Tammy K. Jones

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Tammy K. Jones
President and Managing Principal
Basis Investment Group LLC
New York, N.Y.

For Tammy K. Jones, dreams do not have to be deferred. Another of hers will come true this year, when she and her colleagues, in partnership with two prominent commercial real estate trade organizations, launch a program to introduce African-American high school students to the commercial real estate industry. “Commercial real estate investment can generate tremendous wealth, yet many young people do not understand the field,” Jones explains.

Jones is the president and managing principal of Basis Investment Group, one of the country’s only national commercial real estate investment platforms owned by a woman and a minority. From a feisty little girl who lived with her parents, five siblings and little money in a two-bedroom apartment in inner city New York, she made it to Cornell University; gave birth in her junior year, married, and graduated with honors in four years; and faced down her deepest fears after her husband was killed in a car accident. “When the opportunity came, this girl called upon all of her experiences, both the joy and pain, to give her the courage to believe that she could,” Jones declares. “Each chapter, each battle or challenge was my personal refinement for what was to come.”

Standing on some 20 years’ investment management experience in commercial real estate and dismissing initial thumbs-downs to her business plan, she launched Basis in 2009. Of the $2.8 billion in transactions closed to date, Basis, 71 percent of whose team comprises women and minorities, has loaned or invested nearly $500 million with other qualified woman- and minority-owned firms. “If given the opportunity, minorities and woman will hire each other and invest together,” Jones asserts.

Jones holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Cornell and an MBA from Georgia State University. She recently was appointed an independent director on the board of Monogram Residential Trust Inc.