Meet Todd, General Manager
Full Name: Todd Hiepler
Title: Senior General Manager, Westfield Montgomery, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield
Todd has 20+ years of commercial property management experience, primarily the management and oversight of Class A shopping centers and assets with a special focus on properties undergoing transition, re-development, or new development. Managed properties include a broad range; from downtown, vertical, mixed-use assets to traditional, enclosed super regional shopping centers to outdoor entertainment / lifestyle centers. Past responsibilities include commercial office management.
Who/what influenced or inspired you?
I’ve been fortunate to have had good bosses / good mentors over the years. Each mentor with their own unique skill sets, personalities, and mannerisms. I like to think that each assignment and my affiliation with these mentors have shaped my own unique style.
What do you love most about your job? What are its biggest challenges?
I love problem solving and being innovative. Shopping center management is unique in the industry in that our customers are both the retailer and the guests coming to the shopping center, and it’s a symbiotic arrangement of dependence. I also love that every day is different – there are so many opportunities to engage with customers, retailers, contractors and so many functions of property management such as facilities management, financial controls and budgeting, marketing, leasing, strategic planning, among others. Challenges include maintaining an asset with so many visitors on a daily, weekly, and annual basis. And relying on our tenants to be visually appealing and offering compelling merchandise to stay relevant in the industry. Meanwhile, the industry is in an upheaval period with e-commerce and social media becoming more dominant in the society’s lives
How did you gain entry into the industry? What was your big break?
I entered the industry after receiving my MBA. I participated in on-campus recruiting and had the opportunity to interview with a Chicago-based company with a strong reputation in shopping center development. I think my continuing education (the MBA) helped set me apart from my peer set who were primarily undergraduates. I never had a big break, but a series of opportunities where I volunteered to relocate to various parts of the country and gain valuable exposure to different assets. Each new assignment allowed me to grow and sharpen my skills.
What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of work?
I have 5 children with ages ranging from 6 years old to 18 years old. Their respective extracurricular activities keep me busy in my off-time. I enjoy NFL football – watching it and playing fantasy football throughout the season. Although I had interest in playing football in college, I did not pursue it; rather I focused on my studies. My particular passion is following the Green Bay Packers.
Do you have any words of advice?
My advice to anyone is take every opportunity when its presented; even if its outside of one’s comfort zone. Do not turn down the opportunity for exposure, no matter how small that exposure is. There is always a learning opportunity – whether its attending a business meeting, or a business seminar, or attending a business luncheon. Networking is important. The saying is correct sometimes that “It’s not what you know, but who you know”. That doesn’t mean hardwork doesn’t pay off. It does. Find ways to say yes and find ways to help. Lastly, the more knowledge and experience you can collect, the more tools in your toolbox you will have to use later in life.