As the founder and president of a woman-owned commercial real estate brokerage firm, Melynn Wakeman bucked the trend of cutting back during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead, she grew her Peoria-based company, Wakeman Integrity, in 2020 with the addition of two brokers and a team of IT, marketing, website, legal and accounting consultants.
“It’s hard to believe, but the pandemic year was the best (year) of my career,” said Wakeman, who founded the company four years ago. “In the beginning of the pandemic, I decided to use the down time to enhance my company policies and procedures and create workflows to simplify daily tasks.
“I also made the decision to improve my overall leadership as a business owner by joining the 12-month class by Darren Hardy, ‘Hero’s Journey,’ a growth in becoming a modern leader,” she said.
Wakeman is the designated broker for Wakeman Integrity LLC, which specializes in health care commercial real estate. She added to her brokerage staff with the hiring of Commercial Sales Associate Branden Mondragon and Commercial Sales Specialist Kristin Glavin.
Mondragon began his real estate career in 2016 working for a construction company while finishing his bachelor’s degree in finance. A native of Pueblo, Colorado, he began investing in and buying and selling residential real estate.
Glavin, a native of San Francisco, possesses an extensive background in business developing and specializes in specialty hospitals — behavioral, long-term care, hospice and chemical dependency.
Glavin’s first deal since joining the firm was a long-term lease worth almost $2 million at Serenity Hospital, 13951 W. Meeker Boulevard, Sun City West. The tenant is Zika Recovery LLC, which specializes in chemical dependency treatment.
“Branden began his career with Integrity two weeks into the pandemic,” Wakeman recalled. “One day he called saying the sky is falling based on the news reports and industry leaders. I told him we were crazy busy, so turn off the TV, keep your head down and run as fast as you can, because our reality is business is booming.”