Spotlight on Tess Kohanski, DLE Alum 2010, Economic Development Planner for the City of Everett, MA | Real Estate Agent & Developer (REthink39 | LAER Realty Partners)
The built environment is immensely complex – from the physics and engineering that allow us to build bridges and skyscrapers to the even more nuanced challenges of creating equitable, sustainable and just communities. These are the challenges and questions that I sprint towards.
Most of us spend our days living in a physical environment that has been hammered, welded, poured, assembled, and built by someone other than ourselves. Where we live is arguably the single most influential factor in our lives and has a profound impact on our future – from our earning potential to our health.
The work that I do as an urban planner and real estate developer has the potential to impact (positively and negatively) generations of individuals and communities. It’s an awesome responsibility. The weight of this responsibility is foundational to the work that I do in my full-time role as a local government employee and my side-hustle work as a real estate professional.
I lead economic development efforts for the City of Everett, Boston’s neighbor to the north, a working-class Gateway city on the rise. We are at an historic inflection point as we balance intense development pressures with providing an equitable, healthy community for our residents. Everett’s proximity to Boston, vibrant urban fabric, and the economic pressures of the largest private development in the history of the Commonwealth – the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor Resort – make working for the City of Everett equally challenging and exciting.
Rolling around in my head for sometime have been ambitions of becoming a real estate agent, developer and investor. Recently, I had the opportunity to join a mission-driven real estate team. Rethink39, a team out of LAER Realty Partners the largest independently owned brokerage in New England, is dedicated to reducing the 39% of carbon emissions that are produced by the built environment. We are changing the expectations and perceptions around how people value their homes.
The Dulye Leadership Experience was a kick-start to my personal and professional development. The formal sessions at the annual retreat and ample opportunity for informal networking taught me the importance and power of connecting to people. Until that point, I understood the importance of networking, but dreaded the execution.
In the 10 years since I participated in the DLE Retreat, I have grown to truly enjoy meeting new people. I look forward to learning about an individual’s story and motivations – professional and personal. It’s an opportunity to stretch the bounds of my own perspective. The DLE provided the launch pad.
Contact Tess, who lives in Winthrop, MA, at email@example.com.