Meet Ann Schmelzle

Ann is a Senior Transaction Manager at Cushman & Wakefield, responsible for helping a large global client manage their portfolio of real estate. This includes advice and guidance in keeping each of their real estate leases in good standing and bringing the most value to them as an organization. She has spent years in her field representing both landlords and tenants but finds a great deal of pleasure in representing the tenant or the user that is responsible for their corporate real estate goals and objectives and ultimately plays a role in helping them make educated decisions that ultimately have a positive impact to their bottom line.

Ann works with a team of six but is the only member of her team entirely devoted to one client. Her years of experience, knowledge, and tenure were exactly what Cushman & Wakefield was looking for as a senior member of the team. Ann has keen interpersonal skills with ability to effectively influence, inspire and motivate others to perform at a high level.  The title of “Senior Transaction Manager” doesn’t really tell the full story of her role. She is building relationships with her client, bringing in expertise and coaching for the members of her team, and providing resources as she negotiations transactions and provides strategic real estate advice on her client's behalf.  

Ann has always been driven to succeed in whatever position she takes on in both her personal and professional life. Professionally, she has always been focused on helping others achieve their goals. If she can help enough people find their success, that brings success to her and enriches her life. 

Ann didn’t start out in commercial real estate. In her first job out of college, she learned a great deal about becoming a successful salesperson and building relationships with clients. During her time at this job, she met Lynn Schenck, another Forum member, who introduced her to commercial real estate and who became her mentor and remains a close friend “and the rest is history.” Early in her real estate career, a colleague told her, “this is a relationship business.” She took this advice to heart and has been building strong relationships with clients and colleagues ever since. 

Ann is network oriented; she is driven to stay active, has a strong work ethic and integrity.  She thrives in a cross-functional environment and works effectively with executives and business owners alike.  This has enhanced her ability to build relationships and connect with others. This is what drew her to the St. Louis Forum; being surrounded by other successful women leaders is a huge inspiration to her. 

Her desire to lead is also influenced by her desire to surround herself with other highly successful people. “Taking a seat at the table” comes in many forms, but she contributes through the wide variety of boards and committees she is involved in, making her voice heard. Ann identifies as a collaborator and an influencer in her leadership roles across the board, as opposed to command and control. 

Ann is also someone who is motivated to take risks—her life is a risk/reward balance. She left a position early in her career with a comfortable salary and benefits and took a risk by jumping into a new career in a male-dominated industry with no guarantees. Being comfortable with change and being willing to step outside of her comfort zone are important principles in her life. “If you don’t step outside of your comfort zone,” she says, “your success is always limited. You have to give yourself a chance to explore what you're good at and what you're not.” For Ann, having a supportive family and a circle of friends and influencers around you make this process easier to tackle.

When it comes to the origin of many of her strengths as a professional, Ann credits many to her experiences as a young girl. She was taught to be independent at a young age, guided by a strong independent mother with 5 children, and her father was a tennis pro and a competitive athlete  she inherited the competitive spirit that comes with that. Her passion for helping others started at a young age with an older sister with developmental disabilities. 

As an adult, she’s found herself involved in many organizations and committees that support women, families and individuals with intellectual disabilities—organizations like the YWCA and Life Skills/Easter Seals Foundation.  She's also involved in the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, where she currently sits on the Board of Directors, an organization she has a deep personal passion for, as her family has been affected by Parkinson’s disease. Her years with the YWCA were especially impactful for her.  

Ann is passionate about mentorship as well, both being a mentor and mentee. She’s looking forward to getting involved in mentorship again as opportunities arise. Ann is married with three children and two grandchildren. She’s a very active grandmother, and her love for sports has not faded; she plays golf with her husband and is still immensely competitive.