continue to take comfortable and uncomfortable steps toward achieving my goals. I am open to my goals changing as I grow and change. I feel confident that I have the tools necessary to continue to progress and I am grateful for the things I am learning on that journey.
Tell us something interesting about yourself that we can’t find listed on your resume.
I recorded a song with a Grammy nominated artist Chaz Bear of Toro y Moi that got play on the radio and in dance clubs for a few years.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.