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Getting to know: Ashley H. Peace with Sauer Properties
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Getting to know

Getting to know: Ashley H. Peace with Sauer Properties

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Ashley H. Peace with Sauer Properties Inc.

Ashley H. Peace with Sauer Properties Inc.

Title: President of Sauer Properties Inc., the private real estate company based in Richmond that specializes in commercial real estate development and investment

Born: 1981 in Henrico County

Education: Virginia Tech, bachelor of science, 2002; Virginia Commonwealth University, master’s in urban and regional planning, 2008

Career: Lidl U.S., December 2015-April 2018; HHHunt Inc., August 2018-October 2019; Sauer Properties, October 2019-present

Where in the metro area do you live? off River Road in Henrico

Best business decision: “Empowering team members to make decisions in the best interest of the company and encouraging them to pursue excellence. Extraordinary results are achieved when team members are encouraged and supported (not micro-managed).”

Worst business decision: “You can learn and pivot from every decision, even ones that may seem poor at the time. There is always an opportunity to learn and improve.”

Mistake you learned the most from: “I once ‘lost’ a company car. Our team was responsible for fleet management for its regional office. One of our team members dropped off a car to a local mechanic to get serviced. The employee left the company a few days later. A year later when headquarters inquired about the car, I remembered it was still at the mechanic. Embarrassed and humbled, I was honest and transparent about the situation with my boss. I thought I may be fired, but he laughed over the phone. It was the most gracious and forgiving response. What I learned from that mistake: Everyone makes mistakes in business and life. No one is perfect; be upfront, honest, and transparent when communicating a mistake; any problem can be fixed. Own the mistake and find a way to fix it; and be understanding and empathic to others when mistakes happen. The easy response is to blame and be angry. The better way to respond is to laugh.”

What is the biggest challenge/opportunity in the next two to five years?: “The biggest challenge/opportunity is master planning and developing future phases of The Sauer Center. Plans exist to transform the predominantly industrial area into a new bustling neighborhood. We have one shot to get it right, but the opportunity is unprecedented in the Richmond market.”

First job after college: sales and marketing representative for NVR Inc.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently: “I would have moved to a major market like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., or New York. Although Richmond is my first and forever love, there is a big world out there. I could have joined a national or international commercial real estate company and gained even more knowledge and experience. One learns their true capacity when put in situations out of their comfort zone.”

Movie or book that inspired you the most, and why?: “There are two books I have read recently that are inspiring in different ways, the first being ‘What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence’ by Stephen A. Schwarzman. The book offers practical business and life lessons for anyone leading an organization or team. The second is ‘Genius in the Garden: Charles F. Gillette and Landscape Architecture in Virginia’ by George C. Longest. Gillette left his mark on the Richmond landscape and throughout Virginia by his classical designs that became the standard in his field.”

Favorite and least favorite subject in school: Favorite: science and history; least favorite: French.

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