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A champion for innovation in rural America

Steven Bean (BSBA ’85) values working on a collaborative team with great individuals at Situs, a global consulting firm to the commercial real estate financial services industry.

A decade ago, he helped build the first commercial real estate advisory operation in India to more than 1,500 employees in three years.

“Having previously managed similar operations in the U.S.,” he says. “I recognized there were opportunities for higher value-add work here, which could also be price competitive.”

Growing up near Robbins, NC, Bean witnessed how the textile industry’s decline led to a decline in employment opportunities.

“When we studied the area’s demographics, we found underemployment, not unemployment. The education level was excellent, but the job opportunities didn’t match the capabilities,” explains Bean, executive managing director of U.S. Advisory and Business Development at Situs.

“I wrote a business plan for an onshore outsourcing office, which opened in January 2007. Today, the Robbins office is the global company’s largest – with more than 100 employees – and is an oasis of talented, dedicated professionals. Through Situs’ training programs, strong technology investments and benefits offered by the state, we were able to create a very unique environment – in a former textile mill, no less – by creating careers in commercial real estate finance for a lot of smart, capable people in rural North Carolina,” he says.

Bean credits UNC Kenan-Flagler for giving him the foundation for his career.

”I wouldn’t be where I am today without it,” he says. “As such, I like to support the School in multiple ways, including funding, mentoring students and hiring recent graduates.”