#Balance for Better Spotlight - Melissa Lal

Melissa Lal is the President and Managing Member of Larsen Baker, the largest privately held retail property owner in Southern Arizona. Melissa began with the company in 2006 and now handles all facets of Larsen Baker’s commercial development, brokerage and management divisions - including investor and lender relations, property leasing, acquisitions and dispositions, and the financing of Larsen Baker’s $300 million dollar portfolio.

Melissa began her career at Larson Baker as an executive assistant, and she has worked her way up through every role at the organization - from property management, to brokerage, to development, and now President and co-owner.  

"I was fortunate to start my career with a company that saw my potential as a leader, saw my commitment to the commercial real estate industry, and saw my talent as a deal maker. They never saw my gender as a negative or reason to look past me."

In an industry that is 95% men, Melissa sees her unique and rare female perspective as a particular advantage in a room full of men.  She is incredibly proud to be the only female commercial real estate developer in Tucson, but points out that it highlights just how woefully underrepresented women still are in commercial real estate.

Melissa believes that identifying and fostering talent is critical in leadership.  Most of the time, those talented employees - particularly women - do not even realize just how talented they are.  They cannot see all of the amazing things they are capable of doing because until recently women were not encouraged to think big - especially when it comes to corporate ambition.  Melissa's mentors--George Larsen and Don Baker--saw potential in her years before she saw it in herself.  She strives to carry on that tradition in Larson Baker.    

A proud University of Arizona alumni, Melissa graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in American Literature in 2005. She obtained her CCIM designation in 2011.

As an active member throughout the Tucson community, she served as the former president of the Southern Arizona CCIM Chapter and is a board member of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW).

Melissa is also proud to be actively involved in Angel Charity of Tucson. Through innovative fundraising, Angel Charity is committed to providing Pima County’s children with the vibrant future they so richly deserve.

Thank you, Melissa, for all you do in our community!

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