Usually the hub of an area is established first with surrounding residential areas built after development. Due to open in October, Kimberly Esparza, assistant general manager of Downtown Summerlin, is part of the day-to-day operations. This planned urban center will serve the entire Las Vegas Valley and, when complete, will include retail, entertainment, office, hotel and multi-family residential, all designed to create a “walkable urban core within the 22,500-acre master planned community” of Summerlin.
Receiving her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota, Esparza has 10 years of marketing and center management experience. She is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and working towards her CSM designation.
“I always knew marketing was the road I wanted to go down,” Esparza said. “I always had a passion for creativity. I just never expected to end up in shopping center management, but I really enjoy it.”
Esparza considers her education a big asset in her career. “It was not just textbooks. It was learning to network, to stay relevant and interact with others in your field. I believe that getting a degree in business helps you to market yourself and is a very valuable tool to obtain. If you understand the business model, no matter the actual field, you will always do well in your career.”
She also encourages others to pursue their degrees. “Higher education is an added value when looking at candidates for a position at The Howard Hughes Corporation.” Esparza explained, “I think it is important for people to consider continuing their higher education for credibility as well as expanding their mind, as well as exploring all options. College exposed me to smart, devoted professors along with some internship opportunities which really helped me define who I was and what I really wanted for my career.”
Prior to joining Downtown Summerlin, Esparza spent three years with The Howard Hughes Corporation as senior marketing manager for Park West in Peoria, Ariz. and general manager for Rio West Mall in Gallup, N.M.
Debbie Hall is practically a Las Vegas native (34 years and counting) and loves experiencing everything in Southern Nevada from the Las Vegas Strip to the surrounding mountains and Lake Mead. She also teaches at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and loves sharing her knowledge. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.