Sara Brennan: Forty Under 40

Congratulations to Sara Brennan, chief operating officer at PECO Real Estate Partners. She was named one of Utah Business’ 2018 Forty Under 40 honorees.

Sara Brennan, PECO Real Estate Partners - Utah Business 2018 Forty Under 40

As general counsel at Phillips Edison, Sara Brennan took the lead in the company’s effort to spin-off its non-grocery divisions into a new standalone company: PECO Real Estate Partners. Brennan built the new company from scratch and helped secure $300 million in private equity funding for the venture.

PECO Real Estate Partners was built around a core of 40 employees who came with Brennan from Phillips Edison—and the change was “hard for people,” says Brennan. “It was a big change for everybody to go from a more established company into a newer startup. … You really have to demonstrate strong leadership; you have to lead by example. You have to empower people to do their work and really make them feel invested in the outcomes.”

CAUSE SHE’S PASSIONATE ABOUT: As the most senior female in leadership at Phillips Edison, Brennan created a networking group for women called PECO NOW. As a result, representation of women in senior leadership at the company increased dramatically. At PECO Real Estate Partners, Brennan says, “what I try to do is provide opportunities for women in the organization to be parts of meetings, be in presentations, to have access not just to management internally, but also externally, so they can build those relationships that they can leverage as they grow their careers.”