Dir, Business Development & Strategic Resourc
In her role as Director of Business Development & Strategic Resources | Southwest Region for Colliers, Vanessa Williams oversees a talented team of marketing and research professionals across Arizona, Nevada, Greater Los Angeles, San Diego, Texas, Utah and Hawaii. Serving as business partner and advisor to the regional president, division leadership and local markets across the Southwestern Region, Vanessa is tasked with developing a highly effective salesforce to achieve organic growth and continuously increase market share for Colliers.
Collaborating with regional and local leadership teams and brokers, Vanessa is focused on developing and implementing marketing and research strategies to position the region as a leader in the commercial real estate industry through innovative and measurable tactics. Her goal is to elevate marketing and research teams to operate as strategic partners to Colliers’ brokers.
Working closely with key support functions, Vanessa assists in managing the business development process, the identification and qualification of opportunities, and the assignment of new opportunities to local or regional pursuit resources and/or the national Business Development Center. She is accountable for developing the structure and resources required to execute business development plans for the region.
The Colliers Regional Strategic Projects Team comprises the most talented and experienced professionals across the region. The team serves as strategic advisors to Colliers’ brokers and clients and partners with national marketing and research leaders to cascade regional initiatives and objectives to local markets.
Under the direction of the Director of Business Development and Strategic Resources, the regional team leads a network of marketing experts to develop actionable marketing initiatives, champion the adoption of new technology, and identify and implement best-in-class marketing processes and practices. The team is responsible for developing avenues to strategically partner with business line leaders to target and win new business.
The team’s approach blends the insight and imagination of incredible people who see endless possibilities. We foster a culture of innovation and collaboration that informs, connects and advances the interests of our clients and professionals through business development, property marketing, digital engagement, research and public relations. Our fully internal regional team takes advantage of a comprehensive set of tools and resources, with expertise in all areas of commercial real estate marketing. We create high-quality content that tells a story and is useful, relevant and thought-provoking.
Previously Vanessa served as marketing director for Colliers in Arizona and regional marketing ambassador for Colliers’ Southwest Region, where she fostered a culture of innovation and collaboration that informs, connects and advances the interests of clients and professionals through business development, property marketing, public relations and digital engagement.
As marketing director for Arizona, Vanessa led an innovative marketing team strongly focused on business development. Her young and innovative approach resulted in new strategies for commercial real estate marketing, focused on the growing influence of social media and the changing landscape of the new economy. As a vital client-facing professional, Vanessa has been actively involved with brokerage professionals in pitching new business. Throughout the creative process, she worked hand-in-hand with brokers and staff to develop highly effective marketing concepts and strategies.
As regional marketing ambassador for the Southwest Region, Vanessa partnered with regional and national marketing leaders to cascade regional initiatives and objectives to local marketing directors, managers and Colliers Centers of Excellence leaders. She guided a network of marketing experts to develop actionable marketing initiatives, champion the adoption of new technology, and identify and implement best-in-class marketing processes and practices. Working with local marketing managers and directors, Vanessa found avenues to strategically partner with business line leaders to target and win new business.
Her work with Colliers has allowed Vanessa to combine her passion for growing the company’s business through marketing with her commitment to values and ethics. She joined Colliers in 2015, with enthusiasm for the company’s unique value-based culture and is dedicated to moving that mission forward.
Vanessa demonstrates exceptional skill and expertise in several core components of marketing, including business development, branding, asset positioning, property-marketing campaigns, public relations and advertising. She brings more than 14 years of extensive experience and knowledge in all aspects of marketing, business development and graphic design.
Her tenure in the commercial real estate industry began in 2007, when she served as a graphic designer at Grubb & Ellis. Vanessa left the commercial real estate industry for a few years to hone her skills at Campbell Fisher Design (now known as Fisher). She returned to commercial real estate in 2013, joining Cushman & Wakefield as manager of its marketing department for Arizona.
- 2019 - Promoted to Director, Business Development & Strategic Resources | Southwest Region
- 2018 - Colliers One Award. In recognition of collaboration, having a voice, demonstrating a love for the brand and wanting to grow and improve; exhibiting exceptional engagement, participation, contributions and playing a role in unifying our team as ONE
- 2018 - Named Regional Marketing Ambassador for the Southwest Region of Colliers
- 2018 - Promoted to Marketing Director for Colliers | Arizona
- 2017 & 2016 - Received the All-In Award for Colliers | Arizona for being fully committed to moving to the next level and to setting winning strategies for the future
- 2017 - Received the Commitment to Service Excellence Award for Colliers | Arizona in recognition of going above and beyond in every aspect of her job and/or for a client or large project.
