Fabulous People: Berekk Blackwell

Arizona native Berekk Blackwell is the chief operating officer of Zoned Properties, a leading real estate development firm for emerging and highly regulated industries. The Scottsdale company prides itself on redefining the approach to commercial real estate investment through its integrated growth services. Learn about Berekk Blackwell…

Hometown: I was born in Mesa before moving to Phoenix. I went to college and received my undergrad in Durango, CO. After I graduated, I spent two years in Tokyo working on an international franchise business before moving back to Phoenix.

First job: I have always been passionate about soccer, so it was a natural fit for my first job to be as a referee and coaching youth soccer.

Favorite ways to spend your free time in AZ: Being from Arizona, I’m addicted to the game of golf. Besides that I like to run, bike and hike and we’re very busy trying to keep up with our 2-year-old!

Your biggest accomplishment and why: Becoming a parent. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences I could have ever imagined.

The biggest obstacle you overcame: Starting out, I was involved in a couple entrepreneurial ventures that required me to learn how to fail fast. I’m analytical by nature, and somewhat of a perfectionist, so it was especially difficult to comprehend that failure is a necessary stepping stone to success.

Someone who inspires you and why: My parents always inspired me with how they balanced work and home. Growing up, we had dinner as a family every night despite everyone’s hectic schedules. In today’s flexible work environment, it can be easy to lose sight of the benefits of these small but meaningful family moments.

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Have patience and be kind. In commercial real estate for highly regulated industries, there are always going to be hurdles to overcome. If you’re equipped with those two traits, you’ll at least be able to process the complexity more clearly.

Favorite quote: “I never lose. I either win or learn.” –Nelson Mandela

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I played soccer in college, and we won two national championships in four years.

What makes someone fabulous: Authentically and genuinely being yourself.

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