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Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame: Commerce Bank’s Kristy Hess – REJournals –

Each year, Midwest Real Estate News elects a new class to its Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame. Here’s a look at one of our new inductees, Kristy Hess, senior vice president, CRE division manager with St. Louis’ Commerce Bank.

Kristy Hess has worked in the commercial banking industry, focusing on real estate finance, for more than 17 years. And during this time, she has been a top producer and has built an effective sales team that excels at underwriting and deepening relationships with top CRE developers, investors and owners.

Hess’ expertise includes traditional investment real estate finance, both acquisition and development, across all property types, along with experience in niche sectors such as Affordable Housing, New Market Tax Credits, Historic Tax Credits and C-PACE financing.

During the last eight years, Hess helped grow Enterprise Bank & Trust’s St. Louis CRE portfolio to more than $500 million through the addition of 15 new client relationships and more than $265 million in new loan originations. And during the last four years, Hess has coached the team and provided strategic direction to support the bank’s continued growth in this sector.

Hess began 2022 by returning to Commerce Bank, where she spent the first half of her career, to lead its St. Louis CRE Team.

Despite her success, Hess has faced challenges. The commercial real estate industry remains one largely dominated by men. This has meant that Hess has had to work even harder to build her successful career.

“Establishing my credibility being both young and female in the industry, whether internally at the companies I’ve worked with or externally with clients, has been a challenge,” Hess said.

But Hess has overcome this. What’s her formula for success? She works hard, provides the best possible service to her clients and has forged strong relationships with industry mentors.

“Hard work, persistence, and surrounding myself with great people to learn from,” Hess said, when asked the reasons for her success. “Building a strong network of supportive professionals and friends through organizations like CREW St. Louis has helped, too.”

With a passion for education and furthering women’s careers in the commercial real estate industry, Hess has been an active member and leader within CREW St. Louis, currently serving on the Finance Committee but also having been a past Director as well as co-chair of the group’s annual golf tournament and CREW Careers event.

Hess also participates as a Finance Mentor in ULI’s Real Estate Diversity Initiative program. She serves the greater St. Louis community through her involvement as a board member for Independence Center, a community-based rehabilitation program for adults with severe and persistent mental illness.

Hess was recently named to the St. Louis Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2021.

When not working, Hess likes to spend time with her husband and two children and her friends. She’s also a proponent of regular exercise, a way for her to stay healthy and relieve stress.

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