- Named 2016 North America Marketer of the Year by Colliers
- Awarded 2016 Best Property Campaign in USA by Colliers for Biltmore Center campaign
- Awarded the Americas Design Showcase in 2014 and 2013 for Cushman & Wakefield
- Named Employee of the Year in 2014 and 2013 by Cushman & Wakefield
- Vanessa graduated from The Art Institute of Phoenix with honors, where she received the Best Portfolio of the Graduating Class Award
Memberships & Involvements
- NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association
- NAIOP Communications Committee
- Ryan House
- NAIOP Charities
- The Arizona Humane Society
“Vanessa’s promotion is a direct example of how an individual’s talents in Arizona are being recognized by Colliers’ corporate leadership. Her transformative vision about commercial real estate marketing has benefitted our operations in remarkable ways. I am thrilled for Vanessa to expand her career and share her creativity with our regional colleagues.”—Bob Mulhern, senior managing director, Colliers International in Arizona
"As the marketing director for Colliers in Greater Phoenix, Vanessa has been an absolute game changer. She completely transformed the way we do business in Arizona, creating best practices all along the way. Her creative talent and leadership skills have allowed us to provide a new level of marketing to our clients. In recognition of the vision and innovation she brings to marketing, Colliers named Vanessa the 2016 North America Marketer of the Year and awarded her Best Marketing Campaign for the Biltmore Center property. It’s a pleasure to have Vanessa as an integral member of our team.”—Bob Mulhern, senior managing director, Colliers International in Greater Phoenix
“Vanessa Williams is undoubtedly the top marketer in the metro Phoenix brokerage community. We hired Colliers in June 2016 to take over the leasing of our 650,000-square-foot Class A office project in Phoenix. One of the primary reasons we hired Colliers was due to the marketing materials and ideas that were presented in the broker interview by Vanessa. She truly blew us away. Remarkably, she has only impressed us more since then. She has been a leading voice in everything from a project name change to paint colors to signage to videos to websites and so much more. Everything is done extremely well but incredibly quickly. Decisions are well thought out and do not drag. I have been in the business for 25 years and have dealt often with the leaders of the industry, and I can honestly say that I have seen very few people as good at their job as she is at hers. Her combination of passion, creativity, attention to detail, and decision-making are, from the perspective of myself, my partners, employees, and our multi-billion dollar capital partner, incredibly unique and a pleasure to work with day-in and day-out.”—Steven Schwarz, Founding Partner, ViaWest Group - owner of Biltmore Center
"Our group has worked with Vanessa on a very marketing intensive project for nearly two years. The quality of her work is first-class, and her creativity is second to none. The combination of these two attributes assures me that any future marketing work we need will be well prepared and delivered. I would strongly make a recommendation for her ability to apply these skills in any of the many facets of real estate or business."—Jason Anzalone, Vice President - Development at Irgens
"Vanessa is an amazing talent. A rare find in this day and age. She is professional, on point and extremely efficient with her work. Her team leadership abilities are outstanding. Her ethics are as good as one could get."—Robert (Bob) Kline, Senior Managing Director, CMB Equity, Debt and Structured Finance, Western Region
"Vanessa is an extremely creative, responsive and client focused individual. There are no demands that cannot be met because Vanessa recognizes the importance of exceeding the client's expectations."—Sam Murik, Senior Director, Office and Law Firm Tenant Representation
President, Southwest Region Brokerage
Los Angeles - Encino
As President of Brokerage in the Southwest United States for Colliers International, I am responsible for some of the firm’s most productive offices in the nation, from Colorado, Utah, Nevada and Arizona to Southern California and the islands of Hawaii. Based in Los Angeles, my focus is on advancing Colliers’ growth objectives in the larger region, while ensuring the firm continues to provide best-in-class solutions to our clients.
SR Dir, Strategic Ops | US National Marketing
I am the Senior Director of Strategic Operations for the U.S. Brand, Insights & Innovation Group (BIIG). Operations, within BIIG, is focused on the strategic alignment of the national and local market teams, and across functional departments. My team and I are committed to streamlining communication, centralizing organization and processes, optimizing team dynamics and leveraging an enterprise mindset.
Additionally, I oversee the U.S. Brokerage Services team in the overall strategy, business development and operational leadership for the national service lines including: industrial, retail, healthcare, occupier services and capital markets, as well as the 22 national Practice Groups. The national Practice Groups are comprised of best-in-class advisors who focus their business within an industry sector. Operations of the team included the oversight and execution of business development initiatives, organization of key industry events, development of thought leadership in partnership with research, as well as the creative compilation and dissemination of nationally driven marketing collateral and communications both internally and externally.