Thriving in the Face of Life’s Challenges with Wendy Berger, CEO and Founder of WBS Equities, LLC

Thriving in the Face of Life’s Challenges with Wendy Berger, CEO and Founder of WBS Equities, LLC

Wendy Berger is a serial entrepreneur. For reasons she can’t even explain, Wendy grew up wanting to be president of a bank. Her journey has led her down the path to where she finds herself today as CEO and Founder of WBS Equities, LLC. Wendy used to always focus on the end result, but now she enjoys the journey. She learned this in part from the traumatic losses of her brother and then her husband three years later. Wendy didn’t allow the tragedy of their deaths to go in vain, instead she learned and developed the strength and tools for the successes she acquired to date.

In this episode, Wendy also shares with us her ideas around “big thinking” and the courage it takes to make significant moves in life and business. She’s a curious businesswoman who now focuses on real estate and the cannabis industry, for which she serves on an executive board. And, if that isn’t impressive enough, she is an avid athlete who has completed 38 triathlons! Take a few minutes to tune in  and learn the tips and tools Wendy regularly shares with her many mentees.

Highlights: 

[02:31] Wendy’s journey to where she is today 
[07:18] Pushing through fear and self-doubt
[13:35] Tools Wendy uses to think big
[20:47] How to ask others for help
[25:56] How to have confidence and promote yourself
[30:24] What to do when facing a difficult day
[37:05] Advice Wendy gives her mentees
[40:25] Lightning round questions

Quotes:

“It takes retraining our minds to be courageous enough to let go of our fears.” – Wendy Berger

“Big thinking precedes great accomplishments.” – Wendy Berger

“Each day is focused on what am I doing to help other women succeed.” – Wendy Berger

“Place yourself in the middle of interesting conversations.” – Wendy Berger

Lightning Round Questions:

What book has greatly influenced you? 

  • “Churchill and the Jews: A Lifelong Friendship” by Winston Churchill (and another great one about triathlons)

What is your favorite inspiring quote or saying? 

  • “For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.” – Elie Wiesel 

What is one word or moniker you would use to describe yourself? 

  • Curious

What is one change you've implanted that made your life better? 

  • I stopped feeling my soul with food.

What power song would you want playing as you walk out onto a stage? 

  • “Steady Pull” by Jonatha Brooke or “Cool Change” by Little River Band

About Wendy Berger:

Wendy is CEO and Founder of WBS Equities, LLC, a company she founded in 2004. WBS Equities specializes in ground-up construction, renovation, development, sale lease back transactions and acquisition of industrial buildings for food and beverage manufacturers and distributors. She has grown the business into a nationally recognized leader in this niche area within industrial real estate development and acquisitions. In addition to the firm’s focus on real estate development for food and beverage manufacturers and distributors, Wendy has over 30 years’ experience in real estate brokerage, real estate finance and structuring complex real estate transactions. 

Wendy is also a serial entrepreneur. Outside of WBS Equities, LLC, Wendy brings decades of experience in strategic planning, execution, and exits for rapid growth start-ups. She loves being a part of the explosive growth phase of companies and working alongside founders to provide strategic leadership and guidance to help create dynamic and forward-thinking organizations. 

Wendy serves on the Board of Directors of Green Thumb Industries, Inc. (GTI) (CSE: GTII) (OTC: GTBIF). Green Thumb is a national cannabis consumer packaged goods company and retailer, is dedicated to providing dignified access to cannabis while giving back to the communities in which they serve. Green Thumb manufactures and distributes a portfolio of branded cannabis products including Beboe, Dogwalkers, Dr. Solomon’s, incredibles, Rythm and The Feel Collection. The company also owns and operates rapidly growing national retail cannabis stores called Rise™ and Essence. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Green Thumb has 16 manufacturing facilities, 75 retail locations, licenses for 111 retail locations and operations across 15 U.S. states. Established in 2014, Green Thumb employs over 4,000 people and serves thousands of patients and customers each year. 

In 2000, Wendy was employee number 11 at Orbitz, the Travel web site founded by Continental, American, Northwest, Delta, and United Airlines. Wendy was Director of the Enterprise Planning at Orbitz and focused on strategic planning. Prior to Orbitz, Wendy co-founded and was COO of Neoglyphics Media Corporation in 1994, which was one of the country’s first web site development firms.  

Wendy began her career at American National Bank and Trust Company of Chicago (a subsidiary of First Chicago, now JP Morgan Chase) in Commercial Lending. Wendy spent several years as a principal with Berger Realty Group, an 80-year- old family-owned Real Estate business where she focused on residential and industrial property management and development. 

Wendy earned her MBA in Finance and Real Estate from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business. She received a B.S., cum laude, in Finance and Marketing from Syracuse University. Wendy was a participant in the 2011 class of Leadership Greater Chicago. Wendy serves on the Board of directors of the Jewish Federation/Jewish United Fund of Chicago (2001 – 2007, and 2009 – present). Wendy served as the 2019 General Campaign Chair for the Jewish United Fund of Chicago and currently Chairs the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC). Wendy also serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Chicago Public Library Foundation Board (2016 – present). Wendy served on the Board of TEDxMidwest from 2010 - 2012. Other activities include the Wexner Heritage Program, Board Member Vice-President, and Membership Chair at The Standard Club of Chicago (1994 – 2004). Wendy is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and served as the chair of the Real Estate Membership Committee. In 2014, Wendy co-founded Illinois Women in Cannabis (IWC). IWC connects, educates, mentors, and supports Illinois women of all ages and backgrounds in order to maximize their opportunities in the emerging Illinois cannabis industry. In 2021 Wendy joined the Board of Directors of The Secure Community Network, the official safety and security network of the Jewish Community in North America. 

Wendy is an avid Triathlete, having completed 39 Olympic distance triathlons and 13 half marathons. Wendy actively mentor’s young women, helping to guide them through the challenges of leadership and development. Wendy is a frequent speaker on Cannabis related real estate, industrial real estate, and the Cannabis industry and on Women’s leadership roles.

Links:

Website: https://wbsequities.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wendy-berger-53157a10/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wbsequities 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wendyaberger/  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wendybshap 

 

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