Two Ballard Spahr real estate partners, Mary Jo George and Nicole C. Evans, have been honored by Real Estate Forum magazine in recognition of their achievements in helping to shape the commercial real estate industry. The honorees will be profiled in the magazine’s July/August issue, which will mark the 20th anniversary of the magazine’s “Women of Influence” list.

Ms. George was named to the “Women of Influence” list, while Ms. Evans was selected for the magazine’s “NextGen: Women to Watch” list of up-and-coming attorneys. Award winners were chosen based on criteria including their greatest professional accomplishments and in-house or industry accomplishments or recognitions over the past year, as well as their involvement in professional or charitable organizations. Nominees also were asked for their views on the changing role of women in the industry and how the industry has changed as a result of women’s increasing participation.

Ms. George is a co-leader of Ballard Spahr’s Housing Group and is based in the firm’s office in Washington, D.C. She handles real estate finance transactions involving both market-rate and affordable multifamily and senior housing. Ms. George is particularly well known for her work with FHA insurance, Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conventional and bond credit enhancement programs.

“I’m encouraged by the steady growth in the ranks of women in leadership roles across the housing industry over the course of my career, and I’m thrilled to be recognized with an award that celebrates women who are industry leaders,” Ms. George said. “This growth in leadership has fostered an environment of inclusiveness, and it provides fertile ground for devising innovative business solutions and developing the next generation of women industry leaders.”

Based in the firm’s Salt Lake City office, Ms. Evans represents clients nationwide in resort and hospitality law. She advises on resort and timeshare development in the United States, Canada, and Mexico as well as on matters involving fractionals, condominiums, and condominium hotels. Ms. Evans counsels owners, franchisors, and franchisees on due diligence, branding and development of hospitality properties, and the negotiation of hotel management agreements and franchise agreements.

“I have been pleased to see an increase in visible female leadership within the industry,” Ms. Evans said. “I used to be the only woman at meetings with clients, and I am now excited to see more women in leadership roles with decision-making authority. Their contributions are worth celebrating, and I am humbled to be among the women being recognized by Real Estate Forum.”

Said Bart I. Mellits, Chair of the firm’s Real Estate Department: “Nicole and Mary Jo are among the top commercial real estate attorneys in the industry. Mary Jo has built a national reputation in the housing sector, and Nicole is a rising star in our Resort and Hotel Group. I can’t think of two lawyers more deserving of this honor.”  

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