2015 Forty Under 40: Traci Kapsalis

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vice president of leasing and development, Duke Realty Corp.

Common ground: What do Interactive Intelligence, Katz Sapper & Miller, Adesa, Firestone, J.D. Byrider and Merrill Lynch have in common? They are all clients of Traci Kapsalis, who is responsible for leasing Duke Realty Corp.’s 3-million-square-foot local portfolio of Class A and Class B properties as well as spearheading new office development.

Fashionably late to the real estate game: With a degree in fashion merchandising from the University of Dayton, Kapsalis worked as an associate buyer for department store retailer Mercantile Stores. Faced with moving to Little Rock, Arkansas, or finding a different job after the company was acquired, she took the lead of a friend who knew the head of marketing at Duke. “She had a fashion background. We hit it off. And she gave me a job in marketing,” she said.

AGE 39
Hometown: Muncie

Family: husband, Dean; children Camille, 9; Gus, 7

Shifting ground: “Back when I first started, we had a ‘build-it-and-they-will-come’ strategy,” said Kapsalis, who has been with Duke for 13 years. “But people aren’t throwing up buildings left and right anymore. You don’t hear the word ‘speculative’ as much.”

Intelligence Building: Kapsalis recently completed the largest office deal in the Indianapolis market for 2014—a 112,500-square-foot, build-to-suit lease for Interactive Intelligence, including 248,000 square feet in other Duke office properties. “Typically, once we get a client and take care of them, they don’t leave,” said Kapsalis, who has been working with Interactive for close to 10 years.

Puzzling philosophy: “I kind of look at our world as a gigantic jigsaw puzzle that will never be finished,” she said. “People’s needs are always changing and they need a real estate partner who can address those needs, assembling different blocks of space. That’s part of our business.”

Poised for success: Kapsalis serves on the Urban Land Institute Advisory Board and the Carmel Chamber of Commerce Business Issues Committee. She also volunteered her time with Junior Achievement of Central Indiana, whose president and CEO, Jennifer K. Burk, said Kapsalis “has a real gift for remaining calm and clear-headed in the face of adversity and confronting all challenges head-on, with confidence and poise.”•

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