105: Athena Merage | Risk-taking and Opportunity-Seeking for Success

On today’s episode of The Edge of Excellence, Matt talks with Athena Merage, Director of Development at Merage Investment Group.

When her family fell apart, Athena had to learn to fend for herself at a young age. While attending school and working nights, she had to find her escapism, and art was her safe place. Also, since her father worked in construction, she spent a lot of time on building sites, which nurtured her creative side. Each of these experiences prepared her for a career in design and development. Athena has worked on $200 million worth of real estate projects.

She’ll talk about tapping into nature for work-life balance. You’ll learn more about her career path, which took her from receptionist at a civil engineering firm to project manager at Beazer. Her next job was with Royal Investors Group, where she met her colleague who introduced her to CEQA, the California Environmental Quality Act, in which she specialized.

Learning to live frugally at an early age, she was able to change her lifestyle at the height of the economic crisis in 2008. She’ll talk about how the financial crisis affected the real estate market and the crucial lessons she learned that she continues to implement today. You’ll learn about her operations as the director of development and what gives her fulfillment in her work.

On a personal note, she talks about her passion for running, parenthood, and why Sacagawea, the interpreter and guide for Lewis and Clark’s 1804-06 expedition, is an inspiration to her.

Join Matt and Athena for a fascinating discussion about real estate and how to incorporate your passion into work.


What You Will Learn In This Show:

  • Athena’s definition of excellence.
  • The importance of having a mentor.
  • Why she did not complete her degree.
  • The difference between land development and building development.
  • How to hone your people skills in the workplace.
  • Why she wants to pursue a nutrition degree.
  • And so much more…

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